Cookie Cutter Wall Display

As a cookie hobbyist and collection addict (re: hoarder), I've grown quite the assortment of cookie cutters over the last few years. Many were purchased specifically for events/clients, some were gifted, and others were bought on a whim because I simply couldn't pass them up. 

There's a small caveat to a growing a cookie cutter collection that becomes a pain point after you hit the 8 to 10 cutter mark - storage. At that point you have enough that you need dedicated storage and, if you're like me, you'll want them on display.

Yes, you can put them in a pretty glass jar and sit the jar on your kitchen counter, but this didn't work for me for two reasons:
                   • We have very limited counter space
                   • My collection grows too quickly, and is too large (first-world problem, I know)

My solution? The cookie cutter wall display. 

*Edit:* We're lucky that we've had really open landlords over the years, and that we're great with spackle & paint. If you're a renter, and decide you want to do this, make sure a) your landlord is cool with a million tiny holes in the wall OR b) your spackle skills are on point. 

What you'll need:
          • 
Tape measure
          • Poster board(s) - enough to fit the size of the wall space you're covering
          • Nails - at least one per cookie cutter, though I used 2 nails for some
          • Hammer
          • Pencil

First- measure the wall where you'll be hanging the cutters, and cut/tape your poster board(s) to size. I used two full posters, taped together. The added benefit of this was that I knew exactly where the center was. If you're creating a smaller space/have less cutters, I recommend measuring your final size, and marking the center. 

Next is the fun and/or infuriating part- arranging the cookie cutters! As someone that DOES NOT LIKE puzzles, this step always tests my patience.
The key here is the make sure you lay the cookie cutters from (what I call) the 'anchor point.' That essentially just means where the cutter will hang on the nail. Chances are, it will not be perfectly upright, but rather at an angle of sorts.

Once you've arranged all of your cookie cutters, be sure to take a reference photo. You'll need this later!

Next, carefully mark the 'anchor point' for each cutter (where the nail would go). I also recommend marking the top/bottom of the arrangement, as well as a small 'x' in the center of a designated cutter. This will make the arrangement easier to rebuild later. In my case, I used the rocket as the 'x' guide. 

After you're done marking each of the cookie cutters, use washi or painter's tape to hang the poster on the wall where you'd like the arrangement to go. Double-check that the poster is level, otherwise your cutters won't hang from the 'anchor point' properly. No pressure! 

Now comes the easy part - simply hammer a nail into each of the dots you've marked.
The type of nail is completely up to you.
In the past I've used small/thin nails so that they're nearly invisible once the cookie cutters are hanging. This time I decided to use nails with a larger head to prevent the cutters from scooting/falling off, as they're in a high-traffic area.

Once all of the nails are up, very carefully tear off the poster board. Be sure not to pull too hard, or you may accidentally pull out the nails. I used and X-acto knife to help in the tough spots.

When you get to the point where you've marked the 'x,' write a small x on the wall (in pencil!) in that same spot.

After you've pulled off all of the poster board, use the small 'x' to guide you through rebuilding the arrangement. First, hang the cutter (in my case, the rocket) that you've designated for the 'x.'
Use your reference photo of the entire arrangement to add the rest of the cookie cutters from that point.

 

And you're done! Stand back and admire your fancy new kitchen display. Well done, pal.

As you acquire additional cookie cutters, it's really easy to add them to the wall- simply add a nail where the cutter fits best!

 

 

*Edit:* If you decide to make a cookie cutter wall display of your own, be sure to use #ftho, or email us a photo- I'd love to see your collection!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Cake Donuts

If you've ever woken up with an undeniable King Cake Craving (henceforth referred to as KCC), but you're a displaced New Orleans native, and the nearest worth-your-time carnival cake is 500+ miles away, this post is for you.

If you're currently a New Orleans resident, close your computer and go (run!) to Haydel's, because this post will likely make you cringe. 

I know this isn't like the real thing. I knowwww. But hear me out- if you're a former Louisiana-child, you'll understand when I say that, come late-January, the unavoidable KCCs begin. 

You'll also understand, then, the disappointment you feel knowing that the only chance you'll get a slice of King Cake this season is if your local Whole Foods Market bakery department is feeling especially festive that week. 

It's been 5 years since I've lived in New Orleans, so I've learned to get creative when the KCC hits. I'm also: a) too impatient to wait for bread to rise b) lazy. Enter: King Cake Donuts.
Although I guess 'King Cake Cinnamon Rolls' would be a more accurate description. Whatever. I like donuts better. 

The process to make these is incredibly simple, and your friends will super impressed. They'll have no idea how little effort you put into them!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • 1 Package of Cinnamon Rolls (Yep! That's right! Most of the work is already done. You can honestly just stop at this step, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done)
  • Purple, Yellow, and Green Sanding Sugar
  • 1 c. Confectioner's Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 T. Water (warm water will be easier to mix, but it'll work either way)
  • Optional ingredients: piping bag, cooling rack, plastic baby

STEPS:

Open the package of cinnamon rolls. Be sure to cringe while pushing your spoon against the cardboard seam, then laugh at yourself for overreacting at the underwhelming 'pop'.

