Thursday, May 2, 2013

Me Made May 2013

So, remember when I was going to be sewing two garments a month and updating my blog?  Hah.  That's funny.  So, I've made a new things since I made my new years resolution, but not anything close to two a month for myself.  Despite my failure at following my resolution thus far, I am going to embark on Me Made May.


 I, Sara of Little Red Lily, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear two handmade items a week for the duration of May 2013.  I will also make or refashion one additional item per week. 

But, as you may have noticed, it's now the second of May.  And because the universe loves me, it's raining, and I don't really plan on leaving my house until Roller Derby practice tonight.  I guess that means some me made derby shorts are on deck this evening. I'm also too late to "officially" sign up.  But that won't stop me!  While summer hasn't come on as quickly as i would have hoped here, I still want to be prepared with some self stitched outfits that make me happy. I'm going to try to stay on top of posting at least once a week to update you on my me made outfits, but i'll also be instagramming them. My username is littleredlily if you would like to follow me!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013: Style Resolutions

I hope everyone had a wonderful winter holiday, and a happy new year.  I was lucky enough to spend Christmas with my mother and sister in Virginia.  It was a nice, relaxing holiday.  Even though I didn't leave the house, I wore my reindeer toss dress (not blogged, pictured here) and felt festive and comfortable all day.  For new year's eve, I went to a party dressed in a flapper inspired outfit and makeup. I was sparkly and happy, a great way to start the new year!

Like everyone else, I try to make new years resolutions but rarely keep them. Goals like "lose 15 lbs" or "start working out" are incredibly cliched, almost as overdone as giving up those resolutions by mid-month.

What is the point of new year's resolutions anyway?  Are we more likely to accomplish these goals at the new year as opposed to any other time of year?

This year, instead of making a promise I won't keep, I'm going to resolve to do a few things I've been thinking about for awhile.  These aren't just new year's resolutions, they are my 2013 style resolutions.

This year, I resolve to:

Cultivate a personal style that makes me both comfortable and confident!

Make as much of my wardrobe as possible.  I have a huge stash of patterns, fabric, and sewing know-how.  I need to make the most of it!  As a sub resolution, I would like to complete AT LEAST two new garments a month.  That isn't that many, so I think I can keep up with it.  

Only purchase things that fit into my personal style, and fill a gap in my current wardrobe.

Cull my wardrobe of the pieces that are boring, uncomfortable, or unflattering.*

Blog about my style, even while my wardrobe is under construction.  This includes sewing posts!

What about you? Have you made any resolutions?  Are you going to use the new year to make a big change?

*Sadly, this part will have to have gaps for work & interview attire. I suppose I will hang on to my boring grey interview suit.    

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, I hope you are enjoying the day with your family and friends.  I wish you all peace and goodwill.  

My father on Santa's Lap, Year unknown (early 60s?)

Christmas 1985

I'm in the white with my cousin, my sister and parents are looking cute in the background.

Christmas 1986
 My mother and I, playing with a ballet doll.

Christmas 1986
My cousin, My sister, and me, overwhelmed. 

December 2012

I took my reindeer dress to sit on Santa's lap.  Who says I'm too old for this?

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Projects: Christmas Cocktails

Seasonal snacks don't have to end with sweets and coffee flavors.  One of the great bonuses of being an adult is being able to indulge in adult beverages (responsibly). Here are a few fun holiday drink recipes I tried out this year.

5 ounces sparkling wine
.5 ounce cranberry juice
.5 ounce orange juice
Mix together and pour into glass.  A delicious twist on a mimosa! 

Spiced Champagne
5 ounces sparkling wine
.5 ounce cinnamon schnapps
.5 ounce butterscotch schnapps 
Mix together in a glass, a spicy champagne cocktail!

Spiced Apple
3 ounces apple cider
1 ounce spiced rum
.5 ounce cinnamon schnapps
.5 ounce butterscotch schnapps
Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Spiced Nog
6 ounces egg nog
1.5 ounces spiced rum
.5 ounce butterscotch schnapps
Mix, pour into glass.  Top with cinnamon.  I'm not normally a big fan of egg nog, but the butterscotch complements the creamy texture.   

Peppermint Bark
1.5 ounces chocolate wine (like Chocovine)
 1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
splash of milk
Shake ingredients over ice.  Pour into glass.  Garnish ideas: rim the glass with chocovine and crushed candy cane.

