Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Favorite Things

What a year 2013 has been!  I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas with loved ones and that you are posed for a great start to 2014.  I'm really excited about what is in store here at The Geeky Loft for this upcoming year.  If you're feeling the strain of the holiday season on your budget and have always thought about couponing but it's felt overwhelming I'll be starting off the new year by walking you step by step through how I do it without going crazy or spending hours and hours on it every week.

Of course there will be plenty of crafts and recipes posted although with the baby expected to arrive in early February I'm not counting on having a lot of time so we may be seeing more lifestyle type posts for a little bit.  In the interim though I've been amassing a number of tutorials that I can't wait to share with you!

Enough about what's coming up now, let's take a look at some of my favorite posts from this last year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
May you all be surrounded by friends and family this season
and find ways to escape to your personal Geeky Loft for some r&r when needed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

11 Quick & Easy Items to Make this Christmas

Still looking for something special to make this Christmas season?  Maybe your house or apartment is needing a little extra cheer or you're desperately seeking ideas for homemade gifts to give.  Or perhaps their are a couple of kiddos running around your home who really need something to occupy their time while they are off of school.  Whatever the reason may be I've rounded up my favorite crafts from this past year to help give you a bit of inspiration.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cake

You know how there tend to be those staple recipes that everyone has or wants to have?  Something that you know you can make consistently every time and is also absolutely delicious.  Well for the longest time I have been deeply saddened by the fact that I had no standard chocolate cake recipe to go to, or for that matter a vanilla cake recipe.  I have my brownies down, even my snickerdoodles are consistent, but the standard chocolate cake continued to allude me.  That is until now!  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November In Review

November always feels like a busy month but this year with Thanksgiving falling so late and the immediate transition into Christmas the whole month feels as though it's whizzed on by even faster than usual.  Despite this, or maybe because of this, it's difficult to remember exactly what went on over the course of the month but I'll give it my best shot.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Butterfly In The Sky...

Last week saw me making a marbleized cake as the inside needed to be just as pretty as the outside.  But why did that matter?  Well, some friends of mine were throwing a small baby shower and I offered to make the cake and in anticipation of the little girl to come I wanted something elegant, girly, and fun.  Plus I'd been seeing a number of ideas for how to shape a butterfly cake on Pinterest and was dying to try one out. :)  Ultimately I settled on using this tutorial from Handimania to get the shape just right but as I'm not exactly a girly girl myself and would have made the cake all blues, greens, and black I still needed some inspiration for the coloring/decorating which is where this picture came in handy.  Let's get to it, shall we?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Marbelized? Marbleized? Whatever, It's A Swirly Cake!

Ahh, baking a cake.  One of my favorite pastimes.  Granted it doesn't happen all that frequently seeing as how an entire cake left alone in the house with just The Husband and I disappears at an alarming rate.  Nonetheless, over the past year, really ever since I made the Spider-Man cake, I have found myself growing ever more fascinated with the art of decorating cakes.  Learning how to use different icing tips, experimenting with food coloring, trying different recipes, etc.  I find I take just about every opportunity that presents itself to bake a cake because it has become something I truly love learning about.  I think I'm getting pretty good at making the outsides fun and pretty but for the most part my cakes themselves tend to be all but pretty.  Generally my rationale is that all my time will be spent on the icing and therefore it's ok to not focus on the cake but what if I told you you could take your favorite tasty recipes and consistently make them pretty as well?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update A Table Top

Many moons ago I showed you how I went about weatherproofing our balcony furniture.  One of the primary reasons for even doing that in the first place was because I've had redoing the top of the table on my to do list pretty much since we moved out here over a year ago.  The Husband and I knew that we wanted to cover the table with either bottle caps or coasters as he has amassed quite a collection of both and we didn't really have room to store them.  I was stuck between the two but Facebook, ever ready to lend an opinion, came through and with an almost unanimous decision coasters it was.  Even while using coasters I followed this Instructables directions almost to the letter which was an immense help!  So how do we go from a drab Goodwill table to something like this?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

September & October In Review: Or Why Haven't There Been Any Posts?!?!

