Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Babycakes, Betchya Can't Eat Just One...

If your kids are anything like mine you find it very hard to enter they bakery at the grocery store without leaving with some donuts in the cart.  Typical?  Yes, good.  I'm glad to know I'm not the only mom who caves in so we don't have a major meltdown between the cupcakes and the artisan bread isle.  I always opt for the donut holes so at least if I have to give in, it's a smaller serving of sugar.  A nice compromise if you ask me.

So....I was super jazzed when I saw this new babycakes product at my local department store. 
 {Yes I'm thinking, I can put whole wheat flour in these puppies and cut some of the sugar and the kids will never know!} So I picked one up with my coupon that I got for donating clothing.  What a win/win.  I give them clothes that no longer fit my kids and they give me coupons.  This is dream shopping cause I just de-stashed the closets at home {huz will be so happy} and get new fun goodness on sale {huz is not as happy about bringing stuff home, but you can't win them all, right?}  Yay for me, I say!

So Owen was very excited to try them out. He helped me mix up the batter.  We chose the Vanilla Cake Pops recipe:

1.5 cups all-purpose flour {this is where I substitute 1/3-1/2 cup for whole wheat flour, couldn't even tell so I might try more next time}
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar {I used powdered sugar and skimped on it a bit}
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Cinnamon and Sugar for coating

1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Alternately blend in flour mixture and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
4. fill each cooking reservoir with about 1 tablespoon of batter. {My pampered chef scooper worked great for this so my fingers didn't get so messy}
5. Bake 4-5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cake pop comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool and glaze or coat, as desired.

Owen manned the baker under my supervision. I filled the reservoir with batter and he took them out with the fork tool when they were done.  {If you fill them too full they will come out looking a little bit like planets with rings around them.} We opted to roll ours in cinnamon and sugar.  Here is a picture of the finished product.  It'll be our little secret how good they actually are for you, right?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fa-la-la-la-la Fa-leece Hats for the Holidays

Tis the season to break out hats and mittens and start thinking about stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts!  This tutorial should help cross a few of the nice people off your list.  Follow these easy directions below:

1.  Cut a piece of polar fleece approximately 1/2" bigger than head measurement in width, by 16"-18" tall depending on how long you like your fringe.  Don't worry, if it's too long you can always trim it later.

2.  Cut one 1" by 10" strip, set aside.

3.  Fold fleece in half width-wise and stitch 1/2" seam allowance all the way from the top to the bottom of the hat lengthwise.  Don't forget to backstitch at the top and the bottom.

4.  Turn bottom edge up 2.5".  Pin, stitch edge down. I prefer to zig zag this as it stretches a bit more when its pulled over the head.  The zig zag allows for a bit of stretching where a straight stitch may break.

5.  Bunch the top about 3-4" from top of hat.  Lay strip of fleece under hat.  

6.  Tie strip in knot--double knot this.  

7.  Cut fringes 1" wide.  Trim strip to same length as fringes.  Voila, your hat is finished.  Push the "easy" button. 

Repeat and share the hat love!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

....and Back to School!  The first day of school was always so much fun for me as a kid.  I loved school and all the fresh notebooks to doodle on, sharp pencils and erasers, new shoes without scuff marks on them, new teachers and old friends.  What's not to love?!  Today I dropped off my 2nd grader at school.  Its a pretty exciting day, even if he wouldn't admit it. As a 2nd grader, this "first day of school" stuff is old hat.  He posed for a picture, just for his momma.  How sweet!  As we were dropping him off, we had to swerve around all the other parents trying to get first-day-of-school pictures.  Maybe its a bigger deal for the parents than the kids?! My baby starts preschool tomorrow, it's his last year of preschool.  I'll process that later. I'm happy and sad all at the same time if that makes any sense....

We are back into routine and parts of that are sure are nice.  Its great to have a schedule and be able to count on things being the same for awhile.  After moving and starting a new job, routine sounds just splendid!

In honor of all our kids going back to school I have a special promo in my shop.  FREE SHIPPING!  Yes you read that right, free shipping on all domestic orders with the promo code BACK2SCHOOLSHIP, now thru Sunday night, 9/11/11.  

In closing, in honor of back to school, I organized the shoes in our entryway closet.  Adding a shelf to put them on made all the difference in the world.  Here's to getting organized one drawer, room or closet at a time.  What are you organizing today?

