1. Sharpie Mugs
Ever since I came across this idea on A Beautiful Mess (one of my favorite sites!), I have been itching to try it. I love how they came out, and I had such fun deciding what to write. Basically, all you do is get a Sharpie and a plain mug (ABM says to use porcelain, but I used ceramic. What can I say, I’m a rebel.), write a message on the mug, and then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Voila!
NOTE: These mugs can only be handwashed. Put them in the dishwasher, and all your hard work will wash away. Literally.
2. Homemade Butter
First of all, you need a cow. Or a local dairy. We have the latter. If you get fresh milk, just skim the cream off the top and use that. If not, you can use just regular heavy whipping cream from the store. You’ll need three things: the cream (duh), a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and a rockin’ music playlist (this is essential. don’t skip.). The cream has to be at room temperature, so you will want to set it out on the counter several hours before you’re ready to make the butter. Fill the jar halfway with cream. Screw the lid on as tightly as it will go. Start the music and then shake that jar with all you’ve got. Seriously, folks, this is fun. I did it for the first time last week, and I kinda had a blast. The music helped with that. I boogied around the kitchen, shaking in sync with the music, and I didn’t even notice when my biceps began to burn. I had a large batch of cream, so it took about twenty minutes of shaking, but it varies with the amount of cream. Pretty much just shake until the butter forms and separates from the buttermilk. Then you’ll want to drain the buttermilk out (you can save it or ditch it; whatever you prefer), and rinse the butter with cold water a couple times. You have to get all the buttermilk out of the butter or it will quickly go rancid. I rinsed it by pouring the cold water into the jar with the butter, swishing it around, and then draining the water out. Press the butter with a spatula or a spoon to get all the excess water out. Dump it out onto a cutting board, shape it into whatever form you desire (I was boring and did a normal rectangular stick), then stick it in the refrigerator to harden. Once it is hardened, wrap in saran wrap and keep in the fridge. And that’s it! Oh, and if you keep up a steady butter-making routine, you will also have a steady upper body workout routine. Yup. I would be lying if I said my arms weren’t aching the next day.
3. Wooden Valentine Hearts
One of my family’s favorite Valentine decorations is a string of painted wooden hearts, one heart for each child. When my brother Colton got married, we just expanded and added hearts for each member of his family. This year I had the pleasure of making a heart for my precious little nephew Atticus.
All you need are plain, wooden hearts (available at any hobby or craft store), craft paint of your color choice, a small paintbrush, and a Sharpie. Paint the heart a solid color and let dry. You may need two coats. Write a name or message on the heart with a Sharpie, then add any special embellishments (like the dots) with a different paint color.
And now for The Big Reveal. The Classics Club posted the Random Spin Number today, so before April 1, I must read and review…
14. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
This was one on my “*gulp* these scare me” list, and it still does. But I’m excited for the challenge. The game is afoot!