Project 366: Day 65, 03-05 DIY Invites

Just finished up another DIY wedding project and so excited about them. Sheila and I are hosting a bridal shower for Cory’s cousin Brittney this summer. Her colors are pink, lime and orange, so I tried to incorporate within the invites.

I saw this amazing DIY chevron invitation suite on Wedding Chicks and thought it would be a great way to tie in Brittney’s colors in a trendy way. The suite is amazing because you can choose from great colors and customize your copy.

For Brittney’s invites, I edited the chevron stripes and then designed the invitation part with some free fonts online. I included a special surprise card for guests and used glassine envelopes and confetti that I had leftover from another DIY wedding project (thanks, Danice). To finish, I created some simple wrap address labels with the chevron design to tie things together.

What do you think?

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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Snickers

Well, I’ve gone mad pinning the most amazingly beautiful and cravealicious foods on Pinterest. Let’s face it: I’m not the best cook in the world, but I can eat with the best of them. So, even though I’m pinning all these pix, I’m not sure how many I’ll actually make.

Have you guys tried any new recipes from Pinterest, or are you just enjoying the food porn?

Here’s one recipe I couldn’t resist: Homemade Snickers. It was love at first sight, so I hopped over to How Sweet It Is for the recipe. Oh. Em. Geeeee! Jessica, how right are you about these? “Pure In.San.It.TEEEEE.”

I call them life changing. So easy to make. Total crowd-pleaser. In fact, in the Super Bowl spirit, we made an over/under bet on the number of bars one of our friends would eat: 3 bars. Unfortunately, I left at 2, but reportedly, he made it to 3. I guess we should have set the over/under at 2.5?

Homemade Snickers
Slighted adapted from Nikki of For Heaven’s Bake‘s recipe, who lightly adapted it from Taste of Home.

Makes one 9×13 pan. Jessica suggested an aluminum tray, but the great cook that I am, I didn’t read that far down in the recipe when I went shopping. So, I just lined a pan with aluminum and that worked perfectly.

Layer 1: Chocolate/Peanut Butter
1, 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips (My fave are Ghirardelli)
3/8 cup peanut butter

  • Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave. I microwaved for just more than 2 minutes. 
  • Pour into the baking dish and spread until even.
  • Let cool and harden completely. I just stuck the pan in the fridge for about 2o minutes.

Layer 2: Creamy Nougat
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (I used a fat free, and still tasted great)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts chopped, roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil.
  • Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
  • Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer.
  • Let cool completely. Again, I just stuck the pan in the fridge for a bit.

Layer 3: Caramel
1 14-ounce bag of caramels (The most difficult part of the recipe was unwrapping these!)
1/2 to 3/4 cup whipping cream

  • Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. This step was taking a while for me, so I ended up double-boiling and that only took about 10 minutes.
  • Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely.

Layer 4: Chocolate/Peanut Butter
1, 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips
3/8 cup peanut butter

  • Repeat Layer 1
  • Pour onto caramel layer and let harden for at least one hour before serving.

Jessica suggested serving them refrigerated, and I agree. They are still delicious at room temperature, the chocolate can get a little melty, depending on how thick it is.

I think I may have found a go-to party treat with this recipe. It’s better than the original candy bar! 🙂

For better, drool-worthy pix, check out the recipe from How Sweet It Is.

30-B4-30

For the past year, I can’t count how many times I turned to Cory to ask him how old I was. Not that 27 and 28 weren’t incredibly special years, I just started losing track after 25.

