Monday, May 23, 2011

Cupcake Monday - Almond Joy Cupcakes


Last weekend my mom wanted me to make some cupcakes for a sweet lady at her church who was celebrating her 80th birthday.  So, I wanted to try something new... but just wasn't sure what.  Then I ran across a candy display set up in Wal-Mart with some Almond Joy candy bars.  Hmmm....
I took my go-to white cake recipe (because it's super EASY), used coconut pudding instead of vanilla, and then added a cup of shredded coconut to the mix.  Looking back, I should have added some chopped up almond joys to the batter, but I had planned on putting them on top.  Except once chopped up, they looked not so pretty.  Luckily I had also bought these little gems...

crushed them up and rolled them on top of the buttercream frosting.

I think they turned out pretty yummy...

*note to self... Not all ovens cook the same.  
Just sayin'.  
I'm sure you already knew that though.  :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vintage Barbie Party

 Jillian was invited to a Vintage Barbie Birthday Party this weekend for one of her little church friends.  
Everything was absolutely adorable!  
Julie did a GREAT job putting everything together!
And the girls had a BLAST, which makes for one very successful party... which is why mom's go all out, right?  

 {Here they are... all dolled up in their tutus, made by Julie, and their stinkin' adorable Barbie silhouette shirts.  Julie found those on etsy at Illeana's Bowtique.  LOVE IT!!!!

{This was in the dining room where the girls got to decorate their own cupcakes.}

{Julie made all the goodies, including that Barbie cake!
  And those oreo truffles... ummm... YUM!}


{On top of a cute shirt and tutu, each little girl got their own pair of flip flops.  And you can't be sporting super cute pink flip flops without some super cute painted toenails!  Each girl got a pedicure!}

{Here is the Beauty Bar Julie had set up.  After getting sprayed with some yummy smelling body spray, each girl got their own eye shadow, Barbie chapstick lipstick, tiara, bracelets, necklaces, and of course their very own diamond ring, because diamonds are a girl's best friend after all!}

Everything was amazing and beautiful and yummy and I could go on and on.
The girls had so much fun getting their makeovers, toenails painted, and prancing around in those adorable tutus and Barbie shirts!  It was such a FUN party!
Thanks for including us!

Julie is just starting her party planning adventure so be sure to check out her new website HERE 
or you can even LIKE her on facebook HERE.
Just be sure to tell her Pirates-n-Princesses sent ya!!!  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

PINK Baby Shower


Come check me out HERE today!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cupcake Monday - Blueberries and Cream Cupcakes


For the news segment I decided to try out another recipe from my Martha Stewart Cupcake Cookbook.  I went with Blueberries and Cream since they coordinated with my blue and white color scheme.  They were easy to make, but not so sure they were the yummiest cupcakes.  I think next time I'll  give the blueberries a hit of sweetener and maybe just go with my easy white cake recipe and then fold in the sweetened blueberries.  I made some with homemade whipped topping and then the ones for the show I topped with Cool-Whip.  (Liked the Cool-Whip ones MUCH better!) 

Martha's Blueberries and Cream Cupcakes:

Makes 30 standard or 60 mini cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
2 cups fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish

For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Heat the oven to 350 F. Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. Fold in the blueberries by hand. Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until pale golden, about 25 minutes for standard and 15 minutes for mini.

Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely before removing the cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

To make the whipped cream, in a large bowl whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, then whisk until combined. If not using immediately, whipped cream can be refrigerated, covered tightly, for up to 3 hours.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Graduation News Segment


This past Thursday I did a GRADUATION news segment for WCFN 49.  (I know, I know... I've been BUSY!  I usually have my news segment posts up the SAME night as the segment but it's been crazy and blogger has been down, so I have a good excuse!) 
In case you missed it (or if you feel like watching it again) you can click HERE to see the clip.
So, my little sister graduated from Eastern Illinois University with her master's degree, smarty pants, and I hosted a little reception at my house with some yummy cupcakes.  I just took everything I did for her party and took it with me to the news, with the addition of a few items.  I started with a gold frame my mother-in-law gave me and spray painted it white.  Then I took pictures of Ashley from her kindergarten, high school, college, and grad school graduations and hung them in frames using blue satin ribbon I stapled to the back of the frames. 

In case you can't see it, the cupcake toppers say Congrats Grad.

I had originally seen these ADORABLE graduate cupcake toppers on pinterest (which by the way, I LOVE.  If you need an invite, e-mail me and I'll send you one!)  so I looked her up on etsy and Laura of QueenBeeInspirations so graciously sent me these to use for the segment.  LOVE them!  You can find her etsy shop HERE or on Facebook HERE.  Go LIKE her and tell her Pirates-n-Princesses sent ya! 

Have you LIKED Terri of Terri's Treasures yet on facebook?
She's amazing.  She sent me these adorable little graduate cake pops that I jazzed up with a little blue gown.  She isn't shipping during summer months, but definitely go like her!  The things she can do with balls of cake is amazing!  Super creative!  You can follow her blog HERE

I made three different cupcakes for the segment, my super moist white cupcakes, which you may notice look a little yellow due to me getting just a tad bit of yolk in the batter, and then my devil's food chocolate chip cupcakes with a chocolate ganache on top.  The other ones I made with the Congrats Grad cupcake toppers were my latest Martha Stewart cupcakes, Blueberries and Cream, but I'll share those in a later post this week.  
I topped the white cupcakes with stinkin' CUTE cookies from Christina of Cookies Are My Canvas over on facebook.  Go LIKE her!!!  She's absolutely wonderful and so super sweet.  She recently quit her job to do cookies full time and I think she made a very wise decision!  And you know what I LOVE best about her.... she's from Arkansas and we have a Harding University connection, where I went to college, so we're automatically BFF's.  Check out her blog HERE to see the amazing HU cookies she made!  LOVE them!  Plus, she adds just a hint of SPARKLE to the cookies, which unfortunately doesn't quite show up in the photos. 
Then on the other chocolate cupcakes I topped them with cream cheese stuffed strawberries, which we demo'ed on the news.  (I got the idea for those HERE.)  Then on the other ones I made little diplomas from Pepperidge Farm creme filled Pirouettes and tied a little red ribbon around them.  Super cute.  Super EASY!  

