“Epic” Beer Cake

beercake
I struggled with what to do for my husband’s homecoming. I, being a Susie Homemaker in training, wanted to go all out. Streamers, balloons, signs, American flags…
But then we found out he wouldn’t be home for very long and I felt like making a big deal out of this homecoming would be more of a slap in the face. “You will spend more time in a rack than your bed this year” didn’t seem like a very good sign.

So I decided I would make a basket full of his favorite things. Only problem, my husband is a simple man and loves queso, Japanese food and his bed. I got his entire family involved and they sent some of the best stuff. Thin Mints, Memphis BBQ sauce, Best Buy gift cards…
(I’ll tell on myself: I ate both boxes of Thin Mints and Goo Goo Clusters. It’s your own fault for sending a female with a deployed husband chocolate.)

One day I was poking around on Pinterest for a few minutes (said no one ever) and saw a ton of different diaper cakes. A cake made out of beer popped in my head and I knew I had a gem of an idea.

cake1

:: Ingredients ::
Beer. If this cake was for anyone else, I would have gotten a variety of beer. My husband (simple man) likes his Bud Light. I used 24 beers because let’s be honest – he was at sea for months… he only needed 1 to get a buzz on.
Curling Ribbon.
Crepe Paper Streamers. I found American Flag designs at the Dollar Store.
2 Small American Flags.
Poster Board.

:: Cooking Instructions ::

I can’t remember for sure, but I think there are 3 beers on the top layer, 7 beers in the middle, and 14 beers on the bottom layer. I just stacked each layer directly on the next. My original plan was to cut cardboard to place between each layer, but I didn’t want the cake to be huge and I also didn’t feel like trying to cut cardboard.

I stuck the two flags on top and surrounded them with curling ribbon. caketop

I wrapped the crepe paper around each layer and used double side tape to hold it in place.
I decided it needed something under the cake so I cut a circle out of poster board, wrote “Welcome Home” on it, and rebuilt the cake on top of the board.

cake1


He actually got home before I did so I couldn’t see his reaction, but I did receive this text:
epicI’ll consider that the male stamp of approval. I should also note that the best part of this cake is that is doesn’t go bad. Does beer go bad?

Now I just have to come up with something cool(er) for homecoming #2.

cake1

DIY: Sparkle Running Skirt

There are a few reasons I like to run. Runner’s high, pink tennis shoes and fun running clothes. Simple as that. My mom and I (with help from the hubby when our brains stopped working) made this skirt the night before my last half marathon and I figured I should finally get around to telling you how. Plus, I just happen to have some sparkly fabric and a lot of free time.

1-DSC_0062-001

:: What You Need :: 
1 yard confetti dot fabric (or other fabric of choice)
Elastic for waistband
Matching thread
Sewing Machine

Note: There are two different color fabrics in this post – you’re not crazy 🙂 

Start with the waistband. Wrap elastic around your waist where you want you skirt to sit. Add about two inches for overlap. Create the waistband by sewing the two ends together. I used a zig-zag stitch on the ends to make sure they are flush with the rest of the band (prevent chafing) and a straight stitch for the long ends. Give your waist band a few tugs to make sure it will hold up during the race.

1-DSC_0029

Put the waistband aside. We’ll come back to that at the end of the project.

Measure and cut the rest of the skirt.

  • Top of skirt: Cut a rectangle.
    For the long side: measure your hips where ever you want the skirt to sit and add four inches to give yourself some running room.  For the short side: 5.5 inches.
    measurement

Bottom of skirt:
For the long side: hip measurement + 4 inches. For the short side: 9-10 inches*. You need two of these rectangles.  *Don’t worry if the skirt looks a little long; you can always shorten the skirt at the very end.measurement21-DSC_0048

Now that everything is cut, you will make the bottom of the skirt first.

1-DSC_0062-002To create the ruffle of the bottom of the skirt:

  • sew the two larger rectangles together to make one very long rectangle1-DSC_0055
  • sew one stitch down the length of the rectangle. Place the stitch about 1/2 inch from the top. ***DO NOT BACK STITCH*** You also want to set the stitch to the longest stitch you have.
  • start pulling on the fabric (make sure to hold the thread) to create an even ruffle. The goal is to make the ruffled rectangle the same size as the smaller (top of skirt) rectangle. Just ignore the typo in the picture below 🙂 1-DSC_0058

Now we are going to attach the ruffle part of the skirt. 1-1-DSC_0062-001To add the ruffle on the flat part of the skirt:

  • Pin the ruffled rectangle on the smaller (top of skirt) rectangle. Pin directly on the sparkle side of fabric. I gave myself about a .5 inch overlap. Actually, I counted up three dots and pinned so I didn’t have to measure. 1-DSC_0061This step takes a while to get the ruffle even and pinned straight. Boomer gave up on me…
    1-DSC_0060
  • Sew directly below the basting stitch making sure the ruffle stays.
  • You can pull out the basting stitch now. I left mine in because you couldn’t see it.

Sew the skirt shut by folding the skirt in half (with the good side of fabric facing in). Pin and sew the short sides together. *Make sure to line up the ruffles because you can trim the bottom up to match if it doesn’t line up exactly.  The final step is to attached the waistband.

1-1-DSC_0062-002To attach the skirt to the waistband:
(Sorry for no pictures – this is a two hand job)

  • Pin the skirt to the inside of the elastic waistband. You will notice the skirt is larger than your waistband – you want that! I pinned the skirt in four places – the back, front and each side leaving loose material between each pin. Start sewing (with a zig-zag stitch) where you placed a pin. As you sew, hold your skirt where the next pin is and pull the elastic to become the same length as the material. The goal of this is to allow the skirt to stretch so you can put it on. When you are finished, the material will have a slight ruffle at the top, but it will flatten out when you put it on. 