My friend Scott started a Facebook page a couple of years ago, tracking 30 things he wanted to accomplish before he turned 30. What a terrific idea, right? So, now that I’ve turned 29, below is a list of my 30 before 30:

  1. Change my name.
  2. Ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
  3. Check out the view of Chicago from the Sears (Willis) Tower.
  4. See the fall foliage at the Morton Arboretum.
  5. Stay at a bed and breakfast.
  6. Learn to snowboard.
  7. Go to a Sox game at the Cell.
  8. Go to a Blackhawks game at United Center.
  9. Watch the sun rise.
  10. Golf in a personal tournament (Thursday-Sunday).
  11. Make my mom’s famous eggrolls.
  12. Make Cory’s aunt Cindy’s famous sugar cookies.
  13. Make Cory’s grandma’s raspberry jelly.
  14. Figure out Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom.
  15. Be debt-free (except the mortgage).
  16. Become a yogi.
  17. Go to the Old Town Art Fair.
  18. Go to a movie in a park.
  19. Take the architectural boat tour.
  20. Camp.
  21. Run/walk a 5K (may be nothing for most, but I can’t run a mile).
  22. Visit a city I’ve never visited before.
  23. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.
  24. Do a drive by of the Home Alone house (one of my favorite movies).
  25. Brush up on my French.
  26. Back up all my pix on DVDs.
  27. Go dark for a day: No cell phone, computer or TV.
  28. Start eating breakfast on the regular.
  29. Take a class of some sort (cooking, photography, design, French).
  30. Get a psychic reading.

I kept my personal list realistic, measurable and actionable. S.M.A.R.T., huh? (I couldn’t help it, I’m cheesy like that.) I can’t wait to share pictures and stories about each one that gets crossed off the list!

Did you make a list before a milestone birthday? Or will you? What will be on your bucket lists?

Thankful Thursday: Holiday Edition

While we were visiting one of Cory’s grandma’s this Christmas, I realized how special one of our holiday traditions is to her. Recently, she decided to pull out all her photos from albums, boxes and drawers and frame them all on her walls. As I looked around her living room, I noticed that a handful of them came from Cory and my holiday thank you cards.

Each year, after the craziness of December settles, we send cards to family members with a stack photos – usually from the recent holiday celebrations. Now that everyone uses digital cameras and online galleries, people are hardly printing their photos these days (at least, I don’t); but hard copies are nice to have around sometimes.

Here are some pix of the cards I made this year…

Khaki M’s:

Khaki M

Red M’s:

  • Random white envelopes I had leftover from something
  • Paper Source Cover paper in Red (Cut to be approximately 4″ x 6 1/2″)
  • Same embossed monogram and return address as above

Day 6 - 01.06, Holiday Thank You 

Here’s a link to some pix that I may include with the cards: Flickr Holidays set.

Project 365: Day 4 – 01.04

Cory dancing up a storm to “Body Movin’” on Wii’s Just Dance 2. His high scores easily surpass mine, even though I was on the dance squad in high school! I blame my incorrect grip on the controller and my obsession with getting the leg movement on point.

Day 4 - 01.04: "Body Movin'"

Friday Fave: Go Elf Yourself!

Since it’s Christmas, why don’t you go Elf Yourself!

Here’s a look at some of the videos I created this week on my Friday Fave site of the week:

To Blog or Not to Blog?

David Tennant in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet

Mr. Hamlet had it right when he asked himself a similar question. Now, in the social media crazed world, I’m asking myself “to blog or not to blog?”

  • Will people read it?
  • Do people care?
  • What do I write about?

Well, I may be years behind, but I’ve finally given in to the ol’ blogosphere. Actually, I signed up for WordPress three years ago, but just haven’t published a post…so maybe I’m not all that far behind the times.

My good friend’s blog Erin Pot Pie is so deliciously hilarious, that it has inspired me to start a blog of my own. Now, I’m not promising my posts will be as LMAO-ly funny, but I’m currently job-free so have some time on my hands (and fingertips) to take up some hobbies I’ve been pushing to the back burner for the last few years. Instead of dusting off my old journals from high school, I’m dusting off my lazy butt and looking forward to this new virtual adventure.

Some topics I’m excited to explore:

  • Inspirations
  • Favorite photos
  • Random Musings
  • ??? – Who knows where Thi2’s Takes can take me!

What about you guys? To blog or not to blog? Do you write one that I’m not reading (yet)? What are some of your favorite blogs? I’m sure I’ll need some inspiration, so would love to hear your faves!