Hello.  Perhaps some of you are still here and reading?  Or perhaps after a solid two months without a new post you've all gone away, moved on with your lives.  I wouldn't blame you.  Let's just say the last two months have not exactly been relaxing around here.  But as today marks one year since I started this blog what better day to get off my lazy (crazy, hectic, insane, relatively pregnant) butt and put this blog into gear again!

Let's dive in to what life has had in store over the past couple of months shall we?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August In Review

I can never decide if I like the month of August or not.  On the one hand it can start to feel a tad like fall, kids are getting ready to go back to school, parents are ready for a change of pace, and life becomes totally hectic as people squeeze in every last bit of summer fun they hadn't done yet.  On the other hand the summer heat can start to feel oppressive and makes a person irritable, stores are shouting to get kids ready for school, parents can seem a bit ragged from chasing kids all summer long, and life becomes totally hectic because what if we miss that one perfect opportunity for that one family memory we'll all remember for the rest of our lives.  And so I'm left wondering, is August a good month or a bad month?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weatherproofing Wood

Living in the Northwest means that much of the year is spent with rain and a balcony that is typically wet and does not get used all that frequently until the sun comes out.  While we could make use of it more frequently if we obtained furniture for it that was made out of metal or plastic, you know, like pretty much everyone else around here has.  But no, we had to be different.  We went to Goodwill shortly after we moved last October and obtained a couple of nice wooden chairs and a little wooden table that would be perfect.  We also knew that we didn't have the space to store these items either inside or in the garage when the weather was wet.  So what have we done to prevent rot and water damage you may ask?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tank To Tube

So way back in July I promised a tutorial to create the bandeau top that I made for my infinity dress and then various things which all occurred in July meant that it has now been far too long and I owe you all a tutorial!  So if you, like me, prefer to be somewhat more conservative when it comes to cleavage and being able to wear a bra but for whatever reason wearing normal tank tops under low cut shirts won't cut it for you may I present a very simple solution:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

July In Review

So July, yeah, that's apparently a month that just flew by, I mean we're a week into August already so who knows where the time goes.  We had a great many things occur in July both big and small which accounts for the lack of consistent posting this past month.  Sorry!  I promise many tutorials and recipes to come!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chocolatey Cheesecakey Mini Cupcakes

Do you ever just want a small snack?  You know for sure that baking a cake would be too much without a specific occasion, you don't really want to take the time to bake and ice individual cupcakes, but you're tired of your brownies and cookies?  A number of weeks ago I found myself in this situation, perusing through America's Test Kitchen baking book not knowing what I was looking for and or just how much effort and time I wanted to spend in my kitchen that afternoon.  I then stumbled across a recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes, a combination of chocolate cake and cheesecake which required no icing and could be completed from start to finish in less than an hour!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June In Review

For many people June marks the end of school, the "real" beginning of summer, the start of relaxation and the start of busyness.  Our June was filled with fun and in a way just a simple warm-up for July, let's recap. :)


One of the constants throughout June was watching our herbs grow and even using some of the mint and oregano in dinner and drinks.  We did end up altering the planter's orientation slightly to allow for more light which has done wonders!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wedding Album Wonders

This past Sunday marked one year since The Husband and I were married.  A lot can happen in one year and for us a lot did.  The Husband got a new job resulting in our move across the country, I stopped working, we both went about the daunting process of finding a new church, a new group of friends, learning how to get around, all while working hard on our still new relationship.  At times it's been rough, but other times it's been fantastic and those are the ones that I strive to remember the most.  Now, as we close on our first year of marriage it feels that we have a bit of a routine, we're learning more and more about how we think and react, things seem to fall into place more frequently without needing a shove from us.  The year ahead fills us with hope and joy to see how God will continue to work in us and through us.  It was with my brain reeling with these thoughts that I knew it was time to finally sit down and work on our wedding album.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gardening for Greenhorns

