Saturday, October 27, 2012

Albert Einstein

I had some fun with my typewriter this morning.  I'm thinking the "a" key needs a little help these days, but I guess that's what you get when your equipment is 40 years old.   ;-)


(You can check out my typewriter here if you're interested.)
xoxo
Laura

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

October is National Celiac Disease Awareness month, so I decided to share my favorite gluten free recipe with you today: macaroni and cheese!  This recipe is my favorite because my dad made it up for me a long time ago, and it's incredibly simple, and it tastes cheesy and delicious in exactly the way good comfort food should taste.

Have you ever wondered why all my recipes on Creating Laura are gluten free?  I wrote a post about why I'm gluten free on the new lifestyle blog (Two Buttons and a Blog) that I co-write with my best friend, Karleen, so you can check it out if you're interested.


Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients:
  1. 1 bag Tinkyada Pasta Joy gluten free brown rice elbow pasta
  2. 1 tbsp butter
  3. 1 tbsp gluten free flour (I used Deby's gluten free flour)
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 12 oz mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  6. salt


Directions:

  1. Boil the gluten free pasta, following the directions on the package, and wait until the noodles have only 10 minutes left to cook before you begin making the sauce.
  2. Start the sauce with a roux by stirring the butter and the gluten free flour together over low/medium heat.
  3. Slowly add the milk and the cheese, stirring the whole time, until an even consistency is achieved.
  4. Add salt to taste to complete the sauce.
  5. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
  6. Pour the sauce onto the pasta and stir until it is evenly coated.
When I serve the macaroni and cheese, I like to top it with a pinch or two of grated cheese just for fun.



Also, because I use the entire bag of pasta, this makes a huge batch.  I like to put the leftovers in the fridge and eat them for lunch for the rest of the week.


What's your favorite comfort food?
xoxo
Laura

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mini Things

This weekend I'm on a little vacation in San Francisco!  After we had brunch this morning, we were browsing around some shops and I ran across the cutest mini book necklace just like this one that you can buy on Peg and Awl's Etsy shop.  (Photo courtesy of Peg and Awl)


And that leads me to my love of the week... mini things!

Here are a few other mini things that I've run across this weekend:

1.  Mini terrariums are all over the place in this town, and I love them.  At this point in my life, this is the only size of garden that I could actually commit to taking care of.


2.  This gluten free mini cupcake made my day yesterday, as well as getting to wear my favorite mini bow ring (which surprisingly only cost $15 at Target).


3.  And of course mini pumpkins are everywhere right now also.  Apparently I'm not the only one who loves these little guys.



Do you like mini things too?  Am I crazy to actually believe that mini cupcakes taste yummier than their full-sized counterparts?

Either way, I hope you're having a fantastic weekend just like me!
xoxo
Laura

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Pumpkins of Etsy

I was browsing the Halloween section of Etsy last night and I was blown away by the diversity of handmade pumpkins (or handmade anything, for that matter) that a person can buy these days, thanks to the good ol' internet.  With Halloween only 2 weeks away, here are my 5 favorite pumpkins available for purchase, with all photos courtesy of the sellers on Etsy:

1.  Knit cotton napkin rings from Home and Garden Zen:


2.  Paper maché pumpkins from Chesapeake Pointe:


3. Handmade wood buttons by Wild Plums:


4.  Felted wool pumpkins by House of Moss:


5.  Knit pumpkin baby hat and cocoon by Mimi La Creations:


If you're not planning to make your own decorations for Halloween this year, I highly recommend checking out Etsy.  You'll be supporting the handmade crafting community and buying something that's different from all the other decorations on your block.

Happy decorating!
xoxo
Laura

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mason Jar Jack-O'-Lanterns



Halloween is almost upon us again so it's time to start decorating.  This summer, I spray painted bottles to make vases, and this week I thought it might be fun to use a similar technique on mason jars to make Jack-O'-Lanterns.  I'm so glad I gave it a try because they turned out to be something I can't wait to put out on the front porch!

