Monday, July 30, 2012

Glitter Polish Removed in 5 Minutes!

I swear my toes are not trying to fend off an alien abduction.  I found this pin on Pinterest on how to remove glitter polish in 5 minutes using acetone polish remover, cotton ball/pads and tinfoil.  I admit I was a little bit skeptical at first but then thought "what the hey...let's try it".  HOLY CRAP.  Definitely no false advertising there.  I did not have to scrub with all my strength to take off the glitter nor did I have to spend 15 minutes on the process. All you have to do is soak cotton pieces into acetone polish remover (I used cotton pads and cut them into pieces as suggested in the post from Simply, Autumn Rush), put a cotton piece over each nail, cover with foil, wait 5 minutes and voila!  Apparently, they do this in nail salons but what do I know....I've never had a professional mani/pedi.  Never.  I will also never hesitate with blinging up my toes again. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Horchata Recipe

A couple of years ago, my Mexican coworker, Diana, introduced me to Horchata.  Horchata is a Mexican sweetened rice milk beverage with cinnamon and vanilla flavoring.  To be honest, I wasn't all that crazy about it. What I remembered about it was that it wasn't very sweet and tasted watered down to me.  I've since have had it a few more times but the problem is that I can't remember which Mexican restaurant has the more sweetened version that I liked.  The other day, I stopped by a taco truck on the way home from work and ordered a horchata with my burrito and tacos.  Heaven is all I can say about their horchata.  It was so delicious that I forgot how much I really liked it.  Since that day, I'd been craving horchata so I found this recipe and decided to make my own.  I read through the reviews and adapted the recipe based on my taste and the reviews.

1 cup long grain white rice
5 cups water
cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you want it less sweet as you can always add more later)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a blender, blend the rice and water for a couple of minutes.  The water will turn an opaque milky white color.  I didn't have a full sized blender so I used my smoothie blender (had to blend the rice and water in two batches) so, for me, the rice didn't get broken up into pieces, which I don't think really matters unless it affects the taste.

After you're finished blending, pour the water and rice combination into a container.  Throw in two or three cinnamon sticks (I used two but ended up adding ground cinnamon to the finished batch because I like it more cinnamony).  If you don't have cinnamon sticks, you can use ground cinnamon but it won't blend well and will end up floating to the top but you will still get the flavor.  The ground cinnamon will change the color of the horchata to more of a brown color.  Let it sit out for at least five hours (overnight would be best) in room temperature (unless the room is really hot and you don't have a/c :) 

Once the mixture is ready, filter the liquid into a pitcher or carafe using a sieve or coffee filter.  I didn't have a sieve so I used my one-cup coffee filter which helped to catch any bits and pieces of rice or cinnamon sticks (I broke my cinnamon sticks into pieces).

I heated up the milk for one minute in the microwave and then stirred in the sugar and vanilla extract.  The heated milk will help the sugar dissolve easier than the room temperature rice water. 

Pour the sugared milk into the rice water and stir.  Serve immediately over ice or chill and serve later.

-I found cinnamon sticks in the Latin food aisle at the grocery store for 99 cents a package (for 3 sticks) opposed to $5.49 for 9 sticks at Target and $7.99 at said grocery store.

-I did a taste test and realized it wasn't sweet enough for my taste (I originally added in 1/2 cup sugar and later added in another 1/8 cup) so I poured some of my homemade horchata into a bowl, heated it up for one minute in the microwave and then stirred another 1/8 cup of sugar.  Perfecto!

-I also used the leftover rice instead of throwing it out and made a rice pudding using this recipe.  Read through the comments to get some tips for the rice pudding as that helped me a lot.  I'll try to put up the recipe in another post in a bit to make it easier for you. 

I'm not sure of the number of servings as you can see in the picture, the recipe didn't fill up my carafe but you can always double the recipe.  Since it's just me, this will tie me over for a day or two.  

Hope you guys enjoyed this recipe as much as me :)

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Kawaii Strawberry Phone Wristlet

Here's an adorable (if I do say so myself) kawaii strawberry wristlet I made.  It has two compartments inside to hold your phone and your cash/plastic money with a snap button closure and ribbon to wear the wristlet.  I also used beads for the seed detailing on both sides.  I made this out of felt and it was entirely handstitched.  I liked it so much that I also made a monkey one but I don't have pics of that one yet :)

The above strawberry phone wristlet is available for purchase for $24 and is ready to be shipped.  Please send me an email to joyce [at]  asianinvasionsaloon [dot] com if you are interested or you can contact me through facebook.  

Don't forget that I will be starting my 30 Day Pinterest Craft Challenge on Aug. 1st :)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

30 Day Pinterest Craft Challenge

I am going to put this out here before I chicken out and change my mind :)  Starting Aug 1, I will be challenging myself with a 30 Day Pinterest Craft Challenge.  August has 31 days so I will allow myself one free day since I do work full time and pick up extra massage work on my days off :)  For the entire month of August, I will pick a pin from my Future Projects board and make my version of it.  I will post my results on my blog and will link the posts here as well.  Wish me luck!  Follow me if you would like to see what projects I have in store for myself :)

Dec 2012 update:
The 30 Day Pnterest Craft Challenge was a fail lol.  I only managed to make stuff for roughly half the month but I enjoyed the challenge so much that I decided to make this an ongoing thing and not just limited to 30 days.  To see what I've made from the Pinterest pins I found, go here :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pink Striped Toddler Dress

I made this dress for my friend's 2 year old daughter (I hope it fits her).  I didn't use a pattern but found a size chart online that I used as a guide.   I was actually first inspired by the pillow case dresses I saw on Pinterest and had planned on making one for her but somehow, that inspiration morphed into my own thing.  Had intentions of putting in a zipper but changed my mind and put in an elastic loop and button back closure instead.  Once that was in, I didn't like it and took that out and finally decided on  a strappy snap button closure which I liked much better.

