Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Storybook Baby Shower

Saturday's shower was a baby one and so much fun! The mother to be requested that in lieu of a card to bring a children's book (new or used), so we went with a Story Book theme. I have been wanting to do one of these showers, so was excited when Chelsey told me she would like to have books for their son's library.

Chelsey didn't have a color theme, so we went with blue and brown and LOTS of books. This was a morning shower with a light lunch served after she opened her gifts.

To begin with, I created this for her invite. I made a library card holder and then typed the info in word onto the printable library card file. This was so much fun to create and perfect for this shower. The pretty blue ribbon is from May Arts. (I whited out the addresses and phone numbers)

Table as you walk in. Silly me didn't take a picture of the whole table. These old books and figurines are mine. A great way to save money when doing showers is to shop in your own home.

Shoes are my husband's baby shoes, blocks I made for decoration and then also gave to the mother-to-be as a gift.

To sign in, the ladies signed this little Dr. Seuss Book "Oh the Places You'll Go".

Each of the tables had books on them. I just took a picture of this one. This is my book and bear.

I actually set up 5 tables. Only 4 were seen here. We had 6 chairs at each table and ended up having 30 ladies, so that was perfect.

For the food table, we picked books with food themes: (sorry some of the pictures are a little blurry)
If you Give a Moose a Muffin: blueberry and poppy seed mini muffins
Peter Rabbit: bread in the shape of a rabbit with dip in it's tummy and veggies around it
Peanut Butter and Cupcake: peanut butter cupcakes

I thought this idea was super fun for a story book themed shower. Another frugal tip...save and wash out tin cans and wrap with designer papers.

(You can click on the photos to see a larger view.)

Muffins were blueberry and poppy seed.

Notice the bread is a bunny. I can't find the link where I got the idea, but was so thankful one of the gals that helped is a baker.

You can't see in the can, but there are gummy worms. 

Punch is blue Hawaiian Punch

The table "skirt" was used tearing apart old books that were going to be thrown out. Some of the pages were damaged, but I was able to use them any way. I took one of our newspapers and taped the edges together, then taped the book pages just at the top edge of each page starting at the bottom so that the pages kind of flowed. I love how it turned out and that it was a very "green" project.

I also used some of the book pages to create this wreath as well. The back of the wreath is very heavy cardboard that the Post Office gets when they get in their supply of postage stamps. We live in such a small community, that the PO gal knows me and saves them for me.

Ideas, Inspiration and recipes:
theme: storybook
invites: library card and holder from Cutting Cafe
book page wreath: Pinterest
baby book game
book page table skirt
fork idea
blocks svg cutting file- Silhouette Store
alphabet cutting file- Cutting Cafe
(I would have used Cutting Cafe's block file, but when I updated my Silhouette, it won't let me scale and I wanted the blocks to be 2.5". If anyone knows how to do this with the new update, please let me know. I like the strength of  Cutting Cafe's blocks much better)

I made the peanut butter cupcakes using this recipe. I doubled the frosting recipe too like she mentions below.

