Month: May 2014 (page 2 of 6)

In The Kitchen: Naked Cake with Berries and Fresh Whipped Cream

As the weather warms up, my appetite changes.  I tend to want lighter foods and swap my usual indulgences with a bowl of chopped fruit.  So, I thought this naked cake with berries and fresh whipped cream would be the perfect accompaniment to summer barbeques and al fresco dinner parties.  It is easy to make and skips a whole lot of calories that can be found in heavier, more sugary frosting.  And it is so simple; so pretty, yet understated.

naked cake blog pic

Things You Will Need:

1.  Depending on the amount of layers you want, bake round yellow cakes accordingly.  {Here, I made four layers.}

2.  Berries.  {Here, I chose strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.}

3.  Fresh whipped cream.  {To make, I put 1 pint heavy whipping cream, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl.  Whisk in an electric mixer on high for about 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.}

berries blog pic

Once your cakes are cooled, slice off the tops to make each cake even.  Fold a mixture of the rinsed berries into the whipped cream.  Using a spatula, spread the whipped cream and berries between each layer of cake.

whipped cream blog pic

Save some extra berries to place on top of the cake for decoration.

naked cake top blog pic

{Additional Tips}

1.  Place the bowl and whisk in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before making your whipped cream.

2.  Refrigerate immediately or keep whipped cream in an air tight container in the refrigerator and layer it onto the cake just before serving.

You can use whichever fruits are your favorite, but I prefer strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and the red, white and blue color scheme is great for this Memorial Day weekend!

naked cake light blog pic

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Enjoy!

Quick Craft: Shadowbox Jewelry Display

Over the years, I have accumulated a collection of short and long necklaces.  Most of them dainty, their chains getting tangled when I try to lay them flat next to each other in the glass jewelry box perched on my dresser.  So, I was looking for a way to display them without the mess.  This is a simple way to store necklaces (or other pieces) and you may already have the supplies in your home.

final shadowbox fuzzy blog pic

Start with a shadowbox that you may already have lying around and unused or in need of an update.  Then, I rounded up some shiny, round, solid-head silver thumbtacks because they would match the door-pull perfectly and went well with the distressed gray paint.  You can also use decorative pushpins or glass head pins typically used by tailors that might also be lurking around your home, hidden in a sewing kit.

necklaces on shadowbox blog pic{I found this shadowbox on sale for $12 at T.J. Maxx}

After choosing a few necklaces to display (try not to pick anything too chunky), press your thumbtacks into the back of the shadowbox, spacing them out evenly across the top.

thumbtacks blog pic{Leave a little bit of room in between each tack}

Hang the chain of the necklace right over the round of the tack and if needed, press down on the tack again after placing the necklace over it to ensure it stays in place.

necklackes hung up blog pic{For extra long necklaces, you can fold them in half and wrap the middle of the folded chain over the thumbtack}

{Additional Tips}

1.  You can also mount this on a wall with two simple nails, one on each side of the back of the shadowbox or with a wire strung across the back, only requiring one nail in the center.

2.  Etsy has some really great decorative tacks to choose from.

shadowbox complete blog pic{No hammer and nails needed here: for a less permanent jewelry box that you can easily move around, simply rest your finished product on an existing shelf, like I did above, or lay it flat on the top of a dresser}

 

Enjoy!

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things {This Week}…

{A few of my favorite things this week that I either just discovered or already know I couldn’t do without}

iced tea with orange blog pic 2

1.     Cushion Pom Chrysanthemums –  This cheerful flower brought happiness to a recent event I planned and, thanks to some leftover, corners of my house as well.  I tucked small bunches of them in mason jars to brighten things up.

cushion pom blog pic

2.     Shaken Iced Tea with Orange – My daily refreshment of choice is an unsweetened iced tea with lemonade.  Being that I’m a creature of habit when it comes to this beverage, just as most things in my life, I was bummed when Starbucks was out of lemonade one morning and couldn’t mix up the sweet concoction.  They suggested I add a splash of valencia orange instead and I was pleasantly surprised; it was delicious.

