I live a simple life, exploring the great outdoors, and slowly the world with my husband and our 2 amazing little girls. I am a Shutterbug, I am constantly taking pictures, my camera is like an extra appendage! I love to cook, craft, bake, travel and just enjoy life! I've been told I'm a "Jane of all trades" and I like to tell people I have Creativity A.D.D. My interests are completely random and can range from making hair bows for little girls to "dumpster diving" and refinishing furniture with my best friend! I paint, I use power tools(and I'm quite proficient with a hot glue gun), and I just learned to sew this year, so I'm excited to see what will come of that! I hope you enjoy tagging along for this crazy journey of randomness!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FROZEN Birthday Party

We have a Winter Princess who turned 8 this year...last year, her Birthday theme was pink with snowflakes...(Correction: VERY pink with snowflakes...)
(To anyone interested, I just melted white melting chocolates down, put them in a squeeze decorating bottle and piped snowflake designs onto wax paper, then allowed them to cool in the freezer!)

This year, we were talking about what theme she might want and, being the Winter Princess that she is, she picked...Snowflakes. The creative side of me was screaming inside, but the logical parent in me was saying, "You were Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween for 3 years straight when you were her age, surely it won't kill you to let her have Snowflakes on her cake for 2 years straight." Logic won. We went with Snowflakes, but fortunately for me and my over-the-top party planning self, FROZEN came out just in time, she kept seeing previews and was DYING to see it, so I said, "How about we invite your friends and go see Frozen for your Birthday and add Frozen to your Snowflake Birthday theme?" (See what I did there? haha) She. Was. THRILLED! "OH YES, Mommy! I LOOOOOVE Frozen, well, I haven't seen it yet, but I know I will love it, I can't wait to have a Frozen Party!!" (Score!)

Sadly, the decorations fell short because I came down with the stomach flu...(I cringe every time I see this picture because I was so out of it I didn't even put the cake on a cake stand...it is still on the plastic thing it came on! D'oh!) but it still looked pretty cute!

*Frozen Cake*
Ice cream cake with "Ice" candy
Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen-I found a Disney princess cake I liked the colors and design on and asked them to make it without the edible princess decals and make a few snowflakes on top...then I purchased the Frozen Figurines from the Disney Store(http://www.disneystore.com/figure-sets-play-sets-more-toys-frozen-figure-play-set/mp/1339878/1000262/?CMP=KNC-DSSGoogle) and made purple"Ice" candy and stuck the glaciers in the cake! (recipe linked below candy picture)

The Goodies:

 (They always have white "snow" Cotton Candy around Christmas, so I grabbed a few!)

*Purple "Ice" candy*

(This is a flawless tutorial: except I didn't smash mine into "meth" like candy, I just dropped it on the table and shattered it! http://www.sugarhero.com/2012/07/blue-crystal-meth-rock-candy-for-breaking-bad/)

The Decorations:
Icicle lights strung around the room
 Disney Store's reusable tote served as a decoration as well!

Vintage Blue Mason Jars added a nice frosty touch!

The Gifts:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Teacher Gifts

Okay, so I know this is a little late, and you probably could have used these ideas, oh, I don't know, about 3 weeks ago...but, hey-you can always bookmark them or pin them for next year ;) Sorry! If you're like me, coming up with a teacher gift is tough...most teachers probably have a million things with apples on them, or "#1 Teacher!" mugs or ornaments, and I'm sure they only want so many pencil holders. I am fortunate enough to spend a few hours a week volunteering at my children's school and I feel that spending a little bit of time around the teachers encourages me to get more creative with their gifts. I think they get a lot of plants/flowers, too-however, one year my oldest had a teacher who was really into flowers, plants and gardening, so that was an easy "go-to" gift for us and we got creative with the flower pot(Chalk paint+ "Thanks for helping me Grow" inspired by a Pinterest find!)

