Margarita Mama DIY Gift

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did you believe me when I told you that I went on a major crafting binge? Well the hits are still coming!

I saw on a blog (forgive me, I read 652, so I don’t remember which one), these little margarita favor bags. Then, I was at Pat Catan’s craft store and saw these ADORABLE mini margarita glasses and this super cute bottle, so I decided to make this little favor!

You could totally use this as a gift for a friend that just needs a drink, a bridal shower, a fiesta/Cinco de Mayo favor or a bachelorette party.

What I Used To Make This:
·         Mini Bottle of Tequila
·         Mini Margarita Glass
·         Mini Bottle of Homemade Margarita Mix
·         Bag
·         DIY Bag Tag

You could totally buy a bigger margarita glass and fill it with all of these items. Some other things to include:
·         A lime
·         Salt
·         Philosophy margarita shower gel
·         Margarita nail polish
·         Margarita Jelly Beans
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Turn Your Tissue Into A Tassel

Sunday, January 26, 2014

For years now, I’ve been seeing tissue paper tassels on blogs. I thought to myself – “Cute! Those are so easy to make.”

Then, I saw people selling them.

Let’s have a little intervention here. Don’t buy them! Unless you need an absurd amount, they are SO EASY to make.

I bought a few supplies during my major craft weekend just to show you all how easy these are to pull off. I also referenced this tutorial from TomKat Studio – just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Step 1Buy Supplies. For my small illustration, I just bought a few pieces of tissue. I used 1 sheet for each tassel. JUST ONE SHEET! This is all that it takes!

Step 2 – Fold & Cut! Fold the paper in half and cut lines about an inch away from the fold.

Step 3 – Open & Twist/Roll! Open the folded metallic and roll down the middle like so. Warning – the metallic is rather fragile and rips easily! (sorry this photo sucks. The metallic is hard to photography with my poopy camera!). 

Step 4 – Make a loop. Once you’ve hit the end, twist and make a loop like so. My paper wasn’t holding itself in loop form, so I used a rubber band and then hit it with some metallic. Think like you are using your hair to cover up a pony tail holder lol.  


Step 5 – String ribbon through the holes.

Step 6 – Hang!

 I only made 4 to illustrate how easy this was. It took about 15 minutes.

If I were to do this for real, I would consider investing in some longer tissue paper. I have 10 sheets of tissue paper left and spent $5 on the paper (I had the ribbon at home, but I think that was $1 too).

So before you buy these online, consider making them! 
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Alice in tumblr-land

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On this Tech Tuesday, I just MUST feature this book I purchased last weekend.

Brady and I were at our favorite card store, Kards Unlimited, and after he checked out he said, “You’ve seen that Alice in tumblr-land book before, right?” No. I had not.

So I went over to the counter and one minute after I picked up the “Alice in tumblr-land, and Other Fairy tales for a New Generation” book, I purchased it. The best $20 I’ve spent in a long time!

Being a “Social Media Strategist” (or even if I wasn’t), this book makes me LOL. It’s a modern day spin on classic fairytale stories. For example, the ugly duckling didn’t feel so ugly after she got Instagram and found a filter that makes her look awesome.

The book is written by Tim Manley – the author behind the blog Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings.

Perhaps a good gift for the next book baby shower or for a social media-savvy friend!  
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No Drink-uary Update

Monday, January 20, 2014

No Drink-uary is more than half way over. So I thought I’d do a little check in. You know, just in case anyone decided to join me on this sober journey.

On Friday, January 10th, I caved in. B and I went to Franktuary. There weren’t any seats in the restaurant due to some big parties/groups, SO they seated us…at the bar. The temptation was too strong, so we both gave in and ordered a drink. ONLY ONE! Forgive me god. I had the Church Wine.

Sorry my photo skills suck. I saw that light reflection, but didn't want to be that nerd bomber that took another pic. 

My pre-determined cheat day was for our day trip to Morgantown on Saturday, January 11th. I imbibed with some beers (and a shot of fireball). It was cheat day, right?

Some West Virginia Beer! 

I haven’t drank since then. Unless you count the drunken gingerbread cupcake that my mom gave on Saturday. I felt like my breath smelled like liquor after that!

