Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY Pink-Polka Dot washing machine

Let me just say that my husband is awesome & indulges me!! How many guys would let their wives get away with this?! :)
I am just going to start with the after picture because I am obsessed with my newly painted pink & polka dotted washing machine!! Isn't it fabulous? I had seen this Pin at the beginning of the summer of a turquoise polka dot washer & have been trying to find the time to do this. It was my perfect answer to wanting a new washer & dryer but not having the money for a fancy upgrade. Paint it pink & it feels like new! It was a fairly simply project, except it was a very small room to work in & I did not want to pull them out. So I only painted their tops & fronts. 
As you can see in this picture, we had just a boring, plain white washer & dryer. Drew actually brought these into the marriage :) Not pretty, but they get the job done!
I started the make-over by taping off around the control knobs. I held bowls of varying sizes around the areas I didn't want to paint and then traced around them. Next step was applying primer. I used two coats of KILZ primer. And just a warning- it STINKS!! Especially in a tiny laundry room! Drew was afraid I might be causing myself a little brain damage :)
Next, it was time for the pink! I used regular latex paint, in a very happy shade of pink. I ended up doing three coats to get it completely covered. Here's after the pink:
 Aren't they pretty?! They make me happy!! The tutorial I had been following used a stencil to add the white polka dots. I didn't have a stencil. I also did not want to trace polka dots all over it & hand paint them. So I went with an easier & faster solution. White vinyl! I used my cricut to cut out circles of various sizes in white vinyl. I then just stuck them on. Super fast & easy! Only problem- I ran out of vinyl.
At this point, I really wish I would have left the dryer white. Then I could have done it opposite, white dryer with pink polka dots. O well, too late!!
And yes, I did go out & buy more white vinyl for the dryer but before I had a chance to add the polka dots, our washer broke. Yes, our freshly painted washer broke!! Can you say OMG?!!
And in the process of it breaking, it flooded the laundry room. And the water messed up the attached living room carpet. And it seeped through the walls & soaked the master closet. Once again, OMG!!!!
I'm not even sure what I was more upset about, the washer being broken, the floors having to be replaced, or the fact that I just painted that stupid thing!!

Anyway, two weeks later & the washer has been banged around a bit but it is fixed. The lid switch broke. So that was a cheap fix. Well, except for the floors. We have also picked out new flooring that is to be replaced within the next two weeks.

Drew says the whole thing was my fault. His washer & dryer didn't want to be pink because they are manly. Whatever, it's fixed & we're on the road to new floors!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cake pops!

My friend Amanda was hosting a baby shower for her sister-in-law in June & asked for my help with the dessert. She wanted to make cake pops but had never made them before. I hadn't done them in a couple of months so I was all for helping! Since she has a 1 year old, I packed up all my stuff & we did them at her house. (My house is definitely not baby proof!)  Our friend Jen came over & we ended up having girls night all at the same time :) I had Amanda make the 9x13 cake ahead of time so we wouldn't have to wait until it cooled. First step is crumbling the cake into a big bowl. Then add about 2/3 of a can of store bought icing & mix well. It's easiest to use your hands to mix but it gets very messy!

After the cake & icing were mixed together, we rolled the mixture into as many balls as we could. We stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up. While they were in the freezer I melted the candy coating. We used all blue. Can you tell the baby is a boy?
Take the white pop stick, dip into candy coating & then insert about halfway into a cake ball. I do this to about 10 before I start dipping the cake itself. I find that it starts to harden & will help the cake ball stay on the stick much better while dipping.
After dipping, add whatever sprinkles you like while the candy coating is still wet. Then stick the completed cake pop into Styrofoam while it hardens.
For the best directions for cake pop making, head to their inventor's website, Bakerella!

