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Art Journal

Hi, everyone! Ariel here with a short post about art journaling. If you spend any time at all with me you know I have an art journal (or four). I find having a designated place for creativity to be therapeutic; it’s a great way for me to recharge my batteries after spending time out in the world. I thought I would share a page I made recently in case anyone was curious about art journaling but wasn’t sure what was involved/how to start/what constitutes art journaling. I made a page in my journal about doing the Color Run with my husband and friend. I first gathered my supplies which were gesso and watercolors. Gesso is a primer for a page. You use it to make the page thicker and easier for things to stick to it, whether that’s paint or adhesive or what have you. It’s a little expensive but it’s worth the price if you have a journal with thin pages.  IMG_2830After painting on the gesso and allowing it to dry, I put blotches of watercolors at the top of the page and used a spray bottle filled with water to make the paint run down the page.

the blotches of paint will stay wet for a while so you can let the paint running down dry and then spray more water at the top to give more interest to the page
the blotches of paint will stay wet for a while so you can let the paint running down dry and then spray more water at the top to give more interest to the page

I sprayed water at the top of the page, letting the page dry between sprayings, until I was happy with the way everything looked. And to be totally honest, I didn’t like the top of the page with those big blotches of paint. That was okay, though, because the next thing I was going to do was put pictures from the Color Run on the page.

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I placed the pictures on the page in such a way as to hide what I didn’t like about the paint, namely the top and bottom. You can still see the colors and the way the blended together and that’s really what I was going for. I used photo corners to attach the pictures to the page. The only thing left to do at this point was to add some journaling about the day.

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Mostly I wrote that we had a great time and after the race we had an amazingly delicious breakfast at a local restaurant. And that’s it! There isn’t a whole lot going on with this page but I liked the way it turned out. It documented an experience that I will remember for a long time and allowed me to be creative.

Here’s a few links that I’ve found helpful in making an art journal:
A Beautiful Mess has an e-course that Caitlyn and I have used
Daisy Yellow has some good tips
Thistle Dew blog has monthly art journaling prompts

Also, PInterest has some really great art journaling images!

Have you ever kept an art journal?

Autumn Bucket List · Party

Autumn Bucket List: Hobo Stew Party

Every fall, my grandparents host a Hobo Stew Party at their lovely home up north. If you don’t know what a Hobo Stew Party is, you’re about to be introduced to a simple, fun gathering in which everyone participates in the main event: the stew!IMG_1173This year’s party took place a couple of weeks ago, and the main idea (as always!) was this: each person attending the party brought their own additions to add to the stew, and after the flavors had a chance to meld together and everything had been cooked through, it was time to eat!IMG_1176Chad and I brought tomatoes from our garden, kidney beans, and a light dessert. Yum!IMG_1172Above is the dessert I made: Mini Santa Maria’s (little cream puffs with shortbread bottoms). They turned out a little eggier than I would have liked, but they looked pretty at the very least!IMG_1195                                         I love this picture of my brother and Ariel at the party.

IMG_1180After eating, a walk was definitely in order, and it was a gorgeous fall day. IMG_1185IMG_1179I finally got to cross blowing dandelion seeds off my list 🙂
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We had a really nice time at the Hobo Stew Party. What is your favorite dish or addition to bring to a party?

xx Caitlyn

 

Autumn Bucket List

Sleeping Bear Dunes & Leelanau State Park in pictures

Chad and I went up north a couple weekends ago and were able to enjoy a very beautiful weekend (and a check off my autumn bucket list!). I hope you enjoy these pictures from our mini getaway 🙂

IMG_1123Sleeping Bear Dunes, MIIMG_1124IMG_1125Stacked stonesIMG_1129Incredibly clear waterIMG_1130IMG_1134IMG_1137Chad was crazy and jumped in the super cold water!IMG_1140Here we are after finishing the hike.IMG_1148Leelanau State ParkIMG_1149Couldn’t ask for a better camping weekend!IMG_1153I thought this was such a neat idea!IMG_1155IMG_1156IMG_1158We tried a new brewing company.IMG_1166We also went to a couple of wineries. (Click for a larger image.) I could relate to the last two haha

IMG_1171 This wall in Traverse City was part of a poetry project. IMG_1168

We had such a nice time 🙂 Enjoy your day, lovelies!
xx Caitlyn

Food & Cooking · Party

Beer Mug Pretzel DIY

IMG_1261When I was planning my Oktoberfest Party, I scoured the web for fun ideas. I was quite surprised that there wasn’t a whole lot out there for decor and party ideas, so I ended up figuring out a lot of it on my own. One fun idea I did come across was for beer mug pretzels, but I could only find a picture without instructions or more information. Thus, I bring you today: an easy tutorial!

You will need:

*Pretzel Rods
*Mini Pretzels
*Chocolate and White Chocolate Candy Coating
*White Pearl-Shaped Sprinkles
*Food ColoringIMG_1259Start out with a pound or so of chocolate candy coating (depending on how many beer mug pretzels you want to make). Melt the candy according to the directions, and then coat about 2/3 of each pretzel rod. Let the candy harden on parchment paper while you prepare your remaining ingredients.IMG_1260Next pour some of your sprinkles into a bowl so it’s easy to dip your pretzels, and break “handles” off of your mini pretzels. Then melt your white chocolate (you won’t need nearly as much white chocolate as you only put a little on the pretzels). Add food coloring until the “beer” is the color you like. Coat a small portion of the chocolate-covered end of your pretzel rods with the “beer,” and then dip the top in the white sprinkles to make foam. Lastly, add a mini pretzel handle, dipping the handle in a little of your “beer” to help it stay on if necessary.

