Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Blog Design by {Happy Potamus Designs}

Noticed anything new around here?!

Yep! My blog has had a makeover! When I entered the craft blogging world, I stumbled upon a blog called Artsy-Fartsy Mama. I instantly fell in love with her recipes, projects, and more! When she got 1,000 followers on her blog in early January, she hosted a weeks worth of giveaways. The very first giveaway was from the Artsy-Fartsy Mama herself, Lindsay! She runs Happy Potamus Designs and the giveaway consisted of everything from a header, menu/sidebar titles, buttons, signature, to installation! I entered on a whim and a week later, I found out that I was the lucky winner!

Lindsay contacted me and took down all my info! With a month, she told me she'd have my design up for a preview! I was so, so excited! When I opened the site link, I jumped around my house for a good five minutes! I love, love, love, love, love, LOVE the design!

Every single thing is exactly how I imagined it, except BETTER! The paisley background, my three favorite colors (pink, green, and orange), my character, the little Tare Panda, the buttons, the fonts... everything is just as I asked!

If you are in need of a blog design, you need to go to Happy Potamus Designs! It will be worth the money! The next time I need my blog updated, she'll be the one to do it!

Lindsay, Thank you so much! Once again, I'm going to tell you just how amazing and talented you are! I know you're a wife, mother, friend, and more, and that you have a lot of demands on your time, but I want to thank you for the time you spent on my design! I appreciate it very much! You're simply the best!

Take a look around and if you have any comments for Lindsay, you can leave them here or contact her!

Happy Designing!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

This year was the first year I've ever made homemade color for my Easter eggs! We've always bought the kits from the store. With our budget being tight, I decided to try the homemade version and see how it worked.

I bought Tone's Neon Food Color Kit last year for Halloween for cupcakes. I never looked at the box before, but it had some colored eggs on the front!

I thought to myself, "Maybe I don't have to buy an egg coloring kit after all!" I turned the box over and found this!

 My husband and I can fruits, veggies, and more, so we had a gallon of vinegar on hand. This was going to be easier than I thought! I got out my other normal colored food colors, too, and made 7 colors! Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple! I counted the drops it took to fill up a 1/4 tsp. It is about 25 drops of food coloring. This made it a lot easier to just drop the color into the water instead of washing the measuring spoon after each color!

My oldest daughter and I started coloring some eggs! I decided to try the egg-in-whisk method I saw on Pinterest.

My daughter LOVED it! I didn't like it so much... it got my fingers all colored from removing the egg each time. But I didn't mind too much because Caity had fun! Here are our beauties!

 The colors were all super vivid! Which is how I like my eggs to be colored! I like them bright enough to be seen when they are hidden in the house or outside in the yard! Sadly, we didn't hide/find these eggs. I found a recipe for colored deviled eggs on Pinterest and had to give them a shot!

I got to cracking the eggs and I thought the trash bag full of the shells was gorgeous! I just had to snap a few photos!

I sliced the eggs in half and put the yolks into a bowl and the egg whites into another. I put 5 drops of the neon food coloring into a mug that was 2/3 full of cold water. I put 1 tsp. vinegar in with the water. I put three egg halves into each mug. It took a while to get the color I was looking for with the pink, green, and purple. The blue eggs took the least amount of time to reach a vivid color. After the first batch of eggs, I ended up putting a few drops of regular food coloring into the cups with the neon colors. I added 3 drops of red into the pink cup, 1 drop of yellow into the green cup, and 4 drops of blue with 2 drops of red into the purple cup. After the next batch, I had the colors I liked!