I think ours turned out very pretty :)
For display, Amanda had an idea I hadn't seen yet. She made a diaper cake with an extra foam lip sticking out all they way around the bottom wrapped in ribbon. We stuck the cake balls into that extra foam, so they encircled the diaper cake.
Pretty cute, huh? To read more about the whole shower, head to her blog, the Parr Family Adventures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

May wrap up - 90th!, mirror frame, sugar scrub, flower wreath

 Jolie wasn't the only May birthday we got to celebrate. This amazing lady is my grandmother, Dorothy Kelly. On May 20 she turned 90 years old! I am so blessed to be able to call her Grandmother! I love her so much! And despite her declining health, she is still a spit fire & is definitely one of my favorite people in the entire world!! Happy Birthday Grandmother!!

She likes to have blankets on her lap, so I made her this minky blanket. Of course it's pink, It's her favorite color too. I really liked the brightness of this color combo & she loved it! Mom says she uses it almost every day :)
Here's a picture of me & Drew at her party.
Mother's Day was also in May, so I decided to make my mom & mother-in-law sugar scrubs. It was a first for me & I'm not sure I'd ever make them again!! They were super messy (ok, that could just be a me problem) to make & I was never super happy with the consistency. I went with a lavender scent.
At least they're pretty :) 
I also finally framed out the mirror in the guest bathroom. It was soo much easier than when I did the master because I had confidence in what I was doing! I love the transformation!
But- do you see what happens when you ask your husband to send you a picture of the after because you forgot to? He doesn't even notice that there's a light out! O well, thanks husband!!
I also made new, colorful wreaths to go on the french doors in the kitchen. My first try at flower wreaths by myself. Not my favorite, but they'll do.
And that is May, all wrapped up. I think!

Princess (barbie) Cake for Jolie!

My niece Jolie turned 4 in May. Last year she had a Tangled themed birthday party complete with my cupcake version of Rapunzel's tower. This year her theme was any and all things princess, including a princess cake. She wanted ALL of the princess on her cake. Luckily for me, I talked her down to one princess with a cake skirt. In pink Aunt Kelly, PINK!! That I can handle!!
On my practice night, I realized that I had vastly underestimated the size my princess would need to be. Oops!
On with the skirt trials! I wasn't going for a specific Princess' look, I just wanted a very pretty, feminine skirt. Roses were cute, but we decided the ruffles were the best. I liked the purple/pink skirt, but was reminded by the birthday girl that it needed to be pink. PINK! So, skirt done! And the search for the perfect size princess begins.
  (I know they have dolls at Hobby Lobby for this exact cake, but I think they are kind of creepy!) I went first to Target, then Walmart but then by Toys R Us, I had decided that maybe she didn't actually have to be a Disney Princess. So, I grabbed a Fairy Barbie (who ended up losing her wings) and brought her home. The skirt now looks proportionate to her body, but now her legs are way too long!! Who would have thought princess searching would be this difficult?
UGH! So, easiest fix- make two skirts & stack them. As you can see on the left, I had to kind of shape the top layer so her skirt wouldn't look boxy. Luckily, all those pink piped ruffles covered alot!! 

I was super excited to show Jolie her princess cake!
And since all the guests couldn't eat off of Jolie's princess cake, I also made a Neapolitan rose cake. No one in my family can eat the same flavor of cake, so I figured three layers, each different, everyone will be happy! These rose cakes are so pretty & easy!
Here's the birthday girl with both of her cakes, because of course the candle couldn't go in the princess's skirt! She LoVeD them!! :)
Loved them so much that she was licking the icing off while we were singing to her. I did not eat a piece off that side!!
The Neapolitan was super yummy & looked really cool when it was cut! I am a strawberry/vanilla girl, so I gave my chocolate to my husband!
 And this is how the princess fared. Lucky she has any part of a skirt left after Jolie got a hold of her! That girl loves icing!!
So the party was a success & we had lots of left over cake! Makes me feel good to see something I've created make someone that happy!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Peanut Butter cupcakes

