Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vintage Bridal Shower: The Cakes

So today at last I'll finish up my posts on the Vintage Bridal Shower with a talk about the food.  I've said before how much I adore tall layered cakes - there's something so decadent, fun, and kind-of vintage about them - they always make me think of the cakes at the Fair in Pollyanna.

So I knew I wanted to do three big cakes: Pink Strawberry, Kahlua Icebox, and Coconut.   It's ridiculous I don't have a better picture of all three of them together than this.

The Pink Strawberry was the most fun for me.  Pink is my favorite color for life.

1. Made 1 Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix
2. Made 1 Pillsbury White Cake Mix and added a little red dye (this was the lighter pink of the two)
3. Doubled a recipe of Basic Butter Cream (so yes, I used 4 sticks of butter ;) Can't have enough icing in my book.  It is so good.

Basic Butter Cream - Yum
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream

Kahlua Icebox Cake.  I've posted about this favorite before.

1. Made 2 Boxes of Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix in 8" pans, but only used 3 of the cakes
2. Slice Cakes in Half using this method or serrated knife - making for a total of six layers (again, ridiculous I don't have picture of the inside - the six layers looked so fun)
3. For Frosting: Whip two pints of whipping cream - whip in about 1/2 cup dry Nestle Quick and fold in Kahlua to taste.
4. Chill for at least 3 hours - the longer the better. 


The Coconut Cake.  This is the only cake where I didn't cheat and use a box.  Box mix coconut cake is against the rules, pretty sure.

1. Made cake using Barefoot Contessa's recipe in this book, doubling the recipe, but again only using three of the four layers (freeze the forth for a treat later!)
2. Instead of her coconut cream cheese frosting that I don't like very much I used a great one Sister got from Emeril.  Unfortunately I didn't exactly measure the powdered sugar and didn't use enough so it turned out too runny - see the frosting puddling?  Don't let this happen to you! : )

Emeril's Coconut Frosting
2  sticks butter at room temp
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Cruzan coconut rum or coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
flaked Sweetened Coconut to sprinkle on top
(no need to double this recipe - it makes loads)

For drinks, I bought 1/2 pint size mason jars at Wal-Marts (12 for about $7) and filled half of them with Pink Lemonade mixed up with sparkling water and the rest with milk. 
Now I'm using these jars as glasses for my little people - love this size.

I got these pink stripey straws off Amazon, and just had to cut them down to scale a little.

And that's that.  It was so much fun...especially the left-overs. ; )

Monday, May 28, 2012

monday, random

So last week we left on Wednesday for San Francisco.  My sweetheart was speaking at the American Lit Association annual conference, so I tagged along for an early anniversary treat.  We both had never was a good time together in many ways, but also one of those times when we are faced with how uniquely different we are from one, it was a treat, but a rather tart treat. ;)  Anyone ever have one of those?  I'll share a few more pics later.

 Loved riding the trolley.

 Got back Sat evening, and we're 30 days from MOVING DAY.  Haven't packed a single box yet, and Sweetheart is starting to feel anxious lest my procrastinating habits utterly ruin us, so in an effort to allay his fears and inspire his confidence, I said I'd have this entire room packed by Tuesday night. 

The trouble is I'm also going to be gone from 11 - 6 today, have a meeting tonight, payroll to do tomorrow and these fun people to continue to take care, books don't take too long to pack.
I can do it though, right??


 Also hope to post on the Vintage Bridal Shower food - I did have such fun with it.

 And it seems only right that you should know that Target has these lovely fun lampshades. Also one that's almost identical to my curtain fabricOf course, I left them right there on the shelf.  I am moving in 30 days after all. 

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day.  If you have no plans for dessert, I would whip this Tart up quick-quick.  Comes together fairly easy, though mind it has to chill! : )

Happy Monday to you.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Make Some Vintage Sheet Bunting

Being fully aware that every sort of possible bunting has certainly been made by creative bloggers everywhere, I will yet post the bit of bunting I made for the vintage bridal shower.

Last summer I caught the thrifting bug and rummaged up quite a nice little stack of vintage sheets
And though I had yet to make something of them, I've enjoyed using them so much, especially for tablecloths and fort/tent-making.

But as every party needs some sort of bunting, I thought it high time to break out my stash of sheets and make some.   

 Nothing could be simpler than squares of sheets, sewn between the fold of "extra wide double fold bias tape", found at walmarts.  {You can find a detailed how-to in this post from last year}

When I planned the shower, I had envisioned having it outside as a picnic of sorts, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.   

 Undeterred, the other beautiful day I took it out back and hung it up.  It is so happy looking, I think I shall have to make some more bunting and hang it all about outside the new house...

...and have a party.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kicking the Clutter, Yard Sale Style

You're not a victim.  You allow each item in your home to be there.
Do you love it all?  Do you find it useful or beautiful?" 

The quotes are from Simply Organized, one of my guidebooks for this year.  It's been my mantra the last few months as I've tried to purge my home of all that I don't really love, that I don't really use, that isn't really beautiful. 

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a home you could clean in its entirety in just a few hours so that you could devote the rest of your weekend to enjoying time with your family and friends?"

Yes! This is what I want, especially as we start fresh in our new home.

"A decluttered, simple home will remove much of your physical stress and exhaustion. You won't feel overwhelmed when you walk in the front door....and you'll be able to guiltlessly kick up your feet and rest, enjoying the few things you do have because you truly enjoy them all." 