Here's what you'll need to make these:

1.  Mason jars that have at least one smooth side for the Jack-O'-Lantern faces to go on.
2.  Masking tape
3.  Scissors
4.  "Frosted Glass" spray paint


Here's how you do it:

1.  Cut shapes out of masking tape and arrange them on the mason jars to make cute/scary/funny faces on the jars.


2.  Spray paint the jars (outside in the fresh air, and on top of something disposable like the paper bag I used). It's best to do several thin coats so that the paint doesn't form drips on the jar. If drips do form, however, don't sweat it.  I accidentally had some drips on my scary-faced jar and I ended up loving them because they made the face look even scarier.


3.  Let the paint dry.


4.  Peel off the tape faces and drop tea light candles inside the jars.  I used large jars, so 3 tea lights fit into each of my jars.  You're going to need a fire starter or a very long match to light the candles inside the jars.



5.  If you have the kind of jars that have lids with removable centers, remove that center and screw the lid back on the jar after you light the candles.  If you have solid lids, you'll need to poke holes in them so the candles have an oxygen source once they're lit and the lid is on. The hole-poking method will also provide a little more fire safety, so I recommend it even though it's a little more work.


Let me know if you try this out, I'd love to see a picture!
xoxo
Laura

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bookshelf Tour

When it comes to staying organized, I have a little more trouble with entropy than the average girl.  I think that's why I love minimalist decorative styles so much.  I feel most relaxed in a room that has less objects in it and that has a specific place where each of those objects belongs.  It makes me feel like there's room to breath.

In my Colorado home, my favorite bookshelf is the one in my bedroom because it's the perfect combination of storage and display space and it's not overly full.


Let's go on a tour, starting at the top left shelf and moving down:

1.  A few decorative keepsakes including a snow globe from Aspen and a sketch that I bought on the street in Florence, Italy.


2.  A digital picture frame.  These are awesome because you can display a whole bunch of pictures but only take up the space of one.

3.  A really big dictionary and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.  I majored in English in college and I love words.

4.  My mom's old typewriter.  There's a quote from Great Gatsby taped to it because it just might be the prettiest piece of prose ever.


5.  A box full of old pictures and a collection of old magazines.  I love holding onto old pictures, but they can clutter up my room so fast if I'm not careful, so I like having this nice wooden box to contain them.

Now for the middle row, starting at the top:

6. Two old programs from shows that I skated in and a nail polish rainbow.  I have tons of keepsakes from all the shows that I've done, so I'm proud of myself for only picking two programs and keeping the rest in a box in my closet.  That way I can change them out every once in a while and my whole room doesn't become an homage to my life in ice shows.


7.  This shelf is my favorite because it stands for a huge triumph over messiness.  In the bigger of those pink bags is my ridiculously large collection of show makeup, and the smaller bag contains all the bottles of nail polish that didn't fit in the rainbow on the shelf above it.  I just have way too much of both things to display them all without it looking overwhelming.

8.  This is the little desk where I do my day-to-day makeup.  I try to keep it very minimal.  Also isn't that mirror fun?  It lights up.

Moving on to the right side, starting at the top again:

9.  My headbands are wrapped around a mason jar with more hair accessories inside it, and next to that is a fun picture of my friend Liz that I took back in college.

10.  Here I have my necklaces hanging on a jewelry tree and my bracelets are inside a bowl that I won at a skating competition.  Just like my ice show paraphernalia, I have a ridiculous amount of mementos from my competitive skating days, so I enjoy displaying one (useful) item from that era and keeping the rest out of sight.


11.  This shelf is for my fancier jewelry, most of which I keep in their original boxes inside the pink bag and my super old pink jewelry box from when I was a little girl.  I like to keep a couple of sparkly things on display here because I like to look at them, but only a couple.

12.  My blogging equipment lives here.  There's my camera, lenses, tripod, and notebooks.  I like to keep them visible so I'll remember to use them.

13.  This shelf has some photo books on it.  I have a lot of photos!

And yes, that is a pair of cowboy boots on the floor next to the bookshelf.  =)

Thanks for coming on my bookshelf tour with me!  Can you tell that the major theme here is storage, storage, storage?  That way all the pretty things don't get lost in the clutter.