When The Husband and I moved from the East to the West coast we were prepared for a lot of differences.  What I am continuing to be struck by is the small ways in which these differences make themselves known.  I knew that if you wanted to plant anything in a garden in Virginia you should aim for after the last frost but still pretty early say April/Mayish.  (You shouldn't actually take my word on this as I was never actually the one to do the planting.)  When it got around to late May/June here in Washington and I wanted to plant some sort of herb/vegetable garden I was sure it was too late.  I can't remember the last time we had a frost and even though it's been raining the temperature has been picking up, so I assumed the growing season started much sooner.  What I then learned is that if you don't care about growing things from seed (and let's face it I couldn't keep a pot of grass alive in college so herbs/vegetables were going to be a stretch regardless of what stage they started in) you could start a garden pretty much anytime between May and early July.  Thus, a couple of weekends ago The Husband and I found ourselves creating this:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pretty Popsicles for Parents (Or Other Adultish People)

In most parts of the country June means summer.  Schools are letting out, no one wants to sit in an office all day, the sun is shining, and a pool or beach quickly becomes a necessity.  While the kids munch on avocado popsicles shouldn't there be something just for the adults?  How about a variation on a Maple Brown Derby Popsicle?  Let's spend the afternoon combing maple syrup, bourbon, and orange juice (or grapefruit if you prefer).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May In Review

I thought I'd try something a little different today.  As this blog was created with the intent of staying in touch with family and friends on the East Coast after The Husband and I moved to the West Coast in October I have decided that perhaps the content should occasionally span things other than foods and crafts, just a thought.  And so, I am now promising to do my best to provide a monthly recap so as to actually fulfill the intent of The Geeky Loft.  Without further ado, I present to you, May!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pinterest vs. Pillows

If you've been reading this blog for a while you have probably picked up on the fact that I frequently turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  I have a tendency to look for crafts or recipes that are most likely to be a success and pride myself on my ability to look at a pin and immediately think through all of the ways it could go wrong thereby avoiding the most fantastic of screw-ups.  Even with all of my careful attention it's inevitable that something will not work and I remember that I am not a professional seamstress, at least the process is usually entertaining for me.  This entertainment factor is the whole reason I find the Pintester on a short list of blogs to read when I'm looking for a laugh or quick pick-me-up.  If you've never read anything there go ahead, I can wait.

Back?  Laughed until you've cried?  Good!  There was recently a challenge put out to fellow bloggers to dig deep into our boards on Pinterest and find one that we've been meaning to attempt but haven't yet.  Without further ado let us join:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shockingly Satisfying Popsicle Surprise

It's the end of May.  You've just spent Memorial day picnicking, parade watching, attending weddings, grilling, and spending time with family and friends.  It's time to pack everything up and get back to the daily grind.  There's only one problem...it's still sunny and you aren't ready to be done lounging around outside.  You want more freeziepops, burgers, brats, and salads.  But you also know that the time wherein you are expected to wear clothing which showcases your pasty whiteness is just around the corner and you do so want to try your best to look decent.  I have an utterly shocking revelation for you!  A one-of-a-kind dessert so unthinkable you'll most likely doubt it's very existence.  It's sweet, cold, and yet almost completely healthy.  I have one now awaiting me in the freezer with an enticing combination of food I love and food I never thought I would like.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I present to you the Avocado Popsicle!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cross Stitch Coupling

Spring is undoubtedly upon us and with that comes Wedding Season.  It's easy to get bogged down by your lack of free weekends and forget that you've been invited because YOU are important to the couple.  There is a great honor bestowed upon each guest when asked to witness the joining of two people in matrimony and that is not something to be taken lightly.  So how do you go about trying to stay focused on what is truly important?  For me this frequently means spending a great deal of time making a gift for the couple.  Yes, this does usually end up being the cheaper way to go, but what I truly love about it is that I relish the time put into it where I am able to reflect on the couple and how important they are and causing me to stay centered on what the day is truly about.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crownies? Brookies? Brownie Cookies!