This year I was really drawing a blank, luckily, I have a magical recipe for hot cocoa...and who doesn't love that?(Shh, here's the secret recipe: http://fabfundelish.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-worlds-greatest-hot-cocoa-mix-hands.html So, this year, I based the gift around that and went with a Christmas Sweater Mug and the girls picked out a nice Hallmark ornament for each of their teachers!(Lucky for us, we know one of them really loves snowmen, so that was an easy pick!) The other, well, our family loves S'mores and all of us thought it was completely adorable and that no one could disagree, so it was a winner!

Last year, I knew my daughter's teacher had 3 little girls of her own and we seemed to share some similar interests, so I thought of what I might like if I were a busy teacher and mother of 3 around the holidays who wanted to enjoy the time I had with my kids over break...I came up with a Christmas Cookie Kit! The bowl was inexpensive, the airtight jar was a crazy steal and I splurged on the fancy spatula because it said, "Cookies for Santa!" I threw together all of the dry ingredients for my favorite Sugar Cookie Cutouts (Perfection: http://fabfundelish.blogspot.com/2012/03/picture-perfect-and-oh-so-soft-and.html) and threw in a tiny bottle of Vanilla extract, a printed recipe and tied it all up with a fancy bow!(Thank you, Youtube, I couldn't have tied it without you!) The adorable card was pinterest inspired, I came across an idea where the kids use Q-tips to paint and they did the rest!

These were from another year, they were great add-on's for gifts or as a gift with a gift card to Starbucks or something!
Sharpie paint pens and a ribbon super-glued to the top-the kids drew on the faces and signed their names on the back of the ornament)

I know these gifts aren't for everyone, but when you know the teachers on a slightly more personal level, you tend to think of more personal gifts and want to put a little more thoughtfulness into it. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Local Love: Experience Columbus *Food Edition*

So, I followed a link in an online article, earlier, that led me to a list of the "Top Ten things to do in Columbus". The one that really caught my eye was, "Go Out To Eat Constantly" Boy, they aren't lyin'! Seriously, there is SO much to eat here...even at 19 years old when I hardly ever went out to eat,due to a shopping habit and working in retail, I moved to TN and one of the things I missed the most was the FOOD and the long list of dining options!! Fast food, PIZZA(Oh, the pizza options made me want to cry, they were so sad!) and casual and/or fancy dining restaurants...I did find one I liked, Calhoun's...good ol' American food and bbq, and one other that has since closed down, but had the best mozzarella sticks ever...but every time I was craving something specific I would get very homesick because all the good food was back in Columbus!!
This article reminded me of the variety around here and since moving back we have greatly enjoyed "Going out to eat constantly" (Okay, so maybe it's just once a week, but still...) We try to go somewhere new every once in a while...places we've seen on TV, read about in magazines, or heard great reviews about from friends. I wanted to share a list of my own favorites in or around Downtown Columbus and give people an idea of what they are like, in case they are looking for something new to try as well!

Schmidt's Sausage Haus:
Location: German Village

Atmosphere: This place is a blast! I don't recommend it for a sit down, quiet dinner...it is more the, "I came to have a good time with friends, eat some good food, maybe a beer and sing along with the polka band!" kind of dining experience. Note: If you yell out the request for "Free Bird" The band will play it...on the accordion and tuba!

Food: I recommend the sausage sampler platter or the Golden Turkey Reuben, it is delicious!!(I did not take a picture, I was starving, so I dove right in!) For dessert, the cream puffs are a must-even if you get it to-go! Honestly, there were 5 of us, everyone got something different and everyone loved what they ate! I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu!

The Thurman Cafe:
Location: Thurman Ave.
Atmosphere: Bar, loud music, loud people, sometimes loud singing involving entire bar...kind of depends on the jukebox selections that night! Waiters/Bartenders are fun, sarcastic and busy-that place is always hoppin' so don't be surprised if it takes a while to get your check...flag them down, they don't mind!

