February 27, 2015

DIY - Pretty cans

Today I have a new diy project I made for the Craft Café column at Heart Handmade UK - Upcycled Tin Can Storage.

I'm always finding new ways to reuse tin cans and give them a new life. I like the idea of crafting and upcycling them.

Gold is my favorite accent color so I sprayed the cans and lids with a metallic gold paint, and mixed and matched papers, tapes, and embellishments to decorate them. Last but not least, I added a round wooden bead to some of the lids to make a handle. Now I can use them to store some of my craft supplies, or to hold some pretty flowers.

This is a very inexpensive way to spruce up any room and give it a personal touch.

If you have some empty tin cans, you should try this project. After you spray paint inside and outside of the cans and lids in metallic gold, gather what you have on hand to decorate them, like papers, tapes, laces, adhesive embellishments, buttons, and so on. 

There are so many ways to get creative with these cans. I hope you get inspired by this post and come up with other beautiful ideas to upcycle tin cans.

Find the full tutorial here.

February 20, 2015

I am a lucky one, and a creamy hot chocolate in a big mug

Well, well, what can I say?

I have just found out this week that  Molly Mell, with the White Chocolate Truffles - Brigadeiro recipe, won the 4th prize in the Chocolate Lovers Recipe Contest at Torta Della Figlia.

I started this unpretentious blog about a year ago, a place to keep my creativity flowing, and it is rewarding to know that, somehow, it is reaching people.

Many thanks Marcela, the judges, the sponsor!!!

And guess what I made to celebrate it. Oh, yes, another delicious, quick and easy chocolate recipe.

Creamy Hot Chocolate, the way my mother used to make when my siblings and I were little. No fancy ingredients to make this rich and tempting hot chocolate.

Creamy Hot Chocolate
Makes 1 big mug

♥ 2 tbsp natural cocoa powder
♥ 2 cups milk (I used 2% organic reduced fat)
♥ 2 tbsp cornstarch
♥ sugar to taste

Mix the cornstarch, one spoon at a time, with 1/2 cup of milk. Stir this mixture slowly until the cornstarch is completely dissolved, and keep on the side.

Place the cocoa powder and the remaining milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stir slowly until it is all blended. I suggest using a wooden spoon.

Gradually pour the dissolved cornstarch into the saucepan. Continue stirring over low heat until it becomes a thick and creamy texture. Do not let it boil.

Get cozy and enjoy it warm.

February 14, 2015

Just for two

Like most holidays, on Valentine's day Brady and I prefer to keep it low key at home, but this does not mean we don't have fun. Which leads me to talk about food. Cooking is a part of our romantic vocabulary. To me cooking is an act of love, and we both enjoy cooking to each other. 

And you, are you cooking something special for today? If  you want a sweet and creamy dessert that does not require a lot of time, and with only two ingredients, I have something for you. 

Something creamy, sweet and a little tart.

Another recipe with sweetened condensed milk? Yes, it is. Not that I am lacking cooking imagination, or anything of the kind - sweetened condensed milk is a major ingredient in many Brazilian desserts and sweets. I could write a book with only condensed milk recipes.

Lime Cream
Makes 2

♥ 1 can sweetened condensed milk
♥ juice of 2 limes
♥ lime zest, pistachio and berries to garnish

Blend the sweetened condensed milk and the lime juice together until it reaches a creamy and rich velvety texture.

Top with lemon zest, pistachio and berries of your choice.

So simple, right? A lovely sweet touch to finish any meal.

Happy Valentine's day everyone. 

February 8, 2015

DIY heart gift tags

It's time to show that special someone just how much you adore them, I mean, It's Valentine's time!

I've got a perfect diy gift tag to add a finishing touch to your gift. It's all about the pretty details, right?

Each tag is a little different, but still have the same concept.

  • Manila tag 
  • Medium-weight scrap papers
  • Heart punches (2 different sizes)
  • Punch hole
  • Reinforcement labels
  • Twine threads
  • Glue
  • Pencil & scissors

♥ Use the manila tag as a pattern, trace it onto a medium weight scrap paper with pencil, and cut it out. 

♥ Make a hole at the top of the tag using the hole punch.

♥ Place a reinforcement label sticker on the punched hole; besides reinforcing the hole on the tag, it gives a nice finishing to it. 

♥ Make hearts using heart punches, and glue them to the tag.

