Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rowboat Cake

This last Sunday it was my nephew Rowan's first birthday.  My sister and I chose to use a nautical theme for the party because we call Rowan "Rowboat."  I promised you guys that I would show you pictures of the final cake!  I made a large half and half cake for the guests.  I then made a small cake for Rowan.  Here they are:
To decorate the cakes, I tinted the frosting blue.  I then applied the frosting and made wave-like swirls all over the cakes.  I then stuck gold fish grahams around the edges of the cakes.  For the boats, I took several pieces of wood-patterned scrapbook paper and made paper boats out of them.  You can youtube "how to make a paper boat" and you are good to go!  For the lifesaver, I used a piece of twine and attached a peppermint lifesaver to it.  Last, I cut a skewer in half and attached a paper flag to the end to create a flag for the boat.  So much fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Half and Half Cake Tutorial

It was my nephew's first birthday today (pictures coming soon!), and I got to make his birthday cake!  I of course made a small cake for him to dive into.  I also made a larger sheet cake for the rest of the family.  I decided to try to make my first half and half cake.  I was not sure of how to do this, so I did some research online and took a stab at it.  I first prepared my pan by buttering the sides and bottom and then placing down parchment paper. 
Then, I mixed up both my chocolate and white cake batters.  Next, I made a divider out of foil.  I simply tore off a large sheet and then continuously folded it to create a somewhat sturdy divide.  I placed the foil divider in the center of the pan. 
Next, I poured my batters in, starting with the white.  Yes, the white side is slightly larger, just because I LOVE white cake!
I then removed the foil divider.
And here is the finished product after baking. 
It turned out just a bit uneven, but it was my first shot at it, right? ha!  Here is the cake after I shaved some of it off to even it out. 
Overall, I think this method worked out pretty well!  I'm still amazed at how the two batters don't mix together!  Pictures of the decorated cakes are yet to come!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Go Back...

"Rise in the morning with the spirit you had known in your childhood. That spirit of eagerness and adventure and certainty." 

Yesterday was so special to me.  I felt like a six-year-old all over again.  The day started out with a college class with a wonderful teacher.  He read to us, showed us Dr. Seuss magic tricks, and told us many stories.  He made me feel young again and excited to learn.  It has been a very long time since I have had this feeling. 

My day then continued with being called off work.  Even though I don't get paid, I am ecstatic to get a day off.  I came home from school and had nothing to do.  Just like I used to experience when I was a child.  Nothing to do, nowhere to go. 

Later on around five, my boyfriend and I went to dinner and a movie!  We ate at Logan's and then watched Beauty and the Beast in 3D.  Oh how I loved that movie when I was a child.  Watching it instantly took me back in my rocking chair, six years old, curled up with my blankies, enjoying a Disney classic. 

Yesterday was perfect.  It is so nice to pretend to be a child again.  Such a breath of fresh air.


Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

Wow.  My thoughts exactly.   

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sugar Cookie Truffles

My friend Kiri and I have an annual baking day each Christmas season.  This past Christmas, we made sugar cookie truffles, soft and chewy gingerbread men, and fudge.  Today I'm going to share the sugar cookie truffle recipe that we used.  I found the recipe here at "Munchkin Munchies" blog.  Kiri and I used store-bought sugar cookie dough in order to save time.  If I were to make this recipe again, I would definitely use homemade sugar cookie dough.  I reccomend choosing your favorite sugar cookie recipe. 


16 oz. sugar cookie dough
1.5 oz. room temperature cream cheese (Yes, ONLY 1.5 ounces!)
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 T. shortening
sprinkles for garnish


Bake sugar cookies from dough.  Bake cookies until crisp, but not burnt.  Cool cookies.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.  Crumble cookies into food processor (we used a blender-which I don't recommend-it was tough to blend all of the cookies without burning up the blender :/).  Process until cookies are a fine crumb.  Add the cream cheese and process until the mixture starts to hold together. 
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.  Freeze for 10-15 minutes.  Melt white chocolate chips and shortening in microwave on medium power in 30 second intervals until just melted.  Stir well after each interval.  Dip each ball into white chocolate with a fork, tapping off the excess. 
Return to baking sheet.  Add sprinkles.  Let set.
Break off excess white chocolate around the truffles.  Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Scratch Off Ticket

This past Christmas, I decided to make a homemade scratch off ticket as a little part of one of my gifts.  It was VERY simple to make, and it was alot of fun to watch the recipient scratch it off to reveal the hidden message :)  I got the idea from ArtMind blog.  Here are the steps I used to make my scratch off ticket. 