This week we are going to see Jay-Z. I may cheat again, but we’ll see how it goes. Even though I love rap music, this will actually be my first rap concert! I couldn’t be more excited. Tom Ford is currently my favorite song (I don’t pop Molly, I rock Tom Ford) and my ringtone in college was Big Pimpin. 
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

One of my unofficial resolutions for a while now has been to create my own content for Shot of Brandi*.

Featuring other bloggers/websites content has always been a bit scary for me. While I always site my source and the photos, I always have a fear that someone will reach out and be upset that I featured their content. To be honest, that’s why I didn’t blog as much last year.

This weekend I went to the craft store…alone. Usually I stick a craft trip in while Brady is waiting in the car in between running errands, but this time I went alone. It was glorious.

For under $45 I bought several craft projects that I can’t wait to feature on here. And $6 of that $45 was spent on a mini-crafting iron. It’s the most adorable thing!

First up was my last project of the day – a wine tote. Now one of my supplies wasn't in that $45 and I must say that I was very skeptical of this, but it turned out to be my favorite item of the day.

A few weeks ago at Michael’s, I purchased this Glitter Iron on Paper for $8. It was originally $16, but I had a 50% off coupon.  The wine tote was $1 from Pat Catans (local Pittsburgh craft store).

For the pattern, I just Googled “Wine Bottle and Glass” and voila!

Now, here’s the tricky part. With iron on paper, you typically need to print things backwards. That’s why I tried the bottle/glass combo first – it doesn’t matter if it’s backwards. BUT with this stuff, you iron over it. So you don’t need to print backwards.

Basically, you iron your item for 20-25 seconds. Then, you put the non-glitter side of the paper down on your item. You leave the clear film on the top of the glitter. Then, you put down a cloth or towel over your cut outs and then press down on the iron for 20-25 seconds. Then, you flip your item over and iron down for another 20-25 seconds. I ended up using my real iron once I discovered it wouldn't touch the glitter because it got hotter than the mini one. 

Once your item is dry, you peel off the clear film and BAM! You’re a craft genius!

So in the end, I made this for like $2 because I still have a full role of paper. 

Disclaimer: This iron on paper is apparently for some fancy machine that cuts out shapes. But I just printed some stencils and cut out my own stuff. I feel a little guilty, but I would totally skip the machine.

I have another larger tote and wine bag, so I’ll be sure to share what I make with those goodies! 
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Stay Golden

Sunday, January 12, 2014

While watching the Golden Globes tonight for both some work and play, I wanted to call out some of my favorite looks of the night.

Red Carpet Faves
·         Emma Watson – Business in the front, party in the back? I LOVE it.
·         Mila Kunis – Want. Want. Want. I’m wearing this to my next wedding. I’m kidding. Sort of. #VowelRenewal.
·         Zosia Mamet – Some people may put this on the worst list, but I loved the black and white dress and the hair. Loved. (It looked better on TV)
·         Michelle Dockery – I want to be her in my next life. Pale skin and all.
·         Reese Witherspoon – she does no wrong in my book. Her bod looks awesome in that dress – especially her boobs (I had to say it).
·         Margot Robbie – The beading on that white dress was amazeballs. (Another one that looked better on TV).
·         Cate Blanchette – Black is typically boring to me, but I love this dress.

Honorable mention to Sandra Bullock’s color blocking.

Tina and Amy looked awesome when they walked out on that stage. Perfect colors, perfect sparkle and perfect fits!

Honorable mentions to the bumps on the carpet – my girl Kerry Washington, Drew Barrymore and Olivia Wilde. They all looked great.

I wanted to love Lena Dunham’s dress. I did love the color! But the fit was off on top for me.

Of course I love J. Law. I like the white dress….but it reminds me of her 2013 Oscar dress. I get that she is a Dior ambassador, but…I want something different.

Lupita Nyong is drop dead gorgeous and has awesome style. I loved her dress and the color with her skin, but the cape just reminded me of Gwyneth’s 2012 Tom Ford Oscar’s dress.

