Home Ownership Chapter 3: Not the right kind of exposed ceilings

DIY, DIY Home, Home Improvement, Life

In my last post I told you about the big ticket items I’ve been checking off my list.. I talked about Number 1. Appliances being delivered and 2. Dealing with my “uh oh” with the fridge; Number 3 was the ceilings.

When I bought this house, every room, besides my new studio and the bathrooms, had acoustical tile on the ceiling, which if you don’t know what that is, it looks like popcorn ceiling (yuck) but in tile form; so much easier to get rid of (yay).

Now as awful as it sounds it didn’t occur to me that I could fix this in a semi-easy way, it never crossed my mind to bridge that subject with my personal contractor (Dad). But Lee; and he’ll tell you this didn’t happen but it is all his fault he got sucked into this; he recommended drywalling the ceilings. And once he said it, it was happening. He’s learned over the last 2 months to not express his ideas out loud anymore, sometimes he slips up though.

Originally the plan was to drywall the ceilings directly over the tile to avoid having to take it all down, but for one reason or another most of the rooms ended up having it taken down. The kitchen was first because there were signs of a leak. During the home inspection the inspector said his moisture meter came up dry, but it hadn’t rained in awhile when he took the reading so he said he couldn’t be positive the problem wasn’t still present. My dad didn’t recall this and said it was fine but I said “Chip and Jo would make sure there was no longer a leak, better to make sure now when things are in construction, then after the drywall is up and the ceiling is painted and we have to knock a hole in my new ceiling”. And I really did reference Chip and Jo, to which my dad responded “who?”; gotta work on that one. Naturally Chip and Jo know best.. Leak present. Leak fixed. Then the living room tile came down because my beautiful wrought iron railing that goes right up to the ceiling would make the ceiling uneven and also to make doing the electrical work easier. Then the hallway; well that was an accident, ya know momentum and an over eager neighbor, but a happy one because we realized the upstairs wasn’t insulated and without that the upstairs wouldn’t keep my AC in, which is super important to me. I told my realtor when I was looking at houses that I could have a house without heat, as long as it had AC, or the ability to install AC fairly easily (I know a guy..), I was good.

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So over a few weeks those tiles came down and the drywall was ready to go up. I mentioned before, I’m very lucky to have such handy people in my family; handy and very generous. So one weekend in January a bunch of my cousins and a few of my dad’s friends came over to do the drywall. They started at 9:30 Saturday morning; they would have started earlier but I’m seriously concerned my neighbors will kick me off the block because of all the noise I’m making, and mostly wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

It was an interesting experience to say the least. We thought the more people the faster the job would go, but when you have 5 male egos in one room nobody wins.

It was a long few days and all I could really contribute was a tube of lipstick. What..? You didn’t know that was a tool used in drywalling? Me either. Think the toothpaste trick for hanging pictures, something like that.

Once all that was done the next step was the taping. Seems easy right? My dad said he didn’t want to do that so I said you don’t have to, I will, I’ve taped before, I’m actually a very good, very precise taper, if I do say so myself. Well, contrary to what you may think, taping is not putting tape up around the perimeter of the room so that the paint doesn’t get on the wall. Taping is spackling the screws and seams so that the ceiling is smooth for painting, which is not so easy. So once this was explained to me, I found someone to hired to come and do this for me. He spent about a week coming to the house on and off spackling and sanding, and then spackling and sanding and then spackling and sanding some more. He actually tackled some of the wall imperfections too. There are some things in this house that you can tell were properly installed and attentively taken care of and others not so much. Some of my walls weren’t done well from the beginning, you tend to see this often in city houses, so he smoothed out some of the imperfections there as well. He told me he was going to do this but it was alarming when I came to the house in the middle of his time there and saw this site. Must have been one very neglected wall.

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In the end, I had smooth ceilings and a room full of white dust. Like everywhere, 2 inch piles in the corners. So much, I left white footprints going out the door instead of coming in. I got gray hair from the clean up; from the dust not the stress. And then my house was prepped for paint. The place looks so different with smooth white ceilings.

