SO far we are enjoying this new tradition and can’t wait to add more.
I am trying to bring in more tradition into our home, some from my childhood, some from Jack’s and some completely new. It is currently Advent season and although I still put my Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving, I wanted to bring something to represent this time too. I made this quick wreath with a four candle holder metal wreath from Hobby Lobby normally $4.99, but was on sale, and also got the three purple and one pink candle from there. I didn’t by another wreath and just used an old one I would put on the gate every year. The pinecones and red ornaments have seen better days and will be replaced next year, but for now, it worked perfectly. Since this is a new tradition for us I found some prayers on Pinterest and printed them out for Jack to read as he lit the candles.
SO far we are enjoying this new tradition and can’t wait to add more.
Andrew is a little over a year old now and has entered the phase of getting into everything. Not willing to give up our beautiful Christmas tree or not wanting to put a big baby gate in front of it we came up with our own plan to try first and you know what, it is working…well mostly.
We used some leftover plywood scraps and screwed two pieces together. This was only because we wanted more weight. We then glued hot glue to the bottom of the plywood to prevent scratching the floors and prevent the plywood from sliding. Next, we added some metal ribbon with holes in it, we used this to anchor down the plastic tree stand. The tree fit in as normal and even when I tried to pull the tree over, it wouldn’t budge.
When we decorated the tree we made sure to put all of our annual ornaments deep within the branches and secured the hook/ribbon by folding the metal branch around them. If the tree somehow ended up falling over this would hopefully prevent them from breaking. We also placed all of these glass ornaments way out of his reach. Closer on the bottom were the simple plastic ornaments. However, we have already had one casualty by him crusting it with his teeth. Thankfully it stayed in once piece, just caved in. Hopefully, this will continue to work for the Holiday season, but if not were ready with the baby gate!
Update: We had a few more casualties of the plastic ornaments and other than that he is fascinated with the lights, we have had no problems! Overall a success!!
For my little pumpkin’s first birthday this past weekend, we decided to have a small party with only close friends and family. I know Andrew will never remember and I know the party is really only for me, which I am totally fine with. I called it “I survived the first year party” and it included good food, great desserts, and even mulled wine! Nothing says fall to me like a bowl of chili with a slice of cornbread so decided to have a chili bar. With the help of my mom, we had three kinds of chili: classic five bean chili, turkey pumpkin, and chorizo chili. We used a roaster that had a three tray divider to keep the chili nice and warm. I baked potatoes in a slower cooker for anyone who wanted to put their chili on one. There were also two kinds of homemade corn muffins: regular and jalapeno and cheddar cheese. To finish the chili bar there was tasty toppings: shredded cheese, red and white onions, and sour cream. I had hot apple cider, peach tea, and mulled spice wine for the drinks.
The food was amazing and the main benefit of having a chili bar was everything was able to be made/prepped well in advance. The roasters and slow cookers kept everything perfectly warm so there was no rush or stress. I was able to have a cup of mulled wine and be able to enjoy the time celebrating me surviving the first year!
These amazing little cupcakes were packed with a lot of flavor! I made them for everyone at Andrew’s first birthday party.
The cake flavor was spice (actually made from a box) were perfect with some homemade cream cheese pumpkin spice frosting. I used the same frosting on Andrew’s Pumpkin smash cake minus the pumpkin spice since I wasn’t sure if he would like it. I even had the cute pumpkin cupcake liners for years, just waiting for the perfect event!
They were so cute with the cake and everyone thought they were delicious too!
