Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring and Smoothies

I'm so excited that spring is here! Summer follows spring and I'm one of those crazy people who love the heat. So really this time of year is just a stepping stone to a few of my favorite months.
Now that we are no longer freezing, I don't feel like a complete weirdo making smoothies. That and my daughter won't be shivering when I offer her one. Smoothies are among my favorite food items so I thought I'd share a couple of my recipes. I'm no where close to being a talented chef, but who needs skill to whirl some fruit up in a blender?
This one is a Cherry Vanilla smoothie.
I used:

2 cups milk
1/2 cup Apple Cherry frozen juice concentrate
1-12oz bag frozen cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Makes 2-3 servings.

I poured some into a cup for my three year old then I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder to the rest for myself.

My all time favorite is Mango and Orange. It's really refreshing and is full of vitamin C.

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup frozen mango
This makes 2 servings.

I hope you whip up a little fruity goodness for yourself as well during this glorious season! Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hair Highlight Tutorial

Today I thought I'd show everyone how I highlight my own hair. To be completely honest, it's pretty easy since my hair is so short. If my hair was long, it would hang in my face and I wouldn't be able to see what I was doing! So let that be a warning to everyone who has long hair. Perhaps you could have someone assist you.

*Attempt this at your own risk! I am not responsible for any damage you do to your own hair!

Step One: Choosing a color.
My hair is virgin other than the highlights I'm touching up. That means I can use color or bleach depending on what I want. If you have ANY color on your hair (semi-permanent included) even if it was several months ago, color alone will not lighten it. Color does not lighten color.
Another caution - do NOT bleach over bleached hair. You will fry your hair and it will break right off. Please use common sense.
Believe it or not, I used a light ash brown with 40 volume developer. Since all dark hair contains a ton of red, the red in my hair overpowered the ash in the color and the color still turned out very warm. I knew that would happen and I'm fine with it. The little bit of ash took down the red just a notch and I love what I'm left with. If I wanted something more neutral I could have bleached it first then applied the desired color as a toner.  I want to keep my hair on the healthy side so I stuck with regular hair color.

Step Two: Collect your supplies
You'll need a rat tail comb (I prefer the ones with metal "tails"), a bowl and brush for your color, a mirror so you can see what you're doing, a slightly damp towel for cleaning up your fingers and any other mess, lots of clips to keep hair out of the way, and foil.
Cut the foil into strips and fold over the short end about a 1/4 inch 3-4 times so you have a more rigid edge.

Step Three: Protect your clothing with a T-shirt you don't mind ruining.

Step Four: Section off the front part of your hair. Keep in mind the way your bangs will lay.  Mine get parted to the side so my first foil with be on the "heavy" side of my bangs. Use your clips to keep the rest of your hair out of the way.

Step Five: Take your first "slice"
All my slices are on the diagonal. I chose to slice because this will give you the most color per swipe, make it easier to find and touch-up later and requires fewer foils for more dramatic results. I used only 8 foils and it looks like I have a lot more in there.
I took an 1/8 inch "slice" through the section and slid a piece of foil under it with the folded edge against my scalp. As you can tell from the picture, even my slice wasn't perfectly straight but still managed to turnout okay. Do the best you can. Go ahead and paint on the color staying about an 1/4 inch away from your scalp. You might want to clip the foil in so it doesn't move on you.

Step Six: Fold your foil.
Fold up the end of your foil to cover the color. I usually fold it up in thirds but if you just folded it in half that would be fine too. Then fold over the sides. Now you have a neat little packet. Try not to move it too much. If it gets moved too much, color might bleed out of the foil and make your hair splotchy.
Step Seven: Add more slices
Take your next slice about an inch behind the other and line up your slices on either side of your part. Do as many or as little as you'd like. The farther back on your head you go the harder it is to see what you're doing.

Step Eight: Process your color.
Follow the manufacturers directions when it come to processing. When time is up, wash, condition and style.

Step Nine: Enjoy the results!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Patchwork Duvet Cover

A couple years ago, my husband bought me Amy Butlers book "In Stitches". This opened a whole new sewing world to me. Her fabrics and projects are amazing! Suddenly handmade didn't look so hokey. Her splashy colors and bold prints fit right in with my fresh and breezy decorating style.
There is a duvet cover idea in the book that got my creative juices going. I'm not really one to follow directions so I decided to come up with my own design. I went to our local quilting stores and a couple online resources to collect the fabric. Some I got on sale, others I cringed and paid full price. But when all is said and done, I think it's better than any Pottery Barn quilt out there. I had the joy of creating it and it was just a fraction of the cost!
When my daughter turned two we figured it was time for her to move into her big girl room so when our next baby was born we could place him in the nursery. Brett surprised me by painting what used to be the office pink (our daughters choice) and he set up most of the furniture. That spurred me on to finish the duvet.
With the left over fabric I made a pillow, crib bumper and quilt for her doll cradle. The doll cradle was mine when I was little. Brett freshened it up with a coat of white paint.

I have to say, this duvet is one of my favorite projects ever. Her new bed is actually the bed my dad grew up with. My brothers and I took turns sleeping in it as well. This is the third generation getting use out of it. I love the history! I know it's a little beat up, but those nicks and scars are part of our sweet childhood memories. This bed is sure to continue the legacy of sweet dreams as well.

Something New

So many women out there have inspired me to do something new. Take a wild guess! Blogging.
It's not that I think I'm stellar at all things crafty or some DIY maven, I'd just like to share some of the things I've learned. Instead of just borrowing ideas from others all the time it's time I make contributions to the blogging world as well.
So take what you like and toss out the rest. My goal is to bless and inspire.
Welcome to Budget Beautiful DIY!