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A few more big ticket items left and I can started moving things in and really think about a move in date. I do not plan on having everything done before I move in, I’m super anxious so I just can’t wait. The only other thing I will accomplish before moving myself there is the upstairs floors. Right now one room has asbestos tile (not ruined so I will not be pulling this up and the others have gross, old, stained-so-much-you-know-where-their-furniture-was carpet.

So my plan, because this tile so far doesn’t appear to be ruined, which would mean I’d have to go through the insane process of taking it up and disposing of it to prevent exposure, is to install hardwood over it, cheap hardwood but hardwood nonetheless.

Hardwood self-installation post to come. =)

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Home Ownership Chapter 2: I want what I want, but its my house so I can have it

DIY, Life

Recap:  I bought a house! Before Christmas I settled on my house, unfortunately, I’m still not living in it. I guess that kind of comes with buying something that needs work. There’s still a lot to do..

Over the past couple weeks, since my last post, I’ve gotten a few things checked off the list. 1. My appliances were delivered. 2. With that, I tackled my first big mistake.. well I came up the the idea for the solution at least. 3. The drywall on the ceilings was put up and spackled.

1. My appliances were delivered- refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. When the delivery guy came to my door, of course on one of the few snow days we’ve had this year, before even saying hi he just looked at the door and stared at me like, “You think this is going to fit through the door?”. And without any words spoken I replied “I swear it will fit, it’ll be tight but I promise it will fit. The doors need to come off but it will fit.” And then he just stared at me again..

See my front door is smaller than the average; its 28″ wide. Most doors are at least 30″, so when I was looking for a fridge I had very few options but I was able to find a non ugly fridge that would fit. I really didn’t want a top/bottom, I wanted a side by side, double door and the dimensions of this fridge without the door were 27.5″. Fits! Bought! Because fitting through my front door was my only battle..

2. Wrong. It was just the first battle, not the only. See the only placement option for my fridge, which was already determined by the cabinet placement was right next to a wall, which isn’t abnormal but it does have its challenges. So once the delivery guy put the doors back on and left, and I pushed the fridge into position I recognized my 2nd battle and the first big mistake I made. The freezer door only opened 90 degrees, and that was without the handles on it; with the handles, the freezer becomes unusable.

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Well now, I could have maybe called up home depot and said I made a mistake, and returned it for a different fridge, one that was a top/bottom and would have worked in that space. But I’m stubborn, and I don’t want that kind of fridge so I put my creative brain to work and thought through my options.

Option 1: Flip the placement of the fridge with the counter space to the right of it; which would put a cabinet between the wall and the fridge but my fridge would then be right next to my gas stove. Turns out thats not recommended. Option 1- Out.

Option 2: Buy a smaller cabinet to add to the left of the fridge, completely remove the other cabinet and add a full height roll out cabinet/pantry in the leftover space. I stuck with this idea for awhile but again, its not recommended to not have counter space between the stove and anything else, the burner is just too close. Option 2-Out.

Option 3: Full on kitchen reno. I did think about it. For a second. Option 3- Out.

Option 4: Buy a smaller cabinet to add to the left of the fridge, completely remove the other cabinet like Option 2 but then create something to give a spacer between the fridge and the stove, like a cabinet with a countertop. Option 4- Winner.

I’m only half way through this solution but so far I went out and bought an Ikea floor to ceiling pantry cabinet and added that to the left hand side of the fridge. My dad created a stand to make it flush with the soffet and reinstalled the above-the-fridge cabinet to be flush with that pantry.

Side note funny story: I guess you could call this my second mistake.. After waiting in line for the cabinet for about 25 minutes, coming home and putting the whole thing together, I realized I bought the wrong size. So the next day I went out a bought another one, the right size this time, so now I have a kitchen pantry upstairs in my studio, which turns out will be a great piece to have.. so that’s why its funny and not annoying.

Please ignore the contraction zone appearance.

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Next step is the new right hand cabinet. Post to come, when we actually do it.

The other checklist item- my ceilings. They are still in the works but are coming along awesome. Look out for that post later this week.

