Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Strawberry Birthday Party!

My middle child turned 6 last month! And of course she wanted a Strawberry Shortcake Party!!!
2 years ago, she was Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween, and then last year, she was Strawberries friend, Blueberry muffin... and guess who she is going to be this year?
Apparently Strawberry has a friend named Raspberry Torte?..
Anyway, I didn't want it to be too commercially themed, so I made it mostly just Strawberry, but the cake? I let her call the shots on that
She wanted this... Strawberry Shortcakes house. But, she is my one child who doesn't like fondant. She is the buttercream girl. So, I didn't do much fondant, and tried out a few other things like chocolate (that's on the top), and green apple Twizzlers, and even candy coated sunflower seeds. 

She put the little toy characters around the edge.
I'm adding a few more pictures of the cake:

While we're talking about food, I'll tell you what else was on the menu:...
Of course we had Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Sandwhiches (although I had to make a few plain Nutella for my girls:))
Strawberry Jello with Whip Cream and Strawberries on top

I found these strawberry trays at Tai Pan, and planned on filling them with Brachs strawberry candy... but of course, that was the ONE bin that was empty for the 3 weeks leading up to the party! So they got pretzels and green and red jolly ranchers (which were supposed to be for my strawberry stained glass cookies that I ran out of time to make... maybe next time!)
I also ordered a strawberry sucker mold from Amazon, and made red and pink chocolate suckers (on the left) and bought strawberry marshmallows, which I dipped in red chocolate and added white sprinkles to, as well as green chocolate tops (I found it easier to make these ahead of time and stick them on before the red chocolate hardens) 
We had homemade strawberry lemonaide in these mason jars decorated with red burlap, a doily, and strawberry printable tied with twine.
These were some pretty simple decorations, but they were really cute. Just red balloons that I drew seeds on with a black sharpie, and tissue paper leaf tops.
Instead of messing with helium, I blew them up and put them on balloon sticks. I could do them the day before because of this, and put them in vases.
Food table in the background included a picnic basket filled with bags of chips.

The strawberry balloons turned out really cute. I also decided to cover my big mirror for this party. I get tired of trying to take pictures and not get myself in the reflection. I also cut out a big number 6 from wrapping paper to hang on there as well.
The only pink shirts I could find at the last minute (Confession: I'm not much of a shopper) were school uniforms! So, I added these crocheted strawberries to them, and they turned out cute. Not only did the birthday girl get one, but her 2 year old sister did too. (I didn't do them for the party guests)
Here's the birthday girl!
I also made a bunting out of strawberry fabrics. That was fun because there are so many cute strawberry fabrics out there. It was an easy way to use a lot of them! Confession: I'm priming my next girl to want a strawberry birthday party just so I can use it again!
Our party favors included a strawberry hair bow for each girl 
Little sister got 2 since her hair is only long enough for 2 piggy tails!
For only $25 for 12 of them, a lady I know crocheted each girl a strawberry purse. They could put their party favors in them!
I also made cotton candy to look like strawberries. I used disposable frosting bags because they are kind of pointy, but taped back the tips so they wouldn't be too pointy. I also drew seeds on the bags, and tied them with green ribbon
We also had a strawberry flavored lip balm (from Avon) for each girl which was their prize from the bean bag game

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Horchata Recipe

Soak in a gallon container overnight:

3 cups rice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 tsp. salt
1 1/2 quarts water

Next day drain rice from water. Take 1 cup of the rice at a time and put in blender. Cover rice with the water, blend for a couple of minutes. Drain and save water. repeat until all the rice has been put through the blender.
Next add the following to the rice water:

1 can evaporated milk
1 3/4- 2 c sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
enough water to make a gallon

I noticed this makes a really strong horchata and may need to be watered down with ice or water.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Some new thoughts about old furniture

I knew that motherhood was going to require sacrifice. But sacrifice was always sort of that intangible, distant, and vague idea that seemed so far away, and somewhat glorious too. Because when people talk about the sacrifices of motherhood, it is usually in a setting where they are praising their mother- or some mother, and the reward of that current praise and gratitude always out weighs the sacrifice that is usually in the past by that point.
Still following me?
But now I'm learning that sacrifice is real. Real tangible things. And gratitude from my offspring is light years into the future. I've sacrificed my figure and my sleep, and now, I'm sacrificing my furniture.
To many people that is not a sacrifice.
But I love furniture.
Yep, I do. (Remember, this is a confessions blog)
Since we have now had 5 children join our family, there has been a lot of shifting around. Not just cribs and beds and bedrooms, but everything in the house is being reevaluated. It's a long story, but the gist of it is: We're stuck in this house that's too small for us until my oldest 2 have graduated from high school (class of 2019, and 2020). And of course, when that happens, and they move out, and we only have 3 children at home, this house will fit us just fine again.
But in the meantime, we're figuring out how to "make it work."
"making it work" included an 8' x 8' addition for the baby's room last year. This year we'll need to replace our furnace/AC to accommodate the extra square footage so the baby's room can actually get below 85 degrees sometime this summer. (According to the guy who gave me the estimate, it was never big enough to begin with)
It meant that I went from having a craft/sewing room, to a craft/sewing corner to nothing. My fabric and craft supplies are mostly in boxes in the garage and my machine in packed away in a cupboard. (Maybe I should sell it? It isn't being used and probably isn't justifying the space it's taking up)
Yes, it depresses me.
It meant selling this desk that I love (although the pain of that was eased by the fact that it went to a friend who I really like, who appreciates the desk as much as I did!) And it means that every month I spend time reorganizing and trying to make things fit better and not feel so crowded.
And it means getting rid of whatever we don't need.
On a regular basis.
This week was spring break, and I cleaned out the girls closets and dressers. It was a relief to haul three garbage bags full of stuff and clothes away. We can breathe again in that room. And we realized that the little girls only need 1 dresser.
The other dresser in there needed to go. It partially blocked the closet and wasn't functional enough to justify the space it took up.
First we wrapped up the mirror in bubble wrap and slid it under the bed (on top the the cans of food storage that were already there). It hurt a little because I think the mirror is so pretty.

