Thursday, December 22, 2011

 Glorious Song of Old

I love the holiday season.
I attempt to get everything done and out of my way before December hits.  That way I can just enjoy!  I love it… the lights, the laughter, the food (which will be the death of me) the music, the love, the friendship and all sincere expressions of gratitude that come with it.  What a magical time!

I love celebrating family.  My family is my dearest and most precious joy.  I have these loud, often dirty, little giggling rug rats that fill my home with happiness, dancing, giggles and smiles.  My happy handsome husband.  We just celebrated our 11th anniversary!  I love him so much. And then I have an extended family.  Each person has added so much to my life, my happiness and has left a impression on me.  Marks that will never fade, and that I treasure.  Many that helped raise me, or were raised with me. 

I am sitting on my couch, snug in a blanket.  I've been sick, miserably sick.  
Even though the sinus pressure in my head is squeezing my brain, I feel happy.  I feel at peace.  
The lights on the tree make the room glow. I'm listening to my cousin sing, her voice has me grinning ear to ear.  
Many many years ago, she came up to Utah to stay with my family for a few months.  I remember her singing in the shower.  It made our already happy home shine even more. 
She just released a new rendition of Silent Night.  She added her own lyrics, and created her own unique arrangement of my all time favorite Christmas song.  It has brought such a special spirit of peace to my home.  Listening to her voice through my stereo makes me smile. 
So let me introduce you to her…
This is Katherine.
I know, quite the beauty, isn't she?!
She also is incredably witty,  has a great raspy laugh,  and will eat pickle relish by the spoonful.  
I adore her. She is a very talented musician, a lovely woman, and simply dear to me.  

Here is a video of her performing 
Glorious Song of Old (Silent Night).
Her sister's husband, (my other cousin who I love more than words.  She's my hair designer. She molds my hair into yumminess and is a creative genius when it comes to hair color. Additionally she's just cool.  Sometimes I hope that just by standing near her she might pass some of that to me.  Like a cool virus or something… much better than this cold virus.) so anyway… he created the video.  Yeah… there is just a little bit of talent oozing in this family's blood.
Here is her website, where you can download her Glorious Song of Old (Silent Night)christmas song free.  
I hope her voice brings a bit of happiness and peace into your home, as it has mine.  

Merry Christmas!  
May your holiday season be filled with peace & joy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

 Polka Dot Cake

I know... it's a little early for halloween, but I made a cake.
 And the inside is even better... because I made a 
Polka Dot Cake!
 I've had this idea in my brain for awhile.  It turned out pretty good.  But I think after my first attempt I'd tackle it a bit differently next time.  I'll give you my thoughts on that after the directions.  
 Here's how I did it.
I have this little nifty cake pop maker.  It's fun, especially for the kids.  It doesn't make the decadent bakerella cake pops, they are actually more like a donut hole.  But they are quick, easy and so far fail proof.  Anyway… this is how I made the polka dot cake.
Step 1 
I made the cake balls with the cake pop maker.  Using the recipe that comes with the machine, adding orange food coloring.
 I honestly wonder if you could just get some donut holes and use them.  Or maybe make a sheet cake, and use a melon baller to scoop out spheres.  Some experimenting is needed. :)
 Step 2
Cut a bunch of the cake balls in half with a knife.
Step 3 
Make the cake batter (I just used a boxed cake mix.  This one is devils food, it sounded halloweenish.  I added a little black food coloring to it as well).  
Step 4 
Pour a small amount of batter into the bottom of a greased and floured pan.  Then push some of the half sized cake balls flat side down into the batter.
Step 5 
Add a little batter to a halved cake pop, onto the flat side, and then stick it to the side of the pan.
 Continue this step until you have halved cake pops around the side of the pan
Step 6 
Add more batter into pan.
Step 7 
Place a bunch of full sized cake balls into the batter.
Step 8
Top off with more batter
Step 9
It took longer to bake than the directions on the cake box stated.  About 10-15 minutes extra. I'm sure it has something to do with all the cake balls in there.  And p.s. I was worried that the cake balls would dry out, from cooking again, but they were just fine, and the devils food cake itself was awesomely moist.
Step 10
Cut off any extra poofy cake from the top to level it.
And there you go!  I made two, and stacked them with orange colored frosting in-between.  You could do this in any color.  I think a white cake with pink polka dots would be just about the most precious cake ever!

