Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Princess Doll Birthday Cake!

Want to make a PERFECT birthday cake for your Princess?! Here is how!

So for my daughters 4th birthday I decided to make a Princess Doll Cake. To be honest, I was pretty terrified to make it. I thought how can something SO pretty be easy to make?! Well good news everyone... its VERY easy! I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker website. If you want to watch a video of how to make the cake click HERE. Lets get started making your princess cake!

-2 Boxes of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
-Water, Vegetable Oil, Eggs (called for on cake mix boxes)
-3 containers of Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting
-Food Coloring (your desired color)
-1 regular size Barbie Doll
-Edible Pearls
-Decorating Sugar

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease 1 1/2-quart ovenproof bowl (8 inches across top) and three 8-inch round cake pans with shortening; coat with flour (do not use cooking spray).

2. In large bowl, make cake batter as directed on boxes. (Both boxes of cake mix can be made at one time; do not make more than 2 boxes, and do not increase beating time.) Pour 3 1/4 cups batter into 1 1/2-quart bowl, and divide remaining batter among 3 pans (slightly less than 2 cups per pan).

3. Bake cake pans 23 to 30 minutes and bowl 47 to 53 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and bowl. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Place cakes in freezer 45 minutes before cutting to reduce crumbs. Cut off rounded tops of cakes. Cut bowl cake in half horizontally. Cut 1 3/4-inch diameter hole in center of all 5 cake layers.

4. Spoon frosting into large bowl. Stir in food color until desired pink color. Place one 8-inch cake on serving plate; spread 1/3 cup frosting over top. Top with second 8-inch cake; spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Repeat with third layer; top with larger bowl cake layer, cut side up. Spread with small amount of frosting. Top with rounded bowl cake layer, cut side down. Trim side of cake if necessary to make a tapered "skirt."

5. Spread thin layer of frosting over side and top of layered cake to seal in crumbs. Freeze cake 30 to 45 minutes to set frosting. It should look something like this:

 6. Spread frosting over cake as desired. Wrap hair and lower half of doll with plastic wrap. Insert doll into center of cake. Frost body of doll. Decorate with sprinkles and candy pearls as desired. Unwrap hair. Store cake loosely covered.

**This cake took about 5 hours to make**

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nightstand re-finishing tutorial and Master Bedroom remodel

This was my bedroom in December

I absolutely LOVE our bed frame that we bought a few years ago...but otherwise, our room has needed some major TLC. That poor nightstand was mine when I was single.. purchased about 9 years ago from Walmart. Its been painted twice and has water damage all over the top.

Since our budget for home decorating is slim to none, our master bedroom has gone on the back burner... since nobody ever sees it. But i have wanted a nice bedding set for a really long time.

When Christmas started drawing near I started making my usual list of super expensive items since im high maintenance like that... On the top of the list was this 60% off bedding set from Martha Stewart:

Don't you LOVE LOVE LOVE??

Christmas morning came and there it was!! My husband is the BEST!!

Next I wanted a set of nightstands that looked nice in our room, but came to realize that nightstands under $100/each were difficult to find. OUCH! Looks like I am going to have to learn how to paint furniture. I found some very helpful information from here, here, and here.

Since Christmas, I have been stalking Craigslist looking for a set of nightstands that I could re-finish. Solid wood. Matching. Decent size. Cheap or free. In perfect working order.

Last week I found 2 of these. $15 bucks. Ugliest color ever, but they were perfect.

Within a few hours I had this:

Lowes or Home Depot will have everything you need to do this project! 
Total cost (including a sanding block and paint that I will use again!) was $46 for 2 nightstands.. Score!!

Dent and scratch repair: If your old furniture has obvious dings or deep scratches, use 3M brand paintable/stainable wood filler. This will make your surface look next to new when its done! 

Sanding: If your furniture has been painted previously you will need to sand it. Use 220 grit sandpaper and lightly scuff the whole surface. I bought a sanding sponge. It was $3, and it washable/reusable. Wipe the sanded surface clean with a soft cloth.

Primer: Priming (I have read) is a very necessary step if you have pre-painted/stained/sealed furniture. I talked with the paint specialist at Home Depot and they recommended a Paint+Primer option. No priming is required because there is primer in the paint. After sanding, just paint your surface. This cuts your work in half!

Paint: I went to Home Depot with one of my throw pillows and found a dead match! Guava Jam from Behr in semi gloss. A quart of Paint+Primer cost me $15, and I only used 1/4 of it total for both nightstands. You will have plenty left over for another proejct.. woot woot! (Make sure you get a semi-gloss or gloss if you are painting furniture. It helps with durability and protects against dings and water damage). If they dont have your exact color, did you know that they will make it? Just take a sample with you and they do the rest.

Brush: Make sure you use a soft-bristled brush that does not shed (quite a few of them do). Its worth a dollar or two extra to get a nice brush that you will use again and again. Mine was $5.

Hardware: If you need new hardware for your furniture, you can get them at Home Depot, Lowes, or even Walmart, Target, and many department stores have a wide selection. You can find some really beautiful options ranging from $1-8/ea. There were some that I liked that were in the 2 dollar range, but I absolutely fell in love with these. $4/ea was well worth it!

I also found some matching mirrors on Craigslist in terriffic shape for $15 for the set. The wood frame matches my bedframe perfectly:

This project was really simple, so dont be intimidated. If you have questions and feel like a dummy, ask a store associate... theyre used to dummies like me :).

 Love my new room!!

If you have questions, leave it in the comments section and I will do my best to respond quickly. You can do it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins- a perfect grab and go breakfast!!

These are absolutely delicious! The best part is that they are incredibly good for you. I was looking for healthy "grab and go" breakfast options for my husband and I the other day and ran across a fairly basic oatmeal muffin recipe. I played around with some ingredients, added a few things, and substituted a few things and came up with these yummy muffins! I hope you like them as much as I did. They can be eaten right away or you can flash freeze them, then freeze them for later use.

5 cups oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1 cup raisins

2 2/3 cup water
2 1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup + 1 TBSP olive oil
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TBSP chia seeds (optional)

Mix together the first set of ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix together the second set of ingredients. Mix well. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until completely combined. Pour into lined muffin cups till they are full. This recipe makes 24 muffins. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating. Let cool completely before freezing.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Perfect Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorite meals and this is one of the best recipes I have ever tried. I hope you like it as much as I did!

8 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup melted butter (8 TBS)
2 cloves cloves garlic
1 egg

2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Your favorite pasta sauce
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350. Trim all fat from chicken breasts. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic, and egg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper until mixed thoroughly.

Dip your chicken breast first in your butter mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Make sure you coat both sides evenly. Place in a non-greased 9x13 pan. Repeat until all chicken is coated.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Then top each breast with a little pasta sauce and some mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve over your favorite pasta. Goes along beautifully with THIS homemade roll recipe. Enjoy!

blog background