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Posts from — June 2010

Festive Drinks and Straws

I love trying new tasty drinks.  I especially love parties that have a signature or house drink.  When I’m in the mood for something different and have no party to go to, I check out what I have in the fridge and cupboards, and then head over to the internet for recipe ideas.  I have to admit that when I try new drinks, whether at a party or a concoction I’ve made, I often don’t like it.  Too sweet, too sour, or too much alcohol is the typical reason why.

I have a couple that I am interested in trying out.  The first is called Limeberry Crush.  This drink combines strawberries, confectioners sugar, and lime juice.  However, to avoid this drink from being too tart, the strawberries need to be really ripe.

For a stronger drink, I’m interested in trying this Mango Blossom.  With ingredients such as mango nectar, lemon, and vodka, I think this one might be a winner. Then just before I take a sip of the newly made drink, I add a one of my colorful straws below.  I’m not sure why it makes the drink more festive, but I’ve noticed that even my daughter tends to sip on drinks she normally refuses!

Images:  Family Fun Magazine, Brides Magazine, House of Many Hues

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June 30, 2010   No Comments

Felted Pillow + Decorating Cakes Part III

This weekend was wonderfully uneventful!  I woke up on Saturday with the idea of finally finishing my wool pillow.  After taking care of some chores around the house, I took out my project and steadily worked with the embroidery floss until it was where I wanted the design to be.  I wanted lots of colors to keep it fun yet simple.  With the embroidery done, it was time to use the sewing machine and then stuff the pillow.  My oldest daughter  loved watching me sew and even helped stuff the pillow with “snow”.  Here is the final result…

It’s funny to think that this started off as an old Gap sweater!  I look forward to trying other projects with felted wool.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

On Saturday night, I began preparations for my cake decorating class.  I baked the cake, made icing for the cake, and then our new instruction was to make royal icing.  What is royal icing, I wondered?  Many cake decorators use royal icing for the decorations themselves – especially for making flowers.  The mixture is thick and once you have made your flower, it dries hard.  This type of icing holds up in warm weather and generally won’t sag.   Technically it’s eatable, however I wouldn’t recommend it as I think it tastes awful (not to mention it would be very crunchy)!

We used the royal icing in class to practice making one type of rose.  I must have made 30 of them!  I really wanted to learn this technique because I feel this is the base for all other flowers.  Here is how it turned out…

Even though the next session of classes doesn’t start for a few weeks, I want to continue practicing and hope to bake more cakes.

P.S. – Half of this cake is already gone!  I made some changes to the icing and cake recipe and I think I’m getting much closer to what I’m looking for.  This round I used less sugar in the icing recipe and replaced the vegetable oil in the cake for applesauce – yes applesauce.  I’ve heard about this trick but never tried it until now.  My family and I think it tastes much better!

Images:  House of Many Hues

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June 28, 2010   1 Comment

Mark Lund Photography + Happy Weekend

This evening I went to a local nursery in search of light pink peonies.  Being that most peonies have bloomed, the nursery now has them on sale.  I wish to be able to buy lots of these wonderful plants so that I could use the cuttings all summer long to decorate my dinner table – such as the table that photographer Mark Lund has taken below.  I so amazed as to how beautiful his photos are.

This weekend isn’t booked with lots of activity – which is fine with me!  In fact, I hope to spend time with my daughters, casually work on my gardening, and a few light projects around the house.  I may even try to get in an afternoon nap.  I hope your weekend is enjoyable!  Take care and see you next week!

Images:  Mark Lund

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June 25, 2010   No Comments

Paper Mojo

This summer is going to be filled with weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties.  Many people have registries now a days and while I think it’s very practical, it does seem to take the “surprise” out of the gift giving.  That’s why I feel that selecting the wrapping paper is at least an avenue where I can add my personal touch to the gift.

There are tons of great papers and Paper Mojo has many to choose from.  They have everything from contemporary to Japanese wrapping papers.

Contemporary Prints

Chiyogami is a Japanese term meaning (chiyo) “thousand generation” and (gami) “paper”.  This type of paper has typically been hand stenciled and uses bright colors.  Look how eye-catching they are…

And these…

Japanese Prints

Images:  Paper Mojo

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June 24, 2010   1 Comment

Pretty in Pink

Summer officially arrived this week!   For me, that means warm weather, fruity frozen drinks, flip flops, blooming flowers, spending time at the beach, and of course, lots of shopping!  Isn’t it wonderful to be a girl?

Visited Etsy and wow, did I come across so many beautiful and luscious items.  I wish I could post all of the wonderful things I came across, but we know that would take far too long.  So here are a few that were memorable…

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:  Gourmet Soap, Large Pink Peony Flower, Marimekko Pillow Cover,   Cupcake Pin Cushion, and Cupcake Wrappers.

The gourmet soap was described as “An innocent, fresh, lightly floral, sparkling and fruity blend…” – sounds almost good enough to eat!  The large peony is so natural and would be lovely either pinned in your hair or on a light summery cardigan.  Peonies have to be one of the most gorgeous flowers. Hopefully my transplanted peonies survive and bloom half as nice as the one above (so far no buds!).

I have had cupcakes on my mind this week and by complete accident came across the cupcake wrappers.  These are such a popular choice for adding to the presentation of cupcakes – I would guess that even badly decorated cupcakes would look good!  I really need to utilize the decorating tip I bought this weekend and try my hand at decorating cupcakes.

Images:  Etsy Sellers (see links above)

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June 23, 2010   No Comments

Lo Bjurulf

Another great Scandinavian stylist – Lo Bjurulf has got everything from bright white to loads of color.  Lo’s clients include such companies as Ikea and Elle Interior.  Take a look…


Images:  Agent Bauer

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June 23, 2010   No Comments

Decorating Cakes Part II

Yesterday, I attended my 2nd cake decorating class and I think I have made some progress.  I’m getting really excited because we are now making our own flowers and drying them for placement on the cake.  We even discussed decorating cupcakes – which I didn’t get to try in class due to not having the right decorating tip.  After class was finished, I made sure to buy the tip.  Maybe I will try to use my new tip this week.  Here is the latest creation…(hopefully, there is a little less laughter than last weeks cake!)

Images:  House of Many Hues

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June 21, 2010   No Comments

Libraries

I read a report that the level of eduction a person attained was linked to the number of books that were available in the home.  The 20 year study showed that having a library of 500 books or more propelled a child 3.2 years further in education on average.

Growing up, we had lots of books in our house.  I’m not sure that we had 500 books or if there was any relation to the level of education we reached, but I did enjoy reading and flipping through the various books.

Back then, most homes did not have a separate room called a library.  Our books were located in the living room where there was no tv.  The room was always quiet and the lighting always seemed right.  I remember, especially in the winter, coming in to the always warm room and curling up on one of the soft velour couches with a book from our “library”.

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Luckily, our home has a separate room for books where (hopefully) our children will enjoy to read.  But of course, after reading this article, I had to find out if we were anywhere near 500 books.   To my complete shock, we actually have more thanks to the used library book sales.

Images:  My Home Ideas

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June 17, 2010   No Comments