But it wouldn't fit in the hall at the top of the stairs with the mirror on top because it would block the light switch.
 And even when I moved it there, I realized that it partially blocked the entrance to the playroom. So I waited for what my husband would say: "Why don't you just wrap it up and put it in the garage?"
I was afraid he'd say that.
I've also spent hours in the garage reorganizing. I've finally given up on being able to park a car in there. And as I surveyed the garage- there isn't even anywhere in there to store it.
And it could take a beating in there, no matter how well I wrapped it. And she's too old for that. She's a fragile old antique.
She was given to me by my husband on our very first Christmas. It was love at first sight. She's traveled with us across three states, and lived with us in every apartment and home we've been in. She's old, and her bottom drawer is broken, so she really doesn't hold a lot as far as storage is concerned.
She's old, she's not useful, she takes up space we don't have. She needs to go.
And yet... I just can't bring myself to sacrifice her. Maybe I sort of resent my kids right now for all the other sacrifices they are forcing  me to make, and holding onto her feels like I'm protecting my last little bit of turf?
Please, help me know what to do.
Will I regret it in a few years if I get rid of her?
Do I need to just detach myself from her so we all have more breathing room?
I could really use some feedback right now.
My almost 2 year old was standing so still and posing while I took the pictures. He thought I was taking them of him. So then I did.
These stinkers are worth the sacrifice, right?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Halloween Projects (we'll call all these number 68)

 As I am trying to catch up on blog posts and projects I finished in 2014, I came across these pictures. I went to a craft day- which is like heaven to me, and made these Halloween signs. Have I ever mentioned that Halloween is my favorite holiday?
Cause it is. Me and Martha Stewart. We both like it the mostest.
 So, I am excited, because coming up at the end of January- here in a few weeks, my friend is hosting another craft day. It will be Valentined themed. I'm so excited I want to go eat pink and red forms of sugar! Valentine's day is one of my favorite holidays too. It's in my top 5 list.
I hope to post those projects much sooner than I did these ones!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Another Pallet Project (Number 67) Go Cougars!

 So, after making the Texas flag/scripture pallet project , I decided that it was too much fun not to do another one. This time I had to tear apart the pallet myself (Ok, I had some help, but still...) and I learned why people stop making these things after just one. Oh, they are a BEAR to take apart!
But, so much fun to paint. This time I did a BYU one for my son's room. It was pretty easy. I was going to stain it a little, but I liked it how it was, so I left it.
We decided to just prop it up on top of his book shelf (these are also a bear to hang on the wall) and I think that's where it will stay.
And that reminds me... I still need to blog about the bookcase.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pallet Art (project numba 66)

Some women from my church got together at someone's house recently for a craft day.
It. Was. Awesome.

I haven't been able to do so much since I have so many kids.
Just stating the obvious.

So, it was a blast getting my craft on. Especially at someone's else's house. I didn't have to get all the stuff ready or do much cleaning up. And I have such cool friends who were just happy to visit and hold my baby while I painted.

2 of my friends had gotten all the pallets ready ahead of time (I know, you wish you had friends like mine!)
The plan was to make a stylized American flag. Like these:

Of course, I can never follow directions, I had to do my own thing.

I had seen this great idea on pinterest of putting a scripture verse on it. I asked my son what his favorite scripture was.

"Luke 24"
"Which verse?"
"All of them. It's really good."

um... I just chose one I liked that was a lot shorter.  And he liked it too, so whew!

I also saw that this same person had nailed a metal star to a pallet and I liked how that looked too. I figured that if we could do an American flag, why not a Texas state flag (I'd already make my son a Texas flag quilt!)
But I was wanting to do turquoise, lime green, and orange instead of red, white, and navy blue.
So, this was what I came up with instead:

And I love it.

And I really want to do another craft day.
Like tomorrow.

 So... that's as far as I got on this post last summer, but today I am trying to wrap up all my 2014 projects that I didn't post about, so I'm happy to say that this is what it looks like now, hanging on my sons wall.

Hmm... I forgot to pull back and take a picture of the whole room. But you get the idea.