Home Ownership Chapter 1: I’m a South Philly Home Owner

DIY, Uncategorized

“Insert quote about life being busy and getting in the way, work draing and consuming my life, etc…” Now that that is out of the way…

But seriously, I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus, no excuses but life just got busy. And its about to get busier, but this time I’m going to document it. I officially became a home owner last month and well, I took on a little bit of a fixer upper; not a Chip and Jo fixer upper but it needs a little love and care to make it into my home. So that’s why I’m back, I want to be able to look back myself but I also want to share some of my progress with you.

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So a little bit of background on my homeownership.. I started looking at houses in Philadelphia over the summer. I must have looked at 50 houses; which to some may seem like nothing and to other might seem like a whole lot. I didn’t limit myself to location so I was all over the place. I saw houses that were recent renos, which some people would have fallen in love with, and I saw some just terrible, terrible places, that if I were in Waco, I may have let Chip and Jo handle for me, but never would have taken on myself. My main goal was I didn’t want a cookie cutter house, and I wanted something with character and charm something that I could make my own without feeling guilty about pulling down brand new cookie cutter tile that was just put up. And that’s when I found my cute little house, with just enough charm but not too much work that my dad would tell me I was on my own. See, I’m lucky enough to have family in all the different trades and a dad, who I still think can do anything.

I put an offer in the week before Thanksgiving and made settlement the week before Christmas, which if you don’t know anything about buying a house, is an incredibly fast closing, especially when you take into account the holidays. I didn’t know a lot myself about the process but I had to learn quickly along the way.

Tip #1 for the new homeowner: Pay for the online home buyer course. BEFORE you even start looking at houses.

With the mortgage I went with, I ended up having to take an online course anyway, and boy, did I wish I had taken it sooner. The course started with looking for a house and covered everything to even after buying it. It was extremely helpful, I just wish I had taken it sooner.

The process from offer to settlement was so extremely long but so extremely short at the same time. I was stressed out one day and then anxious for it to move faster the next. I had some hiccups throughout the process but everything turned out great in the end.

Tip #2: Read the Do’s and Don’ts letter you receive from the mortgage company and don’t make large purchases before you settle. #blackfridaydeal

Tip #3: Try to not schedule your settlement 9am the morning after your company holiday party. #justonemorechildishnight

Regardless of my hiccups, I’m a homeowner; and super excited to see what comes of my cute little house. So stayed tuned for some of the projects I have coming up, there’s a lot.

For now, here are a few before shots, see all the charm..?!?

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My livingroom/diningroom with structural archway and awesome wrought iron railing.

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My larger than most South Philly homes kitchen. I’ve got big plans for this room. Expect many posts on this one.

I’ve got 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths (very unusual for South Philly).

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You’ll notice that super old carpet, which will be coming up and the not so great asbestos tile, which is also under that super old carpet.

And then my half good attempt at a modern bathroom #1 and the love-it-or-hate-it bathroom #2. I hate it.

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Super excited about the road ahead but also slightly unsettling when its all laid out.

Stayed tuned for many posts to come, I promise you. There will be many DIY projects in my future.

Paper is the new black..

DIY, Graphic Design

Huh…? I don’t know… I just love paper! What a weird thing to say; I know. I’m literally just fascinated by the things you can do with just paper; a medium that you so easily have access to, it’s everywhere! I could run wild in the paper section of Dick Blick, or even the scrapbook paper isle of Micheal’s! I honestly collect paper, even scraps of paper, who does that?! Okay, I’m getting a little carried away here but when you see the things you can do with paper, maybe you’ll understand.

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By Irving Harper

I came across this article last week about Irving Harper, I had no idea who he was but he just made it to the top of my paper list with Julene Harrison and Peter Callesen definitely people you should check out if you’re a paper freak like me. Irving Harper brought me back to a class I took in school, which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called, but I do remember the project. I don’t recall the parameters but I know I developed a 3D rendering of a recipe out of paper on a foam core board. But Harper has just inspired me to do another paper project, that I am so excited about.