brownie buckeye cupcakes
Serves 36
  • 12-16 miniature peanut butter cups
  • 1 box Duncan Hines® Milk Chocolate Premium Brownie Mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Peanut Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • 12-14 miniature peanut butter cups
Ganache (from MyBakingAddiction)
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very small pieces
  • 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups in each muffin cups. Remove foil and cups from candy pieces. Set aside.
  • 2
    Prepare brownie mix as described on box to make cakey brownies using the eggs, water and oil. Fill each up about 2/3 full with batter. Place 1 unwrapped candy piece, upside down, on top of batter in each cup. Lightly tap piece down into batter.
  • 3
    Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cup comes out almost clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Place on wire rack; cool completely.
  • 4
    Make icing by placing peanut butter and butter into medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and creamy; scrape bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed 1 minute; scrape bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • 5
    Spread about 2 tablespoons of icing on each cupcake leaving the edge un-iced. Prepare ganache: in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling.
  • 6
    Place chocolate pieces in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in the honey, corn syrup, and vanilla. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • 7
    Do not let the glaze sit for too long or it will harden up before you spoon it over the frosting. Spoon the glaze on the tops of the frosted cupcakes, allowing it to drip down the sides a little bit. Don’t add too much glaze or it will drip all over your liners.
  • 8
    For topping, combine peanut butter and powdered sugar, enough of each to make a crumb topping. Sprinkle over ganache drizzled cupcake. Top each cupcake with a peanut butter cup. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Remove them to room temperature one hour before serving.
  • [My 2 Cents]
  • Since I like to generously frost my cupcakes, one batch of the icing wasn't enough. So I doubled it. Doubling it allowed all of my cupcakes to be equally frosted quite generously.
tried and tasty http://triedandtasty.com/

The meatballs is my SIL's recipe. Comes out great every time!

Vicki's BBQ Meatballs
3 lb ground beef
2 c. quick oatmeal
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper
1 - 13 oz. evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 c. chopped onion
2 t. salt
2 t. chili powder

Mix together and shape into balls. Approximately 18 large or 50-60 small. Place in a 9" x 13" greased pan. Cover with sauce.

2 c. ketchup
3/4 - 1 cup brown sugar (I use the lesser amount as I don't like it too sweet)
2 T. Liquid Smoke
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. chopped onion

Mix the ingredients above well.

After covering meatballs, bake at 350° uncovered 1 hr for large meatballs and 30-45 minutes for small ones (depending on how small you make them) or until done.

**If you don' have Liquid Smoke, substitute with 2 T. Worcestershire & 1/3 c. BBQ sauce

I have a week off for Easter and then 7 showers, 7 weeks in a row, so stay tuned for more ideas as each one is different.

Friday, March 27, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

This is a little late, but here are a few pictures from a St. Patrick's Day party that I helped host at The Den in Comstock.

We met at 2 pm and everyone was encouraged to bring a "green" or St. Pat snack to share and a green/St Pat gift to exchange.

I was in charge of decorations...All of them came from my house except that shamrock rock which someone else brought.

Thank you Laura for the pics as I forgot my camera!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Christina's Bridal Shower

As promised, here are pictures from the first shower...a bridal shower...for one of my oldest son's classmates. I ask each bride to be these questions: what are your colors, is there a theme...and as soon as they answer in my head I can see what it will look like and know what to do. Then I ask 2 more questions...any foods/flavors they do not like and what are some of their favorite foods/flavors. Then it just goes from there.

So here is Christina's info:
Color scheme: navy, coral, & yellow
Theme: romantic chic

I ♥ her color combo and knew exactly what I wanted to do, even down to the plates. LOL I also ask if they have a Pinterest account and go and look there for decorating ideas in case I was way off in what I thought they might like and also a great source for food ideas.

To begin with, I created this invite:

The shower information is on the back of the tag.

I created the tag holder from some linen paper from my local computer store using my Envelope Punch Board. The old lace and vintage seam binding is some I had in my stash.

To decorate, we used yellow table coverings. this made the room so bright and cheery on it's own! It was a beautiful sunny spring day (the day after the first day of spring) and was just perfect. I also chose yellow as the table covering color, because one of the other showers I will be hosting has yellow as one of the colors. I will be using a lot of the same items over whenever I can, but in a completely new way.

These were the decorations on each of the tables. I painted all the jars and then sanded them lightly over the words and embossed images. The flowers are loose in the jar so that I can use them again too. These flowers will be showing up again in 3 other showers.

The wood slices are being reused from what DH cut for me for my son and DIL's rehearsal supper. The dyed paper doilies and twig holders were reused from a banquet I was asked to decorate for last fall. And the pearls are from a shower I hosted last year. 

