Monday, April 13, 2015

Strawberry, Banana, Nutella & Chocolate Crepe Cake

Lovebug recently came up on a half birthday so, of course, we had to celebrate!  I had seen this image of a half birthday cake on Pinterest a couple years ago and have been sitting on an idea for a crepe cake for a while now.  So, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do both.

Lovebug happened to take a nap on this particular day.  So,  I pulled together the crepe cake while she napped. She was so surprised when I brought this cake out for her afternoon snack!  It was perfect!  

The instructions below are for a full cake, but I just cut the crepes in half and layered the cake the same way.  I decided to layer two crepes without fruit between them on the bottom and the top of the cake because I wanted to create a sturdy base and top to hold everything together.  I filled my cake with strawberries, banana, nutella and chocolate, but you could really fill it with anything you like.  Plus, although I used 9 layers, you could really do as many layers as you like.

This cake is versatile, colorful, delicious and super easy to make.  Plus, it can be served for breakfast, a snack or after dinner dessert.  It is really unique and is sure to be a show stopper any time you serve it.
Strawberry, Banana, Nutella and Chocolate Crepe Cake Recipe

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Clean an Iron

A while ago, I heard on the radio about a method for cleaning your iron using salt.  I was intrigued and decided to try it.  I followed the instructions and was seriously disappointed.  The results were so minimal that you'd have to use a magnifying glass to see the difference.  Boo. :(

But, now I was on a mission.  So, I researched some other options for cleaning my iron and decided to try a salt and vinegar method I came across online.  I'm happy to report it was super simple to do and it worked like a charm!  My iron looks amazing now!  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DIY Personalized Catch-All Bowl

When we bought our home, we purchased a dresser for our bedroom from a local furniture builder.  But, we decided to hold off on the rest of the furniture until we decided what we wanted to do in our room.  Six and a half years later, we finally started focusing on furnishing and decorating our bedroom.

Earlier this year, we bought a bed frame and night stands from the same furniture builder to match our dresser.  We also painted our room a bright and fun blue color (although My Love isn't completely sold on it, so it might be changing).  Now, we are slowly working on the fun part... adding decorations!

I'll share a tour of our master bedroom once we check a few more things off of our to do list.  But, for now, I thought I'd share with you a fun little project that has had a big impact on the clutter that collects on my night stand every night.
DIY Personalized Catch All Bowl

This personalized catch-all bowl takes minutes to make and is super versatile.  You can make them with initials, like I did, or any shape or decoration you like.  You can also mix up the colors and use them just about anywhere.  The best part is that you can change the decoration and start over whenever you like by cleaning it with a little rubbing alcohol.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sweet Crepes

During the week, we usually have cereal or yogurt and granola parfaits for breakfast.  But, weekends are an entirely different story.  On the weekends, we usually go big by making eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, etc., just not usually at the same time.  :)

Lovebug's very favorite weekend breakfast is "cramps", otherwise known as crepes.  She called them "cramps" once and after fits of laughter from My Love and I, the name kind of stuck.  We all really enjoy having crepes for breakfast, but we've also had them for a sweet afternoon snack or even dessert.  They are pretty versatile that way.  We usually serve them with strawberries, bananas, nutella and/or chocolate sauce.   But, you could put just about anything on them and they would be delightful.
Sweet Crepe Recipe

Friday, April 3, 2015

Family Fun Easter Games

Since Valentine's Day was on Saturday this year, I decided to prepare a few quick and fun games for my family to play before we enjoyed our usual homemade surf and turf dinner.  I'll share the details about those games close to Valentine's Day next year.  But for now, I'll tell you that we had so much fun that we decided to make Valentine's games an annual tradition. 

Why am I telling you this?  Because, apparently, our Valentine's Games inspired my sweet Lovebug to plan some Easter games for our family to play this weekend.  Honestly, could she be any cuter?  

I wanted to be sure we had all the supplies for the games she had planned, so we talked through and tested them today.  Here are the games Lovebug came up with:

Classic Egg on a Spoon Race
Family Fun Easter Games

Traditionally, this game is played by having each person place a raw egg on a spoon and racing from one point to another.  But, we are playing with a five year old, so we will be using hard boiled eggs that we decorated for Easter.  Less mess = less clean up = happy mommy.