To shorten your skirt: determine how much shorter you need it and chop. This fabric will not fray.  1-DSC_00621-DSC_0068DSC01613-001

Please let me know if you have any questions or if a part of this tutorial isn’t clear. 

Rub-a-dub-dub [DIY: Exfoliating Sugar Scrubs]

My interest in the DIY scrub trend is sparked by the fact that my mother and mother-in-law go crazy for hand scrubs. Like I know that Banana Cabana in Charleston, SC has hand scrub in their bathroom. Jars of scrubs are super expensive so I always pass on them. That is, until I found a few “recipes” on Pinterest. Well, Pinterest, my mothers and the fact that my runner’s feet are getting a little out of control. So, this morning I set out to make my own version of exfoliating scrubs.

Method One: Clean Hands Sugar Scrub

Ingredients


Sugar
Olive Oil
Liquid Soap
Jar (the one pictured is from Walmart)

Method

1. Pour 2 cups sugar into a bowl.
2. Add 1/2 cup soap.

3. Add 1/4 cup olive oil.

4. Mix until you get a paste like consistency.

You want the sugar moist, but do not want excess liquid. You might have to add a pinch of sugar or a splash of soap to get the consistency to your liking.

5. Carefully pour mixture into jar.

I stuck this one by the kitchen skin so I could use it to wash my hands. Not only are my hands soft and clean, but my wallet also loves how cheap this scrub is to make. And the hubby has the extra soap to use on the dishes 🙂

Method Two: Exfoliating Lemon Sugar Scrub 



Ingredients

Sugar
Olive Oil
Lemons
Jar

Method

1. Pour 3 1/2 cups sugar into bowl.
2. Add in 1 cup olive oil.
3. Zest 2 lemons (I used a cheese grater) and then juice lemons over mixture.
4. Carefully pour mixture into jar.

I stuck mine in the shower to rub down with. I made sure to put extra effort into my feet (sat down for this one) and my elbows during my shower. My skin came out oh so silky smooth. The tub on the other hand came out slick (from the oil) so use with caution.

I would estimate these scrubs to cost less than $5 to make. I’m not exactly sure though since I already had everything on hand.

Here are some other recipes you might enjoy: 
Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub from New Nostalgia
Cherry Salt Scrub from The Swede Records
Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub from Our Best Bites

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Caffeine in a Jar


This gift combines my 2 favorite things: mason jars and caffeine.

Inspiration for this gift came from 37 Recipes How To Make Gifts In A Jar that I found on Pinterest.  I am always pinning ideas, so I am happy I finally used one. Want to make your own? Here is how I made my caffeine jar:

– – What You Need – –

Huge Mason Jar (I found mine at Walmart for about $6)
Coffee Cup (I found mine at Walmart for $4)
Coffee Samples (I got 4 from Target for $0.99 each)

Tea packets (already had)
Starbucks Ice Coffee Packets (already had)
I used teal crunchy paper that I already had for the bottom

Note: Think small. I originally bought stacking coffee cups, but they didn’t fit through the top of the mason jar. Guess who now owns two more coffee cups? This girl.

– – What You Do – –

Stuff some crunchy paper in the bottom of the jar
Start stuffing everything else in the jar. I started with the coffee cup and then starting pushing the other items around it

 You can top with a tag and/or ribbon. Leave the gift bag at home, this gift is pretty enough to shine on its own.

For about $15 I had a gift that people fought over! (It was for a white elephant gift exchange. Military wives get feisty!)

I’ll give the jar a spin for you:

Other Ideas:

New Home – soaps, nails, magic eraser, rolled kitchen towel
New Job – office supplies
College – gift cards, office supplies
Travel – travel size goodies, maps, disposable camera

What goodies would you stuff in a mason jar?

DIY: No-slip Headbands

 

I love having fun accessories so I set out to make my own no-slip headband. Here is how I did it:


– – Supplies – –

Velvet Ribbon*
Fun Ribbon*
Elastic (3/8 inch)
Thread
Sewing Machine

* The size of the velvet ribbon will differ depending on the size of fun ribbon you pick.

– – What You Do – –

1. Cut the elastic to 6 1/2 inches long
Cut the fun ribbon to 16 inches long
Cut the velvet ribbon to 15 1/2 inches long

step 1

2. Stack the ribbons so the top of each is facing out and center the velvet ribbon so there is the same amount of excess fun ribbon on both sides.

step 2

3. On one end, fold the extra ribbon under so the fun ribbon becomes the same length as the velvet ribbon.

4. Slide the elastic between the two layers. Make sure it is centered.

steps 3 & 4

5. Back-stitch several times over the end to keep the elastic sturdy.

6. Sew all the way down one side, but leave enough room to flip the extra ribbon under.
(Note: I did not pin anything)

step 6

7. Repeat step 3 and 4 on the other end

8. Sew all the way down the remaining side

step 8

That’s all folks.

end result

one more time

Now go get sweaty!

success at the Firecracker 4

success at spinning

When it comes to workout gear, do you save or splurge?

Door Decor

Sick of looking at my “Gamecock” wreath every day, I went through my craft bin and pulled out all of the “oh, that could be cute on something” stuff with a goal to make some new door decor. I think it turned out pretty cute and totally me.

Want to make your own? Here’s how.


1. Wrap the burlap ribbon around the wreath. I used hot glue to secure it to the back of the wreath.

2. Wrap your wood letter with hemp OR purchase your own from my shop. I added some lace and pearl ribbon to mine since I had a spool of it. Secure with wire to wreath.

3. Make the burlap flowers. Here is a great tutorial that I used.

4. Hang your new, rustic wreath on your front door to enjoy!

Ashleigh

Posted in DIY