Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

I started off February with the 14 Days of Valentines for my husband! And let me say, the first day he was so surprised that he was beaming with happiness! I put the first gift in his car, but everyday afterwards, I put his gifts on the kitchen table for him to see before he left for work in the morning. He was always excited to go to bed to find out what I had left him the next morning! It was a lot of fun and I know he enjoyed his gifts! (As did our girls! They got to help Daddy eat some goodies!)

Here are all the goodies he got:

I also made my daughters some cute Doily Valentine Shirts that they looked absolutely cute in on Valentine's Day! They were super simple to make and only took me 15 minutes!

I decided to make some cute Valentines for the Grandparents of my girls, we decided to go with a design similar to what we found here. I tweaked it a little and made it our own! The girls had so much fun making these! I thought they turned out fantastic!

That left making the goodies and cards for the rest of the family! I decided to get my niece and nephews a can of Strawberry Crush and attach a twizzler shaped like a heart to it with a sign that read, "I've got a CRUSH on you! You make my heart TWIZZLED!" I didn't even get a photo of them... I realized this after I handed them out! (Sorry!) But the kids loved them! Especially the soda!

The only photo I got was my oldest daughter holding up a twizzler heart! She's so gorgeous!

I decided to make some Strawberry Conversation Heart cake bites for the adults. I found the idea here. I've been making cake balls and cake pops quite a bit lately, but those things are SO, SO good! And super addicting! I gathered all I needed to make them.

I baked a strawberry cake, bought strawberry frosting (Although I think I'll use Vanilla next time. The strawberry cake and frosting made it a little too strong tasting.), got my large bowl ready to crumble the cake, put out my cookie sheet with a line of parchment paper on it, and I got my pastry cutter! That thing is SUPER awesome at breaking apart the cake!

I rubbed the cake together, then went through the bowl and used the pastry cutter to mash up the pieces of the cake that didn't get broken up all the way.

I mixed in about 1/2 the can of frosting until I got the consistency I like, which is like meatloaf. Not stuck together in a ball, but easily shaped and formed. I got out my smallest heart shaped cookie cutter and pressed a small amount of cake into the shape and pressed down on it.

Using the heart shape made about 54 cake bites. I went through and softened the edges of the hearts as I made them. I covered them with saran wrap and placed them in the fridge for about 5 hours.

I got everything ready to put the candy melt on. I bought pink, yellow, and green candy melts. I already had some white candy melts. I also found some edible ink pens (FINALLY)!

I melted the candy. Pink. Yellow. And what was left of the yellow, I added in the green with a few pieces of white.

I pulled out 4 hearts at a time and I used two spoons to dip the cake hearts into the candy melt one at a time. I placed them on parchment paper and let them dry.

Once they were all dry, I used the red edible ink pen to write on the pink hearts. I had a lot of trouble writing on them. I don't know why... it was really frustrating. I had to make each letter by dotting the pen over and over again on my letters. I decided then, to only write on the pink hearts. I didn't have the time I needed to write on all the hearts.

I would've like to have written on all the hearts, but they turned out alright! I put them all on a plate and wrapped them in saran wrap. I wrote on a heart shaped paper doily and handed them out to the couples in our family!

Everyone really enjoyed the cake bites! I had a lot of fun making them, too! I got some awesome compliments on the thumbprint Valentines! I am excited to try new things next year! I have a lot of ideas going through my head already!

I am excited for St. Patrick's Day and I have some fun ideas for that holiday! Until then, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Happy Crafting/Making/Baking,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy *late* Valentine's Day!

I couldn't decide which bouquet I liked better...

The flower bouquet? :

Or the Sharpie bouquet? :

I loved them both!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Owl Cupcakes

When my friend Deidre was having a surprise birthday party, I knew I wanted to make her something special! I'm the kind of woman who would rather make you something than buy you something. I love to cook and create fun foods to eat and enjoy! Deidre loves owls, so I was going to make her some Owl Cake Pops, but with a busy weekend, I ended up turning to my Pinterest and using a fun idea for making Owl Cupcakes, instead. I found a few different ideas, some are seen here and here, but there are a lot of different ways to make these. I stuck with a simple way! Being the mother of three kiddos under the age of 3, I only have nap time to complete tasks! I'm lucky to get 2+ hours! My camera had a smudge on the lens, so some of the pics are a little blurry, I'm sorry! I didn't know it when I was taking the pictures.

I decided to make these cute little guys, or gals, using:
  • 1 box cake mix, prepared into 24 cupcakes
  • 1 tub frosting of your choice, I used Vanilla
  • Food coloring of choice, I used Purple (Optional)
  • 1 box or bag of Reese's Pieces (Or M&M's), 48 Brown pieces and 24 Orange pieces
  • 48 Golden Oreos, regular stuffed, not double (You can use regular Oreos if you want)
I set out everything I was going to use to make these fun cupcakes.