By Irving Harper

By Irving Harper

A little while ago I did a vector rendering of a Map of Philadelphia, which was a long time in the making. Since then, I’ve decided I want to expand the project by doing illustrations of specific Philly landmarks, starting with Citizens Bank Park, because I love Philadelphia and the Phillies almost as much as I like paper. Okay I probably like them more than paper… So, I’m adding this to the list and dubbing it “Philadelphia on Paper”. Don’t expect anything tomorrow but I’ll keep you updated on where I’m at.

By Irving Harper

By Irving Harper

Seriously… Paper is so cool!

Philadelphia Line Map

DIY, Gifts, Graphic Design, Life, Selling Yourself

This has been a long time in the making and it’s taken me a long time to post it out as well..

I love Philadelphia. Everything about it. The sports. The city. The architecture. The arts. The restaurants. The bars. Even the smell. Philly is my favorite city. So over a year ago when I was planning to move out on my own and was deciding how I would decorate a new space, a map of my favorite city seemed like something I definitely needed.

So naturally I went on Etsy, I looked around on Pinterest but I just couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. And then I stopped and thought, “Hold on. I’m a freaking artist, duh!”. So I sat down and made one myself.

It took hours/days/weeks, probably about 300 overlaying GoogleMap screenshots, and I file too large to even think about not to mention those “Oh shit, why did I do it that way. I OBVIOUSLY should have done it THAT way!” moments at the end. But I finally finished it.

Philly Map

And now I’m selling it. I opened myself up a little Etsy shop and it’s yours if you want it. If you’d like to buy my print please hop over to my Shop. But if you’re cool enough to be reading this post right now, I’m offering a Promo Code: BlogPromo, if you enter this at checkout you get $10.00 off! Promo expires July 1, 2014, so don’t wait too long!

Baby Shower Owls

DIY, Gifts, Life

I’m that person who ignores everything you have on your registry and goes out and buys you cute clothes or fun things. Sorry.. but why would I want to buy you a boring car seat or bottles, I know you’ll need them but that’s just no fun for me. I do keep it practical though. And by practical I mean things you will still use but also practical on my end. There are people out there that sell ready made diaper cakes that you can buy online for $70+. Well that takes the fun out of it too! I like to make things like that myself and I also like to share how I do it so you can make it and not spend $70 on $30 worth of materials. So…

Baby Shower Owls

The friend I made these for didn’t know what she was having so I made 2 owls, a green and a yellow but obviously if you do know what they are having you can go pink or blue or whatever you want. You do however, want to get items that go together.

*These are the materials for 1 owl.

What you’ll need:

  • 20 any size diapers
    • Most diapers don’t come in packs of 20, I made 2 owls so I got a pack of 40.. save them for another baby or use them in place of the onesies below..?
    • I don’t recommend newborn size because they grow out of newborn quickly and you’ll be opening the packs and won’t be able to return them. ‘They’ also say not to get anything too far down the road because then the parents have to store them. I went with size 2; but players choice.
  • 1 swaddle blanket
    • Or at least not a blanket that’s too thick.
  • 6 onesies OR 6-8 diapers
    • These will be the eyes. Technically, this can be made of pretty much anything; onsies, blankets, more diapers, burpees, etc. You’ll just need an even number and when rolled should be proportionate to the body. Obviously diapers is the easy choice because you’ll probably have extra but I was trying to get as many different things in this owl as possible.
  • 3 baby washcloths
    • Aim for 2 that are the same color/pattern and an orange or yellow one if you can
  • 1 bib
  • thin/medium thickness ribbon
  • 2 flowers or 2 large/oversized buttons
  • Optional: 2 Pipe cleaners/paper clips
  • Optional: It’s also helpful to have a circular cake pan on hand

What you need to do:

