Oct 08, 2015
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My boys are OBSESSED with Halloween, thanks to my diligent guidance and mild obsession as well.  They have been planning Halloween costumes since June and begging me to bring out the spooky decorations as soon as school started.

 

And the drawings, oh, the drawings.  They have taped adorably creepy pictures of zombies, evil pumpkins, and witches all over my walls.  They write “HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!” at the top of every creation.  They are excited, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

The little guy loves all things art, so I made sure we had a special Halloween project that was easy enough for a 4 year old that we could work on together.  At the craft store, I picked up ghost foam shapes, pumpkin foam shapes, googly eyes, glitter glues, bloodshot eyeballs, ribbon, felt sheets, and pompoms.  Once I had collected all of the supplies, that was went I decided on a simple Halloween bunting.  He would do the decorating, I would do the bunting creation.  There was little mess to this project and it kept him interested until all of the foam shapes were decorated, double win for me!!

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I peeled of backings of eyeballs and got the glitter glue flowing and he expertly decorated pumpkins and ghosts, the way 4 year olds do…sweetly and with gusto.  While he was making 3 eyed ghosts, I was decorating my own little collection of ghosties and pumpkins with sparkly polka dots and stripes.

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Once all of the glue had dried, it was hole punchin’ time.  I punched a hole on each side of each foam creation with a standard paper punch.

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Then it was time to cut about 6 inch length of ribbon and get to tying each piece of foam together.  I did it 2 different ways, one way was to just tie knots at the end of each ribbon on the backside of each foam craft.

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The second way I attached the ribbon was I glued loops of ribbon together to make a ribbon “chain”.

FullSizeRender[4]Once everything was chained and knotted, the bunting was done.

 

I hung everything on the wall and surprised my darling boy with the finished project.  He was so jazzed to see his hard work as a fun Halloween craft.  Then he HAD to pose in front of his hard work as Darth Vader, because HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Oct 05, 2015
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It’s that time of year again, where I tell you that I lost.  Again!

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The Regional Emmy’s were this weekend at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America and it was a lovely party.  I met a bunch of new and cool people, wore a cute dress and lost in the Host category (again).  I’m cool with it, because like I have said before, I was up against a bunch of really talented and lovely people who are actual journalists, and getting nominated for the 2nd year in a row proves that I am on the right track and am doing a good job.  (But if I were to have won, I was gonna glue that gold sucker on the hood of my Volvo and have the pimpest hood ornament in town.)

 

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I went to the party with my photographer/friend Nick, who is an Emmy winner x a million.  I think he was part of projects that won 2 or 3 Emmy’s that night.  What a show off.  😉

Fun Fact! Wes Walz, the pro hockey player was at my table (he won an Emmy too).

 

But no worries, my friends.  There are more MIWS videos to be made and next year is totally my year.

 

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Sep 28, 2015
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My project of Thanksgiving Glitter Garland is featured in the newest fall edition of MOPS magazine, Hello, Dearest. 

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You can sign up at their website to get a free digital copy if you want to check it out.  It’s full of cute pictures, interesting articles and is definitely for the mom who loves to be a mom.

Sep 08, 2015
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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.17.20 PMHoly cow.

 

This happened again.  I’m still smiling from hearing the news over the weekend.

 

What makes this extra special is that I am lucky enough to have been nominated in the Host category for the second year in a row.  And did you see the other people nominated??  Awesome, legit journalists.  And me.  Ha.

 

It truly is an honor to be nominated.

Aug 10, 2015
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Above is a fun little promo video I made for my Instagram feed.  15 seconds of funk!

 

The alphabet is everywhere.  You can’t escape them.  While I really liked the old school, vintage, light up letters, I didn’t like the price tag attached.  So here is a easy and affordable option for making some letters with some sparkle.

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I found these particular letters at Target recently.  Have you seen their crafty section??  It’s got some pretty sweet stuff in there!  (These letters were in the clearance section, so hurry up and claim your faves.)

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They are a kind of paper mache and have a thin cork layer on the front.  I also found a tin of multi-colored and multi-sized sequins in the same crafty section at Target and knew I needed to mix these 2 items together.

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Instead of glue, which seemed messy at the time, I went the pin route, meaning I individually pinned each sequin to the letters so they could wiggle and sparkle.  I didn’t use regular old stick pins, but sequin pins that I found at Michael’s.  Pick up a thimble while you’re there, you’re gonna need it once you start pinning.

I also came across a slightly smaller but similar style of letter at Michael’s, so if Target is out, you have a back up.

