Heaven on Earth (aka mini key lime pies in a jar)

007I had planned on doing one more post about my son’s nursery this morning, but after making these key lime pies in a jar over the weekend I felt utterly responsible for sharing the recipe as the crowd they were served to said they were the best things they had ever tasted. Okay I made that part up, but I am pretty sure they were very thoroughly enjoyed. Besides what’s a Monday without a dessert-in-a-jar recipe?

I have toyed around with key lime recipes over the years but have never been truly satisfied with my creations. Store-bought always tasted better. I do not claim to be a mastermind baker, so that could be part of the problem, but the stuff I made was never lime-tasting enough for my liking. I remember making key lime squares once and my husband asked me (immediately after he scarfed one down) what they were supposed to be. I mean, really?

After a few adaptations to some of the (many) key lime pie recipes out there on the web, I think I finally came up with something that satisfies my taste buds. Hopefully it will satisfy yours as well.

The 8oz Ball jars I ended up using can be purchased at your local Target or Walmart. I debated between the 4oz and 8oz jars for a minute, but then decided that 4 ounces isn’t quite enough dessert AND who doesn’t want extra room for whipped cream?

008

MINI KEY LIME PIES IN A JAR (serves 8)

CRUST ~

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

FILLING ~

  • 2 – 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1.25 cups lime juice (bottled or squeezed)

I had intended to fresh-squeeze enough limes to make the entire 1.25 cups of lime juice, however after squeezing 8 key limes I gave up and used regular bottled lime juice for the remainder … maybe that’s the secret!

DIRECTIONS ~

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and place jars in baking dish or on baking sheet.
  • Add crushed graham cracker crumbs and sugar to bowl and stir with fork.
  • Add melted butter to graham cracker/sugar mixture and stir with fork until combined.
  • Divide graham cracker mixture among jars and press gently into bottom of jars.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, lime zest and lime juice to bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Divide filling mixture among jars evenly.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until filling is set.
  • Cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, then cover with lids or foil and refrigerate for a few hours.
  • Before serving, top with whipped cream. Garnish with more lime zest and a lime wedge to make it really pretty! You’ll see in the pictures I failed to do that – I had the best intentions though.

006

Scrap Fabric & Hoop Art

I am in love with hoop art. It’s been around forever, mainly in cross-stitch fashion, but today there are so many new (and easy!) takes on it that I just can’t get enough. In my haste to finish Austin’s nursery, I helped myself to a few from Etsy and they are the cutest darn things ever – props go out to bohointheround and lulusloft for your lovely creations. I wanted to add my own touch by making some myself, but because I go a little nutty when things aren’t 100% complete (insert nursery here), I “cheated” if you will and took the easy way out by creating some “stitch-free” ones. I personally think they’re still pretty darn cute. Forgive me, son, if I wasn’t really up to learning how to cross-stitch while on maternity leave with a beautiful, yet somewhat needy, newborn. I hope he’s not totally put off by my shortcuts.

I should go ahead and mention my adoration of scrap fabric here. I never throw it away, not even the tiniest piece. Some people might think of it as hoarding (you know, similar to those people who hold onto used wrapping paper no matter what shape it’s in. I am not guilty of that, although I never throw out a gift bag and I mean if the tissue paper isn’t too crinkled …). Anyway, scrap fabric has so many uses it’s unreal. I’ve used it to make pin boards and pillows, canvas art and gift tags, as well as my very own hoop art creations ~

materials

  • embroidery hoops (various sizes)
  • scrap fabric
  • scissors
  • craft glue
  • sew-on patches (or in my case glue-on – I’m not kidding when I say I cheated, a lot)

step 1

take embroidery hoop apart and lay scrap fabric on top of the interior hoop. fit the exterior hoop around the outside and tighten. you may have to adjust fabric so there are no wrinkles

step 2

cut excess scrap fabric and glue remainder onto back of hoop so edges don’t show. if you’re dealing with really thin fabric (see elephants below), you can choose to glue a piece a felt or thicker fabric onto the back so it’s not so see-through, although when hung on a wall you really can’t tell.