Alrighty, now I'm going to tell you how I'll be attempting it next time.  I think it will work better this way.   In step four Instead of just placing half of a cake pop down, I think I'd do some cake balls half size and some whole.  Then I wouldn't worry about step sevenWhen the cake rose, it caused the full cake balls to rise with it, and when I lopped off the top of the cake (step ten), it caused the whole cake pops to become half cake pops.  They got cut along with the cake.  (Does that make sense).  So I didn't get any full polka dots.  I am planning on making another one of these.  
I'll let you know how it goes!  

Is it bad that I'm showing you my sort of, kind of, turned out Polka Dot Cake and not a perfect one that may come after a few attempts? I'm sure I'm breaking all sorts of blogging unwritten rules.  
The blogging police would probably be gasping and tisk tisk tisking me.  
I also shouldn't tell you that the back of the cake looks like it was mangled by a rabid dog.  
I was having major fondant issues, and instead of throwing it through the window (I almost did… really, I was so frustrated), I just kinda smashed the fondant all to one side.  Then I decided it would be the back side, and I'd call it a day.   
I should have taken photos… it would have made you laugh.  

Aaaannnnd…. I made you something.
  Here are some free little halloween labels.  Just like the little "Eeek" sign next to Mr. spider.  Go ahead, download and enjoy.  They'd be cute as cupcake toppers too.  Fun, fun!

Have a happy labor day weekend everyone!  
P.S... I used this technique for my daughters Princess and the Pea Party with white cake and green cake balls.  You can check it out Here...
HapPea Birthday Party

Monday, August 22, 2011

 Shabby Roses Everywhere

Why hi there! How has your summer been!?!?
My girls return to school next week.  
I have mixed feelings.  
It will be nice to have their room stay clean.
  And to not have the doorbell ring EVERY 5 MINUTES.  
But honestly… I'm going to miss the giggles, the lazy mornings and the sunshine.

Although the other day Momo was at preschool (he started a couple weeks ago).  And I took the opportunity to run to a few shops while he was gone.  It was just me and my girls.  Every once and awhile while browsing through the store I'd have a near panic attack.  I'd realize it was waaay too quiet and Momo was no where to be found.  I caught myself looking around fretting that he had made a run for it, was smashing displays, or climbing the shelves!   When my horror would suddenly be replaced with glee. He's at preschool… silly me.

So I've been busy the last few weeks.  
Here's what I've been up to!...

A whole lot of long stemmed fabric roses.
   Goodness they're lovely.  
I purchased a bunch of fabric to make them in the spring.  I started, honestly I did, but spring is crazy busy and I don't know what I was thinking, because they are not a quick project.  Anyway, they are now finished. 

So I have a few up on etsy!  And because I have so many DIY junkies (go team DIY) I've also created a DIY long stemmed fabric rose kit.
  It comes with 12 stems, and 12 strips of 5 inch fabric, and even dictionary paper (sew them together and package your roses up all pretty).  So you can make your own dozen without gallivanting around, searching for everything and just get to the creating part!
Just in casey, here's a linky to... 
So here they all are.   
Sitting in my living room, wrapped up all pretty and waiting for a good home.  
Sigh… I might have a hard time letting them go.
  Look how happy they are!
And here's a quick link back to my 

Monday, July 11, 2011

 Polyjuice Potion

I've mentioned before I'm kind of a nerd.
I think this post may provide proof of my nerdiness. 
I love the Harry Potter books.   
No seriously… LOVE them.  
Don't you worry, I've got my tickets for this weekend!  I can't wait. 

So it turns out it's also genetic, because my siblings are huge fans themselves.  
I'm sure we could argue for days about who is the bigger fan, who actually loves the books more and ultimately no one would be crowned king or queen of Harry Potter nerdiness because we are all extremely stubborn so no one would surrender the glory of that title.  
And that was a huge run on sentence.  
So back in November we got together for a party.  It was in celebration of the upcoming Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows part 1.  (Although the movies in no way replace the book, how could they?  We do enjoy the movies).  Naturally I saw it as another chance to decorate something, and I set up a potions table. 
Complete with a potions book!
These photo's don't include the food.  Everyone brought potluck Harry Potter style (treacle tarts, pumpkin pasties etc…)  And we set it up around the decor.  I was busy stuffing my face and attempting to destroy my siblings in a game of "Harry Potter Scene It."  I couldn't be bothered with photos;).