From far away, I like Julie Bowen. Once I zoomed in on a pic, I was ehhh. This dress would make my sister, J Bo, cringe – it looks part velvet. 
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Pittsburgh BYOB Joints

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Some months the Winey Women Wine Club selects a BYOB restaurant to host our meetings. This month the club was brainstorming, so I thought I would share some of my favorite BYOB’s in Pittsburgh!

·         Sarafinos – Family friend Joey’s restaurant in Crafton. I love everything on the menu, but you MUST try the greens & beans and pizza.

·         Sausalido – Longtime friend Nick’s eatery in Bloomfield. Get the Gouda app and you can’t go wrong with the Crabcakes! Nick is also a master caterer!

·         Piccolo Forno – Lawrenceville pizza joint. I’m not dying to go back, but it was good!

·         Legends North Shore – The pasta tasted incredibly fresh! Two forks up!

·         Armstrong’s – I haven’t been to this place in YEARS, but I still think about their club sandwich. Anyways, it’s close to my hometown of Robinson and apparently BYOB!

·         La Tavola – You can’t beat a trip to Mt. Washington and La Tavola is a great atmosphere with great food!

·         Noodlehead – A stone’s throw away from my apartment, I went to Noodlehead with former reader Lindsay and we got three meals and an app (one meal was for Brady) for $30! This place is delicious and a steal!

·         Mia Madre: While I just ate here less than a year ago, I sadly can’t remember my meal! I think it was good!? I remember thinking that my dish was good, but Sarafinos was better. Anyways, another option!

Some places that I haven’t tried, but that are on my list:
·         Avenue B
·         E2
·         Penn Avenue Fish Company
·         Wild Rosemary
·         Girasole – pretty much on my street, so I’m not sure why I haven’t been here yet!

·         Smoke – BBQ! 

What did I forget? 
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@ShotOfBrandi #Crafttime

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Typically my spare January time consists of two things: Crafting and Cooking. 

Despite no parking spots a Whole Foods and a canned tomato shortage at Trader Joe's, this week I whipped up some delicious chili and have tortilla soup on the stove as we speak (err type).

In between the cooking, I threw together a simple craft project to brighten up my desk…the desk of a “social media strategist.”

Michael’s has these super cute wooden @ and # signs. I painted them in black and pink for potential use in future client content AND because they match my cube color motif! I then added a coat of the Martha Stewart glitter finish.

I could see the # and @ signs being used to make a social media-friendly sign on the wall of a house – perhaps #YOLO or @ShotOfBrandi on my apartment walls!?  

Total Cost: $8ish – I already had the paints & glitter! 
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Looking back on 2013...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Hello Readers! Happy 2014!

Like I did last year, I like to use Jan. 1st as a time to reflect back on my blogging stats from the past year.

Some things I want to point out…

·         2013 marked my 6th year of blogging, but I also penned the least amount of posts!

·         California topped PA as the state with the most readers! Ohio fell off the list this year. I blame reader Lindsay.

·         The 30th birthday party ideas post is getting a lot of hits on my blog because someone pinned it! Same with my 50 Shades of Grey Post!

Thank you all for following along to my little blog. I always have some fun recipes, crafts and shopping lists up my sequin sleeves, so I hope you continue to follow me throughout the year! 

Oh and by the way....

This is my 800th Post!!!!
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No DRINKuary

So I wasn’t the first person to think of this. Google tells me that it was this blog.

However, I haven’t seen this out there anywhere else, so I’m the second person to think of this.

This January, I’m going to celebrate: No Drinkuary.

That’s right. I’m going to not drink alcohol. Let me know if you want to join me. We can have our own little support group.

There may be two exceptions or *cheat* days:
1.      A trip to Morgantown. I mean they practically hand you a beer when you get off 79. I’ve never returned to Morgantown in the last 10 years without having a drink!
2.      If our wine club meets, I’ve gotta sip the blends! I’m the secretary!

I’ve decided to lay off the booze – specifically wine – just to reset myself (and liver) after the holidays and use of prescribed narcotics. I am not pregnant.

So water cheers to a great January! I’ll report back my results! 

Updated: My fav website, The Daily Mail, has wrote a story about Janopause....taking a pause from drinking in January! Studies show that there are health benefits to this! 
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