Tim Tam Slam!!!

Today I was introduced to something rather AMAZING!

I’d like to say I’m not one to over exaggerate things, but that’s a lie... I over exaggerate EVERYTHING! I do for good reason of course, and that's because most things in life are pretty amazing! 

I’d rather have a life of simple joys, rather than waiting for the big moments to sweep me off my feet. Every moment in life can be ‘foot-sweeping’.

Today I was introduced to the ‘Tim Tam Slam’! Well to be fair, today I was introduced to Tim Tams, and then the Tim Tam Slam.


No one ever foretold a coffee this large!
It barely fit in the cup holders, and covered most of the radio!


Tim Tam’s are these very tasty and delicious cookies from Australia. They are described as the most indulgent chocolate biscuit, and they are not far from the truth! They forgot delicious, decedent, crunchy, sweet, tasty and amazing!!!

The cookie alone is pretty damn good, and while we only made it back to the car before we ripped open the package and took a bite, we still had to get our coffee (or in my case tea).


We headed to Timmy’s (well we took a very long and awkward route to get to the Tim Hortons) but we made it eventually, and we both had a free coffee or latte coming our way from Roll-up!


I figured since we had free drinks coming out way we may as well get the biggest size we could!!


Comparison to the size of my head!! Oh my!


Apparently in the Tea lattes you can only go up to Large, and not their new size, extra large. I however, quickly problem solved and simultaneously confused the Tim Hortons employees. Make the Large, with the machine and my tea, pour it into an extra large cup and top it off with hot water. It took a little extra explaining and few eye-rolls from the customers in line behind me, but I think I got the whole 9 outta my free drink! Plus I got the large cup (with a roll up rim!) and the size I wanted! Who says you can’t have it all?




The best part of the whole procedure... I won a free doughnut! (annoyingly spelled ‘donut’ on the rim! Isn't Tim Hortons Canadian-ish?)














Back to the Tim Tam Slam!

The Procedure:

Bite off opposite corners of the Tim Tam like so:




With one end in the drink (coffee or tea) suck up the drink through the ‘Tim Tam straw’ through the other end of the cookie, thus saturating the inner cookie goodness with the drink. As soon as you can taste the drink, flip the cookie into your mouth and enjoy the joy.





It’s delicious, crunchy, gooey and life altering.

I (the self proclaimed diabetes causing baker) could only handle about three before I could feel the sugar shakes coming on, and had to stop.


I don’t think I’ll ever look at tea and cookies the same way again!


designing a life more delicious
Anna Felicity

Gluing my life (and fingers) together....

I've never been one to craft for every season, occasion, or event I come across. I’ve always been more of a ‘fly by the seat of my pants, create when the inspiration hits’ type.

Today those two things managed to find each other in the form of a lovely easter/springtime wreath.





The whole procedure actually started a few days ago, when I came across this lovely little idea from Alissa, via my new favourite site, Pinterest (seriously, get Pinterest!!!). I knew I really wanted to try these embroidery floss covered eggs, especially since a similar endeavour failed miserably (mostly because I used completely the wrong materials, but that’s a whole other story).

So off I went to the dollar store and I bought my supplies. I had a few of the items already at home, but I brought them all together to start this sticky wonderful mess:


Yes, that is a Whiskey/Soda in the background 
  • Water bomb balloons
  • Embroidery floss
  • Fabric Stiffener - I use Stiffy Fabric Stiffener, and yes it is a hilarious name!
  • White Glue
  • Vasaline - or any Petroleum Jelly of course
  • A paint brush
  • A plastic cup
  • Pins
  • Cork or styrofoam (or something to stick the pins in)
  • Wax paper

I (of course) prepared my work area, had the wax paper over the cork (my cork placemats), and mixed my glue and fabric stiffener together in my plastic cup.

The mixture is about ⅔ glue, ⅓ fabric stiffener. It should be just a bit thicker than cream. 
Vaseline covered balloons... Mmm

Blow up the balloons, and tie them off. I made them all different sizes because I figured there was no way I’d get them all the same size, and that would piss me off more.

I pinned the balloons to the cork board through the wax paper, and obviously through the end of the balloons. Well okay one I screwed up and popped the balloon accidently, right next to my dogs face.