Friday, June 17, 2011

We Moved!

Here is the new place we are calling "home".  I'm enamored with the brick exterior, the timeless classic pillars (which are around the corner on the front) and the simple beauty of this house.   And of course, the screened in porch!  Living in Minnesota where our state bird is the mosquito, screened in porches are a must for delightful outdoor dining in the the summer months.  We have enjoyed many outdoor meals in it already, rain or shine.  Score!

I'm looking forward to sharing the transformations we are making to the inside and outside.  Huz just got a new blade for his chainsaw so watch for flying branches!  What home improvement projects are you working on this summer?  I'd love to hear about them!  I'm tackling wall paper removal next.  Before and after pictures are coming soon. 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Showering like a Pro!

I just love a good party and last weekend I was able to host a baby shower.  Half the fun is in the planning, the coordinating and the making, don't you think?!  This was a shower for a two co-workers so we did a couples shower and none of the guys walked out early so the food must have been up to par.  I mean that's pretty much the only reason the guys come, right?  That, and carrying the stuff out to the car, right ladies? 
This shower was for a baby boy, Severyn James and an unborn boy or girl (the parent's decided not to find out which I find extremely cool and not the norm-- such rule breakers!)  
Does the topping look familiar? YES, I rescued Easter basket grass and repurposed it for a little fancy fun on these diaper cakes.  The silver base is a cardboard cake plate I picked up at our local party supply store.  I built the entire thing around a roll of paper towels.  I used a round paper "loop" as a template to build each layer in.  Next, layered the diapers (size one) in a circle, tipped on their side.  Once it was packed tight I wrapped fabric and ribbon around the layers.  I topped it off with decorative fill and embellished with goodies for the new baby and parents.  I chose spoons, stuffed animals and bath toys.

This was a brunch shower so the menu included:
Egg Bake, 1 with bacon and a bread base and 1 with sausage and a hashbrown base
Yogurt & Fruit Parfaits
Donut Hole Flowers
Assortment of Breakfast Breads
Citrus Punch

Here are a few other pictures of the fun!
Cupcake toppers are a toothpick sandwiched between "new baby" stickers.  They were super easy to do and saved me about $4 from store bought toppers.  Plus I like to make my own.  
Here are the donut flowers.  I set donut holes in a mini cupcake paper and speared them with a wooden skewer.  A ribbon tied about 1.5" from the top of the stem kept them from sliding down the stick.  The ribbon could look like leaves if you make them green.  This was easy enough for huz to assemble right before the shower started.  And see my punch bowl in the background?  I was stoked that I got to use this before we packed it away for our move.
Last but not least was the banner that I hung over the breakfast nook.  This was a DIY specialty with my Sizzix Big Shot Pro.  It was a snap to crank out and took about 10 minutes to assemble.  Just layer the triangles and thread a 3/8" grosgrain ribbon thru the punched holes.  That's a baby shower in a snap.  Congrats to the two sets of parents, I'm so happy for you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh Sweet Momma--Amy Butler Sweet Life Bag Giveaway!

 Do you love a great looking handbag with lots of pockets for all your goodies? I absolutely adore this Amy Butler Diana Sling Bag. First off, could the fabric be any cuter?  Second, I love the size, not too big and not too small. Take a peek at all the places to store a glossy chapstick, your cell phone and your sunglasses inside!  Nice and handy so you don't have to always dig for those small things on the bottom of your bag.

Not only does it have these great pockets, it has a divider in the center to keep your important items zipped securely away.  To celebrate moms and my appreciation of my own sweet momma, I'm giving away one of these Sweet Life Bags to one lucky winner.  To enter this giveaway steps 1 and 2 are mandatory, the others give you extra chances to win, leave a comment for each one:
1. Follow my Blog
2. Go to and sign up for my newsletter
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Like me on Facebook

The drawing will take place on Monday, 5/9/11.

Want one now?  You're in luck!  Step on over to the store and choose from these 3 great color choices!
Get 15% off any Amy Butler Sweet Life Bag with promo code SWEETLIFE15 now thru Momma's Day!  Now go show your sweet momma some lovin'!
And the winner is entry #6!  Congrats and thanks to all the entrants!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Egg Salad Surprise Sandwiches

Need a twist on the traditional post-Easter egg salad sandwich?  Try this recipe to use up all those leftover hardboiled eggs the kids had a blast decorating.  

