Thursday, June 30, 2011

Strawberry Trifle Dessert

I was lucky enough to stay in a cozy bed & breakfast a few years ago.  The breakfast food was unforgettable...maybe it's because I was pregnant at the time. ;) They served everything from delicious egg casseroles to strawberry trifle.  I couldn't forget the trifle and when I was home, I began searching for the perfect trifle recipe. Our mom has a large collection of delicious recipes and she quickly pulled out a trifle recipe that comes from Taste Of Home.

It's a winner!  This recipe turns out perfect every time and goes so well with the berries in season.   

3 cups cold milk
2 small packages of instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups fresh raspberries
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen  whipped topping, thawed
3 whole strawberries, quartered


In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
Place a third of the cake cubes in a trifle bowl or 3-1/2-qt. glass serving bowl. Top with a third of the pudding, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1-1/2 cups raspberries and a third of the whipped topping. Layer with a third of the cake and pudding, 1 cup strawberries and a third of the whipped topping.Top with remaining cake, pudding, strawberries, raspberries and whipped topping. Garnish with quartered strawberries. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving..

The original recipe uses sugar-free and fat free products, which still tastes good...but I like the real stuff. :)
What really makes this trifle so delicious is the white chocolate pudding, and it looks pretty too! I also make my own angel food cake from a Betty Crocker mix.  I don't have an angel food cake pan, so I use two loaf pans, it works great and is superior in taste to the store bought.  It is well worth the extra time making it!  I also use real whipped cream...yummy and fattening.  I did use Cool Whip for the pictured trifle and it is still  delicious and will probably hold up better in heat. My family gobbles this dessert up fast!

Our family is going to have a morning brunch on the Fourth of July, so Nicole and I have been busy gathering and trying out really good breakfast bakes.  You know, the kind you make the night before, stick in the fridge, and bake in the morning.  Easy and oh so good!

.  The next couple of days we are going to share our favorites. See you soon! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spray Tye Dye Towels

Who doesn't love tye dye?
We have kids that love to swim during the summer heat,
so of course we can never have enough beach towels!
 We thought we'd put the kids to work this time
and let them have some fun too!
We picked up some inexpensive white bath towels
and used some masking tape to create their names and desired designs.
The neighbor kids saw what we were up to and wanted to join in
so we were scrambling to find any white t-shirts in the house!
We mixed up the dyes and put them into spray bottles we picked up at Walmart.
Then we let the kids just spray away!
It was sooooo much fun!
We were surprised that the boys gave in and used Hot Pink!
It definitely showed up the best!
We hung them up to dry on the fence because they were so drenched....there was no way they were comin' in the house!
The masking tape really did the trick and kept the white white!
My hands....were these colors for about 3 days.....
My nails are still hot pink around the edges.  No, it's not a cool new manicure. :)
We are going to set the color by adding vinegar to the wash.  Haven't done that yet....
How do you set tye dye? We used TULIP brand kits found at Walmart.  Any setting tips sent our way would be greatly appreciated, we would hate to wash away their beautiful :) artwork.
Results were grins from ear to ear,
happy kids, happy moms, and there will surely be
no confusion over the owner of each towel. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cheap Water Thrills....

Are you looking for some quick and easy
projects to keep the kids busy and cool this summer?
This one is a must do!
We knew when we saw this fun sprinkler project by Kelly over at Here Comes The Sun....
we had to do it.
For her full tutorial and supply list head over and check it out!

We made a few small adjustments to fit our needs.
First off we used 1" pipe. 
The price difference was just a few cents but it makes it a little stronger.
We also drilled holes instead of using misters.  In this case, the boys thought "more" was better.

We also glued everything  (like Kelly) and
it was a fun learning experience for Candace's boys
who were more than eager to help.
We have so many fun memories of putting sprinklers together with our Dad,
 the smell of the glue was a sweet reminder.
Who knew this would be a quick lesson in plumbing 101?
The glue and primer come together in a cute little kit!
The boys love Legos, so putting this together was fun!
Everyone wanted to help even the baby.....who thought it was fun to hide some of the parts....
We found them in the back hatch of his Fisher Price tricycle, along with the missing bag of grapes.
We drilled holes every 2"
along the top and then drilled 4 holes down each side.
Another great tip was to make sure to use a metal hose adapter. 
If you are connecting and disconnecting the hose multiple times, it will strip out the plastic PVC,
so the metal adapter insures a longer life span. (The Home Depot guy easily convinced us!:))
Of course we needed some color so the kids spray painted their sprinklers!
After drying for about an hour they were ready and so were the kids!
They had a blast running and riding their bikes through.
I think the adults had just about as much fun watching them!
It was hilarious!
We figured we made each sprinkler for about $11.
Yup, not bad?
We have been scrambling for ideas to keep our kids busy. 
 Come take a peek this week to see what we have been up to!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Get Your Lemonade!

