Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Broken China Jewelry For Valentine's Day!

Hi friends! I hope you all had a great holiday and Happy New Year. The holidays wiped out much of my jewelry inventory on Etsy, so I spent the last (frigid!) week catching up, making some new pieces so I could get them listed in my Etsy shop on time for Valentine's Day shoppers. 

Don't wait! Every year I land up with a few last minute Valentine's Day shoppers who have to rush to get their gifts on time. If you order now, there is still lots of time for you to receive your package before Valentine's day.

I finished and listed fifteen brand new pieces yesterday, and here is a preview. Each item seen here is available for sale in my Etsy shop, DishfunctionlDesigns

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Monday, January 8, 2018

My Scattered Stars Design - Redbubble Phone Case Unboxing

Last year I blogged a little bit about some of the designs I was creating for a few different print on demand (POD) sites. This Scattered Stars design was one of them, and I was excited to order a new phone case for myself in one of my own designs. I was curious to check out the quality of the product and see in person how my design looked on it. 

I created this graphic design with white stars on three different colored backgrounds; Black, Midnight Blue, and Modern Indigo. I still have another color in the works and will have it up in my Redbubble shop soon!

This version of my design (on all of the products shown on this page) is from my Redbubble shop. 

One of the things I love about Redbubble is that they run a lot of sales, so if you find something you like on the site, keep your eyes open for special sales for things like free shipping or a nice discount. 

My old phone case was falling apart, so off went my order! I thought I'd share my unboxing with you. 

Within about a week after I placed my order my package from Redbubble arrived in the mail. Yay!

Redbubble has some pretty nice packaging. Inside the red shipping envelope was a bubble wrap envelope. Inside of that was the package shown above. They included a cool, fun sticker with my order too.

I was super-happy with the quality of my iphone case! The design looked great, and I'll definitely be ordering more from Redbubble in the future. 

What do you think?

Have you ever shopped at Redbubble?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Friday, January 5, 2018

From Snow Day To Suet To Foxy Time

Even though they were calling for less than an inch of snow this morning, I told my girls that if they had a late start or a snow day today that I would make a big brunch for us with homemade french toast and bacon. 

Turns out they got lucky with an entire day off today, so I got the bacon going on the stove and as I always do, I grabbed my kitchen scissors and snipped off some of the excess fat from the bacon before I put it in the pan to cook. 

But this time I didn't toss the fat into the trash like I usually do. I thought it might be fun to cook it up—which basically means melt it down—and mix it up with some birdseed and see if we could turn it into some type of treat for our backyard birds similar to the suet cakes that I buy at the grocery store and hang in our backyard.

And right as I am in this exact spot—snapping the photo above for this blog post, thinking of how we could use the fat for the birds—I hear the birds outside of my kitchen window at the bird feeder rush and flutter and see my cats run to the kitchen windows. 

So now we're all like, There's the fox! There's the fox! Since the only time we really see them is either very early in the morning when my kids are on their way to school, or late on summer nights after dark, when I'm driving, turn the corner to our street and my headlights catches one running around from yard to yard. 

I figure this one is looking for food so I throw a couple pieces of the bacon fat outside, hoping to lure him just a little bit closer so I can get a good photo of him. 

He watches me do this and then he completely ignores the bacon fat, runs around my backyard for about another 45 minutes or so, tracing his same path over and  over again. I told my daughter it looks like he is walking his beat!  
There's a piece of the bacon fat. I thought it was funny when I saw that a little bird checked it out.

Then, a couple of minutes later, I spot her!

Now there are TWO foxes in my backyard—a boy and girl—running around and every once in a while stopping to play and roll around in the snow. 

Here's the vixen:

She's playing around, face first into the snow!

Vixen fox hung out on this bank in my backyard, and soon I saw him join her and they hid away behind the wood pile that's next to this bank, and the rest is history! (yup, that's what I'm sayin'!)

I guess his running around in my backyard for a couple hours was part of their mating ritual. It was all so cool to watch and I am so glad that my kids got to see it all. Sometimes you can learn a lot on a snow day off from school! 

I'm expecting to see some baby foxes running around come springtime! 

What do you think?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Bars: Hello Dolly Bars (My BFF Nikki's Favorite)

Seriously, what could be easier than making cookie bars where you literally just pour one ingredient on top of the other in a glass baking dish and then bake? Nothing! These are the ultimate best and SO easy to make. I guarantee rave reviews every time. 

Now these are nothing new. Sometimes called Hello Dolly bars, sometimes called Magic Bars, some people call them cookies - but no, they're really cookie bars, since you cut them after they bake and cool, as you would with a pan of brownies. 

My best friend Nikki introduced me to these many years ago, and the recipe that I use comes from her mom. I just made a batch for Nikki's New Years Eve party and figured while I was making them, I'd take some action shots so I could share the recipe here with you. 

They are simple to make, use only six ingredients, take only a few minutes to assemble, and 20 to 30 minutes to bake. Easy! 

You will need:
Glass baking dish (I use my 13" by 9" glass baking dish that I make my brownies in)

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 



Here's how you do it:

1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Unwrap your butter and place it in the baking dish and place in oven while it is preheating to melt the butter, about 4 or 5  minutes, and be sure to keep an eye on it! 

3. While butter is melting and oven is preheating, assemble your other ingredients. Measure 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. You can buy them in a box as crumbs or you can make your own by simply putting a few graham crackers into a food storage bag and then crushing them with a rolling pin on top of a cutting board as shown below.

4. Once butter is melted, use pot holders to carefully remove hot pan with melted butter from oven and set on stove top or other heat-proof surface. 

5. Make sure butter has coated the entire bottom of the pan, and then add your 1 cup of gram cracker crumbs to the butter. Mix if needed to saturate all of the cracker crumbs with butter. Gently press the butter/crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan, creating a crust. 

6. Top with the chopped nuts. I use walnuts. Some folks like to use pecans. Use whichever you prefer.

Now your pan will look something like this. I added a few extra chopped nuts for a little more coverage. 

7. Now cover the nuts with the chocolate chips. Do not pack the chocolate chips down into the pan, just sprinkle them on top!

8. Next, cover the chocolate chips with your 1 cup of coconut. Yum. Once again, do not pack the coconut down into the pan, just sprinkle on top of the chocolate chips, creating a nice even layer of coconut. You do not want to pack it down tightly because then in the next step, the sweetened condensed milk will not be able to soak down into the layers. And yes, I put extra coconut on it because OMG YES.

9. Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and give it a gentle stir with a spoon. I've found that the mixture gets kind of dense and settles from sitting in the can so it's best to give it a mix before you use it to break up any lumps or thickness. 

10. Once you've given it a stir, pour the sweetened condensed milk atop the coconut. It should soak down into the coconut and layers below. It should look like this:

11. Bake in preheated 350° oven, for about 20 to 30 minutes, watching carefully so that the coconut does not burn, but instead turns a nice golden brown color. The one shown below is perfectly toasted! 

12. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once completely cool, cut into bars or squares. 

How easy is that?

What do you think?
What are your favorite cookie bars?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved