Tag Archives: home

Something I Haven’t Seen In a While

True confession:

Not all that long ago I had kind of a bad rep. My room’s carpet wasn’t recognizable. It didn’t see the light of day for, like, years.

Funny story actually, on my wedding day, my father walked in my room. The first words out of his mouth were, “Your floor! I didn’t know you had a grey carpet?! It’s nice! I don’t think I’ve seen it before. (turns and yells down the hallway) Hey! Guys look! Mindy’s floor!” Ummmm…. Hi there father! I’m your first born in her wedding dress! That’s what you’re excited about?! My floor?!

I used to have various piles around my room. One of which resembled Mount Vesuvius. It was referred to by my family and close friends simply as “The Ramp”. Rocco used to run up the mountain of clothes and shoes in order to get onto my bed, hence the name “The Ramp”.

Needless to say, organization has never been a strong suit of mine (to put it mildly).

When Mr. FSL moved into our house with me, I’m sure that he was unaware that he married Pig Pen. He heard a few rumors, but never saw the elusive Ramp.

Pig-Pen

Image via Wikipedia

I had a clean slate moving in. Literally. We really had nothing. When we bought our nightstands for our bedroom, they were empty.

One year and 2 months later, his top drawer had a few important papers in it. Mine looked like this:

Old habits die slowly, what can I say. Nobody’s perfect.

This past weekend, something came over me. I cleared out so many parts of our house that clutter started popping up in. I saw on some blog (so sorry I can’t remember which one!!!) last week that this woman put only things she used right before bed and in the morning in her nightstand. Genius I tell you.

Here’s a list of some of the crazy things I found in the black hole top drawer:

Old catalogs
Rocco’s toothbrush (!)
Expired coupons
My wisdom tooth in a tooth fairy box (ew)

Never before worn underwear with tags on them still
A picture frame My birth certificate
Memory cards for my camera
24 birthday cards from August
Ticket stubs
Receipts CD’s Chargers to phones that I no longer have

I am a complete weirdo. If I was to be mentally evaluated base solely on the contents of my nightstand, I’d be locked up. C’mon, ticket stubs, underwear & a tooth?! I can’t believe I publicly am admitting to any of this, but hey, It’s my blog.

Most of the junk was tossed. I put only things I’d use in bed in it ( I’m a copycat).

The new contents of my top drawer:
A vanilla cookie scented candle
A lighter
Mints
Emergency chocolates
Chapstick Nail polish
Kindle & charger
Phone & charger

Oh Em Ghee.

That’s ah niiiiice!

I actually rigged it so my kindle & cell phone charger wires come through the back of the drawer so they charge while tucked away!

Pshhhht…. Who you calling Pig Pen now?

Anyone doing any Spring cleaning in the Winter like Backwards Mindy? What’s in your nightstand? Be honest. I showed you my tooth fairy box for crying out loud!

Just Because I Hate Returning Things

Just because I hate returning things to stores, I am trying to make this new comforter work.  Out of sheer laziness, here is my new attempt for our bed. 

What do you guys think now?

Should I just return it and get it over with? I actually kind of like it like this. Do you mind returning stuff or are you like me?

Self Host Self Help? Not So Much.

If you follow me on twitter, you know what I’m about to say.  If you don’t follow me on twitter, you should.  Click here 😉 .

In a fluttering, impulsive, (so very typically me) fashion, I decided (in a split second) to purchase my own blog domain and make the jump to a self- hosted website.

In the next week or so, I’ll be posting the link up to the new address.  I’m really excited to have more control over the blog’s layout, have access to more interesting bells & whistles, and other cool stuff.  I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am very excited but I am struggling quite a bit, actually. If any readers know anything about using wordpress.org and want to help a sistah out, I would reeeeally appreciate it. Please e-mail me at FindingSilverLinings@gmail.com.

Speaking of changing things up, I dyed my brown hair black (thanks Tiffany for your input!), *iPhone pic, sorry guys*.

 

I cashed in a few gift cards at Home Goods and picked up a new comforter for our bed.  I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I love the pattern, I love my headboard.  I don’t know if they mesh well.

