Friday, April 30, 2010

My Dream To-Do List


I have a dream to do list. You know the list of things that you would accomplish if money and time were no object...oh and if I didn't need to do that whole motherin' thing.

My dream to-do list grows pretty much by the second, but here are some of the things on it RIGHT now.

MY DREAM TO-DO'S

Replace all the ugly doors in my house with these lovelies...

Jeld-Wen Doors

Organize all my shelves and closets so that everything is pretty and so that I don't have to gasp in horror if someone besides me has to open said closets.

source unknown aka this has been in my to-do folder to long to remember

Make my stairway look like this...okay so I would have to knock down a wall, but seriously have you checked out this molding!!!!! Sigh.

source unknown aka my brain FORGOT where I JUST got this

I would love to make myself one of these. I heart this.

tutorial for Ucreate by At Second Street

Go shopping and buy myself this pretty stylin' dress...


...to go with these stylin shoes. OH and since I am all dressed up maybe I could go on a date with hubby.


Or maybe I could just stay home all dressed up and make this AWESOME little number.



Alas, instead I am doing this today...

WEEDING

Uggg....


and maybe I will get to take a shower.

BUT...tomorrow is Saturday. That means hubby is home. We might still be weeding but we will be doing it as a fam. Good times.

MONDAY will come soon enough and will be glorious I am sure...AFTER ALL I might have another giveaway and it might be from someone pretty cool...no not me, although I am pretty cool. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cinna-tastic Yummy Bread


We love a good loaf of yummy bread in our house. By yummy bread, we mean our good old fashion whiter than white bread recipe. It is a fail safe recipe that is an instant hit in our house. From start to finish you have four loaves in around two hours...and no kneading...what??? No kneading...sign me up.

Every once in awhile we take our original recipe and add some cinnamon and brown sugar to it. Talk about de-lightful. So here is our Yummy Bread Recipe with the added bonus of cinna-tastic filling. 

Don't be surprised if your four loaves only last two days.

Yummy Bread Cinna-tastic Style 

The ingredients and instructions are intertwined in this recipe. It makes it easier to follow the steps. I will give some tips/hints and then show pictures for some of the harder-to-describe tips.

First, you will want a giant bowl. Your entire bread mixture is going to start in this bowl and then raise in it. You will also want a whisk on hand.

MAKIN' BREAD--

Mix for 30 seconds the following--

5 cups hot water, your faucets hottest water
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 T salt

Next, add and then mix for 30 seconds the following--
make sure the flour is completely mixed in

1 1/2 cups bread flour (For me the use of bread flour in this recipe is a MUST)

Next, 

Sprinkle in one tablespoon at a time, whisking to mix in 10 seconds per tablespoon...30 seconds total--

3 T yeast

Add in--

10 cups of bread flour

I recommend using your hands to mix in all the flour. Completely mix everything together, it is a sticky, soft dough. Let it remain in the bowl, cover with a towel and let it rest for 20 minutes. 

Punch down the dough. Oil the counter. Dump the dough onto the counter and divide into four equal pieces.

Okay let's start or photo instructions...

Since this dough is softer you won't shape it like you shape a normal bread recipe.

1. Take one piece and shape it in a log shape, like this.




2. Next roll out the dough lengthwise so that it is long and skinny.


3. If you want to make regular bread, simply omit the mixture and roll up like in step 5. For cinna-tastic bread, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon. This is enough mixture for 1 loaf.


4. Sprinkle mixture all but a little less than half of the mixture along the entire length of the bread.


5. Start at one end and roll up, guiding it to stay in a log type shape.


6. When it is completely rolled, it should look like this...


Repeat with all the other pieces of dough. Place the "loaves" seam down into a greased bread pan.

7. For cinna-tastic yummy bread, sprinkle the rest of your brown sugar mixture over the top. Place a couple pats of butter and place it on the top.


Place all the loaves of bread in the oven and turn it on to your lowest setting, should be 200. Let your bread raise in the oven for 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn the temperature up to 325 and let your bread cook for 30-35 minutes.

Dump onto cooling racks.

Let it cool...or if you need immediate gratification, slice it on up.


Oh, so ooey gooey and delightful. 


Don't worry this loaf was pretty much gone the day we made it. PS this makes pretty fantastic French toast.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flower Button Earring How-to

A love-erly Mother's Day present for any love-erly Mother you know...including yourself.


I had seen similar projects around the blogosphere, but I had no idea how easy this really was.Once all the supplies are gathered, and the glue gun is all heated up, this project is finished in about 5 minutes. Super easy and quite spectacular.

Supplies:

bag of earring pieces, include studs and backs
flower buttons
glue gun and glue
heavy-duty scissors


First, you will need to cut the back of the button. I used a really heavy pair of shear like scissors. Button will look like top button in the picture before, and then the bottom button after.