I can’t believe this adorable first birthday smash cake is for my little Andrew! It feels like just last month I was making the cake for my baby shower. Since my little man is a fall baby and is my favorite season I thought it would be super cute to have his first birthday party be a little pumpkin theme. I will go over the menu and budget in a future post, but for now, let’s talk about his fun smash cake! Since I bake and decorate a lot of cakes Andrew is no stranger to the sweet treat. So, sorry no “healthy” birthday cake for him. Is there really such a thing as a healthy birthday cake anyways? Not only do they look gross, but they also don’t sound all that great either. It’s their birthday give them a real cake and I’m not talking about pre-mix over food colored sweetened frosting you find at a grocery store bakery either. Andrew’s cake was a simple vanilla cake with my delicious cream cheese frosting. I baked the cake in my dome cake molds to create the round pumpkin shape. I then colored the cream cheese frosting with all natural yellow and red food coloring that I found on Amazon. I filled the two domes with frosting and took a little off the top and bottom to make the ball shape look more like a pumpkin. I knew I wanted the cake to create a mess so I didn’t cover it with fondant, but instead covered the entire outside of the pumpkin. I created the groves of the pumpkin by using a frosting spatula to make lines in the frosting. I topped the cake with a stem out of brown fondant that I didn’t blend completely to create the look of a real stem. I finished the cake off with a few green leaves and vines. It’s the perfect birthday cake for my little pumpkin!
For months I’ve looked for the perfect pumpkin onesie for Andrew’s first birthday. I know I am picky and not normally cheap when it comes to the perfect outfit. I just couldn’t find one and could get it by the time I needed it.
So I did what I also do, I make it. I pulled out one of his white onesie and my trust iron transfer paper and got to work. After searching online for a while I found a “one” that I liked and put it into a word document. I ended up printing it in three different sizes since I wasn’t sure what one would work best on the onesie. I also planned on using the other two for another project. Next, I cut out the image, cutting off as much of the blank area I could before ironing onto the onesie.
The onesie came out cuter than I hoped and was the perfect thing for him to wear as he dug into his smash cake!
It’s Halloween time! My favorite holiday and even more my favorite party we host! This will be our ninth annual Halloween party and Andrew’s first. For this year party theme, I stuck with the classic Halloween colors: orange, black, purple and bright green. I found super cute plates at Hobby Lobby with all of these colors. They even had matching cupcake liners.
To go with these fun colors I went with French vanilla cupcakes that I divided into orange, purple and green. Then using a small disher layered the three colored batters before using a toothpick to create a swirl.
Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I frosted them using orange, purple, green, and black buttercream frosting. Actually, the black was made from chocolate frosting which gave the cupcakes a nice surprise. I placed each color in its own piping bag and then placed all floor in another piping bag with a large star tip. This created the perfect Halloween color swirl on every cupcake.
I’ve done this technique before with two and three colors; but four was a little harder and lot messier. However, they came out perfect and even turned your tongue black and now that is the perfect Trick and Treat!
To continue my Halloween decorating insanity, I decided to make some outdoor pillow covers for the patio set. Normally, I don’t decorate the patio unless we are going to be using it as we did on the Fourth of July and since at the Halloween party, we watch Halloween movies outside. To make the pillows I bought traditional Halloween color fabric: orange, black, bright green and purple in either duct or home décor fabric. I then decided on four simple Halloween themed cut-outs to make using the other colors. After I cut out the shape I used a double-sided iron-on paper and ironed them onto the pillow. I sewed each end of the pillow fold along with sewing each of the cut-out pieces, using the corresponding thread color of course. Once the shapes were sewed on all in place I turned the cover inside out and sewed the sides together creating the fold.
I was really impressed with how great they turned out and how cute they look on the patio!
Since I wanted to decorate every room in our house for Halloween, I thought it would be fun to add garland to my shower curtain rings. I was able to find a cute ghost, bat, and Jack-o-lantern felt one for my bathroom mirror, but not one long enough for the shower curtain. I didn’t want a garland that was made out of the plastic stuff that comes off whenever you touch it either. I decided to make a simple fringe tassel one.
I used embroidery floss, eight of each color: black, orange, and white to match the garland on the mirror. I put two bundles of each floss together and folded it in half and tied one end together. Next, I cut any loops and trimmed any random long strands. Lastly, I tried each tassel to a black and white rope. It was so easy to make and cost under $10 and it looks so great on the shower curtain!
I might have gone overboard on decorating Halloween this year. EVERY room in our house is decorated, even our patio! To be fair our annual Halloween party is mainly in the backyard and it makes sense it would be decorated there too. I love Halloween as most of you know and this is Andrew’s first Halloween which makes me even more excited this year. I tried to make sure nothing came off as scary, but fun and colorful. From homemade pillows. to cute Target and craft store finds, to all of the stuff I already had I went a little crazy. I could give Jack Skellington a run for his money. Check out the galleries to see all of the amazing decorations and for some future post on how I made specific items!