Rocco was digging it.

Thoughts on the new blog venture, hair color, bedding, Rocco’s mustache?

Please help this indecisive girl out!

Donkey Kong Power Cookies

When I was in elementary and middle school, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Game Cube were the cool hi-tech video games in our house.  My little sister and I would play Donkey Kong until our eyes were swirling.  No lie, at one point we actually were hallucinating that we were hearing the Banana Fairy!  Don’t judge.  Sick. I know. Mishy, you know what I’m talking about, girl!! (sigh) The good old days.

click image for source

Well, our mom raised us a chocoholics.  It’s genetic.  Brownie or chocolate chip cookie crumbs were probably packed under our fingernails and chocolate smeared on our cheeks as we magically imagined ourselves as super-strong gorillas.   Every now and then a banana would find its way into our coco-laden kitchen, one of us would grab it, hold it in the air like it was a light saber and say “Ooooooh! Banana!”.

What?!

I never said we were normal.

I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic lately, so I whipped up a healthy nod to our Donkey Kong Country days  last night.

These cookies are perfect as a grab & go snack, breakfast, or as dessert. They are loaded with protein and taste awesome. The only added sugar comes from the chocolate chips (which is a trivial amount, and can be omitted if you like…but why would anyone want to omit chocolate?! To each his own, I’m not hating 😉  ).

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Mix together the dry ingredients first in a large bowl.

* 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats  (you may need more if you need to make the dough thicker)

* 3 scoops of  protein powder (I used BSN’s cinnamon roll but any flavor will do)

* scant 1/2 t baking soda

* a dash of cinnamon

Next, add in your wet ingredients.

* 1/3 c skim milk

* 2 egg whites

* 1/4 c canola oil

* 1 t vanilla extract

In a smaller bowl, mash 2 very ripe bananas.  These guys almost got tossed by Mr. FSL because they were “gross”.  I thought they were just perfect 😀  So did my furry friend who was eyeballing them for a week now.

OOOOH! BANANA! (I couldn't resist)

Mash them up and leave them pretty lumpy.  The banana lumps will keep these muffins really moist and chewy.

Fold in the mashed bananas.

Measure out 1/4 cup mini sized semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

I felt like I needed a doughier consistency so I added a little more oats.

Once you’ve reached your dough consistency, coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Taste the dough because it’s awesome.  (disclaimer: you shouldn’t eat raw eggs, but I did and I lived to tell about it 😉 )

I used a medium sized cookie scoop and lined them up like little soldiers on the tray.  They don’t really spread much, so they can be pretty close together.

Bake until the edges are golden brown. Mine took about 9 minutes, but keep checking on these guys.

Let them cool.  (Check out my new Valentine’s Day dishes I scored for 50 cents each!!)

Store in an airtight container.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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What food brings back childhood memories for you?  Were you into video games as a kid?  Which ones?  Did you have any hallucinations of banana fairy twinkly sounds?

2011 Holiday House Tour Continued

I figured I’d show you all around our house in all it’s tacky shimmering glory lol!  Here’s what the rest of Casa FSL is looking like these days…

Super Christmas-fied!

I added just a few touches to the kitchen…

The kids got at it before I snapped the picture, but you guys get the point right?  It was a snow globe attempt gone awry!  It looks more like a snow egg… whatev.

Silver reindeer and a rhinestone tree (what else did you expect?!) sittin on top of Simon.

Some snowmen soaps and a couple of silver and glitter votives sit by my sink to keep me happy while I wash the dishes.

Here’s our entryway area looking festive and a bit rustic. Please excuse the weird lighting.  I don’t know what’s up with it.

And a close up on a few little moments…

The gold glitter doesn’t stop there.  It’s in our bathroom also 🙂

And what bathroom is complete without feathers?!

Somebody stop me.  Really.

Our mancave downstairs already had the turquoise thing goin on, so I added some peacock feathers and disco balls to add some holiday jazzy-ness.

