Sunday, November 18, 2012

Craft Idea! Thanksgiving Pillow

I had this Thanksgiving mini flag from, I don't know where.

So I decided to turn it into a pillow!

I stitched the outline of the picture on the flag to give it an "embroidered" look.

Then I sewed the back on and added some fun buttons I had and that was that!

Now I have a festive pillow or I can flip it over after the holidays!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Neopolitan Birthday Cake

I  love making cakes! And I don't always have an excuse to make one. Because otherwise then I'd have to eat it myself and that just wouldn't be a good idea.  Or would it...??

So I love it when my husband's birthday comes so I can make a cake! And experiment on him and my family members! Hey, that's what they are for, right?!

I've been wanting to try a Neapolitan cake. But replace the traditional chocolate layer with a coffee flavored one and then dousing the whole cake in a rich chocolate ganache so that chocolate would still be incorporated in the cake.

Well the week of hubby's birthday was a crazy busy week. So late the night before his party I made the cakes. Everything was going so well....I found this new recipe on Pinterest that was fantastic! I had baked the vanilla and coffee flavored layers. I had the strawberry layer with 6 cupcakes, to use up the rest of the batter, in the oven. The cupcakes we finished but the cake needed a few more minutes. By this time, it was well after midnight and I was running out of steam fast. I check the cake once more and it needed just about 5 more minutes. It looked marvelous. I decided, in a horribly bad decision making moment, NOT to set the timer and that I'd just check the time on my computer that I was on while waiting for the cakes to finish....well, 5 minutes turning into almost 5 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not good.

I completely fell asleep! And funny thing is I kept smelling burnt strawberry cake while I was sleeping and asking myself if I'd taken it out of the oven! Well, then hubby woke up to the smell of charred cake and asked if I was done baking-of course now it's 5 am! This naturally jolted me out of sleep in a panic realizing what happened and I ran to the oven to remove the large, hockey puck strawberry cake.

What a sad sight!! I was not happy. Especially because strawberry is my husbands favorite flavor and now it was ruined!  But I was too tired to do anything at that moment so I went to bed, now dreaming of how to fix this as I had used up all my eggs and strawberries and there wasn't even enough time to make another one.

So, I had to use the coffee and vanilla layers and between each layer I did a thin coat of chocolate ganache and then fresh strawberries-that I ran to the store to get that morning!-and then covered the whole thing in ganache! Yum.

I really like the way it came out. Of course, with most homemade cakes, they tend to be a bit dense but I found if you do not refrigerate the cake, but keep it at room temperate it is not so "hard/dense from the cold.

I would like to try this again WITH the strawberry layer though! At least we got the try the cupcakes, which were good. I will definitely use this recipe again!
Lesson learned: ALWAYS set the timer!!!

                                                                             


Sorry, this was a cellphone picture!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Americana Quilt - It's Finally Finished!

I don't believe my eyes!  The quilt I started 9 YEARS ago, is finally DONE. Wow, it feels great! This quilt is what I am calling Americana/ Old America quilt. I used beige, creams, deep reds and navy blue. All the fabrics have some kind of patriot theme to them, or calico in nature. Stars, strips, ect. I was inspired to make this quilt when I was out in Washington State on a trip with my sister visiting her collage roommate. We drove past amber waves of grain and majesty mountains! Washington is a beautiful state!!!

I, unfortunately, cut all those triangles by hand. Ugh. Pain. In. The. Neck. Of course- after I did it I was showed how to do it a much simpler and quicker way! Naturally. But know I know for the future, right?

As life would have it, this quilt got pushed to the side, in a dark corner for awhile and then it would emerge for a brief time, I'd add a little bit to it and then it would go back in hiding.

Well now we are on to our next adventure!! We will be in our first home in about a month and I wanted to finish all those unfinished projects-yes, projects-before we moved. Because I know there will be a hundred NEW projects facing me!! I am so glad I finished this as I'm sure it will come in handy at the new homestead. It is quite large, covers a queen size bed completely but doesn't quite cover the sides of the mattress.



Now it's time to tackle those other unfinished projects!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

100 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a big announcement in my household!!!

Can you tell I'm excited?!?! Yes, today, September 15th always marks 100 days until Christmas. AKA-the most wonderful time of the year!!!! I started this countdown years ago and somehow it just stuck. People know I do this and will now ask me how many days until Christmas so now I just feel a sense of responsibility!( And hey, it's just fun and exciting!!) My sister even made me a Christmas countdown for the entire year, not just 100 days!!

 I love Christmas. And I mean CHRISTmas never Xmas! Because Christ IS the foremost reason it's the most wonderful time of the year; that's when our Saviour, who died to save us from our sins, was born!! That is why we give gifts! Because Christ gave Himself for us, so we could be in heaven with Him, when we die. The best gift of all time!!

And after that, well who doesn't love ribbon, Christmas music!, wrapping paper, candy, cookies, shopping, yummy food, giving gifts, family time, snow(hopefully!), Christmas trees, the movie ELF, parties, decorations, sparkling lights and glittery stars, the nativity scene, the smell of balsam fir trees, candles, .....need I continue!? I'll spare you...for now!

So start your shopping folks!!! As always, I have a million ideas, recipes and crafts I want to do but we'll see what I can accomplish this year! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday / Fall Wreath

My sister's birthday just passed a couple weeks ago and she wanted a "Lori Special"--not to be confused with the "Leslie Special" car from the movie the Great Race!!--wreath. 

I love crafting! Although sometimes it can be frustrating. When I started this wreath, of course, the night before her birthday, I basically stared at the wreath for almost an hour trying to get inspiration!!! I tried one thing, hated it and undid it all and stared again! Finally, I figured out what I wanted to do and then-wooosh!!- it all came together after that! Thankfully because I was starting to burn the midnight oil!

I used wooden beads in various sizes and I found these wonderful rolls of tulle about 5" wide at the fabric store. I cut strips and sewed three colors together to create the rosette. I didn't want the traditional bow, so I went with a rosette. Which I rather like and plan to do again on my own wreath! And  I also bought a spray of the orange "berries" and cut each sprig off and placed around randomly.
I also made her birthday cake! I love decorating cakes but don't get to very often anymore. I used my family as guinea pigs to try a new yellow cake recipe and make an Italian fruit cake with fresh strawberries, peaches and fresh whipped cream. The test cake wasn't bad, but it was still more of a "lighter" pound cake, was the verdict. I'm still searching for a from scratch yellow cake recipe that's not too heavy!! If anyone knows of one please let me know! Here's the wreath and cake!!





Monday, September 12, 2011

Anniversary Get Away: Block Island, RI

For our second anniversary we decided to relax and make the ferry ride over to Block Island. The sand and water is so clean and clear there, it is really a great place to visit! We got a 3 day package so lodging wasn't too expensive, but once you add in meals and other activities it can get very pricey!! A day trip is also just as fun! You can even pack a cooler for lunch and not even spent a whole lot.

That is what I did. I packed some yogurts, apples, cheese and protein bars for snacking and/or breakfasts. It really worked out nicely.  We rented bikes and rode to the lighthouse and bluffs, hung out at the beach exploring tide pools, walked along the shops and had some very yummy fish and chips!! It was a very nice trip all in all with my dear hubby and best friend!!

                                                         Sunset at North Lighthouse

                                                                     Beach combing...