Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day

This year for Mother’s day I was fortunate enough to celebrate three Moms!  But what to get for the super women who do it all?

Well, I love sharing our family recipes because my mother is particularly notorious for accidentally leaving out ingredients or crucial steps.  So it’s important to write them down to remember exactly how to make them!  Since chalkboard style printables are all the rage (see a million examples on Pinterest like this board), I decided to craft up a few family recipes chalkboard style – one for each of the ladies.

I started with finding a chalkboard background and downloading a few key chalkboard fonts.  There are tons of great posts on chalkboard fonts from Jenni from the blog, Lil Blue Boo, and Side of Sneakers just to name a few.  Don’t forget to download some doodles, dingbats, and ornaments.  I found quite a few helpful ones like LCR Kitchen Dings and Sugar Coma that were cooking themed.

Then I grabbed a few family favorite recipes and set to work with my Mom’s favorite dish from her mother.  This particular recipe cracks me up because when my Mom gave it to me, I got practically NONE of the actual assembly instructions.  So I was pretty anxious to see if I was able to interpret them correctly to see if this is actually how Nana makes the mac n’ cheese.
Nana's Macaroni

I haven’t gotten any edits back yet, but she may be saving them up to let me know in the future 🙂

Next up was my Mother’s chocolate chip recipe which I like to enjoy sans chocolate chips.Jane's Chocolate Chip CookiesFinally, Heather’s recipe for my favorite – Black Bean Hummus.  Probably not her signature dish (see Jello Pretzel Dessert) but this one had so many comments in it that I thought it was pretty funny to see how she’d changed it up from the original. Heather's Black Bean Hummus

So there’s the whole set!  I put them in frames and all the Mothers had a great treat on their celebration day.

–Martta

Race for the Cure Survivor Wall

I was digging through pictures to find images of my Race for the Cure quilt which will be auctioned at the Perfectly Pink Party coming up on May 4th when I ran across photos of the flower wall we created in this year’s Survivor Booth. Race for the Cure Flower Wall 2

When I was planning out the booth for the year, I was trying to brainstorm a way to incorporate the names of survivors into the booth and I came up with the idea of a flower wall.  Now, I’m just the idea man on this one folks, because the fabulous Karen is the one who actually hand made all 1400 flowers for the wall.  Here she is all decked out in gear from the photo booth props. Race for the Cure Flower Wall 1To assemble the wall we had volunteers write the name of a survivor on each flower.  Each flower was then taped to a string that was about 9 feet long (make sure to only make the flowers on the string about 8 feet long and you’ll have room to tie the string at the top and bottom.) Race for the Cure Flower Wall 4I then got two 1″x2″ boards that were 8 feet tall and drilled a hole in the top.  We had a handy dandy chain link fence which I attached the boards to using zip ties.  I strung a line through the hole drilled in the top of the of the boards and we began to tie the flower streamers to the line.

The idea was we wanted the flower wall to flutter and move in the breeze, but it turned out to be a heck of a windy day and we ended up tying the bottom of the flower streamers to another line at the bottom of the boards.  We still had plenty of movement and folks weren’t battered by streamers gone wild!

It even worked from the backside as our race co-chair showed peeking through from the outside. Race for the Cure Survivor Wall

The end result was great and many ladies took pictures with their flower or when they found their flower, they plucked it from the wall and took it with them.  We had spare blank flowers and racers were able to add names of other survivors they knew so any holes were quickly filled in.

I loved using the survivor’s names in the booth and will definitely find a way to incorporate this idea for next year’s booth!

–Martta

Pink Ombré Chevron Cake

It has been a full week of decorating a baking at my house and I just looked up at the calendar to see that Easter is just next weekend!  Crikey!  Part of the baking extravaganza was a cute baby celebration cake I made. Pink Ombré Chevron Cake

I’m rediscovering the star tip after years away from it.  Here, I used a 16 to create an easy chevron effect with three different colors of pink buttercream icing. Pink Ombré Chevron CakeI freehand piped the chevrons which ended up slightly uneven at the back, but pretty good for not laying it out beforehand!  I wish I’d make the pinks a bit darker, so you could really see the color gradient, but overall I was pleased with the effort.

The best part was when we cut into the cake to see the ombré effect in the cake layers too! Pink Ombré Chevron CakeDefinitely worthy of a celebration of a new little baby! Pink Ombré Chevron Cake — Martta

Doggie Sleep Sack

Oscar Party has meant tons of trips to the local Jo-Ann’s. I’m cool with this because there is a brand new Jo-Ann’s right next to my house, OP just gave me an excuse to explore it.

It’s amazing how many things can jump into your cart when you are looking for things on your shopping list. One of those items was some beautiful new Waverly fabric – Panama Wave in Adobe. The colors are perfect for my house and I have been in the market for some fabric to create some new poufy dog beds. And it was on SALE. And I had a COUPON. There’s really no reason not to get it 🙂

But time was short and I was really supposed to be working on all things Oscar Party so I decided to make a sleep sack/dog cave/sleeping bag rather than a dog bed. Doesn’t my baby look adorable in it?!Doggie Sleep Sack

I took some very exact measurements by draping a tape measure over my dogs while they were sleeping on their current collection of blankets. Doggie Sleep SackThey were not amused at me disturbing their slumber. I came up with a size of 20″x24″for my finished dimensions. For reference, my dachshunds are 12 – 14 pounds each.

I paired the panama wave with a brown soft and cuddly fabric that is a giant pain-in-the-butt to work with but oh so comfy to sleep in. Because that brown fabric is such a pain-in-the-butt, I went with half inch seams to hopefully cover any sins.

