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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / DIY Christmas Wreath using Origami Paper on: December 06, 2013 12:19:14 PM
http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2013/12/diy-christmas-wreath-under-99.html

Materials
*15-20 sheets of origami paper (get it at the dollar store)
*piece of cardboard 18"-36" square
*embroidery floss/yarn
*1/2 page cardstock
*glue
*box cutter
*scissors
*markers
*tape

Step 1
Cut a two-ish thick ring from your cardboard using the box cutter. It's your wreath- make it as large or small as you'd like- but it looks best at about two inches wide. I just moved and had more cardboard than I knew what to do with. Mine is plain cardboard, but if you have some with writing or markered words on it, no problem! And don't worry about it being perfect or even- you can see my is clearly far from a perfect circle. You will be covering the entire thing up with decor, so don't worry about the shape or colors on it too much.


Step 2
Fold an origami sheet in half, then half again, (should be square shaped) then into a triangle, and then fold that triangle in half so that you have a very skinny acute triangle. Make a round cut (for a scalloped edge) or two straight cutes (for a pointed edge) to the outer most edge, away from the folds. Unfold, but don't flatten out the creases. Repeat 12-24 times (as needed to cover your cardboard wreath.) Want smaller shapes? Cut the origami sheet in quarters and follow the same process.

Step 3
Arrange the shapes around your wreath in a design/pattern/color scheme you like. Move things around, try closer bunching, gradient color schemes, or spacing them out. Just find a configuration that is pleasing to the eye. (Namely, your eye, that is.)



Step 4
Apply the shapes to your cardboard ring with just a dot of glue on the back center of the shape and then press down firmly. Allow the shapes to overlap each other.


Step 5
Using your half sheet of cardstock and markers, write a festive message to all who might come to visit! Attach to your wreath by taping your floss/yarn across the back of your message and then taping the ends of the floss/yarn to the back of your cardboard wreath. (See photo- I used four small pieces of floss, but in retrospect, it is simpler to use two equal lengths of floss)


Step 6
Hang that bad boy on your door to let all the world know you have Christmas cheer!



2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / 4 ingredient honey mustard chicken. YUM on: May 09, 2013 02:06:49 PM
ngredients
*2 chicken breasts
*1/2 cup yellow mustard
*1/2 cup honey
*1/2 cup brown sugar

From MyAmConf
http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2013/05/thursday-4-ingredient-amazing-honey.html

Step 1: Mix the mustard, honey, and brown sugar together until blended.

Step 2: Sear the chicken breasts on both sides in a frying pan set on medium-high.


About to go in the oven....
Step 3: Pour the honey mustard sauce over the chicken breasts, cover the frying pan with an oven-safe lid/aluminum foil and pop it into the over at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. (Feel free to take your chicken breasts and put them into a baking dish if your frying pan isn't oven safe)

Step 4: ENJOY! I sered mine with plain white rice and it was amazing. Freakishly delicious.
3  COOKING / Dessert / Perfect, fail-proof peanut brittle on: January 10, 2013 01:13:38 PM
I love this recipe anyway, but the other day, I went to my parents and had some of their store-bought brittle- I almost spit it out! So not up to par. This recipe is super easy and has few ingredients. I'm just going to directly copy the instructions from the website

http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2013/01/thursday-perfect-peanut-brittle.html

Ingredients
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups water
1 pound Spanish peanuts (or cashews....mmmm.... cashew brittle....)
1 Tb baking soda

 
Spanish peanuts

Not too extensive of a list, right? And the directions are about as simple.

Step 1
Take a cookie sheet with sides and grease lightly with vegetable oil

Step 2
In a large pot, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup over medium to medium-high heat. Boil that sucker. If it is boiling too high (as in it seems like it is going to overflow the pan), turn the heat down. You want a constant boil, but nothing crazy. Stir every few minutes and wash the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush soaked in water

Step 3
Keep on stirring and boiling. Every 5-7 minutes, take a spoonful of your candy mix and pour it into icy cold water. If the mixture is soft and pliable, keep cooking.

Step 4
Once the mixture, upon hitting cold water, becomes hard and brittle (get it, brittle? I'm hilarious) and is the texture you want your peanut brittle to be, remove your pot from the heat and add the peanuts and baking soda. This stage of brittle candy is called the crack stage and should look like this -> when you pull it out of the water. (thanks to PinkPolkaDotCreatio ns.com for a nice picture capturing what it looks like). Mix vigorously and quickly, QUICKLY spoon onto your greased cookie sheet, using a wooden spoon to spread the mixture evenly.