The quotes were all different on each table. Christina had a quote board on her Pinterest page, so I browsed there and picked out quotes to make it more personal to her. 

These square votive holders were reused from a friend's daughter's wedding. She let me borrow 6 of them for the shower and I will be using them again. The burlap is left over from my son and DIL's wedding and the yellow lace I got at a 5 and dime type of store for 50¢/yd. It took exactly one yard to do all 6 of the jars. I added tea lights and lit they created a pretty soft glow.

This was on the dessert table. The doilies are mine and the box is one my son made me. I usually have it turned the other way with jars inside with flowers at home. 

I found this coral bucket in the dollar section at Target. Perfect for not only this shower, but another one with coral as one of the colors. "She Said Yes" is a printable stamp from Cutting Cafe. The navy pretzels are pretzels I dipped with navy melting discs from Hobby Lobby. 

I'm NOT a shower game person! But this game was one that people could choose to play or not. Before Christina opened her gifts, the guests filled out each box with what they thought Christina would receive. Then as she opened the gifts, if what they wrote down was opened, they got to mark it off. The first person to get a "bingo" won THIS prize.

Also to add a little more color to the tables, I wrapped the yellow fork in the napkin and tied it with coral vintage seam binding. 

This was the table decorated just as the guests came in. 

I had seen these plates some time back on Pick Your Plum and contacted them to see if they still had them. They did and I was so excited to be able to get them as it was almost impossible to find coral plates anywhere!

This dessert is pound cake the bride's mother's recipe...I had had it before and it was so delicious, plus I was thinking "yellow" with peaches "coral" and blueberries "navy" for the color scheme. 

Under desserts on Christina's Pinterest page, she had this pinned TWICE, and she mentioned she liked chocolate and peanut butter, so I thought we should have two options. 

Here are links to inspiration and files for the shower and recipes:

invite: tag and holder
desserts: Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert
Pound Cake with fresh frozen peaches and blueberries
navy covered pretzels
game: Blank Bingo Card Set by Cutting Cafe
pretzel tin: tin from Target $1 spot; I added twine; sentiment tag by Cutting Cafe printable set: Every Day Love Thoughts Mini Words

Pound Cake

2 sticks butter or marg (I used butter)
1/2 c. Crisco
3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. almond extract
5 eggs
1 c. milk
3 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder

Cream butter, Crisco, and sugar. Add salt & almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until well mixed. Alternate milk and flour in small amounts at a time. Add baking powder. Place batter in well greased and floured loaf pans. Bake @ 300° for 1 hr 15 minutes. Makes 2 loaf pans.

Next week I will be sharing a baby shower that I'll be hosting this Saturday.

This and That

I've had many comments from friends and family that my blog has been especially quiet lately. If any of you have been following me on here or FB you will know how I've been struggling with the whole empty-nesting. If you are especially close to me, you know I've been trying to figure out my "place in this world" ...title from Michael W. Smith's Place in This World song which captures what I have been feeling and it still brings tears to my eyes as I listen to the words again.

Also, if you've been following me, you know I chose the word "slow" for my 2015 word. Well, it sure started out slow! I ended up with pneumonia in both lungs, which spread to pleurisy and then spread again to my bronchial tubes. I'm still not at 100%, but doing so much better. I finished breathing treatments last month and still tire easily, but I'm doing so much better.

Now as to what has been going on...I am not a person that likes to sit still and do nothing, but I had to do a lot of that at the beginning of the year and felt that God just wanted me to be still and wait for Him. I have done that and He has brought so much to me! Last year I hosted a couple of wedding showers, plus was blessed to help my son and DIL a lot with their wedding. It is something that I love doing. Then it happened...

This year a classmate of my son's got engaged, then another young gal announced she and her husband were expecting their first child and I told them I would give them a shower...then another engaged....and another expecting...and another....

