Happy Halloween

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! I'm a big kid when it comes to Halloween. I get excited to dress up and eat Halloween candy. 100 Grand bars are my favorite candy, and I can only find them around Halloween, so I stock up during this time of year.

In honor of Halloween, I figured I'd show y'all some costumes from the past!

Have a fun and safe night!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

There is less than two months until Christmas! Can you believe it? I can’t. When do y’all start shopping for Christmas. Around here, I’ve been going at it for four weeks. You can check out the first four DIY Christmas Projects here!

Do you have a baker that you just love? This is the perfect gift to make them. It is an absolutely adorable decoration for the kitchen that is sure to show your love. This gift really hit home for me personally. My fondest memories from childhood are in the kitchen with my grandmother making biscuits and gravy. That was the one thing I always asked for when I went to her house. So this will make the perfect gift for her.

This DIY gift is inexpensive but very heartfelt. You’ll need the following items.

A wooden cutting board (Walmart ~$5)
Vinyl to cut the letters (if you have a Silhouette) or scrapbooking letters (if you don’t have a way to cut letters)

So now that you’ve got your supplies, the first thing to do is figure out the layout of your wording. I wanted something that was kind of square, so I created this. It has flourishes, but isn’t too fancy.

Cut that bad boy out and transfer it to your cutting board. Make sure to fully press down your letters so they will stick and not peel up.

And that’s it. Super simple, and super cute. Wrap it up for your loved one, or find the perfect place to display it in your own kitchen!

#OperationAppleWine Part 2

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I’ve always wanted to make my own wine. I’m finally getting the chance to do so. My family had an overabundance of apples from my grandparents apple trees this year. And about 2 months ago, I started the process of making my own apple wine.

If you were around in early September, I have been tagging #OperationAppleWine whenever something new happens in the winemaking process. It hasn’t been the most exciting pictures. To be honest, it’s a fairly long process, but things are starting to pick up.

A quick run down of making wine. You have to get all the juice out of the apples. It’s usually at least 5 gallons worth of liquid. You check the alcohol content by adding sugar. After the alcohol content is appropriate, yeast is added to have the apple juice turn into wine.

The past two months have basically been letting the wine sit in the carboy and watching the yeast do its thing. At first there were tons of bubbles rising to the top (the sign of the yeast working), but within the past few weeks hardly any bubbles were present at all. So we moved on to the next step.

The next step is adding chemicals to stop the yeast from working. It was very exciting… in standards of winemaking of course. While the yeast was working our wine sat in the carboy. But in order to add/mix in the chemicals, we had to transfer it to food grade bucket. And make sure we didn't get any of the sediment into the bucket. Sediments in wine is no fun, it looks like sludge!

Sediment from the bottom of the carboy
So there was the adding of chemicals to the bucket of wine and a lot of stirring. The chemicals need 2 weeks to do their work of killing the yeast, but basically after that the wine will be ready to drink. I love sweet wine, so the wine will be sweetened before we bottle it.

Wine pre-yeast kill (look at all of that sediment)
So be on the lookout for some more #OperationAppleWine pictures with the sweetening and bottling process. That’s when the really fun part comes into play because it’s ready to drink then!

Busy Tuesday

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I’ve been so busy lately. I feel like I barely have time to breath. I’ve been averaging 10 hours extra per week at work and trying to work on Christmas presents/DIY Christmas series projects when I’m not at work. (We have less than a month until Thanksgiving and two months until Christmas!!!) The combination of work and DIY projects leaves little time for blogging.

I try to be a very organized person, at least when it comes to blogging. My room might say otherwise at this moment. But I’m really having a hard time staying on top of blogging. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been feeling like writing or if it really is just the time. I’m thinking it’s time because when I do sit down to blog, I enjoy writing and it seems to flow very naturally. If you have any suggestions for the busy person and time for blogging, I’m up for any and all suggestions!