I recently found myself in a conundrum.  Baking was certainly going to happen but I couldn't decide between a delicious simple pan of brownies or a plate full of cookies.  What's a girl to do?  Let me show you!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

T-Shirt Revival 2.0

Spring seems to officially be upon us.  The short sleeve shirts are coming out and jackets are being left at home.  As much as I love Winter (or wallowed in misery at the lack of a Winter we had this past year) Spring always seems so refreshing.  Everyone is re-organizing and getting spring cleaning done.  For many of us this applies to wardrobes as well.  In my house this simply means swapping out some of my geeky t-shirts for ones I put away during the winter as well as being struck yet again at how it's not normal to have Summer and Winter socks.  As I've become more of an adult I do try on occasion to move away from my Doctor Who and Pirate t-shirts and more towards solid colors with an embellishment.  Feminine looking clothes, shocking!  In that vein, I found this diy on Pinterest over the winter and was waiting for the perfect time to give it a try.  Without further ado, I present to you, the Braided Tee.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Brownie Mug

We all have those days.  The ones where you just need some chocolate, not necessarily a bake an entire pan of brownies need, but the ones where simply eating chocolate chips straight from the bag seems unnecessarily undignified.  Don't get me wrong, I'll spring for a handful, or three, of straight chocolate chips unashamedly, but what do you do when you want something with a little more consistency?  A more complex flavor?  The answer my friends is a mug brownie!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Lego Lover's Cookies

There are now days that it legitimately feels like Spring over here, the sun comes out, the rain goes away, everyone walks with a smile on their face.  It's good, it's fun, it's time to bake something colorful to share with the kids in the parks, your neighbors, bake something they won't expect.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

T-Shirt Revival!

The other day I discovered that, much to my dismay, one of my favorite shirts had obtained a bleach stain.  And so, for a time, this shirt sat unused, unloved, in my dresser awaiting the day it would be turned into rags or worse thrown away.  But never fear!  I was able to come up with a solution to hide the stain and turn a plain shirt into something much more exciting and I bet you have everything you need to do the same!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easy Easter Eggs

With this Sunday being Easter I thought something a little holiday inspired would be fitting.  Dying Easter eggs has always been something my siblings and I look forward to each year.  The bowl in the fridge full of extravagantly decorated edible decorations is a simple reminder of the approaching holiday.  As kids we always bought the packages with the dissolving tablets, the stickers, crayons to create white spaces, and those plastic bands you could put around an egg and would shrink to fit.  Now that I'm an adult I'm lucky enough to have a husband who's supportive of my occasional desire to relive my childhood but as always I set out to find a cheaper way.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Spice, Two Spice

I wanted to share something a little different with you this week.  It's not quite a recipe, not quite a tutorial, and yet something you can do at home all the same.  We're talking about making your own spice rubs!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

His & Hers Granola Bars

Ahhh, the granola bar.  That proverbial grab and go snack.  The breakfast of champions on those mornings when it's all you can do to remember to brush your teeth.  The choices faced in the grocery store...chocolate, dried fruits of all kinds, maple, brown sugar...the choices are never ending, but what if I told you that in practically no time you could make your own in any combination you could dream up?!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Delectably Divine Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies

Recently I had one of those days where I desperately wanted chocolate while at the same time feeling bored with the recipes I had.  Everything I've made over the past number of weeks has had chocolate chips thrown in, but sometimes a person simply needs pure chocolate with a twist.  Enter the Cream Cheese Brownies.  These delectable morsels will satisfy the deepest chocolate craving while providing perfect proportions of gooey non chocolatey cream cheese goodness.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lovable Lampshade

I recently happened across this list of things to make out of yarn without the need to sew and as I currently have more yarn than I know what to do with naturally.  It was concluded that our bedroom could use a little splash of color and feeling emboldened by my previous attempt to update a lampshade I went for it. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Occasionally Healthy?...

What do you do when you have a sudden desire for something sweet but know that you really should do something not quite as decadent as you'd like?  For me that usually means I half a recipe or perhaps add some chocolate chips to what is already in store.  Other times it simply means a batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chips is in my near future.  Something about combining oatmeal, nuts, and chocolate chips makes the end result seem like it's not quite the indulgence that it could be.  Granted the butter and sugar probably negate the health aspects, but I prefer not to focus on that point.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

They Can't All Be Successes

Do you ever undertake a craft simply to realize that the finished product isn't something you'd ever use or want to wear?  I like to think that I have a pretty good track record of visualizing a finished product before it gets to that stage and am able to avoid this unhappy conundrum.  However, that was not the case with this project.  Apparently I forgot that I'm not much of a bow person...or a lover of tank tops.  Nonetheless I'm happy with the process and do want to share it for all of you who may in fact be bow people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bisquick From Scratch?

