Sunday, November 24, 2013

DIY Knotted Fabric Headband

I've seen a few knotted fabric headbands on Pinterest and I've really been wanting to make one but I've never gotten around to doing it. My sister requested one, so I thought today would be a good day to finally try it! I found a tutorial and went to work.  It was easy enough (once I got the hang of it) that I made two.  

The tutorial I found said to use jersey material (like an old t-shirt) so I tried that first.  The tutorial was also for babies and no t-shirt fabric was big enough to go around my head after tying the knots in it.  So, I moved on to regular fabric. 

For the first headband, I cut two strips, ironed them flat, and folded them in half so that you couldn't see the wrong side of the fabric.  

For the second headband, I took two pieces just like in the first, but cut both into four pieces.  My goal was to do a fishtail braid, but for some reason that didn't work so it just turned into a normal braid. Eh, you get the idea. 

 Back on the first headband, I sewed the fabric into a tube buy sewing a straight line down the raw edges. 

Next, I took the two pieces and laid them out like this: 

Overlapped until it looked like this - placing the 2nd piece of fabric under the loop of the first.  

And the bringing the other end of the second piece of fabric through the loop.  I know I'm horrible at explaining it, so check out this tutorial for clearer instructions. 

I tied the second in the same knot as the first. Maybe you can see how it was done clearer in this picture? 

Next, I pulled the knot until it tightened, and put the ends together.

 I grabbed another small piece of fabric and closed it around the end and used hot glue to seal it.  

Ta da! I wasn't sure how I felt about the frayed edges on the first headband, but now I think I like it! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weeknight Orecchiette

Now that it's cold and dark outside by 5, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is cook.  My body just thinks that because it's dark it should be time for bed.  Unfortunately, I still have to eat.  I made this recipe last week, and it made enough for me to eat quite a few meals.  I found it in some "Dinner on a Dime" cookbook I picked up in the checkout line at the grocery store.

You need:

Sweet or hot italian sausage
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
Parmesean cheese

First, boil the orecchiette (italian for "little ears").  While it's cooking, chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to a skillet with oil, heat for 1 minute.  Remove the sausage from their casings and cook with the garlic until brown, drain. Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices) and let simmer until the sauce reduces.  Add the cooked pasta and salt to taste.

Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces and add to the pan. I used the Steamfresh broccoli so it was very easy to cook.  The original recipe said to sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the top, but I mixed quite a bit in with the pasta.  Cheese makes everything better. The whole dish took less than 30 minutes to make, and it was good!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Grumpy Cat

Today I learned...My boss didn't know who Grumpy Cat was. I felt weird trying to explain him

How does one explain an Internet-famous cat with a permanent frown? 

Just look at him. So grumpy. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A day at the US National Arboretum

Yesterday Caitlin and I went on an adventure to the National Arboretum in DC! It was the perfect time to go because all the leaves on the trees were changing and everything was beautiful!

 Also, rather than taking the metro I decided to be brave and drive - we heard it was the easiest way to actually get in the arboretum so that's what we did.  It was my first time driving in DC and it. was. terrifying! I usually just metro because I'm scared of all the crazies on the road, and boy that's for a good reason. It was Sunday so it wasn't even that bad, until my GPS took me through Georgetown on the way home.  Kill me. I don't even know how I'd handle it on a weekday rush hour.... 

Anyway, the arboretum had all sorts of pretty trees, a very Stonehenge-looking area with columns called "The Capitol Columns" and a bonsai garden with tiny trees! The place was expansive though and we didn't even get to see all of it. Here are some pictures from the day:

I've always wanted a tree like that in my backyard

Caitlin enjoying the herb garden

Beautiful walkway in the herb garden

Capitol Columns

This tree was my favorite! It was nearly glowing

Pretty nature

The columns look so greek and fancy, I love it! 

A pretty rose in the bonsai garden

Tiny bonsai trees
 These tiny trees were purposely dwarfed... I didn't read enough of the descriptions to know why, but they had a garden full of them! Too cute, right? This one kind of reminded me of the Tree of Life at Disney World. Yeah?

Beautiful leaves! 

Fun fact: I did zero editing on the picture below. The leaves really were that bright! I love the fall colors.
Red leaves are my favorite.

If flowers had personalities, these would be the hipster flowers. 

Proof that I was actually there. Photo creed: Caitlin

Picturesque little bench 

I love fall! 
So yeah, it was a great time! Everything was beautiful and I love nature and I want to go back and have a picnic. I bet it's so pretty in the spring time! If you're in the DC area  looking for something to do that's not a museum, I highly recommend the arboretum!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homemade Hummus

Guys. I love hummus. Like, so much. It's so delicious I could eat it any time of day. Okay not really, I'm one of those people who definitely has to eat breakfast foods for breakfast- no cold pizza for me.  I digress. 

It's way cheaper and all around BETTER if you make it yourself, so here's a good recipe from Ina Garten, the lovely Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. I tweaked it slightly, so here's what I did: 

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved (aka garbanzo beans, for those of you who live under a rock) 
1 1/2 teaspoons a few dashes kosher just normal salt
1/3 cup tahini
6 5 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water or liquid from the chickpeas 
8 dashes hot sauce  a few teaspoons chili powder
-Read more here

First, drain your chickpeas and chop your garlic.  Yeah it's a LOT and your fingers will smell like garlic for days but it's worth it! Worth it. 

Dump your chickpeas in a blender or food processor.  If you have a food processor for god's sake please use it.  I don't, so I'm stuck with a blender and it's just not quite the same.... If you're using a blender, mash your chickpeas up with a spoon first until they look like this: 

And that will keep them from choking your poor sad blender. Now go invest in a food processor. Maybe that's what I'll ask for from Santa for Christmas...

Also, do you know what tahini is? I didn't, but apparently it looks like this and it's critical for hummus. I had to ask the nice man at Trader Joe's where to find it, so don't be afraid to ask. Add that to your chickpea-filled blender. 

After that, add the rest of your stuff.  I didn't have any real lemons, so I used lemon juice from a bottle and only added 5 tablespoons. After tasting it I think that's plenty, but use your best judgement.  I also didn't add any hot sauce, but used a few dashes of chili powder instead.  I added a few tablespoons of chickpea juice (??) from the can instead of water, but again, it's up to you. Have fun with it!

Blend in short bursts stirring periodically until it looks like this, and enjoy with some pita for an authentic middle eastern white girl experience.  Or you can use as a dip for raw veggies if you're feeling extra WASPy. Enjoy! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Another Clemson Win!

Last weekend Brenden and Taylor came up to go to the Maryland game! We had great seats (5 rows up from the field!) and the Clemson section was really full.  In fact, I'm pretty sure there were more Clemson fans left at the end of the game... We pulled another W, thankfully! I forgot my camera, so please accept these iPhone pictures as proof that I was there...

Maryland's entrance - they may have fire but it's nothing compared to the running down the hill. 

Go Tigers! 

The Tiger and Cheerleaders

My favorite- The Tiger Cub! So cute

We're playing UVA today. Hopefully we can get one more win! Let's go Tigers!