April 2014 ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Spicy Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

A spicy spin on my Cornbread Stuffing that EVERYONE loves!

Sweet Potato Souffle for Thanksgiving

One of my most popular recipes EVER, and just in time for Thanksgiving!

DIY Painted Photo Backdrops

Super easy backdrops for your photo, plus a few tips!

Golden Sweet Corn Bread Mini Muffins

A sweet spin on traditional cornbread!

Easy Sweet Potato Pie (without a crust!)

The easiest (and healthiest) pumpkin pie recipe ever!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Upcycled Pant Hems into Sunglasses Sleeve

It has been more than a year since I posted my super popular Sunglasses Case tutorial, and although I am really happy with this project, I sincerely doubt that I will get a fraction of the pageviews that my previous post had.  Why?  Well, this is a funny little project that I put together from my pant hems that I chopped off in the tutorial for hemming pants, so they were little scrap tubes hanging out in my stash.

Some time later, my mom wanted a sunglasses sleeve and I had this fabric from her pants, so I upcycled them into a little sleeve!  Here's a quickie almost-tutorial on how I did it.  :)


Upcycled Pant Hems into Sunglasses Sleeve


The whole reason I am calling this an "almost" tutorial is because I just snapped a few pictures along the way, and even though you will get the main gist from the pictures, it is not a really thorough step-by-step with arrows or a pattern to download.  Here we go!

Sunglasses Sleeve "Tutorial"

What You Will Need

  • Upcycled pant hems
  • Matching thread
  • Sunglasses
  • Sewing machine or needle for hand sewing


Upcycled Pant Hems into Sunglasses Sleeve


Directions

1.  First, turned the fabric inside out with right sides touching.


Upcycled Pant Hems into Sunglasses Sleeve


2.  Sew along the non-finished edge to make a pouch shape.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Do Tell Tuesday #21 with Features!

This week I have a bit of bad news.  I am sad to announce that Alicia from A Sweet Fragrance will be taking a break from blogging and hosting Do Tell Tuesday.  It has been so lovely to have us her with us and we wish her well on all the crazy things in life that are going to be keeping her busy!  Make sure to pop on over and leave a comment saying thank you.  :)


Now on to the party!  Click here for the full rundown on how to participate and...


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!



All of us hosts and guest host pick our own features, and we all share the most viewed link too.  If you are all ready to see the features, here we go!


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 


Can I say how excited I am for this warm weather we have been having!  Once the sun is out full-force, I am ready to start grilling, and there is nothing better than a cheeseburger!  For today's recipe, I wanted to share a delicious dish that I created because as much as I love chili cheeseburgers, they are ridiculously messy.  For this cheeseburger, I decided to mix up all the ingredients of a classic chili cheese burger and make these sliders using my favorite Kraft Shreds.  I am so glad that they sell shredded cheese because it is my least favorite kitchen task, so the pre-shredded cheese is a godsend! And of course, I like my dishes spicy, so there's a bit of zip in there as well.  Enjoy!


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders #shop #SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias #cbias


A couple notes on the recipe before I jump in.

I made these out of turkey, but you can definitely use beef!  Also, I made these patties as large sliders to fit my pretzel bun, so they are not the size of regular huge patties or the size of tiny sliders.  I made 12 mid-size patties, so ake sure to keep that in mind when calculating the number that you want to make!


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders #shop #SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias #cbias
Mmmm, mmm!  Are you ready to #SayCheeseburger?  :)  #CollectiveBias


Also, I made a stop at Walmart when selecting my cheese because they always have so many options, such as...


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders #shop #SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias #cbias


...Kraft Singles!  I know that some people prefer to stuff with slices of cheese, but I find that I end up cutting them into smaller squares anyways, so I prefer...


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders #shop #SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias #cbias


...Kraft Shreds!  They have just about every cheese possible, so you can suit the cheeseburger to your own taste.  I went with Sharp Cheddar (not pictured here) because it's my favorite.  Now, to the recipe!


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders #shop #SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias #cbias


Spicy Stuffed Chili Cheeseburger Sliders
A Vintage Zest Original

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What to do with fallen wood? + Sunday Synopsis!

Happy Sunday!

This week, I am mulling over what to do with this fallen wood that we acquired when the tree in my parents' yard had a huge branch fall off with the wind.  I know that it has to dry for at least a year, so I have time to think.  What do you think?

What project(s) should I make and do you know any tips for prepping wood?


By the way, this is only half of the wood!



Lastly, here are last week's posts in case you missed any.  :)


Sunday Synopsis

Sunday Synopsis/Stumped on Sunday on Diane's Vintage Zest

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cardtorial Feature & GIVEAWAY!

For today's Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature, I have a wonderful shop to feature today: Cardtorial!  These are some of the most unique "paper" goods I have seen.  They are beautiful, sturdy works of art, that have a sense of humor and are absolutely gorgeous!  And if you want something other than a card, there are beautiful journals, prints for your home, and more!  Also, if you want something a bit different Yvonne does custom work, but I am sure you will fall in love with the creations in her store.  Check it out below!

