Thursday, June 30, 2011

Congrats Blythe and Destry

My sister-in-law, Blythe, and her boyfriend of three and a half years, Destry, got engaged last night! He proposed in the wine cellar at Angus Barn, which is where they first met. Blythe was at a provider meeting and Destry is one of the wine cellar masters at Angus Barn. It was fate! 

Earlier this week Destry and I had arranged for everyone to come over to John and I's place for cookies and champagne after the proposal.Here is a little glimpse of the evening:

Thanks (again) to Krista for another lovely cookie cutter! I have been waiting for this engagement to use the flutes! 

I used sugar to imitate champagne bubbles!

A cookie champagne toast!!! 

And a real toast!

The ring!!

Our family!!

We are so happy for both of them and wish them many, many, many wonderful years of marriage!! CONGRATS! CONGRATS! CONGRATS!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Wedding Season!

I was asked by a Ward family friend to make 3 dozen wedding inspired cookies for a shower she was throwing. The bride's colors were off-white, dark pink, and gold. I couldn't figure out a way to make gold (other than gold glitter, which I didn't have) but I found a delicious little way to make off-white.... lemon juice! It was actually quite coincidental because I was doing it more for the flavoring but what a wonderful surprise. The cookies were fun to make, especially the wedding cake ones because I had yet to use the new wedding cake cookie cutter that Krista bought me a couple of months ago! A special thank you goes out to Sarah Baker {theZestyBaker} for coming over to help cut out the cookies and help man the oven!

 Here is a mix of the cookies: 

A few of the wedding cakes:

Wedding Dresses:

Wedding Rings:

This week my goal is to figure out a way to make Harlow 
a dog cake for her birthday (July 2nd)! 
I'll share the results if I find anything simple and cute!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banana Nutella Brownies

About two weeks ago I bought some bananas and Nutella to try my hand at making homemade crepes. Well, a couple of days later I went to the fruit bowl to get the bananas and there were no bananas.... then I went to the cabinet and there was hardly any nutella left. Since there is only my husband and me in our home and I knew I hadn't eaten them up... I knew exactly who to ask. Low and behold my husband had found his new favorite snack! Needless to say I did not get to make crepes.

The next grocery trip I got more bananas and nutella. As soon as I got home I went to my Big Oven app (those of you who don't have it MUST get it!! It has tons of amazing recipes) in search of the crepe recipe when I found a homemade Nutella Brownies recipe. I decided to add my own little touch and put bananas in it as well. THEY WERE SO SIMPLE! And John said they were absolutely delicious! So delicious he refused to take the leftovers to share at his cookout tonight...

Anyways, I definitely recommend these!! They were quick, simple, and heavenly!

Here are the main items you need:

** And bananas ... if you choose to add them!
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8-9 inch square cake pan.
2. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 tsp salt. 
3. In another bowl, beat 2 eggs, 1 cup nutella, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Use your mixer for about 2 minutes to make it easier.
4. Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter in a cup.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with the butter.
6. Add 1-2 bananas to the mixture (optional). 
7. Scrape the batter into the cake pan. 
8. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean (I look for a few crumbs on the toothpick). 

So we figured out there are 2 ways to eat the Banana Nutella Brownies
1. When they first come out of the oven. They are very chocolaty, almost like a hot molten lava cake!!

2. Or... wait about 2 hours (or the next night) and they are more like gooey brownies! 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Sewing Projects

Last summer after John and I got married and moved in together I noticed he was somewhat of a hoarder, particularly with his t-shirts. (Love you babe!) He literally could have completely filled up three drawers with graphic t-shirts, all of which were extremely important to him. The only way I could convince him to get rid of some of them was to make a t-shirt quilt. I started the quilt last summer and have gradually been working on it throughout the last year. Today I finally was able to finish it up!
The quilt was HUGE, which I think is why it (a) took me so long and (b) made me frustrated numerous times. Next time I am going to try to make "baby" quilts.

After I finished the quilt I started on some keychain orders with the new ribbon I purchased.  These are so fun and easy to do!

Enjoy Sarah and Brittany!

 Hope you enjoyed your first day of summer. I was certainly looking forward to spending my first day of summer at the pool but I think I had just as great of a time exploring my crafty side. :)

What did you do?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And the winner is....

Congratulations to.....

for winning a personalized key chain. 


I counted each of the entries (you could enter up to 3 times) based on the responses in your comments. generated the number 11 so I counted the 11th entry.

I will post Ofe's keychain later this week. If you are still interested in one please send me an e-mail.  

Thanks for all of you who participated! I am looking forward to the next give away. :)

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful fathers out there!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Give Away!

As a little "thank you" for visiting my blog I am giving away one monogrammed key chain. I just made this one for my spare car key, but I have also given them as gifts and used them on my personal key chain to help locate keys in my "Mary Poppins" purse. 