Can you tell my husband loves chocolate & peanut butter? Drew had an event at work that he needed cupcakes for, and that's the flavor combo he wanted, again. Not wanting to make the same exact kind twice, I hunted Pinterest for a new recipe. I found a couple that would work, but the best looked like this Pin for Peanut Butter ball cupcakes.
Instead of just dropping a Reese's into the bottom of a chocolate cupcake, she mixed peanut butter with powdered sugar, butter & vanilla to form peanut butter balls that would go into the cupcake.You chill the balls in the freezer for about 10 minutes & then they're ready to be added to the cupcake batter.
The frosting was a very rich combination of peanut butter, whipping cream, shortening, butter, vanilla & powdered sugar. Needless to say, it was really, really yummy!! 
I piped on the frosting with a swirl tip, topped with a mini Reese's and added a few sprinkles. I think they are pretty :)

Cupcake Party! - high heels, speghetti & angry birds

After some massive hint dropping, my husband bought me the newest Hello Cupcake book, cupcakes, cookies, & pie, oh my! for Valentine's Day! Love him :) I could not wait to get started on some of their newest designs, especially the high heels!! (I have a slight shoe obsession!) I called 3 of my favorite baker friends over & we had a cupcake party. We do it like this: I make all of the cupcakes & at least one batch of buttercream frosting. Each guests brings over a can of store bought icing (we're going for looks at these, not taste), a design they have picked & all the ingredients needed to make 12 of their design. We all make each design together & have three tries to get it right! When it's time to go home, everyone has 3 of each cupcake to take with them.
Tiffany has a 3 year old boy who loves speghetti, so this was her pick. They were super easy to make & ended up really cute! The "noodle" is piped icing done with a small round tip. The "meatball" is a chocolate candy & the "sauce" is strawberry jam. I'm thinking it wasn't the best taste combination, but it looked pretty authentic!


Jennifer's choice were the characters from the game Angry Birds. She got the idea off Pinterest. Each character was first flat iced and then dipped into solid sprinkles, color depending on the character. The mouths were all made out of marshmallows, the eyes were mini marshmallows with mini chocolate chips, eye brows (?) of licorice, nose/beak from orange candy slices & the feathers were jelly beans.

One of the teachers at Drew's school loved the pictures he showed at work on Monday, so I actually made them again that week for a birthday party. Drew said the ones we made for the party (below) are more correct, because thier faces are to the side, like they are flying, which they do in the game. I have no idea- I don't play it! I just think they are cute!
Next up were my high heel cupcakes!! Not surprising, my design choice was a bit ambitious, but I am in love with them!! The shoe can go from a pump to a peep toe by removing a semi-circle of cake right at the tip of the cupcake. The heel is a pretzel stick, and the sole of the shoe is a grahm cracker, cut into a triangle then dipped in white candy coating. All three pieces are glued together using the same candy coating. It took a little trial & error to make them actually stick, but it was worth the work!   

Here's a side view. Yes, they are a little messy, but it was late & we were a little giddy on all the sweets we had been consuming!
 Here are 5 of our favorites. I'm apparently not real good at free handing zebra print. Something that I'll need to work on for next time. Aren't they aweomse?!
Next up was Kinsey, who wanted to try sheep cake pops. She had never done cake balls before and they ended up being too much work for the amount of time we had left. We decided to save those for next time!
And we forgot to take a group shot of all the cupcakes with the four of us! O well- have to do it again soon!

I LOVE cupcake parties!!

