Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Record Cupcake Stand

When planning any kind of shower or party my first thought can be summed up in one word:  cake.  When we started coming up with cake ideas and settled on the tiny milkshakes this idea instantly came to mind.  I'd seen it on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect for this party.  

My sister and I had a good time digging through the record bins at Half Price Books.  I wanted clean, colorful records that would make for a nice statement piece on the food table.  Get them in various sizes so the cupcakes are easily accessible! 

I didn't want to wait on the dedicated cake stand hardware to come (you can find it on Amazon) so I went with shot glasses from the Target dollar spot.  I uses super strong glue (E6000 from the jewelry craft aisle) because I had visions of the records and cupcakes toppling over and I didn't want that!

You see how the glasses are facing different directions?  That's because I had to account for the holes in the middle of each record.  I would have preferred them both to be like the bottom layer but that pesky little record on top had a large opening.  In the end I think it looks nice and, dare I say, intentional.  

Be careful and use a toothpick if necessary to spread the glue around the edge of the glass before you secure it.  Make sure the records are all facing the same direction before it dries!

The finished stand was really sturdy when it dried.  It cleared the cupcakes nicely--keep that in mind when you're choosing the shot glasses (the taller, the better!).


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Road Trip: Austin

Occasionally I will feature some delicious cuisine I find when I hit the road.  For this first one I'm featuring Austin!  I stayed on the edge of UT's campus and was treated to views like this:

and this:

I've had hits and misses there but either way there is NEVER a shortage of options in this town.  In fact, each time I return I run into people who ask me if I went to "Fill-In-The-Blank" and then I have more to add to my list of things to try next time.  

A few weeks ago I saw something posted on Facebook about the top 100 things to eat in the summer in Austin.  Just going by the pictures I picked a couple to try and they were FABULOUS!

First up:  filet mignon pho from Phonatic

This was the most flavorful, tender pho I'd ever had.  The spring roll was fine but the pho was the star of this meal.  Wow!

After cruising around town a little I headed back to campus where I searched for a certain food truck park boasting a certain ice cream vendor.  Cow Tipping Creamery (how cute is that name?!) was absolutely worth the hunt.  I ordered the "Fluffer Nutter."  

 Toasted marshmallows (as in, you have to wait for it because they're toasting multiple layers of marshmallows), peanut butter drizzle, Ghiradelli chocolate ice cream, and crushed Nutter Butter cookies.  

I think that deserves another picture:

Ummm, who needs me to drop off paperwork to the State in Austin so I can get my hands on another one of these?  Anyone?  Anyone?

I was happily stuffed that night.  The next morning I woke up bright and early so I could hit up a classic:  Kerbey Lane Cafe.  If I have to find my own breakfast when I'm in town, this is where I'll be finding it. 

Buttermilk pancakes bigger than your face!  Love it!

I know this last one isn't technically Austin but when you're driving up I35 you HAVE to exit in West and go to the Czech Stop.  Get the pumpkin cream cheese kolaches, take them up on their offer to warm it up for you, and you'll be singing their praises the rest of the ride home.

This is how I road trip.  

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1950s Shower, Part Two: The Decor

The pictures really speak for themselves so here we go!

 These little cuties were on the food table.  Jenny is so creative!

I have a thing for painting signs for showers.  I've painted things like a cowgirl, fruit wedges, and now 1950s themes.  This was for a sock activity where people wrote sweet wishes and advice on paper, rolled them up, and then stuffed them into tiny socks.  Jenny and Andy made the record signs, consulting the original "Shake Rattle and Roll" album so they'd look even more authentic!


We had a scrapbooking activity set up in another area.  Hopefully (ideally!) the new mom will be able to just place photos into a personalized album--the work will be done for her.  The scrapbook sign is an oversized replica of a picture of vintage scrapbook I saw online.  I turned it into our theme colors, added a ribbon for the "binding," and voila!  It's a scrapbook.


Treats and games table:

This is my most FAVORITE thing of all:  the light up drive-in sign!  I wish you could see it in person.  It turned out just like I'd hoped!  I used a foam board (for all of the signs, but especially important for this one) and sketched and painted the design.  Then, I measured and poked holes in the sign with my scrapbooking paper piercer.  I had to poke several holes in the same area so that eventually the entire area would give way and become large enough to push a Christmas light through.  The back is covered in duct tape to secure the lights. 

A 1950s bash just wouldn't be the same without a car pointing the way to the entrance.  (Hi Big Bird!)  We even did a DIY balloon arch--there's this amazing strip of plastic with holes pre-punched into it that you tuck the balloons into.  Michelle taped them for extra reinforcement and it seemed like everything stayed in place throughout the whole event.  It was tied on with yarn and that worked perfectly. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of our 1950s shower.  If you need more detail on any of the projects you can leave a comment and I'd be happy to explain further. 


