Laughing: Geek Bling

I'm not a huge fan of hip-hop music so naturally, aside from his recent scandal, I don't pay much attention to Chris Brown. Until I saw this: This is just too hilarious. This piece probably costs more than an authentic stormtrooper suit, but it's not as much fun to play with. Even more hilarious: in light of his trial he has been dressing more toned-down and sophisticated lately. And if a diamond encrusted stormtrooper helmet doesn't scream sophistication, I don't know what does.

Photo provided by Getty, found here, Photoshopped by me.

Making: Wedding Programs / Going: South Outer Banks

Gimmeakiss has been silent recently and it's because I have spent all my free time working on the paper goods for my step-sister's waterfront wedding. Here are a few shots of the wedding programs. I have continued to use the tree motif, drawn by Kermit, which was inspired by a prominent tree at the ceremony site.

The best part about these programs is that they could easily be a DIY project for your wedding. I printed the paper portion of the fan using my home printer, finished the corners with a paper punch and glued it to a wooden fan handle. The ribbons were added by the bridesmaids - they were so sweet to help out!

In addition to having a wonderful time at the wedding, the hubby and I had a great time at the coast, which I captured in a few diptychs.

The hubby enjoying our new green and blue beach gear and getting serious with his fantasy football strategy magazine.

An old pier on the river at sunset, and a new pier on the sound just before a thunderstorm.

The sky over the ceremony site and an upside-down sky courtesy of a large puddle.

As you can see, I take far too many pictures of clouds and/or my hubby. But when your hubby is as handsome as mine, can you blame me?

All images by me. Click here for more.

Living: Shop Local

I'm not sure who created this challenge, but I know I'm going to follow it.

3 – What three independently owned businesses would you miss of they disappeared? Stop in. Say Hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases keep those businesses around.

50 – If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned, independent businesses, $42.6 billion in revenue would be generated. Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of the employed population did that.

68 – For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

1 – The number of people it takes to start the trend…you.

Are you up for it?

Stop in and give some love to some of my local favorites: ahpeele, Father and Son, Escazu and Cat's Cradle.

I found the challenge on the blog gogoraleigh.

Organizing: Bathroom

I was so pleased with the way I used antique/vintage pieces to organize my craft station I thought I would try it out in my bathroom. Since we're in a rental we can't do anything about the countertop or wall color, but I can at least jazz up what's sitting on the ugly countertop.

I already had most of the pieces, and a few were bought for this purpose. I pulled a thrifted milk glass goblet to hold q-tips, a milk glass juice glass for my make-up brushes and a crystal sugar bowl for bobby pins. I had already been using this milk glass candy dish for cotton balls, then I added a thrifted crystal jam jar to hold my daily vitamins and a silver clock - I am one of those people that always has to know what time it is, and therefore has at least one clock in every room. To tone down all the feminine, antique details I coralled my loose make-up and perfume on a sleek melamine tray from Target. This last image is my shower curtain, which I adore, also from Target.
The root idea behind this strategy actually came from a bridal magazine a few years ago. To paraphrase: " To make writing your thank you notes less of a chore, buy beautiful note cards and very nice pens then keep them in a pretty box. If you look forward to using them, then the task won't be so cumbersome." So i took their advice - it worked, by the way! - and realized within their helpful hint was my new life motto: never use an boring, functional storage piece when you can use something pretty yet functional instead. Lovely! As you can imagine, this principle can be applied to many areas of your home or office.

Listening: Jenny Lewis

Last night I saw the sold-out performance of Jenny Lewis at the Cat's Cradle. The venue is standing room only but luckily I got there early so I was only 2 rows back. The opener was Deer Tick (bottom right) and Jenny was backed by Farmer Dave (bottom left). She put on, quite possibly, the best live show I have ever seen. She engaged the crowd, danced a bit and sang effortlessly - such a big voice coming from such a tiny person. She sang some Rilo Kiley songs as well as a few tunes from her album with the Watson Twins. Added bonus: the folks at Cat's Cradle (and Jenny) are good sports about photography during the show, so I managed to get a few shots.
All photos by me. Click here for more images.

