Friday, February 27, 2015

More Dessert Recipes

After saying, I always get compliments on my lemon cake and my chocolate cake, I'm embarrassed to post recipes. I don't really have recipes.
 I use cake mixes, and the more expensive your cake mix the better the cake tastes. I highly recommend Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix.
 Then I add an extra egg to the mix and use whole milk instead of water to the mix. I keep the oil, because I hate butter in cakes. This is not my idea, the internet gave it to me, and it works. My child who never liked cake now likes cakes I make. The cake is a denser.

 When I serve people cakes with an extra egg and milk instead of water they often ask if its a from scratch cake.
For my chocolate cake, I do the same thing. I just buy a decent brand of devils food chocolate cake, and use milk instead of water and add an extra egg.

As far as frosting goes. It depends. If I'm making devils food cake for people who don't like chocolate too much I use cool whip. (Yes these kind of people exist.) If I'm making it to enjoy it or to impress people. I use Better Homes and Garden's New Book Cook Recipe for chocolate cream cheese frosting.

At this altitude (7,000 feet) I honestly can't make buttercream frosting. If I'm making frosting from scratch I have to have cream cheese. A friend of mine that makes nearly professional cakes told me at this altitude you have to use half shortening or your frosting just won't work. The butter melts to fast, or something like that... I can't remember exactly what she said. It was reassuring to know I'm not stupid.

If I had confidence it making buttercream frosting here I would have made lemon frosting from scratch for the cake, at lower altitudes I have had a lot of success. But here, I went for quick and easy. Lemon Pudding Frosting.
1 package of Lemon instant pudding
1/4 cup of powder sugar
mix together
3/4 a cup of milk (at lower altitudes maybe a full cup of milk)
mix together
a tub of cool whip mixed together.

These recipes are extremely easy. So I don't know why I get so many compliments. Maybe because they are practically from scratch?
More likely because my secret ingredients is "love" "dang it"

I find most people enjoy simple homemade desserts, nothing fancy, and mostly not store bought. I do love to bake so maybe that's why. They can taste the love.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Scouting Parent's Pin Necklace

This my version of my Scout Parent's Pin Necklace.

 It's what all the cool moms have. And by cool, I do not mean homecoming queen cool, I mean, I haven't lost my child's keepsakes and he thinks his mom is cool. And that type of a cool is a very uncool type of cool, but really the only type of cool that matters. Not everyone has it. Now I do.

A friend of mine has a traditional one. I told her I wanted to copy her. She gave me permission.

I spent months deciding what I wanted to do. There are plenty of tutorials out there, but they seem to imply its hard to find the right ribbon. Not to mention 4 spools of ribbon is going to be more than $10. So I thought maybe I should just buy one and be done with it.
Then I found one with three stripes on etsy and I do have three boys....
Then I decided that was a little too much for me...

Then I found this site and they were selling red white and blue ones, because you know we are talking about Boy Scouts of AMERICA. Plus the eagle scout pins and neckerchiefs have red white and blue ribbons. So I decided that is what I was going to do.

But then my local walmart didn't have any red white and blue ribbon. So I got blue with white polka dots. It was ugly. I returned it. Then I realized I already knew how to make lanyards and key chains.
Then I could make one for absolutely FREE, with leftover patriotic fabric.
Which I did.

I love it, in I'm an uncool cool mom way. My husband thinks I'm hot. :/
I asked if I was rocking this lanyard and he ignored me. So I'm going to take that as a yes.

Oh and by the way I didn't use interfacing in this, because I wanted it to be less conspicuous and lay flat instead of stiff against me. Oh and that corner at the bottom was fairly tricky.
Plus mine double rocks because it has a personalized J.
It doesn't rock because my pins kind of blend in with my fabric.

What is that third pin you ask? The Heart of Scouting pin, that my mother in law encouraged me to get about 7 years ago. Now I have somewhere to put it! Yeah, I'll be rocking this necklace at the Blue and Gold Banquet on Saturday. My 9 year old is so excited, lets hope it doesn't get snowed out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frozen Party

I know there are a million frozen party ideas online, but this is what we did. None of which was original. I have lots of snowflake crafts so it was easy to just slightly change. This was a temporary change. With this printable.

 I printed Elsa on paper, and melted Jolly Ranchers. I don't think any of the kids ate the cake just pieces of jolly ranchers.
 Nat requested pin the crown on Elsa.
 We printed the birthday banner from this site.
 For some reason I made a 6 year old two wreaths, that one in the background too.
 I made the pinata for her. She loved it. Turns out I made it too sturdy. Don't use packing tape, masking tape probably would have been better.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Foam Wreath

I didn't like my March wreath last year. So I started from scratch this year. After a couple of attempts I ended up with this.
After looking at my pinterest board for inspiration, I realized I really like striped, black white and green accent. 
1. I tried to pick up some black and white ribbon but all Walmart had was one spool of black and white chevron. Turns out, 9 yards of ribbon only covers a third of foam wreath.
2. I was born at the perfect time to be obsessed with beanie babies, and as an adult I've seen gotten rid of them all, except for my Irish Bear from McDonalds, its named Erin and so I have an affinity for it since that's my middle name. (And my Canadian on from McDonalds.) So I know having a teddy bear in a wreath is only fit for crazy cat ladies, but I still went for it. I have only two other St. Patrick's Day decorations ups and one says LUCKY in three inch letters so I decided I didn't need every room to say Lucky, and what else is Pinterest good for other than mincing others ideas.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

More Dessert

I've only had a few birthdays of late, so I decided to make some extra cakes, know just for the heck of it.
Just kidding, I visit teach two ladies who have birthdays two days apart this week, so I made them some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate creme cheese frosting. This cake it so yummy and I've gotten a lot of compliment on this chocolate cake.
Then for book group I volunteered to make a cake to help out the host. I made a lemon cake with lemon pudding frosting. This is also a very yummy cake that also gets lots of compliment. I decided to go with lemon because we read Persuasion by Jane Austen and I thought lemon cake is something you would have for tea.
When I'm not making cakes I'm making cookies.
I feel like I've put in my 10,000 hours with my chocolate chip cookies. I haven't actually put in that much time into them, but if I do say so myself I get SOOooo... many compliment on my mint chocolate chip cookies. Normally I use a tablespoon cookie dough scoop. It makes making cookies delightful and they come out perfect with airbake cookie sheets. But I wanted to making some BIG cookies, so I used my ice cream scoop, eyeballing it I would say its two tablespoons worth. The big cookies were SO much better. It was like getting a cookie at a restaurant but yummy and soft. I would like to find something that makes EVEN bigger than two tablespoon worth cookies.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Valentine Bears

I made my kids bears. Wouldn't it be awesome if I edited these photos? I made them for valentine's day presents. If you look closely you can tell what order I sewed them in. I used this tutorial. I used fleece so it was a nice and easy project.
I also used this printable.

Monday, February 2, 2015


My oldest son has wanted a countdown for his birthday for years. He always wants to do a paper chain and sometimes we do, but he never keeps track of it, then I have to count those dumb paper rings to figure out how many he should take off and it really just drives me crazy. So for the last couple of months I keep thinking I'll make something permanent. I made it almost in time for my baby's birthday. It has 10 days and we did it for 8. I bought a photo album scrapbook kit thing and just printed off numbers from the internet, then glued them in. The older kids had a blast counting down.

My husband's birthday is two days before my oldest son's birthday. So I knew what was up when my son sheepishly came to me, and said, are we going to count down to dad's birthday? I said nope, only kids. He looked much relieved.