Read all about how Yvonne started Cardtorial and see all of the fun "wooden paper goods" she makes.  I just adore the key card below.  :)  Also, make sure to enter to win your choice of a Mother's Day card or fox print in the giveaway below.  Enjoy!


Cardtorial feature and GIVEAWAY! on Diane's Vintage Zest!

********************


********************

Tell me a little bit about yourself!

My name is Yvonne.  I'm a UCLA grad.  I love sports, food, and a good time.  I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself as the craftiest of people, but now that I run Cardtorial, I'm definitely more in touch with my creative side than I used to be.  Prior to Cardtorial, I had a corporate job in a completely unrelated field (finance & clean tech).


Where did the name of your store come from?

I originally wanted to name the store "Happy Cards" but that domain name was taken.  After some deep brainstorming sessions, Cardtorial came out on top -- it sounded like a fun name to rally around.


Cardtorial feature and GIVEAWAY! on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Why did you start making goods for Cardtorial?

I've always loved business and thought being an entrepreneur would be pretty exciting. I was always on the lookout for interesting products to create or business ideas to pursue. When I had the idea to make the wood cards, it was as if the stars were aligned.  The process was relatively straightforward, I had a friend who could teach me how to make them, and the prototypes were cute! It grew pretty organically from there.


Cardtorial feature and GIVEAWAY! on Diane's Vintage Zest!



What is your favorite item?

Haha. The fox card was my very first card.  It's from The Little Prince, one of my favorite books and I find that passage very sweet.  I also like the "fish in the sea" card. I had made it a couple years back as an apology for my boyfriend after a big argument.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Exclusive TEAVANA Oprah Chai sneak peek, Delicious treats & Retro row !

This week was totally fun-filled with so much to do!


Precap (jump to):

Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest!



You might have noticed in my precap above that we went to Honduras Kitchen again!  We went with one of my guy's coworkers who is half Honduran.  It passed the test and it's easy to see why...


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest!


I have been there so often that I m now the Duchess on Yelp.  Ha!  Check out the whole delicious meal on the The Episodic Eater!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Then we went for a stroll down Retro Row, which is always fun!  So much to see, like sewing patterns...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unique Wedding Gift Ideas for Brides, Grooms & the Wedding Party + $200 Izola GC GIVEAWAY! #IzolaStyle

Since I have been helping my sister here and there with wedding planning, there have been so many details to take care of that keep popping up!  One item that I am in charge of is the wedding party gift search.  Yes, usually the bride and groom come up with the gift list, but since I know my way around an online store or two, I suggested Izola for some awesome gifts for brides, grooms, and the wedding party.  Here are a few of my favorites!


Unique Wedding Gift Ideas


I chose 5 gifts that would be great for the groom or groomsmen and also 5 gifts that would be perfect for the bride and her bridal party.  I made sure to choose quality items that had special details and would be both functional and fun.  There's a little something for everyone included here!


Unique Wedding Gift Ideas




Unique Wedding Gift Ideas

I thought this would be perfect for the groomsmen, and I love the humorous etching.  However, if you prefer a more subdued flask, check out their entire collection here.



Flask Funnel  //  $9

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: Upcoming Food/Craft/Sewing Events + Meet Me :)

Oh my word.  In the next month, I have so many events to attend!  In fact, there is a weekend with three different events plus my dad's birthday, so I have to skip a couple.  However, I wanted to share a few of the awesome events that I will be attending in Southern California over the next couple months.  Let me know if you'll be attending and we can meet up!


Jump to:

Upcoming Events on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Check out the events below.  So much good stuff!


Artisanal LA: 

Upcoming Events on Diane's Vintage Zest!


This weekend, they are having a wonderful food event in Downtown L.A., which I am excited to attend!  Past Shop Small Saturday Showcase features, Pernicious Pickling Co. & Moxxie Essential Care, will be there and I can't wait to say hello and meet some new friends!

I will be there on Sunday if anyone wants to meet up!  More info here: http://artisanalla.com

Artisanal LA
Dates:  April 26 - 27, 11a - 6p
Location:  LA Mart: 1933 Broadway, Downtown L.A.
Tickets: $12.50 + 1.65 processing fee



TEAVANA & Starbucks Oprah Chai Tea Launch:

Upcoming Events on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Yesterday, I had the privilege to sample the Oprah Chai Tea that will be rolling out in Starbucks and TEAVANA stores across the country on April 29th.  I Instagram-ed this picture below, but I have so much more to share with you soon!  I have a sneak peek on The Episodic Eater right now, but believe me, you definitely need to try it when it is available in less than a week.  I know I'll be in line!

For more info, click here!
TEAVANA & Starbucks Oprah Chai Tea Launch
Date:  April 29th
Locations:  TEAVANA & Starbucks stores, worldwide!



