Monday, June 17, 2013

College Care Package

I have a cousin in college and all that I see from her on Facebook is how she is hungry and has nothing but plain oatmeal. That's when I got an idea to send her a care package with some food and other useful supplies. Each item or set of items had a cute little saying on it. That of course is totally optional, but it made it more fun to put together. It worked out great!

The first thing you will need is a huge box. I had to leave out one thing because I didn't have enough room in the box and it was the biggest box I had!

Then you should raid the dollar store and Walmart or your choice of stores. 

Here's all my stuff:

And the list of items with some cutesy sayings:

Fiddle Faddle- Don't fiddle away your time
Bear cookies- For when you need a bear hug
Microwavable mac and cheese bowls- So you have something to eat besides oatmeal
Honey Nut Scooters cereal- To help you scoot your way through school
Kool Pops- Be cool stay in school (haha!!!! so corny, but hilarious)
Top Ramen- So you can be at the top of your class
Raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar- Something for the boring oatmeal
Various chocolate bars- For the chocolate lover in us all
Red Vines- To climb the vine of success
Pretzels- (I can't remember this one- something about a knot, maybe?)
Peanuts- Sometimes you just feel like a nut
Dryer sheets, laundry soap, toilet paper- To keep fresh for the boys (I called the post office to see if I could mail liquid laundry detergent, they said yes as long as it was in a sealed container-as in a twist type cap- and it was packed with something that would soak up the liquid if it leaked-hence the toilet paper. I also tied it in a plastic bag to help if it leaked. But, it got there just fine. I suggest you call your local post office to double check if you choose to send something liquid.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Red Hat Cake

About a month ago, my husband and I ventured into cake decorating. Our first official cake for someone else was a graduation cake you can find here.

From that first cake we got another request for a couple of weeks later. From a couple of inspiration pictures the "clients" (They were really just good friends, not really clients, but it sounds professional!) provided I sketched a design and off we went. I was much more hands on with this project than the previous one. 

Here is one inspirational pic. Here is the other one.

To start we made strips for the large bow they wanted. Originally we had purple and red fondant for the bows. We also made hats by cutting circles and pushing them into mini muffin tins to create the top of the hats. 

Next we made the cake. We used the same zebra style cake. You can find the recipe here. This time we used red and white. We wanted to try red and purple, but were too afraid that the colors would bleed together and it would be a brownish yuck color. We had to cut one of the cakes in half and found this heart in the center. How cool is that!?

We had to use trial and error with the bow. The red and purple strips were too long and would not stand up. We also tried using candy melts as an anchor for the strips. Not good. It did not work and the purple strips broke and it just looked terrible. We ended up doing a solid red bow and using royal icing to attach all the strips. The tissue you see in the pictures helps the fondant dry in the right form. 
On the hats we made feathers, roses, flowers, and bows. 

We added some frills to the sides. Then we painted them with pearl dust for a little shine. Yes, that was a pain, but it was worth it. It gave a very subtle sheen on the flourishes.

It looks pretty plain, huh? Not for long.

We added pearls intertwined in the bow... one at a time... by hand... with tweezers... and royal icing for glue. Picture this: Round little pearl candies being forced into small tweezers and pushed into a small space. About every other one would fly out of the tweezers and land all over the table. We were chasing little candies around and trying to avoid messing up the cake at the same time. It took a very long time and tons of patience.

Then we added the pearls to the rest of the cake. This is the front view of the bow and pearls.

And the back view of bow and pearls.

Then we added the hats.

It was a great party and fun to celebrate our good friend's birthday. It was even more special to see the look on her face when we delivered that cake. Good times! Hopefully we will be able to do more cakes at some point. I think I'm hooked!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday

I can hardly believe it! My middle baby is 5 now. I seriously cannot believe that it has been 5 years since we were in the hospital with her. 5 years since we met up with one of our friends who was pregnant along with me about 4 hours from each of our houses. 5 years since we met up in the hospital with a cousin/neighbor across the street who was due a few weeks after me. (Yes, my daughter has a cousin who lives across the street that is one day younger than her. They are great friends!) 5 years since I held this little precious bundle of cuteness.

Well, it seems to us that she is getting jipped on a few things around here. She gets the hand-me-downs, the leftovers, the stuff not new out of the box. This year we really wanted to make her birthday special so we gave her some new never been done things.

First we taped crepe paper in a zig-zag pattern along the outside of her door. Then we filled it with balloons. In the morning I heard all the balloons fall to the floor and came to her room to see a brilliant smile stretched across that gorgeous face of hers.

I also wrote a birthday message with a bar of soap. A word the the wise, don't get it too wet or you will have drips like i did on the H and A.

Little Miss as she comes out to her birthday muffin breakfast with a candle.

A few days after her birthday, we had my hubby's parents out to celebrate. We even got to go out to eat!

She got a kid camera so hopefully she will stop taking 100s of pics with Mom's and Dad's phone cameras. =)