In other news, I enjoy getting to know other bloggers and what their lives are like. I thought y’all might wonder the same about me. So next week I’m planning to do a Tag Along Tuesday. Just to show you how crazy my life has been, I’m going to do a full account of my day to share next Tuesday.

I hope y’all have a great Tuesday!

Festival of the Grape

Monday, October 27, 2014

I’m usually not the type to do a weekend re-cap type of post. Frankly, I just don’t do much that’s worth talking about. But this weekend, I actually had plans.

My dad is one of those guys that can make friends with anybody. So he has a friend through work that got us tickets to the Festival of the Grape in the next county over. Let me just tell y’all, I was so excited. If y’all know me, you know I love wine!

Dad and I waiting to taste some wine
It started at 11am and when we got there at 10 minutes after the line was ridiculous. I’m sure there were at least 1,000 people waiting in line as we were going through the gate. (They cut the ticket sales at 8,000 people and I heard the limit was reached by noon) When we went through we got cute wine glasses to carry around with us.

There were 30 Virginia wineries at the festival, but I’m not sure we got to all of them. It was so much fun going around to all of the booths and tasting all kinds of wine. I had four favorites from three different wineries. Luckily, I’m pretty sure that I can order them online since I didn’t buy any of them at the festival.

If you ever get a chance to go to a wine or beer festival, DO IT!!! It was so much fun and the plus side is that you never get thirsty!

PS I promise I’m not a wine-holic!

The Ruger

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recently I’ve really been looking into handguns. Going shooting with my friends just created this massive snowball and now I can’t stop it. I had such a good time, I want to learn all about guns and be able to shoot one that I own.

I went to Dance’s Sporting Goods last Saturday and looked at a few guns. My favorite was the Ruger LC380. It was small and lightweight, but not too small where I think it would be difficult to shoot. I had many people tell me the .380 was a good caliber to have, so I’m glad I liked the feel of this one.

Once I got home I really looked into the LC380 and found many positive reviews online from very avid gun people. After getting all hyped up about this gun, I found out my friend Suzzy Q has that exact gun. She just didn’t take it with her when we went shooting.

Of course, I need to actually shoot the gun before I purchase it. So I’m planning to invite her and our friends down to my house to shoot. But I’m leaning more and more towards this gun as long as shooting it feels comfortable. My second and third choices are the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 and the Ruger LC9.

DIY Christmas Series: Stained Glass Resin Coasters

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Woah! Two DIYs in a row. Welcome to the fourth DIY Christmas series. This week’s DIY can be useful to anybody, plus they can be customized! It is homemade (Stained Glass) Coasters. My friend Lisande and I collect all of our scrap pieces, so this is the perfect use for them.

Now, I put stained glass in parenthesis because you can replace the stained glass to fit the person you’re giving the coasters to. So pick out something small to put in your coaster and get the supplies. You’ll need a circular silicone egg shaper (I recommend getting a couple, they are approximately $5 each), a silicone mat, hot glue gun, Easy Cast Resin, two throw away cups and popsicle sticks.

This project takes a little bit of time and needs an even level surface, so make sure to set up in a place where your coasters can sit up to 48 hours without needing to be moved.

First you will need to hot glue your egg shaper to the silicone mat. The hot glue will keep the resin from leaking out from under the shaper. Hot glue will come off easily from the silicone when you’re finished with the coasters, so don’t worry about ruining your shaper or mat.

After you’ve gotten your shaper stuck down to the silicone mat, you’ll want to mix up your resin. You’re going to follow the directions, but basically you’ll measure out equal parts of the resin and hardener. The resin is in cup 1, hardener in cup 2. Take one of your popsicle sticks and stir cup 1 for two minutes. After two minutes, pour the contents of cup 1 into cup 2. You’ll stir cup 2 (which includes the measured hardener and the stirred up contents of cup 1) for 1 minute. After you’ve stirred the resin completely, pour it in your egg shaper. Spread the resin evenly around the shaper. This will be the bottom of your coaster.

Watch for little bubbles that will rise up in the resin. You can blow on them through a straw or use a lighter to pop them. Let the resin sit for around 24 hours. It will be mostly dry by this point.

