Archive for the ‘Creative ideas for your wallet’ Category

Can you believe it’s June already? School is out (well Graduate school is out for me for the summer), the sun is shining bright, kids are rejoicing, parents are hoping for just a little relax time. In honor of summer, of finishing my last full-time semester of Grad school (one class next semester), and to actually having time to blog again (hopefully) I wanted to share with you a quick, easy, and delicious dessert.

Chocolate Berry Shortcake

This is my take on a Strawberry Shortcake! And it’s so easy to make! I used ingredients from the local Fresh and Easy.

2 thin slices from a small Angel Food Cake
1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream
2 tablespoons chocolate fudge or chocolate Syrup
1 small container of raspberries
6 strawberries
sugar to taste

1. Slice the strawberries. Mix the strawberries, raspberries, and sugar (add as little or as much as you like depending on your taste, you can even use a sugar substitute). Cover and let sit in the refrigerator.

2. Put the two thing slices of angel food cake on a plate. Place a scoop of ice cream next to them.

3. Drizzle with warm chocolate fudge or (if you don’t have any) you can use chocolate syrup.

4. Spoon the prepared berries over the ice cream and angel food cake.

5. Enjoy!

Very simple but amazingly delicious. I had to limit myself to one serving and not go back for more, however I do have extra berries made up to use tomorrow. I think I’ll do a simple version of just some angel food cake and berries for breakfast!

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Missed the my ustream tutorial? That’s okay… you can watch it after the jump!


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Hi everyone!

Just updating you about tomorrow’s card making tutorial. If you have any techniques you’d like to see please feel free to let me know, otherwise I will show some simple, but heartfelt cards sure to make anyone’s Valentine feel special.

The details follow:

Date: Thursday February 11, 2010
Time: 5 pm PST/ 8 pm EST
Where: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lhriangel

Hope to see you there!

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So last year I have a bunch of articles about Valentine’s day and inexpensive (and yet still utterly romantic) ideas for how to spend a wonderful day with your sweetheart. I also gave some Valentine’s card making ideas.

This year I thought it would be fun to do something a bit different. On Thursday, February 11, 2010 I am thinking of hosting a live stream Valentine’s Cardmaking tutorial starting at 5 PST / 8 EST. I thought this would be a fun way to show how to make cards, test out a camcorder’s webcaming ability and get the crafting community together. I’m still debating on which streaming site to use so stay posted for more information! I will be both updating the blog with more information and sending it out via twitter so please add @Lhriangel for more for the latest updates when they happen. And I hope to see/chat with you all on Thursday night!

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Hi everyone! Well it’s almost Halloween here and I’ve been busy with papers, work, and designing my Halloween Costume. I decided I wanted to be a flower fairy, but knowing me and how much I hate pre-made costumes I decided to make my own. I will post the rest of the costume a bit later in the week… but stage one has been completed and I’d like to share it with you.

When I decided I wanted to be a Rose fairy I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find red wings that would match my outfit. This became increasingly frustrating leading up to this week. Finally, I found something I could work with at Party City… however they needed a little sprucing up.

Wings before

Wings before

I decided these wings needed a little more.. pizzaz so I picked up a few supplies to help with the transformation.



I used three different color fabric paints, Metallic red, Ruby Glitter, and Diamond Glitter. I had paper bowls to put the paint in, as well as one for water and a paint brush to apply the paint to the wings.

First I added red glitter over the gray painted areas to make it sparkle.

Red Glitter!

Red Glitter!

Then I added the red paint and some shimmery glitter paint to make the wings look really different.

Finished Wings!

Finished Wings!

I really like them. I think I’ll add a few red roses to the center when I go home for Halloween but I think the wings are definitely a success.

Later this week I’ll post the making of the tutu for the costume as well as the final product!

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I have some last minute ideas for your Valentine if you are still looking to create an extra special card! The other day I had a “card party” with two of my good friends and we made a bunch of cards. These are the ones I made to give you inspiration. The stamps I used were from Stamp It Up! and the cards were precut and came with envelopes in a collection of pinks and browns. I also used some Valentine’s ribbon from Marshal’s. All in all these cards took approximately 2 hours, but that included the design process.

Valentine 1

This card uses three colors of paper, six stamps and three stamp pads.

Valentine 2

This card used three colors of paper, two different stamps, two colors of ink and a small piece of ribbon.

Valentine 3

This simple card used three colors of paper, three stamps and two ink colors. A great idea for an simple, elegant card.

Valentine 4

This is one of my favorite cards. I used three different heart stamps, three colors of paper, three ink pads, and a small strip of ribbon. It was made especially for my friend Charleen who is very interested in card making and scrapbooking.

I hope you enjoy my card designs. Have a great Valentine’s Day!

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Thank you Ariel and  Elyssa for the GREAT ideas for Alterna-Flowers!

My favorites were:

  • A window garden for someone who is into gardening.
  • Making Button Flowers.
  • A donation to your special someones favorite charity.
  • A special writing pen for someone who loves to write. (You can even go as far as to make it into a faux bouquet if you like.)

I hope you guys like this additional ideas from some of my friends. I apologize for the short post but tomorrow – another date idea! And maybe even some pictures of the Valentine’s Day cards and baked goods my best friend and I are making tomorrow!

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To continue our series on Valentine’s Day I propose to you this date scenario which includes intellectual conversation, striking scenery and undeniable romance. (For location sake I’m using Southern California as my local but this date can easily be adapted for your own nearby metropolitan city.)