IMG_1266Let your beer mug pretzels dry on parchment paper or upright in a cup, and then enjoy! I think these could be great for all kinds of parties–perhaps even a tailgating party! What are some of your fun party treat ideas?

xx Caitlyn

P.S. I’ve started one of my thrift store challenge projects, and I am getting super excited! To give you a hint, it has involved a lot of sanding so far! Can’t wait to hear more about what you’ve been coming up with!

Autumn Bucket List · Party

Oktoberfest Party

Over the weekend we had an Oktoberfest Party at our house, and it was full of amazing food, good beer, and lots of laughter. It was a smaller sized party, but I loved how relaxed it was. We were even able to hang out outside by a fire in our new fire pit!

IMG_1267IMG_1264As always, I had a lot of fun decorating for the party. I bought the glass jars above from the dollar store, filled them with raffia, and then used glue dots to attach the ribbon and bottle caps. Then, I used the completed jars for utensils.

IMG_1269For good measure, I also tied a ribbon around my mums. Amanda came through with a few pretty pumpkins and some gold beads to add some charm, too.

IMG_1274The most memorable part of the evening was the food. Let me tell you, I could. not. stop. eating. Above you can see some homemade bread, a veggie platter, and a German Stir Fry that my coworker Jake made.

IMG_1270Next up: yummy guacamole made by Chad’s mom, potato salad made by the lovely Ariel, some chex mix, sour kraut and other condiments, and the best brats I have ever had in my life.

IMG_1273I couldn’t get enough of this Oktoberfest Stew Amanda made either!

IMG_1266For dessert I made these fun Beer Mug Pretzels (I’ll have a brief and simple tutorial on how to make them soon!).

IMG_20141011_203453_169Chad’s mom also made this yummy Black Forest Cake for dessert. (I almost forgot to take a picture, and by the time I remembered I may or may not have had a couple of beers, so I apologize for the poor photo.)

IMG_20141011_204555_682Michael was a classic photo bomber.

IMG_20141011_204538_920Amanda was good at it too… 😉

IMG_20141011_204402_579IMG_20141011_202600_493Jake, Amanda and I toward the end of the party

I had a lot of fun preparing for and attending our Oktoberfest Party. I found out that the following day (Sunday, October 12th) was actually the anniversary of the very first ever Oktoberfest. We had great timing!

xx Caitlyn

Thrift Store Challenge

Thrift Store Challenge~!

Hi everyone! I just got home from work, and from time to time when I’m walking home, I’ll stop by one of the local thrift stores to see if anything catches my eye. Today I stopped and ended up coming home with several fun items that I am super excited to transform. I have a few ideas rolling around already, but I was thinking it might be fun if YOU got involved in a thrift store challenge with me!

Here’s what I suggest: 1) Choose 3-5 items from your local thrift store, 2) Transform them or update them or find a new use for them, etc., and 3) leave a comment about your project and/or a link to your blog/pinterest/etc. that showcases your approach to the challenge in the comment section below by November 1st! Once the deadline passes, I’ll post some of my favorites in another Thrift Store Challenge post. We can keep it going monthly, and change the conditions of the challenge as we go (for example, next month perhaps we could all try to make something in particular!). Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Here’s what I’ll be working with:

IMG_1253Two clocks, a dirty old spice rack, an empty Suntory Whiskey bottle, and a rectangular basket. All of these items cost less than two dollars each.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you want to post about your project before November 1st, feel free to use the hashtag #littlesnailthriftchallenge on instagram, twitter, etc.!

xx Caitlyn

Autumn Bucket List · Food & Cooking

Autumn Bucket List: Apple Roll Cake

I am so excited to share a new recipe with you: Apple Roll Cake! To make this uh-mazing cake, you will need to use this cake recipe, apple butter (I used the apple butter I made and it was fantastic, if I do say so myself!), and whipped frosting (recipe follows).

IMG_1217To start, you’re going to beat eggs with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until nice and frothy and lemon-colored. Then you beat in sugar before turning the mixer on low and gradually adding water, vanilla, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, all spice, ground cloves, salt and powdered sugar. IMG_1224Once you’ve got your batter ready, pour it into a pan lined with parchment paper and spread into the corners. I carefully dropped the pan a few times on the counter to get out some of the air bubbles, too.IMG_1227Bake the cake for 12-15 minutes, preparing a powdered sugar-dusted towel in the meantime. IMG_1228Invert the cake onto the prepared towel and carefully peel off the parchment paper…

IMG_1229…then slowly roll up the cake and let it rest for 30 minutes before topping.

IMG_1233After the resting period, it’s time to add your yummy apple butter. I used about a cup and a half (nearly a pint jar full).

IMG_1234Because of the strong spices in the cake and the apple butter, I decided to compliment the flavors already present with a nice fluffy frosting.

IMG_1226To make the frosting, I whipped together the following ingredients in a small bowl over another bowl filled with ice water:

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream

IMG_1235After spreading a layer of the whipped frosting over the apple butter layer, it is time to roll up the cake.IMG_1238I frosted the outside of the cake and dusted a little cinnamon along the top to make it look pretty.IMG_1244Finally, your cake will be done! Make sure to store your cake in the refrigerator–it tastes even better cold and served with a complimentary coffee.  IMG_1241I brought some of the cake to work and we paired it with Starbuck’s Anniversary Blend. The cake was really good; one of my coworkers described it as an apple version of pumpkin pie. Once you try it, you’ll understand: the apple roll cake has lovely fall flavors, and the texture is moist yet light. Let me know if you try this recipe, and what your favorite cake recipe is in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out my Maple Roll Cake recipe if you’re looking to have more roll cakes in your future 🙂

xx Caitlyn