Now I have 14 showers I am hosting with "rumors" of a couple more that may soon be added to my list. After about the 5th one, my husband said "well, you wondered what you were going to do with your life...now you know". He keeps saying that every time we learn of another engagement or birth to be.

I also made some biscuits for a friend for a shower she hosted for her sister's bridal shower and they have now ordered 300 of them for the wedding as they are serving biscuits and gravy at the wedding (how fun is that!)....again husband says..."well, you wondered what you were going to do....guess it's baking for others".

I am so excited that I get to do things that I absolutely ♥ doing! I have been having a blast and hosted my first shower last Saturday (by the way, I find ladies to help me out with the food and am so thankful for all their help!) and have another shower this Saturday.

I have some friends who asked if I would share those showers here on my blog, so I will be doing that just about each week. I forgot to mention that all those showers mentioned above (and the 300 biscuit order) are all BEFORE August 1st. LOL!!

I was going to share the first shower here, but because my post was so long, I will just post this and then the next post will just be all about the shower.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

RI WIW ~ Sketch Challenge

Can you believe it's the last Wed of March already?! Time is flying by this year! Being the 4th week of the month, means it's sketch challenge time for the RI design team.

I created this card with a little bit of creative license again. I have the 2 pieces sticking out from behind the main image, but just not wonky. I tried to make them wonky, but my brain, just says "no". LOL! I don't know if it's ADD or some other letters that end with "D", but wonky pieces just make me squirm. I just want to reach in and straighten them. HAHA!  Am I the only one like that? For instance, if a picture on the wall is crooked, it drives me crazy. I'm sure there is a name for it. Maybe even a support group.

Okay...enough of my weirdness and on to the card. Ü I used 708 Rebecca and the sentiment is 9717 Happy Hello.

Here is the sketch Wendy created for us and for you to play along as well.

Be sure to stop by The House That Stamps Built blog (Repeat Impression's blog) for more details on how you can play along, Each submission enters you in the drawing for a $25 Repeat Impressions Gift Certificate. You don’t always have to use their stamps in your creations, but you will receive an extra entry if you do. Also be sure to stop by each of the Rock Star's blogs and see what they did with this week's Challenge.
(Melissa is taking the month of March off, be sure to stop by her blog next month)

Would  you like to receive a discount on Repeat Impression stamps? Wendy is graciously offering my readers 10% off their order by using this code rr10df. (thank you Wendy!!) Just click on the box on the right and it will take you right to the store. Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Wendy!

Good Morning!

When Wendy Wyman was just 4 years old, she announced that she was going to be an artist when she grew up.  Many years, and many sketchbooks later, she had earned a BFA in Graphic Design. 

For the next 11 years found Wendy worked in advertising, freelancing, and ran a printing company. 

And then it happened...Wendy's mom became a stamping addict, and the rest was history!  It was Wendy's mom's encouragement that led her to turn her illustrations into fine art rubber stamps.

Wendy's husband, Bill, was also looking for a career change, and jumped at the idea of learning a new skill.  

And so....in 1996, Wendy Wyman, and her husband Bill Welsh established Repeat Impressions Stamps.  Each stamp is designed by Wendy, and manufactured by Bill in their home workshop!

Today, the design team for Repeat Impressions, the Rock Stars, have joined together
with a special hop for Wendy's Birthday!

Wendy loves ATC's, so we've changed things up - instead of cards, we all created ATC's for Wendy. They were mailed to Cheri, one of our Rock Stars, who has created a wonderful album for them, and sent them on to Wendy.

Wendy, you are one of the sweetest, and most generous people we know.
As a 'boss', rarely do we find ourselves on a team that is more professionally run,
or more organized!  You are so understanding of our personal issues, and it's a joy to work with you and your products!

We want to wish you a very Happy Birthday!
We look up to, admire and respect you.
May your day today be filled with love and laughter!

And remember....the more candles you have, the bigger the wish you are allowed!