First up is our living room. Most of these decorations I have had for years and look forward to putting them out every year!
Most of the decorations were bought for only a dollar each. Can't be that deal!
Andrew's room might be my favorite. I love how the homemade pillows came out and look forward to reading him Halloween books while curled up under the blanket.
Our bedroom looks like it can be in fancy Halloween Hotel. I love the perfect Hocus Pocus themed pillows I found on Amazon and a discount store. The blanket was made from a Halloween tablecloth I bought at Home Goods and added a flannel backing to, its perfect for a little extra warmth as the nights are getting cooler.
Our Office was kept simple with just a few decorations, just enough to make me want to go in there to work!
Even our bathrooms got a little decorations! I made the Halloween garland on the shower curtain to match the garland on the mirror I bought at craft store. The labels on soap and lotion bottles were Halloween beverage stickers I've had forever and fit perfectly on them!
The patio was kept simple with just a few homemade outdoor pillows I made! Just enough to get comfortable and read a good book in the fall weather!
I love how each room looks and every time I walk into another room it makes me smile and isn’t that the most important thing in the end? Bring on Halloween!
This adorable cake took me right back to my childhood. I loved the My Little Pony’s growing up and it’s always fun to reminisce when working on a cake. I covered the cakeboard in green fondant, which is something I rarely do, but I wanted it to look like grass. The bottom tier was covered in baby pink fondant and I placed bushes in different colored greens along the bottom. I also placed white puffy clouds in fondant around the tier, making one big one in the center. I added the little girl's name in colorful fondant inside the large cloud.
The top tier was covered in sky blue fondant. I started with purple fondant and rolling it into a long rope before creating the bottom layer of the rainbow. I repeated with all of the colors of the rainbow, curling the ends off to the side. To finish the tier I added more tri-colored bushes, white puffy clouds, and little white stars.
The last touch was adding some keepsake My Little Pony toys on top. Seeing the little girls smile when she saw the cake just melted my heart!
In my standing tradition of fair cakes, I recreated a piece of art on a cake. This year’s masterpiece was inspired by one of Claude Monet’s water lily paintings. I had a fun time playing around with new techniques to decorate the cake, from hand painting to piping buttercream, even some fondant work.
This cake is truly is a masterpiece!
Update: I got first place!
I’m not even going to lie and pretend I enjoyed making this cake. Wedding cakes make me all sorts of nervous. It is someone’s big day and you are responsible for making a huge focal point of the wedding. To top it off this cake was for my good friend and Andrew’s Godmother. Talk about added pressure! It was nice to be able to continue to make all of her cake for her marriage though; I made her bridal shower cake back in July and last month got to make her bachelorette party cake. How cool is that! She wanted to have the wedding cake be carrot cake with pecans instead of walnuts and the same delicious cream cheese frosting as on her other two cakes. The even scarier part of making her wedding cake was that she wanted it to be a naked cake. I love how naked cakes look, but it is something that I am not very good at. I have had problems in the past with the frosting being too thick and tearing the cake, causing crumbs in the supposedly simple pretty cake. With the lessons I have learned with past naked cakes, I prepared the frosting much thinner to give it a smooth clean finish and thankfully it worked out well.
Being honest I still wasn’t happy with the cake though. However, once I added the fresh flowers to the cake during the setup it made the cake look more complete. But then…the cake and the cupcakes I made to go along with the cake were displayed on a table in front of a beautiful old window that was used as a room divider giving it a 360-degree view of the cake. There was no way to hide any flaws. To make matters even worse, the wedding and reception were in the morning. Where they placed the cake table was in the direct sunlight, something they normally don’t have a problem with afternoon weddings. The sunlight light started to warm up the filling in the cake causing it to sink. My heart broke. I wanted to cry and no amount of turning, flower placement, or extra support was going to hide it. I was happy that I was able to take a few pictures before the cake started to sink. They also cut the cake before it got even worse!