037036

step 3

cut out various shapes, objects, letters, etc from other scrap fabric and glue onto hoop (be careful with this step so the glue doesn’t show through the fabric. I used a paint brush to brush the glue on in a thin layer)

035031

step 4

glue on cute patches/stickers/etc for a final touch

032033

Above creations + my Etsy finds below …

028

= the final product (aka wall o’ hoop art) …

093

On a side note, if any of you are wondering where on Earth I get so much scrap fabric, let me just tell you that it is everywhere. Think fabric samples you pick up in stores or order online, quilting squares, leftovers from other craft projects or sewing creations, the cute little fabric pouches that things come in these days (I’m talking about sheets from Target specifically), old clothes that you don’t want to be seen in but just can’t part with, old curtains, old tapestries, old pillow cases, etc., etc., etc. I even keep my eye out for marked down fabric when I’m in craft stores and I’ll grab it if it’s cute enough and a really good deal. It’s truly everywhere. I have a basket labeled “scraps” in my craft closet for this very purpose. You may want to think of doing the same 🙂

Etsy credits:

Dapper Tweedy Fox and Little Jumpy Squirrel – bohointheround at https://www.etsy.com/shop/bohointheround

Mr. & Mrs. Owl – lulusloft at https://www.etsy.com/shop/lulusloft

The Baby’s Room

Finding out I was pregnant definitely ranks very, very high on my list of most exciting moments ever. The feeling was a mixture of surprise, disbelief, fear, wonderment, and best of all, true and pure joy. Along with all the thoughts and dreams of what this little baby was going to bring to our lives and how this little baby was going to change our lives for the better, came the thoughts and dreams of how I now had an excuse to design a room! Which room would it be though … that hideous room with the red carpet and the huge bleach stain that I did my best to cover up? That gross room with the blue bi-fold closet door and blue trim that housed all of our mismatched furniture? That room that I “designated” as a guest room but would have been utterly embarrassed had anyone actually wanted to stay in there? Yes, that room was to become our little baby’s room. How dare we. But we did.

It was finally time to re-do the portion of the house that we ran out of money to re-do in the first place, when we re-did the rest of our house. I was thrilled. And I’m kicking myself right now for not taking “before” pictures. I think I was too ashamed. Kidding, I’m just really bad about taking “before” pictures. I should have about 200 of the entire house, considering the entire house has basically been redone, and I think I have maybe 10. But unfortunately none are of the “red room” as I used to call it, courtesy of someone’s awful choice of carpeting. You’ll just have to trust me when I say it was really, really bad.

I perused Pinterest almost daily and because something told me I was having a girl, 98.9% of the pictures I pinned were for baby girl nurseries. So I had to change that line of thinking when we found out that “it” was a boy. Oh happy day! There were actually really cute ideas for baby boy nurseries! I am a very picky person when it comes to design. I can’t describe what I like, I just know it when I see it. When it came to the nursery, I was no different. The only things I did know were that I didn’t want all blue, I didn’t want a sports theme, and really I didn’t want any “theme” at all. After much thought, I decided to go with gray, burnt orange & turquoise as my main colors. I decided I wanted there to be foxes, but not too many foxes, and no foxes wallpapered or stenciled on the wall, because then it would be too theme-like. I also decided I wanted the room to have a vintage feel to it – none of this cutie patootie stuff for our little boy.

I planned on doing all these crafts and DIY projects for his room, but since I’m super indecisive and since Austin decided to make his debut 5 weeks early, I didn’t quite get around to everything. Thanks to my talented brother and awesome husband, the red carpet was gone and new flooring had been laid. Thank God! The walls were painted Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray and the Jenny Lind style crib was put together, and I think that was about it. I had a bookshelf, changing table, rocking chair, footstool, side table and dresser in the basement that needed to be refinished somehow, but I hadn’t decided exactly how yet. Needless to say his room was nowhere near ready, nor were we, but it’s amazing how quickly that was forgotten when we saw Austin for the first time. Immediate love.

Thank God for my Mom, online shopping (especially Etsy), and wonderful family & friends, because without them his room would still not be ready. He would be so upset.

