Saturday, January 12, 2013

Next installment of fun projects over "Christmas Break"

I took pictures of Ayden for his first birthday.  We went to the train station in Punta Gorda.  I wished that there weren't so many businesses around, but they worked out ok.  Boy is it tiring to take pictures of an active one year old, but I got a shot or two that I just love.  If he was sitting still for longer, I would have changed the setting on the camera, but oh well. 

These are three of my faves.  These are my go to pictures if I need to pick one out really quick for a gift or something.  The rest can be viewed on my facebook page.


In October I made monogram letters for my nieces (wood letters from Hobby Lobby). 

Well they mentioned to my sister that they would like all letters for their names to hang over their beds.  So she sent me pictures of their bedspreads and off to HobLob I went. 

Along with their names, I planned on giving them each little kits. Brooke likes to bake so she got cupcake papers (along the back), 2 baggies of different kinds of sprinkles, candles, and some recipes of her favorite cupcakes.

Caitlyn LOVES ice cream, so she got an ice cream kit.  Waffle cones, waffle cone bowls, sprinkles, oreo cookie crumbs, and plain M&Ms.

I had the kits planned before the names.  I knew I was going to put them in the plain boxes from Michaels (back by the unfinished wood section), but I wasn't sure how I was going to decorate them.  Well with the scraps of paper from around the letters I cut out, plus one or two full sheet, I cut out (with a paper punch) 1" squares and started mod podging them to the boxes.  Finished with a little ribbon (after thought to cover up some mistakes), a chipboard letter, and I was good to go.  I lined the inside with the solid color from each theme, and they were actually kinda cute.  Hope they thought so too.


I'm on a roll...I'ma keep going (plus the boy child is playing nicely with his toys)

I made ornaments for Ayden's grandparents; Oma and Opa (my parents) and Memere (pronounced Mem-may) and Grandpa (Berk's parents).  Picked up the (I believe they are 2") wood blocks at, where else...Hobby Lobby.  Used some of the pictures from Ayden's 1 year session, some red paper and ribbon.  And you guessed it...MOD PODGE!  I think I am in love with the stuff.

I used a combination of 8 photos, so that hopefully the same set of grandparents would have a nice variety.  I also put them on blocks as my parents don't put up a tree in Maryland since they are always here for Christmas.  This way they can leave them out or just get them out around the holidays.

On the far left is the top of one of the ornaments.  I just put a simple To and From.  On the right/top is the year.  Kept it simple so that the focus was on the handsome little boy!  


Last name frame.  I saw an idea similar to this in Pinterest (or as I say to my DH "a website I like to look at" cuz he makes so much fun of me for always being on/doing something from Pinterest).  But the person that posted it did it with vinyl (truth be told, I like her's better) but I don't have those supplies, so I did with what I have.  Paper and a cricut.  I bought a floating frame, advertised to hold three 5x7s, but it's just 2 pieces of glass in a frame.  Perfect!  I cut the letters with the cricut.  Used graph paper under the glass for spacing and to keep me straight (credit to my dad on that idea).  Ran used small dabs of Mod Podge for the bigger letters and ran the smaller letters through my Zyron.  I LOVE the way it came out.  I think I'm going to have to experiment with vinyl soon tho.
This was for my sister and her husband that just got married this year.


My father-in-law is a Vietnam Vet and has just recently been talking about it and going to reunions for the helicopter group he flew with.  I asked my MIL if she knew where his "stuff" was and if I could put together a shadowbox for him.  Originally I thought, a shirt, a picture, and a few pins/medals.  Well he had more than I thought (and more than that even).  So I had to make 2.  I kinda like it better.  It was fun researching (with my dad's help) what each of the medals/ribbons mean.  After Christmas, my in-laws gave me the rest of his medals for me to incorporate into the display. 

Ok, that is all for now, DH will be home soon from work and baby is getting a little antsy.  He doesn't like when I am "occupied" either at the computer or the kitchen counter.  So ta-ta for now.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Ok...admitting defeat! AGAIN

I have come to realize that I cannot keep up with that list on a daily basis (I know, a big disappointment for my 2 followers). ;)   Maybe when Ayden was a newborn and was only awake 2 hours a day.  Now he is def not a newborn and only sleeps 2 hours a day (besides nighttime, but I need sleep too).  I am not completely giving up, but I think I am going to try to post once per week.  I could post one thing I did that week, or I could post 7 things I did that week (yeah right).  So, I will continue to post the fun things I did for Christmas, but not going to pressure myself with catching up or with having to do something from my list every day.  I am still keeping my list because it is composed of things I want (and need) to do. 

I have just been too busy with trying to come up with my cleaning schedule and trying to get my business really going. and please "like" me on FB if you haven't already  

I really won't have time to keep up every day.  But I promise I will check in at least once per week (I say that like people are hanging on my every word and will be really disappointed if I don't post...who cares?  lol)

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!  I am going for a walk, it's nice outside!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another stinkin Catch day I will not be always behind...right?