While the eggs were drying, I whipped up the egg yolks for the center. I used my sister-in-law's recipe for Deviled Eggs. I wish I could give you actual amounts for each ingredient, but I can't. You have to go by consistency and taste. Someday I will go by measuring cups, but I rarely do! Here's what I used:

-Egg yolks
-Hellman's Real Mayonnaise
-Green stuffed olives (pimento inside)
-Salt and Pepper to taste

I pushed all of the egg yolks through a mesh strainer. It is a little time consuming, but it ensures that there will be no chunks of egg yolk. I prefer this method! I put a big blob of mayonnaise on top of the yolks, squirted some mustard into the bowl and mixed it into the yolks. I put 15 olives into a mini-food processor with some of the liquid from the jar. I processed the olives with juice until it was all finely chopped. I added them to the yolk mixture. I added the same amount of mayo and mustard until I reached the consistency I wanted. I added a little bit of salt and pepper to the mixture afterwards. I spooned the mixture onto the egg halves and put them in the fridge to chill before I served them!

The eggs were a hit at our family dinner! The kids just loved them and it got them to WANT to eat them!

I was in charge of dessert and I found a cute idea on Pinterest that I just had to try!

I made Funfetti cupcakes that I dyed green and used Pink Lemonade frosting that I also dyed green to make the grass. I had some trouble with the grass, but I just winged it for the most part! I thought mine looked more like the kind of fake grass you buy for Easter baskets! I topped each with 3 mini-cadbury eggs!

Everyone enjoyed them! I think I will make my own frosting next time. The pre-made stuff was a little too runny for me. I had to work with what I had! But I think they turned out well, all things considered!

My family had a great time! I hope you all enjoyed your Easter!

Happy Baking/Creating/Cooking/Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Belle Cake

My oldest daughter turned 3 a few weeks ago and we celebrated her birthday with a Beauty and the Beast party! 

I've recently discovered digital scrapbooking and came across a site that has free kits to download. I let my daughter pick out the kit she wanted and she went with the Energy kit! I loved it! I knew it'd go really well with Belle and it had a ton of colors in it! I searched the internet for a good site with Disney clip-art. I found some really stellar ones! I've pinned them onto my Fun Stuff board.
I made her invite first. She picked out the Belle she wanted and I did the rest! Here is the final design!

I think it turned out great! I worked really hard on it! I'm still new to digi-scrapbooking, but I've come a long way! I even made cupcake toppers using the same software! They were a hit!

I broke down a bought a Wilton Dress Cake Mold and used it to have a trial run for the Belle cake. It turned out great, but I needed more batter to make the dress fuller. The cake was easy to decorate. I'm not sure what tip number I used, but I used a medium size petal tip. Here's my amazing "how-to" that I made in paint!

 I used a toothpick for step 2!

This is how the cake turned out! I used frosting to make her top. I just piped frosting onto her body and smoothed it out with my finger dipped in water. I replaced the doll pick that came in the dress mold kit with Belle's head from another doll. (You can see that the skin tone is different.) After the party, I simply switched the heads back and gave my daughter her new Belle doll to play with! The cake was super easy to make!

I made 24 pink cupcakes with "sparkles" on top per the Birthday Girl's request! They turned out really well and the party was a hit!

I had a lot of fun creating everything for my daughter's party! I'll be creating some Little Mermaid stuff for my next daughter's birthday in May!

Happy Digital Scrapbooking/Baking/Frosting/Creating,

Monday, April 2, 2012

St. Patrick's Day 2012

Our family celebrated St. Patrick's Day morning by eating Green Pancakes! Simple to make and a lot of fun to eat! I make a ton of green hearts and put them together to make a 3-leaf or 4-leaf clover! My girls wanted the 4-leaf clover!

They dove right in and enjoyed each pancake! I made eggs and bacon on the side, but my girls were too impatient to wait for them before eating their pancakes!

I started the corned beef in the afternoon and by supper time, the house smelled amazing! I loved corned beef and cabbage! We made it with the cabbage and potatoes, but we left out the carrots this year. Next year, we are including them!

Although I didn't do anything very fun or creative, I found some fun ideas on Pinterest and I am looking forward to doing them next year!

I handed out the fun snacks I made to my niece and nephews and they LOVED them! (Found here)

I've been absent lately because I've been suffering from postpartum depression. It's made wanting to craft and create hard for me to do. I feel overwhelmed as it is, but after a few doctor visits, I am feeling better and looking forward to some fun Easter stuff for my girls!

Happy Cooking/Creating/Crafting!