Now I hope you are all forgiving.   Sometimes I spend so much time making sure something visually looks right that I totally mess up.  For example… I SPELLED INGREDIENTS WRONG.  Honestly!    Even better... it's large text and very noticeable.  Unfortunately I'm not a witch, so I can't just wave my wand and say Reparo.  So "ingredents" will stay.  Oh well.
(Shhhh... don't tell, but I goofed somewhere else too. I don't know where my brain was at when I was making it). 

I did some research for this one.  Piecing together what I could from both the book and the movie to get the polyjuice potion as correct as possible.  With the exception of the word ingredients… gggrrrrrrrr… I think I'm pretty spot on.  I purchased a medical book from the thrift store.  After roughing it up (getting it wet, taking sand paper to the edges and just beating the snot out of it), I ran black and brown ink pads over the edges.  Then I added a little yellow and brown paint to a cup of water and painted with it all over the edges.  I created and printed out the polyjuice potion recipe and glued it into the book.  For the final touch I splashed a bit of that yellow/brown water onto it as well.  I wanted it to look like a little of the potion from the caldron had splattered on it.   I didn't forget the outside either.  I painted it and titled it Most Potente Potions.  
It will make a fun addition to my halloween decor.

I labeled a bunch of thrift store find bottles with Harry Potter potions and ingredients.  I also grabbed a couple of extra old looking books at the thrift store and gave them titles of books from Harry Potter.  Then I added a bunch of my halloween stuff and there you have it!
I think the half blood prince would be proud! 
Just incase you're wanting to create your own... here are the fonts I used.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

 "That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most." -Russell

Yesterday I was driving to the store and a house caught my eye.  It was quite far away from where I was but VERY noticeable.  
Bright COLOR everywhere… with awesome aqua trim.  
I thought… I need to check that out.  But continued on my way and forgot about it.  Then later that night we were sitting around doing nothing important (so naturally I was perusing Facebook) and a post from the Herriman city page seemed to explain what the mystery aqua trim house was.  My thought was... 
"No way!"  
So I grabbed the keys and forced my family in the car.  They knew nothing… only we were going to go see something cool.  And I was mentally crossing my fingers that it would be cool, because I hadn't actually seen it.  

As we drove down the street towards the mystery house my husband stated…. "Wow, that's a colorful house."  I replied "Now imagine thousands of balloons floating above it." He then exclaimed what I had earlier thought  "No way!"  
and we pulled up to see this….
Yep, its a full functioning exact replica of the house from UP.  And it's about the cutest thing ever!  A few other cars loaded with kids were also stopping in front of it.  Everyones mouth agape.  We got out of the car and peeked in the windows.  It even has the hose in front and the fireplace mantle with the painting from the movie above it.  So darling!

There was a nice lady out with her camera getting ready to take some photo's.  We apologized for being in the way and she said she'd be happy to snap our photo.  I thought she'd just use our camera phone, but she was nice enough to use her fancy camera and emailed us the photo's.  So all credit of these photo's go to the sweet lady with the camera.  Her name is Jenetta Roberts and here is her webpage!
Thanks Jenetta!  It was lovely to meet you!
(I do apologize for the messiness of my family in the photo's… we were not camera ready.  In fact Momo has dinner on his face and sometimes I rebel against showering and make-up…and yesterday was one of those days.  I'm just amazed we had shoes on).

So would you buy this house???  I kinda think I would.  Especially if I was a grandma… how much fun for the grandkids,  every trip to Grandpa and Grandma's would be magic, snipe hunting would be a must and I'd totally get a cane for J and attach tennis balls to the feet!
And P.S. 
I just discovered who the builder of this home is.  They have a blog with more pics!   Check them out here….

Monday, July 4, 2011

 June Bugs

I over did it… as usual just because I can do something… doesn't mean I have time to!  This is a tough concept for me, because really who wouldn't want to do everything?!  But the last few months of spring kicked my trash.  So I took care of the things I promised I'd do, and then once school was out I've spent my time playing with my kids.
Pure silly bliss!!!   
I've also be slaving away in the yard.   Last summer I completely neglected it.  So this summer I've been paying for my lack of weeding.  However it has been fabulous!  
There is something magical about blossoms, earth and fresh air!   
We released a bag of 2000 lady bugs into the garden a couple nights ago.  To be honest I gave into my kids relentless "please…please….PLEASE" as they goggled at the bag of bugs on the counter at the nursery.  I'm so glad I submitted to their begging, in fact I'm thinking it may be a nice independence weekend tradition.  Ride liked the idea of it but once one of those red polka dotted beauties crawled onto her little hand she flipped!  But Momo and Scooter were in crawling critter heaven.
  Little blushing lady bugs…. EVERYWHERE!  
After we had a dessert of frosted patriotic sugar cookies on the porch and then went through a bag of those charcoal growing and glowing snake fireworks, my kids love those messy things. all of you fabulous followers, and also to all the lady bugs in my garden!