In my next post I’ll give some tips on one of the projects that I did end up completing, so be on the lookout!

P1020445

P1020458

P1020451

Hello World! (Part 2)

So I began this blog 2 years ago. I wrote my introduction and never wrote anything else. What can I say, life got in the way. Really I just got lazy and lost all motivation and confidence. I didn’t know exactly what type of blog I wanted it to be (do I make fun of the world and all it’s craziness? do I have tutorials for craft projects? do I just simply write about my own life?). So I did something I’m really good at when I can’t make a decision (which is pretty often) – I just put in on the back-burner of my life.

Back in December (yes, almost a year ago) one of my good friends bought me a journal and some pens for my birthday. It was her way of saying that I needed to pick this thing back up. She’s a very motivating person, so the gift along with a nice pep talk from her spurred me to make this blogging thing my New Year’s resolution. Of course I didn’t start on January 1 – who actually does that? It took my best friend urging me along this past summer to remind me of my resolution. It’s still 2014 though, so I’d say I’m good. Now that I have an infant, I figured what better time to start – you know with all my free time and everything. I thought about writing another introductory blog and letting my readers (which I’m estimating to be about 0 at this point) know of all the changes that have occurred over the past couple of years, but then I remembered I’m not that important so nobody probably cares. And really the only major things that have changed are the fact that we now have a baby boy named Austin and a Golden Retriever named Jax.

049

As I said in my very first blog, I love DIY projects – all the way from tiny crafts to refinishing large pieces of furniture – they’re all thrilling to me. Therefore I’ve decided to devote this blog (or at least the better part of it) to showing the world all the fun projects I do and how to do them. I’ll be posting pictures to my pinterest page as well, so if you’re as addicted to pinterest as I am, you can follow me at http://www.pinterest.com/lcetter.

Hello World!

So I’m officially a blogger. All I had to do was have an email address. I love it! Does this make me important? I guess not, considering there’s God knows how many bloggers out there, but I do have to admit ~ I kind of feel important. I’ve always wanted to write a book but that seems like a whole lot of work, so I thought I’d try this blogging thing out in the mean time.

Image

A little bit about me ~ I’m a 32 year old living in the suburbs of Atlanta with my husband. Currently we have 2 cats and some fish. We recently had to say good-bye to our beloved Lab “Marley” (and no, I did not get his name from “Marley and Me”. I named him way before that book ever appeared on shelves. And he was a black lab anyways. And much cooler, in my opinion). I’d love to get out of the ‘burbs’ one day, move towards the mountains, and add some goats and alpacas to our animal collection. But for now, in the ‘burbs’ we will be, but that’s ok because life’s pretty darn good.

I’m a certified Microbiologist by trade (nerdy, right?), but my true love is decorating. Some of my hobbies include gardening, anything artsy, the great outdoors, and music. I enjoy painting from time to time (although I’m pretty confident that I paint like a 5 year old), and I love fun crafty projects. DIY stuff is like therapy for me. As for the great outdoors, my husband & I have a goal to make it to one National Park each year. So far we’ve got 3 down in 2 years. Not a bad start I guess.

I bought a foreclosed house about 4 years ago, and although the majority of the fixing-up is done, there always seems to be another “project” to do. Some of these “projects” are actual things that need to be fixed/replaced/etc., but I’d have to say that the majority of these “projects” are simply things I’ve determined need to be done because I want to change something up or add to something we’ve already completed. I love doing stuff like that. In fact I think it’s somewhat of an addiction. Scary! I just really feel like your home should reflect who you are, and to me it’s a blast to do just that. I do it on a budget though, because unfortunately I do have one of those. If I didn’t, my whole house would be decked out in Anthropologie. It’s more of a challenge to decorate on a budget anyways, and way more fun. I love seeing people’s reactions when they compliment something and I reply with “oh yeah, that came from a flea market”. Beat that.

I guess that’s enough about me, for now at least. I need to do some soul-searching and figure out what my first real blog will be about … wish me luck. It’s not that serious, I know. But if I caught your attention in any way, shape, or form, I hope you’ll keep an eye out for my next post!

 

~ Lindsay