Friday, December 25, 2009

How to make your photos even more special...

Try converting your photos from color to black and white, or sepia. You can use a free source like Picasa from Gmail to do this. When you change the color of photos it makes them into a more beautiful accent for you walls or for presents. It's SO easy. These used to be color photos:

Try it! It makes any photo seem more professional. Happy holidays!

Low Fat Shortbread Recipe!

Happy holidays!

I's hard to conceive of shortbread being low fat. But I've found a way to make it delicious without the real butter! It takes longer to cook and usually is chewier than regular shortbread, but still yummy!

1 cup Smart Balance (about half a tub)
2 cups flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Optional: chopped dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts...whatever you like

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in mixer. Mix with electric mixer until well incorporated and crumbly.
3. Add optional ingredients now with the mixer.
4. Spray a generous amount of Pam in the pan you will be using.
5. Press the shortbread mix into the pan.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes on the middle rack.
7. Use the tines in a fork to put holes in the top of the shortbread (if desired) and cut the shortbread into the desired size pieces you want. Remove the pieces to a cooling rack before the shortbread starts to cool.
8. You can add frosting, powdered sugar, or anything else you can think of to the top if desired.
9. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seasonal Photos

My nephew and I walk around the neighborhood all the time. Here are some of the pictures we took of the last foliage of the season before all of the leaves dropped. It's pretty spectacular that shoved in the middle of suburbia you can find so much nature. Enjoy!

Where is everyone?

I just came back from the post office. I expected a ridiculously long line and no parking. I expected to be away from my home for a good 45 minutes before I even got INSIDE the threshold of the office. Instead, I parked, in a parking space. A parking space in the post office parking lot. And walked into the office to find that I was the only patron in the entire room.

Have people been extra savvy in getting their gifts out early in the mail this year? Or is this a sign of the recession, where people are cutting back everywhere, including not only gifts, but mailing gifts, and mailings in general? Is this a sign of the postal mail being a less preferred method to electronic means of communication? Or, are people reconnecting with the true spirit of the holidays: being with the people (and beagles!) you love. The parking lots are almost hopefully bare this season as we move away from obsessive consumerism. Except I'll probably still have to go to Jo Ann Fabrics later and buy a ton of yarn I don't need. (But I NEED IT!) Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Give your HAIR for the holidays!

Need a unique gift idea? Donate your hair to Locks of Love. I donated 11 inches of my hair in August and you can too! Visit their website to see how you can help:

My braids!!!!! (Post hair cut.....)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recycled Holiday Gifts! is a great site where you can get ANY bottle you have sitting around flattened and made into a cute cheese or appetizer plate. A great idea for the person who has everything! They are all one of a kind. You can choose from what they have on the website, or submit your own bottle!

Monday, December 7, 2009

How to Make Coasters!

I recently walked into a store in Mill Valley and fell in love with some coasters. They were about $34 EACH!!!!! I'm sorry but that is too expensive for even people who have pockets lined with gold fabric and platinum stitching. So...I embarked on a coaster making experiment. I went to Home Depot and found plain white tiles. I bought six for $0.96 total! I also bought some clear plastic feet for the tiles to stick on the bottom so they won't scratch a table. Then I decided that nail polish was better to use than acrylic paint to bedazzle the tiles.

Here's what's happened so far....
1. SUPPLIES: Nail polish, nail polish remover, tiles, q-tips, coaster plastic bottom thingies


3. Let polish dry. Then stick plastic coaster thingies on the bottom.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mill Valley Craft Fair Today: 10am to 5pm

Hi everyone! Hope you can make it out to see us today. 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA at the Community Center. I'll post pictures soon!