P.S.  Stay tuned, I'm back playing in my studio too!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

 Picnic Easter Baskets

I was at Target the other day… childless!  It was awesome!  I actually had a minute to browse without yelling various threats at my son.  I think I even caught myself skipping now and again. 
So this is what I came home with…
Kitchen towels, melamine salad plates, a pack of 4 cloth napkins and placemats… that all match!
And this is what I made with all of it…
Last year for Easter instead of getting regular baskets for easter I bought my girls baskets to go on their bikes.  
At the time I had high hopes of making cute basket liners but ran out of time.  
So this year, after my Target treasure hunt, they became not only fabulous bike baskets, but picnic baskets as well!  They will be so thrilled to pack up a little picnic in their basket and ride down to the park.
    I can't wait until easter! 
I'm so excited to strap these onto their bikes!  
I turned the placemats I found into picnic caddy's.
They are a piece of cake to make!  Here's how…
Press your placemat,  then fold one end up… you can pick how high you'd like to go.  Press again.

Now I can't leave it as is… I had to add a little eyelet trim (I adore eyelet).  Simply cut a piece a bit longer than the width of your placemat.  You want to attach it along the top of your folded edge.  Wrap the trim around the corner, tuck it in a bit to keep the raw edge from showing.  Pin… and then pin it all along the top of the fold.  Then wrap it around the next corner the same way and pin again.  Sew it on.
Now to add a ribbon, this will tie your caddy together.  Cut a long piece of ribbon.  Fold it in half.  Decide where you'd like it to go (I recommend middleish) and pin.  
Now you'll sew around the entire lower fold of your placemat.  Start by lifting the trim up, so you start sewing underneath it.  But also make sure where it wraps around stays tucked under your fold, sandwiched between the top and bottom folds of your placemat.  
Sew all along the bottom fold.  Finished it will look like this…
Right now it's just one big pocket.  Now to make little compartments for each of your picnic necessities. 
Lay them out on your placemat in the order you'd like them in.  
I'm using a... 
*Small Garbage Bag 
(I know, it sounds random, but I just had these visions of my girls coming home from a picnic and leaving a half eaten sandwich, orange peels, chocolate bars etc... in the bottom of their bike basket to mold and rot in the hot garage.  I'd at least like to have it in a garbage or plastic baggie). 
(I got these darling disposable forks and spoons from Amazon.  I didn't get the knives, but now I think I'm going to snag some).
After laying them out you'll want to make marks on our placemat to determine how big each compartment will be.  Using a tape measure, determine how big of a space you need for the napkin.  For me it was 5.5 inches.  (Then I placed a pin… don't do this.  I realized after doing this it was silly… because I'd have a tough time sewing through pins going lengthwise).  Instead make a mark.  I just used a pencil.  Make a few marks of your desired length (again 5.5 for me) over from the edge down the front.  Then I repeated the process with the straw and the trash bag.  
Then with the remaining space make three compartments for the flatware.  Measure what space is left, divided it by three to make these compartments even steven.  Then make marks accordingly.  So at the end it should look like this…
(The marks are light… but they are there). 
Then pin your trim up and out of the way.
Then simply sew along each line of marks.
Your end product will look like this.  
Then fill your caddy with your picnic essentials.
Roll it up, tie the ribbon around, make a bow.  Trim the ribbon down to the length you are happy with and add fray check to the edges.
And you are done!
You could add some cute picnic stuff to the basket for easter.  Sunglasses, sunhat, sandwich holder, fabric lunch bag, water bottle, sunscreen.  For younger kids felt food would be darling for pretend picnics!  If you go to etsy and search for felt food, you will find a bunch of yummy collections.  If you are feeling super ambitious and want to make your own, do your search for felt food patterns.  There are some seriously out of control oh-so-cute options!  Another ambitious project would be a picnic blanket.  
Simply Adorbs!

The fabulous Lindi from Love The Day has designed absolutely gorgeous easter printables.  And they would sooooo match these baskets.  Check her blog out here

LOVE THE DAY and find her printable here…  Easter Party Printables.