  1. This is the trickiest part: I didn’t use the cake pan when I did it but I did when I was helping a friend build a diaper cake another time and it was helpful. You’ll follow roughly the same steps as I did except you’ll (hopefully) be doing it inside a cake pan. Take 20 diapers in a pile and carefully bend and stagger them so them resemble the picture below.Owl1
  2. Cut a long string of ribbon and, following the natural direction that the diapers flow, (counterclockwise in the picture above) tie the ribbon around the diapers to form a circular ball (picture below). This will be the owl’s body. Hard part it over!Owl2
  3. Take your onesies or diapers or whatever you decided to use for the eyes and roll them into a cylinder.
    • So, I used 6 onesies. Start by laying 3 onesies on top of each other and folding the arms and a little bit of the onsie in. Then roll the 3 onsies from bottom to top and tie together with more ribbon so it doesn’t come apart.
    • If you’re using diapers, start with rolling one diaper into a cylinder, then add another diaper around it. Add diapers until you feel its big enough, I would say between 3-4 diapers per eye should be enough, but use your judgement because I didn’t use diapers. Tie with ribbon.
    • Anything else you use; you can probably just roll up, you want the end result to be a cylinder but also the same thickness as the owl’s body so that when it sits on top it doesn’t hang over the front or back.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the 3 other onesies (or diapers, etc).
  5. Take the yellow or orange washcloth and lay it out. Fold the bottom corner up to the top corner so you have an obtuse triangle. Take the bottom 2 corners and fold them in so the tips are touching. This is your beak. Lay it aside for a second, we’ll use it in the next step.
  6. Tie the 2 eyes together by threading ribbon through the each roll of onesies/diapers. Lie the beak (washcloth) on top of the body so that the last pointy end hangs over the front. Then tie each eye to the body by threading ribbon through each eye and then the body. You’ll end up with ribbon connecting Eye 1 to Eye 2, Eye 1 to Body and Eye 2 to Body and a beak sticking out in the middle.
  7. Fasten the bib around the center and under the beak so it hangs in front of the body diaper circle.
  8. Take one of the remaining washcloths and lay it out flat, like a diamond. The ears will be flimsy unless you use the pipe cleaners, but that’s up to you. If you’re using the pipe cleaner lay it flat starting at the center of the diamond pointing down. Fold the top corner down to the bottom corner (the pipe cleaner will be touching the crease) so you have another obtuse triangle. Take the top right corner and fold it down to the bottom corner, do the same with the top left corner; you should have another diamond. Take the right corner and fold it into the center, do the same with the left corner; they should touch at the center. Fold the top corner down to the bottom corner and adjust the piper cleaner so it sits at a 90 degree angle.
  9. Stick either end of the ear into the folds of one of the eyes and adjust so it sticks up right.
  10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 with the remaining washcloth.
  11. Lay the blanket out and fold it so it is no longer than 2 1/2′ and 6″ wide. This will be your wings. Lay the blanket over top of the diapers so the wings hang evenly to each side. Take another string of ribbon and start by placing it under the bid and tie it around the back, securing the blanket to the owl.
  12. I was really looking for large oversized buttons, but I bought fake flowers and cut the steams off for the eyes.
    • If you go the flower route leave about 2 inches on the steam so you can stick it through the middle of the onesies/diapers. My flowers were a little big so you should look for flowers that are about 2″ wide.
    • If you go the button route you can thread it with the ribbon similar to how we tied the diaper rolls together.

And that’s it. Here are my finished products.. As usually, I altered my directions above to account for the things I would do differently next time.

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Stay tuned for my next baby shower gift idea coming soon (can’t post yet because the shower hasn’t happened and I don’t want to ruin the surprise)!

Christmas DIY

Desserts, DIY, Graphic Design, Life, Recipes

This post contains the following recipes: Eggnog Fudge, Buttermilk Maple Walnut Fudge, Chocolate Covered Caramels, Protein Energy Balls.

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I just love the holidays and everything that goes along with them. All the family traditions that don’t seem very big that just make the holiday special. And as quickly as it comes.. its gone.

The only thing I don’t like about Christmas is the gift buying. Not because I’m selfish.. although I am broke- but mostly because I hate crowded malls and cramped stores and 45 minutes drives to stores that are 2 miles away. This year (mostly because I’m broke) I did DIY gifts for most people. You all know my love of pinterest and all things crafty. So I decided to do homemade treats. I threw around a lot of ideas, it started at mason jar hot coco, then mason jar cookie mix, then mason jar candies (see the pattern..?) So naturally my final idea had nothing to do with mason jars. Well not entirely, I did 2 different gifts, one was mason jars the other wasn’t.