After 24 hours, place your stained glass (or your specific items) on top of your resin. Be sure to place them exactly how you want them to be in your coaster.

Now that you’ve got them set, mix up another batch of the resin according to the directions above. You’ll pour this newly made resin on top of stained glass (or your coaster decoration). You’ll need to let the resin sit again for 24 hours.

After it’s hardened, you can pull the coaster off the mat and pop it out of the egg shaper. The resin should easily pop out of the mold because resin should not stick to silicone.

This DIY is a little more detailed, but the coasters are super cute and can be made for any occasion. I was also making Halloween coasters with candy corn at the time I was making stained glass coasters.

DIY Dry Erase Pumpkin

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall is starting to get in full swing around these parts. And when I say full swing I’m talking cool mornings and warm days, a brisk feeling to the air and a house full of decorations. My house pretty much transforms during Fall. I love seeing all the seasonal decorations around so I couldn't help but add one more DIY creation to the mix.

While I was pet sitting this past week, I tried to catch up on some of Casey Holmes’ YouTube videos. She had a video about DIY Fall decorations, so of course I had to watch it. She made a cute chalkboard pumpkin with black chalkboard spray paint. I loved the idea of a pumpkin you could write on, but I wasn't too fond of the black pumpkin. Of course you probably could paint the pumpkin with clear chalkboard paint like I used in my last DIY Christmas Chalkboard Reminder Board, but I thought that might take a while to paint. So I wanted to come up with another idea.

Of course, Michael’s has had the Fall craft pumpkins out for almost two months now, and most of them have sold. The medium and large sizes sold out very quickly! I guess people buy them to carve so they can save them for many years. All that was left were the baby pumpkins and they are on a pretty good sale this week. So since I wanted to do a DIY pumpkin, I swooped up one of them to make this cute DIY dry erase pumpkin.

For this DIY you’ll need a craft pumpkin (any size will do), clear dry erase spray paint and dry erase markers of course! The total price of this project is right around $15 if you don’t use a coupon for the dry erase spray paint.

Before you do anything, cut the tag off your pumpkin. You don’t want it to be a Mini Pearl! Okay, after that’s done, shake up your can of spray paint. You should shake it for a little bit to make sure it’s good and mixed. When you get ready to spray, hold it 10 to 12 inches away from your pumpkin. Give it a good even coat. Don’t spray too much on one spot or it can run and dry like that. (I know from experience!)

After you've got a coat on, let it sit for about an hour. After an hour, it will be okay to touch and move. I flipped my pumpkin upside down and sprayed the bottom first. While it was drying, I watched an episode of NCIS, then came back to do the top side of my pumpkin. I think it will work best with two coats of dry erase paint.

Even though your pumpkin will be dry within 3 to 4 hours, I would wait longer before using a dry erase marker on it. I personally waited a full 24 hours before writing on it.

To remove writing from the pumpkin, take a dry paper towel and wipe it away similar to a dry erase board. You may have to rub a little harder the longer the writing has been sitting.

A Post About Dogs

Monday, October 20, 2014

So I’m sitting here on this beautiful, but slightly chilly Sunday morning trying to figure out what I want to write about for Monday. I had a plan, but since I’m house/dog sitting for my friend, I didn’t have all my resources at my disposal. Anyway, so back to sitting here trying to figure out what to write. As I’m wracking my brain, I’m interrupted by the dogs. They want in, they want out, they want food. You get the idea. And this is all going on while I’m trying to think of something to write about.

Sometimes I enjoy going back in time and revisiting a post. Guess what I posted about a year ago? My dog Christy. So as I am trying to think of a post while constantly being stared at by four sets of eyes, and looking at a post from a year ago about my dog. I figured it was a sign to write about dogs.

I am a dog person. I love dogs. They are so sweet and cuddly, and sometimes they can even be a pain in the butt. But I love them anyway.

