March 30, 2012

170th Birthday Party

This month, the women's organization of my church celebrated it's 170th birthday.  We had a humanitarian night and birthday cake for dessert.

This was a golden vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing.  I used a fun method involving a paper towel to make the buttercream look smooth like fondant.  I'll have to try and do a tutorial sometime.  I'm still learning, but liked the way it turned out.  I added colorful dots on the top and sides using my cake decorating tips.  I flattened the imperfections down by using my finger dipped in powdered sugar, worked great.

The inspiration cake, found HERE at i am baker.

And, just so you know... when I bake and decorate a cake, the house explodes.  Dishes are never done.  Dirty laundry overflows.  Toys are everywhere.  Just keepin' it real, people.  I printed off the previous picture as a reference as I dotted my cake.

If you are celebrating 170 years, you should make it known.

Happy Birthday, Relief Society!

March 29, 2012

Mockingjay Pin

I love the Hunger Games book series, just like so many of you out there.  I planned a movie night for our local book club and it was a lot of fun.  My crafty friend, Jamie, made some treat bags for everyone.  I made some cardstock mockingjay pins, the idea shamelessly copied from Little Pink Monster.  We weren't able to get a picture of everyone, but we all wore our pins faithfully.  I think we are going to have more book-to-movie viewings for book club in the future.


March 27, 2012

Third Time's A Charm

 I finally finished the third and final quilt for my boys' beds.  The first two were bunk bed quilts, this one is a little longer to fit a regular twin size bed.

Quilt top

In progress.  I went to a Scrapbooking/Craft Weekend at my friend's mom's house, about an hour away.  It was so much fun and I almost finished the entire quilt while I was there.  I was also introduced to dark chocolate cream cheese.  Dangerous stuff.

The above picture is the best one I have of the oval detailing I did on the white sides.  Each of the quilts have a different pattern; one is triangles and the other scallops or semi circles.

Lots of scrapbooking, crafting, eating and talking.  I had a great time...and my husband is a saint for letting me go all weekend.

My friend Jamie, tuckered out.  Due to unforeseen home construction projects, she had to bring her kids, including the 8 month old who doesn't sleep very well.  At least she was able to sneak a nap in on Saturday.  We all took turns holding the baby and playing with the other kids, so she was able to get a little crafting in too.  Perhaps she will forgive me for posting this picture of her if I tell you that she has a ton of great crafting ideas and a cute blog, check it out HERE.

The finished product.  Thanks Amy and Maddie for holding it up for me so I could sneak a couple of pictures.

The grateful recipient.  This is my five year old, Austin.  He is severely autistic and is unable to speak or communicate in typical ways.  He has, however, communicated very successfully how much he loves this quilt by snuggling in it every chance he gets.  That's all I need.

I have three or four more quilts planned in my head...a couple I have most of the fabric for already too.  I've got to do some less time consuming projects first though.  Am I officially a quilter yet?  Maybe after I make one that isn't all just strips of fabric.  :)

March 21, 2012

Banana Cake

I had a request for the recipe to my mother in law's yummy banana cake.  I originally posted about it HERE.  I usually bake it in a loaf pan and frost the cooled loaf.  When you slice it, then you get a little frosting on the top and sides.  Lately, I've been using the same recipe, but baking it in a tart pan and frosting the top like a cake....and adding some mini chocolate chips.  Same yummy bread/cake, just a different shape.  Enjoy!

Banana Cake:
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour milk (1 T. lemon juice, add milk until you reach 1/2 cup)
1 cup banana pulp, about 2 large bananas

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients alternately with the sour milk and banana pulp.  Add mini chocolate chips (optional).  Bake in a greased loaf or tart pan at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, depending on your pan size.

1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 T. milk (may need more)
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix ingredients.  Add more milk if too stiff, more powdered sugar if too runny.  Frost top and sides of cooled loaf or top of cooled tart.

March 19, 2012

CTR Pretzels

My 7 year old recently found a recipe HERE that he wanted to try.  We made some CTR pretzels on a rainy Sunday afternoon and they were a big hit.  Dad especially loved them and has requested that we make them again soon.

March 9, 2012

Book Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series!  So much fun and so imaginative to come up with such an idea of modern day Greek and Roman gods, half-gods, and monsters.  I love the characters, very satisfying for someone who wanted more after the Percy Jackson series ended.  I cannot wait for the next book to come out!  Definitely read the Percy Jackson series first if you are interested in picking this one up.  It will help you keep track of everyone and get you used to all of the Greek/Roman gods' names.  I have my theories of who is going to end up with whom, who might die, how it's all going to play out...if you want to know, you'll have to talk to me about it yourself, I don't want to give anything away on here.

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March 8, 2012

Exercise Update

My mom bought me these new running shoes when I was in town for a visit a couple of weeks ago.  I love them, thanks Mama (and Dad too, of course)!

I am in the middle of week 5 of the Couch to 5k program and still doing well.  I did take a week off in between weeks 3 and 4 due to traveling out of state and little stomach bug, but I got right back to business the following week.  I am past the halfway point, meaning there is definitely more running than walking.  It's hard, but I can do it.  The mental battle of psyching myself up to get out the door to run is sometimes harder than the run itself.  I'm pretty tired after my workout and my legs feel a bit wobbly, but I usually feel pretty good and back to normal an hour or two afterwards.  My biggest obstacle this week has been lack of sleep, partly due to my horrible seasonal allergies and partly due to me just staying up late.  I can definitely feel the difference when I run if I haven't been sleeping well.  I'm more sluggish and my legs feel heavier if I didn't get enough rest the night before.  So, the goal is getting to bed a bit earlier for the rest of the week...the running only gets more difficult from here and I need all the help I can get.

No weight loss to report, but not surprising since I took a week off and have been eating my fair share of treats lately.  I'm just glad I didn't gain anything back when I took my week off, must be doing something right!

Anyone have any good songs they like to listen to when they run?  I need some new stuff on my workout playlist.

March 7, 2012

Book Review: The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

The Princess CurseThe Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book, it was a very imaginative cross of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast.  Some parts were a little simplistic, but others were delightfully rich in painting a beautiful fairy tale.  I am assuming this is going to be a series because the story doesn't tie up all the loose ends, but has enough of a satisfying ending if you don't wish to continue.  Looking forward to reading more of this author.

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