Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spa Day

My niece, Cass, came over today to hang out while her dad was working. While we were at Target she found a Spa Science kit and decided to use her spending money on it. Now we had an afternoon activity! We had a good time following the directions and recipes. We made some bath salts, a strawberry scrub, bath bombs, and a rose oat infusion. I, of course, had to find some sort of cute packaging for them. Luckily, my craft supplies are not packed away yet (did I mention that I'm moving this weekend?) and we found some cute jars to repurpose and some leftover fabric from some pants I hemmed (look familiar, Jane?) and we made some cute labels and there you have it. Cass has some cute bath accessories to take home with her. Hope you had fun, Cass! I know I did.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My New Favorite Brownie Recipe

Every new brownie recipe I try becomes my favorite for a while, only to be replaced a short time later by another one. This one, I think, really has some staying power. I even baked them way too long and they were still fabulous (I was trying out a new brownie bundt pan and my timing guess was waaaay off). I used Scharffen Berger cocoa (on sale at Fresh and Easy, making it the same price as the Hershey's!) and I really think that good cocoa makes the better brownie.

But I think that the REAL reason I fell in love with these brownies is the fact that they use oil instead of butter for the fat. I've decided that I just don't like brownies made with butter. I find that they have an aftertaste that I just don't care for. Maybe I'd feel differently if I bought better quality butter?

So anyway, this one may be my new favorite for a loooong while. Go make them. The recipe can be found here. Long live King Arthur Flour.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Homemade Pudding Pops

When I was a kid I loved pudding pops. I have great memories of going over to Beba's house (that's my grandmother) and swimming and eating pudding pops. Well, I was looking through a Kraft Foods magazine and found directions for some homemade ones. Brilliant! The easiest thing ever and so so good.

Here's the basic idea. You make the pudding as directed on the package. Then you spoon it into popsicle molds. Then you put it in the freezer. Should I go over that again? I don't want to lose you with the complicated directions.

We added crushed mocha cookies from Fresh and Easy to ours. I'm thinking that my vanilla husband might like to try vanilla pudding with Nilla wafers sometime soon. I'm thinking some frozen fruit might be good for you healthier types.

They don't look too attractive, but they sure taste good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vote for Abby!

The ADORABLE clippie shop ElleBows and More is having a contest on their blog. I submitted a picture of Abby wearing one of her ADORABLE ElleBows and now I need you to go vote for her picture. The kid with the most votes wins a prize package of new bows! Abby was in the lead for a short while, but she needs your help now, internet! And if helping Abby win is not enough incentive for you, then leave a comment on her blog post because the VOTERS are also entered to win a prize package.

And you really need to check out the ElleBows and More Etsy shop if you are in the market for baby, toddler and little kid hair accessories because there is a lot of cuteness to be found.

But first go vote for Abby!

Thanks, internets.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yummy In My Tummy

I've made these peanut butter cookies several times and it is high time I shared them. They are so easy to put together and so so tasty. I made them really small this time, about 1 inch, and they were really easy to package up for a hostess gift last night. I'm linking directly to the recipe because I didn't really make any changes. OK, except that this last time I made them I left out the oats and used Trader Joe's salted creamy peanut butter. I didn't miss them at all, but if you like cookies with more texture then be sure to leave in the oats and peanuts. Mine also tended to brown quickly on the bottom, even though I used parchment paper. And watch your baking time. I tried 10 minutes first and they were a little too done. Then I tried 8 minutes and they weren't quite done enough. So then I tried 9 minutes and, yup you guessed it - just right!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Flip Flop Cake

Abby's little BFF Mia recently had a birthday party with a flip flop theme. I helped her mama, Amber, make the cake. I've done one of these before (picture here), but I am just sooo in love with the way this one turned out. I traced one of my own flip flops for the template so these flip flops are actual size. Well, the actual size of my feet, which are freakishly small.

You can read more about the party and the cake on Amber's blog here. That's where I got the picture. I am horrible about remembering to take pictures of my projects lately!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yoga Bear

Having cancer probably really sucks. I hope to never really know for sure. But my cousin, Jasan, knows. He's been a cancer survivor for as long as he can remember. Recently he has become quite active in the survivor community. One of the organizations he works with is called Yoga Bear. Yoga Bear partners with yoga studios to offer cancer patients free yoga classes in their community. How cool is that?

I think most people try to live a relatively healthy, balanced life. Getting a cancer diagnosis probably throws that completely out of whack. Something like yoga can do so much for a person's well being, both mentally and physically. But something like yoga is likely to be one of the first things cut from a cancer patient's suddenly very stretched budget. And that is why Yoga Bear is so important. It is such a simple concept. But so very powerful.

A company named Zemanta is hosting a competition where the non-profit that gets the most bloggers to write a post endorsing their cause gets a share of a $6,000 prize. That money would do a lot for Yoga Bear. If you're a blogger and would like to help Yoga Bear by writing a post on your blog go here for the details.

This blog post is part of Zemanta's "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Letter Applique

This is one of the gifts I made for the baby sprinkle I went to recently. To make it I found a font I liked and printed it out REALLY big. I cut it out and used it as a template/stencil for my applique fabric and interfacing. If you are tracing the image onto the back of the fabric instead of the front (which is what I always do), make sure to trace it upside down. You know, like the mirror image. Don't ask me how I figured this out.

The shoes are the same pattern I talked about in this post.

This was really fun to make and I can't wait for more of my friends to have babies so I can do it again.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sprinkled With Love

I helped out with a baby sprinkle (sort of a mini version of a baby shower) for a couple of friends of mine this past weekend. I was in charge of doing a favor and this is what I came up with. Little jars of sprinkles. Because it was a baby sprinkle. Get it? I think I'm very clever. :)