I cut two exterior pieces from the panama wave and two interior pieces from the brown fabric, all 21″x25″. Doggie Sleep SackI wanted my sleep sack to have a flap style opening to hopefully make it easier for the girls to sneak in there. I decided the flap opening should be 4 inches. I then pinned the right side of the exterior fabric to the right side of the interior fabric on the narrow end and pinned down the sides 4.5″. Doggie Sleep SackStitch, using a half inch seam, from pin to pin. Clip corners and turn right side out. Repeat on the second set of exterior and interior panels.

Then, take the two pieces and pin them right sides together. Yes, it will be difficult to deal with the flap area that you have already sewn.  Do your best to tuck in the completed corners.

Doggie Sleep SackSew around the piece leaving a 4 inch opening for turning in the center bottom of the interior fabric. Clip corners and turn. Hand stitch closed the opening in the interior fabric. You may also need to add a few corrective stitches where the piece transitions to the flap opening.

To complete the sleep sack, edge stitch around the opening. Insert snuggly dog. Enjoy.Doggie Sleep Sack–Martta

Green and Blue Star Cake

Happy Birthday Marilyn! Thanks for coming into town and giving me an excuse to make this adorable cake for your birthday!  Green & Blue Star Cake

The bottom is two six inch round layers and the top is two four inch round layers. For decoration, I whipped up seven different icing colors: Leaf Green, Kelly Green, Royal Blue, Cinderella Blue, Sky Blue and White. Green & Blue Star Cake

I decorated the cake with a number 16 and 21 star tips.  Green & Blue Star Cake

It’s a pretty easy cake, the toughest part is trying to get a random pattern! But totally adorable in the end. Happy Birthday Marilyn!

–Martta

Martha’s Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Sparkling Sugar

I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe for chocolate-champagne truffles in sparkling sugar as I was looking about for new Oscar Party ideas and I thought they would be a perfect addition to the party – who doesn’t like truffles especially when they have champagne?!  Sounded like it would be a hit for the dessert table.

When I took a glance at the reviews, I saw that there was trouble in paradise.  Many folks complained that the truffles were soft and didn’t set properly.  The recipe does call for a substantial amount of liquid.  But I decided to dive right in anyway and give it a whirl.

Now, I did make modifications.  I didn’t really believe that yield of three dozen so I doubled the chocolate and the cream.  Taking into account the problems that other folks had with the softness of the truffles, I stuck to the recipe on the champagne and cognac.  That’s twice as much chocolate power to fight off all that extra liquid.

But it still wasn’t enough. Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Gold Sanding Sugar

These truffles were soft and I needed to freeze them just to get them to set properly.  They were in the fridge until the last minute on party night.  I had covered them in gold sanding sugar, thank goodness because otherwise they would have been too sticky and soft to work with!

But the most telling sign is at the end of the night, I had plenty of these truffles left over and none of the other truffles I made from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  So my advice is to stick to Ree’s recipe!

–Martta

Oscar Party Category Award Winner Game

Oh the Oscars are over?  Well guess what, I didn’t have a chance to get up all the posts about this year’s party so you’re in for more of the same!

Every year I like to create a new game for my guests to play (See some renditions from years past here: Name that Famous Dress, Name that Famous Quote, Name that Oscar Winning Best Picture, Name that Oscar Quote, Name that Famous Quote, etc.) and this year’s game was the easiest one yet!  I did a lottery style category award prize blow out.  Don’t get used to this one friends 🙂 Oscar Category Award Winner Game

To create the game, I first brainstormed prize ideas for each category – Here’s what I came up with:

  • Original & Adapted Screenplays: Moleskine notebooks
  • Visual Effects: Sparkly red mini bottle of nail polish
  • Sound Mixing: Bellini drink mixer
  • Sound Editing: Earrings found on clearance at Target
  • Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, Original Score, and Original Song: All these called out to me as $5 Amazon gift cards
  • Production Design: I figure this one is all about setting the scene so I got an inexpensive small metal owl at Hobby Lobby and spray painted him gold – instant tchotchke for a scene.  Plus, who DOESN’T want a gold owl?
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Sparkly gold mini bottle of nail polish
  • Film Editing: A little pack of goodies to make edits on your life like a Tide pen, individual package of Wet Ones and correction tape
  • Documentary Short: Another notebook to “document” the things in your life
  • Documentary Feature: A notebook that was labeled “The long list”
  • Directing: A golden candle holder and candle….I figure the director is the guiding light of the film?  OK some of these were a stretch…..
  • Costume Design: Recycled from my house: a mardi gras style face mask that I got for a wedding a few years ago that, while beautiful, has just been collecting dust.
  • Animated Feature: coloring book and crayons
  • Best Acting Categories: Mini bottles of champagne
  • Best Picture: A sparkly gold evening bag (it was my splurge!)

Obviously you could go in a million different directions – the idea is to get a small gift for each award.  I tried to stick to about $5 for each gift and the recycling from the house was a win-win.

Then I printed the names of each nominee and tucked into some mini envelopes that I picked up at Envelopes.com.  The envelopes come in every color including a bright red and gold metallic, but I went with basic white.  I printed the category tags  and stuck them to the envelopes. Oscar Category Award Winner Game

There were individual bags for each present – the prize wall looked like a bonanza when the show started!  Good thing my Mother was in town to help me get the cloth bags all sewn before the party…..of course paper gift bags would work just as well. Oscar Category Award Winner Game

When the party started I handed out a few envelopes to each guest – there were over 120 nominees so each person got a lot of chances for a win.

As each category winner was announced people tore into their envelopes to see if they had the winner.  As the night wore on, people started trading envelopes to collect as many as possible for a given category – one person had six shots at Best Picture, but didn’t walk away with the prize.  Oh well, a good time was had by all!

Definitely a fun game/lottery and nifty way to spoil your friends at your party.

–Martta