D.I.Y. Wednesdays – Drinking like a Fancy Ponts

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The greatest part about being neighbors with all your best friends, is that, in Winter, when everyone feels like hibernating, we can still hang out! This past Saturday, Kira had us over to her house to play a heated (not really) game of Cards Against Humanity, and make drinks.

On one of my many afternoons perusing Pinterest for craft ideas, I came across a link to a Martha Stewart list of cocktail recipes, and since we had some fancy bourbon around the house, I figured, why not? I’m not very used to drinking fancy, I’m a beer or gin-soda kind of girl, but these cocktails were actually really easy and fun to make, and made me feel like some kind of a Mad Man (or something).

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Mint Juleps

  • 8 Fresh Mint leaves plus one sprig for garnish
  • 2 2/3 ounces of Bourbon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Stir together sugar and water in a mint julep cup (or 8-ounce glass) until sugar dissolves. Add mint, and muddle gently using a muddler or a wooden spoon. Fill with crushed ice, and add bourbon. Stir until outside of cup is frosted. Garnish with mint sprigs.

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Presbyterians

  •  2 ounces whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 ounces Club Soda
  •  2 ounces Ginger Ale
  • 2 dashes of bitters (recipe says Agnostura, we used lavender)

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add whiskey, club soda, ginger ale, and bitters. Stir and serve.

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Whiskey Sours (Pitcher serves 8)

*Please note that there is a discrepancy between the ingredients shown and the ingredients listed, that is because this is not the recipe we ended up using because we didn’t have triple sec and forgot to buy orange juice….but the one we ended up making wasn’t quite as good as this one.

  • Maraschino Cherries (for serving)
  • 1 cup lemon juice from 8 lemons
  • 4 cups orange juice from 8 oranges
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 2 1/2 cups whiskey or bourbon

In a pitcher, combine orange juice, lemon juice, triple sec, and whiskey. Serve over ice, topped with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, if desired.

D.I.Y. Wednesday – Easy Bunting

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This week’s installment of D.I.Y. Wednesdays is another lazy one I’m afraid (we’re going to get better, we promise!).  Still, this bunting, albeit incredibly easy to make, is a fun craft and makes for a pretty darn cute decoration!

All you’ll need is:

  • Some cute looking fabric or paper that you don’t mind cutting up (Alex used leftover fabric from some curtains she made, and a dress she hemmed – and I used a map of Toronto!)
  • Scissors
  • A hole punch
  • Some twine, yarn, ribbon or string of any kind
  • A ruler or pre-measured triangle cut out to ensure your pieces are the same size

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For starters, cut your fabric or paper into equal sized triangles. We measured and cut one out of cardboard and used it as a template. If you want to go the extra mile inch, you can finish the edges of your fabric using a serger or a zigzag stitch to keep it from fraying. If you’re using paper, make sure you lay it out flat, and maybe even dry iron it so it doesn’t curl up.

Once you have your triangles, use a hole punch (or if you don’t have one, like us, use a nail) to punch a hole on both top corners of each triangle.

Next, string your yarn/twine/ribbon/string/etc. through the holes. We used short lengths of twine between each piece, and tied knots at each corner. You can also thread it through the holes and have the string run along the back of the piece of paper/fabric. Up to you. Leave a little length of cord on either end of the bunting to hang it with.

Find a spot in your home where you’d like to hang it – the edge of a shelf, or above a table, or really anywhere you’d like – and tie it to some nails, or thumbtacks. You can let the middle sag a little like we did, or hang a nail in the center to make a sort of double dip.

This will likely be one of the easiest crafts you’ve ever made, but it’s a really fun way to decorate your house for a party, or just in general.

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Posted by Meaghan & Alex

DIY Wednesday: Rag Rolling Hair

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It has been busy busy around here lately. If doing last minute Christmas shopping/gift making, and working on top of dance rehearsals wasn’t crazy enough, both Meg and I thought it would be a great idea to do an apartment swap within our building. It has been a lot of moving boxes up and down stairs in an old pair of sneakers and jeans with my hair in a messy sweaty bun. Needless to say, there has not been much time to take true care in my appearance. I finally decided Sunday evening I would take some time to myself, drink some tea and rag roll my hair. I thought I’d share a little tutorial on how to do these rags and rolls.

What you’ll need:

  • A head of hair
  • Old t-shirt or towel etc.
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure (if you would like to be precise)

First Step: Making the rags!!! You need to cut up that old – unloved – t-shirt into strips. I did mine about 1″ in width and 7″ in length. This can vary depending on how loose (or tight) you want your curls to be and how long your hair is. I have longer hair, so I cut mine to a longer length and I like smaller ringlets, so I did thin strips. I probably cut the t-shirt into about 25 rags in total. You never really know ahead of time how many you’ll need, but that’s okay! You can always go back and cut more.

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Second Step: Wash dem hairs! Personally, I like to have damp hair to roll with. To be honest, the outcome is about the same with dry or damp, but I find it far easier to actually roll my hair when it’s damp. So that is always something to consider.

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Third Step: Let the rolling begin! Make sure you are wearing a shirt you do not have to remove at any point, or that does not require removal via head…I think the reason for this is obvious. I like to part my hair from bottom to top, starting with bottom layer to do my rolls. Take your desired amount of hair to be rolled, whether that be a clump, chunk, piece, strands or bundle does not matter, this is your life! Wrap the end of your bundle around the rag, and roll it up. Once you are at the top, tie your rag into a single knot. Voila! First roll, a success. Now continue on with your entire head.

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Eventually, you will look darling like this. I like to call her spider head.

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Fourth Step: After I’m all done I like to sleep with my rags in and take them out the following morning. Once I take them out, I tend to look like this, so personally, I like to brush out my curls to give a more voluptuous 1970’s look. But if  you don’t suffer from Annie syndrome, you can leave them as perfect little ringlets if you so desire.

