Thursday, March 29, 2012

Making it personal.


I definitely love personalization and monograms so I try to use our initials or the whole name as much as possible. Especially when it comes to home decor. My youngest daughter has her name spelled out over the crib (using wood letters from hobby lobby, glue and scrapbook paper. Then hung from ribbons). I also decorated a V with the colors of Fall for my daughter's birthday party as you probably saw in my post about it.
My latest project was a C (our last name's initial) wrapped with twine to hang on the front door and a C covered with wine corks for the kitchen. For years, I've been saving our wine corks. I knew I could do something with them but I never wrapped my head around it until I saw a friend that pinned the coolest idea on pinterest. It was a letter covered with wine corks so of course, I had to recreate it.
So here is a quick explanation of what I did if you want to do something similar.
Wine Cork Initial:
Materials:
- Wine Corks
- Hot glue gone
- Any letter of your choice from a craft store. I used a 12" wood letter from Hobby Lobby Hobby Lobby.
All I did was glue the corks onto the letter. It was a bit tricky to decide which cork would fit in a row so I did it without glue at first and then I hot glued them to the wood. Super easy.

Wall hanging Decor
Materials:
-  Styrofoam board from Hobby Lobby
- Hot glue
- Twine
- Ribbon of your choice to hang the letter
- Ribbon of your choice to make the ribbon roses
I drew a C onto the styrofoam. I did it without a guide but you could print out a letter from your computer and use it to draw it onto the board. It will be an extra step but it will turn out great. When cutting the styrofoam, make sure to use a super sharp knife and then sand the edges to sort of clean up the tiny foam pieces that fly everywhere as you cut. Also, you might want to do this outside as it is messy.
Once the letter is ready, start wrapping with the twine. At the beginning of this process, I used the hot glue to hold in place the end of it. Then in my case, I used the glue in the curves of the letter. You keep wrapping until it's all covered and then glue the end of the twine to hold in place. Then I added a green ribbon to hang it from using hot glue. The ribbon roses I made using this tutorial Ribbon Rose Tutorial.

***Note: The idea of this door hanging decor is that I figured that because twine is a neutral color, I can exchange the decor (flowers and ribbons) according to the season. For Spring, I decided to use green, yellow, pink and purple. For Summer I want to use Tiffany blue and white (polka dotted or striped ribbons come to my head).

I hope these were helpful and get your creativity rolling. If you have questions, please let me know.

Let's talk Tutus...

I gotta say, I love everything girly. This is why when my friend forwarded a link to a tuturial in you tube on how to make them, I went nuts. I can make a tutu in no time and I have made several for my little girls and for friends. I just can't get enough. I always figure, these can be added to their "dress up" trunk later. And honestly, you can never have too many tutus or shoes, right? Anyway, these are super easy to make. All you need is whatever color tulle you want, ribbon and a whole load of patience lol. Here is the link on how to make:  No Sew Tutus and here are some pictures of the ones I've made and the girls wearing them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oatmeal cookies with a twist



My sweet MIL (mother in law) came to stay with us for a month to help us out when we had our second daughter. And my wonderful husband asked her to make oatmeal cookies. Well, she did and OMG how delicious they are. They are addictive so I had to ask her to make us more before she left. These are not your regular oatmeal cookies I gotta say. Normally hers have raisins and pecans which is pretty good but, we asked her to add cranberries instead (my husband is not a fan of raisins) and then my husband had the brilliant idea to have her add some chocolate chips as well. It is truly an explosion of favors. Like I've said before, I was not much into sweets before my second pregnancy and cookies were definitely at the bottom of the list of things I sort of liked but now I am hooked. What I like about them is that they are not awfully sweet which is perfect. Yes, yes, I will share the recipe with you. I've added a few pics as well so you get the idea. I hope you all like them as much as we do.