As mentioned above, I don’t like shopping in crowds, so naturally I don’t do Black Friday either but I did do Black Saturday (do they have a name for the day after Black Friday yet..? I don’t know..) I found these cool mini bread pans at Micheal’s that were 3 for the price of 1. So I bought 9 for $6. Then I did some pinterest searching for a cool treat that I could fill them with. I landed on fudge. So I attempted (key word: attempted) to make 3 different kinds of fudge and layered them in each bread pan. Red Velvet Fudge (um yes.) Egg Nog Fudge (very holidayish.) Buttermilk Maple Cream Fudge (buttermilk and maple- end of story.)

The Red Velvet Fudge failed. Miserably. The final product was edible, just not quite the texture of fudge, more of googey, stretchy candy. Good thing I tested it a week early. So what I ended up doing was making the other 2 fudges which turned out much better and chocolate covered caramels.

Eggnog Fudge

Eggnog Fudge via Design with Influence

What you need

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup eggnog
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10-12 oz white chocolate ships
  • 1 jar/7 oz Marshmallow creme
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla

What you do

  1. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and butter the foil well.
  2. Combine the butter, eggnog, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has begun to boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 240°. The first time I made this (as a test) I didn’t have a candy thermometer so I used the soft ball method (drop some of the mixture into a glass of cold water, once the drop form small soft balls the temperature should be about 240), which I was actually successful with but I do recommend a candy thermometer if you can get your hands on one.
  3. Once it reaches 240, remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate chips. Stir until melted and blended in.
  4. Add the Marshmallow, nutmeg and vanilla and stir until blended in.
  5. Once the mixture if smooth, spread into the foiled pan. Garnish with some more nutmeg if you’d like.
  6. Let cool at room temperature. Once its cooled, I recommend putting in the fridge for another hour or so to harden- it makes cutting the fudge easier.
  7. Cut and serve.

Store covered, in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Eggnog Fudge via Design with Influence

Buttermilk Maple Fudge

What you need

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup walnuts

What you do

  1. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and butter the foil well.
  2. Combine both sugars, butter, cream and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has begun to boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 240°.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and walnuts. Stir to mix in.
  4. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes and get ready for an arm workout. After the 10 minutes, stir continuously for about 5-10 minutes. The fudge should be cooled and thick when you’re done. My fudge was a little soft when everything was done.. I think the longer you stir the firmed it will get so stir!
  5. Once you’ve gotten your workout in, pour into the foiled pan and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Cut and serve. This stuff is actually addictively delish!

My plan was to make labels for the gifts but because my Red Velvet didn’t turn out everything was very last minute and I didn’t have time for that.

In place of the failed Red Velvet Fudge, I did Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels. Like I said, everything was very last minute so I totally cheated here, in the future I will not cheat but I couldn’t take the chance that these wouldn’t turn out and I’ve never made caramels before and have been told they are very difficult.

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels

What you need

  • If you’re going to cheat.. 2 bags of individually wrapped caramels candies
  • Melting chocolate
  • Sea salt

What you do

  1. Line a cookie tray with wax paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate either using a double boiler or in the microwave. Unwrap all the caramels while the chocolate is melting.
  3. Dip each caramel in the chocolate. Using a fork, remove the caramels from the chocolate, letting the excess drip off. Using another fork, place the caramel on the wax paper, repeat with the remaining caramels. The chocolate will set pretty quickly so pause every few minutes to sprinkle the sea salt on top of each caramel.
  4. Place in the fridge for about a half hour before you remove from the cookie sheet.

The caramels will harden (the teeth breaking hard), so if giving these as a gift recommend to the recipient they do not store them in the fridge, they are completely fine being store at room temp.

With the above recipes I made about 9 gift packages.

I also couldn’t knock my mason jar ideas so I did a few other gifts using masons jars. I just happen to have 5 extra mason jars lying around from when I first moved and thought I would use 12 mason jars as decorations in my house.. so those didn’t cost me anything (but the dollar store sells mason jars!). Then I found this cool pinterest recipe for protein energy balls and thought that a few select people would appreciate them than the sugary fudge so I filed the jars with the protein energy balls.

