Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh hi there!

I feel like my 'it's been a while" posts are the most common of all.  However, thinks will change.. I think.  I wish I could say I have been busy but that would be lying on the most part.  I guess I'll just post a short update on my life as it stands and then maybe post some things I had been working on.  So here's a few fun facts about my life since November:

- I GOT INTO PDP!  Finally, it's official (well, pending my criminal record check) I'm going to be doing the Elementary level Bachelors of Education program at UBC in fall.  I honestly thought I wasn't going to get in and was incredibly bummed about what life had in store for me in the next few years.  This is probably why I haven't really been working on many projects as of late
- I have taken up cake decorating in the last few months and it's really fun to see what I can make with a little sugar, butter and elbow grease.  Plus it's a great ego boost to bake for people and have them love it.
- I re-purposed a  dress, or redid it I guess.  It went from MouMou mayhem to cute!
- I'm working on another dress from a vintage pattern online, it's done once I get around to the finishing touches which are so tedious and time consuming!
- I'm also the go-to seamstress in the house and have fixed a bunch of my family's torn clothing.  Which is pretty high considering we're all adults. LOL.

So... that's it for now!  I'm off tomorrow and might catch up with some things.
So this is the dress I redid.  Before is on the left, and after is on he right!  Mind the hair.. I just got up from a nap.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yoga mat felt naked.

I saw this cute idea a while back to make a yoga mat bag, not really sure where, but it gave basic outlines on how to measure and assemble the bag. It was a pretty basic bag with a handle, no zippered compartment or ties at the top. So after work today I went to the fabric store and picked up some fabric (not for this project) and a tonne of notions (zippers, buttons and what I can only describe as athletic strap material).

I found this cute dark grey and off white pineapple pattern at value village, one of my fave places to pick of fabric by the way. They have a full aisle of all sorts of fabrics in different prints an all sorts of strange lengths. The farbic is fairly thin, and maybe a 100% cotton, so it breathes. It was important for me to find a breathable fabric as I do Bikrams and DO NOT want to contain my mat into a heavily padded or plasticy type fabric. If you are as familiar with the stench of hockey year as I am, you will most definitely understand exactly why I am a fan of a little aeration in my life.

So, here's my brand new bag. Which I love. The pattern is crazy enough, and the style of bag is floppy enough to mask my virgin sewing skills. Plus I'm sick and am majorly lacking patience at the moment. I am pretty darn proud of the little zippered pocket I added onto it as it turned out really well with very little effort. I cut out a square, folded it twice, took a chunk out and then sewed up the corners so it wouldn't lie flat against the bag and would be able to hold more things. Generally when I go to Bikram I try to bring as little as possible, including clothing. (OWOW) ...Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Of course, what's a new bag pic with out my awesome mug in it. So I made Adam take a picture of me modelling my awesome new bag. He seemed rather confused but obliged. As you can see I left a tonne of room at the top; just because I felt like it. But actually it's a really good place to store a nasty stinky towel after the class, 'cause that thing gets HEAVY. (I know, yummy right?) Mind my yuckiness, I'm fighting the flu and couldn't care less about looking sexy, or even being in a good mood at that, so you guys have no idea how lucky you are about me actually smiling here. I added a bit of a draw string part into the top so my things don't fall all over the place, because sometimes I change into something else so that could also get a little nasty.

Basically I'm a bit in love with this bag, and would love to sit in my bed all night admiring it's awesome handiwork. Who needs a boyfriend when you have a fancy dance yoga bag to keep you warm.

Here's a little fun fact: the parents are in Florida and it seems my mother has relocated the iron in the last 4 years when I was too busy living on campus. So instead of ironing the seams and folds with an actual iron like a pro, I used my straightening iron which seemed to actually do a pretty good job.

Next up for me is 4 fabric covered cork boards I have been working on since the weekend. I will post them once I get around to sewing on the buttons and placing them on the wall of my embarrassingly messy room


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sew I'm trying something new..

I have decided to take up sewing in the last few weeks after a short return to the overly time consuming hobby of knitting. I had decided that I was going to knit the people in my life Christmas gifts, however, halfway though my one and only scarf I pretty much gave up because it was just taking far too long! So I decided to drag my sewing machine out of the crawl space and see what I could do with it.

My first project happened to be a '60s' skirt. This happened coincidentally when I found this cute pattern in Talize, a local thrift store while visiting a few days before Christmas. I also picked up some stretchy denim fabric whilst there, deciding this would be the fabric. While it did go rather smooth, there were a few hiccups amongst the way, mostly having to do with sizing... it's a used pattern that had been previously cut, and as I said before, is from the 60s. So I used the size I thought was mine and ran with it. Prior to this, I had ZERO idea how to read a pattern, hem, cut or even really sew. Total newbie right here. So of course my first mistake was to cut the hem line I had traced (oops). Because of this, I had to add a panel. However, this panel also made it a little big for me. So all in all, it came together well enough with few visible flaws. I sewed 3 white decorative buttons onto the left side to add a vintage feel. I personally think it's adorable.. I love vintage, and helloo, I MADE it!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Irish Car Bombs

Because St. Patrick's day is coming up, and a potluck at a friend's place here at school I decided to make some Irish Car bomb cupcakes. I had seen them about a month ago on a website and really wanted to make them but found the level of work necessary to be a little daunting. It is a pretty involved process as the recipe calls for stout chocolate cupcakes, whiskey chocolate ganache and bailey's icing. Plus, the actual assembly of the finished product requires you to remove the centre of the cupcake, pipe the ganache into the hole, and then add the bailey's icing on top.

