My Pinterest Life #15 – Looking Foxy

Hey All –

I’ve gotten behind in my Pinteresting posts – mainly because I’ve been busy writing Murder Madness Such Sweet Sadness. But have no fear! I’ve been Pinteresting away.

First up, Thanksgiving Food (that could also work for Christmas). I made these brussell sprouts with cranberries thinking it would combine two of my favorite foods in heavenly yumminess. They looked pretty:

But, OH MY GOD, whole cranberries are sour – which I knew, but these were nearly inedible. My vote: Pinterest FAIL.

Next up were mini tarts. I made these with a gluten-free crust, and they were delicious. Like mini-pumpkin pie tarts. The Colonel had fun helping me cut out the crusts and “snowflake” toppers.


In a fit of madness I attempted to make this cheese and meat platter. This was just one big LOL, but the Colonel and I had a blast doing it. Mine’s a little anemic looking compared to the recipe. Oh well. Still tasted good.


The big win, which I didn’t photograph was the Apple Cider Mimosas. Delicious, and I highly recommend them.

Next, the Colonel wanted to craft, so I found this cute little fox and owl ornament project. He’s eight and did it himself. I recommend this one for the ease and cuteness factor.


Finally, it’s that time of year when parties are happening. Here’s a shot of Bug and I before we headed out last weekend.  Happy holidays, Kittens.

xoxo ~dawn


My Pinterest Life #14 – Glitter is Herpes

Hey All –

When will I learn? Glitter is evil. It spreads and shows up in unexpected places. Even when attached to other things, glitter will find a way to infect you.

If you haven’t guessed, I did a glitter-esque project this week with the Colonel. We decided to make this:


First sign things weren’t going to go well: finding water balloons in November. After checking a few craft stores and CVS, I went to the Party store and they had them. I brought them home and learned an important lesson: there’s a reason they’re called WATER BALLOONS. They were not made for blowing up, and poor Bug nearly gave himself an aneurysm trying to do so.

Here are our six dinky balloons and the gold string the Colonel so badly wanted.



Per the fuzzy instructions, we mixed tacky glue with water. You need to stir it well to get the lumps out.




Next, I attempted to put the string on the balloon. Ummm…no. Just no. The string wanted no part of being wrapped around a stupid balloon and kept sliding off. Also, those perfect round balloons in the Pinterest post, I’d like to know where they came from, because my balloons were oddly shaped.



See the glitter? Do you see it on the string? It looks like gold thread, but it’s lying to you. It wants you to take it home so it can spread across your house like herpes.



The Colonel carefully dipped and rolled each balloon in the glue mixture. After three balloons, he quit.



After gluing, we hung them up to dry for two days. See my janky wrapping job?


For the Colonel, the best part about the project was popping the balloons. Afterward, we were left with this:



Not exactly the glittering snowballs that were promised. More like week-old pumpkins. At least they didn’t smell.

This was much too difficult for an 8-year old to do other than a few small things here-and-there. Hell, it was hard for me, and I’m nearing 40. So, yeah, Pinterest FAIL.

I did have a WIN, though. I made another, larger infinity cowl. I knitted on size 35 needles and with the same yarn I used for the last one only in charcoal.


The final result is cushy and warm. I did have to buy new sewing needles because I couldn’t find mine, but overall, this was a stress-free project.



Until next time, Kittens.

xoxo ~dawn

My Pinterest Life #11 – Recipe Schmipe

Hey All –

First things first. I know you’re dying to know how the Apple Cider Fireball Jello Shots turned out…pretty damn good. They tasted like cinnamon applesauce according to one guinea pig. Another said it reminded her of spiked cider. I call that a Halloween WIN.

Now, if you’ve been following along, you know I planned on making this cake for my son’s 12th birthday.


Pretty, no?

It all started when my girlfriends and I devoured Ferrero Rocher candies on our girls’ weekend back in September, and one of them told me about this cake. I became obsessed.

I love to bake, and I especially love baking time-consuming or difficult things like French macarons. So when the Pinterest challenge presented itself, I embraced it.

However, this recipe was horrible. I should have read it through before buying the ingredients. Oh wait! Let’s talk about the ingredients. It called for hazelnut flour – you know, something you can just pop over to the store and pick up. Since I couldn’t find the specialty flour anywhere, I decided to use almond flour – the same flour used in macarons. I figured it would at least give the cake an airy, pleasant texture.

Once all the ingredients were gathered, the Colonel and I started baking. He bashed up gluten-free wafers and nuts while I whisked together the dry ingredients and whip SEVEN eggs until frothy.

We mixed everything and I poured the batter into the cake tins. Guess what? The recipe didn’t say how long to cook the cakes for. Oh no. Instead it said, “Cook until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.” WTF? Seriously? Thankfully, I’ve cooked enough cakes to pick a time and settled on 15 minutes. They cooked perfectly.


While they cooled, I made the frosting. The recipe said to melt chocolate chips in the microwave on low. Again, no times given. Didn’t matter though because I prefer to use a double boiler.


I melted the chocolate, stirred in 300g of butter, and mixed in a half cup of Nutella. 300g is a ton of butter – around 2 1/2 sticks. It made the frosting too runny, and I had to add more Nutella to get a decent consistency.

Now it was time to build the cake.

IMG_5564The first layer

IMG_5565There’s a layer of frosting and crumbled wafers between the cake.

IMG_5571Same thing, right? LOL

Okay, so here’s the deal: you’re supposed to encrust the side of the cake with crushed nuts or wafers. How easy do you think that is? After experimenting with a few different “gentle” techniques, I ended up getting frustrated and decided to throw the crumbles at the cake until they stuck. This made a huge mess, but worked.


Luckily, despite the bad recipe and changed ingredients, it tasted awesome. The frosting was fudgy, the cake airy, and the whole thing tasted like a Ferrero Rocher candy. Delicious. More importantly, the birthday boy loved it.

IMG_5580The inside

I’ll make this one again, but only for special occasions. It’s very rich and not an everyday kind of sweetie. Pinterest WIN.

I also finished my knitted cowl. I wanted something chunky like this:


I used less bulky yarn and size 13 circular needles. I wish I’d done it up in my grey yarn, but this is what I came up with:

IMG_5583Not too bad, right? Another WIN by my standards.

I’ve been having a lot of wins lately which is great. However, I’ve noticed I’ve become so consumed with making things Pinterest worthy, that I’m missing out on the joy of creating them. The end product has become more important than the journey to get there, and I’m not really into that. I love the experience of things – even if they go horribly wrong or were never right to begin with.

Either way, everything happens for a reason, and I feel like these self-imposed challenges have shown me how much I miss this creative side of myself, and also, that I need to slow down and relish the moment. You never know when a person, or thing, will float into or out of your life, and you may miss it if you’re too focused on the end goal.

Until next time, Kittens.

xoxo ~dawn