Ok, so here we go, like I said, I am not going to bore you with over a month's worth of catch up.  Not to mention the fact that it would probably take a month for me to post that one post.  So I will post 3 days at at time.  Now I was just doing a bunch of projects during December and they are not all going to be on their correct "day."  But all I am worried about (right now) is to have enough projects to catch me up to the current day (while hopefully not getting behind again). it goes

Day 26:  Host a Pumpkin Party

I don't know how this happened, but I didn't take one picture at my pumpkin party...let me check my phone...NOPE, not one!  Well anyway, I invited a few of my friends over and asked them to bring their favorite pumpkin treat.  It was just how I planned it and more.  I had three friends as well as my parents and Ayden.  My friend Melissa brought 2 pumpkin treats that I hadn't had before; pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (yummy) and Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake (so yummy, there isn't a word for it).  Kim didn't like pumpkin (weird, cuz she had all of the treats there, and seconds, I believe), so she brought some of her red pepper jelly (over cream cheese and good!).  And Ron...Ron walks in with pumpkin beer and pumpkin coffee creamer.  HA, she split one beer with Melissa and that was that for the beer.

All in all, it was a great night of visiting, eating, and (lots of) laughing!  I plan to do them every year!

Day 27: Make Cupcakes for Ayden's First Birthday Party

I decided not to buy a cake from Publix for Ayden's birthday.  As it would have been much cuter, I wanted to make cupcakes for 2 reasons; 1 because I love to bake and 2 it's cheaper!

So I decided to make two kinds of cupcakes.  I know I wanted pumpkin cupcakes (I have a slight obsession with pumpkin) and I let Berkley choose the other flavor.  He chose funfetti.  So then started the quest for a funfetti recipe (as I try not to bake from premade mixes).  I was able to find nice recipes for both.

  I frosted some of the pumpkin cupcakes with the icing left over from the funfetti cupcakes.  And made fresh whipped cream for the remainder.  I should have made more funfetti because they were the first gone!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
sift together:
2 1/4 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg

cream together until light and fluffy:
1/2 c softened butter
1 1/3 c sugar

beat until frothy 2 eggs and then beat into butter/sugar mixture

beat in 1 cup of pumpkin

add 3/4 c milk to butter, sugar, egg, pumpkin mixture, alternate with dry ingredients, ending with dry

fill cupcake cups 2/3 full and bake 25 minutes in 375ยบ oven.

Funfetti Cupcakes

Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 cup whole milk, divided
6 large egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
2¾ cups (11 oz.) cake flour, sifted
1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup multi-colored sprinkles
For the frosting:
 One batch whipped vanilla buttercream
Additional sprinkles, for decorating

    •    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup of the whole milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts.  Whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix briefly on low speed to combine, about 30 seconds.  Add in the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds.  Mix in the remaining ¾ cup of milk, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 90 seconds more.  With the mixture on low speed, add the egg white mixture in three additions, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.
    •    Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
    •    Prepare the vanilla buttercream.  Add the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip.  Frost as desired.  Garnish with additional sprinkles.

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream: (and it was YUMMY)
Yield: enough to frost about 2 dozen cupcakes
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional) (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract


Day 28:  Host Ayden's First Birthday Party

I didn't go over the top with a theme and whatnot for the party.  Don't call me a bad mom or anything, but he's one.  Since the party is for him, I'll wait until he can enjoy the "theme" more.  So we just invited the local family and some of our closest friends.  We kept it simple by ordering pizza from Domino's.  I made meatballs that sat in the slow cooker with a sweet & sour type sauce.  We had veggies, coffee, sodas.  I was more concerned with not overwhelming Ayden.  As far as opening gifts, both Ayden and Gus were more concerned with the tissue paper.  Gus was a great help in that he pulled the tissue paper from the gift bags to reveal the gift, but that didn't always help keep Ayden's attention.

Nevermind the syrup stain on the floor, that's a story for another day

Ayden wasn't too keen on digging right in to the cake.  He kept trying to shake off the frosting

Finally he tasted it and not too much longer, he was ready to be done.  Thank goodness for no sugar high.

Well that's all for today, see you tomorrow! (hopefully)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Wow, November 30 was my last post.  And isn't it funny that it was a catch up post.  What was I thinking starting an "every day" blog series so close to Ayden's first birthday and my first all handmade Christmas???  Anyhoo, I do plan to "catch up" again.  I won't bore your bombard you with over a month's worth of catching up, so I'll break it down, but I will get back on track.  I have vowed to use this week to get my house back in order after the chaos of a crafty Christmas.  It was fun, but I have learned a few things along the way.  I am a little behind on my quest for cleanliness due to my baby boy catching his first cold.  It was a glorious first 13 months without him being sick.  Probably won't post again until this week is over.  I really need to get back to having my priorities straight.  As much fun as it is for me to post, ya know how it goes, the unfun stuff must come first. 

My mom got me a book for Christmas that I am excited to read.  It's called "Sidetracked Home Executives" and on the cover it reads, "From Pigpen to Paradise" and "The slob sisters tell you how they moved from clutter and chaos to order--and how easily you can do it too!"  SO excited to read this and hope I can have the determination to do it.

tata for now!