♥ Finally, add a pretty coordinating piece of thread to the tag so it can be easily attached to a gift.

February 2, 2015

Mango, Coconut, Chia Seeds - from Smoothie into Pudding

I know what you are going to say. To make a smoothie is just a matter of choosing which ingredients to use. Really nothing difficult.

I've growing up having it with lots of different variations. Mixing fruits, and sometimes vegetables, for a contrast of textures, colors, and many times  adding crunchiness by topping them with coarsely chopped nuts.

In Brazil, some people like vitamina, that's how smoothie is called there, mixed with oranges, I prefer the richness of a good cow's milk, or coconut milk. Either way, smoothies are delicious. A great choice for a snack.

This is barely a recipe, and you may be put off when I tell you  I failed at making a smoothie.

How is it possible someone fail at making a smoothie?

They happen to the best of us. I like to believe.

Let me explain. It's not that it turned up in some bizarre-tasting smoothie, but into a deliciously creamy dessert.

So naturally, I started mixing frozen mango, coconut flakes, and chia seeds with coconut milk...

But then something happened.

I felt like experimenting, trying to think outside of the smoothie box. And since I could not decide between adding whipped cream or heavy cream to my smoothie, I added both. And then some condensed milk for sweetness.

And I couldn't be happier I did it. My smoothie turned into a rich creamy texture pudding.

I can not tell you the quantities I used, as I kept adding and varying the quantities and the ingredients, but I can guarantee that blending frozen mango, coconut flakes, coconut milk, heavy cream, whipping cream and chia seeds, is an irresistible choice if you are dreaming about something soft, creamy and delicious.

And if you have a sweet tooth, don't forget to add some condensed milk to this mixture.

January 30, 2015

DIY Valentine's gift wrap

I don't know about you, but I like to improvise and personalize when it comes to wrapping gifts, specially if I come up with some simple diy, and that's exactly what I did in one of these quiet and cold winter weekends. 

I bought a pretty black & white wrapping paper with a red reindeer picture at Christmas time, and as I ended up not using it to wrap my Christmas gifts I decided to transform it in a Valentine's gift wrapping paper.

I'm a huge fan of paper punches, so in some sort of creative overdrive mode I got on the floor of my craft room with my pretty Christmas wrapping paper, a heart punch, and some scrapping papers.

So simple, fun, and addicting to work with paper punches. It was easy to come up with a cool way to transform my Christmas wrapping paper into a Valentine's one - I punched a few hearts and glued them on the Christmas-like reindeer picture.

So there you are, a simple way to re-create a wrapping paper.

January 24, 2015

A chocolate obsession - Brigadeiro

Whenever I want a quick and simple sweet treat, I always think of making Brigadeiro. They are gooey, rich and creamy, little nibbles of sweet one-bite delicacies.

The traditional Brigadeiro is brown chocolate covered with brown chocolate sprinkles, like these ones, but when preparing these sweet little treats you can be creative and playfully choose colors and shapes to the occasion, like the Pumpkin-Shaped Brigadeiros I made at Halloween for the delight of the neighborhood children.

A combination of only three ingredients: chocolate, condensed milk and butter,  Brigadeiros are simply amazingly good, light, delicious, quick and easy to make. What can I add to convince you?

They are the perfect sweet food for a buffet at a party.

I'm not much of a pink person, but I had fun making my Valentine's version.

♥ ♥ 

White Chocolate Truffles special for Valentine's Day
Makes about 30 candies

 3 tablespoon white chocolate powder
 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
 1 tablespoon of butter
 Valentine-style sprinkles

Mix the condensed milk, chocolate powder, an butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly (this is important) until the mixture becomes thick and shiny, and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan.

Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture into a plate greased with butter.

The mixture needs to be cooled off completely before being rolled into small balls. I like to place it in the refrigerator to speed up this process.

To make it easy to roll the mixture, you can either lightly rub some softened butter on your palm hands, or wet them with cold water. Using a small spoon scoop out the chocolate mixture and roll it into small balls between your palms.

Roll each ball in the sprinkles and place them in paper candy cups 

                                                                    ♥ ♥ 

Marcela, a food blogger, is promoting a worldwide contest for Chocolate lovers at her blog Torta Della Figlia. and is generously offering 4 prizes with a Lékué Macaron Kit to the 1st place winner!

To participate click on this link to learn about the rules. Have fun and good luck!

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