Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wacky Cake (Copy Cat)


When  I saw Debbie over at Debbie Doos was having a copy cat party, I wanted to copy so many things that I sadly don't have the resources to do ( sigh).  But I happened ,just the other day, get an email feed  from Mal over at  The Chic Geek . She had just made this "Wacky Cake" from America's Test Kitchen .  It looked great and with ingredients that everyone usually has. And I did, woo hoo!

They are cooking through the decades and this cake happens to be from around the 1940s during the war when certain ingredients were rationed at different times. It contains no milk products ( yea for us lactose intolerant), no egg sand no nuts. They called it wacky because it was made without those ingredients and right in the baking pan.  I call that awesome cake because I only had one pan/bowl to clean after I was done.


Ingredients
Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in pan.



 3.Make 1 large and 2 small craters in dry ingredients. Add oil to large crater and vinegar and vanilla separately to remaining small craters.

I used my measuring cups for the craters. They were already dirty, so why not?

4.Pour water into pan , and mix until just a few streaks of flour remain. Immediately put pan in oven.


 3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. (If tightly wrapped, cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature.)

Right out of the oven. The pan is not pretty but who cares.

Thanks for sharing, Mal.

 I will say it tasted great.  Next time I make it I might make some kind of icing because I have the world's biggest sweet tooth.  But my hubby even went back for seconds and if he doesn't have a sweet tooth, that's saying something.



Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Debbie Does Creations - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
 Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely 
-SNAP

Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
The Taylor House- House of Hepworths


Friday
Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday

Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal
Cheerios and Lattes
Natasha in Oz -Say G'Day

Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things




Monday, July 30, 2012

Mickey Mouse Party (with printables)

(This is another flashback post just like the one about the Wall-e Party. These parties were pre-blog but I wanted to share some of my ideas and printables)

A year ago (2011) K was into Mickey mouse really bad. It was no surprise when that was the theme for her 3rd birthday party.  This was more of a store bought party I will say.   At the time Charlie was very sick  and I had a almost one year old, so I was a tad overwhelmed.

I bought the Mickey Mouse cupcake stand, invitations, table cloth, balloons,cupcake papers and one banner to put downstairs.


Yes,,,those are Pringles around her cupcake. She still won't eat cupcakes or cake. So she gets ice cream and Pringles.

But  I had to do some things to complete the look....it can't be all store bought.  I decided we needed Mickey ears everywhere so  I went into Photoshop and created this file . Which  I then printed out, then traced a billion times, and cut out ( see... another reason I need to win a Silhouette machine..anyone want to give me and my readers one? )
click to download file

Then I took the mickey mouse face cutouts and some crepe paper and hung them around the basement.



As I looked around the room, I noticed all of the black frames that we had down there.  Why couldn't they   be mickey-ized too?  I cut out big black circles and taped them up behind the tv....


behind the big picture frame....


  behind the  big clock and the key chain shadow boxes....( look to the right)




The birthday girl could not go without a special shirt.  I took the same Mickey face cutout file, added a 20pt red outline to the outside, the Cheri font K and volia!

click to download (PSD file)

 I cut the separate pieces out, used some wunder under. (Amazing stuff) cut out the shapes and ironed them on the shirt.  I then used some white embroidery thread to add that cute little touch.  I loved the shirt .And I think I must love embroidery too!

I unearthed it out of her clothes memory box. Sorry about the wrinkles.
I also wanted a personalized banner upstairs on the mantle  so back to my trusty Photoshop and  I created  this file. The font I  used was aka Dylan Open from dafont. I used  aka Dylan Plain for the shirt above.

Click to download file

I couldn't find any photos from the day of the party but I had saved the banner. Notice the lovely patina of wrinkles it received in her paper memory box. Yes, each kid has a clothes/stuff memory box and a paper stuff memory box.


I used the layers in Photoshop to break apart the letters of the banner, print them out on colored card stock ( I don't have a colored printer, only laser) and make every other letter a different color by placing two letters per sheet of paper. I just cut them out by hand.  They are about 4" tall.
You can see the in the color picture that the  H and the P are both red.  I did that with all of the letters.  I hope this gives you some other ideas for a Mickey Party. You can blend the store bought and the diy  at any party. Sometimes us mommies need some help.


Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Debbie Does Creations - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
 Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
The Taylor House- House of Hepworths-SNAP
Friday
Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday

Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal
Cheerios and Lattes
Natasha in Oz -Say G'Day




Friday, July 27, 2012

Self Portrait Assignment (or learning to love your tripod)

I have been following Kelly  over at Live Laugh Rowe  and her super talented sister,  Kristine at  Kristine Lynn Photography  over the last couple of week s for a  Self Portrait Challenge.  Kristine  gave us a whole bunch of tips on how to take better self portraits of ourselves.

I find it is never easy to look at pictures of myself because most of the pictures I've done my own makeup and hair.  And the lighting is never good . And I'm making some kind of goofy face. blah blah blah. I think the only day so far in my life where I have liked every picture is my wedding day.  Because.....somebody else did my hair, makeup, and was there to tell me if I was making a dumb face.