Sunday, January 19, 2014

1950s Shower, Part One: The Food

This afternoon I co-hosted a 1950s themed baby shower for Laura, a good friend of mine.  There are a lot of ideas to show you so today I'll just focus on the food!

Since it was an afternoon shower we had snacky foods instead of a full meal.  Here's the spread:

Each of the food items had a famous name attached:  Marilyn's Milkshake Cupcakes, Patsy's Chex Mix, Buddy's Veggies, etc. 


Here are the two food items that I brought.  This one was supposed to look like a record:

Milkshake cupcakes?!  Mmmm mmmm!

These were easy to make and they are so fun!  Bake any kind of cupcake you want and then top with white frosting.  I piped them with an empty coupler (the plastic piece that you use to secure a frosting tip, also known as a big circle opening!) so they would have that smooth ice cream appearance that reminds me of a cone from Dairy Queen.  (Mmmm...dipped cones...)  Top it with a cherry sour candy and cut a bendy straw so it will fit in the cupcake and look like it's a reasonable height. 

The drinks were set up nearby and also followed the naming game.  Water and tea were on a table at the entrance:

Next to that there was a bar area that we transformed into a soda fountain.  Classic drinks were served up by Heather and Jenny (Kacie and Michelle were working hard scooping ice cream behind the scenes) in bottles and in floats!

I broke my no Coke rule for this cup of awesomeness.  So worth it!

I think the mama-to-be agrees!

Coming up on Wednesday:  the decorations!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Saddle Shoes

Although it's 2014 a girl still gets the occasional invitation to a sock hop.  I don't think '50s themed parties will ever go out of style!  To really dress the part you need the right shoes.  With the exception of private schools saddle shoes aren't very prevalent nowadays but are an essential piece of a 1950s outfit.  So, what do you do when you can't find them? Grab a cheap pair of canvas shoes and a big ol' Sharpie.

I saw a picture for this idea on Pinterest but the link is broken so I won't post that here.  The idea is pretty simple:  color in the middle section of the shoe.  Take out your laces before you begin and make sure your marker is waterproof.  Then, begin coloring!

Wow!  What a difference!  

Finish the other shoe (but take a break first because whoa, is that marker strong!).  Lace them up and admire your finished product:

Have fun, twinkle toes!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Barbecue casserole

Tonight we shared my favorite meal with our youth group kids:  barbecue casserole!  Don't let the word "casserole" scare you.  It's the meal I always requested for my birthday when I was growing up!  It has four ingredients so it's a snap to make:

-2 cans of crescent rolls 
-1 lb of ground beef
-1 cup of barbecue sauce
-1 cup of cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heat up a pizza/baking stone while it warms.  Cook a pound of ground beef and drain the grease.  

Reduce heat and add the cup of barbecue sauce (or eyeball it).  

Funny story:  When Adam and I were dating I wanted to cook him a special dinner.  I tried to remember this recipe and wound up using a whole bottle of sauce.  It turned out, um, saucy.

Stir the meat and sauce together until coated.  Let those two mingle while you prepare the rolls.

Take the stone out of the oven and roll out one tube of crescent rolls.  

Pour the saucy meat down the middle of it, leaving room on all sides.  Top with cheese (you can eyeball this, too).

Fold up the sides as much as you can without splitting the seams of the dough.

Use the other can of crescent rolls to cover the gaps.  Leftover triangles of dough get rolled up and placed in the corners!

Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown and flaky.  Remove from oven and cut.  I like to use a pizza wheel and cut down the middle, then across it about three times.  

Cheesy, melty, meaty, flaky deliciousness!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spiffed-up Calendar

As much as I use the calendar on my iPhone there is just something about a paper planner that I like a little better.  I don't know if it's the ability to grab a nearby pen and start jotting a note instead of swiping through apps or if it's taking me back to elementary school with its invitation of an open page waiting for my creative spin.  Whatever the reason may be, I like to get a planner for some things at the beginning of the year. 

If you've waited until now the calendar selection will be pretty picked over.  I like the ones they sell at the dollar spot at Target because they are big enough pages but thin enough to throw in a bag with other stuff.  Here's the original cover of the one I picked (pretty enough on its own!):

If you come across one that is not-so-cute but still functional and super-on-sale then go for it anyway.  I still have a couple of calendars I liked from last year with some great pictures. 

As you can see I have a thing for cupcakes!

This was a big calendar with some huge close-ups of pretty desserts.  I took apart the old calendar and slipped the new calendar out of its plastic cover (another plus for the Target dollar planners!).  Use the new planner to trace onto two of your favorite pages from the old calendar.  Cut them out and stick them on the new planner (I used those little scrapbooking double-sided adhesive squares).  Then slide the planner back into the cover:

I used one last year to track my cupcake sales.  Sometimes you just need something pretty to trick you into doing mundane tasks (or is that just me?).  This year's calendar is what I use to plan my blog posts.  It's nice to see things a month at a time so I can work on themes and series.  How could you use a cute calendar this year?