Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pin Tested: Paint Sample Art

Final post regarding the Pinterest Party that I recently attended: my craft.

Painting - Dining Room Color Inspiration

For my craft project, I decided to make some Paint Sample Art for my dining room. I was inspired by this art (that I got from Goodwill about a year ago).

I used instructions from A Beautiful Mess for inspiration, but I made a few changes...


  1. Two smaller frames instead of one large one - I got these two plain frames from Michael's for approx. $20 when I used a coupon from the weekly ad
  2. Trim all of the paint chip pieces (to get rid of the paint color name) (this also made the samples the same height)
  3. Leave a bit of white space (the back of the frame insert) between each color - it was a little time consuming, but I thought leaving a space would make the piece more interesting (and I could make it so the frame was filled with full chips)
  4. I did not add a saying/phrase
Pinterest Party Crafts


Rachel Approved: Yes! This project was inexpensive (about $25 for two frames and double stick tape - the paint samples were free) and super easy. It can even be accomplished while enjoying wine and snacks! I'm proud of how it turned out - it is a great way to add color to a room that you are not allowed to paint.

Also I'm a pretty crafty person, but to do this project you really only need to know how to use a paper cutter and apply double stick tape.

I would definitely do this project again (if my apartment were actually a mansion and nobody would notice the similar artwork in multiple rooms). Maybe I'll make another as a gift for someone?

Bonus: Allows you to practice your stealth/spy moves as you take a plethora of paint samples in the same few colors.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pin Tested: Skinny Taco Dip

In my most recent post, I mentioned attending a Pinterest Party where we each brought a dish to share based on a recipe we found on Pinterest. For the party (and my family Christmas Eve celebration), I made Skinny Taco Dip. I used Gina from Skinny Taste's recipe:

Skinny Taco Dip
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 8 oz reduced fat sour cream
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa (I didn't add this because I forgot it at the store and I don't think I would add it when I make the dip again - it was wonderful without it and I don't love chunks of peppers)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2.25 oz black olives (I didn't add these because I don't like olives)
I added:
  • Green onions - thinly sliced
  • Approx 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (cooked and then cooled)
  • Guacamole (for the Pinterest party version - I added a layer on top of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture)
 In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning and mix well with an electric mixer. Spread on the bottom of a large shallow glass dish. Top with corn, (guac), shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Rachel Approved?: Yes! This recipe was a huge hit with my co-workers at our Pinterest party as well as with my family on Christmas Eve. Everyone loved it and it was very easy to make. This recipe is great to bring to a party because of it's ease and crowd-pleasing nature. I've thought about adding beans to the recipe so I might do that (as long as I'm not making it for my family (which does not have many bean fans)
I will definitely be making this recipe again! I'd love to hear your thoughts about the recipe after you try it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pin Tested: Banana Bread in Mug

Yesterday, I found a recipe for banana bread in a mug and decided that today would be the perfect day to try it. I followed Kita's recipe.

As I assembled my ingredients, I realized that I did not have any baking powder so I did some research on backing powder replacements. A few websites said that baking powder could be made by mixing baking soda and cream of tartar, but alas, I had no cream of tartar either. I decided that I would use just a little more baking soda since the recipe only called for 1/8 tsp. of each anyway. I did make a few other additions: chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips! (Also, check out that new whisk! The real reason I wanted to make this: to use a Christmas gift! Thanks Grandma!)

I followed all other directions from the original recipe. While cooking, the banana bread in a cup passed the smell test, but the taste and site tests were not as clear. I think the flavors of the bread were okay (but I might add a little cinnamon if I made it again), but I was not a fan of the texture. One of my favorite things about banana bread is it's browned, slightly-crusty top and it's slightly dry nature. Using a microwave (and the steam that occurs inside), caused my favorite qualities to be lost in this banana bread. It was a bit more cake-like than I enjoy. The bread not being my ideal texture, will prevent me from making this banana bread in a mug again, but I will continue to enjoy traditional banana bread. I'm also planning on trying some other (cake) mug recipes in the future.

Notice another popular pin? I created a Sharpie-d Mug a few weeks ago. I made it at a Pinterest Party with my co-workers. (We all brought a snack made with a recipe we found on Pinterest as well as materials to make a craft from Pinterest) The hostess provided traditional black Sharpie markers and these plain mugs to make as favors. I've been carefully hand washing mine, but I still lost a little of the black off of my handle. I've read in other posts containing a mix of successes and failures, but oil-based markers seem to have a better success rate. I'm going to love mine a lot and if the paint comes off, I'll be happy to troubleshoot and try again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I became obsessed with Pinterest almost 2 years ago (?) - thank you Sissy, for introducing it to me! I love the Pinterest process: discover something I love and then pin it. The next step could be one of three options: completing it, dreaming about doing the project/making the recipe, or forgetting about it.

My favorite things to pin (and actually try) are crafts for my apartment and recipes. I'm all about simple projects that do not use a lot of items.

Recently, I've been enjoying reading blogs by other pinterest fans discussing their Pinterest experiences and when I started looking around my apartment, I realized I have created a lot of things that are Pinterest inspired. I would like to share my successes and struggles with you. I also hope that writing about my Pinterest projects will motivate to complete more of my approximate 400 pins.