DIY mirror frame

What to do on a Saturday night when your husband is playing with the guys & your crafty friend wants to hang out? Frame our bathroom mirror! finally! I have had this pin from House of Smiths on my home board for a while, trying to work up the nerve to do this. My friend Jennifer had already done it to her bathroom mirror so we decided it would be a perfect project for us. Here's the before picture of the builder's grade mirror in our master bathroom.  Basic boring mirror with fabulous light fixtures that we added as soon as we moved in.
Jennifer & I measured the mirror & headed to Lowe's for some moulding, base boards & liquid nails. We followed the House of Smith tutorial for the most part, cutting the boards to my mirror's measurements with 45 degree corner angles. It was the first time I had used my brand new miter saw that my parents got me for Christmas (this post is supposed to be February!), so it took us a little while to get the saw figured out! But after we did, it went really smooth. The pieces fit together pretty well & it was time to glue them together! Okay- here is where we deviated from the tutorial. I tried & tried to glue the frame together before adding it to the mirror by applying liquid nails to the corners & leaving it to dry overnight. I don't know if it was the weather or just Kelly error, but the frame would not stay glued together!! So, I moved on to plan b- paint each side piece & then add the sides of the frame to the mirror individually. I started with the left side piece, added liquid nail & glued it directly to the mirror. I then did the top, right side & finished with the bottom of the mirror. Great news- it worked!! To make sure it would stay in place, I added some blue painters tape to it until it dried.
I left the tape up for about 24 hours. And let me warn you- liquid nails in a small space like a bathroom stinks!! for days!!
Anyway, after removing the tape, all i had to do was fill in any gaps in the corners of the frame with wood filler, sand & repaint where I sanded. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but after I got it figured out, the guest bathroom mirror only took half of the time!
Here's the finished mirror

 I LOVE it!! I didn't loose much of the mirror & it gives the bathroom a more finished look!
Ignore the sweats, but check out that pretty corner. Let me tell you- I was very impressed with myself!! Guest bathroom pictures to come after I take them :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

These cupcakes aren't that exciting & I have no idea what I made them for. But ever since I made Martha Stewart's Oreo Cheesecake cupcakes, Drew has been obsessed with trying to come up with all these candy/cupcake combinations to try. Most of them sound good in theory, but wouldn't really work. So to give him what he wanted, we made these easy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cupcakes.
Make the chocolate cupcake recipe of your choice. Stick a Reese's PB cup at the bottom of each cupcake wrapper. These were the miniature size Reese's. I had wanted the next size up, but that's what you get when you send your husband to the store. And since I didn't have to go, I decided these were perfect :)
Pour the batter on top of the Reese's, then bake at normal temperature/time. I made a new chocolate frosting for these but I can't find the link to the recipe. It was really good!

I keep forgetting to use this stand when I take my pictures! Drew took me to a pottery painting place in College Station for my birthday. I made a cookie platter for Christmas & he made this little cupcake stand for me. It is Awesome!! I need to get a better picture of the rest of it. The stand itself is pink with white polka dots & the bottom & top both have a Drew drawn cupcake on them. I loved it!! And it's perfect for displaying cupcakes!
Thanks Love!

Hi Hat Cupcakes

Drew asked me to make cupcakes for him to take to school. I like to use the teachers at NISD as guinea pigs so I began my Pinterest search for a fun new cupcake idea. Success! I found this Pin for Hi Hat Cupcakes. The original post is from Martha Stewart. Hi Hat cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes, with a marshmallow icing, dipped in chocolate, like a DQ dip cone. I've never made a marshmallow icing so I was a little worried about getting the consistency right and really worried about then dipping it into melted chocolate. I wasn't real sure this was going to work!
I followed Martha's recipe for the cupcakes, they were easy. I then got to working on the iffy part, the marshmallow icing. After you mix the ingredients together, you have to beat it with a hand held mixer over boiling water until stiff peaks form. According to Martha,12 minutes, mine took closer to 20. I can't stand still that long, so I enlisted my helpful husband. He looks like he knows what he's doing right? :)
After the frosting thickens, transfer it to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe the icing into a spiral on the cupcakes as high as you'd like. Or in my case, until you run out!  
 Some of my spirals got a little wonky, but they were fun :)
Stick the cupcakes into the freezer while you melt the chocolate coating.
The key to the chocolate coating not melting the frosting is to wait until the chocolate has cooled before you try to dip them. Also make sure your chocolate is in a bowl that's deep enough to accommodate the entire spiral so that it doesn't get flattened in the process.
I think these are so cool! The teachers loved them! Drew was supposed to take a picture of one after it had been cut in half, but he forgot :(. O well, we'll just have to make them again to see what the inside looks like!
Great idea Martha, thanks!