Is your Valentine interested in art, music, literature and other activities that provide stimulating conversation? Give your special someone a day of culture they will remember for a lifetime by following these steps.

Cultural Date

1. Instead of showing up with flowers bring your Valentine a small volume of love poetry. This is a touching gesture and you get bonus points if it is the person’s favorite poet.

2. Surprise your date, but make sure she is prepared for the day. Let her know what she should wear (comfortable clothes, but nice if you are going out later) and camera or camcorder (to document the day). If any additional special equipment is needed either insure that you can provide it or let your date know beforehand.

3. Act One. This is where you show an interest in your date, and prove you have been listening to what they have talked about over your many (or not so many) conversations. Art museums (I recommend the Getty in L.A.- admission is free, just pay for parking), botanical gardens (bring sturdy walking shoes), and historical libraries (the UCLA library is beautiful) are all wonderful places to take a date that is interested in culture. You are not only pleasing them but showing that what their interests are important to you.

4. Act Two, better known as dinner. Now dinner can be handled in multiple ways. Many museums have restaurants in or nearby, however these can be pricey because they know they have a fairly captive audience. One recommendation is to pack a picnic lunch. Both Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy have a multitude of prepared items to make this an easy (and healthier) compromise to dinner out. Whatever you decide, make sure you know your date’s likes, dislikes, and any allergies. A Valentine’s Day date should not include a trip to the hospital.

5. Act Three. End on a romantic note. By this time it should be dark and many of our cultural experiences will have closed for the evening. That does not mean your date has to be over. Top it off with something especially romantic. I suggest stargazing (Griffith Observatory), a night walk on the beach, or taking in the local music scene. All of these are things that allow you to spend time together and enjoy each others company.

6. After Party (optional). This is where you find a special little place for dessert. Most people enjoy dessert a bit after dinner, and by waiting till the end of the evening you are leaving the best for last. I suggest something unique and original such as Bossa Nova (in Hollywood) or Beachfire (in San Clemente). Both offer excellent finishing touches to a wonderfully romantic date.

Wherever your date leads you, I wish you happiness and romance.

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Marina Rey asked me to provide alternatives for people who did not like flowers on Valentine’s Day. So instead of another date idea I will provide you will a few examples of alternatives to give instead of the traditional flowers that sell in large bulk on this holiday.

1. Origami flowers. Origami Instructions has tons of different designs. By making it yourself not only are you saving money but you are showing your valentine that you think they are worth the special effort.

2. Chocolate roses. These are available at many stores for Valentine’s Day and most people can not resist chocolate.

3. Does your valentine have a favorite romantic comedy? Surprise them by showing up at their door with something that reminds them of their favorite timeless romance. (Example: A bouquet of sharpened pencils from You’ve Got Mail.)

4. A dried flower bouquet. This may take longer to locate but it would be a special reminder of you that will never fade away.

5. Write a love poem. Not only are you being creative but you are giving the one you love something that comes directly from your heart.

6. Make a CD mix of love songs. Or an playlist for their MP3 player. A bonus if you can load it onto their player for Valentine’s Day (or put it in their car so it starts playing when they turn it on) without them knowing it. Make sure to leave a note on the player or wheel to let them know someone was thinking of them!

I hope these alternative ideas to flowers spark your creativity and desire to make something special for the special one in your life.

Do you have any great ideas for altern-flowers? Leave them in the comments! I’ll post the best ones in a blog later this week.

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For both men and women Valentine’s Day is either looked forward to or hated. This may be due to a specific relationship status (or lack thereof) or a distaste for the commercialism. Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to make this a day to remember.

In these current economical times Valentine’s Day can be that much more of a challenge, but looked at creatively can provide a meaningful and timeless experience.

I will use the next few days leading up to Valentine’s to share some creatively inexpensive (but romantic) date ideas for you and your Valentine.

First Date

If you are celebrating your first date on Valentine’s Day, congratulations! Of course you are looking to make a great first expression, but can your wallet afford it? This is what I recommend to make sure your first expression is memorable and touching.

1. Flowers are a nice touch. Every girl loves getting flowers. But if the dozen long stemmed roses aren’t in your budget (or is your style) try a single bloom of her favorite flower. Your date will be touched at the thought you put into choosing it, especially if the choice of flower is unique.

2. Go to a local downtown area and enjoy the sites. People watch, talk and just enjoy each others’ company. Dinner and a movie may be the classic date but it is hard to learn anything about someone at the movies, all the attention is taken up by the big screen and people shush you if you try to talk.

3. Don’t be afraid to share. Most nicer restaurants have large appetizer menus (The Cheesecake Factory) for example. If you and your date are like me, they can’t handle dinner AND dessert, and isn’t dessert the best part? By sharing one or two small plates you can enjoy a variety of items and save room for the best part of the evening.

4. If there are any cafes with live music enjoy a cup of coffee and the scene. Music can bring people together, and if you keep your conversation somewhat quiet people won’t give you dirty looks like they would for talking over a movie.

5. Share a larger dessert. If the date has made it to dessert that means the two of you are getting along great! Celebrate with dessert for two. If you are in Southern California I recommend the Frati Gelato Cafe in downtown Fullerton. Melt Gelato also has cafes in select areas across the United States.

Wherever your first date leads you, I wish you luck!

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