Merry Christmas to all of the Finding Silver Linings readers out there!  I hope you are all on the “Nice List” this year!!

xo

Mindy & Mr. FSL

Red Velvet Pudding Shots

I swear I’m not a lush.

Once I find something that is a hit at every party, I try every variation I can think of.  Here’s the latest incarnation of the pudding shot.

Red Velvet.

I was getting ready for our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  Pudding shots were a must.  I had pistachio and I had cookies & cream already mixed and poured.  Ready to roll.  I wanted something festive and all I had was vanilla pudding.  I grabbed this lovely bottle instead of the usual whipped cream vodka.

1 1/4 cups of Devil’s Food Cake flavored vodka

3/4 cup of whole milk

a packet of instant vanilla pudding mix

a lot of red food coloring

a tub of cool whip

Mix it all up!

Pour into squeezable shot cups.

Top with whipped cream & garnish!

Poof! Holiday cheer in a cup!

Funfetti Cake Batter Truffles

I’m definitely ending up on somebody’s naughty list for posting this recipe.

Not everyone is freaky like me.  I eat cake batter.  There.  I said it.

I eat cake batter and I love it!

I’m not saying it’s a good idea for everyone to eat cake batter.

But if you’re into it, you will gobble these up!

They’re really sweet.  Not normally my thing.  But, these are addicting.

I found the recipe here, and slightly tweaked it of course.  I usually won’t post my variation if I don’t particularly care for it, but my friends ate these and went bananas for them.  I’ll post the recipe both ways.

Here’s her recipe:

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup cake mix, dry
  • 2/3 cups chocolate, melted (for dipping)

Instructions:

1. Place sweetened condensed milk and butter in a pan over low heat. Heat mixture for about 10-15 minutes, making sure to stir constantly. Continue to heat until mixture can hold a line when a spoon or spatula is drawn through the mixture. Remove from heat and add dry cake mix and stir to combine. Set mixture aside for 5-10 minutes before rolling.

2. Lightly butter hands and roll mixture in 3/4 inch balls. Chill for 20 minutes and dip in chocolate. Then set dipped bombes aside for chocolate to set. *Optional: Dip in chocolate glaze. Recipe follows.

Chocolate Glaze
• 2/3 cups dark chocolate
• 1 tablespoons heavy cream
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
• 3-5 tablespoons water, warm
Instructions:
1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until a dipping consistency is reached. Set aside and let mixture cool to warm.

My version is the same, except I attempted a white chocolate glaze.  I don’t even like white chocolate, but the idea of vanilla frosting with the cake batter center sounded enticing.  In the end, I would have just stuck with the chocolate.  I made her glaze recipe and substituted the dark chocolate with white chocolate.  Enough blabbering, here we go…

 

Pour an entire can of sweetened condensed milk into a pan.

Next, add in 3 tablespoons of butter.  These are super healthy 😉 .

Constantly stir over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.  At first the consistency will thin out, so you want to keep stirring until it gets thick again. When it does, remove from heat.  Add in your dry boxed cake mix.  I used a butter yellow cake mix.

Stir it in until well mixed.

I added in sprinkles at this point for fun purposes.

Mix just until they are evenly distributed.  They might melt into a muddy color if you stir them up too much.

Let this mixture firm up a bit as it cools for about 15 minutes.

Roll them into bite sized balls and eat 5 or 6 to test them. Next, place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper, then pop them into the fridge for about 20 minutes.

This is where we make the glaze.  If you’re looking for easy, melt some chocolate melts in the flavor you like, coat them and let them cool.  If you want them less sweet, follow the original directions at the top, if you like white chocolate and really sweet stuff, follow me.

Use white chocolate melts or white chocolate chips.  Or do what I did.

Add the cream and your chocolate to your double boiler (or your ghetto rig: a glass bowl on a pan of simmering water) for a few minutes.

Add your water until desired consistency is reached. I tried to make mine thin.

I glazed each truffle and topped with more sprinkles, then put them back into the fridge to harden.

This is what they looked like when they made it to the work so I can eat 8 of them in private share them with my coworkers.

