October 31, 2011

Monday Mocktails: Black Widow Punch

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that all of you are enjoying this holiday. I can't wait to dress up tonight and hopefully find a dance party. This week's drink is Black Widow Punch. Would be wonderful to serve at your party.  Maybe even in a black caldron with dry ice. Stay safe have fun prowling.

Black Widow Punch
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Serve over ice.

October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites: Arsenic and Old Lace


This is one of my all time favorite movies. I love watching it around Halloween. Arsenic and Old Lace was released in 1944 starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane. Cary Grant plays Mortimer Brewster. He is a drama critic famous for disapproving of marraige. On his wedding day he finds out his Aunts are killing lonely old men and insanity runs in his family. You'll have to watch for the rest. It is absolutely hillarious. He makes some of the funniest facial expressions I've ever seen. And it's ready to play on Netflix! Here's the trailer....

October 26, 2011

October Street Style Round Up

                             photos 1 and 4 via Styleclicker; photos 2 and 3 via The Sartorialist

Hello lovelies. I have been really into glamour and style lately. Sometimes your wardrobe needs a little inspiration. Here are my favorite style finds this month. These ladies were not messing around. They are wearing vintage or vintage inspired looks. I just love it. Have a happy Wednesday.

October 24, 2011

Monday Mocktails : Easy Mint Hot Chocolate

It has been so chilly outside this weekend. I wanted a drink to cozy up with while I work on the backdrop system for our holiday photos. This concoction sets the perfect mood. If only I had some thin mints to go with it...
                                                       Easy Mint Hot Chocolate

  • Hot Cocoa Powder (I used no sugar added)
  • Mint Tea Bag
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Milk or Milk Substitute
  • Whipped Cream, for garnish (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and cook on medium heat until steaming.
  2. Pour into your mug of choice and garnish with whip and chocolate shavings for fun!

October 22, 2011

Irresistable Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Finally the weekend! It's such a lovely day outside. Perfect for game day or get together with family and friends. And you can serve this delicious buffalo chicken dip with toasted wonton's for dipping. They will love you for it. This is by far my most requested recipe. I thought I'd share it with you. If you are watching your figure this is not the dip for you. Ha! But maybe you can have a cheat day right? You won't regret it.

                                            Dwan C's Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • 1 Package Wonton Wrappers (you will have more with the bigger sheets)
  • 2-3 cups Cooked Chicken, chopped (You can poach it, bake it, or even buy a rotisserie chicken from the store)
  • 1 8oz Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
  • 1 Cup Queso Fresca (you can substitute a creamier white melting cheese)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Ranch Dressing (I used Hidden Valley, this tastes better with a sour cream base)
  • 2 Cups Buffalo Sauce

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350F. You will need soften the cream cheese. If you don't have time to bring it to room temperature you can chop it up and heat it in the oven on 350F for 15 minutes.

Step 2:
To make the "chips" you'll need to cut your wonton wrappers into four sections. If you are using small wonton wrappers don't cut them at all.

Step 3:
Push your wonton wrappers into the cups of a cupcake pan. (Does not have to be greased!)

Step 4:
Bake your wonton shells for about 7-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. WATCH THEM CAREFULLY THEY BURN FAST. Put them in a serving bowl.

Step 5:
You will need to shred or chop your chicken. This just depends on your preference of texture in the dip. I have done both but I prefer chopped personally.

Step 6:
Combine the cream cheese, queso fresca, blue cheese, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing. Add your melted butter on top and mix together thoroughly.

Step 7:
 Cover your mixture with shredded cheese.

Step 8:
Bake for 40 minutes  at 350F uncovered.

October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites // Mad Scientist Style


I can't get enough of science inspired decor. I think it's so cool to walk into a room that's accented with skeletons and anatomical diagrams and science equipment. It inspires so much creativity for me. It can be slightly creepy but also so intriuging. It's super fun and the perfect vibe for Halloween. Here are some of my favorite examples...

                                                                   The Mutter Museum





October 18, 2011

DIY // Halloween Silhouette Pictures

Halloween is one of the holidays I look forward to all year. I get just as excited about it as I did when I was a kid. I love the dressing up, the baking, and decorating the house for this ghastly celebration. But it seems so much more expensive than it was when I was a child. We always made our own costumes and most of the decorations and it made it so much more gratifying. I think silhouette pictures are a really great display for your home. This is a very affordable and easy project. Here's how I made mine...