I set out all my Oreos and set two brown Reese's Pieces on top of each. There weren't enough golden Oreos to make all 24 cupcakes, so I had to grab a few of our regular Oreos from our personal stash! I carefully twisted each Oreo making sure that the cream was all on one cookie and not the other. I set the empty cookie back in the Oreo package and set the side with the cream down. I used a small dab of white frosting to attach one brown Reese's Piece to each cream side cookie.

After all the pieces were attached to the Oreos, I used purple food coloring to make purple frosting.

I frosted one cupcake at a time. I used the tip of my butter knife to make the ears. I pressed down a little and pulled up to make two ears. I put a dab of frosting on the back of each eye and placed them next to each other on the cupcake. I placed an orange Reese's piece sideways below the middle of the eyes to make the beak. This is what it should look like:

I had a lot of fun making these little owls! I got some rave reviews on them, too! It took me 2 hours to make them, but you can always have a few helpers to make them faster! I know my girls would've loved to have helped! Here are what they looked like all together!

I couldn't forget to put a "Happy Birthday Deidre" sign on the cupcakes! I thought about it for a minute, then it hit me! I knew exactly what to do! I made one of the owls hold her sign!

I hope you come up with some creative new ways to make your own owl cupcakes! I'd just love to make some in pink, blue, green, and orange!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

14 Days of Valentines

14 days of personalized gifts? Sounds good to me!

I have seen a few different ideas for this and I decided to pick 14 gifts that I knew my husband would love. I searched and searched, and finally found some that I loved! I ended up only finding 10 that I knew Charles would like, so I had to wing the last 4! There they are!

"I'm WILD about you" -- Zebra Cakes
Charles LOVES these things! I thought the Zebra on the front was perfect! It looks like the Zebra is holding the card!

Day 2
"I like the way you roll" -- Rolos
The store didn't have an individual size package, and I didn't want to buy an econo-size box of them, so I had to buy a bag of Rolos and stack them on top of each other. I wrapped them with aluminum foil. It was a lot harder to do than I thought... good thing Charles likes Rolos so much. Otherwise I wouldn't have done it!

"Valentine, You're so GOOD to me!" -- Mr. Goodbar
I origionally wanted to do the "You Rock" Pop Rock thing, but our store was clean out of them, so I had to imporvise while I was in the candy aisle. I found this huge bar for $0.98 and couldn't pass it up!

"I don't care about PAYDAY... we're rich in love" -- PayDay
Now, this isn't entirely true! I care very much about PayDay... but I thought the word play was cute! That and Charles could probably eat one of these each day for the rest of his life and be happy. And fat...

 "You put Pep in my step" -- Cherry Dr. Pepper
This is one of Charles' favorite pops! He usually gets the 2 liters so that he can have more for less!

 "I'd fall to pieces without you" -- Reeses Pieces
Whenever we go to a movie, this is Charles' candy of choice! They are super addicting!

 "My love, you are Marvelous & Majestic" -- M&M's
M&M's... yes. Peanut M&M's? Even better! It does matter what type of M&M I get for Charles!

  "Valentine, I 'chews' you!" -- Starburst Flavor Morph
The first time Charles had these, he told me that I shouldn't eat them fast. He said that I had to "chew" them slowly so that I could enjoy the flavor! I thought this was a perfect candy to go with the little saying!

 "It's as plain as BLACK and WHITE, I'd love to be your Valentine" -- Oreos
I have to watch Charles when he eats these... otherwise I won't get any!

DAY 10
 "I think you're SODA amazing" -- Wild Cherry Pepsi
I know that technically, Pepsi is a Cola, but I thought that since people call pop a lot of different names, I could swing the "soda" on his card! Pop, soda, cola, bubble water, etc. All he's gonna care about is the fact that it's pop!

DAY 11
"I'm NUTS about you!" -- Honey Roasted Peanuts
Charles loves these kind of peanuts! We usually buy the econo-size container, but I wanted him to be able to take the snacks and candy I'm giving him to work.

DAY 12
 "You have O-'FISH'-ally stolen my heart!" -- Swedish Fish
These are amazing! I don't know what it is about Swedish Fish... but they just are!

DAY 13
 "Thank you for working EXTRA hard for us" -- Extra gum
This one is from all of Charles' girls! Me, Caitlin, Rosalie, and Vivian! I am so grateful that he is willing to go to work so that I can stay home with our daughters. Best. Husband. Ever.

DAY 14
 "I love everything you DEW" - Mountain Dew
I saved his most favorite thing for the last day! I know he'll be waiting for this to show up on Valentines morning, but no matter what, he'll be in glorious Dew heaven!

No matter what you choose to do for your loved one(s), I recommend making the cards by hand! Nothing means more to my husband than knowing I took the time to make things by hand. It's the gift of time. And time is spelled L-O-V-E!

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Gifting!