Step 5
Allow to cool. Then, once totally hard, smash that baby up with a mallet, knife, your hands, or whatever you want, and enjoy yourself some of the best brittle you'll ever have.
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / DIY Turtle Pinata (Hope this is the right place to post it) on: October 05, 2012 08:04:42 PM
http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/10/friday-diy-turtle-pinata.html

Materials
*flour
*water
*balloon
*one newspaper's worth of newspaper
*green craft paint/ paintbrush
*green construction paper
*scissors
*duct tape


Step 1
Mix flour and water together in a bowl until it is about the consistency of thin pancake batter. Cut strips of newspaper about one inch wide. Blow up a balloon (not too full, or you'll end up with it popping before the pinata is done).

Step 2
Dip the strips of newspaper into your flour/water mix (glue) and pull the strip through your fingers to remove excess glue, so there is just a thin layer on both sides of the newspaper. Layer this onto the balloon, one strip at a time, until the balloon is mostly covered. As this is a turtle, the bottom third of the balloon doesn't need to be covered.

Step 3
Allow the covered balloon to dry completely (best when by a fan for 1-2 hours), then repeat the layering process. Continue this until you have 4-5 layers on your pinata.

Step 4
Now, you get to pop your balloon! Using a serrated blade, cut off any extra paper-mache that compromises your turtle-shape. (It's pretty difficult to get a perfect shape without needing to cut off extra, so don't be afraid to brandish that blade.)

Step 5
Paint your shell green. Next, cut out a basic head, tail, and foot shape from green construction paper. Bend the shapes at the edge at a 90 degree angle, then stick to the pinata using duct tape.

Step 6
Fill your pinata with candy, then use strips of duct tape to secure all that sweet candy inside of your pinata. Naturally, some tape will show on the bottom sides after you're done. Brush some green paint over the duct tape and no-one needs to know.

Step 7
Here's your final step. Poke two small holes right next to each other on the top of the pinata with a knife. Use the hook of the hanger to go in and then out of these two holes and voila! You have something to hang the pinata with.
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / DIY Minnie Mouse Onesie- Minimal, optional stitching on: July 20, 2012 04:34:02 PM
From http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/07/friday-diy-minnie-mouse-baby-onesie.html


Materials
*1 small piece of black felt
*1 white baby onesie
*1 bottle of red fabric paint
*1 bottle of white fabric paint
*Foam paint brush
*Masking tape


DRESS

Step 1:
Using your masking tape, outline the shape of a basic dress on your white onesie. You can see the form I used (to do the curved section, just use lots of very small pieces of masking tape and angle each one slightly). Make sure that the tape is VERY securely attached.

Step 2:
Paint the inside of your dress shape using the red paint; allow to dry (3-5 hours, or until dry to the touch)

Step :
Peel off the paint form. Dip the end of your paint brush into the white paint and make polka dots all over the dress form. Next, using the same motion, make a 'lace' top, bottom, and belt to the dress by connected the dots together. Allow to dry. (3-5 hours or until dry to the touch).

Step 4:
Cut a small, basic Mickey Mouse form out of the black felt and attach it to one of the top corners of the 'dress' on the onesie, either by securing it with a few stitches, or by hot-gluing it on.

Your Minnie Mouse onesie is DONE! Now, let's make that headband!

HEADBAND

Materials
*Black stretch headband
*Red, black thread and needle
*1 small piece of black felt
*1 small piece of red felt
*1 bottle of white fabric paint
*Foam paint brush

Step 1:
Cut two ear-shaped pieces of fabric. (I found it was easiest to fold the felt in half, cut a circle [by cutting a half circle and unfolding it), then cuting an extra slice of the bottom to give them this shape). Fold the bottom slightly in half to create a cupped ear look, and then sew the bottom onto the headband, making them look like ears.

Step 2:
Cut out a small bow-shaped piece of red felt. Dot it with white paint using the bottom of the paint brush to make polka dots. Allow to dry 3-4 hours, then stitch it onto the base of one of the ears.



Voila! An adorable Minnie Mouse outfit. Take your little girl to Disneyland wearing it. Wink
6  COOKING / Dessert / DIY Twix Bars. Better than the original- not healthy at ALL on: July 20, 2012 04:18:25 PM
Enjoy this recipe from http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/07/thursday-diy-homemade-twix-bars.html !


