Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cupcakes for Gary

It was my father-in-law's, Gary, birthday this last weekend and I decided to whip up some cupcakes for him. I'm getting better I tell you. Since Gary doesn't like anything too fancy or weird, unless he is the one making it, I decided to do a plain chocolate cupcake. This special part was the frosting. I made a Nutella fluffy buttercream. It was delish! I could have downed the entire bag of frosting. It was smooth and creamy, almost like a dream in a bag.

For those of you that don't know, Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread that many Europeans use instead of peanut butter. If you've never tried it, you are missing out. I'm not a big fan of hazelnut, but this stuff will rock your socks.

The cupcakes were good, but not great. They were tasty, but the cupcake part ended up drying out a bit. Boo! I guess that means I'm on the hunt for a new (more moist) chocolate cupcake recipe. The hunt begins! The frosting recipe though, is a keeper!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Embellish Rainbow Color Trend Challenge

I wanted to participate in the Embellish Rainbow Color Trend Challenge this week. It looked fun and proved to give me a jump start for the week. Here was the challenge:

This card was inspired/cased from one I recently saw one Nicole Heady's blog from Papertrey Ink. Although the colors she used were different, the idea is the same. I love how the rainbow gives a pop of color without being obscene. It's a fun and quick little card that could be used for all kinds of occassions. Not to mention, I just used a bunch of scrap pieces of colored cardstock I had lying around. I find this to be a great card using minimal supplies.

(All Stampin Up supplies)

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, A Word for You
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White, Crumb Cake, Poppy Parade, Peach Parfait, So Saffron, Old Olive, Pacific Point, Concord Crush
Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Dimensionals

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cupcakes for a Friend

My dear friend Kiley just had her 27th birthday on the 17th and I decided to make her some cupckes. In past posts I have mentioned someday wanted to own a cupcake shoppe. I don't think I'm the best cupcake chef every, but practice makes perfect right?

Kiley loves Amaretto & Coke when we go out so I tried a variation of that as a cupcake. I tried to make a chocolate and coke flavored cupcake (didn't really taste the coke, but it made it super moist) and amaretto buttercream. I loved the flavor of the frosting, but it didn't set right and it started to seperate. Boo!

 The second cupcake flavor I tried were Butterbeer since she and I have a desperate love for Harry Potter. These cupcakes incoporated butterscotch, cream soda, and butter flavoring. They were by far my favorite and the best cupcakes I've made so far. So exciting! Kiley loved the cupcakes!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Be Brave

This reminds me of every year being a teacher. It's always hard to say goodbye. I never think I could like the next class as much as the one before and all at once I realize magically I am in love with them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Sunday Sketch 122

This is the first sketch challenge that I've done in a very long time. When I saw the sketch on The Sweetest Thing blog, I let it roll around in my brain for a couple days before making anything.

I used the new lace ribbon border from Stampin' Up to create the background. I am so into vintagey things right now and I like that it gave the impression of an old hankie or doilie. Using the lace border over a bright color actually came to me in a dream...yes, I know it sounds silly.

(All Stampin' Up products)
Stamps: Perfect Words
Ink: Night of Navy
Paper: Daffodil Delight, Whisper White, Night of Navy
Accessories: Lace Ribbon Border, Linen Thread, Springtime Vintage Big Designer Button, Perfect Pennants die, Big Shot, Scallop Circle punch, 1 3/8" Circle punch

I'm in love with white and navy right now and I love the pop of yellow. It's bright and fun, yet a bit sophisticated!

5 Things I Love (Week of 6.24.11)

With so many things to love out there I figured I would share some of mine. Hopefully I can do this every week, but we'll see...

#5: Fireflies
I know this seems like a weird thing to love. If you knew me at all, you would know that this choice in particular is very weird. I HATE bugs. I have some crazy irrational fear of bugs, but there is something about a glowing little bug at night that says summer has arrived. I always remember seeing them when visiting my great grandmother near St. Louis, MO when we were growing up, but never really had our share around here. When my hubby and I moved into our house a few years ago we noticed them at the beginning of the summer in a nearby field. I could sit and watch them all night!

#4: Someone Like You by Adele (21)
Let me first say that this woman has one of the most soulful voices I've ever heard. I love how deep it is, but so amazingly beautiful. This song is sad and wonderful at the same time. I want to cry just thinking about it, but we all need those songs we just want to cry to. Something about this song brings me back to my teenage years and unreciprocated love.

#3: Gulf Winds (paint by Behr)
Let me first say that I was less than thrilled to find out that I needed to move classrooms. I had one of the biggest rooms in the school and I was moving to one of the smallest. Not only that, but the walls in the new room looked like they had just been through WW3. That's middle school for you though. I decided that since the room needed to be cleaned up anyway that I would make it at least feel calm and fun at the same time. I chose the color Gulf Winds by Behr. It is an amazing shade of blue that I like to refer to as Zen Blue. I hope it can calm down a room of 7th graders this next year.

#2: Housewives of Orange County, Housewives of New Jersey, Housewives of Atlanta & Housewives of New York
I am a reality tv junkie. It's bad, I know. Everyone has a vice and Housewives on Bravo are mine. I love and hate watching these shows because they are the meanest people on the planet to each other, but then they try to act as if they as really friends. Such crap, but entertaining and so I...can't...stop...watching!

#1: Farmer's Markets
Our local farmer's markets have just begun and I just love them. We have our own garden started too, but I love walking the street and seeing all the yummy fruit and veggies, craft booths, and people we know. Our local farmer's market actually got bigger this year so it's even more to love.

Anything you love this week?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

It has seriously been raining in NE Wisconsin for almost a week. It is ridiculous. I thought summer was a time for sunshine, swimming, and getting a tan. Well as I was wrapping myself in a sweater the other day I decided to make some Banana Bread to warm me up. I love bananas, but I would prefer to eat them almost green to slightly overripe. When bananas get brown I stick them in the freezer until I have enough to make some delicious bread. This recipe was given to me by one of my best friends, Kristy, for my bridal shower almost 7ish years ago. It is still hands down the best Banana Bread I've ever had. Yummy in my Tummy!

Banana Bread
6 bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Set oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas using a fork. Add the sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and mix together. Add the flour and mix together making sure all ingredients are incorporated. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour mixture in. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Eat warm!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Washer Typography

I've been online a lot lately just getting inspiration. I love to paint with color. I like painting different rooms different colors. White walls can be boring and I like to spice it up a bit. My problem, which I've said before is that I don't like making decisions. It takes me a long time to be settled on what I want because I'm so wishy-washy. Therefore, we have painted walls, but nothing on them. I can't commit or want to spend the money on art work or decor. It's not that I don't want it... I'm cheap and I can't decide. So I needed (wanted) something inexpensive, yet fun for over our bed in the master bedroom. Our walls are a deep, rich chocolate color so these needed to be devoid of color, but still pop. While searching the net, I found a picture of someone who used washers and heavy strength glue to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

I just happened to make three pieces for myself and my hubby Nick. The best part is they fit over the exact sides we sleep on. Awwww!

It took forever to glue down all the washers...not to mention the toxic glue fumes. I still believe it was worth it and all for less than $20.

A Long Blog Vacation

Holy cow Batman! When I looked at the date of the last post I made it was almost exactly a year ago. So that was one heck of a vacation. I've decided that I'm back and this blog and doing things for me needs to become a priority. It doesn't matter if another living soul ever reads my words, but I would love it if they would. I think sometimes we let our daily routine take over our lives and we let those things define who we are and not just the things we do. Well I'm ready to say that I am going to start making time for me and WHO I am and not just WHAT I do. Anyone ready to join me?