Yesterday Candace and I caved
in on the incessant pleas for a lemonade stand...
 A couple of weeks ago Candace's boys actually had
Lemonade Wars, with competitive stands set up across the street from each other.
All the neighborhood kids rallied around to help them succeed. {maybe just one of them}

Don't worry, some adults eventually felt sorry for him and bought lemonade.  He did fairly well too!

Unfortunately this set the bar high for the hopes of my little girl. :)
Don't they look sweet?
We even had Strawberry Lemonade.
They worked so well together.....
for the first 1/2 hour or so.....
and then.....
We had a hard time figuring out where all the lemonade and glasses were disappearing to?
They are already planning their next lemonade stand adventures
and how to do it better.
We'll chalk it up to teaching them how to work. :)

Stay tuned for some other fun kid ideas we have to share!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wedding Flowers Finished!

Just wanted to give you guys a glimpse
of how pretty everything turned out for the wedding flowers
I was responsible for last week.
I had to make up a bridal bouquet, a groom's boutonniere, 14 boutonnieres for the dads, grandfathers and brothers, 6 corsages for moms and grandmothers and then 5 bridesmaid bouquets.
Phew, sounds about as exhausting as it was.:)
The bride wanted all shades of purple with some white and a touch of orange.
I was a bit paranoid because when I had brought them home
into my A/C'd dimly lit home,
 (yup, I thought somehow the darkness would make them last longer....)
they looked burgundy...
and I was sick to my stomach.
My Mom had to come over and so did Candace
to give me a pep talk about how I would salvage this tragedy.
Luckily the next morning they looked purple in the daylight.:)
As usual, everything takes a bit longer
then I anticipate and I never leave enough time to take decent pictures.
Thank goodness for an amazing sister who meets me at
the wedding location,
and we tried to sneak some pictures
of the flowers, hoping the family didn't think we were
too creepy snapping pictures of them on their special day.
Can I just say I slept soooooo well that night,
just knowing they were all done and so was I!
Thanks Candy for being such a wonderful photographer
and even more for being such an amazing sister!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Dad.....

Thanks Dad for teaching me valuable lessons in life, like
 how to remove a loose tooth with dental floss.
 I have several memories of you tying floss to my loose teeth and either pulling it out yourself or tying the floss to the door. (ouch!) You saved me a hundred dollar trip to the dentist for a tooth extraction!
(My son's permanent teeth are coming in behind his baby teeth.)

Not so bad...looks pretty happy now!

One more to go...

to all
the wonderful dads
out there!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Benches For The Bed

The fabric and trim came today for the benches that sit at the end of the bed. I think I'm addicted to ordering fabric online.  It is so convenient not having to trudge through the fabric stores.
  And, it's fun to get mail!
Autumn is going to have me recover the two benches I found at Target.  Her source for the benches was different, but I stumbled upon these guys a few months back and thought they would work.

The two go together well, don't you think? 
I finished adding trim to one set of curtains and am now looking for ways to hang them.  I made a stop by Home Depot with an idea Nicole and Mom gave me...and they looked at me like I was craaaazy!
I think it will work, so stay tuned!  I feel like I have crafting ADD, jumping from one project to the next, but it's all coming together. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dressing Up Some Curtains!

I'm working on window treatments for the master bedroom today. To help me save a little money, Autumn came up with a great idea to add trim to inexpensive curtains from IKEA. The long grommet curtains were two for 19.99. I don't have an IKEA close, but luckily Mom and Dad were near one.  Mom also found the six dollar down pillow inserts I was searching for. Great price! I found out that Ikea ships only certain items and these curtains are not one of them. The brown trim is from Home Fabrics, I ended up taking the entire bolt!

I will be carefully gluing with the wonderful fabric glue I used on the pillow with greek trim
  No sewing will make this so much easier!
I'll show you later what else Autumn is having me make out of the IKEA curtains.
 Fun stuff!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peeking At Wedding Flowers

Aren't they GorGeouS?!!
I just got back from picking these lovelies up.
Tomorrow will be a full day of cranking out bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.
Oh yeah, did I tell ya I really don't have any experience in putting these together.
And yes, they are real and can die really easily....
and it's summer time in June.
Good thing they are so pretty cuz
my anxiety levels are through the roof.
Candace snuck in with her camera to my all-curtains drawn,
super A/C cooled house to sneak a picture of my latest project.
So how did I get caught up in the middle of this craziness?
For some reason I felt completely confident
after I watched a tutorial on bridal bouquets
a couple of months before Candace got married
by Martha Stewart.
Even I was convinced that with Martha's
great instructions, that I could put together wedding flowers.
My innocent victim was Candace.
We used fake flowers since getting married in Idaho and a reception in Washington
make real ones kinda ridiculous.
I accidentally mentioned this to one of my friends, who then mentioned it to another....
and now here I am.
The wedding is Thursday so tomorrow will be a crazy day.
Stay tuned for some more lovely pictures
and enjoy these sweet ones of my poppies Candace took.
She's really becoming a whiz with her camera
and I'm glad to benefit from her kindness to be my photographer!