 The navy with white polka dots table runner is courtesy of my sweet friend, Nancy, of A to Zebra Celebrations where I do a little contributing.  It really pays off to contribute!  You must go check out her blog and see the adorable Leopard Princess Party she recently hosted for her little girl!  Amazing.  Go check it out HERE.

 Here I am with Jennifer.  We had to get a non-blurry shot this time!
She's so sweet!  I always look forward to seeing her on my visits!  :)

 {Do I have something on my face?} 

And I was thrilled to have my sweet grandma come along this time as she's feeling a little lonesome after my grandpa's passing.  It was a good distraction for her.  We had to enjoy one of my Blueberries and Cream cupcakes before the rest of the crew came in and devoured everything! 

And three things I learned, or actually just came to believe even more:
1) God is GOOD.  It was raining on our way over to the station and on our way I just kept praying, "God, please let it stop raining long enough for us to unload all this stuff so I don't get wet and look like a wet, shaggy dog for the segment.  (Ok, so maybe I didn't exactly say that last part, but I was praying for the rain to stop!)  And what do you know?  It stopped right before we got there and we were able to get everything in without getting wet.  God knows my hair turns to complete frizz in rain/mist/drizzle. 

2) It's so nice to make friends with other party/event planners!

3) The camera really does add 10 pounds!  My sweet grandma had to point that out to me as we were watching it back at home.  Gotta love that woman!  LOL!  

Stay tuned... I've got LOTS of things to share soon!!!!!! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

DIY Pom Pom Wreath

Come check me out over HERE today...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A New Angel Watching Over Me

God Saw You Getting Tired
God saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you,
and whispered, "come to me."

You didn't deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best

And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.

- Author Unknown

My sweet Grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday morning.
He struggled with heart disease, lung problems, and diabetes for around 18 years but he was a fighter till the end.  He always put up a good front whenever we were around, even on days he was struggling to catch his breath.  God truly blessed me with such a loving Grandpa and He blessed us again with taking him home peacefully in his sleep, with no pain, no struggle, and no suffering.  After one last hug and kiss from my Grandma, he laid his head down to sleep and woke up with the angels.  He will be greatly missed.  Eating tomatoes, sweet corn, strawberries, hearing a blue grass song on the radio or tv, or going to Monical's Pizza will never be the same. 

To honor my Grandpa and help my mom and Grandma out I asked what could I do to help...  I was given the task of putting some pictures together.  We scoured photo albums and all our digital albums on our computers for pictures and with the help of my amazing sister, we put some boards together.  I know during times of loss, putting pictures together in time for a visitation is difficult and is probably why most times you see them thrown up on a poster board.  I have nothing against photo collages up on a poster board, but that's just not me or my style.  So, we went to Hobby Lobby and bought some canvases and made 5 boards: Son/Brother, Husband, Dad, Grandpa, and Gene
It was a J-O-B, but fun.  We cried.  We laughed.  We were exhausted, but we got it done and were so pleased with how they turned out.  The time and energy we put into them was all for my Grandpa and Grandma, and I know he would have loved it.  We included playing cards on them, some with quotes, because if anyone knew my Grandpa you know how much he loved playing Shoot the Moon and Euchre.  So, it just seemed appropriate to include them somehow and we made sure to give him one last winning Shoot the Moon hand on his board.  I thought using the little clothes pins would be best so that I wouldn't ruin any of my Grandma's photos and they could easily be put back in their albums. 

I would appreciate any prayers for my family during this time.  My sweet Grandma is heart broken after being married for nearly 61 years to her best friend. 

This poem was on the back of the funeral program and my Grandma felt it was just like Grandpa speaking to her telling her it was going to be ok, dry those eyes, and...

I Am Always With You
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.

I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.

I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.

So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away for life goes on.

And if you need me, call and I will come.

Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile, and a "Welcome Home."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Glassine Bags Winner

Congrats to...
The Miller Five
on winning
the glassine bags!!!
Congrats and thanks to everyone 
that entered and for following

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mickey Mouse Cupcake Stand - DIY

Awhile back a friend asked me to help her out with her little guy's 2nd birthday party.  Her boys LOVE Mickey so I was not surprised to hear it was going to be a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme. So, I kept my eyes open for any Mickey party stuff and when I ran across these super cute Mickey hand plates at Target I knew I had to have them!  It wasn't until I ran across some wooden candlesticks at Hobby Lobby that I knew they'd be perfect for cupcake stands!

These were so easy to make!  You only need a few supplies.
*Mickey Hand Plates
*Epoxy - it's by the Gorilla Glue at Wal-Mart

 First, paint the candlesticks.  I went with white.

 Remove the candle holder.

Apply your epoxy to the candlestick.

 Press down onto the center of the plate.

 Let it dry.  Epoxy works FAST.  
According to the package it will be ready to use within 5 minutes!

 Tie your ribbon and you're good to go!

Cute, huh???

Big thanks to my sweet hubby for doing this project for me.
You really didn't think those were my man hands, did you?
Someone had to take the photos!  :)

Stay tuned for more party photos!!!

Linking this up to...

Tip Junkie handmade projects