This week, I started making quilts for my kids. I realized the last ones I made for them are about 20 years old, and figured they were due. I'm still in the middle of cutting the pieces, and I've already warned my daughter it might be quite a while before I'm finished. Like, probably 2019. I'm excited to make them, but I'm also realistic and self-aware. I'll post some details when I'm further along...Read More
Yesterday was my birthday. Since I'm still in Italy, but writing this ahead of time, I have to assume it was pretty amazing! There's also Mother's Day coming up this weekend. Hopefully you have some fun plans, either for yourself or to celebrate a mom in your life!
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If your sweet little ones need something pretty to wear this weekend, Violette Field Threads has one you can whip up fairly quickly. It has all the ruffles and lace that are so popular right now.
Aren't these flower pot cookies from The Gunny Sack adorable? If you have some skill at making frosting roses, they can be even more edible.
So, a cupcake and a mini cake are really only a little different in shape, but tell me this doesn't look so much more fancy! In my research (okay, honestly just mini cake stalking) I found there are lots of ways to make these. Some use actual, legit small pans, while others are made in clean, empty canned-food cans. The Kitchen McCabe here used little mason jars!
You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!
What better way to start out the weekend than with Cinco de Mayo? Have a happy one!
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Thank goodness it's the season for sunglasses again. The Littlest Studio shares an easy and stylish way to carry them.
I've only ever heard of Skittles the candy, but apparently it's a Finnish throwing game and dale1952 on Instructables shows us how to make it. This looks like a great addition to your outdoor party game or camping collection.
Since I'm clearly a little outdoors-obsessed today, I'm also going to show you this beautiful outdoor bench from DIY Candy. Can you tell it was a very long winter?
I'm intrigued by this cake from Jo Cooks. Apparently you make one batter, cook it, and it separates into three layers. I have to try this!
This pattern from Birdcage and Thread on Craftsy is intended to hold Wonder Clips, but I can think of lots of great uses for a bowl that zips closed!
You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!
I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. I think the title of the book I’m reviewing today, Cupcake Envy, must be a play on words. Before I opened it I thought it meant everyone would be envious of the cute cupcakes the reader would make from it. After reading, I realized it actually seemed to mean that ordinary cupcakes would envy the amazing mini cakes found within the pages. This book is eye candy, pure and simple, but doesn’t stop there.
The author, Amy Eilert, refers to these treats as cakelets. They’re more than a cupcake but smaller than a regular cake. She starts off the book with the charming story of how her business came to be, followed by a chapter laying out the pans, tools and ingredients you’ll want to consider using. I thought the Tricks of the Trade section was nice for those of us who are novice cake decorators. Who knew vodka was a handy decorating tool?
There are basic recipes included for cake, icing and frosting, and then comes the fun part – decorating. It starts off with some lovely, girl options. My favorite was Playing Dress Up. Each project has a difficulty rating in the upper right corner, and this one is Easy/Intermediate.
The next chapter is all about edibles, like this sweet Cup ‘O Joe. Wouldn’t this be perfect for Mother’s Day?
A bag full of groceries?!? I never would have guessed that would make such an adorable cake theme!
If you’re planning a baby shower this year, there’s an entire chapter that’s sure to impress friends and family. If making desserts for a whole party is too intimidating, one sweet cakelet just for her is sure to be appreciated by a new mom.
The guys weren’t left out here, with a chapter to themselves, right down to the manly intro.
This garden cakelet is one of my favorites, but how could anyone bring themselves to actually EAT this? It’s just too pretty.
I have to admit, they lost me a little in the Offbeat and Edgy chapter, but I’m probably not the target audience there.
There’s a handy section just following that though, full of ideas to use if you don’t have fondant available. I realized as I reached the end that it has those ever-useful flip-outs on the front and back to use to hold your place.
For me, getting fancy with my cake decorations means adding sprinkles on top of the frosting which, in truth, is probably to hide the crumbs. I’ve never even touched fondant. However, after drooling over Cupcake Envy, I’m inspired. I really want to give these little cakelets a try!
The recipe I’m about to share with you is not fat-free. It isn’t gluten-free, dairy-free or egg-free. It will not fit into a paleo diet, nor one based on avoiding canned food. It is not vegan or sugarless. However, it is delicious, and as long as you’re not restricted by any of the above, I highly recommend you indulge in it at least once. This cake is dense and sweet, so a little goes a long way. The carrots and pineapple are tasty together. When you taste it hot out of the oven and think it can’t get any better, let it sit for a few hours and think again. I think this will be repeated as our Easter dessert. I just need to find a can with 11 pineapple rings in it.