I've been watching my friend, Michelle over at Callia's Corner the past few weeks being all diligent and taking all kinds of great self  portraits of herself.  And I was all like, " Yeah, I'll do that today." She made it look too easy. I had all intentions of trying to do this multiple times to practice but life and kids intervened  and I got to it once, in 100+ degree heat. Yeah, me!

So it shows up  when I publish this post.... I think this is my favorite one...

Manual ISO 400, 1/100, f 6.3
Or do you like the Black and white version?



But this one was good too....

 Or this one...


My house has exactly three places where any lights hit all day ( note to self: next house...more windows). And yesterday happened to be all overcast and cloudy so none of that light was coming in. So I headed out in the heat by my fence. I set up the tripod and a piece of tape  on the fence for focusing.

 Here is one of my blurry shots. The fence is in way more focus than I am.


Then  K wouldn't take a nap so then she was outside with me. I mean, look at that sweat on the sides of her nose. Yep, sweaty.


Her job was to make me laugh and keep the dog out of the way. See how much that worked...

He photo bombed me !!
I just wanted you all to see that  when i get a blog award I'm all like ahhhh...

 Then I'm all eeeeee....



I course I couldn't not have her jump in one time.


Thanks for all the tips , Kelly and Kristine! I might actually use one of these for my  front page photo and about page.


Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Debbie Does Creations - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
 Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
The Taylor House- House of Hepworths-SNAP
Friday
Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday

Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal
Cheerios and Lattes
Natasha in Oz -Say G'Day

Funny Fridays: Definitely


The teacher walks into the room and says... "Ok class, today's word is DEFINITELY, can anyone use the word in a sentence?"
Little Susie stands up and says "The sky is DEFINITELY blue."
The teacher says; "Not necessarily, Susie. It can be blue, gray, or black, but nice try."
Little Johnny is in the back of the room and is waving his hands back and forth.
The teacher says " Yes, Johnny. What is it?"
Johnny says " I have a question."
"Ok, lets hear it." says the teacher.
Johnny says "Do farts have lumps?"
The teacher says, "Well ,no, they don't."
Little Johnny says "Well, then I DEFINITELY just shit my pants!!!"


Hope you definitely have a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things I love about Saint Louis: The Wabash and Pacific Railroad

(This is the fifth in the Things I love about Saint Louis series. Click here to find out what else I love about the STL)


After we had kids and our kids started to like trains( like at the zoo), our friend Brian  introduced us to the Wabash and Pacific Railroad. It is a amazing little passenger, larger- than- life-scaled train  that operates out of Wildwood , MO . Wildwood is  about 45 minutes from downtown, 30 minutes from the suburbs where we live. There is a donation  asked of  $4 for everyone with kids 3 and younger being free. It's well worth how much fun the kids have.

J and girls headed to the train


It is nestled  on an old train bed/tracks next to the Meramec river. It shares space with a paved/gravel hiking/biking trail which is part of the Meramec Greenway project. You will see lots of bicyclist, walkers, and hikers as you ride the train.


 The train is about 3 foot tall  and  a little over 12" wide.(12 gauge... hey, I'm not a train person so it went right over my head the first time). It's basically wide enough for one adult and one kid to site next to each other. They have steam engines and electric. There's nothing like the steam blowing and the sound that it makes though.

Turning the engine around to attach to the train cars

The first train leaves out at 11:00am so we usually try to get there at 10:30 so we can be in line. This past visit we got there about 10:45 and by 11 the little waiting area was full and some folks were going to have to wait for the next one.  I believe they have 3-4 locomotives but I only saw 2 or 3 lines of train cars to ride in.
On this visit, we went with our friends:Scott, Laura , HG, and DG  from D.I.Y. Couple. Scott and J have been friends since high school. K loves HG and Scott. S , well,  she doesn't  really play with others yet. (maybe she's the quiet one)

K and HG waiting for  the train

The crew

This beautiful little train operation is ran solely by volunteers who seem to really love what they do and are so nice to the kids.  And it was so hot (triple digits)when we went that it makes what they do even more spectacular because they aren't being paid to endure that.


It's about a 2 mile ride(back and forth) through he woods, next to some bluffs and along the river until you get to the point where they have to stop and switch the engine from the front to the back of the train and then you just turn around in your seat and you are ready to go back.  The ride and the turnaround took about an hour but it seems to vary every time we go. We even had to wait for a bit while the electric train passed us.




The kids had a blast and of course as soon as it was over wanted to ride again but we got them to leave with the promises of lunch and a playground.  Since we had friends along, I got a good picture of the family and I don't look totally  yuck in it. I definitely recommend this one for  anyone, little or big.



Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Debbie Does Creations - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
 Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
The Taylor House- House of Hepworths-SNAP
Friday
Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday

Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal
Cheerios and Lattes
Natasha in Oz -Say G'Day

Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things





Monday, July 23, 2012

Please...talk to a quiet person today


I'd be the one on the left.........hello?..over here..