Mint Mudslide Milkshake
1 ounce creme de menthe
1 ounce coffee liquor (like Kahlua) 
1 ounce irish creme liquor (like Bailey's)
1 ounce milk
1 2 scoops peppermint ice cream
Blend all ingredients.  I used an immersion blender, but you can can easily make a bunch at once for a party.  It is a tasty dessert and drink all in one!  Garnish ideas: Mini Candy Cane

There are some more great ideas over at the Boozeblogger, who did 12 Drinks of Christmas in 2010. 

Don't like liquor?  There are tons of great seasonal beers and wines.  Bring a bottle from a local vineyard or brewery on out of town holiday visits!  I picked up Christmas Wine Carolina Red and Naughty and Nice sweet white, both made nearby at Duplin winery to take home to Virginia.  I actually have no idea what they'll taste like, but the bottles were too cute!   

Thank you all for joining me for the 12 projects of Christmas.  This has been a great exercise in making myself write and learning to document projects.  I do hope to continue blogging regularly even after the holiday.  Please send me links or photos if you decided to try any of these projects.  Got any ideas for next year?

Missed something?  Check out The 12 Projects of Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Projects: Creative Packaging

My mother has always been amazing at wrapping christmas gifts.  She is great with bows, and always comes up with the best combinations of ribbon and paper.  I bet people would pay her to wrap their presents.  I've always liked having cute gifts to give away, but I don't like to spent a lot of time wrapping.  I guess I get bored easily!  My gifts also have to be able to travel, so intricate bows that may not survive a car trip are not really an option.  Here are a few of my gift wrapping tips!

My gift wrapping stash.  I have a number of small brightly colored papers from the Target dollar spot.  I also like to buy paper on sale after Christmas.  It's a great time to get the fancy papers from places like World Market. The tub houses my boxes, ribbons, tags and bags.  My mother trained me early to save bows and bags for re-use.  Anything that was purchased new was bought on after Christmas clearance.  

Stock up on reusable boxes!  Not only do they save time and paper, but you can stick them back under your tree once everything's been unwrapped.  The boxes on the right are from Dollar Tree, and the one on the left came with some Christmas cards my mom purchased years ago.

Need a box for something tiny? This is made from a toilet paper roll. Doodle on it with metallic markers, paint it, or have the kids color festive designs!

Use an inexpensive stocking and some ribbon to fancy up a wine bottle.  You could stick chocolates in the toe to round out a hostess gift!

Run out of gift bags? Make your own! Kraft paper is everywhere this year. I purchased these little kraft paper bags earlier in the year.  I doodled with metallic permanent marker, folded over the tops, punched holes, and tied a bow.  You could do this with any size of paper bag!

My mother's wrapping tendencies rubbed off on me enough to want the gift tags to coordinate with the paper.  Don't have any matching tags?  Cut (or use a craft punch) a few out of kraft paper or spare paper bags and use a coordinating marker. 

If you are running out of ribbon, put those scraps to use!  Yarn and fabric can be easily used as embellishment.  

If you are running low on colorful paper, use small pieces to dress up kraft paper or newspaper.  You could also use colorful magazine pages to bring in a burst of color.  Don't forget doodling all over that blank paper.  Every present can be a work of art!

I am excited to have most of my presents wrapped and ready for transport home.  How are your holiday preparations going?  Are there any holiday activities you are hoping to get in before the big day?

Missed something?  Check out The 12 Projects of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Projects: Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

I love anything with chocolate and peppermint.  Peppermint bark, mint m&ms, they are all favorites of mine.  I usually make these chocolate peppermint brownies with the No Pudge brownie mix, but I thought I would try to make a batch from scratch.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 a cup non fat vanilla yogurt
1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract (depends on how minty you like it)
1 cup mint chocolate chips(optional)
crushed candy canes (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients until blended.  Add yogurt and peppermint extract.  Stir until smooth.  It will take a lot of stirring to mix all the powder, but it will turn dark and fudge if you keep stirring.  Mix in chocolate and mint chips (optional).   I put mine into cupcake cups, to make them easier to give away, but you can smooth the batter into an 8 or 9 inch square pan.  sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until brownies reach your desired consistency.  Since this recipe contains no raw ingredients, your brownies can be as fudgey as you want them to be!   I baked my cupcake brownies for 20 minutes.    Let them cool, or top with ice cream for a delicious treat.  Enjoy!

Mmm brownie batter

If you want to make these using your favorite brownie recipe or boxed mix, just add the peppermint extract, chocolate chips and candy canes after following the normal baking instructions.

Missed something?  Check out The 12 Projects of Christmas.