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how to make ranch, best ranch ever

So, I know I’ve built up this recipe with the post title. And the recipe isn’t really Earth-shattering or anything. But seriously, I’ve always felt that bottled grocery store ranch was a little “off.” And this recipe is sooo much better than that bottled stuff. It rivals what’s termed “Restaurant Ranch” in my house. AND, because you’re making it yourself, you can use the ingredients you want (i.e. organic stuff) to make it healthier and less corn-syrup-weird-ingredients-I can’t-pronounce filled. So if you think you can handle having your Ranch world rocked, read on! (And I kid you not. It will rock your world. We actually take this places where we know there will be a need for Ranch. Weird, I know. Apparently we take our food way too seriously.)

{What You Will Need}

Ranch dressing mix (Found in the dressing isle. I’m not sure if you can find this organically in your local organic market but if you can, this recipe can be made 100% organic.)
Mayo
Sour cream (We use Fage yogurt as sour cream in my household. It has less fat/calories, tons more protein, and you can barely tell the difference in taste.)
Milk
Empty container
Funnel
Wisk or silicone spatula (The silicone spatula is ideal for scraping the bowl later. In general, I prefer these spatulas and have quite the collection. I get them at the dollar store. Get one. You’ll love them too.)
Medium size bowl

  1. Gather your supplies
  2. In bowl, add sour cream and mayo according to package directions. I’ve made this so many times now, I just eyeball the amounts I put in. I usually use 8 oz. (1/2 a container) of Fage yogurt and about 1/2 cup of mayo to start. I add more to taste if needed before I add in the milk. Now add in the dressing mix and mix the sour cream, mayo, and dressing mix together.
  3. Now add milk, little by little, until you get a slightly runnier than optimal consistency. The ranch will get thicker when you refrigerate it, which is why I do this.
  4. Use funnel to put ranch into your chosen container. I also use a silicone spatula to scrape the bowl so there is little waste. This stuff is so good, you won’t want to waste ANY.
  5. Refrigerate for 10-20 mins (if you’re impatient like me) and then use. Or you can be proactive and make way before you need to use it, if you’re good like that. Me? Not so much.
  6. Enjoy!!!

So, there yah go. Best Ranch ever. If you’re a Ranch lover, you’ll love this. My husband LOVES ranch and he practically drinks this stuff.

<3
Andrea

P.S. Thanks to Heather from Simply Sjostedt for turning me on to this great alternative. Ranch dressing will never be the same in my household.

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DIY Wire Photo or Card HoldersWhen I go on trips, instead of bringing back traditional souvenirs, I like to find things I find interesting and incorporate them into my life in unique ways. On a recent trip to Portland, I found some cool keys that I made into a long chain necklace. On our last cruise, I found sea shells that I made into earrings. And on our honeymoon, we found some interesting rocks. (Huh. Yeah. Let’s no psychoanalyze why out of everything, I brought home rocks from my honeymoon.)

Since November, these rocks have just sat in our office. But recently I decided to make them useful in our home by making them into unique photo holders for our wedding and honeymoon pictures. The technique is simple and can be used in many different ways–these don’t just need to hold photos. A few different ideas are place cards, table numbers, business cards, price cards, food labels, birthday/holiday cards, and anything else you can think of. And you’re not limited to using something like a rock either. Anything weighted will work. Even things that are not weighted will work, if you counterbalance the top with the bottom. In short, this has many uses. Enjoy!

<3
Andreq

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From This to That Easy DIY Studded Booties

These booties were originally seen in this previous outfit post. This is a great & fun way to make something you already have new again or to revamp an item you’ve thrifted that needs some extra pizzazz (as I did here).

I think it’s fairly clear to see what I did so instead of giving you a full tutorial, I will give you some tips I learned along the way, as well as my supply list.