Supplies needed:
  • picture frames - (Used, vintage, or thrifted the older they are the better they will look) Approximately 8X10 and a few smaller ones. Don't passed up interesting shapes likes ovals or long skinny rectangles.
  • newspaper and cream colored paper (or whatever color you want for the background) Get creative here. Old book pages would look really cool too.
  •  stick glue or tape
  • black paint and paintbrush or black construction paper - depends on the color of silhouette you want. black paint will be much darker
  • a cup of tea or coffee if you would like to add an older look to your background paper
  • scissors
  • if you thrifted frames you may need goo gone, a scraping tool, and a paper towel to remove the stickers

Step 1:
Clean your frames. If you used thrifted frames you may have to use goo gone to remove the stickers or this natural method.

Step 2:
Choose your background paper. If you want to give your paper an aged look, brew a cup of strong coffee or tea (tea will be much more subtle). Paint your tea or coffee onto the paper and let it dry completely.

Step 3:
Next you'll need to download your template and print it. (If you print on card stock it is much easier to handle but not at all necessary) There are several templates out there to choose from. Here are my favorites.... Martha Stewart black cats....Print Picnic Halloween templates....and Band of Cats.

Step 4:
If you prefer the look of construction paper...then trace your template silhouettes onto construction paper and cut them out. If you want to paint them black just use the ones you printed. Cut out the out line of your silhouettes. This will make it much easier to cut the details.

Step 5:
Cut out the details of your silhouettes. On the cats it much easier to cut one side of the V and then the other.

Step 6:
Paint your cut out silhouettes and let them dry completely. (Omit this step if you are using construction paper silhouettes.

Step 7:
Cut your paper background to fit your frames. It helps if you tape it to the backing.

Step 8:
Tape or glue your finished silhouettes onto the background paper. For cats and other creatures with feet make sure you're going to see the feet when framed.

Step 9:
Assemble your frames and you're ready to display them!

October 17, 2011

Monday Mocktails: Chai Tea Concentrate

This is the perfect time of the year for chai. It is one of my all time favorite drinks. Powdered, dirty, flavored, iced...I love them all. This is a fantastic afternoon treat or something delicious to sip while you work. This would make a great handmade gift in a recycled bottle . It could even be a great concoction for your next party. Its so versatile, simple to make, and easy customize! Make it skinny, sugar free, or even decaf. And having the concentrate in your fridge, ready to go all week? I just couldn't resist sharing this with you. Enjoy this weeks mocktail and have a better Monday.

                                                     Chai Tea Concentrate
  • 10 Tea Bags Black or Green Tea
  • 4 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar or Substitute (ex: I used 8 pks of Stevia)
Coconut Chai - add 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Raspberry Chai - add 1 Teaspoon Raspberry extract
Apple Cinnamon Chai - add 1 apple chopped and double the cinnamon
Dirty Chai - add 1 shot espresso in your cup or glass when served
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Let steep for 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. It will need to be strained through a fine mesh sieve into desired storage jar or bottle (if you don't have one use your flour sifter lined with cheese cloth).
  4. I used my sifter over my funnel and strained it into a nice bottle.
  5. Pour 4 Tablespoons over milk and enjoy.
  6. Serving amount also depends on your taste preference.

October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites: 5 Most Delicious Hot Teas

I absolutely love hot tea. It's so nice to curl up with cup of hot tea and craft, read, or watch a movie. A little over a year ago I quit drinking caffeine. I was majorly addicted and I needed a life changer. As time has passed I have eased into drinking tea...in moderation of course (what's a southern girl without her iced tea?). I feel so calm now. But I love hot tea most of all. There are so many out there to choose from but these are my favorites. You can find most of these items in my Amazon store!
  1. Harney & Sons Paris  - The first time I drank this tea I was speechless for a bit. It's so completely luxurious. It's black tea with currant and caramel. The best tea I've ever tasted.
  2. Big Train Vanilla Chai - Excellent chai and really good in coffee as well. I prefer the no sugar added version.
  3. Harney & Sons Tower of London - The only tea not in my web store today, it's sold out. When I want to cozy up with a cup of tea this is what I want. It's is black tea with honey and stone fruit. It is so velvety and subtle. Fantastic tea...though it's almost always out of stock.
  4.  Tazo Earl Grey - I constantly look for an earl grey better than this one. It's so amazing, surely there's a better one out there. But I haven't found it. I like my earl grey to taste more like fruit loops than perfume. This one nails it.
  5. Lipton Vanilla Caramel Truffle - If the name doesn't make your mouth water wait until you taste it. This is my everyday tea. It's gentle on the caffeine and so deliciously caramel (without all of the calories mind you). It's excellent for satisfying sugar cravings.

