DIY Terrarium


I bought this terrarium from Urban Outfitters online on a whim.  I was purchasing a mirrored initial letter for my entry way wall (post to come) and bacon floss for my husbands holiday stocking stuffer when I stumbled upon it.  I had some sort of percentage off the purchase and it was free shipping so I wanted to check it out.  If I didn't like it I would go to the local store and return it.  Well, I liked it and this is what I did with it.

I love the shape of this terrarium, but there were a few problems immediately.

One- The corners did not meet and that would not only be an issue with watering, but also with the soil.  So, my husband got out his clear caulking and took care of that.  I taped off the corners with blue painters tape and filled them in.

Two- The other problem was that the opening that you use is quite small.  My hands aren't the largest so I could get them in there and do what I needed, but I did poke myself with the cactus spines a few times.  You might need to use a spoon towards the end.

Once the caulking was dry, I was able to get going on this project.    I bought all my supplies from the local gardening store and from Home Depot.   The local gardening store had a whole section set up to make your own terrarium and it wasn’t overly expensive.  The charcoal went for $4 and the potting soil went for $5.  I also got some moss for $3.  I actually bought the plants from Home Depot for a total of 10 bucks.  I already had the river stone at home left over from my other indoor plants.  The plants were slightly more expensive at the garden store, but I am nervous that the ones I bought from HD might not last.  Time will tell.

First, I put in some of the river stones to cover the bottom.   Cover the stones with charcoal and then a layer of the potting soil.  Then put in the succulents, cactus and more soil.  Next, arrange the moss and more of the stones.

Making it Lovely explains it in a bit more detailed than I did.  I really like the way she used the tall terrarium and the billy buttons.  She didn't use succulents for this terrarium, but I still love the way it turned out.

Warning, make sure you do not put the plants too close to the sides or you might have a mold problem in a few weeks.

I watered the plants, but will not water them again until they get really dry again.

Set up by a window that gets a lot of sun.  Enjoy.

<3 mk


Sgroppino- New Year's Cocktail


Sgroppino an Italian cocktail from Giada De Laurentis

1 cup chilled Prosecco (Italian Sparkling White Wine)
2 tablespoons chilled vodka
1/3 cup frozen lemon sorbet
¼ teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves


Pour the Prosecco and vodka into 2 Champagne flutes, diving equally. Spoon a scoop of sorbet into each flute. Sprinkle with mint and serve immediately

I can’t say I am a fan of all the food network celebrities, but Giada is my fav.  I only have her cooking show on DVR because I really do try to recreate many of her dishes.  On her show the other day Giada made a drink that I thought would be absolutely delicious for New Years.   I love prosecco and adding in a tart sweet cool sorbet along with fresh mint would be delicious.  I tried it out over the holidays and it was delicious.

<3 mk

Baked Eggrolls


Eggrolls Without Giving You Rolls

Chinese takeout…yes please!  I like that fried yummy egg roll as much as the next guy, but every time I eat them I end up feeling bloated and regretful.  That is probably the number one reason J and I never order takeout.  I ran across these guys while perusing Pinterest and immediately wanted to make the lighter version.  

Baked Eggrolls adapted from the Joyful Abode

2 packages of square egg roll wrappers
1 pound of ground pork
a bag of cole slaw mix
fresh mushrooms (I used the gourmet blend because it included shiitake mushrooms)
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
a splash of soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
chili paste
fresh cilantro
cooking oil
cooking spray or olive oil
duck sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 375.  Collect all the ingredients.

In a large sauté pan cook the ground pork until no longer pink.  Remove from the pan.

Coat sauté pan with some cooking oil (canola, EVOO, whatever you choose).  Sauté the garlic for about 1 minute and add the fresh ginger, chopped mushrooms, and coleslaw mix.  Cook until coleslaw is wilted, mushrooms are cooked, and then mix in the pork.  Take off heat.

Mix in soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste, and chopped cilantro.

Place a heaping spoonful of the mixture into the center of an eggroll wrapper.

Dip a finger into water and coat the edge of the wrapper all around the perimeter. This will help the edges to stick.  I kept a bowl with water for this process.

Fold the opposite side corners towards each other and then fold up the bottom, and roll as tightly as you can to the edge.  Tuck and roll until you have the eggroll shape.   Use more water to keep the remaining edge stuck.

Repeat the process with the remaining wrappers.  Place the egg rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.  Spray the tops of the egg rolls with the oil, too.

You can tell that I got ahold of the rolling process about half way through. Those two in the middle look interesting, but they still were delish.

Bake 15 minutes, then flip the egg rolls over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving (this will let the wrappers get a little more crisp too).

I served my baked eggrolls with a mixture of duck sauce, soy sauce, fresh grated ginger, and sesame oil, and a splash of chili oil.