Ingredients
2 cups of sifted all purposed flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal old fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup soften (room temperature) unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, then add the eggs, vanilla, and milk. Mix until blended. In a separate bowl combine the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the creamed mixture. Mix in oatmeal, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and pecans until well blended. When the mixture is done, drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (at least 2 inches apart). Bake for 17 minutes in preheated oven. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Condensed Milk Cake - Cravings anyone?

Let me start by saying I have never been too big on desserts but ever since I got pregnant with my second baby - and after the first 18 weeks of being sick - I developed a sweet tooth. I would crave sweets over anything. Well, sweets and for some reason cheese, butter, steak and bread. I couldn't get enough. Now, my daughter is 5 1/2 weeks and I am still craving sweets like crazy. On Monday my sweet tooth kicked into high gear and I needed dessert so bad (even though I am beyond exhausted and sleep deprived considering I have the baby + a 17 1/2 month old toddler), I couldn't shake the thought of devouring a cake from my head. So I went through my pantry and I found a box of yellow cake - ok, I must admit I am not big into using box cakes but I keep a few boxes in my pantry for desperate moments - lol. I then thought, why not add a few other ingredients to make it more "homemade"? So I grabbed a can of condensed milk, some orange juice and melted butter instead of using oil. And it resulted in a delicious quick cake for me to eat - I even managed to share some with my husband and daughter #1 :). So here it is if you ever feel desperate for a easy delicious cake:




Ingredients:

1 box of yellow cake - I used Duncan Hines but I am sure you can use any other brand
1 can of condensed milk
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 stick of butter

Directions:

Whisk the butter, condensed milk and orange juice together and then add the cake mix and whisk until smooth. Set aside. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and gently fold into the previous mixture. This will make your cake feel lighter (although this is not a light cake - it will be a bit dense but super moist and yummy). Then prepare the pan dish of your preference (butter and flour) - I used a bundt cake pan but you can also use a pound cake pan. Pour the mix and bake per the box instructions. In my case, it was 35 mins at 375 deg F.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fall Harvest Birthday Party!

When my DD1 (dear daughter 1) turned 1 last September, I decided to have a Fall harvest theme party for her because she was born in September and gotta admit, Fall is my favorite season. It was a lot of fun to plan everything (and a little stressful at the same time given I was 4 1/2 months pregnant). Even though it was my first time organizing a kid's birthday party, I think it turned out super cute and yes she was probably too young to really know what was happening but she seemed to have enjoyed it. Especially, opening her presents.
I, as you can imagine, wanted to do it all. So I set out on a quest to learn how to make everything including a pumpkin pinata, a tutu, a quick photo booth background, pom poms, etc. I had a hard time coming up with a menu that would be good enough for between meals since it was at 3p. I decided to make pulled pork sandwiches, pb&js and I used cookie cutters in the shape of leaves and pumpkins. We also had fruit, cheese, crackers, chips, etc. And milk, apple juice and a spiked cider for the adults. On the sweets table we had homemade caramel popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, cupcakes, candy corn, etc. For favors I decided to do giant marshmallow covered with chocolate and ordered some twirl lollipops online. As you can see, I armed myself with a whole lot of patience and let my imagination fly. Here are some pictures for you with some of the details. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on how to make any of these.





Friday, March 9, 2012

I am back!

It has been a long time since I've updated this blog. Lots of wonderful things have happened since then so a quick update - had a baby in September of 2010, moved to another state that same year, quit my job when my little girl turned 5 mos, had another baby girl February of this year and...I've never been happier! You can say I've become 100% domesticated - LOL. But seriously, after a lot of struggle deciding if I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom/wife or not, I did it. And it was the hardest and best decision I've ever made in my life. Although, shortly after I realized it was hard work. I am on call 24/7 and there is always something to do (thus the reason why I haven't been blogging anymore). Anyway, stay tuned as I have a lot to share with you all. I have taken on new adventures such as sewing, other types of crafting and photography. Gotta say I am not really good at either but I sure have fun trying.

Happy Friday everyone!