Next I cleaned up after my dog and his weak bladder.

Coat the balloons in Vaseline, and as with most uses of vaseline, you can’t really use too much, can you?



Once all your balloons are prepared, unwrap the embroidery floss (and I strongly suggest you unwrap it first, since there’s no guarantee the floss isn’t already a little knotted, and knotted gluey thread isn’t fun for anyone.)


Dip the floss in the glue mixture and use the paintbrush to push it in.

Don’t dip it all in! HOLD ONTO THE END! Trust me, if you lose the end, give up then. Life and this craft are not worth finishing if you lose the end!

To serious? Sorry, Okay... life is worth it, and the whole craft is probably gonna make it, but give up hope of keeping that particular floss colour. It’s lost forever... just let it go.


Pull the floss out of the glue mixture and squish out the majority of the glue off the thread. Don’t hold onto it like your life depended on it... Give it more of a loving feel... It’s delicate, don’t hurts its feelings. You want there to be some glue left on the floss.

The rest is pretty easy. Wrap the balloons. Go any way you want! You can have patterns, but as you saw I chose the somewhat more insane look. Think schizophrenic cat with a ball of gluey yarn!


I let the ‘eggs’ dry for at least 12 hours, over night and I made sure to rotate them in the morning, about a half hour before I popped the balloons. Pop them with the pins and then you see your real results.
Some of the balloons still have a bit of ‘spring in their step’ and pop with authority, and others collapsed in a creepy slowly dying kinda way. It was disturbing.




The finished ‘eggs’ are really great, and I found they could be easily used in a centre piece or random decoration for spring.












I of course knew my work was not yet done, and I had more to do. 

I covered a wreath frame in strips of light green felt (1½” x 3½”), layering them around the wreath. I hot glued them on, my favourite technique, and I actually put into use an awesome lifehack I saw the other day.


This particular tip said to put Vaseline on the tip of your hot glue gun to prevent the long strings of glue. Since I already had the Vaseline right there, I figured why not. It actually works quite well. Since my trusty glue gun has been with me for many a year already, I still had a few stringy bits, but I figure on a new (or cleaner) glue gun, it would work quite well.


After the frame was covered, all that was left to do was artfully place the eggs on the wreath and glue them in place. I held the eggs in place while the glue cooled and solidified, to make sure they were in exactly the place I wanted. No eggs outta place on my watch! I also glued the eggs to each other for added stability.

Here’s the finished result, and I love it!



So spring-y and bright! It can also doubles as a table centerpiece with a pillar candle.

I'd love to see your endeavors, and hear your comments about mishaps with glue! I have a few eggs left over, so be sure to check back and see what else I come up with.


Happy Crafting!


       designing a life covering glue, that makes me smile
                   Anna Felicity

Carpet Cleaning... bliss?

I love my dogs, Harold and Kumar, and while they have comical and endearing names, what they left for me on the carpet this morning was neither comical nor endearing. My semi-conscious ‘dance’ to avoid stepping in dog puke was probably hilarious to the outside observer, but ended in my hitting the wall, tripping, and stepping in yet another ‘doggie present’.
Harold the Brave
Normally this would have been like any other Tuesday morning, I clean my foot off, clean the mess up, scrub away at the carpet in a vain attempt to get it back to its previous pristine self, and I move on with my day, but today, I realized was not a normal Tuesday.

Today was the first day in about a week that I've woken up with clear nasal passages, and apparently I haven't been able to smell anything for a week.

Kumar the Coward

This morning I could smell, and I wasn’t exactly greeted with the scent of roses and freshly baked bread.

Problem: Smell coming from downstairs carpet, that is beginning to permeate to the rest of the house. Anyone who knows me, or the house I live in, knows this humble abode came with more than a few problems, not the least of which was the fact that the previous owner was a well-to-do, but terrible handy-man, who made rookie mistakes, and dangerous repairs!

Final Solution: The Rug Doctor!!

This of course wasn’t my first solution, because my inner thrift queen always tries to come up with the best at home, cost free solutions.

While this homemade fabric refresher worked wonders when I forgot a whole load of laundry in the machine, and it ended up smelling like mildew it’s just not strong enough to combat the odor making skills of my dogs digestive tracts.