{Supplies Used}

Item to Stud :: My booties above are thrifted
10mm Pyramid Studs :: Purchased on Ebay for cheap!
Needle Nose Pliers
X-acto Knife (Optional)

Tips for Studding Your Stuff

  1.  Be ware of the thickness of your item. The teeth on the pyramid studs can only pierce so deep, so make sure your selected item to revamp isn’t too thick. I would say nothing over 5-8mm in thickness for this type of stud.
  2. Make sure the prongs on the stud are straight before you push them into your material otherwise you’ll have trouble getting them to pierce and bend in.
  3. Try to be precise when choosing placement, as crooked studs will effect the placement of later ones, especially if you’re stacking them like I did here. Luckily though, the look here is very forgiving. I had a few screw ups but you can’t really tell once they’re on.
  4. When pushing the stud in, us your pliers to help the prongs get through as much as possible by pressing around where the prong should pierce. If you’re still having trouble, remove the stud and use the X-acto knife to make a deeper incision.
  5. Bend prongs inward towards the center of the stud. Use your pliers for this. Your fingers will thank you.
  6. Run a finger over the set prongs to make sure everything is set flat and nothing will snag.
  7. Done!

P.S. If you screw up on any stud, simply pry up the prongs and reset it. I was able to take off and reset the same stud, so no waste!

That’s it! A very simple but edgy upgrade. What’s also great is that these come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. And in case you’d like to see, this is what the back of the studs look like.

pyramid-stud-front-back<3

Andrea

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How To Care for and Clean Brass JewelryWith the cost of gold being so high, brass is an excellent alternative to those whole love the warm, rich color of gold but can’t afford it’s price tag. However, the swap to brass does come with some (minor) care responsibilities. But follow the steps below and you’ll be able to enjoy your brass jewelry for years to come.

 

How to Clean & Care for Brass Jewelry

  1.  Brass does not like getting wet. Want to tarnish brass quickly? Just get it a little damp and you’ll see a brown patina form. While this can be quite lovely sometimes, if you’d like your brass jewelry to shine like gold, keep it dry!
  2. Inevitably, however, no matter how hard you try to keep your brass jewelry dry, it will tarnish over time. Oils and sweat (not sexy, I know) are the main culprits here. To clean flat surfaces or jewelry that has detail you don’t want to disturb, like stampings, buff the piece with a jewelry polishing cloth, like Goddard’s, or use fine steel wool available at any hardware store. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a light buff will restore shine. P.S. I highly recommend the cloth, as it is inexpensive and can be used on all jewelry! Also, when you use the steel wool, be ware that it will shed so polish over a receptacle.
  3. For a deeper clean in those hard-to-reach areas, create a mixture of lemon juice, baking powder, and water. Grab a dollop with a toothbrush and gently go over your brass jewelry. The toothbrush should help you get into those dirty nooks and crannies, making your jewelry golden once again.
  4. If you ever get a little over-zealous in your scrubbing and remove detail in nooks and crannies that should have it, simply use a Sharpie to fill in those areas and then gently rub over them with fine steel wool to remove any surface excess.
  5. Some people have an allergy to brass that causes a tint to be left behind on the skin. Simply seal the offending areas on your jewelry with any clear nail polish or clear Rustoleum to prevent this from happening. Reapply as needed.

And that’s it! Follow the steps above and you will get many happy years of wear from brass jewelry.

<3
Andrea

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Hello there! I was working on filling some orders recently and thought it might be fun to give you guys a glimpse into my home studio and how I make my adjustable band rings for Studio Eleven 11.

And to clarify one point…

I tumbled the ring for about 3 hours with a rock tumbler I got from Harbor Freight, plus a drop of Dawn and 1lb. of steel shot. This makes the ring stronger and extremely smooth.

Enjoy!

{Tools Used}

24g Brass Sheet- Monsterslayer.com
Straight Tin Snips- Harbor Freight
Rawhide Malet- Amazon
Steel Bench Block- Michael’s
Rubber Bench Block- Michael’s
Fine Steel Wool- Lowes
Mini Grinder- Harbor Freight
Steel File Set- Harbor Freight
Anchor Stamp- http://sparklingshamrock.etsy.com
Ballpein Hammer- Harbor Freight
Steel Ring Mandrel- FireMountainGems.com
Rock Tumbler (not shown)- Harbor Freight
1lb Stainless Steel Shot (not shown)- Ebay
Dawn Dish Detergent (not shown)- Target

 

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