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The sequin pins are shorter than regular stick pins, so be careful, they are easy to lose.  I just started laying out the big sequins first and pinned those in, followed by the smaller sizes, filling in holes as I went.  Sometimes I over lapped sequins and I left some cork show through, for a little more dimension.  For all 6 letters, I ended up using 1 full jar of sequins (400 count), followed by another 100 from a new tin.  I pinned at an upwards angle to prevent sequins from slipping off of the pins.  You could use glue, but I would only use a small amount to prevent oozing.

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I have wanted something in my office to say “Make Me” for a while now, and now, I have the sparkliest, most colorful letters to keep me inspired.

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Jul 20, 2015
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Emceeing is the weirdest thing.

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First of all, it’s scary as hell.  People stare at you.  It’s either because they are listening to what you say or, it’s because they want you to SHUT. UP. so the next band can play.

Secondly, It’s just you, talking to a lot of people who can’t/won’t/aren’t interested in talking back.  It’s similar to talking to yourself in the mirror.  But way more awkward.

 

This past weekend I emceed Stillwater Log Jam for the 2nd year in a row.  The first year, I was absolutely terrified.  And it showed.  I was only a few months into Making It With Stephany, I had no experience and no idea what to expect.  Friends told me I “did a great job”, because I was horrible and they were trying to be supportive.  (I have very nice friends.)  I used it as a learning experience and never planned on talking into a microphone to a large group of people again.

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This year was a complete 360.  I was so happy to be asked back and had so much great stuff happen to me in the past year (TCL, TV interviews, newspaper interviews, etc.) that I was only a teensy bit scared.  I was even feeling a little bit confident, which is totally not like me at all.  Plus, I was friends with many of the bands that were returning to the Log Jam stage like Choo Choo Bob, Ruben and Thrift Store Sonata, and excited to meet new bands like Malamanya, Frankie Lee, Black Market Brass and Charlie Parr.  4 on the Floor was there to rile up the crowd and get everyone rowdy on Saturday night, which was fun to see, complete with beach balls, sombreros and an intense, “sober” shirtless dude with the world’s best mullet who licked his fingers while he danced in the crowd.

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Also, the stage was able to be set up right on the river this year, which was a great view, provided a nice breeze and had a mini city of boats as neighbors for the weekend.  (Last year, the St. Croix River was so high, that the stage wasn’t able to be near the river so the bands wouldn’t fall in. and float away.)  Everything was lined up to be perfect.  And it was.

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I really want to thank Paul, one of the creators of Stillwater Log Jam for asking me to be a part of the festivities again.  I had so much fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I loved seeing the city full of residents, tourist, families and dogs.  (OMG I met the sweetest Irish Wolfhound!)  A big thank you to  “The Locals”,  Brad and Lift Bridge Brewery for the Getaway and Smalley of Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ for the ass kicking pork tacos.

 

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Jul 11, 2015
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Want to knock out an awesome home decor project this weekend?  All you need is tape!

Get yourself some washi/masking/removable tape and start a masterpiece on your wall!  It’s easy, removable and fun to do.  You don’t need to be a crafty genius to make this either!  It’s just lines and angles and you can do ANYTHING you want!  No rules!

 

It’s a perfect project for renters, non-commital types, and people who love change.  When your tired of your design, just peel it off!

 

Need inspiration?  Check out my video!

 

 

Jul 09, 2015
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If you were one of the lucky souls who received my mug in your mailbox within the last few weeks, I apologize.  It was only supposed to be a story, not a cover.  I wasn’t prepared for that!

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A few months back I was contacted by the editor of the magazine to give an interview about all things Making it With Stephany.  From there, we came up with the idea to have me write an accompanying article about cocktails in the valley.  That was a little scary for me, because if you read this blog, you know of my juvenile writing skillzz.  But I interviewed, wrote, edited, saved, re-wrote and submitted my article (a little over my word count requirement) and on time.

 

A photo shoot was scheduled to run along side the article.  Smiles were made, pictures were taken.  I had a general idea of when the magazine would be out and I was excited to see my words in print.

 

Then I show up on the cover.  Man, was that a weird feeling!  I still feel shy about it, which is odd because I am usually not shy.  You’ve seen the videos, right?!?

 

Here is the article online of my interview.  The article I wrote isn’t online, but in the hard copy of the magazine along with my tasty ass recipe for Blackberry Limoncello.

 

Thank you to Kersten and St. Croix Valley Magazine for taking the time to get to know a little more about me.