A little food coloring never hurt anyone right?  Shell the eggs and rinse.  

Egg Salad Surprise
12 Hardboiled eggs
3 t dijon mustard
3 T Mayo
Shredded Lettuce
1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. diced red onion

Mash 3-4 eggs, add dijon mustard, mayo.  Stir.  Dice eggs into bite size pieces.  Mix eggs, lettuce, onions, cheese and mashed mixture.  Spread on sandwiches. Serves 6.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hoot-a-licious Rag Quilt

Just finished this Hoot-a-licious rag quilt out of Valori Wells flannel Hoot Owl Friends in Blossom, Bliss Elephant March in Tangerine among a few other prints I'm too tired to quote at the moment.  

Or maybe I'm just distracted cause I burned my hand on piece of monkey bread that tried to hop out of the pan on the way out of the oven?  Well anyway, I think this turned out just gorgeous and I hope the lucky recipient is just as thrilled.  What are you doing up this late anyway??

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Going Mod with Patty Young Sewing Patterns

I'm super excited to have Patty Young Sewing Patterns in my shop!  Have you ever seen so many cute little girl patterns?  Clearly these will be fun to pick the fabrics on and to sew into adorable little ensembles.
These patterns would be cute in modern prints or vintage prints.  Love the "do" rag on this one, perfect for a summer day on the boat, a picnic, or a bike ride to get a cool treat at your favorite local ice cream parlor.
Last but not least, I think this one is just so incredibly cute with the apron, chef's hat and oven mitt, I'm jazzed to use up all my cute scraps on this one!  Get 10% off these new patterns with MODKID10 promo code at my shop thru 4/20/11!
Which is your favorite?

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Showers Bring New Hooded Towels!

There are two new towels out by one of my favorite designers, Amy Butler.  They are the Coventry Blue and the Woodfern Grey.  See the transformation from a towel and washcloth into a hooded towel below.


I matched the Coventry Blue up with a playful paisley and voila!  You've got one, fun towel!



This Amy Butler Laurel Dots in Cilantro matches the border on this towel great, don't you think?  This one works well for a boy or a girl.  Stock up now!

Celebrate these great new styles with me by using promo code SHOWERS10 on your next purchase.  Expires 4/7/11.  Get your handmade gear here!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

March Roared Out Like a Lion

Well March roared in like a lion and out like one too!  It brought April on with lots of rain.  We are experiencing flooding in local areas and it's hard to remember "the bridge is out" when you need to head to the flood challenged areas.  I crossed this bridge one day before it was closed...look at how the water is barely going under it.  I also berated myself as I was driving over thinking--this is so stupid Ahmelie, what if it falls while you are on it!
The bridge didn't fall, thank goodness! None the less, these natural disasters are awesome to behold.  I don't know if I will ever understand how water that looks stagnant, can wash away the banks of a river that haven't changed visually in years.  Amazing, don't you think?
What kind of spring weather are you experiencing?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Once Upon a Time there were Three Bears

I was asked to turn this cute little vintage quilt top into a duvet cover.  It has the neatest story...two sisters made these needlepoint blocks when they were little.  Their mom found them recently and sewed the borders on with these adorable calico prints. Talk about a blast from the past!  
I received a down comforter that I resized to put on the inside.  Let me tell you, the feathers were a mess to work with.  I knew that I didn't want to cut, then pin and have feathers a flyin' so I drew my cutting line right on the comforter.  Next I fed that baby thru my serger and cut and sewed all in one fell swoop. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for that little stroke of genius!  Then I promptly called the boys to come running with the vacuum cleaner.
I just love the color of this block with Goldilocks and all her flower bouquets.  I think I had a dress like she's wearing when I was a little girl.  Did you?
And here is the finished product.  I know this will be a treasured gift from mother to daughter.  Working on this project is making me want to try another needlepoint project.  Oh the nastalgia of it all!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Scarves out of T-Shirts, You've got to be Kidding Me!

Now how in the world do you make a t-shirt look this good?  Watch this video to make your own in just minutes!