Unroll each of the cinnamon rolls until they're all lil' dough snakes. You may need to carefully use a knife to cut your own spiral, then unroll.

Twist the dough snake, and knead the two ends together to make a donut-like (see?!) ring. Place on a lined cookie sheet.

Repeat for the remainder of the dough, and bake according to your package instructions (I usually bake mine for a minute or so less so they're a little dough-y).

While the cinnamon rolls are in the oven, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water with a fork until smooth.
* I recommend adding a little bit of water at a time, as you likely won't need the entire tablespoon. You'll want the icing to be slightly thick, as it'll melt a bit when hitting the warm bread, and you don't want it to get runny. We weren't able to get a decent picture of this, so you'll just have to use your imagination. 
** If you're feeling extra lazy, just use the icing the package comes with (no judgement here)

After the rings are out of the oven, move them to a large plate, or cooling rack (I recommend putting wax paper underneath for easy cleanup).

While the bread is still hot, pipe/spoon the icing over the top of the ring. Quickly sprinkle the purple, green, and yellow sugar in whatever pattern tickles your fancy.

 

DONE.

That's it. Seriously.

It may not be the real thing, but when you've got KCC, missing your cajun home, or just need a festive dessert that requires minimal effort, it'll do the trick.

 

 

 

One Second, Every Day.

I was finally able to wrap up a project I started - at this point - over a year ago. In November of 2015, I started making a point to take at least one video every single day. After a full year, I’ve put it all together in a short 6-minute video. One second - Every day.

It’s been quite a year, and I’m excited to keep it going. Part 2 coming in 2017.

- J

Things We Learned During Our Weekend Trip to Denver

  • Staying up until 1am the night before a 6am flight is a really bad idea (obvs). Side effects include: exhaustion, delirium, naps.
     
  • Some people think the Denver airport is the headquarters of the Illuminati...among other things.
  • Denver in October looks exactly how movies portray 'autumn' to be. Cool weather, and colors everywhere you look. If you're not used to living in a place that has seasons like this (i.e., us), expect gasps at every turn.
  • If you're going somewhere brand new for a quick weekend trip, do some research, but don't plan too much. As someone that typically has a general plan for vacation ("on day 1 we'll do this, on day 2 we'll do that, etc etc"), this experience was a really fun way to travel. 
     
  • Remember how we said 'do some research'? There were a few things we do wish we had known about ahead of time. For example, we didn't find Denver's pocket of amazing graffiti until literally 6 minutes before we had to head back to the airport. Had we done our research, we probably would've planned an hour or so to walk this part of town. 
  • Pack outdoor shoes, even if you don't 'plan' on doing outdoor things. Dorothy's $10 H&M flats were not prepared for such terrain. 
  • We debated taking the 2 hour drive into the Rockies, since our trip was so short. You guys…we’re so glad we did. You may have seen the Smokey Mountains, or the Appalachian Mountains, but the Rocky Mountains are on another level. Even if you’re aren’t in Denver for very long, be sure to make time for this. 
  • You’ll likely start planning you’re next trip to Denver during the flight home. It’s a city filled with too much color, kind people, and beautiful landscapes to not return ASAP.

 

 

Let's do this thang

"There are always a million reasons not to do something." - Jan Levinson [Gould], The Office

Although 'Jan' is probably the top character I would say not to take advice from, I'm with her on this one. Jonas and I had no trouble finding a million reasons to put off creating the website/blog/shop/brand that is 'Full-time Hangout.'

We've been talking about starting a 'blog' of sorts for literal years. We actually registered the domain for the first time in 2012. See? Years.

When we moved to Los Angeles back in December of 2012, we thought, 'Yes! Now we'll have stuff to actually share on a website!,' (as if living in Baton Rouge was the factor holding us back). Our time in Los Angeles came and went, yet we never seemed to jump on the 'Full-Time Hangout' train.

Then, we moved to Austin, TX. 'Okay.. now we can really get our site going.' Fast-forward ~2.5 years, and here we are!

Why now? We don't really have an answer for that.
Perhaps we have too many moments of, 'man, that'd be something really great to share on our website' to ignore. 
More likely? We just want a corner of the internet to call our own. 
We hope to use this blog as a place to share personal anecdotes, DIYs, what we're listening to, what we're watching, but mostly just snapshots of our daily life.

Do you think this is rill dumb? Are you excited to follow along? Have you read a thousand different versions of this exact same blog and have feedback? Just want to say, 'hello'? Leave us a comment, and let us know!

If you've read to this point of our very first blog post, all we can say is thank you. We hope you stick around.

- Dorothy