October 13, 2011

Our First Men's Outfit Post

Hope you all are having a swell Thursday. The fall weather is in full effect here. It's so lovely outside. I thought we could give you guys our first ever men's outfit post. Meet my boyfriend Josiah. He is a really good dresser. He loves vintage, so I thought he'd be perfect to help me out with this. I'd love to have some feedback. Maybe he'll keep doing these (wink, wink).

Shirt:   H&M
Vest:   vintage
Pants:  vintage
Belt:  Gap, 2 years ago
Shoes:  Chuck Taylor's
Hat:  H&M
Suspenders:   thrifted vintage

October 10, 2011

Monday Mocktails: Vanilla Basil Lemonade

I have been so excited about featuring this drink. I've been thinking about it for weeks. It's so refreshing, easy to make, and you can't stop sippin'. This would be pretty great as an adult libation and excellent to serve at your next party. Hope you'll try it. I'd love to know what you think...

                             Vanilla Basil Lemonade
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves (one is for garnish)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons agave, sugar, or substitute
  • 8-10 ounces water
  1. First you'll need to wash and chop your basil leaves.
  2. Place your basil and vanilla in your glass of choice and muddle the leaves. If you don't have a muddler use the handle of a wooden spoon to mash the leaves. This will release the oils so it will flavor your drink.
  3. Now hold to the memory of the bartender's scowl and quiet profanity every time you've ordered a mojito =)
  4. Next you'll need to juice your lemons. I used a hand press I bought at Walmart for $3. You can use any kind of citrus press or juicer. (If you don't have a juicer, cut the lemons into wedges and get to squeezing.) Fresh juice makes all the difference in the world.
  5. Add your sugar. If using agave or substitute go ahead and mix it in. If using regular sugar you'll need to melt it first with a Tbs or so of hot water before mixing. (Also the variation in size of lemons may require additional sugar.)
  6. Fill with 8-10 ounces of water. The amount just depends on your taste preference. Add ice.
  7. Optional, garnish with basil leaves and a lemon twist (you'll need a zester for this)

October 7, 2011

Friday Favorites : Moorea Seal Jewelry

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well today. This week I wanted bring to you Moorea Seal. This lovely lady truly has many talents. She is a singer, a web designer and illustrator for Freckled Nest, she also does freelance illustration, and she designs amazing jewelry. Her jewelry is really fun and whimsical. It's perfect for parties, holidays, and everyday bliss. I imagine these headpieces to be like thinking caps. Oh the possibilities! See for yourself....


The fourth one is my favorite! I hope I can own it one day soon. Don't you just love these? Check out Moorea's blog and etsy shop.

October 5, 2011

Listening Party // Get My Playlist

Hello lovelies! Hope all is well in your world. Things are coasting along here in Birmingham. I've been crocheting today and working on the shop. Take a peek at what I'm listening to...

October 3, 2011

Monday Mocktails: Dearest Pumpkin Lovers

Finally it is the season of pumpkin. With a chill in the air and Halloween near, we're kicking off Octobers' mocktails with a pumpkin spice latte. It is the most popular Starbucks coffee all year long and definitely my favorite coffee flavor anywhere and you can have it at home in just 10 minutes! It's so easy. I played around with several ingredients and this is the version I liked best. This is a great way to start your day, definitely something you can take to work, or enjoy when you get home after a long day. Make it skinny, vegan, decaf, or sugar free even. With so many options it's easy to indulge. Happy October!

Dwan's Pumpkin Spice Latte 
  • 1 cup strong coffee or 1 espresso shot
  • 1 cup of milk or milk substitute
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin puree (I used canned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (if you don't have it try this)
  • 3 dashes ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped cream for garnish, optional (I used canned. It has less than 1 gram of sugar and only 10 calories!)
  1. Brew coffee or espresso.
  2. In a small pot combine the remaining ingredients. Cook (and stir!) on a low medium heat until steaming. Cook for 1 minute longer. Don't boil your milk.
  3. Hot version:  If you have a frother of some sort make it fancy. If you do not you can blend the milk mixture in a blender for 15 seconds. Pour your milk mixture into your coffee cup Then pour your coffee or espresso straight into the middle. Optional, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or ground cloves and enjoy!
  4. Iced version: Pour your coffee mixture over ice. Then add the milk mixture and stir. Optional,  sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or ground cloves and enjoy!
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