Christy is my sweet girl. She is so adorable and fun to be around. She will chase me about the house and want to curl up with me at bedtime. And smart, that little girl will do everything but talk to you! And she tries her best to do that. But pull a camera out and she runs and hides. She will literally turn her head away like temperamental 12 year old girl. I can’t tell you how many pictures I have of the side or back of Christy’s head.

Now Bo on the other hand. He’s a ham for the camera. He is the big lovable teddy bear! He will sit there and let you do whatever you want. Take pictures, rub his paws, hug him. He is on a whole different planet from Christy. He will get your attention but nosing you. Yes, nosing. He takes his nose and nudges you a little and if you don’t pay attention, he’ll do it again a little harder until you pet him.

This post doesn’t really have a purpose except to talk about my sweet dogs. So, yeah. That’s about it.

Let's Have Lattes!

Friday, October 17, 2014

We’ve made it to Friday! I’m glad you could join me for a latte again! A lot has been going on recently and I’m glad to catch up!

I got back from the beach not too long ago! It was surprisingly warm down in South Carolina for this time of year. I wore shorts the whole time I was there. When I got back, my friend asked me to watch her dogs and house. I’m very happy to help her out. Her dogs are adorable and love to lounge around and watch TV with me.

While I’ve been sitting around watching TV with the dogs, I figured out that Covert Affairs comes back on in November! November 6 to be exact. I’m very excited! I just love Annie Walker, as you might know.

So I’ve talked a lot about what I’ve been doing, what have you been up to?

Oh, I forgot to tell y’all about Game Night. As y’all know, I try to go to Game Night at Suzzy Q’s house. I love that I’ve made a new friend and we hang out so often. Yesterday I volunteered to make dinner for all of us to eat before playing games. I was so excited to share this recipe. I love unique meals; this time it was Chicken Bog. I actually got this recipe from a coupon book in Myrtle Beach. I think they all loved it!

I love new recipes. Have you made any good ones recently?!

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I’m really glad to have Suzzy Q as a friend. We are going to be crafty together. Okay, a little back story. I was working in the candle section stocking the shelves the other day and realized that it would be really fun and rewarding to make candles. So Suzzy Q and I have decided to make candles together. I’ll share more once we actually make candles!

Have you made anything fun recently?!

Speaking of fun crafty things. I’ve officially opened my Etsy shop, American Honey Crafts. New items get added frequently so check back often to find something you love! Also use AMERICANHONEYBLOG14 to get 10% off your purchase. Coupon expires Christmas day.

DIY Christmas Series: Chalk Board Reminder Board

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Welcome to the third DIY Christmas Series project! Today is another decoration, but this week is a useful decoration. It’s the Clear Chalkboard Reminder board. This week is super simple, no delicate cutting or much thought required.

For this project, you’ll need a frame, paper, clear chalkboard paint, a brush and chalk of course! All of these can be found at Michaels. (I know you can find the paper and frames at other craft stores, but I'm not sure about clear chalkboard paint.) Don’t forget your coupon for your frame. I got a rather inexpensive frame. I paid approximately $5 for mine. I wanted the paper and chalk board to be the focus rather than the frame. Also Michaels frequently runs the paper on sale. I got mine for 25 cents!

If you paper doesn’t fit your frame exactly, you can cut it down so it will. The 12 x 12 paper was a better price than the other sizes so I decided to get that. Plus the 12 x 12's have a better selection. 

After your paper has been sized for your frame, you will want to paint the clear chalkboard paint over your paper. I did a two coats over the paper. One coat with in each direction (long-ways and short ways). I let my paper sit about 10 or so minutes between coats. I wanted to make sure it was dry before I started painting on it again.

After you've got a few coats of clear chalkboard paint on your paper, you'll want to "condition" the surface by rubbing chalk all over it. You can take a dry paper towel to clean it after you've conditioned it.

Take the glass out of your frame and put your dry chalkboard coated paper in the frame. Grab your chalk and write fun notes on your newly made chalkboard reminder board!

PS I love Coca-Cola, if you couldn't tell from the red paper and my note!

I Really Would Like This Job

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I graduated college in 2012. I graduated with two bachelors degrees. I graduated with a GPA of over 3.0, yet I still have not found a job in my field.

I’m not saying those things to make you pity me. No, I’m simply listing a few facts. Actually I’m feeling pretty positive. I had a job interview yesterday. It is for a lab that works with pharmaceuticals.

Now, this position is temporary, but that’s okay. It means I will get to work in an actual lab. I will get hands on lab job experience. I will be making a decent amount of money and I will be in the field that I love. Really that’s all that matters.  

I should find out within a week if I got the position. I feel very positive about it though. And if I don’t get it, I will still be okay. Some things are meant to be and others are just not. But really, I do want this job. I want to wear a lab coat during work and wear my cute, yet nerdy lab glasses. I want to feel like I’m helping people and actually using the degree my parents paid so much for.

So basically what I’m saying is that if you don’t mind, keep me in your thoughts. I really would like this job.

Gone Girl

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

There is one word for Gone Girl and that is WOW!

Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Rating: 4 stars
Picture: Goodreads

Nick and Amy are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary. Then Amy is gone.  Just like that, Amy has disappeared and Nick is left to try to find out what happened to his wife. Evidence begins to mound against Nick. A web of deceit and poor decisions leads him to become the prime suspect in the police investigation. Things are looking pretty grim for Nick. But even though things look bad, did he really kill his wife?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is full of twist after plot twist. Just when you are feeling so strongly about Nick, you learn more facts and your whole feelings change again.  It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Nick, dear Nick. He's a good Midwesterner raised mostly by his mother who over protected him, the youngest child syndrome even though he is a twin. He overcompensates his jerkish good looks with an award winning smile that ultimately do more harm than good during the investigation if his disappeared wife.

Amy. The only child to psychologist parents who made her the star of the famous children's book Amazing Amy. She is quite the list making protectionist. Possibly a little too much of a perfectionist? Does this need for things to be perfect cause her husband to lose control?

Gone Girl is a book that will take you on a ride. Like being picked up by a tornado and not being put down until the very end. If you love a book that keeps you guessing and makes you sit on the figurative edge of your seat, this book is for you!

Untold Stories of John and Ashley: The First Road Trip

Friday, October 10, 2014

As I was trying to think of unique ideas for my About Me page, I realized there are a lot of funny stories of John and I that never made it onto the blog. Thus Untold Stories was born. Once a month on Friday I’ll share fun stories of us.

Today I want to go back towards the beginning of our relationship. You can read more about the first few weeks of our relationship here. But today we are skipping ahead to about two months into dating. John wanted to take me home to meet his family.

John and I decided to go down to Alabama in June after I graduated college. But we had a little snafoo with actually leaving Charleston. I got there in the middle of the week and we were supposed to leave that Friday after John got out of work.

Unfortunately at that time John needed to take a test before he could go on his leave. But it couldn't just be as simple as taking the test. His supervisor had to set it up, and said supervisor seemed a little lazy in my opinion. It took a week and a half before the supervisor actually scheduled the test.

Of course even though I was upset about our plans not going quite how we expected, I loved getting to spend the extra time with John. We had special homemade dinners, went to visit the Angel Oak tree, tried out hand at ice skating and snuggled up in bed and watched all the movies we could handle.

Eventually we got the show on the road. I’m all about road trips. John and I both were in for a surprise. I had never been to Georgia or Alabama, so I made John stop at each states Welcome Center so I could get brochures and take pictures.

I was in a huge surprise because John isn't too much on long drives, so he didn't want to stop to get food. Enter the meal with way too many calories. The MRE. Yes, John made me eat an MRE instead making a quick pit stop at Mickey D’s.

But I think I got him back. I made him play Sweet Home Alabama about 3 times in a row when we finally made it to the Alabama state line! Yeah, it was a really fun first trip to Alabama.

Come back next month to learn more about my first trip to Alabama and my too close for comfort encounter with a cow!