 

 

May 13, 2015
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Flower crowns.  So much fun to wear.  But these aren’t your grandma’s flower crown, these are huge, badass, and GLAM flower crowns!!

 

What’s great about these crowns is that they are simple.  No glue required.  Just floral tape, floral wire and giant colorful fake flowers.  You can get as creative and wild as you like.  I start with the biggest, prettiest flower and build around it with more flowers, constantly monitoring the progress to fill in holes and making sure the overall look is what I like.  Reinforcing the stems with extra floral tape is always a good idea, to prevent any flowers from getting loose and falling out.

 

Floral tape is awesome because you don’t have to wait for it to dry and if you need to change your design, it’s totally removable and non-permanent.  When you first start taking the tape off of the roll, you will find that it is not sticky.  You need to give it a little stretch while you start adhering it to your design to get the stickiness activated.  Then just pull and push down to get it to stick to itself.  So easy!

 

You can pull one of these guys together in about an hour. And since there is no glue, you can just make and wear!  So make yourself a big, bold crown and show me what you come up with!

 

Check my Instagram and you can see a pic of my dog wearing one of my creations.  Dogs in flowers crowns are the new internet sensation!  (Not really, but they should be!)

May 06, 2015
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I made my fourth appearance on Twin Cities Live yesterday sharing some really easy, really last minute Cinco de Mayo recipes.

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I was pretty jazzed about this segment because I was there not just to sling tasty cocktails (don’t worry, I still shared a cocktail) but I showed some yummy food recipes.  I was glad to show that I’m not just the TV booze girl, I can do food and party ideas too.

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I went all out for this segment.  In addition to bringing really delicious and quick recipes to celebrate Cinco, I crafted my ass off.  I found cute mini pinatas which weren’t in my color scheme, so I spray painted them gold and bronze to and a touch of glam to the table.  I used cactus instead of flowers, but instead of just throwing them in a pot and calling it done, I found cans of Mexican tomatoes, salsas and enchilada sauce and used those to bring more color in.  I also found a colorful papel picado banner that I hung in the background of the TCL kitchen.  Then, I made my own papel picado stir straws with a Martha Stewart paper punch and some colored paper.  They were they cutest!

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As for the food and drink, I made Shrimp Avocado Ceviche, which is amazing on it’s own (I just fill a bowl and eat it with a spoon), or as a dip served with chips, or you can make it a main course and eat it as tacos.  SO GOOD.

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I also made Beergaritas to wash down the ceviche.  I’m not a margarita person, but add some beer to cut the sweetness, and hot damn, I love it!

 

For dessert, how to Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Buttercream sound?  They are fantastic.  Along the same lines as the Beergaritas, adding the tequila to the cake mix and frosting cuts the sweetness and makes it easy to have more than one.  This is definitely for people who don’t like overly sweet treats.  It’s sweet, but not overpowerly sweet.

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You want the recipes??  Here you go!

 

Beergaritas:

1 can (12 oz) frozen limeade

1 12 oz bottle of Mexican beer, I used Negra Modelo

12 oz water

6 oz tequila, I used Sauza silver tequila

ice

lime wedges

Pour limeade, tequila, water, beer in larger pitcher.  Stir until the limeade has melted and is well mixed.  Add ice and pour into cups.  Garnish with lime wedges.

Shrimp Avocado Ceviche:

16 oz cooked shrimp, tails removed, diced

4-5 ripe tomatoes, diced

1/2 large red onion, diced

2 tsp minced cilantro

2 limes, juiced

1 tsp kosher salt

few dashes of pepper

2 avocados, diced

Combine tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, shrimp and cilantro in a large non-reactive bowl.  Refridgerate for at least 1 hour to let flavors combine.  Add avocado right before serving.  Serve with chips as a dip or in tortillas as tacos.

 

 

Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Buttercream Frosting:

to make cupcakes:

1 box white cake

4 egg whites

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup lime juice

1/4 cup tequila

(replace lime juice and tequila with a good margarita mixer for non-alcoholic version)

Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Pour batter into cupcake papers 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

to make the frosting:

1 cup of butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tbs lime juice

2 tbs tequila

fresh lime zest and sugar to sprinkle on top

(omit tequila and replace with lime juice for non-alcoholic version)

Beat butter with an electric mixer on high until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add powdered sugar in 1 cup at a time, with mixer speed at medium.  Add lime juice and tequila and beat until smooth.  If frosting is too runny, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.  Frost cupcakes and sprinkle lime zest and sugar on top.