Second Attempt: Baking Soda Scrub
The technique is simple, albeit time consuming and not as easy as spraying some mist over the culprit carpet. It simply involves sprinkling baking soda on the carpet, scrubbing it in on the tough and particularly smelly bits, leaving it for about 15 minutes and then vacuuming it up. While this worked for some of the smell it does little to remove the stains, and also involves kneeling on the carpet, not ideal.
Tips: Wear clothes you don’t care about as you'll be down on your hands and knees scrubbing away. I also suggest you wear some kind of eye protection, because as you scrub at the mess with the bristled brush, the baking soda starts to clump together, and it has a tendency to flick back up. I believe the scrubbing technique is all in the wrist, and I have yet to master it. I manage to ‘aim’ those little clumps of powder and urine straight towards my face.
Before
Third attempt: Screw this at home stuff, I need professional help!!
After



While I’d never go so far as to hire someone to do work I can do myself, I am in this case referring to the professional help of an industrial strength, carpet cleaning wet vacuum, ie. the Rolls Royce of vacuums. The Rug Doctor, easily rentable at most Safeways or Home Hardwares, comes with all the bells and whistles, provides some deep carpet cleaning wonder, exudes luxury (in the most vaccumy-envy sense of the word), but can still be operated by a newbie like me.
There are three main types of carpet cleaner available for rental of purchase:
  • Upright extractors – These are by far the most common carpet cleaning machines for home use. They involve the use of a clean water reservoir and a gray water reservoir. Clean water and soap are sprayed onto a carpet and then extracted back into the machine.
  • Steam machines – Carpet cleaning machines that profess to be steam models for home use generally do not operate at quite the right temperature to produce steam. Instead, they rely on the use of hot water to help loosen and lift dirt and debris.
  • Hand-held devices – This type of carpet cleaning machine is a portable version of a larger model. *


Before



Today I felt I needed the big guns, and rented the Upright Extractor from my local Home Building Centre.
After


It cost about $45 CDN to rent the machine for 24 hours, and that included the name brand carpet cleaning soap that comes from the same company, Rug Doctor. If you’re cleaning carpet, there’s no need to get the anti-foam, that’s only needed if you’re using the machine to clean upholstery.

Tips:
  • When they say move slow, they mean move slow.
  • Hold onto the handle with both hands, because when the spay is going and the brush is spinning the whole things buzzes, and it really started to hurt my wrist when I was holding it with just one hand.
  • Go from the outside edges of the room toward the middle
  • When you move the furniture back you MUST put tin-foil under the legs of the furniture because it can stain under the the legs where the carpet is still wet, and those stains are SERIOUSLY difficult to remove!
  • The machine MUST be grounded, so make sure you have it in a three pronged plug! 




Other than my little bits of advice, and hilarious antics while trying to do things around my home, it is amazingly satisfying to see the stains cleaned right before your eyes!!!






         designing a life that is clean and stain free
                   Anna Felicity


*Information from: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/carpet-cleaning-machines

Hollywood Waves

I have recently become what I call a "Pinoholic".

I discovered Pinterest, and I'm hooked! (My account name is Anna Felicity, check it out!)

To that end, I finally actually tried something I saw and repinned on Pinterest!

I saw an instructional video from Birchbox on how to do simple Hollywood Waves, and here's the result:



It's not perfect, but it's a good start.

I washed my hair a few days ago*, so it wasn't holding a curls as much as I'd like. I used a little Waterless Shampoo from TRESemm√©, and lightly sprayed hairspray before and after curling. I let the curls completely cool before first pulling my fingers through, then the flat brush.

Overall the look is mostly achieved by pinning the 'lighter' side of the part very far back to give what the call the 'Veronica Lake' look. It's not a huge deal if the curls on the main side blend together or separate, I figure you just rock this look with confidence. (a little red lipstick of red (or coral) nails can't hurt either!)


          designing a life that makes me smile...
                    Anna Felicity




*No, washing my hair every few days isn't gross... you'd wash your hair every few days too if it took two hours to fully wash, de-tangle, condition, blow-dry, smooth, finish and curl! My other option is always to let it air dry (which I do in the summer), but that also takes at least two hours to fully dry, and considering the current average temperature outside is still around the 10 degrees Celsius mark, I'm not particularly inclined to do that either!)