Once backs are removed, glue the stud part of the earring onto the back of the button.


Place the stud as center and as level as possible. Hold until back is firmly in place.


Repeat. Since you have two ears, you probably want two earrings.


Give them away or put them on. You choose.


Simple. Lovely. Simply lovely.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bake Sale Goodies


Sorry that I have been MIA in blog land lately. I have had a lot of other things requiring my time. On of those things was the benefit that I mentioned in the previous post. FIRST, it was a wonderful event and we had a great turn out. Thanks to the all the support and generosity we met and exceeded our fundraising goals for that night. 

One of the things I was helping with was baking stuff for the bake sale. Everyone knows that the prettier/cuter it is, the better it sells. I thought I would bake up some cupcakes and cookies. 

For the cupcakes I just made a box mix. Then I whipped up a batch of Marshmallow Fondant.  I can not always buy new cookie/fondant cutters every time I want to make something new, so I always improvise. The I found a small cup for the green circle, I just made sure that the circle would fit the top of my cupcake. I used a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon for the middle of the flower. I did purchase the small flower cutter for .50 cents at a craft store. The colors of gel food coloring I used were Kelly Green, Rose, and Lemon Yellow. I used frosting from the recipe for the cookies, to apply the fondant pieces to the top of the cupcake and to each other.

The cupcakes were my FAVORITE.

With the cookies, I tried something that I have never tried before, but always wanted to. 

I piped and then flooded the cookies.

I had mixed results, but I am definitely going to keep trying.

I used a new-to-me recipes for both the sugar cookies and the frosting. I used the recipes from The Decorated Cookie...LOVE her site.

The sugar cookies were great for the pops and they were a great texture for a solid cookie. The taste of the dough wasn't my favorite, but coupled with the frosting the cookies were still good.

The frosting was EASY to make and EASY to use.With the piping and flooding technique you will need to divide your frosting. Making half like the recipe calls for, and adding more water to the other half to make a flooding consistency. She has great instructions on how to do this technique on her site.  Make sure to leave yourself overnight to allow for the frosting to harden. I failed to do that, and the middles of my cookies smooshed a little in the packaging.

Piping and flooding takes some patience, but it makes the cookie look really pretty...mine were a little rough, but with practice I know that I can get the smooth look I want. 




I can't wait to try again.

I have some Mother's Days projects in the works, keep coming back and checking.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Community Coming Together to Fight Cancer

No recipe today, for there are much more important things going on.

I am so honored to be living in this community. I feel privileged to walk among spectacular people. People who serve. People who love. People who give. People who fight.

People who love these people--


We love these two people because at any given moment in time they have served, loved, gave, and fought for each of us. 

Now unfortunately in the face of tragedy, we get to give back just a fraction of what they have given us.

Jay and Susan Williams are in a battle. A battle no one wants them to be in. A couple weeks ago it was discovered that Jay had colon cancer. These two unbelievably spectacular people have had  to hear news no one wants to hear. They have had to face a surgery for Jay. They have had to sell their house. They have had to schedule treatment. They have had to plan to move so that Jay can get treatment. 

On top of all this, in order to move and pay for treatment, they are selling almost all they have... I literally mean almost all...and that will still be short of meeting a weighty deductible.

Now enter a community of people who have been loved by these two people and want to give back.

The community and the Williams' children are hosting a benefit tomorrow. 

The Jay Williams Cancer Benefit Auction
Friday, April 23 rd , 5:30-8:00 pm
Theron Drive @ Preston Trails
Parking at Diley Middle School

If you live in our community, please make an effort to come and be prepared to donate something, anything for this family.

If you do not live in our community, but would like to join a bigger community of people supporting this family, please go here


2 Dad's Blog

Read their words. Feel their faith. Pray for them. Help them. Donate.

I love this family. There are some people who leave an imprint on your soul. Jay and Susan are those people. My life is better for knowing them. To repay what they have done for me is impossible, but I will do anything I can to add to the serving, loving, giving, and fighting taking place in their behalf.

Today I hope my little spot in the blogosphere can help me help them.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day T-Shirt


Earth Day is this Thursday. I knew over a month ago I wanted to make this shirt for my oldest little man to wear to school. I even warned his teacher that I was going to be starting an anti-homework campaign..haha.

It was super easy to make. All you will need is:

t-shirt
freezer paper
black and white permanent fabric paint
green and brown felt
coordinating thread
phrase typed out in font of your choice, size of your choice

I traced a pattern for myself to use, but really everything is really basic and you can easily make your own pattern. My phrase was off the computer, the bracket and the tree pattern were hand drawn.

You follow similar instructions as used in the Chicks Dig Me Tee.





My little man thought it was pretty hilarious. He is already really excited to wear it to school on Thursday. He even hopes that his plea for saving the earth might result in less homework...



I mean really, who wouldn't want to save the planet for this face.






