Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Mantle

Well, yesterday was a total fail...well almost. I had an extremely rough morning yesterday, first waking up at 4 am with a tooth ache and then finally falling back to sleep only to have an awful nightmare and wake up again at 6 am balling. Due to the lack of sleep and the fact that I was just exhausted from Monday after working a double (both lunch and dinner closing shifts) I slept in later than I normally do. Even after sleeping in I was still exhausted and mentally drained from the dream.

The rest of the afternoon went somewhat smoothly. As soon as I walked into the door at work we had a 25 top waiting along with several other parties and only 1 server in the entire restaurant. Crazy. After the lunch rush I received a call at work asking if I could interview as soon as I got off for a nanny position. That, of course, was some good news especially since the family had already hired a nanny and by a stroke of luck for me, things didn't work out. I'm fairly certain I have the job which will be supplemental to my hostess job.

After leaving the interview, shit hit the fan again. I got stuck in awful traffic only to sit in it for 2 hours just to travel 5 miles. No joke. 5 Miles...the majority of that 2 hour trip was spent literally 500 feet from the entrance to my complex. Why? Some idiot ran into an electric pole, knocking out power across town and the jackasses fixing it decided that needed all 5 lanes, blocking entrances to all the complexes in that area for over 2 hours. Honestly, they only needed 2, maybe 3 lanes. They easily could have kept traffic moving by opening the other 2 lanes and diverting rush hour traffic around the workers. Not only did they prevent many of us from getting home, they backed up traffic so bad on the highways that they were at a stand still as well until traffic flow continued. It was incredibly ill handled.

BUT ANYWAY! I didn't get home until 8 last night and then had to deal with my mom bombarding me about my tax information while I'm trying to cook dinner, eat, and relax before heading to bed. I hope today is less stressful and life takes a day off. I need it!

So I apologize for not posting yesterday as intended. Sometimes life happens and beats you to a pulp and all you can do is take it. So I am posting about my mantle today instead of yesterday and we won't have a recipe again this week. Sad, I know.


As you can see, the moss letter ties in greatly with the spring flowers!

 

This is a new bird in my collection. I purchased him at Michael's for only $1.50. He and another white bird I purchased the same day, were on sale for 50% off. I couldn't resist a deal that good!


And my constants still look amazing in the flowers! For some reason I can't get that picture to lighten up without totally bleaching out the color. Oh well!

Have you decorated from spring?

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tutorial: Cork Sunburst Mirror

Wow! I can't believe I took an entire week off of blogging! I actually feel really rested and ready to take on next months Spring Cleaning series.



Today actually is one of my friend's blog parties, which I have been excited about all week. For the spring blog hop, I've put together a tutorial on how to make your own cork sunburst mirror. Please note that I work at a restaurant that sells wine, so my corks were free and easy to obtain. I don't really know where to find corks otherwise, but I am sure your local restaurants would be happy to save some for you.

 



SUPPLIES:
Corks, between 100 and 200 depending on your mirror size.
Round Mirror, any size you want
Hot Glue
If you wish to sit this mirror up, you will also need glass glue.
If you wish to hang the mirror, you will need epoxy and a picture hanger.

First, begin by gluing your first set of corks to the mirror. You want at least 1/2 an inch of cork glued to the mirror for support. If you are going to hang the mirror, you can use hot glue throughout the entire project. If not, use glass glue on the first set of corks to insure strength.

After the glue has dried, start adding the second layer of corks. These should also cover 1/2 an inch of the first layer of corks. Hot glue is fine for this layer since they are only sticking to other corks. For added strength, I also added a little bit of hot glue in between each of the corks on the first layer.

If you are hanging this mirror, use some epoxy to glue a picture hanger to the back. I will be doing this next week. I originally wanted to sit the mirror on my mantle, but the hot glue on the mirror wasn't holding up and the corks kept breaking off. Don't make my mistake!

I hope you have enjoyed the tutorial and have a wonderful spring!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY: Toilet Paper Holder

Today I would like to share a really quick and easy project that will liven up any bathroom; a toilet paper holder! This project took me about 15 minutes, and I messed up in my cutting and had to try and fix it since I was set on which craft paper I was using. However, it still looks good and you can't see my mistake because its in the back!



Supplies:


Large oatmeal container (make sure your toilet paper fits)
2 sheets of scrapbook paper
Hot glue or regular glue (hot glue was faster)
Scissors or paper cutter

First align your paper. Double check that you are aligning it correctly otherwise you'll mess up like me who only had 1 sheet of paper. Mark where you need to cut off the bottom and use your scissors or paper cutter to do the job.

Next realign the cut pieces and make sure they work. Add some glue and set in place.



Fill with 2 rolls of toilet paper and display!


See! Easy! And it adds a nice touch to the bathroom.


I would not use this in a bathroom with a shower unless you seal the paper first. The steam will destroy the paper over time. However, you can use a quick spray seal and you shouldn't have to worry about the moisture.