Egg in Balloon Toss
Family Fun Easter Games

My creative child came up with this one on her own.  She wanted to put an egg in a balloon then, essentially play a game of catch.  The challenge was that the balloon would go up, like a normal balloon would, but then the egg would hit the bottom of the balloon mid-air and the balloon would come crashing down super quick.  The object of the game is to keep the egg from cracking in the balloon.  If the egg cracks, both the thrower and the catcher would be out.  Since there was only three of us playing, that meant that the person not participating in that particular turn won.  But, if you have a big group, you can have extra materials on hand so you can continue playing until there is one person left.  

Notes: We found that sometimes the balloon would pop but the egg would survive.  So, extra materials are kind of necessary for this game.  We also learned that this game can be messy.  In one turn, the balloon popped and the egg cracked at the same time... on Lovebug's head.  I'm so glad that this game was her idea and not mine! 

Here's how we got the egg into the balloon:
Family Fun Easter Games

1. Carefully pull the balloon open.
2.  Have someone with super cute hands carefully press the balloon into the opening.  Note: Cute hands are optional, but really helpful.  
3.  Gently, walk your fingers up, while moving the egg down into the balloon.
4.  Then blow the balloon up, like you normally would.

Lovebug had a few more games planned but they were either not logistically possible or they weren't actually games.  For example, one game she came up with was to put an egg in water and see what happens.  I'm pretty sure that isn't a game, and if it was, it would be the longest. game. ever.

Here are the games I came up with / found online and added to the mix: 

Egg Blowing Race
Family Fun Easter Games

Create a race track by laying washi or other tape on a table.  Make sure that the track is at least 4 inches wide and that all the players will be able to access the track in it's entirety (i.e. little players might have trouble getting all the way through the track if it is in the center of the table).  Place a raw egg at the beginning of the track and have each participant take turns blowing the egg to get it to the finish line.  The trick here is that yolk in the egg will move around causing the egg to meander left and right as you blow.  The object of the game is to get the egg to the end of the track without it going outside of the race lines.  You could also time this game.

Weighted Egg
Family Fun Easter Games

In this game, we gathered 10 plastic eggs and filled each one with increasing number of jellybeans, starting with 1, then 2, then 3, and continuing until we ended with 10.  Then, we closed the eggs and mixed them up.  The object of the game was to put the eggs in order, starting with the one with one jelly bean and ending with the one with ten jelly beans, by feeling their weight and/or shaking them.

Egg Sticker Picker Upper
Family Fun Easter Games

I found the instructions for this game here.  They have a bunch of Easter Game ideas and this one is Game 3.

I can't wait for Easter!!  We are a pretty competitive family, so this should be interesting! 

Are you doing anything fun to celebrate Easter?  I'd love to hear about games you have planned so we can add to our collection!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Craft Room Tour

One of my favorite pastimes is going on home tours, both in person and online.  I just love to go through peoples' drawers and get into their personal business.  KIDDING!!  Totally kidding!

What I really enjoy about home tours is seeing how people use their space, organize and decorate to show their personalities.  I get so much inspiration from seeing different layouts, patterns, colors, etc. and could literally spend my whole day checking out home tours and getting ideas.  My Love especially loves it when I go through home tours online because it inevitably means that I have five hundred seventy two new projects I want to do in our house.  :)

Anyway, since I love checking out other peoples homes, I thought I'd start showing you around my house.  I'll start with a tour of my craft room / office since it's one of my favorite rooms in our house.
Craft Room Ideas

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cinnamon Chip & Cream Cheese Scones

A couple years ago, I had a delicious cream cheese scone while on vacation in Utah.  I became a little obsessed with the idea of it and found myself thinking through how this bakery was able to get chunks of cream cheese throughout their scones without it completely mixing into their batter.

It occurred to me that if they froze the cream cheese before mixing it into the batter, it would hold its shape and leave little chunks of cream cheese throughout the pastry.  I finally got around to testing my theory out a couple weeks ago.

I prepped my cream cheese by cutting it into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes, placing the cubes spaced out in a single layer on a plate and freezing for a few hours.  Then, I mixed my frozen cream cheese cubes and cinnamon chips into one of my favorite scone batters.

After anxiously watching the scones in the oven, I was rewarded with a deliciously sweet and creamy Cinnamon Chip and Cream Cheese Scone that paired perfectly with my cup of tea.  Not only did my theory work, it tasted delicious too!!  I love when thing work out the way I want!
Cinnamon Chip & Cream Cheese Scone Recipe

What made it even better, is when My Love came home and tasted them.  He is my best taste tester because he is brutally honest with me.  At first he thought I should add some cinnamon to the batter. But, after his second scone, he said that I should keep them the way they are because they are "addicting"!  SUCCESS!!!

Here's the recipe:
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