June 28, 2013

Before and After Envy Series: Basement Blues

Basement Makeover: Before & After Envy Series | Tried & Twisted

Oil to Fireplace...

Welcome back to the final Before & After Envy series post for this month!

I've had so much fun sharing all of these talented home makeovers that I would like to extend an open invitation to any other readers and bloggers out there who would like to show off their renovations. The Before & After Envy series can be an ongoing series whenever new rooms and makeovers are available. Contact me if you're interested in joining the party. Because every home makeover deserves a little chance to be envied.

Today's post comes from my sister-in-law, Lisa, and my brother's basement renovation inspired by an energy bill crisis and developed into a gorgeous, comfortable family room.


June 27, 2013

Getting Social & BlogLovin' Pros and Cons


Tried & Twisted is celebrating its 6-month anniversary!

I've had a lot of fun sharing my crafty and baking experience with you all, and I've been thrilled to meet so many fun and inspiring ladies and gents from literally all corners of the globe! 

Let's Get Social!
So to celebrate this little milestone, I've added social media buttons above my header (courtesy of Carrie Loves) to make it easier to connect and get to know all of you fantastic people who stop by...boring people can wait at the door.

You can find me at:
Google Plus Pinterest BlogLovin RSS Feed     Email
But wait, there's more...

June 24, 2013

Hanging Salad Garden

Last year, I began a quest to turn my black thumb into a green thumb, or at least an evergreen shade of black.

This would take some time. Time to earn the plants trust again, to prove the dead philodendron was a fluke of bad lighting or that it wasn't my fault that I forgot to water that peace lily for three weeks.

So far, my efforts at greenery whisperer have started to pay off. For the first time in my life, I gardened. I was the grower of my own food, and it was glorious!

Everything tastes better fresh. Even my least favorite veggie was so tasty that I found myself pacing the garden in the backyard, watching, waiting for that moment when it would stop being a plant and start being food.

Since last year went so well, I got ambitious and expanded the garden by adding a hanging salad garden.

June 21, 2013

Before and After Envy: 5 Tips for Home Renovation

The Classy Man Cave...

Welcome back for the next entry in the Before & After Envy series, where I stare admiringly at the amazing renovations my friends have pulled off in their homes. Last week, Shannon talked about how to update a half bath from the 80's look to a very modern style.

This week, April will be joining us to share 5 tips she has learned while updating her basement into a lovely, casual family room and Penn-State-themed man cave with her husband. April reminds us that on home projects, your mindset and expectations can be just as important as the hammers and nails.


June 18, 2013

Blue Moon Cupcakes: Recipe Face-Off

Blue Moon Cupcake Recipe Face-off | Tried & Twisted

What could make dessert better, but the addition of beer!

The Blue Moon cupcake has been circulating around the interwebz long enough to become a new classic, so dozens of versions of the recipe are floating around. How to know which one to pick?

Well, I don't mind taste-testing cupcakes, so I've tried a few and would like to share my review of two opposite approaches to the Blue Moon cupcakes: one recipe from scratch and one recipe for speed!

June 14, 2013

Before and After Envy: Half-Bath Remodel

Half Bath Makeover | Tried & Twisted #beforeandafterenvy

The Ugly Duckling...

When decorating a home, there is always a risk that your look will one day become dated. This problem is only made worse if those decisions were made by the previous home owner and if those decisions involve white ducky wallpaper.

Today, we're joined by my friend Shannon Hemauer as she shares her journey of ridding her half-bath of the dreaded duckies.

June 7, 2013

Before and After Envy Series

Before & After Envy Series | Tried & Twisted

You may not be all that surprised to hear. It is a common affliction among us late twenty-somethings after all.  I have a case of house lust.

My husband and I live in a cute little rental with our very own garden and creek in the backyard, which certainly could be all we need in life, but I can't help longing for more.

It's not just because I want more space or because I want to invite more than 10 people into our house at a time without ticketing them at the entrance. I really long for the house projects.

Month-long DIY projects gone awry with floorboards torn up, drywall spackled, paint splattering everywhere! (Did I mention that some people find me odd?)

You see, I have helped family members and strangers alike to renovate, redesign, and rip the ever-loving pieces apart of their homes to remake it into the masterpiece that suits their needs and their aesthetics perfectly. Living in a rental where we aren't even allowed to paint the walls gives this level of freedom a fuzzy optimistic glow.

While I'm sure the suffering of tip-toeing through storage boxes, wading through dust, and driving to the nearest friend's house for running water aren't nearly so glamorous as they sound, renovation still has the appeal of brave trial and error, experimentation, and a side of practical, creative expression that I very easily obsess over.

So while my house lust may not be satisfied for a few more years, I can still dream and drool over what my creative friends and family have done to their homes.

Which brings us to this month's series: Before and After Envy, featuring people I know and the beautiful ways they've destroyed and recreated their homes! Join every Friday this month for a little featurette of their before and after.

June 6, 2013

Strawberry Sangria, or how the Happy Hostess taught me to love sangria

Strawberry Sangria | Tried & Twisted

Sangria and I met on rocky terms.

Extreme heat, dehydration, and nerves for an early date with the man who I later married were not the greatest settings for my first introduction to sangria. The slimy fruit, watered-down punch served at that fair was not forgiving.

Years later, my dear friend Cate was visiting from out of town. During our college years together, she had earned the nickname Happy Hostess for her great skill at feeding and encouraging frivolity among our writing club. While other college students went rushing out of the dorm for the weekend, we gathered around the couches with our poetry and short stories in hand, laughing until our stomachs hurt and carpe-ing that diem. 

In all those meals and hangouts, the Happy Hostess always delivered tasty goods, so when years later she pulled a pitcher out of the fridge, who was I to refuse?

Only the persistent charm of the Happy Hostess could show me how fantastic sangria could taste. The sweet strawberry flavor and deep merlot are rich and complex flavors overtop of the rum. 

June 4, 2013

DIY Manly Gift Bucket

Manly Gift Bucket: a new kind of gift basket | Tried & Twisted


If you are looking for a gift basket idea for a man in your life, perhaps even for Father's Day, might I suggest the Gift Bucket

I admit they can be a little corny and cliché, but sometimes a gift basket is still the best option for a personalized gift for an occasion somewhere between a simple gift card and a new car.

Recently, my big brother turned 30. Gasp! We are, like, almost adults now or something!

My brother already has pretty much anything he could want, right down to the last Tiki mask, and our family doesn't traditionally give gifts on birthdays, so I was a little out of practice finding that one perfect thing.  It was too much pressure putting all of my bets on one gift.

Enter the gift basket. Tons of random things! Some he may enjoy and others he may feed to the cat, but at least I double my chance of an enjoyable gift.

Gift baskets weren't really designed to be "manly" though, so my hubby and I headed off to the hardware store to find a new solution.