Seedling Snack

First things first, my friends and I take costume inducing holidays SERIOUSLY. Halloween is NO different. 

So, in true form, we did a little '90's throwback and were POKEMON this year!

Nailed it. 

Onto another Halloween tradition I love: carving pumpkins and baking the seeds!

I did a little pinterest inspired look for my pumpkin this year. My older sister (left), father (middle) and little sister (right) carved pumpkins seen below. Props to my father's witch!

I love a little cinnamon flavored pumpkin seeds, so while the rest of my family carved out their pumpkins, I weeded out the seeds for a nice snack.

Here is the recipe:
1 1/2c pumpkin seeds
2 tbs melted butter
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

(we doubled the butter and added cinnamon sugar to the mix)

Pour everything into a bowl to mix. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (to avoid mass amounts of soakingscrubbingsoakingscrubbingtossingoutthewindow) and spread the mix around.

Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes and then broil for about 5 to get them nice and crispy.

Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!

Popping my Pinterest Challenge Cherry

We all know what Pinterest is? Right? Okay good, because its basically the best thing since HGTV. Makes me want to ditch my degrees and commit to a life of stay-at-home-twentysomething--craft-extraordinaire! I love going there for inspiration (pinspiration?!) and it helps me keep track of projects I want to tackle, food I wanna eat and a slew of wardrobe items I crave...someday.

Anyways, for the past few seasons Katie from Bower Power and Sherry from Young House Love have created a Pinterest Challenge to get us over-pinner's off our clicker and onto actually making these items we dream of on the interwebs.

I was allll over this idea.

First, I wanted to make some cute decorations for my Aunt's upcoming 50th Birthday party at my parents this past weekend. Onto my pinterest page I go for some pinspiration and I come upon this gem from Martha Stewart

Photo Wall and Personalized Bottles

I LOVED it. Instead of using individual photos (cutting down the cost of printing them all) I decided to make 2 24x36 posters, one with a 5 and one with a 0, made out of the pictures (each are about 4x4). I added a nice chevron inspired backdrop and went to kinkos to print these babies out (black and white as architectural drawings, together they came out under $10).

Sorry for the poor quality, but here are the images. Side Note: If anyone would like the template I made for these let me know! (I used InDesign)

Once they were printed (I actually had them print at 36x48 with a thick boarder, the first print at 24x36 had mad streaks from their dirty printer, so printing it larger with a thick boarder took away the imperfections in the first print. You'll be able to tell from my boards below that they are stretched a bit more than the images above...) I went to Michaels and bought 2- 24x36 pieces of foam board, for about $2 each.

Instead of using a spray adhesive, making a mess, possibly ruining the images, and having a sniff storm- I folded the paper over the edges of the board and taped it onto the back. Easy Peasy!

Next on the pinterest challenge over achiever list, I wanted to make a cute banner to go with my posters. Once again, Martha Stewart's got it going on:

I love the different fonts used here. For my take on it, i'm going to switch out the squares for the traditional triangles, and alternate the color of the paper with black writing.

The supplies you'll need for this project include:

-Craft paper
-Cardboard Template (made from straight edge)
-Utility Knife and self-healing surface

First, I traced a triangle on cardboard using my 45-45-90 (thanks architectural school!) triangle and cut that out with my utility knife. I used this as a template, it made cutting multiple pieces of paper super easy. Cut out as many triangles as you'll need, with a few extra for mistakes/fillers.

Once the triangles are cut, grab your markers and start coloring! I put one letter on each piece to spell out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"

I used twine to string each piece which helped them stay in place as I hung them 

So there you have it, my FIRST ever Pinterest challenge. Have you done one...or just pinning one in hope's it'll do itself?!

P.S. throw back to '90's gameboy game anyone? WHO can guess it?!?!

Eating my way through Italy

Ready for a little Photo Dump Friday! This week you are in for a delicious treat, thinking of this trip makes me salivate for some Caprese. I wish I took more pictures of the food we ate but my goal was to fit in the, Happy #PDF!

So this post is a yearish late…embarrassing. But better late than never, am I right? Right?! Anyways, here is a breakdown of a little excursion I took last year, March of 2011. My friend Abby had a two week break in March and we were both itching to go on a trip…beach or Europe….Europe! I have been wanting to go to Italy since before I can remember, I always thought it would be my first trip to Europe, until I got an amazing opportunity to go to Greece during my undergrad- If your lucky I’ll post about that some day…insert teaser...I swear I went there to study.

We wanted to see the whole country, in two weeks. So! We packed our backpacks, booked a few hostels and were on our way! We started in Venice and took the Eurorail down to Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome and Sorrento/Amalfi Coast. Every day was packed with amazing sights and I can’t wait to go back. Here is a little break-down for you visual folks, or those who need a geography lesson...

Venice: Venice is ( it under water yet?!) a very quaint town. It was an easy bus ride from the air port and very walkable- with a detailed map! The streets are windy- do NOT expect a western grid pattern in Europe, and plan on making many wrong turns and going in multiple circles. Its the journey...not the destination...right?! We spent the first day touring/getting lost in Venice. On the second day we took a ferry to Murano and Burano, glass blowing islands. Glass blowing was put on the islands to aid in containing fires :)

Cinque Terre: Oh. My. Lanta. What a beaut. The Cinque Terre is 5 towns along the west coast of Italy. There is a train that connects them but also a beautiful hiking path if heights are okay in your book- I would defiantly suggest this route.

Florence: Literally, I left my soul here. Florence has everything, beautiful streets filled with architecture, amazing food and a bustling nightlife. No wonder all the study abroad programs(and the Jersey Shore!) go here. After seeing all the sights, we had a little afternoon delight at a wine bar!

Rome: Rome was a whirl wind of monuments to check off our 'must-see' list. We spent the first day at the Vatican, taking a bus into it and walking back to stop at some sights. We were able to walk/climb to the top of St. Peters which gave beautiful views of the city. The following day we followed a few of Rick Steve's paths through the monuments- dodging a marathon!

Naples?: Our initial plan was to end the trip at Naples for three days and take the train to Pompeii, Amalfi and Capri. Whenever we met people at our previous destinations we continually heard warnings of mugging and theft. One night in Cinque Terre we sat down to dinner and we were both stressed out about it- but we were on vacation! So we made the executive decision to cancel our hostel in Naples and head south to Sorrento hitting up Pompeii on the way- and we were SO glad we did! Sorrento was so amazing, it is defiantly worth visiting. It was a great place to end our trip. Sorrento is a small coastal town with a short bus ride to Amalfi and Ferry to Capri. It was perfect.



Amalfi/Path of the Gods:

Italy is amazing, if you are thinking of going- please bring me :)