Introverts Unite!  I would start a support group but that would involve getting together and  talking... and that would be one quiet meeting. {giggle}

I've always been the quiet one. The only that would sit on the edge of any gathering and just listen. But really I wanted  to talk, wanted to be part of the conversation. I still do. I do have alot to say (durr...I blog now). I know a lot of stuff.   I've tried to make myself more outgoing as I've gotten older....watching other people and trying to be like them. Having kids pretty much forces you to be more outgoing because you have to talk to other mommies to set up play dates and things for the kids to do.  It's still a work in progress for me.

Yes, my idea of a good time is:
- to sit at home and blog
- read
-go for a walk
-organize something
-go have a cup of coffee
- just come to your house, talk  and have a drink.
- crafting something
-hanging out with a small group of people (4-10) at some one's house

I went out a lot in my 20s, again, pushing my introvert envelope but having kids and being a SAHM has put me comfortably where I belong.  I'm probably not going to go back to my drinking/going out every Friday night/hungover story kinda life. 

It's funny how as a quiet introverted  person I always feel  this pressure of  having to be more extroverted as if being who I am  isn't a good thing or not looked at in a good way.  I don't think there's anything wrong with  YOU  if  YOU want to go out every week and have tons of events and tons of friends.  Go. Have a ball , just don't judge me for not wanting to do the same.

There are a lot of times that I don't want to go to certain events or with certain people because  I don't like how I feel  there.  There is always the loud, outgoing person who talks the WHOLE time usually about themselves or  to the one person they're trying to suck up to. The only thing I ever get asked is " How are the girls doing?" Really,  that's all you think I have to talk about?  I try and make conversation with the outgoing ones and it ends up being all about them.  And that's not much fun for me.  Why would it be?

Others have told me, oh just jump in, you have to interrupt us. I don't feel comfortable butting into the conversion (sorry..that's just not me). When I do try that , I feel like everyone is looking at me with the"who does she think she is?" look.  Again, trying to make me like you isn't going to work.

I wonder what my two girls are going to be like:  me or more outgoing.  I feel like K is the awesome outgoing one now and S is the quiet one with the awesome personality that no one gets to see.  No matter who they turn out to be, I want them to be happy like all moms do. I want people to like them for who they are not who they " could " be.


I just want the loud, talkative people of the world to look around sometimes...see the quiet people standing around..come up and talk to us.  You won't believe what we have to say. You might meet someone really cool , learn something really cool or make a really great friend.

Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -Debbie Doo -DIY How Off
DIY Shop - Lines Across My Face -I should be mopping the Floor
Great Fun 4 Kids

Tuesday

How to Nest For Less - Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime - Debbie Does Creations - Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
The Winthrop Chronicles


Wednesday
Oopsey Daisy - Thrifty Home - Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
- Junk in Their Trunk  - Southern Lovely


Thursday

My rePurposed Life - Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
Loving this Crazy Life - Fireflies and Jellybeans - The Shabby Cottage
 The Taylor House
House of Hepworths

Friday

Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday

Six Sister's Stuff
Be Different Act Normal
Cheerios and Lattes
Natasha in Oz -Say G'Day

Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Things

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm a Newbie!


I was super excited when Gina from Random thoughts of an incoherant mind  contacted me and said I was the Newbie spotlight of the week. Ever since I started linking up to Debbie Doos' Newbie Party every Monday, I was always thinking....Man, I wonder if I'll ever get the Newbie Spotlight. And here I am and I can't believe it. You really made this girl/mom/woman feel special.



If you are a newbie, it's a great place to meet others like us and also some other very creative ladies who aren't newbies but are here to share with us, encourage us and help us grow.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Event Photography: Women helping women

Back in April, I was asked by my good friend Jessica to take some event photos at a luncheon for the non -profit organization that she works for called "Our Lady's Inn".  They are a wonderful organization that houses and helps pregnant women who are homeless, need a place to live, and help getting jobs. You can donate money (anyone) or clothes/things to  their second hand store ( us folks in St.Louis and St.Charles area)

The Garden of Life Luncheon was held at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church in Frontenac in their gymnasium.   With this luncheon, was an auction and  a fashion show.   All of the clothes worn at the fashion show were from their second hand store, Twice Blessed. All of  the profits go back to the women that they help. With this fashion show, everything that is modeled  is available to buy and  with some additional stuff they  brought  on the side.




I got there and started taking pictures of the tables and auction items.


 There were lots of cute things for the auction like this cute dog made out of flowers. There were also items made just to sell like handmade cards and  necklaces.




All of the ladies got to mill around and bid on the auction items before lunch started. There were all kinds of gift certificates, toys, and home items to look at.




And there was the awesome catered food. Yum-me!


 Look at that dessert table...don't worry, it was all gone when the lunch was over. 

After lunch was the fashion show, there were so many cute things that people had donated.  There were women and girls strutting their stuff on the runway.

My friend Abbie, Jessica's daughter

The shoes were a little too big for her so she went for comfort instead.

These two stole the show.

 When everything was said and done , they raised a bunch of money and a lot of people walked away with a lot of nice things. I learned a lot about indoor lighting and my camera. But I have much more to learn.



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