How do you keep yourself organized?
xoxo
Laura

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ch.. Ch... Changes

Did you notice that this blog was down yesterday?  I hope it didn't bug you too much.  It was unavailable because I was switching to my pretty new format!  Do you like it?  I do, and I'm really happy to finally share it with you, as I've been working on it for quite some time now.

I've been in a "change is a good thing" kind of mood lately.  Does that ever happen to you?

In keeping with my mood, I've started a Creating Laura facebook page, which you can find here. It's a funny little page right now (in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree kind of way) because I just started it yesterday.  When I checked it this evening, it appeared that 2 of my very sweet friends had started following me, so clearly I'm nailing it.   ;-)



If you're the facebooking type, I'd love for you to be my third thumbs-up.
xoxo
Laura

Saturday, October 6, 2012

(Gluten free) Pumpkin Muffins

Yesterday was the first really cold day we've had this fall, so we lit the fireplace and I put on some warm socks and a sweater and baked some pumpkin muffins.  I wanted to use one of the Betty Crocker gluten free baking mixes but I couldn't find a recipe that incorporated the mix, so I made up my own.  I basically just followed the cupcake instructions on the back of the box, except I replaced 2 of the eggs with a 1/2 cup of pumpkin and added some yummy spices.


Ingredients:


Directions:
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat all of the ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  • Pour the batter into 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans.
  • Bake for 18-23 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, they are fully cooked.


I'm so happy with the way these muffins turned out!  They are nice and moist because of the pumpkin, with a delicate flavor to them.  But really, how could they not be good?  I made them with cake mix, so they are basically cupcakes masquerading as muffins, and who doesn't love that?  If you topped these with some cream cheese frosting (and maybe even added a few chocolate chips to the batter) you would have some seriously awesome cupcakes.  But I'm choosing to pop them in the microwave for a few seconds, spread some butter on them, and eat them like the fabulous fall breakfast treat that they are (accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee, of course).


Happy fall!
xoxo
Laura

Fall Purples

This week I’m absolutely loving my two new purple nail polishes.  They’re perfect for fall because they’re dark colors, and I love that neither one of them is a classic purple.  One is brownish purple (OPI “My Big Break”) while the other is a grayish purple (OPI “You Don’t Know Jacques!”).



What colors are you loving this fall?
xoxo
Laura

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm making a big move. Yikes.

This blog is currently making a big move from Wordpress to Blogger...

If things seem a little rocky on this site for a few days please don't give up on me!

Also, please make sure you're connected to creatinglaura.com and not creatinglaura.wordpress.com, as the latter link won't be around forever.

Everything will be back to normal (or maybe even a shinier version of normal) asap.  =)

Thanks for sticking by me!
xoxo
Laura

Creating Laura is turning one!

Today is a really big day!  This little blog has been around for 1 whole year now, and in my eyes it seems like it's been no time at all and forever all at once.  The blogging learning curve has been super steep and I know I'm definitely not to the top of that hill yet, but I love learning new ways to improve this blog.  And that's just the actual putting-things-up-on-the-internet side of it.  I cannot tell you how much this blog has made me grow as a person over the past year.  It has been an incredible confidence booster because each new project that I do makes me realize more and more that I am capable of doing pretty much anything if I take the time to think it through.  I don't even feel like the same person who wrote this first post.  Also, my world is so full of pretty things now!  And this blog and all those good feelings are addicting so the more I blog, the more I want to blog!  I can't wait to see where this blog and I go in the future.

In honor of Creating Laura turning 1, here is a look back at my 10 favorite posts from the past year:
  1. XOXO coffee cup sleeve


2.  Nail stamping



3.  Sock Buns!



4.  Yarn Bombing



5.  Cutesy Tools: How to Decoupage a Screwdriver



6.  Ombre Nails



7.  Baby Crazy



8.  (Gluten-Free) Pumpkin Cookies



9.  Grownup friendship bracelets



10.  Little Knitted Flowers



It's been a great ride so far.  Thanks for keeping me company along the way!
xoxo
Laura
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