Keep in mind. Measuring is not my forte and my taste preferences might be totally different than yours. When I made these guys I was in the need for more ginger and some sesame oil so I added that to the mix.  You might feel a little saucy and add more cilantro, more soy sauce, or even more spicy chili paste to your.  With cooking (not baking) you usually can modify as you feel. 

<3 mk


Paperwhite Update- Two


Remember these or these. Well it has been over a month and they look like this.

These guys have done exactly what I wished they would do, make me happy! As the weather gets colder and I am spending little time outside, seeing these beautiful flowers each morning brings a smile to my face.


Seeing the progress of growth over these last few weeks has been wonderful.

As the holidays are in full swing,  a perfect idea would be to make one of these for a last minute gift or as a gift for a host. It is cheaper than a good bottle of wine and so much more thoughtful.  All the you need is listed here.

Happy Holidays!

<3 mk


DIY Spray Paint Pinecones


A few weeks ago I was cleaning up the side yard to clear away some of the leaves and debris from fall.   Our side yard has four very large pine trees that had dropped numerous amounts of pinecones.  In my annoyance of shoveling the large piles of debris into garbage bags, I realized I should keep some of the pinecones for a project.  I quickly collected a bagful of those guys and put them in my projects bin in the basement.

About two weeks ago when I was getting all the holiday decorations out, I stumbled upon that forgotten bag of pinecones.  I wanted to do a quick project with them, but I didn’t just want to leave them the way they were.  I had seen a project that involved dipping the pinecones into paint.  I have plenty of paint color choices, but I didn’t want to ruin the entire can of paint.  If I had dipped in the original paint containers I would risk having pinecone debris being left over into the paint and totally ruining the entire can.  I was also considering the mess if I were to pour paint into separate containers.  

So, the paint can was out of the question for me.  Onto the next idea. I had pinned this idea from  Dishfunctional Designs and realized I already had all the supplies I needed to get it done.  I wasn’t going to go with the bright colors from the blog even though they look so bold.  I was going to go with our normal palette of gray, white, and black.  I already had those colors in spray paint which would not cost a thing.   I did want them to look a bit more festive so I also was going to spray with a high gloss and some sparkle.

I unfortunately chose a cold and windy day to do the project, but it got done. Spray painting and trying to avoid getting sprayed is as bad as it sounds.  I spread out a drop cloth (with heavy items on the sides) and I laid the pinecones on top.  I needed to use gloves to make sure all the nooks and crannies got covered with the spray paint.  After two color coats, one sparkly, and one final glossy, all they need is some dry time.  I brought them inside to dry over night and they were totally done.

Pinecones (free)
Spray Paint; any color and finish you choose
Drop cloth
Plastic Gloves (I love these nitrile gloves)

I am in love with this quick decoration project.  I already used the pinecones for the table decoration using a serving tray and leveled candles.  I currently have the pinecones on the mantle with small votive candles and the stocking hangers. I might actually use some of the surplus pinecones and spray paint them a bold red to combine with the other neutral colors and display them in the living room year round.

I wished I had done this sooner so you could collect the pinecones and have this out for Christmas.  But, there is hope.  If you have all the supplies and a little free time there are still two days until Christmas.

<3 mk


Pimm's Fizz


Pimms was always the liquor that I saw whenever we visited Europe and I never actually thought much about it…until I was in Tampa, FL.  We were visiting some friends that brought us out to many different restaurants in southern Tampa.  We enjoyed so many delicious meals, but my favorite was at Fly Bar where I go this delicious, refreshing adult bev.

I have adapted the recipe (see below) because one, I didn’t have it, and two, I couldn’t find cucumber soda without ordering it online.   I have some many specialty food stores in my area and I searched high and low before I made the decision to make my own cucumber soda.  It was super easy and I actually think I like it just as much as I did at the restaurant.  Enjoy.

Pimm's Fizz

2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3 oz. Pimm's
splash soda water
1 teaspoon of Agave nectar (simple syrup will work as well)
1 inch of a cucumber (always use an English cucumber and I don’t mind the seeds)
  1. Cut cumber into small pieces. 
  2. Muddle the cucumber in the bottom of a drinking tin.
  3. Pour the fresh lemon juice, Pimms, and agave nectar into a shaker tin and add ice.  I added in the agave because I like a sweeter drink, but you could always leave it out.  You can also use any sweetener.
  4. Add ice to the tin and cover with a pint glass.  Shake.
  5. With a drink strainer, pour the liquid into a tall glass (I used a collins glass) filled with fresh ice.   Only fill about ¾ to the top.
  6. Fill to the top with soda water and stir with a long barspoon.
  7. Dress with a cucumber, lemon or both.

Yield- Two servings

<3 MK


Baby Mustache?