Cool!  My favorite and I think gonna be framed for me!

So pretty huh!
How could we not share!:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bedskirt with Contrasting Box Pleats's done and I finally got a decent picture of the bedskirt.  I haven't finished putting all the bedding together so all the pictures are low shots.

This bedskirt was designed by Autumn, she added contrasting fabric for the box pleats. The striped fabric is bold and really brings this bedskirt to life. The bedskirt has seven box pleats all around -  two on each bedside, two corners, and one pleat in front.  There will be two benches in front of the bed, so most of the detail is on the corner and sides.

I added a clasp, as Autumn recommended, to each corner to keep the pleat from pulling too far apart.
I did sew 99.9% of this bedskirt...Mom fixed a puckered corner :)  The bedskirt was not difficult to sew, because it's all straight lines. The hard part was manipulating the king size amount of fabric!  I have had the master bedroom plans from Autumn since early March, but have been paralyzed by fear thinking of how to sew this. 

I went to my mom for help and she walked me through it on the phone, my little guy was really sick and Mom has diabetes and doesn't get over colds very well, so I couldn't bring my little guy around her.  It was a blessing in disguise because it made me do this myself.  I have to give a lot of credit to my mom because she could see exactly how to sew this in her head, I could not.  Mom has a degree in clothing and textiles and she is a very talented seamstress. I love watching her work with is a gift!  

I'm not sure if this is the absolutely correct way to make a box pleated bedskirt, but it worked for us!
Sooo, let's see...the first and most important thing when making a bedskirt is to measure, measure, and measure.

*Measure from the back to front of your box spring, using the the pleated corners in the
box spring as the marker.
*Measure the foot of the bed, again using the pleated corners as the marker.
*Last, measure from the top of the box spring to the floor.

Mom recommended adding one inch seams to everything to leave room for error.
You can later serge or cut away the excess. I find that making paper patterns is really helpful and keeps me from making some major mistakes, especially when I'm working with expensive fabric.

We split the main fabric into thirds on the side, and into two pieces on the foot of the bed.  We measured each box pleat in the striped fabric at 8 inches, adding 2 inches for the seam.  The length being from the top of your box spring to the floor +2 inches.
Next, I sewed each piece together with a 1 inch seam.

We made a super long strip with alternating flower and striped fabric.

Mom thought we should line the bedskirt to help the fabric hang better.  She was right, it made all the difference and finished it off beautifully.  I used drapery lining, piecing it together.  If I were to to do it again, I would make less seams in the lining by cutting longer strips.  

Next I sewed right sides together,  on one side (the bottom) with a 1 inch seam.

Then we pressed open all the seams, folding the material over and pressing again,

especially on the bottom edge.
For the box pleats, we found the center of the contrasting fabric and folded over each side to meet the center. In this case the contrasting fabric was 8 inches.  We folded in 4 inches on each side to meet the center. Pinned in place and pressed firmly with an iron to set the box pleat.  Mom helped me use a pressing cloth so the iron wouldn't damage the fabric.

Mom suggested sewing the top fabric shut to keep it from shifting as I attached the bedskirt fabric to the top fabric that goes underneath the mattress.

It took me a couple of times to figure out how to attach the bedskirt to the fabric that goes under the mattress.  I first tried pinning it inside out (like you would a slip cover), making sure the the bottom of the fabric hit just above the carpet.  It was really uneven and difficult guessing.  I also had a little helper unpinning as fast as I could pin.  I finally gave up that idea and pulled out a bedskirt pattern that recommended cutting the top fabric to fit the box spring, with a 1 inch seam overhang. So much easier!

I pinned the fabric to the bed and found the edge, pulling the fabric back and pinning it. Then I took my clear ruler and marked with a fabric pen 1 inch and then cut.  This made it so easy to attach the bedskirt fabric to the top fabric.

Next, we pinned all the edges together.
We matched our corners matched up and then sewed.  I haven't serged my edges yet in case I need to adjust a few things, but I eventually will to prevent the seams from tearing open.
There you go!
A custom fit bedskirt, and so different than what I could find in a store!  I know I would  have payed a pretty penny to a seamstress to make this plus the cost of fabric. Thanks Autumn for dreaming up such a beautifully designed bedskirt for me! Her attention to detail amazes me.  Thanks Mom for your seamstress brain...she really is very talented.  I'm so glad she encouraged me that I can do this myself and not to cut corners while sewing.  I hope some of you find this somewhat helpful if you ever decide to make your own bedskirt.  I sure do appreciate all the people that take the time to share their diy projects on their blogs, it is such a great resource to pull from when you need it.


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