Are you a cookie dough, brownie batter, and cake batter eater?  Does the idea gross you out?  What are your fave truffles?

Rocco’s Ugly Sweater Party Dilemma

So, this weekend is our annual ugly sweater party.  See last year’s highlight reel by clicking  here.  If you’re feeling lazy, here is a mini sampler of the fun.

We usually have Rocco sleep at his grandparent’s house.  This year we figured we’d let him in on the action.

Mr. FSL & I went Christmas shopping this past Saturday.  We stopped at good ole Tar-Jay for some wrapping paper , tape, boxes, etc… He grabbed a coffee at the in-house Starbucks.  I stalked the dollar section and found ugly dog sweaters.  If Rock is going to be at the party, he might as well represent.

Sunday morning I wanted to try it on my little pork chop of a Maltese.  He was clearly ecstatic about the sweater selection.

I remembered having a few Christmas things for him stashed away in a closet.

Here are his Christmas Eve PJs. Okay, maybe he need to switch to lo-cal puppy chow these days, but who doesn’t add a little fluff around the holidays?!

Santa Paws hat.

And my personal favorite, the naughty elf.

Big mistake giving him a rawhide toy before our little photo shoot.  He gnaws until it’s gooey.  His mustache is a disaster.  Our apologies for Rock not being photo ready.

I’m having a tough decision.  What should he wear to the 2011 FSL Ugly Sweater Party?

For The Kids’ Table On Thanksgiving

When I was little, Thanksgiving day would go something like this:

Wake up ridiculously early.

Watch the parade.

Unravel the 20 braids in my hair so it would look crimped and gross like fancy mermaid hair because that’s what people do on special occasions 😉  .

Go to my grandmother’s house and eat at the kid’s table I had to eat enough real food to get me to the next round which was ice cream sandwiches that were somehow in the magical shape of turkeys.

Watch the women sit around the kitchen table and talk.

Watch the men watching football.

Long story short, I wished I had something fun to do while the grow ups did grown up things.

If you didn’t know this about me already, I’m an art teacher. Here’s a fun and cute activity for the little guys at the kids’ table this year. It’s a Native American inspired vest.  I do this project with my kindergarteners and 1st graders. They love it, and it’s virtually fool-proof.

You will need:
A large brown paper bag ( the kind from the grocery store, not Bloomingdales)
Crayons
A hole puncher
Yarn
Scissors
A big piece of construction paper (optional)
Glue ( if you are using the optional paper above)

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Draw a “U” shape on the bottom of the bag.

Flip the bag over.  Draw a “V” shape at the bottom of front of the bag (where there is a seam).

Cut out the “U” and “V” shapes out.  (I add 2 strips of packaging tape to the shoulder area so they don’t tear).

 

Cut down the front seam.

Cut 2 arm holes out.

Punch holes along each side of the seam.

Decorate with crayon at any time.  I’d do all of the above steps before the kids get there if they are small and can’t use scissors.  Nothing’s worse than feeling like a “baby” when you’re 4.

I had my students draw on a large brown paper that was glued to the back of the vest (in case they made a non-fixable mistake…we only had exactly enough bags for 1 per student).

Cut small snips along the bottom edges to create fringe if you like.

Tie a piece of yarn to the top hole on each side of the vest and lace it up!

I’ll post a photo of me playing dress up tomorrow.

Pinterest Can Inspire You To D-I-Y! (Part 2)

I’m on a full blown Pinterest bender.  Seriously.  This series will have a couple more installments to come…

Pinterest was practically made for disorganized creative types.  There’s actually an entire category for Do-It-Yourself project pins.  I’ve found so many crafty ideas that are on my to-do list…er…DIY pinboard!

Some I’ve already made…

Inspiration pin:

My version & tutorial:

Inspiration Pin:

The one I made for our 1st anniversary gift:

Here are some projects I hope to tackle in the future…

A dresser repurposed into an island

Tall cylinders, rubber bands & spray paint!

Fabric covered drawers for the craft room

What crafty things have you spotted on Pinterest?  Do tell & link up!!!