Pineapple Carrot Upside-Down Cake
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 20-ounce can pineapple slices
10 – 12 maraschino cherries
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups finely shredded carrots
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the 1/3 cup of butter in a 12” oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle the 3/4 cup of brown sugar over the butter. Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Arrange the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar, adding a cherry to the center of each.
Combine the remaining butter and sugars in a mixing bowl. Add milk, pineapple juice and egg. Mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine, then on high for one minute. Fold in the shredded carrots. Pour into the skillet over the pineapple.
Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately flip the skillet over onto a heat-resistant plate. Strong muscles help for this step.
Leave the skillet in place for a few minutes.
Remove the skillet, slice and serve.
I think some coconut would make this even better, but not everyone in my house agrees. It wasn’t exactly difficult to get anyone to eat it just the way it is.
I almost hate to say this, because I know there are MANY people out there who disagree, but I like boxed cake mix. It can be used to make lots of things besides cakes and comes in so many delicious flavors. We’ve been making a big effort to eat healthier around here lately, but I believe in moderation rather than deprivation, so sometimes cake makes its way in there. I came across this recipe from Big Red Kitchen this morning, which was the catalyst for everything to follow. It sounds delicious as is, but my mind immediately spun toward one of my husband’s favorites – carrot cake. He finished my living room today (yay - photos to follow after I mop the floor!) so I was happy to be able to show my appreciation through sugar-loaded baking.
The original recipe above only uses two ingredients. I used both of those, but added a few more of my own.
Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
1 box cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla, because it’s what I had)
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
15 oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Mix until combined. Pour into a muffin tin or 12 small canning jars, sprayed with pan spray. The batter is very thick, so you’ll want to spread it out a bit.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes if you’re using jars. It will probably take less with a tin.
I originally planned to sprinkle these with powdered sugar and stop there, but I knew the family would like them better with cream cheese frosting. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it turns out, all I had was a tub of pineapple cream cheese.
Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz tub pineapple cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 – 2 teaspoons almond milk (any liquid will do)
Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar with a mixer, adding milk as necessary to gain the desired consistency. Frost cupcakes.
I can’t even begin to tell you how good these are. They’re a little sweet, so next time I’d probably use plain cream cheese, but the pineapple flavor with the carrot cake is worth it. It also makes them rich enough that one is enough, which is a good thing when it comes to desserts. I put them in the refrigerator a couple of hours before anyone ate one, and they’re especially good cold.
I’m anxious to try these with some other flavors and fruit. Chocolate and banana anyone?
This is one of those ideas that I’m not sure why it got into my head, but once I had it I had to try it. I’m SOOOO not sorry.
I’m a big fan of cake pops. If you haven’t tried making them yet, they’re ridiculously easy. Making them cute is a whole different story, but tasty is a piece of cake. (See what I did there? Ha, ha, ha! Sorry.) Anyway, I wondered what it would taste like to layer them in a jar instead of making them into balls. Here’s where that went.
Bake a cake mix according to the instructions on the box. If you want to get fancy, go right ahead and make yours from scratch.
Crumble the cake in a mixing bowl and add about 3/4 of a can of frosting. Again, you’re welcome to go the homemade route, but the fact that I had a can handy won out.
Stir until the cake and frosting are well combined. Set aside.
I feel like I need to include a disclaimer here. This is not health food, people.
Anyway, combine one package of Dream Whip, one small box of instant pudding mix and 1 1/2 cups cold milk.
Mix on high until thick and a bit fluffy. Set this aside as well.
Microwave 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon butter, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Add cream, half-and-half or evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until chocolate is pourable but not runny.
Smoosh about a tablespoon of the cake mixture in the bottom of a jelly jar.
Top that with about the same measure of the pudding.
Drizzle with the chocolate. I found putting it in a frosting bag helped, although I needed a smaller tip.
For the next layer of cake, press it into a round on a piece of waxed paper, then gently press it into the jar.
Repeat layers until the jar is full.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This made 7 jars, but I could have easily stretched it to 8 by filling them a little less. If you wait until the next day to eat them, the cake and pudding have melded together a bit, and there’s not a thing wrong with that.
These are absolutely rich and decadent…and delicious. I made this batch with French vanilla cake, cream cheese frosting and vanilla pudding, but I’d love to try some other flavors. They would also be great made in little shot glasses for a party. As if I needed an excuse to whip these up again.
I think it’s safe to say if you were once a little girl, you probably dreamt of being a princess at least once. I’d even go as far as saying we don’t really stop when we become big girls. If you don’t believe me, go check out the shoes in the boxes in my closet and tell me someone isn’t still waiting to be swept off to the ball. If you’re going to be a princess, you’re gonna need a crown. This Dress-Up Crown from We Wilsons looks like a good choice, and I love that you could make them in a variety of prints and wear a different crown every day.