Now how many of you just ran to your closet to see which of huz' tee's would look good around your neck? Have fun with this one and post any of your creative embellishments!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Go Green with a Foo-Foo Smoothie

Here is my latest smoothie favorite.  I substitute romaine lettuce for spinach if I don't have spinach in the house.  Garnish with mint leaves or a strawberry to make it foo-foo.  This is low cal yet, filling and is great for you.  If you substitute this for one meal a day, you should also feel more energized and less sluggish.  Oh, and my Vitamix pretty much rocks!  :)

Going Green Smoothie

Yield: 3 1/2 cups (840 ml)

1 cup (160 g) green grapes
1/2 cup (78 g) pineapple
2 cups (60 g) fresh spinach
1/2 ripe banana, peeled
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1 cup (240 ml) ice cubes
1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
4. Blend for 60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.

Health Classification: Diabetic Friendly, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Low Cholesterol, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw
Meal Type: Green Smoothies, Beverages

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Upcycled Cotton Yarn

Look at this great find I stumbled across.  Upcycled t-shirt yarn!  I love finding unique ways to reuse cast offs that may have served their useful purpose, but still have life.  This cute little shop on etsy, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Green Tee Yarns, has done just that! What a creative and eco-friendly way to keep t-shirts out of our landfills. This yarn has great texture and is 100% cotton so it won't get pilly.  I'm sitting here wishing I had better crochet or knitting skills.  See this sweet color, burnt orange. Are you lovin' it like me?!

Burnt Orange

Here are a couple other colors from the shop:
Rainbow Candy

Dusty Blue


  I'm just giddy to see something made out of this.  Do I have any knitting or crochet followers out there willing to give it a try? Shoot me a note and I'll buy the first skein!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heather Bailey Treats & Trinkets Pattern

Have you seen this little bit of sweetness that Heather Bailey just released today?  Not only can you put a cupcake in it, you can get it for free!  I love free patterns to try out.

TreatTrayPattern2MATERIALS LIST (one 3" x 3" x 1 1/4" tray) 
7” x 7” fabric*
7” x 7” lining fabric*
3/4 yd narrow piping
1 1/3 yd ribbon, 1/8” wide
8” x 10” stiff, thin cardboard
Pins, scissors, needle, liquid seam sealant (such a s Fray Check™)
* Suitable fabrics include laminated cotton, quilting-weight cotton, light-weight decorator fabric, and other light to medium-weight woven fabrics

INSTRUCTIONS (click on illustrations to enlarge)
A. Cut Out Fabric & Cardboard – Click here to download pattern pieces. Using pattern, cut one 5 7/8” square of fabric and one 5 7/8” square of lining fabric. Round corners per pattern & clip at circles to mark ribbon placement. Of cardboard, cut one 3” square, and cut four 1” x 3” rectangles.  If cardboard is flimsy, cut two sets & glue corresponding pieces together to stiffen.
Tray_01_02_03bBBaste Piping to Tray Exterior – Baste piping to tray exterior. Join piping at one black circle by overlapping piping neatly. Trim.
C. Attach Ribbon Ties – Cut eight pieces of ribbon, each 6” long. With a small stitch-length, sew one ribbon to tray at each black circle, on top of piping; stitch back & forth across ribbon to secure well.
D. Sew Lining to Exterior – With right-sides-together, pin lining to exterior. Sew around tray, leaving one side open between black circles. Notch curve at each corner. Turn tray right-side-out through opening in seam.
E. Insert Cardboard & Stitch Around Sides – Insert one rectangular cardboard piece into tray;  butt cardboard up to stitching at side of tray opposite from opening, beneath the seam allowance on exterior side of tray. Secure cardboard in place by stitching 1 1/8” away from fabric edge (not piping edge) along stitching line shown on tray pattern, beginning & ending at black circles. See illustration. Be sure stitching runs alongside cardboard & does not go through it & ribbons are not caught in seam. Insert another cardboard rectangle at one adjacent side & stitch as before. Repeat at opposite side of tray. Slide cardboard square into place at center of tray & stitch along last stitching line, parallel to opening. Insert last cardboard rectangle into opening. Fold tray lining edge under 1/4” & ladder-stitch to close opening in seam.
F. Tie Corner Bows & Trim – Fold sides up & hold corners together with a pin. Tie two ribbons at each corner into a bow. Once tied, trim ribbons to desired lengths. Finish ribbon ends with liquid seam sealant to prevent fraying.
Now go bake some cupcakes.  :)