Cookie (shortbread) Ingredients
*1 cup butter/margarine, softened (either by 15-20 seconds in the microwave or by being left out
until room temperature)
*3/4 cup powdered sugar
*1 Tbs vanilla
*2 1/2 cups flour

-Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Next, add 1/2 cup flour at a time until the mixture is dry and crumbly (and delicious- this is a good time to eat a piece of the dough... yum).
-Press the dough into a greased pan- you'll want the dough to be about 1/2 inch thick. Next, poke the crust with fork.
-Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the outer edges are caramel brown and the middle is a golden brown.

While this is baking.... Make the caramel!


Caramel Ingredients
*1/2 cup butter
*1 cup light corn syrup
*2 cups brown sugar
*1 can sweetened condensed milk
*1 Tbs vanilla


-Mix the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a stove pan over medium until fully combined. Next, add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
-Turn the heat up to medium-high and mix continuously until the caramel is at soft ball stage. (Keep a bowl of cold water by the caramel as you are mixing it and every few minutes, spoon a little into the cold water. When you put the caramel into the cold water and the caramel is basically a soft piece of caramel, it's done.)
-Pour the caramel mix over the top of the shortbread cookie that you have just pulled out of the oven, about 1/3-1/2 inch thick.
-Allow to cool.

Chocolate Ingredients
*1 16oz bag of chocolate chips
*2-3 Tb vegetable oil

-Melt the chocolate either in a double broiler or in the microwave (by putting it in a microwave safe dish and putting it in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time and then stopping it and stirring it).
-Once melted, add the oil and spread the whole mixture over the cooled caramel/cookie and let the entire thing cool.

Cut. Enjoy! I recommend small pieces.... these are crazy rich, after all. It's tough to handle a big piece. Also, when cutting, it can help to keep your knife in hot water right before you cut through, because it takes some strength to cut these up!




7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter knock off on: June 28, 2012 05:24:21 PM
(from this website) http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/06/thursday-texas-roadhouse-cinnamon.html

This Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter recipe is simple and, like most things made up entirely of sugar and butter, absolutely delicious. Perfect with hot rolls and white bread (like I was making today....)

Ingredients
1 cup butter (softened, room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp cinnamon


Whip the butter using an electric mixer and, when fluffy, add in the sugar, honey, and cinnamon. You can use it right away, or store it in the refrigerator for later use




8  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Using old lace as a stencil with spray paint on: June 22, 2012 04:21:12 PM
Pretty easy to do- just use old, holey lace as a stencil with a light layer of spray paint to stylize. All I did was hold the vase, drape lace on top, then spray lightly.

http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/06/friday-diy-vases-using-lace-as-paint.html


9  COOKING / Dessert / Lemonade Pie on: June 22, 2012 04:08:50 PM
Pretty much fail proof.

http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/06/thursday-5-ingredient-lemonade-pie.html

Ingredients

*1 can Western Family sweetened condensed milk

*4 egg yolks

*1/2 cup white sugar

*1/2 cup lemon juice

*graham cracker crust

Mix the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then, add the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks and mix until smooth.

Pour into a graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 for 105-20 minutes or until the center becomes firm. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs and a slice of lemon. That's it! Gotta love pie recipes that are, indeed, easy as pie.

10  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Cute, easy DIY glass lantern. on: June 08, 2012 03:22:33 PM
Pretty much a no brainer- but turns out adorably. I know, I'm all about simple. Pics are before and after
(from this website)
http://myamericanconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/06/friday-simple-frosted-lantern.html

Materials
*Pint (or quart) size glass jar
*A flexible wire (11/2 feet in length should be sufficient)
*Pencil
*Spray frost (like spray paint, but it comes out as a frost)
*Star, circle, or other sweet shape of sticker
*Wire cutters

Step 1:
Apply the stickers you have chosen in a desirable pattern on your jar.

Step 2:
Using wire cutters, cut your piece of wire into a 6 inch length and 1 foot length. Wrap the 6 inch piece of wire loosely around the mouth of the jar. Next, wrap the 1 foot piece of wire around a pencil, giving it a loop shape, and then wrap each end around the piece of wire that you have twisted around the mouth of the jar. Twist the ends securely so that the piece of wire around the mouth of the jar is now tight and no longer loose.

Step 3:
Holding the wire handle you have attached, spray a fine, even coating of frost on your can. Allow to dry.

Step 4:
Remove the stickers; put a little tea candle in your jar and voila! Cutest lantern ever. Fun craft, too!

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