This is the first full dress I've made for a kid and I'm pretty stoked with how this turned out.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mac and Cheese!

Today, I made mac and cheese from scratch for the first time.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out but I shared some with my friend/neighbor.  My friend is a foodie and loves to cook so when he took his first bite and told me it was awesome, I was very flattered.  Even after I realized I forgot to add the pepper in.  I know you're thinking "mac and cheese is easy to make!"  but I am still a cooking newbie and with the plethora of mac and cheese recipes, it can be a bit intimidating.  For me, the less ingredients I need to use, the less likely I'll mess it up :)  So, I found this recipe and adapted it a little based on some of the reviews. By the way, my total cost for all the ingredients was around $5.71.  The original recipe is for 6 servings.  One thing I liked about how mine turned out was that it was not that salty and it was creamy.  

1 can of cheese soup.
1 1/4 cup of milk (I used low fat)
1 bag (8oz) of shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 package (16oz) of macaroni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Cook the macaroni as directed on the package to al dente.  I added a teaspoon of salt to the water to give the mac some seasoning.

While the mac is cooking, mix the can of cheese with the milk.  The cheese will be gloppy so it's okay if it doesn't mix smoothly with the milk.   

Once it's been cooked to al dente, drain and transfer the cooked mac to a casserole dish. 

Mix in the cheese/milk mixture until all or most of the mac is coated.

Add the sour cream.  Again, mix it well into the mac.

Add in half the bag of cheese and mix into the mac.

Take the remainder of the bag and sprinkle generously to cover the top of the macaroni.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is browning and bubbly.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Decoupaged Pinup Girl Soap/Lotion Dispenser Tutorial

I made this soap dispenser from an empty hand sanitizer bottle from work.  I work as a massage therapist and we go through hand sanitizer like crazy so I like to rescue the bottles to pretty them up to resuse at home or to give away.   I'm in love with Gil Elvgren's pinup girls so I used a one of his reproductions from an old "one-a-day" calendar.  Since I planned on using this bottle in the bathroom, I thought this picture of the pinup girl in a robe with a towel wrapped over her hair was perfect for this bottle. 

Materials Needed:  
Empty bottle (pump is optional)
Mod Podge
Artwork or whatever picture you want
Faux Gems
Glue (I used Elmer's)
tweezer (for the gems)

1.  Starting with a clean bottle, remove the labels.  If any of the gummy adhesive will not come off, you can use a bit of Goo Gone to remove the residue.  Be sure to clean the Goo Gone off the bottle really well otherwise, the  Mod Podge and artwork will not adhere. 

2.  Cut your artwork to size. 

3.  Once the bottle is clean and dried, spread the Mod Podge with a brush over the front of the bottle.  

4.  Place the artwork or picture over the adhesive and smooth from the center out to the edges with your fingers to remove any air bubbles and wrinkles.  Once the bubbles and wrinkles are removed, spread a layer of the Mod Podge over the artwork.  Once again, smooth it out.  If there are any wrinkles on the edges, it's not a big deal if you plan on using the faux gems, as the gems can cover up the wrinkles. Give it a few minutes and let it dry.  Put a second layer of Mod Podge.  Let it dry.  

 5.  Using the Elmer's glue (or whatever you are using), glue the gems onto the artwork in whatever design you want.  I used tweezer to help make the placement easier. 

Depending on how much glue you used, it may need a few hours (or overnight) to dry.  Once it is completely dry, put one more coat of Mod Podge over the art and gem stones.  This last layer is optional but is suggested if you're using the bottle as a soap dispenser.  The Mod Podge won't make your artwork waterproof but multiple layers will help to keep the artwork from being "melted" by any water splashing onto the bottle.  The final layer will also help the gems to stay put (unless pried off).  

If you do plan on dispensing soap, make sure your artwork and gems do not go to the bottom edge of the bottle in case your bottle is standing in a puddle of water.

Let me know if you make your own as I would love to see yours!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

I don't know what has gotten into me lately but I've been cooking more and more out of my normal comfort zone and I started baking.  In the past, I've usually baked from the "boxed" mixes and it's been over 10 years since I've baked from scratch.  When I was baking from scratch, it was few and far between.  Part of it is because I don't have anyone to bake for and the other part is that I don't have a working oven so baking is done through my toaster oven.  

This week, I've already made nutella cookies and White Chocolate Chip Orange cookies.  Today, I decided to bake banana chocolate chip muffins since I had two super ripe bananas awaiting their demise for a few days now.  I found this awesome recipe from and basically halved the ingredients since I only had two ripe bananas instead of the 4 it calls for.  I ended up with 10 muffins and they are delish.  Not too shabby for only picking up baking again after a 10 years plus hiatus.  At least now, I can bake for friends and coworkers for birthdays and get-togethers.

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