iced tea with orange blog pic {Orange has long been paired with chocolate, but I’ve never really taken to the combination.  Sipping this tea with a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds was a perfect match and has now made me a fan of the duo.}

3.     Mophie Charger – This little powerstation is small enough to fit in your pocket, yet packed with enough power to keep your phone fully charged throughout the day.  It is the ideal tool to keep with you when you are on-the-go, and when you may not be near your car or an outlet, but your smartphone needs some juice.

mophie blog pic 3

4.     Personalized Cutting Board – One of my dad’s favorite places is the kitchen, so my husband and I gave him a cutting board engraved with his name last year over the holidays.  When I walked into my dad’s kitchen this weekend and he was preparing dinner on that same cutting board, I was so happy to know it has become a staple in his home.  It was one of those gifts that just so perfectly fit the recipient and I remembered how beautiful it was all over again when I saw it the other day.

cutting board blog pic

Enjoy!

Quick Craft: Glitter Party Candle {In Gold}

This is a really quick and easy way to make an ordinary birthday candle sparkle a little brighter.  It’s a fun cake topper for a kid’s birthday and New Year’s Eve parties alike.  And it takes only three supplies and a few minutes to make (plus drying time).

gold glitter candle blog pic

Things You Will Need:

1.  Elmer’s Rubber Cement.

2.  Glitter (I used Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter in Smoky Quartz).

3.  Number Candle(s).

 

 

gold glitter candle things you will need blog pic

First, lay your candle or candles on a flat surface like a brown paper bag, a paper plate or newspaper.  Then, brush the front of the candle(s) with rubber cement.  Pour glitter onto the candle(s) and tap to remove excess glitter.

gold glitter candle collage blog picLet your candle(s) dry for about 15-20 minutes before flipping over and repeating the same process on the back.

gold glitter candle complete blog pic

Tap again, to remove any additional excess after drying is complete.  Insert into cake and enjoy!

LSP harper cake aftermath{It will be difficult to believe that this festive candle started out in the aisle of your supermarket}

You can try this with any number(s), in your favorite color.  Enjoy!

A Few Of Emma’s Favorite Things {This Week}…

{A few of my daughter, Emma’s favorite things this week that she either just discovered or already knows she couldn’t do without or some kid stuff that her mommy may love even more than she does}

big balloon blog pic 3

1.     Balloons – My daughter is quick to spot balloons wherever they are – flower shops, the supermarket, a store front window – and she points feverishly until I let her get up close.  At my niece’s first birthday party this weekend, we had several extra large pink balloons tied to lemonade stands and baskets, and Emma was in her glory.  It is so much fun to watch her find such joy in the littlest things.

big balloon

2.     Gelato – Ice cream is one of my top treats all year long, but gelato is bliss on a whole other level.  It has a way of transporting me to one of my favorite places on earth…Italy.  And it tends to be creamier and lighter.  It has less air than ice cream and less fat, too.  And when Emma indulged in the same delight for the first time this weekend, she found it very difficult to put down.

big blue eyes with gelato blog pic{Stracciatella gelato is my flavor of choice and Emma seemed to love it just as much.  And Cafe La Crepe in Montclair is our choice of spots to get this sweet treat.}

3.     Tutus – I love having a bunch of tutus on hand in a variety of fun colors.  They are an easy addition to any outfit and our go-to for parties and celebrations.  The TomKat Studio has them in their online shop in party packs of eight in your choice of colors.

tomkatstudio tutus zoom blog pic

4.     I Love You Through and Through – We read often, but like everything else, Emma’s favorites come in waves.  They last for a week (sometimes more, sometimes less) and she is fixated on the same few.  Then, they retreat to the back of the bookshelf only to be brought out again a month or two later when all the other books have also gone through the rotation.  This week she was hooked on this cute book, like she has been before, and she excitedly points to the top of her head, her fingers, her ears and eyes, and more when prompted to do so by the vibrant character filling up the pages.

i love you through and through blog pic

Enjoy!

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