Leave your mark! There are dollar bills EVERYWHERE! Just ask your server for a Sharpie and some tape! They will gladly give them to you! 
Food: Giant Burgers that will make you drool...All burgers are 3/4lb, so sharing is a great idea here! The A-1 Burger is the Slam. Seriously, so good. Their appetizers are awesome, the fried pickle chips are delish and their chicken wings...well, just order them and let me know what you think about their size!(*hint* their ginormous!)
Fried EVERYTHING...pickle chips(My fav!), pickle spears, JalopeƱos, Mushrooms, Pizza "Egg Rolls"...and I don't have a picture, but their chicken wings are the biggest I've ever seen!

Also, they have "Thurman's To-Go!" Due to the small nature of the building, you could spend quite a while waiting on a table, we've used the To-Go option multiple times now and love it!

The Jury Room:
Location: Mound St.
Atmosphere: I can't speak for the daytime hours, as we've only dined here late at night(8pm or later) and at those hours it is still pretty busy, they usually have good music playing(not real loud) and it kind of seems to be a hipster hangout after 9pm. I would assume, by it's location, the breakfast/lunch crowd is business/downtown employees. The decor and architecture are very neat, it was a bordello and has made the list for "America's Most Haunted Restaurant's and Bars"
Food: Lots of awesome sandwiches! Their menu changes with the Seasons and everything I've ever had there has been good, their fried pickles are my favorite! My favorite sandwich is the Chicken Pesto(on a hoagie) and I prefer the fries over the house chips!

Easy Street Cafe:
Location: Thurman Ave. right around the corner from Schiller Park
Atmosphere: Classy, quiet Bar on weeknights, have not experienced a weekend setting yet.
Food:  Greek! I have so far only tried their appetizers, but am anxious to go back after looking at the rest of the menu and really enjoying the fried, cheese ravioli and onion rings. I have a feeling it is a hidden gem that is going to become one of our favorites...I've been told they hold the number 1 or 2 title for "Best Gyro" a few years running, so I can't wait to try them!

Japanese Steakhouse:
Location: Downtown on High St. directly in front of North Market

Atmosphere: Classy Hibachi. It is a nice atmosphere that makes you want to dress nice, enjoy a great, entertaining dinner and head out for a stroll through the galleries in the Short North, which is within walking distance, to burn off those calories after a humongous meal!
Food: Japanese/Hibachi  The Filet melts in your mouth and their zucchini has always been cooked just the way I like it(Not turned to mush!) It is our favorite Japanese Steakhouse, although we prefer the Yum-Yum sauce and fried rice at Ichiban, the all around food and atmosphere win out, downtown, on this one...Out of the 15+ years I've gone there I think we've had a Not-so-great chef one time...and he was a newbie!

Jeni's Ice Cream
Locations: Several around Columbus, Easton Town Center, Bexley, German Village...but our favorite is at 714 N. High Street in the Short North Arts District, especially great to stop in during the gallery hops in the Summer! Don't be deterred by the line if it is wrapped outside around the building, this is common during weekends in the Summer and the line moves very quickly! (Also, the line basically starts at the door, so there is really nowhere to go but out!)

Atmosphere: Vintage Ice Cream Shoppe with modern, adventurous, magnificent flavors, very cute, tons of personality(The atmosphere as well as the employees!)
Food: The flavors will blow you away, some of them sound just plain crazy, but 9 times out of 10 they are amazing...and I only say 9 times out of 10 because I don't like coconut flakes and the coconut ice cream has coconut flakes in it(I can feel them on my tongue just talking about it...blech!)

Wildberry Lavender : Delish!

Jeni's "To-Go!" (Influenza Sorbet was like a Hot Toddy and tasted great during flu season!)

Personal Favorites: Plum Sake Sorbet and Pistachio & Honey

Wildberry Lavender, Pistachio & Honey and Honey Vanilla Bean

One of my all time favorites is the Rainbow Frozen Yogurt, it is like eating Sunshine and Rainbows in a delicious, fresh made waffle cone, I kid you not! My other favorite hasn't been featured in a couple of years, but it was Violet and Meringue and it was a very sad day when I finished my last pint and they quite carrying it for the Season(And never brought it back! Boo!)
At any rate, you can't go wrong! Check it out!