Later the bride told me the cake was perfect and tasted amazing, and in reality, her opinion is the only one that truly matters.
I love to make aprons and I love wearing them. I probably have over 20 aprons I wear for every day, special occasions or the holidays. Since I’m always buying fabric to make more aprons means I have lots of fabric, so I recently decided to clean out some of the fabric bins I have and started sewing! I now have a bunch of aprons available for sale on my Etsy Shop! They are great quality and will last for years to come.
Go take a peek and see if there is one perfect for you or to give as a gift!
I love making personalized gifts for birthday presents! Especially when it is so fitting for the gift receiver. I’ve been seeing all of these cute mugs you could just purchase with a phrase or something on them and I have even seen steps on how to make your own versions. Why spend $15-$25 for something that can cost you only $2?
That’s right $2, I bought a $2 mug that came with paints at a craft store and I am sure you could even get away with spending a $1 if you find a simple white mug at the dollar store. I didn’t end up using those paints this time around, but just a permanent black marker. I wrote out the phrase I picked, in this case, "I’m not arguing I'm just explaining why I am right" on the mug in the handwriting I wanted.
Next, I put the mug in the oven before I turning it on to heat up. I baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When finished I turned off the oven but left the mug still in the oven until completely cooled. This prevents the mug from breaking if it gets heated or cooled too fast.
The mug came out perfect and the person LOVED it!
There is something just so sweet about these cute sprinkle cupcakes. They are for a Baby Sprinkle, which is a phrase I have never heard until I got asked to make cupcakes for one.
They wanted simple vanilla confetti cupcakes with white buttercream frosting with sprinkles on top. Perfectly sweet for a Baby Sprinkle.
As adorable as this caked turned out, it was a mess to make! The inside of the cake was six layers with each layer being a color of the rainbow, filled with white buttercream. Once all of the layers were stacked, I covered the cake in a thick layer of buttercream and slowly sprinkled rainbow nonpareil sprinkles on the buttercream.
This was a huge mess and I am going to find these little round sprinkles for weeks! The trick I quickly learned was to place a large round cake pan under the cake to catch all of the sprinkles that didn’t attach to the cake. Also slightly tilting the cake with one hand and using the other to pat the sprinkles into place helped more to adhere. After several layering of sprinkles, I moved on to making the rainbow for the top of the cake. I used 20 gauge jewelry wire and formed an elongated “U” shape. I then covered the curve of the “U” part of the wire with purple fondant. The second layer I just used a little sugar water to “glue” the blue fondant to the purple. I repeated this proves until I had all the colors of the rainbow. The two long ends of the wire were pushed into the cake. I added a few small skewers to help hold the rainbow upright. I covered the skewers with white buttercream, piping it to look like white fluffy clouds. I finished the cake by piping more clouds all over the top of the cake. There was even a sweet little matching smash cake that looked like a giant cupcake for this sweet little rainbow baby’s birthday!
August has been a relaxing month for us. The weather is hot so we have been staying at home as much as we can. We have been enjoying our patio and our little pool. Andrew has had a lot of fun playing in his floaty swimming around. He actually kicks to swim around!
The days are starting to get shorter which means summer is coming to an end and school will be back in session before you know it. I hope everyone takes advantage of what summer days are left and spend them with family and friends; making memories that will last a lifetime.
Overall, it has been a fun summer, but I am looking forward to the fall, my favorite season!
This seemingly simple cake packs a huge punch in flavor! The cake was for my friend’s bachelorette party and I was excited to make the cake for it. Last month I made her bridal shower cake and next month I get to make her wedding cake!
I didn’t want to repeat flavors of her other cakes and ended up going with a French vanilla bean cake, cream cheese frosting and sliced fresh strawberries for the filing. The decoration was kept very simple with just frosting and some gold nonpareils and finished off with sparkly gold ribbon to match the other party decor.
I think this might just be my favorite bridal shower cake ever! It was for my very good friend and Andrew's Godmother, Alexis. I was so excited that her Maid of Honor asked me to make it, especially since I am already going to be making the wedding cake. Alexis requested a lemon cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Now I have never made a raspberry filling and I will have to write about that in another post, but thankfully it came out and the cake was DELICIOUS! This was also the first time that I ever made a cake tier completely covered in sprinkles, none the less sprayed in edible gold paint and glitter.
