6.26.2011

i heart summer *giveaway*



you know i use the word "heart" as a verb very selectively. I have to reeeally love something.

but just look at us on our first day of summer with our favorite kids!



i heart spending the first day of our summer together with all our kids at my favorite place.



i heart summer.

really a lot.





 
so instead of doing some mending last night, i made this.




i wanted to make a treat for one of our friends who also hearts summer.




if you heart summer like we do, just follow cake & cotton and comment that you did, or say you already do, and we'll pick a winner on friday.

who doesn't need a little wall decor to help celebrate how sweet this season is? 




enjoy the day.



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6.21.2011

6.19.2011

Sweet words for dad



Just wanted to show you this graphic I made today for my man.

I have to admit the saying was lifted off something my mom saw in her church's bookstore.

(The free background was from here.)


My man is truly my son's hero.

And my daughter's love.

Good dads are hot, and I'm so glad ours is ours.

I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day!  


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6.08.2011

There's somethin' about matching shirts...



You know you called your friends in elementary school and tried to align days where you wore matching shirts. Maybe they were Esprit, maybe not. I'm just saying that it was cool to wear matching Esprit shirts in my 'hood.

But ever since I heard about a birthday party where they handed out "camp shirts" to the guests, I was inspired to unashamedly copy this genius person and make matching shirts for my daughter and fellow birthday goers last weekend at her camping-themed party.

You know, it made me feel a bit powerful...creating my own legit camp, as defined by the fact that we all matched, grown-ups included. Ours said "Staff" on the backs. I mean, who has a real camp (or team or respectable business) where everyone wears whatever they want?? Matching tees mean you're serious. Seriously awesome. Just look at Target. Don't even apply for a job there unless you have a red shirt and khakis. In case you were thinking of getting a job there.

Anyway, my pal Andrea wanted to know how we made them, so here's how. It was so easy.

1. First you have to buy something like this. This kind is on the JoAnn website.


I couldn't find an image or link, but I bought Jolee's Easy Image Transfer Sheets for Colored Fabrics (by Wilton) at Michaels. I was tempted to buy the transfers for light fabrics because they were half the price...$5 for 5 sheets versus $10 for 5 sheets for the dark fabric transfers. I thought, "What's the difference?" But I'm so glad I did not cheat. A friend told me that she buys the dark fabric transfers no matter what, because the light fabric ones are paper thin and crack easily after washing. 

2. Then you need a computer file. A logo, a photo, a scan...whatever you want. Lay multiples of the design out on a single page in that program if you want more than one image per transfer sheet. My awesome husband designed ours. That's how he rolls.

3. Avoid marital discord by limiting the number of changes you'd like to have done to said design. (Wait, that may just apply to my scenario.)

4. Run a practice sheet of paper through the printer to see if the alignment and coloring is what you want.

5. Then print. I was so impressed at how vivid the colors turned out on the transfer paper. So saturated.  

(The rest is according to the directions on the package, so it may vary from brand to brand. What I had to do was the following.)

6. Cut out each image with smooth, clean cuts. Notching the transfer, or giving it a fancy edging will make it likely to tear when peeling off the backing.

6. Iron a pillowcase for under the garment, then briefly iron the garment to smooth the surface.

7. Peel backing off transfer. This part took the most time and I had to be really careful not to stretch out or tear the transfers.

8. Place transfer on the shirt facing up, place a piece of parchment on top of the transfer (included), and press the super hot iron (no steam) down for 20 seconds in each area until you've covered the whole transfer. Done.



9. Oh yeah, and try not to faint from the (probably) toxic fumes given off by the melting plastic. (That step may also be just for me, given my unfailing "super-nose.")

Cute and simple, huh?
Doesn't it just make you want to call your best friend from elementary school?? (Niki, I'll meet you at the Esprit store in the mall.)


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6.01.2011

I'm makin' waffles!



I can't help but hear Eddie Murphy's voice when I say that. "I'm makin' waffles!" (Are you feelin' the Shrek in there?)

Well, my darling girl who turned nine yesterday request breakfast for dinner for her birthday. YESSSS! And she doesn't mess around. She is lover of all things breakfasty that can be covered with whipped cream.

I am soooo thankful that you brought the Joy of Cooking into my life a few years ago, because WOW. Best. Waffles. Evah.


And how happy is it to be at the start of the strawberry season for toppings to go with that waffley goodness? (Carrots have nothing to do with this post, but look what beautiful carrots we got at the organic farm?)



I have to share the waffle recipe I made (and slightly altered, of course), just for the folks who don't have the Joy of Cooking, or just need a reminder that once you make waffles from scratch, your life with waffles will never be the same. Eggo is a four-letter word to me now. Well, I guess it was all along. You know what I mean.

Check it. I do not know what makes this batter so incredibly fluffy. It was not like any batter for pancakes or waffles that I've ever made. It seemed too thick - it would not pour, but had to be scooped - and lo. It was perfection.


Buttermilk Waffles, pg. 647

Whisk these dry ingredients in a large bowl:
1 3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk these wet ingredients in a small bowl:
1 stick melted butter, (slightly cooled)
1 1/2 C buttermilk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract (my addition!)

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the wet into the well, and mix "with a few swift strokes of the whisk".

Scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of batter onto the hot, ungreased waffle iron. If you're using a regular waffle iron, it claims to make about 6 waffles. With my belgian waffle iron, it made nearly 5.

{And since the waffle iron can only cook one at a time, I kept the others heated in the oven at 250. I moved them directly onto the oven rack because on the plate in the oven, they were getting softish underneath from the steam. Keeping them right on the rack preserved the crispiness.}

Voila. I want it for dinner once a week.



Ya know, it is the kind of thing that I may not want to make on a Saturday morning because it takes longer than using the boxed pancake/waffle mix. But for dinner, it's actually quicker than a lot of things I would make. It feels more worth it to be a dinner meal. Just for some protein, I paired the waffley goodness with some smoked chicken and apple sausages. Those I did not make from scratch. Gross.



My birthday girl did "big eyes" when we told her that her special glass was one we used in our wedding.  This time, however, it contained apple juice, Pellegrino and berries.

I didn't whip my own whipped cream. I know it is so many light years better than the canned kind. But what's fun about whipped cream on your birthday if you can't try some straight from the can?

Yeah. I shoulda taken a picture of that. I promise it was her, not me.

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