Sunday Thoughts

It's full-on winter weather over here in Pennsylvania. Sweaters are out. Hats are being worn. New winter coat was purchased. Apple cider is constantly on the stovetop. Bubble baths are being run weekly. I'm happy to report that I finally feel like I'm back to the happy, confident person that I was lacking in the past couple of weeks. **Insert celebration confetti emoji** And here's what I've been reading recently:

DIY: Reupholstered Vanity Stool

You know those projects that you buy all the supplies for and then let them sit around for months until you actually get around to doing them? That's what this project was. This little vanity stool has been upholstered with this zebra fabric for years now. And though this was the first time I had reupholstered anything, it didn't quite fit the style I was going for in my bedroom anymore. I bought this floral fabric from Joann's and then proceeded to let it sit around until one Saturday morning when I couldn't take it anymore and it needed to happen right then and there. That's just how my brain works, I guess.

Reupholstering something like this vanity stool, or these bar stools, is really fairly simple. Here's how it goes.

For this projects, you'll need whatever you are covering, fabric, a staple gun, and maybe a flat-head screwdriver.

First, I removed that paper I had stapled to the bottom of the cushion. Then lay out your fabric, place the cushion upside down on top of it and cut the amount you'll need. You want the fabric to be about 2-2 1/2 inches larger than the seat. Place the cushion in the center.

Start by wrapping the fabric up over the bottom of the cushion and staple in place. Be sure that the seat is in the center before you place that first staple.

Once that first staple is in, work your way around the seat pulling the fabric tight and trying to keep it as smooth as possible. 

The trick (I don't know if "trick" is really the right word, but oh well) is to pull the fabric and see where it wants to lay. Mine usually ends up in the fan-like pattern you can see below. But the goal is to get the top and sides to be as smooth as possible. You honestly don't really care too much what the bottom looks like. Work your way around the cushion and stapling the fabric in place. If you mess up, just remove the staple with your flathead screwdriver and do that section again.

It's not completely perfect, but perfection doesn't matter to me that much. It's for my own home and to be honest, not-perfect-floral-print is so much better than faux-zebra-print-fur. That's how I look at it.

Once you get all the way around, cut the extra fabric off to neaten things up. Reattach the cushion to the base and you are good to go.

It's such a tiny element to my bedroom, but to me it makes such a difference. My bedroom is a mixmatch of furniture and nothing really matches. Someday I'm going to sand down that vanity completely and paint the whole thing charcoal gray and replace the hardware. I've also been saying that for about 8 years... But, at least I have a cuter vanity stool in the meantime.

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A Ramble About Confidence

I think that some point, every woman (and probably every man) goes through a time when they feel less than. Less than adequate. Less than beautiful. Less than intelligent. Everyone is better looking, smarter, more confident and more put together. Everyone has a better head on their shoulders. To speak frankly, you feel like shit about yourself in some capacity (or every capacity) and you fall into a hole you've dug for yourself. You trap yourself in a space that feels unsafe and self-hating. This trap is hard to dig out of. It's much easier to succumb to the negative and feel sorry for yourself. Life is hard, sometimes overwhelmingly hard, and you pull the covers up over your head and don't take a shower because no one cares about you and you look just as inadequate as you feel.

For me, these feelings are usually a factor of PMS, but not always. Here on the East Coast, the seasons are shifting into winter and daylight is short. It's dark when I leave my job at 4:30 p.m. and go home to my apartment that never seem to be clean enough for me to be happy with. The weather and time change definitely play a role in my mood. And in my brain, that is always overthinking everything, I'm still wrestling with the love of being an independent woman but the side effects of always being "the third wheel" and sometimes going home alone. 

But I'm determined (I am a Capricorn after all) to get myself out of this rut. I want to get myself back to the place where I loved myself completely. Where I felt confident in my own skin and it showed. Where I knew what I wanted and wasn't afraid to tell you about it. For me it's a constant struggle of feeling amazing, and then feeling really lousy. But like every other time, I'm going to push through. I'm going to get out of bed and put on the clothes that make me feel like the bombshell I know I have in me. I'm going to take the time to add lipstick when I'm feeling low. I'm going to start running again and eating better, so I get back to a place where I feel great. I'm going to be the third wheel and not care because I'm having a night out with friends. I'm going to allow myself to laugh at my flaws. I'm going to spend time cleaning and keeping my life organized instead of coming home from work and sleeping all night on the sofa and eating hummus for dinner.

I'm writing this here as a way to hold myself accountable. I need a change of mindset. I need to be the bigger person and get over my negative self. Because it blows. And I'm the only one who can make myself feel great.

"Falling in love with yourself first doesn't make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible."

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Recipe: Chocolate & Confetti Rice Krispie Treats

Most of the time, I want to impress people with the sweet treats I make. I have a tick deep down inside of me that just wants people to appreciate and be impressed by me. I want them to look at a plate of cupcakes or cookies I've made and think to themselves "dammmnnn...those are fancy! That girl is impressive!" It's a feeling I try and shove deep down inside myself because it's a little embarrassing and frankly, I don't want to seem that completely self centered. But sometimes, you just need to make a classic and let it speak for itself. Throw in some sprinkles and guess what? Everyone is wowed. Sprinkles wow everyone. It's just a fact.

Okay, enough about my life. More about marshmallows and chocolate. Let's get down to business.

Chocolate & Confetti Rice Krispie Treats

Makes 12 treats

  • 10 oz of marshmallows (1 bag)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • nonstick cooking spray

Spray a 9x9 inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. You can use any size pan, but the 9x9 makes taller treats.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter until it's light brown and bubbly over medium heat. I like to brown the butter when I make these, so let it crackle and bubble for a few minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn. Add the marshmallows and reduce heat. Add salt (to cut through the sweetness) and stir in marshmallows until they are melted.

Add cereal to a large mixing bowl and add in marshmallow/butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon sprayed lightly with cooking spray, mix everything together, adding sprinkles in as you stir. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet, pressing down with the wooden spoon. Use a piece of parchment paper to press the cereal into the pan. Allow treats to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so they are easy to cut.

In a double boiler over medium heat, add chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove treats from the fridge and cut into 12 pieces. Dip each treat halfway into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sprinkles and let chocolate cool completely. 

Simple, and yet very impressive. I've never met a person who didn't like rice krispie treats. And if I ever did, I wouldn't trust them.

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Sunday Thoughts

It's Sunday. I hope your nursing a hangover that's not too terrible. Or having brunch somewhere with a close friend. Maybe you're still in bed, reading this from an iPad. Or drinking tea and catching up on episodes of the Tonight Show. I approve of all of these things, and hope you are celebrating Sunday mornings as they should be celebrated. Here's what's been floating around in my head recently.