Recently one of my best friends had her second child, a beautiful boy named Benjamin.  Her first child was a girl and I went all out buying frilly stuff when she was born.  I thought it would be fun to make something that would make for an awesome boy picture.

The mustache fad has been in full swing for a while now especially with Movember ending recently.  Everywhere I go I see mustache shirts, pencils, and even drink decorations.  Mustaches everywhere.  I am so happy my husband didn’t rock one.  So to bring that fad to Ben was my goal. I thought it would be funny to put a mustache on a binky for the new baby boy. 

They do make binkies with the mustaches on them, but they are pretty expensive at about $18 for one and I it hurts me and my wallet when I spend a lot of money on something that won’t be used.  I don’t even think this little boy is even using a binky.  So, I saw these rubber mustaches in WorldMarket that attach themselves to wine/drink glasses.  I got a pack with six for $5. 

I bought a pack of clear binkies for $6 at Target and then hot glue gunned the mustache right on the front.  I wouldn’t recommend leaving the child alone with this, but my ultimate goal was for picture taking so I thought it would be ok.  How funny will that be? 

The mustache could even be pulled off for full use once the picture taking moment is over and regular life sets in.

I also found a baby onesie at Target (similar) with a black mustache on the front which was a prefect pairing for the binky.  I can’t wait for my friend to send me a picture of this. 

One a side note, the left over mustache drink stickers came in hand on Thanksgiving.  They not only did their job identifying our drinks, but some fun pictures were a result. 


Turning Candy Containers Into Storage


I am constantly looking for ways to turn anything into storage.  I was in the process of replacing my car gum holder this afternoon when I realized I could totally reuse the gum container.  The round container has two openings on the top, one tiny and the other the entire diameter of the top. 

I am a creature of habit and I always wear my hair up every other day.  Dirty hair on day two is always the best for an updo.  I always try to do some sort of braid, but my habit is a ballet bun.  Bobby pins are my friends and I have a large collection.  I am proud that I am still using the ones from my wedding day (swoon). My usual holder for my bobby pins was a ziplock baggie and a smaller one for travel. 

I had seen something about using a tic-tack container to store the bobby pins, but I realized that would be great for my pocketbook, but it wouldn’t hold my swizzle bobby pins.  These guys rock! (see pictue above, they are in the mix of other pins) If you haven’t purchased them, you need to.  I couldn’t do my ballet bun without it.

I used Goo-Gone to get the tic-tac packaging off of the outside.  It took a little elbow grease and a scrub sponge.  For the gum dispenser, I simply removed the topic sticker and pulled off the outside.  

Easy as that. 

It is be a tad bit annoying with the sound my bobby-pins make in my purse, but who cares, you never know when you’ll have a hair emergency. 

<3 MK


Holiday "Cookies"


“Cookies” for a Cookie Swap

When I was recently invited to a holiday cookie swap and the first through that came to mind was dread.  I do not like to bake so this was truly painful. The sneaky side of me realized I could totally get away with minimal baking and still contribute to the event.
I was perusing the web when I spotted these little puppies.  They were my answer.  Minimal baking (4 minute) and absolutely no measuring.  They were super easy to make, but a bit annoying to take off all the wrappers of the kisses.  I tried my best to control myself, but man those guys are so yummy. 

After the pretzel buttons were done I admit that I popped a few in my mouth to ensure taste quality.  There is nothing better than the salty and sweet combination with a hint of mint.

You could totally use a ton of different combinations on kisses and M&Ms.  For my first round I choose the dark chocolate kisses and the mint white chocolate M&Ms.  For my second round I choose to use the caramel kisses with the same mint M&Ms.  That round didn’t squish down as easily as I had hoped, but they tasted so delicious.  I guess the caramel doesn’t melt at the same temp or time.

These candy guys at Hershey’s and M&M have so many different varieties that I think there are about 90 different combinations (actually did the math).  I also choose to use the Synder Butter Snaps because that was what was available at my local store.  I didn’t think a little butter on the pretzel would hurt.

Pretzel Buttons- Holiday Style

Recipe adapted from g*rathed 

-       bag of square pretzels ( used Synders Butter Snaps)
-       2 bags of Hershey Kisses (any variety you like)
-       1 bag of M&M (your choice)

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.  On a baking sheet covered in parchment or non-stick silicone liner lay out the pretzel squares with one kiss placed on top. 

Melt the kisses in the oven for about 4 minutes until they look glossy.  They don’t look like the they will melt, but press on them with the M&M and they go down.  Warning, watch the oven because you don’t want the chocolate melting every where by going over the time limit.

Place a M&M on the top of each pretzel with chocolate and press down.  You are done.  So simple!

These guys were a hit at the cookie party and equally delicious to the yummy treats everyone else spent lots of time making.  Yes, I cheated, but honestly, who wants a  dry cookie?

 <3 MK

Popular Posts