Reading: Young House Love

I cannot say how much I love the magic of the internet. I was reading one of my usual blogs, Apartment Therapy and I clicked on a link, which led to another link, which led to a blogsite. And the blogsite I was brought to is amazing.

Written by John and Sherry, Young House Love gives out affordable design/decorating advice, provides DIY inspiration and major renovation How-To's, among other things. I don't have a house yet, but when I do I have a feeling I will be spending alot of time on this blogsite.
[EDIT: The fabulous blog now goes by a new name, so all links and references to their old URL have been removed.]

Baking: Cookie Icing Technique

Last night I decided to make some cookies. I used my Granny's Christmas Cookie recipe (a family secret) but the technique works with any type of rolled cookie.

TIP #1: Make your dough ahead of time. I made a huge batch at Christmas, divided the dough into smaller portions (using our awesome FoodSaver) and froze the leftover dough. Each batch makes 16-24 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutter. With smaller batches and less prep work, this allows me to bake on a whim - which I love to do.

Since I haven't yet bought any cookie cutters of my own, all the ones I have are hand-me-downs (thanks Mom!) which means I only have Christmas shapes, a heart and round (which isn't much fun) - so I made hearts. But I figured a fancy shape deserved fancy icing, so I did some experimenting and came up with an easy soultion!

1- I rolled and cut out my dough - even if you didn't pre-make your dough, it always helps to chill it for 10 minutes to make handling easier.

2- I whipped up a batch of Super-Simple Cookie Icing (see recipe below) and made it thicker than normal. I colored it pink and used and sandwich bag to pipe a dam of icing onto the cookies. NOTE: I first attempted to do this with actual decorating supplies (a piping bag, coupler and tip) but the icing was so runny it just oozed out around the coupler and made a huge mess. The ziplock bag made everything so much simpler!

3- Once the dam had dried, I thinned the icing a bit and filled in the rest of the cookie. I didn't want to be too messy so I cut a bigger hole in my ziplock bag, piped a pile of icing inside the dam and used a butter knife to smooth it out, making sure the icing touched the dam all around.

This is such a simple method! No fancy tools needed. This is also a great way to get detail on your holiday cookies - stars and stripes for July 4th, trees with ornaments and garland for Christmas - you get the idea!

Go experiment with your own cookies and let me see your results!

my recipe for:
Super-Simple Cookie Icing

confectioners sugar
food coloring
*It's impossible to give exact quantities for this recipe because it's all based on feel.

-In a small mixing bowl pour a very small amount of milk (approx 1 T) and a large amount of confectioners sugar (approx 2 C). Stir ingredients together. The consistency is right when you feel some resistance when stirring, but the icing is still runny enough to drizzle quickly - you really can't mess this up. Just add milk or sugar accordingly until it feels right to you. If the icing starts to crust, just stir it and add a tiny bit of milk if needed.
TIP #2: Always start with the milk then add the sugar. It's easier to get a feel for how much liquid you are adding to the mix. And always remember: a little milk goes a long way.
TIP #3: Make your icing in small batches. It's much easier to control the consistency this way.

-Color the icing as desired and apply to cookies.


Living: Pile of Smiles

I keep coming across things that just make me smile. Normally each would get its own brief post but I can't contain the joy, so I decided to do a group post. Smile away!

The Raleigh t-shirt by ahpeele. I've been a fan of their stuff for a while, but this one hits all the right notes.

My new glasses. They were designed by Banana Republic, they're dark and angular (a staple for any architect) and they are the most delicious shade of deep burgundy. What more could a girl want?
This bumper sticker. The truck was in my parking lot this morning, and I had to get a snapshot. It's great to see clever campaign techniques from other cultural groups. GOBAMA!

This video. Like most viral videos, it was sent to me and now I am passing it along to all of you. It's a unique concept and a wonderful message. I literally couldn't stop myself from smiling when I watched it. The video was made by Playing For Change and there are more videos on their website.

Giving: oh, hello friend giveaway

One of my favorite blogs is having a giveaway! YAY! But giveaway or not, definitely check out her wonderful and lovely blog. Always a source of inspiration!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin