Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My first business trip!

Oh my aching feet!  I can't believe how much fun it is to go to the HD Expo!  This was my first Design convention and I had a blast! We left early in the morning Wednesday via airplane to Vegas and returned late at night Thursday.  Everything in between was spent walking the floors at the show.  I wish I could have taken a pictures of every amazing product I was inspired by, but I don't think my phone had enough memory to hold it all.
 Both nights we were there we were privileged to attend parties held at the Mix which is a bar/restaurant at the top of The Hotel @ Mandalay Bay.  Sixty four stories up in the air gets you a beautiful view of the Strip! The picture in the middle was a ceiling feature that was about 30-40 ft in diameter and about 25 ft high in the restaurant space. The picture of the red blob at the bottom was a structural feature behind the bar that took my breath away.

One thing about conventions is that everyone gives away free stuff.  I came home with so many new bags, I don't think I'll need one for a while.  No worries, this mom with put them to good use :)
I'm glad I got to go this year.  It was definitely a lot to take in and I didn't even get to every vendor!  I could get used to trips like this :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Candy popcorn

Candy popcorn is one of my favorite childhood memories.  My mom made it a rainy day tradition, so growing up in Arizona, it didn't happen all too often.  I will always remember the taste of a candy coated wooden spoon and the crunch of the half popped, candy coated kernels.  

So I've had some family members nagging me for the recipe, so here it is!  Sorry it took so long :)

Candy Popcorn

2 cups of popcorn kernels popped in an air popper
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla (I always add more, but here's a good start)
food coloring

Step 1: Pop the popcorn and cool in a large bowl.  (Traditionally we used metal.  Perhaps because it will help with Step 5.)

Step 2: Combine sugar, water, butter, and vanilla and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Continue boiling the mixture till you develop a string dripping from your stirring utensil. (Tradition states it must be a wooden spoon) 

Step 4: Add food coloring to your preference.

Step 5: Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir like crazy.  The best way seems to be plunging down at the furthest edge and digging towards yourself as you turn the bowl with each plunge.  You'll have to stir for a couple of minutes before the mixture cools and dries.  If it doesn't dry, you didn't boil it for long enough. 

Step 6: Put on an awesome kids movie and serve up a delicious treat!

What's your favorite treat from your childhood memories?  I'd love to hear it and get more ideas for my kids.  Sugar isn't always going to cut it :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crate to Ottoman

A couple of weeks ago, I did a little dumpster diving and found a crate.  I was lucky to find one that would fit into the trunk of my 10 year old Mitsubishi, so I brought home my new find.  It sat in my trunk for a while as I contemplated all the possibilities and potential for this crate to be something useful and creative.  Could it be a wall shelf, an herb garden, a nice piece of wall art?  My head was whirling.

As I was watching TV with my family one day, I was wanting an ottoman really bad to put my feet on.  We recently moved into a small townhome, so what I needed had to fit certain dimensions of our tiny family room.  Low and behold, the crate was the exact dimension I was looking for.  I hopped over to my favorite store, Home Depot, and bought four legs and black gloss spray paint.

I went to town on that crate then realized I can have an upholstered top on it easily.  I tried out a new store (to me) called Mesa Sales for the upholstery foam.  Best prices in town, I tell you and they cut to size!  I was also able to find the fabric I wanted at Home Goods.

I'm so happy with the results, as long as I can keep my husband from putting his shoes on the top.  This project has helped me embrace the industrial look of design in my house.  I'm wondering what I can think up next.