Maybe you see yourself as more of a felt crown kind of girl? Check out this Felt Crown from Hippos and Dinosaurs. My favorite is the brown forest-y version.
If you’re thinking, “Those are cute, but how about more SPARKLE?” this Crystal Crown from Paper, Plate and Plane might be for you. Check out the directions – these are much easier than they look.
This Princess Hat from Sun Scholars is the style I liked when I was a kid. The longer the stuff coming out the top of the point, the better.
Now, every princess might not be able to perform magic, but…what am I saying? Of course they can! A Fairy Wand like this one from Pickup Some Creativity is a must for keeping those mystic powers focused.
No one should have to stop her princessing to enjoy a cold beverage, and she doesn’t have to thanks to these Ice Princess Ice Cube Straws from ThinkGeek.
A princess has got to eat, and it doesn’t get much fancier than these Pastry Crowns with Cheesecake Mousse and Topped with Glazed Banana Bits from Hungry Happenings. Even the name is fancy.
I’m very sorry, but there’s only one thing I can say about this Pink Vanilla Cotton Candy Cake from Sprinkle Bakes: SQUEAL!
I am definitely not against a princess in blue jeans. In fact, I don’t think a monarch should be defined by her wardrobe. However, sometimes you just have to spin and need a twirly skirt like this Petti Tutu from Wildflowers and Whimsy.
A princess needs a buddy, a confidant and someone to carry her around the kingdom. Enter Luna the Unicorn, a crochet pattern available from madisonscraftnook on Etsy.
I’m off to survey the lands and see what Prince Charming is up to.
My poor son had his wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday. They hadn’t even come through his gums yet and were mostly sideways, so they had to put him under and dig all four of them out. He looks a little chipmunkish and hasn’t progressed beyond soup, pudding and milkshakes. New Year’s Eve is coming, and I was trying to come up with something he’d be able to eat that wasn’t chewy or crunchy. The light bulb came on today – cupcakes.
Since this round-up is out of sympathy for my boy, most of these are based on his favorite things. The hardest part will be deciding which to make for the weekend.
With eggnog season winding down, this Eggnog Cupcake from Annie’s Eats might be our choice - while we still have some of it in the fridge.
This is how I know the boy is mine – he loves coconut just as much as I do. He and I would have these Pina Colada Cupcakes from Glorious Treats all to ourselves. Hmm…
If a cupcake is based on a breakfast food, you can eat it for breakfast, right? I wouldn’t mind testing that theory with these French Toast Cupcakes from Housewife in Training.
You can never go wrong with this combination, so there was no doubt these Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction had to make the list.
Whenever I’m in the mood to make cookies and I ask the house in general what kind they should be, my son always pipes up with “Molasses!” He would love these Gingersnap Cupcakes from Picky Palate.
I can’t say I really care how these Cupcake Poppers from Betty Crocker taste. They’re just pretty.
Just looking at these Lemonade Cupcakes from Cooking With Sugar makes my mouth water.
This is one of the flavors of pudding my son has been eating this week, so these Cookies and Cream Cupcakes from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen might have to wait a bit, but this recipe is still a keeper.
Root beer was my son’s favorite drink before I let him start having caffeine. He still likes it, but not as much as he likes staying up all night playing video games once in a while. He’d probably still like these Root Beer Cupcakes from Whatever Dee-Dee Wants on those nights he actually wants to sleep.
Speaking of his new favorite drink, how about some Mountain Dew Cupcakes from All Things Cupcake? There’s a New Year’s Eve cupcake if ever there was one!
I sooo want a cupcake now. Time for a pre-holiday test run. You know, for the sake of research.
I’m back from hot, sparkly Las Vegas, just in time for the 4th of July! It won’t be hot here, but we can count on sparkly.
Years ago, when we moved into our house, we were thrilled to discover we can watch one of the large, local fireworks displays from the comfort of our back deck. I don’t think we’ve left home on Independence Day since. There’s food, sometimes music, and always bug spray. I’ve rounded up a few ideas today we might throw into the mix this year.
I like the simplicity of this Apothecary Jar from Makoodle. Great for the 4th of July, but subtle enough it could be left out year-round.
I never make Jello anymore. I don’t know why, because I actually like it. I think this American Flag Jello from Polwig is the perfect opportunity to jump back in.
There’s always that lag between dinner and dark enough for fireworks. This Fourth of July Balloon Dart Game from Roots and Wings Co would be a great way to spend that time.
I love dipped pretzels, so you can imagine how I feel about this Pretzel Americana from Poca Cosa.
