Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life's A Party!

Here's a fun Halloween idea!

This past weekend, my husband and I invited some friends over for an "Outdoor Movie Night" featuring the classic "Psycho!"
As guests arrived they were greeted by Norman Bates himself!

Once they entered our garden they were welcomed in the spirit of Halloween with a table filled with vampire wine, skeletal wine glasses, monster cupcakes and traditional movie fare including popcorn, M&M's, and Twizzlers.
To make the cupcakes, I used Courtney's Chocolate Pumpkin recipe
 and decorated with cream cheese icing, gummi eyeball candy and wax lips!

Blankets were provided in case someone got the chills....

To display the movie, we connected our laptop to a projector and sonos speaker system and displayed the movie on a simple white sheet unfurled in the backyard.

Sonos S5 All-In-One Wireless Music System (White)

GSI Super Quality All-In-One Multi-Media Portable Mini Projector with RGB LED Lights - USB Interface, Connect to PC, Laptop or Notebook - SD/Memory Card Slot - Includes USB Cable and Table-Top Tripod - For Video Presentation

Everyone had a wonderful time eating, drinking and watching the scary classic!
In fact even little Bailey got into the fun by donning his vampire cape!

Some had a little too much fun with the monster lips...

Quick tip: In order to produce your own posters for your movie night, simply download the freeware program Posterizer 1.0 here! This image processing software program generates a large scale poster of your digital photograph on several sheets of paper. Some assembly required ;).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dandy Dessert Contest!

Easy Fall Dessert...And the Winner Is!

Thank you all for your submissions to our pumpkin dessert competition! Now, it's time to announce the winner...

Our winner of the "Fall Dandy Dessert Competition is...Courtney from Virginia!

Courtney submitted her recipe for "Pumpkin Chocoloate Muffins." As the winner, Courtney will receive the exclusive "Domestic Dandy Apron!"

Congratulations Courtney!
May you wear your Dandy Apron with pride!"
Courtney's recipe is below...

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins
1 Devil's Food cake mix (Dunkin Hines or Betty Crocker)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (Libby's 100% pumpkin preferred)

Mix and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on oven. (It will be very thick. Do not attempt to thin it with any other ingredients and do not add anything that is recommended on the back of the box to make the cake mix.) This was difficult for the Dandy to do, but I followed Courtney's recipe and it worked wonderfully!

Of course the real winner was my partner Brian who served as the taste tester!
Thank you again for all your submissions!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

XXX Hot Chocolate for Adults

Here's a hot cup of chocolate for you!

We had some friends over for an evening around the fire. It was a little cold out, so I decided to serve a childhood chocolate. I wanted to spice it up for my adult friends, however, so after digging around in the liquor cabinet I pulled out a bottle of Kahlua.

The coffee flavored liqueur was an excellent addition, but I still felt like I needed a little something extra...that's when I grabbed the bottle of Triple Sec.

The orange-flavored liqueur added a nice citrus flavor to the hot chocolate and helped to break up the sweetness of the chocolate.

To make XXX Hot Chocolate, follow the directions on the hot chocolate packaging and then add, according to your personal tastes and inclinations, Kahlua and Triple Sec.

To make this for a holiday gathering, try peppermint schnapps!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Transitions

Spring and Summer Look
It turned colder this past week in the District, so I needed a little warmth in the bedroom...  I envisioned warm tones and textured fabrics that would make you want to snuggle in bed on those chilly days and nights. To achieve this feeling, I decided to switch up our headboard by sewing a slip cover out of faux fur.

We originally built our headboard using MDF, Linen fabric and fabric covered buttons. We then hung the headboard on the wall using heavy duty picture hangers.

To cover the existing fabric, I measured the headboard and sewed a slipcover using faux fur for the front and brown felt for the back. Then I cut holes in the back of the felt in order to hang the headboard back on our wall.

I finished the bed with a pinstripe coverlet and pillow shams.

Now, the stage is all set for those chilly nights!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dandy Dessert Contest!

There is still time to enter the "Dandy Dessert Contest!"
Send in your favorite dessert recipe using that favorite fall staple...PUMPKIN! It can be a family favorite that was passed down through the generations or a recipe you found online that has become your go-to staple. The only rules for submitting your recipe is that it has to be easy to prepare and not require a lot of time or ingredients. Send your favorite recipe to by Monday, October 18! The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 21!

Don't miss your chance to win the Dandy Apron!

Good Luck!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Always One to Accessorize

Over the years, we have received a couple of sets of photo frame coasters as gifts. While I have placed photos of friends and family in the coasters, I soon realized how quickly the pictures became out of date. 

My solution? I decided to coordinate the coasters with our rooms using scraps of wallpaper and designer papers.

For the living room, I measured and cut a small square from our left-over faux ostrich skin wallpaper and placed them inside the frame.

For the guest bedroom, I found some fun designer paper that coordinated with the colors in our new guest room.
I love the finished look of the coaster and it looks wonderful in our living spaces!

When your looking around your home, see how you can use your everyday objects in a new way!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Dandy Wedding

One of my favorite ideas from our wedding was the transitional aspect of our pew markers. Our florist, Stephen McLeod, designed them so that they could be taken to the reception sight and used as centerpieces on our tables. 
Floral Designs by Stephen McLeod
Photography by Patrick Onofre

It was a wonderful idea and saved us some money, which is always a dandy thing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Get Stuck on Labels

This past weekend I had an issue with a candle that would no longer light. Even though the candle wasn't usable, I still wanted to reuse the glass container it came in for an outdoor lantern.

I tried to pry the old melted candle out of the glass, but it wouldn't budge. I tried everything to help the wax slide out of the glass. From soaking it in hot water to freezing it in the freezer...nothing would work.

I was about to give up when I thought of the idea of using my old wine corkscrew to pull it out.

I simply screwed the corkscrew into the candle, until it was flush with the top of the wax, and then pulled it out like you would pull a cork out of a bottle. 

It worked fabulously!

Now, I have a nice glass lantern to protect my flame from the wind. 

Next time you're in a jam, look around your kitchen for those tools that might possibly have a second purpose!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's time again for the "Dandy Dessert Contest!"

Easy Fall Dessert

You may remember our winner Katie Egan, who won the Dandy Apron in the "Dandy Dessert Contest" this past summer.

The Coveted "Dandy Apron!"
Well, it was such a hit that I've been requested to have another one! we head into fall let me once again turn the tables on you, my readers, to send in your

favorite dessert recipe using that favorite fall staple...PUMPKIN! It can be a family favorite that was passed down through the generations or a recipe you found online that has become your go-to staple.

Again, the only rules for submitting your recipe is that it has to be easy to prepare and not require a lot of time or ingredients.

Once I receive the recipes, I'll try them out, and post my favorite on "The Domestic Dandy!" Our guest judge, Brian, will pick the winning recipe!

Guest Judge Brian!
Send your favorite recipe to!

Good luck!!
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