I love how this cake is simple but elegant. After the cakes were filled, staked and covered in white fondant I had to let the cakes cool down for several hours because the raspberry filling made the cake move a lot and I didn't want to handle it and risk it leaning. Once the cake was chilled I started decorating the bottom tier since it was the easiest tier. Or so I thought. Jack had to help me place the black chocolate fondant around the cake since the ribbon kept breaking when I would try to do it alone. There were still a few little tears, but nothing some clever hiding can fix,
The top tier was much more challenging than I anticipated. I started off using simple syrup and slowly sprinkled on the smallest sized sprinkles. After letting it sit for a few minutes, I added the largest sized sprinkles and placed in the fridge for a few hours. When the cake was ready to handle I was able to lean the cake over a little and sprinkled on medium sized sprinkles in any spots that needed it. Later I sprayed the whole tier with edible gold spray paint and then added the edible gold glitter with a brush.
To complete the cake I added flowers that matched the shower decor, which hid any flaws in the black ribbon. At the shower, I was able to place the cake on the cake stand and top it off with the Mr. & Mrs. banner topper. Everyone loved the cake, especially the maid of honor and the bride!
Although the Fourth of July just passed, we planted a pumpkin patch today. My aunt started the seeds last month and they were ready to be transplanted into our raised flower bed.
The best part of planting the plants today was watching Andrew play in the garden. Hopefully, the soil is in the right condition since I’ve heard pumpkins are hard to grow!
This is my first attempt at them so we shall see if we will be craving Jack-O-Lanterns out of our own pumpkins or not this fall.
Jack and I hosted our first Fourth of July party this week, it was Andrew's first one so we wanted to make extra special. We had water games, bean bag toss, and fireworks. I didn't want to stress myself out by going crazy with the food and I also didn't want Jack to have to stand next to a hot barbecue all afternoon. The best solution was to have a hot dog bar with all of the best toppings, a few types of chips, and a few desserts. Easy!
Instead of putting the hot dogs on the barbecue or in the microwave, we used the crock pot. It worked perfectly! They came out perfectly plumed and cooked. Just start them on high for four hours before serving.
What makes the perfect hot dog? The toppings of course! Here is the list of all of the toppings we had in our Hot Dog Bar:
Chili, no beans
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
We also had three types of chips: Original, Barbecue, and Sour Cream and Onion. The dessert was kept simple with Blueberry and Strawberry shortcakes. Lastly, we offered blueberry and strawberry lemonade and blueberry and strawberry sangria.
The party menu was perfect and all of our guests seemed very happy with the choices. Hopefully, we will get to host Fourth of July party next year with a hot dog bar and more water games!
Is nothing more summery than strawberry shortcakes? How about a patriotic version for the Fourth of July!
I baked a loaf of pound cake and sliced it into a thin slice, then using a medium-sized star cookie cutter, cut the slices into stars. I spooned on some diced strawberries and blueberries on top of a few pound cake stars.
Last I topped it off with some homemade whipped cream. Or on a hot day add some homemade vanilla ice cream to help cool you off!
I hope everyone has a fun and safe Independence Day!
I am so excited about my new inspired Harry Potter Jewelry! I brought back the original Golden Snitch necklace and matching bracelets, but have added several other great items. There is an incredible charm bracelet that every Harry Potter fan will want to have. There is also a new Deathly Hollow collect. My personal favorite is the doe Patronus “Always” necklace, which is such a sweet gift to give someone you love. To view the complete collection visit my Etsy shop!
I think this is my new favorite dessert I have ever made! I am a huge fan of Alton Brown's show Good Eats. I have seen every episode and have made several of his recipes, but this one takes the cake. Literally. This is his recipe that I used, but the pictures are mine. If you want to try this amazing cake follow the instructions below and be prepared to be amazed!
For the cake:
6 3/4 ounces cake flour
teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces butter, softene
1 cup sugar
5 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half-and-half
For the topping:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I created this blog to share my creations with hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side.