So Saturday morning I decided to take on this feat, partially because I also wanted to see if I could actually do it. It took me around 3 hours from beginning to start, and came to 20 cupcakes. Here's the recipe from a blog, although I have seen it in a number of places...

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes Source: Smitten Kitchen

1 c. Guinness
1 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 c. sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tsp Jameson Whiskey

Baileys Frosting (I doubled this recipe)
3 to 4 c. confections sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tbsp Baileys

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Ganache filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

The process was much easier than I thought, and was more time consuming than anything. And came out absolutely delicious! Needless to say everyone was impressed with them and weren't sure if I was actually lying about making them. Up next, early grey cupcakes!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

mmm cake

I like to bake. You may or may not know this about me. It all started in Fall when some of the girls on my floor and I realized we all really like to bake. So we started to bake about once every week. We baked mostly cupcakes, sometimes out of the box, other times from scratch and usually iced them in an array of colours. I have this Martha Stewart cupcakes book with about a million absolutely delicious recipes ranging from one bowl chocolate and buttermilk cupcakes to tres leches, all of them have something in common - they are tasty as anything! So that kind of propelled us to complete baking addicts, sometimes making cookies or cake as well. When I came home in April from school I was so used to baking that I continued to do it every week, pawning them off on whoever would eat them. I also found this recipe in a cooking magazine (see picture) for devils food cake with chocolate ganache decided to try and make it. Well I did and it was a hit to say the least. So this is pretty much my default cake as everyone I make it for raves about it and thing I'm some sort of baking whiz or somethings. I made it for my mom's bday along with homemade fondant. Which turned out alright; we were camping at the time so it was kind of tricky making it in a small toaster oven thing and a hand mixer as it is a rather complicated one to make and needs to be split into two pans. The fondant was my real struggle that day as I should have reduced the sugar by a cup. The recipe called for way too much and it was fairly dry and hard to work with. I was able to dye enough of it pink and make it into a bow on the cake. Yet another hit. Apparently I beat the standard DQ favourite ice cream cake. Not that I'm bragging or anything. (haha)

So basically I'm going to try and blog about the new things I try to make, discussing what worked, and what didn't go so well. My next post will be my first attempt at making pie, so we will see how that goes.

- Hayley

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

numero uno

Well, I decided to start writing a blog in the hopes it will be more successful than my numerous forgotten journals! So I'm hoping I am capable of being a grown up (haha) and can blog my life on a relatively regular basis. I'm going to steal from Miss Genevieve and use first initials to a)make my life oh so much easier and b)stop you damn creepers from moving in (that is if there's anyone out there... helloooooooo....)

SO it's Tuesday after a longggg weekend, which was a great excuse to sleep all of the time! I worked afternoon shifts Thurs, Sat and Sun, which made it even more acceptable for me to sleep the morning away. I also have been trying to watch as much of the office as possible and watched that when I should have been sleeping. I also JUST survived crunch time and needed to give my body the sleep it deserved... One can only live off 3-4 (or 0) hours a night for so long before losing their mind. And I was damn close! But nothing is due this week and I don't work until after finals which is a little bit relaxing actually.

We went to costco yesterday so I got pretty much all the food I'm going to need for the rest of the semester, including the biggest pack of chicken ever; I had to put it in my CA's freezer because it wouldn't fit in my crappy teeny rez fridge. That fridge looks full but I can honestly have nothing to eat, I can't wait to have a full fridge in townhouses next year!

My fish are sick which kinda sucks, I had to get them medicine this weekend, it's like drops that you add every morning and make the water really foggy and nasty looking. But it's supposed to kill bacterial infections so whatever works I guess. Plus their water smells pretty good like tea tree oil so that's a plus for sure.

A plus is not my dying computer, it's apparently too much to have this blog, facebook, itunes and my flash drive open. I had to go out and get the flash drive yesterday so I could put anything important on it so I don't lose it whne this thing crashes for good. Even as a type this the words show up in spurts, I NEED a new computer. Unfortunately because of the horrible semester timing and my broke money situation it's going to have to wait til fallish. Which isn't too bad because they go on sale at that time and I can get a bit of a break. I added it up though, my tax return, easter money and HST rebate will pay for most of the computer thank god.

Anyhow, I am sick of seeing whatever I type late and will finish for now

- Hayley