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Moroccan "Beef" Stew


Its another Tuesday which means another recipe!This last week we tried a new recipe which I needed to veganize, of course. It seems like every recipe that comes in my magazines or that I find online need some sort of tweaking. The good news is that when you aren't cooking with real meat, the cooking time drastically drops. For example, in this weeks recipe it said to cook the dish for around 2 hours after adding the meat. Well, since I don't use real meat, the total cooking time was only 30 minutes! Can't beat that! But on to the recipe!

Moroccan "Beef" Stew



2 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg Gardein Beefless Tips (or 1 lbs real beef)
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or nutmeg
1 can vegetable broth
1/4 cup pitted prunes, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
cooked pearl couscous

Heat oil in pan and saute onion until clear and tender. Add cumin, cinnamon, and cloves/nutmeg and cook for 1 minute. Add a splash of stock and cook for 1 minute, scraping any brown off the bottom of the pan.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add beefless tips and simmer for 5 minutes while covered.

Uncover and add prunes and apricots. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and add spinach. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve over couscous.

If you are using real beef, toss beef cubes in flour mixed with salt and pepper and brown in pan before cooking onions for 4 minutes. Remove and set to the side. After onions are cooked, add the beef to the stock and cook for an hour and a half before proceeding to the next step.

***

This recipe is surprisingly very sweet. I was expecting spicy. The prunes and apricots mixed with the spices give it an eastern taste without the kick of fire. We enjoyed it and will be making it in the future.

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DIY Spring Wreath

I love wreaths, if you guys couldn't tell. They brighten up any front door, make the front of the house warm and inviting, and give a cue to the season and celebrations ahead! When spring makes it way back around, the stores begin lining their shelves with beautiful flowery wreaths. I've always loved these spring wreaths, but I have never wanted to shell out the cash for one. So, I decided to make my own!

Supplies


Grapevine wreath
Faux flowers (I used forsythia)
Hot Glue
Wire Cutters
Optional: Floral Wire, Embellishment


Directions
 
Being by clipping your flower stems off if in a bunch. The forsythia I bought came in bunches so I have to remove each spring individually. It was actually cheaper this way with the springs costs only 99 cents at Michael's. They were on sale (50% off) when I bought them.

Next start arranging your flowers around the wreath. Make sure the stem is embedded deeply into the wreath. If you want, use floral wire to secure the sprigs. I did not use floral wire and the wreath has held up fine. We've had 60 mile an hour winds lately and no sprigs have come lose. Just FYI.


Once you are done embedding your springs, you can embellish your wreath with just about anything you want. I added 3 pastel eggs to the corner to give it that extra oomph. You can add a nest, bow, or whatever you like or nothing! Up to you!



This wreath cost me a total of about $10 including tax. Now compare this to a very similar wreath I saw at Michael's priced at $35. By making my own, I saved myself $25! That's $25 I can put towards a home inspection!


Have you started decorating for spring?

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables & "Bacon"

 

Its another Tuesday which means another recipe! The past couple of weeks we have been trying a bunch of new foods. I always like to throw in at least 1 new meal every week to change things up and add to my repertoire of recipes and skills. Last week we tried a new pasta dish I found in Martha Stewart Living. The recipe was, of course, not vegan, so I tweaked it and it turned out amazingly!
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables & "Bacon"

source

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegan bacon bits
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 to 1 onion, sliced
 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces orecchiette (this is a special pasta. Honestly, its amazing so don't substitute)
3/4 cup vegan Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in small skillet and saute onion, sweet potato, and cauliflower in oil. Add bacon bits and saute for about 30 seconds.

Transfer vegetables, bacon, and oil to rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta until al denta. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to pot with cooking water. Toss with cheese and vegetables. Stir in parsley. Enjoy!


The key here is not to burn the bacon bits. I actually burned two batches trying to cook the bits first then throw in the vegetables. You also don't have to saute the vegetables and bacon together. You can just throw everything into the oven and let the magic happen. However, I cannot guarantee you'll have the same bacon taste if you do.

If using real bacon:
Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, reserving drippings. Toss vegetables with drippings and bake for 35 minutes.

***

The Mortician and I both loved the recipe and will be making it again very soon! This week we are trying some new chili's and stews. I am excited to try them out!

Come back tomorrow for a tutorial on how to make my spring wreath!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY Moss Letters

It has been a while since I put together a craft, but with spring right around the corner I am getting the house looking like the new season. Lately it has been pretty dark and dreary here, although surprisingly warm. Not so much today though. The wind is howling, but at least it is sunny.

Today I am going to show you guys how to make your own moss letters. I have been eyeing the moss letters online and in the stores and figured I could make my own. Its actually really simple to make your own letter and not too terribly expensive.


Supplies


Wooden Letter
1-2 Bags Craft Moss
Hot Glue and Glue Sticks

Directions

Begin by heating up your glue gun. Working in patches, place glue onto wooden letter and stick moss to it. I only put a thin layer of moss on my letter.


After finishing the front, begin filling in the sides. If you want, you can cover the back of the letter as well. I did not do this since you won't be seeing the back. It would also have taken a second bag of moss to cover the back which costs about $6 and some change and I wanted to save money.

Finish by filling in any gaps with the remaining moss. Display!


Pretty simple, huh?

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

UPDATE 3/28/2015: This sheds ALL the time. Spray it with a spray glue to prevent shedding.
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