Amen.  I want this so much - a simple, decluttered home, where I truly enjoy the few things I have.   This is a challenge when I also really love to decorate and be creative and the knick-knack and crafty stash tends to get out of control! 

Sister purged too, and last Friday and Saturday the purge culminated in the mother of all garage sales. 
(Wish I would have gotten a better picture, but since my phone was stolen at our garage sale last year I was paranoid about even taking it out of the house and ended up hurriedly snapping a couple and then taking it back inside to safety ;)

It was Huge. This picture does not even capture the size as there are three more tables and a whole year strewn with stuff.  Honestly, it was humbling.  Sure, there's always going to be kid's clothes and toys that are grown out of and need to go, but a good bit of the stuff on the tables were impulse purchases, things I never really needed, and things that I just had carried around to for six years and never used once.  Seeing it all out there strengthened my resolve even more to keep the clutter out and simply to be a better steward with what God has given me.

It was the best getting to do it with my sister.  Would not have been any fun without her. 
Picture was taken the second sale day as the rain was coming down.  Yeah, I was ready to be done. ; )

Entrepreneurial cousins set up a little shop to raise funds for their Club House.  Cute-Cute.

So thankful to be all done.  Now to take the heaping left-overs to Goodwill and start packing!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vintage Bridal Shower: Favors

So, I should never commit to posting at certain times on this blog.   I've done it one or two times before, and I am always thwarted.  Yesterday morning I woke up extra early to put together the promised post together, and what-do-you-know? my kiddos decided to be extra-early morning risers, too.  On top of that my girlie uncharacteristically went straight to the couch and said "Momma, will you read me some books?"  And I just couldn't in good conscience refuse her, and then it was crazy garage sale prep the rest of the day.  So, no more post committal for me. I will be a loosey-goosey blogger for all time. : )

Anyway, I was really happy with how simply these favors for the shower came together.  Seed packets were Sister's lovely idea, and I was pleased as punch to find these vintage-looking ones for just 20 cents at Wal-Mart.  Then I got a pack of mini doilies, folded one around each packet and tied it up with some twine.

I set this little area up on my round kitchen table.

It ended up as a perfect, inexpensive little vintage favor. 
Seeds - Walmart, 20 cents
Doilies - Walmart $2 for 30
Twine - Hobby Lobby $4 for a huge roll that will last you for all time

Wishing you a lovely weekend.  
And maybe, I'll get more bridal shower posts up this weekend...maybe not ; ).  

Garage Sale (and donuts!), here we come!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Vintage Bridal Shower

Goodness. I had so much fun with this shower for my dear friend, Elizabeth.
Her wedding colors are cornflower and pink, so I took those and went vintage, using things I already had like mason jars, vintage sheets, an old blue typewriter and pom-pom flowers that just happened to be blooming in my backyard.  Then I added pink stripey straws, pink lemonade, and lots of cake. : ) 


I'll post details about the favors, food, and decorations over the next few days!

Monday, May 14, 2012

hello, monday

Just finished a whirlwind of a weekend.  Putting together a bridal shower is so much fun..and a good bit of fun work. ; )  Haven't gotten to the pictures yet, but here's a little sneakity peak... I'll try to get a full post up soon.  Today, it's on to the garage sale!  Time to be ruthless and purge, purge, purge.

Enjoyed Mother's Day with these three little gooses. 
So thankful for them.

Also, Important Notice: My favorite Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm is on clearance at Target!   Have you tried this stuff? The Red Dalia color is the absolute best.  I wear it all the time and was tickled pink to discover it on sale at my 10:00pm-night-before-the-shower Target run. 

What in the world will I do in Iowa without a Target in town??  Survive, I suppose...and stock up on lip balm ; ).

Hope you had a happy weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Movie Night

In our home, my sweetheart is in charge of our Netflix queue.  We're both a bit particular in our movie tastes (he more than I), and so I leave it to him to gamble on what will be worth our while.  It is hard to find a good movie, right?   BUT every now and then he unearths something really wonderful.

This time he didn't have to go too far back - intrigued by some good (albeit mixed) critical reviews, he ordered The Fall, out in 2006. 

I loved this movie.

The film is set in the early Twentieth Century in a Los Angeles hospital.  A talkative little girl, Alexandria, is recovering from a broken arm, and an injured stuntmen, Roy, is recovering from a fall and is also brokenhearted over the loss of his girlfriend.  They become friends and he tells her a fantastic "epic" tale.   The movie is divided between the two stories: one based in reality and one in fantasy.  The reality story is so sweet because it includes all these wonderful scenes of Alexandria and Roy interacting together.  The dialog is great and the acting is superb.  I have never seen a child actor act so natural and believably.  She is completely unaffected and adorable.

The fantasy story is equally engaging and a complete visual treat, taking you all over the globe and presenting stunning visual after stunning visual.  Really beautiful.

After we watched the movie, I was confused to find out it was rated "R".   There was one minor swear word and no sex or nudity.   Some images are bloody and certainly scary for kids, but nothing too graphic.  Weird.  So I'd encourage you not to be put off by the unaccountable rating (or the eccentric-looking box cover).

Anyway, as it does seem so rare to come across a really good movie, I just felt I must pass along this find to you. : )

So what good movie have you seen lately?  Do you have any good recommendations for movie night?