Here are my ATC's for Wendy. It's been a long time since I've made ATC's (Artist Trading Card 2.5" x 3.5"), but they were so much fun to create.
For this first one I used RI's 632-H, Posies & Happy Birthday sentiment 1113-D, Birthday. The sentiment is actually in vertical form. I just used my stamp-a-ma-jig and colored the Happy with a marker and stamped and then the Birthday, to make it a horizontal sentiment.

I stamped the floral image onto a book page and colored the background with the light blue watercolor marker. This helped the image pop a little bit, making it easier to color in the flowers and bow.

For my second ATC, I used images from the Cupcakes Cling Set and paper-pieced the images.

Please hop along to see what uber-fabulous projects my fellow Rock Stars have created
for Wendy!

Thanks for hopping with us!  If you have a minute, please go to the RI blog, The House that Stamps Built, and leave Wendy a bit of Birthday love!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Frugal Friday 3-20-15

Had GREAT savings! The stores had great deals, plus price match, plus coupons!

*Leftover Valentine candy marked down 90%, so got 14 bags for 10¢. I can use these for treats for our 3rd grade youth boys, and my boys.
* strawberries 98¢
* dozen large eggs 99¢
* cabbage 18¢/lb (got 4 and made our favorite cabbage salad and then made a bunch of runza's and froze them. These are perfect for pulling out to thaw for a quick meal)
* celery 99¢
* gallon milk 2.76
*8 oz cheese $1
*GM cereal 1.44
*Kraft Mayo 1.43
*24 oz cottage cheese 1.77

then for showers I'm hosting...
40% off coupons to Hobby Lobby
Goodwill finds
Dollar Tree flowers that look so pretty in a jar
did lots of "shopping" in my home for doilies, decor, etc

Skinny Bunny Box

The Cutting Cafe is getting ready for Easter this week! All of our projects will be from Regina's Easter files. I wanted to make something with one of her newer releases. I chose Skinny Tube Bunny Box. Do not let that name fool you. You can get a lot of candy in that skinny little box! 

These come together so quick and easy and if you use double sided designer paper (like I did), you can cut the whole file once and the base and lids are created by just using the other side of paper from the box.

The "for you" is from Easter Mini Words Printable Stamps. I love how the mini words sets fit perfectly into my little tag punch.

One tip I have to share is to add the bunny tail BEFORE putting the box together. Makes it much easier.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

RI WIW ~ Photo Inspiration

We have been having beautiful weather! Way to warm for March, so makes me wonder what is ahead. Oh if it would only rain! We are in such a drought. But on Repeat Inspiration, it has rained and the photo inspiration is the beautiful flowers that have been picked because of it. Ü I ♥ tulips! I have a VERY small patch and need to expand it! I also have 3 rose bushes, but it will be a few months before I see any blooms of those show up.

I went more for the colors in the inspiration photo for our challenge using 9205-O, Hydrangea. This stamp is under the category  "Beautiful Days" and we have been having the most gorgeous days lately. My tulips are 5" up out of the ground, the rhubarb is peeking out and buds are on our fruit trees. I just hope we don't have a hard freeze around the corner!

I stamped in black on white cardstock and then colored with Tombow markers.

This is the photo that we were to use as our inspiration. I would love having those tulips, roses, and other flowers sitting on my table!

Be sure to stop by The House That Stamps Built blog (Repeat Impression's blog) for more details on how you can play along, Each submission enters you in the drawing for a $25 Repeat Impressions Gift Certificate. You don’t always have to use their stamps in your creations, but you will receive an extra entry if you do. Also be sure to stop by each of the Rock Star's blogs and see what they did with this week's Challenge.
(Melissa is taking the month of March off, be sure to stop by her blog next month)

Would  you like to receive a discount on Repeat Impression stamps? Wendy is graciously offering my readers 10% off their order by using this code rr10df. (thank you Wendy!!) Just click on the box on the right and it will take you right to the store. Have fun shopping!