1.  Type out your scratch off ticket and print it out.
2.  Paste your ticket to a colorful sheet of paper. 
3.  Cover your ticket with laminate sheets.
4.  Mix two parts silver acrylic paint with one part dishwashing liquid.
5.  Paint the mixture onto the ticket. 
6.  Let dry.

Beauty and the Beast

Is anyone else as excited as I am about Beauty and the Beast coming back to theaters?!? That was my favorite Disney movie as a child. It was just so... magical. I absolutely love the story of a beautiful woman falling in love with an ugly beast, because as we all know, it's what is inside that counts. Thought I would just share my excitement with you guys. The above picture is from a musical that I saw at Disney World. Below is a preview for the new 3D movie! Eekkkk!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creative Wrapping Part 3: Wax Adhesive

This past Christmas, I gave out two Blondies gift cards as gifts.  I attached two cherished recipes on vintage recipe cards to the back of each Blondies gift card envelope.  As I was assembling the two gifts, I came to a halt.  I couldn't figure out how to attach the recipe cards without ruining the Blondies gift card envelope as well as the recipe card.  If I used tape, they would both rip when trying to be removed from one another.  Well, my mom gave me the brilliant idea of using my sister's wax for her braces (haha!) to attach the two objects together.  And guess what?  It worked perfectly! I simply took a tiny piece off of her block of wax and used it to attach the envelope and recipe card.  I also used it to attach a gift tag to each envelope.  The wax was clear and was not easily visible and tacky-looking like tape would have been.  It was just sticky enough to hold everything together.  I will definitely be using wax as an adhesive more often in the future.  Just thought I would share this helpful tip with you guys! Here is a link to actual adhesive crafting wax that can be purchased.  (Just in case you don't know anyone with braces) ha..jk ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Creative Wrapping Part 2: Gift Card Snow Globe

Earlier, I shared with you guys the Mr. Men and Little Miss creative wrapping idea.  Another wrapping technique that I used this past Christmas is the gift card snow globe.  I found this idea on Pinterest from "The Creative Mama" blog.  I instantly fell in love with the idea of giving a gift card inside of a homemade snow globe.  I dislike giving gift cards as gifts because they seem so boring.  Putting them in a snow globe changes my way of thinking!  Here is the link for the snow globe.  One thing that I did different is cover my gift card in laminate using laminate sheets.  I was a little nervous that the water would ruin the gift card, even though I read that it wouldn't.  After laminating the gift card, I glued it to a mason jar lid using hot glue.  I then glued some small ornaments around the gift card.  After the lid was dry, I filled the mason jar with distilled water.  I added some sparkles and a few ornaments to the jar (they float to the top).  I then put the lid with the gift card on the jar and screwed the ring on tight around the lid.  Lastly, I added a ribbon around the bottom of the snow globe.  And here it is!:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Forever Young

I LOVE planning parties.  I thought I would share the 50th birthday party that my family and I planned for my dad.  He turned fifty this past November.  We invited some of my mom and dad's friends to the Tilted Kilt for dinner.  Then, some of us went to his favorite small town bar in Wren, Ohio for drinks afterwards.  It was very low key, just like my dad would have wanted it to be.  We reserved a party room at Tilted Kilt (even though we shared it with other parties).  I set up a small table in the corner of the room. 
The party theme was "Forever Young."  I centered it around two of my dad's favorite artists, John Mellencamp and Rod Stewart.  The chalkboard quotes a John Mellencamp lyric while the banner quotes a Rod Stewart lyric.  I chose a black and white color scheme.  I used a vintage white table linen to cover the table.  For the banner, I cut out black construction paper letters and taped them to a white string. I set up a couple old black and white pictures of dad.  My sister picked up black and white balloons and white carnations.  
For the chalkboard, I bought a plain wooden plaque from the craft section at Walmart.  My mom then painted it with chalkboard paint.
I had to make cupcakes!  I made chocolate cupcakes with silver foil liners.  I piped white frosting onto the tops.  I printed out miniature black and white pictures and taped them to toothpicks.  I then inserted them into the cupcakes. 
Overall, I think the night turned out great!  Everyone had a good time :)