Protein Energy Balls

What you need

  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cup raw oatmeal flakes
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • mini chocolate chips (optional- Surprisingly I preferred them without the chocolate)

What you do

  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
  2. Using a food processor, process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
  3. Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process to mix.
  4. If you’re adding the chocolate chips throw those in and give it another mix.
  5. Roll the dough into small balls and place on the wax paper. Wetting your hands every so often makes rolling the balls a litter easier. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour.

Protein Energy Balls via Design with InfluenceI filled 5 mason jars with protein balls doubling this recipe.

These could have turned out much better if things just worked out how they were supposed to. But of course they never do…

Christmas Fudge DIY via Design with Influence

15 Pinterest Users Every Designer Should Follow

DIY, Graphic Design, Humor, Interior Design, Life, Photography, Recipes, Selling Yourself, Typography

Pinterest has easily become one of the most popular social media outlets ever and a huge addiction for myself. If you follow me regularly on here you know I’m a pinterest-holic. Not just for recipes, or crafts but I visit pinterest almost daily for general design inspiration. It’s a great resource for all things design. So here is a list of 15 designers that every designer should be following on pinterest.

Creative Bedroom Lighting

DIY, Interior Design, Uncategorized

Some of you may have noticed the blue (its actually gray, at least that’s what the paint store told me..) door behind my nightstand in Industrial Love and wondered what it was doing there. Well this was another project I found on pinterest that I fell in love with.

I discovered this cool store Restore by me. Its a thrift store that donates proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. They have anything you can image. Of course, like all thrift stores, they are a hit or miss but I found exactly what I was looking for there. What I needed: two doors and 2 sconces. Perfect! I found 2 door panels from those sliding closet doors- $10. And 2 gold outdoor sconces- $5. I picked up a pint of paint at Ace Hardware one day they were giving it away for free and some black spray paint- $4. Some lamp shades (which are impossible to find for sconces) from my cousin- thanks Jenn, for free =) Then I put my pops to work again… I painted the doors and sconces, he did the installing.

Creative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's BlogCreative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's BlogCreative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I don’t like the look of brand new furniture, so I wasn’t too concerned about the handle holes or the hinge indents. They give it character. And I literally just layed them against the wall behind my nightstands and hooked them up to one of those extension cords with the on/off switch.

Now, for awhile I just had bulbs with no shades, because like I said sconce shades are impossible to find. Especially for sconces with the bulb hanging down but I bent some wire and cut some clamps and tada… Lampshades for hanging sconces..

Creative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Industrial Love

DIY, Interior Design

So before I moved into my new place, I think I made a promise to my readers that I would be making  a lot of furniture and sharing the how-tos with you all. Well I apologize for breaking that promise. I haven’t really made much. I think I got entirely too far ahead of myself and didn’t realize how much time things would take and how fast I needed certain things.

But slightly not breaking my promise.. I did make a few pieces of furniture and did some little crafty things that I enjoyed.

So first, thanks to pinterest, I have a new found love of palletes. Ya know, those wooden things that warehouses use to move things around on fork lifts.. yup those.

Palletes Usage: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

They are so versatile and can be made into anything, plus I just love anything made out of wood. Well, I made my bed frame out of these nifty palletes. Not so creatively difficult- its pretty much just laying them down and plopping a mattress on top, but I love it. Here’s what it looks like:

Palletes Usage: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Palletes Usage: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

This picture is from awhile ago, I promise you there’s more to my room these days..

Second, I am obsessed with is industrial furniture. Some examples of the things I would have built if I had the skill, the time or the money..

Industrial Love: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I just love these shelf ideas, but after figuring out that must of this stuff would cost me close to a month in rent I decided to scale down and found this little gem:

Industrial Love: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I decided to make this into a nightstand. I may make myself out to be this huge do-it-yourselfer but I really have no concept of how much all this do-it-yourself supplies costs. So these nightstands ending up costing me a little more than I bargained for. Oh well, I love them and will keep them for a long time. What do ya think?

Industrial Love: Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I used 12″ iron pipes (x8) and floor flanges (x16) and 2 pieces of plywood. And then times that all by 2 because I made one for each side of the bed =)