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Now go forth and take on your day, anything is possible with a head of curly locks!

DIY Wednesday on a Thursday: Hand Dyeing a Winter Coat

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I bought this coat two years ago, when I saw it on a mannequin in one of my favourite stores. I tried it on, loved it, and had to have it. As soon as I got home, I tried it on again and became very unsure about it – due to my fear of ruining something white/looking like a marshmallow  – and then never wore it again. I finally decided I needed to make use of this coat, and if I couldn’t accept it being white, then I would make it another colour. I wanted to make it brown, as I don’t have a brown coat in my wardrobe. So here is a tutorial on dyeing a coat , or any article of clothing.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Article of clothing – make sure to read the label!!! Natural/organic materials like wool or cotton take dye beautifully. Synthetic materials like polyester or viscose…not so much. If you do wish to dye something polyester make sure to look for the correct dye, its out there, just not easy to find.
  • Dye of your choice – I used 3 boxes of Tintex brown that I got at Home Hardware (make sure to read the box to know how many packs you will need based on the weight of your garment)
  • Bucket – again, the size of bucket depends on the garment you chose
  • Spoon – or anything to stir with
  • Water – I hope you know where to find water

edited materialspeek-a-boo! there’s gus!

FIRST STEP:

Boil water! Your garment will need to be submerged in the boiling water, so make sure to boil enough so that can happen. I had to boil like 4 pots of water and 2 kettles full to get the right amount, and even then it did not feel like enough. After your water is boiled, pour it into your bucket. I assume like most people, you only have 4 elements on your stove, so this may be a few steps of pouring and re-boiling.

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SECOND STEP:

After all your boiled water is in your bucket, pour your dye into it and stir it all up! You can then submerge your garment in the water. My box read that I needed to continuously stir the garment for 20-30 mins. I assume most packs will be the same, but make sure to read yours just in case.

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THIRD STEP:

Once your 20-30 mins of stirring are up, pour your hot water and garment into the bathtub. Now its time to rinse the garment with cold water. This may take awhile depending on the material. Mine was partly wool, so it took quite a bit of rinsing before all the dye was gone. Just rinse and rinse until the water goes clear. Make sure not to ring out the garment after its been rinsed. Just lightly squeeze out the excess water. And then hang it to dry! This will be many hours of that drip sound into your bathtub.

Now, I was so silly and thought my coat was 100% wool on the outer layer and viscose on the inner layer. I presumed the exterior layer would take the brown wonderfully and the interior would not really, but that did not bother me. Unfortunately it was actually made of wool and viscose. So the crochet part of my coat took the brown, but the rest became a lavender colour. It actually turned out nice, but I really did want a brown coat you guys! So I may go buy some dye for synthetic material, or just dye it black and it will become grey-ish (i think). Regardless, it is a fun little experiment that can make you feel like you just got something brand new.

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Posted by Alex

DIY Wednesdays: Chalkboard

It was (also) Meaghan’s birthday very recently, and keeping in check with being a lover of homemade gifts, I decided to make her something. Meaghan had expressed to me before that she wanted to paint a small wall in her apartment with chalkboard paint. Having such a busy schedule she has still not had a chance to do that. So I thought – for the mean time – I could make her one.

My original thought (and still something I would like to do) was to find an old cupboard door, mark off a rectangle in the centre with painters tape and paint the inside of that rectangle. Unfortunately, I had no success finding this cupboard door (curse you!), so I scrapped that idea and decided to use an old picture frame and just paint the glass. So here is a little tutorial on making a old picture frame into a new chalkboard!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

      • Old (or new) picture frame with glass – can be found at thrift stores such as Value Village or Salvation Army
      • Chalkboard paint – easily found at a hardware store. I would like to note that chalkboard paint is not my (or your) friend. It is near impossible to get off your hands or pretty much anything, so take caution and wear gloves!!
      • Small paint brush – hardware store, or maybe even the dollar store
      • Painter’s tape – same as above!
      • Twine – I found this at the dollar store
      • Hammer and nails – dollah’ store
      • Chalk – dollah’

FIRST STEP: Remove the glass from the frame you have chosen. Make sure to wash off any dirt or smudges on the glass. If it is not possible to remove the glass, that’s where the painter’s tape comes in handy. In my case, I needed to do both. I ended up making two because I did not love the original one I made. If you have removable glass, simply put the glass on top of cardboard, newspaper etc, and begin to paint. If you cannot remove your glass, no worries! Mark off the edge of the frame with the painter’s tape. Make sure it is right against the frame, if not, you may end up peeling off some paint when it’s dry. Try to have your brush strokes going in the same direction for the first coat.

SECOND STEP: After you have finished the first coat, let it dry for about 2 hours. Once it’s dry you can apply the second coat. Do your brush strokes in the opposite direction of your first. This way the whole thing gets covered. Again, let it dry for 2 hours. Once it is dry you can either put the glass back in the frame, or start peeling off the Painter’s tape. Be careful if you are using the tape. Slow and steady wins the race, you don’t want any paint chipping off.

THIRD STEP: After I was done peeling off tape and inserting glass into the frame, I hammered 1 nail into the top right corner of the frame (it is helpful to know if this gift is for a left or right handed person). Once the nail was in place I wrapped some twine around it and tied it into a knot. I played around with the twine a little to make sure it would reach across the board with no issue, so she would be able to write anywhere she liked. After I did that, I cut the twine and with the loose end tied another knot around the chalk.

And that’s it! It’s very easy to make (if you heeded my warning and wore gloves) and if you can find a really neat frame, it can be a great addition to your home décor!

Posted by: Alex