You may enter up to 3 times. Please make a separate comment for each entry and also include an e-mail address I can contact you at. Here are the 3 ways you may enter:

1. Comment on your favorite post from my blog.

2. Become a follower. Let me know in your comment.

3. Post a link to my blog on your facebook. In your comment please post the link to your post. 

I will be doing the random drawing on Sunday, June 19th.  I will contact the lucky winner by e-mail and figure out your colors, initials, writing style, and shipping address!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bridal Shower

Last weekend I was asked to make a bridal shower cake for one of my wonderful teammates, Sara. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the shower because I had already committed to going to John's work party. 

This cake is very similar to the baby shower cake I made, except it was not lopsided! This time I did my best to give the cake layers time to act as glue before I put on the final icing layer. It seemed to help a lot!

Sara is using a variation of purples for her bridal party bouquets so I wanted to incorporate various purples into the cake presentation.
 Finding the perfect purple flowers was difficult but I was very satisfied with the way these turned out!
 Sara's favorite cake is strawberry cake so, of course, the cake and cupcakes were both strawberry. I initially wanted to do flower cupcakes but the icing didn't want to cooperate. After doing just plain icing on the top the cupcakes looked a little plain so I thought I would add a little chocolate chip to the top!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chocolate Lovers Delight

As promised in my last post, here is an easy and delicious dessert recipe for you to serve your friends and family! Here are the main items you will need. You could easily make your own cookie dough but I was in a time crunch and needed to start baking right away.

Spray a 9x9 pan with Pam and set your oven temperature to 350 degrees. Use about half of the cookie dough to layer the bottom of your baking dish.

Next, add a layer of Oreo cookies to your dish.

 Fix your brownie batter as normal. You could always add chocolate chips to add a little more chocolate. Next time I thought about swirling in marshmallow fluff!

Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. This seems like a long time to bake but it was the perfect amount of time for me to get ready, pull out the dish, and head straight out the door to a party.

Unfortunately I was in so much of a rush that I didn't get to cut and display the brownies as I normally would. By the time we finished dinner and got to the desserts this was all that was left. Soooo here is the only picture I have of the final results!

It was quite the chocolate lover's delight!!! I'm looking forward to trying it next time with the marshmallow fluff. I'll let you know how it turns out ... or if you bake it first, you can share the results with me!! 


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer cookies

The O.R. staff at Rex had their summer staff party today at a pool in Cary. They provided bbq and chicken, and everyone was asked to bring a dish. My friend, Krista, had gotten me a palm tree cookie cutter awhile ago and I have been waiting for the perfect event to use it. The other day Sarah and I were out shopping and I found sunglasses, a margarita glass, and a flip flop (which I didn't use this time), so I thought now would be the perfect time to put the palm tree to use. The cookies were a hit!! ....So much so that I didn't have nearly enough for everyone. Thankfully at the last minute I made a very easy "chocolaty" dessert, which I will share with you soon. 

Next time I will have to make more cookies...

 Palm trees.

Unfortunately I had 3 margarita cookies break when I was transferring them to the cooling rack so I only ended up with two to share. They were fun to decorate and I even added a little sugar to the margarita to make it look real :)

Check back later this week because I will be posting a recipe for an EASY and DELICIOUS dessert for you to try!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Little Bit Goes A Long Way

I can't even begin to put into words how wonderful all of the parents were in my classroom this year. My room mom ... well I don't even know where to start. From organizing parties to volunteering weekly to helping out in the classroom, she has gone above and beyond in every way possible! I wish there was some way I could keep her daughter and her next year.. and the next.. and the next (along with many others in my class).  I knew I had to do something special for her but coming up with an idea was hard. Because part of our science curriculum deals with plants AND their family has a garden of their own, I decided to put together a little planting basket. 

I bought a pot, seeds, gardening gloves, gardening utensils, and I made some cookies {always have to add something sweet}. On the pot I wrote "Thanks for helping us grow." I had my students each draw a picture of themselves and label it with their name. Another way to do this is to have the students do a thumb print and decorate it, but since we had done something similar on bookmarks for Mother's Day I thought we would try something a little different. I think it turned out well and Anne loved it!

Not only did my room mom go above and beyond, but so did many other parents in my classroom. With so many wonderful parents to thank and so little funds I decided to bake some of my grandmother's famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It was a fun way to recognize many of the parents in my classroom to say 'thank you' and I think it made everyone feel appreciated. A little bit goes a long way.

I am beyond sad to see them go but I am looking forward to another wonderful year in 3rd grade! 

On another note:
Thank you to ALL parents who volunteer in the classroom!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I have come to learn that decorating cakes is just hard...... they come out lopsided, they are uneven, icing them is difficult, and decorating them can just be down right irritating. Not to mention I am very much a perfectionist which makes everything 10 times worse.

Well... my ultimate dream is to one day be able to do wedding cakes. I have been dying to try out a "ribbon" decorated cake so when I heard of an upcoming babyshower at my school I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. The cake isn't even close to perfect but I am one step closer than I was before... 

Here's how it turned out. 


I found glitter dust to sprinkle on top of the cupcakes!!

My biggest problem with this cake is that it is a little lopsided. Anyone have any suggestions for pans to use and/or a way to layer cakes so that they are straight and even?

 Thanks for your help!!