I’ve attempted an American flag quilt or two in the past, but they don’t compare to this one from Etsy seller justsewquilts.
I’ve heard a rumor that soon toilet paper won’t have that little cardboard tube on the inside anymore. You better start saving up so you can make these cute Confetti Popper Rockets from Alphamom.
I think these ribbon sticks from A Girl and A Glue Gun would be a great alternative to sparklers for the little ones.
The thing I love about these 4th of July Shirts from Make It and Love It is that there’s a boy version and a girl version. Having one of each myself, I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of thing.
Everywhere I turn lately, I see Star Spangled Strawberries like these from From Glitter to Gumdrops. I think that means I need some.
Have a happy and safe pre-Independence Day weekend!
It’s Friday again, and the weatherman has promised we will finally see the temperature hit 80 degrees this weekend. We haven’t seen 80 around here since the beginning of October last year, so we’re all kind of giddy. I’m very ready for some sunshine. What does any of that have to do with stuff on a stick? Not a thing, but putting something on a stick has a similar effect to putting eyes on it – it just gets cuter and I’m in the mood for cute.
Most of my favorites this week are food, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to actually eat these Chili Pepper Cake Balls from Nikki in Stitches.
These Cinnamon Rolls on a Stick from Artisan Bread in Five are cute too, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t keep myself from eating them.
My kids would LOVE these Donut Pops from Potter and Butler. Don’t tell them.
This one is a little out of season, but I’ve still got Hot Chocolate on a Stick from Givers Log on my to-do list. They might be good to take camping. Or just freeze them and eat them like a popsicle.
We’ve all seen the cake pops everywhere, which are delicious and cute, but my heart is all a-twitter for these Pie Pops from Luxirare. The photos are gorgeous.
I love these PopTarts on a Stick from Saucy’s Sprinkles. I really just love that they’re homemade PopTarts – the fact that they’re on a stick is a bonus.
Just so you know there’s other fun stuff that comes on a stick besides food, here’s an adorable Sock Stick Horse from The Napping House.
These Soapsicles from TeachSoap look edible, delicious in fact, but unless you’re being punished for some colorful language, keep them out of your mouth.
Today is my birthday. I won’t go into which one this is for me, let’s just say that in high school I danced to most of the songs from Glee. Anyway, I thought I’d share my little wish list with you again, even though I’m still waiting for my titanium spork from last year. 10. I’ve had my eye on these framed photos of letters for at least a year. I’m thinking about trying to photograph my own, but if not I’ll be visiting Uncommon Goods for their version. The hardest part is figuring out what I want to spell.
9. I love to read, even though I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like. My favorites are sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and even a little horror. I’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones series since they started advertising the new HBO series based on it. Maybe I’ll just give up sleep.
8. Remember when you could actually rest the phone between your ear and shoulder while you were talking on it? Well, I do. I miss being able to multi-task while I talk. Now the phone either slips or I hang up with my cheek. Retro Bluetooth Handset from ThinkGeek to the rescue.
7. We were in Seattle a couple of years ago and I saw a typewriter key bracelet in the window of a jewelry store. I’ve wanted one ever since. Luckily for me, they can be found on Etsy, like this one from HauteKeys.
6. Let me start by saying I cannot pull these off. I don’t have the right shape. However, we saw a woman wearing these ruffled pants in a capri length at Crafty Wonderland who looked fantastic in them. The fact that these, from SweetassDesigns on Etsy, are red and black makes them even better.
5. I mentioned last year that my best ideas come to me in the shower. My second-best ideas come right before I fall asleep, creating a need for the I Can’t Sleep Journal from Uncommon Goods. It would work perfectly with the light-up pen I keep in my nightstand.
4. Since I have a couple of different books listed here, I’m going to need something to hold them up. Enter James the Bookend from the MoMA store. And his twin, to hold up the other side.
3. I work from home, so I don’t actually need to carry my lunch anywhere most of the time. However, I love these Bright Tiffins from Twine so much, I’m going to find an excuse. I might use them to carry it out to the back deck.
2. A local boutique had some cowboy rain boots last year that I was completely in love with. I never went and bought them, and I regret that. I live in Oregon. If I could ever justify a shoe purchase, it’s rain boots. Even though the ones I really wanted are no longer available, I think I could bring myself to substitute these from Amazon.
1. This is the one thing on this list I can guarantee I will have on my birthday. I saw it last week when I was working on my cookie post. I already told my husband and daughter all about it. The supplies are in the pantry and they are going to make it for me. This thing is a brownie, cookie dough and cake bit of heaven. Thank you Cookies and Cups for providing the nirvana that will hold my candles this year. I’ll be in touch again after I come out of the sugar coma.