Almost without fail I am that person who must bake everything from scratch.  There will be no cake mixes, no muffin boxes, no icing tubs in my kitchen.  Almost.  You see, long ago in the confines of a college apartment kitchen I threw a pot of soup on the stove, realized I desperately needed warm biscuits to go with it and my addiction to Bisquick was born.  Granted it always was my exception to the no boxed mixes ever rule for the ease with which pancakes and waffles are made on those too sleepy to function mornings but the biscuits.  Oh my goodness those biscuits.  Yet, there was still a part of me that cringed every time I took the box down, a part of me that thought, it can't be that hard to make this mix from scratch, to save all that money spent on a boxed mix.  I have problems.  Feel free to point and laugh.  But here it is, most humbly borrowed from Fake-It Frugal.  As The Husband humorously refers to it:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Subliminally Sublime Snickerdoodles

I think everyone has their thing.  That one item that is frequently associated with them.  It could be a meal, a dessert, a craft, it's not that this thing is their identity, or by any means all that they are, but there are associations being made.  It seems sacrilegious for me to make my friend's Thin Mint Truffles because that's what she bakes, what she brings to parties, but I have the recipe and think of her when I make them.  I see a particular book or author and am immediately reminded of the people who introduced them into my life.  Movies and TV shows are the same way, constant reminders of the people who care about them.  Those are their things.  What might my thing be?  I'm not going to pretend to think so highly of myself to be able to answer that question and honestly I think the answer would vary dramatically.  What I can say with certainty is that I've never met someone who hasn't said good things about my snickerdoodles.  These are my go to cookies for taking places, the one recipe of mine my Mom has asked me for.  You know you've done something well when your Mom is asking for recipes!  Oh and true story I have even mailed some to a friend in Paris!  (And I have it on good authority that they arrived...late, but still soft and tasty!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Candle's Transformation

You know those things you have sitting around the house because some day, one day, you are positive you will find a use for them?  Maybe it's pipe cleaners, maybe it's popsicle sticks, or velcro, or fabric, or bags, or maybe, just maybe even candle jars.

I have a penchant for candles.  I'm one of those people who doesn't see anything wrong in lighting five or ten differently scented candles in one room.  I've always loved the candles that come in jars mostly because I've been repeatedly known to light a candle, leave a room, and come back to find it had melted all over my table or cd's.  I probably shouldn't be allowed within 5 feet of a candle.  In recent years though as I've gotten more responsible around fire (or as I think I've become more responsible) I've been veering away from candles in jars simply because then you're left with this icky, black, soot-stained jar and it's one of those items I feel like I should be able to find a use for.  Currently this was their use:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You Turn Me On...To Crafting?

Let's face it.  I'm a sucker for a good mix CD.  There's a thrill in personally selecting songs I think a friend or loved one might enjoy, pieces that remind me of them, determining the precise order the tracks should be in, which song will hook the listener from the beginning, what mood do I want to convey and how do I order things to get that across.  I cherish mix CD's from friends and family, listening to each one carefully knowing that there was some aspect of the song that reminds them of me or they think I'd enjoy.  More often then not I can't remember the artist of the song I'm listening to but with almost 100% accuracy I can tell you who gave it to me, when, what I then named that album in iTunes, and what picture I chose of the two of us to represent the album art.  Music is something I associate with people, places, and times in my life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Om Nom Nom, Gingerbread!

Well hello!  I hope that all of you had fantastic holidays and are slowly starting to get back into the swing of everyday life.  It's been nice here with the craziness that is the holiday season over and no plans to go anywhere or do anything major in the next couple of months.  For the first time since The Husband and I moved it feels like we can breathe and figure out what life looks like for us here.

Before we completely move on to expecting snow, praying desperately for summer to arrive, or whatever it is people look forward to after the holidays I wanted to look back on one of my favorite aspects of the holidays this year.  Gingerbread Houses!!!