Keeping It Simple




The Girl Creative

Talk About it Tuesday

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sour Cream Crumb Cake




This is one of my go-to, never-fail desserts. It is super moist and delightful warm, at room temperature, or cold. It goes together really quick and you should have everything on hand to make this.


Sour Cream Crumb Cake

Cake:

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
 2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/2 t vanilla or almond flavoring

Filling:

1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T melted butter
1 t cinnamon

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 T milk
1/2-1 t of vanilla or almond flavoring

Preheat oven 350. Grease 9x13 pan.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. When well mixed, spread half of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with half of the filling mixture. Top with the remaining batter, spreading to cover the mixture, some will peek through. Sprinkle the remaining filling mixture on top evenly. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until lightly golden and toothpick comes out slightly crumby.

Mix the glaze ingredients together, to desired consistency. Should be the consistency to drizzle. Drizzle over the warm cake.

Let cool 10 minutes, but can eat warm. Can also eat it the next day as its leftovers are calling to you from the fridge, taunting you to eat it NOW, not even giving you the time to warm it up in the microwave. Like I said, good at any temp.






giveaways

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Best Medicine

Yep. I got the bug. I am sick. Ugh. The movie theater drama lives on.

The best medicine besides my hubby staying home to take care of the little men...

is being given a little party shout on from Leigh Ann from Your Homebased Parties.




Remember this--



She highlighted this whole little carnival. 

You should go stop by today and see the great post she did. Tell her how amazing I am and how much you love me how great her site is. Then you should browse around and see the other great party ideas she has. 

PLUS she has another awesome site called Your Homebased Mom where she has tons of fun stuff AND the best part is all the recipes...


                                                         Lemon Crumb Cake


                                                         Hamburgers Teriyaki



                                                         Seasoned Potato Wedges  





                        Cowboy Calzones



             Key Lime Pie Bars


See what I mean. Good enough that I could even post their pictures in the midst of a tummy sickness. I look forward to feeling better and whipping some of these recipes up.

Now I sleep, yes and it is noon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Spring Wreath


                                 


I wanted to make a spring wreath that could stay up past Easter and that wouldn't look out of place if I got lazy and didn't put up another wreath until after summer. Welcome this Springy little number. While this looks all sunshiny and happiness hanging on my door, this crafting adventure was missing most of its similar sunshine and happiness.


The Wreath Making Saga: There are tons of really cute wreath ideas using beans of all shapes and sizes, acorns, and so on. I have been scouring the stores for months waiting for something to jump out at me that might be another alternative. One day I was child free at the craft store, what??? Child free! Yes it was glorious, and I came across these foam beads normally used as fillers for vases. They were tons cheaper than wooden or plastic beads. PERFECT (not really...keep reading).

I also decided to buy this straw wreath because it was TONS cheaper than the foam one (again, not smart).



I began my hot-gluing marathon. Man those beads were teeny tiny. First bit of doubt about their perfection. Man this straw wreath drops straw everywhere. First bit of doubt about the wreath choice.

Hours and hours and hours later, I still was only here...



Going SUPER crazy by this time. Plus I had lost several layers of skin...teeny tiny beads are hard to glue. Second bit of doubt about their perfection. I might also keep having to pick errant pieces of straw out of my hot glue. Second bit of doubt about the wreath choice.

What I never doubted-- 
I would get it done, even if I no longer had fingerprints! 
I was in LOVE with my fabric choice from JoAnns
I was equally in LOVE with my coordinating spray paint color, Blue Ocean Breeze



So I kept at it. In my head I saw the final product and it was lovely. That mental image kept me going as I was actually going mental. When I glued that last bead on, I collapsed on the floor. YEAH! I was done. Now the easy part. All I had to do was spray paint it.

Can you sense the foreboding?

This very next part is why instead of a tutorial there is a cry session and a crafters beware...

The spray paint ate away and pitted the teeny tiny foam beads. I am no longer doubting these things are not perfect, now I know. I will forgo telling you the boo-hoo fit I had upon seeing this. All that hard work down the drain, right? 

WRONG. I am still using the sucker. It still looks decent close up and it looks GREAT far away. The color combo still makes me happy. As we drove away from our house the other day, both of my older boys declared how beautiful it was.


ugg...see the pitting???

My ADVICE--

If you don't have a wreath, make one that will last more than just one holiday, so that if it does take a lot of work you can rest for several months!

Don't use straw unless it is Fall OR unless you are willing to vacuum/sweep 3 times a day.

Teeny tiny foam beads are not good for painting, or gluing for that matter, so when they beckon you to come pick them up and take them home, just keep walking.

Even if it isn't perfect, still hang it up. Chances are you really are the only one who notices. Don't let that hard work go to waste. This applies to every craft you do!

At the very least...

go and buy this spray paint and craft something springy

just beware of teeny tiny foam bits...haha
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