Queen Bee Market:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Do Tell Tuesday #20 with Features!

I am so excited that you can be here for my favorite day of the week!  Click here for the full rundown on how to participate and...





Recently seen on Vintage Zest...

Do Tell Tuesday #20 on Diane's Vintage Zest!







Do Tell Tuesday #20 on Diane's Vintage Zest!







All of us hosts pick our own features, and we all share the most viewed link too.  If you are all ready to see the features, here we go!


DIY Industrial Pendant Light with LED power!

DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #LEDSavings #CollectiveBias


Today, I am excited to share a really easy, budget-friendly DIY pendant lighting fixture that you will definitely love!  As you know, with the new house we will have a TON of rooms to furnish and decorate!  Since those expenses can add up, I am trying to DIY as much as possible.  Plus, there is the added benefit of being able to have everything match our favorite style: Industrial!  Also, being the eco-friendly gal that I was raised to be (thanks mom!), I wanted to choose as many materials and items that are as energy-efficient as possible.  For those reasons, I decided to choose GE LED Energy Smart light bulbs, which are super bright LEDs that are cost-efficient as well.  A while ago, I convinced my mom to switch out all of the bulbs in her home, and my parents love it!  The light is brighter, their bills are much lower, and they have not needed to replace a single one yet.  Awesome!  Also, I wanted to use a light bulb that would be cool to the touch since it is definitely much safer when making a DIY light fixture.  Now, let's get to the tutorial for my DIY Industral Pendant Light!


DIY Industrial Pendant Light with LED Power! on Diane's Vintage Zest! #LEDSavings #CollectiveBias #shop


I should mention that we chose the more rustic, weathered, industrial style but it is possible to make the fixtures more sleek and modern.  In fact, I almost made this white with gold details, which would have been beautiful as well!


DIY Industrial Pendant Light with LED Power! on Diane's Vintage Zest! #LEDSavings #CollectiveBias #shop


By the way, if you are wondering how much this cost, it was $14.26 for the metal materials and $18.69 for the lightbulb and hanging cord setup.  However, I found several coupons (all links at the bottom of the post) that made the grand total less than $30 for the pendant light.  What a deal!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Greetings!


Favorite Breakfast #2: Egg + Veggie Muffins on Diane's Vintage Zest!


I hope you have lots of tasty eggs, delicious chocolate, and friends and family nearby to celebrate with.  :)


Happy Easter!




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Synopsis

Happy Saturday!

It's Easter tomorrow, so I moved up the synopsis to today.  Next week, we'll be back on schedule!  Until then, you still have time to make my favorite Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!


Sunday Synopsis on Diane's Vintage Zest



Lastly, here are last week's posts in case you missed any.  :)



Sunday Saturday Synopsis


Sunday Synopsis on Diane's Vintage Zest

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: SO. MUCH. FOOD.

Can I just say how busy I have gotten these past few weeks now that it's spring?  Craaaaazy!  Add to that my sister's wedding planning, and it seems like I constantly have a million invitations to eat out.  Uh oh, time to hit the gym!


Precap (jump to) 

Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


A few weeks ago, my friend from Miss Lulu Sews (whom I met at mimi g's conference) mentioned that she would be in the area.  Since she likes out of the way places, I suggested one of my favorites, The Attic!  For the whole meal (including a delicious Boxy Benedict) check out The Episodic Eater.  :)


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


Later that day, we had some juice from nekter Juice Bar.  The one on the right is called The Cure, with beet and tons of greens.  Want to know about my drink and why it is so pink?  Find out on The Episodic Eater!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


We went out to The Boiling Crab for my aunt's birthday and it is just a crazy restaurant!  See it all at The Episodic Eater.  :)


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


As if we weren't stuffed enough, I convinced everyone to hit up nearby Beard Papa.  So many sweet treats, including their famous cream puffs!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


But they had some very bright, delicious-looking macarons as well.  Sooo tempting!  Check out the rest of the pretty desserts on The Episodic Eater!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


Also this week, we went to Urth Caffe to meet my sister's potential wedding planner.  It's such a pretty building, a good place to meet up with someone for the first time, and grab a coffee or some food.  Check out a few more photos on The Episodic Eater!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


By the way, it was a great fit with the wedding planner, so "It's a Match!"




Then, we went to Mo-Chica, another fantastic restaurant.  We pretty much had one of everything: fun cocktails, quinoa salad (below), grilled artichoke, a light & lovely seabass appetizer, hearty beef filet, portobello with plantain, fried egg & beans, chicken stew, braised short rib, a unique creme brûlée, and...


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


...sweet potato and kabocha beignets!  It was a fantastic meal, and to see all of the dishes above plus a gorgeous bar area, check it out on The Episodic Eater!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest


Well, that was pretty much a food-filled week, right?  Time to drink some water and hit the gym!


What do you have planned for this weekend?




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