Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

October birthdays

This past week was book-ended by birthdays!
Mary Grace and John Paul's birthdays are just a mere six days apart, which means lots of cake, presents, and celebrating...heck, it might as well be called 'Birthday Week!'

Mary Grace turned THREE!
I can't believe our sweet little baby is a big girl now!
We celebrated with a shopping trip to Build-A-Bear.  Mary picked a pink ballerina bear, complete with tutu and pink slippers. Pizza, cake, and ice cream were on the menu that evening as we had a book party for the birthday girl.  
She absolutely adores books!

A few days later, John Paul turned THIRTEEN!
He's very happy to finally be a teen ager now, and reminds us of his status quite frequently.  All he wanted to do on his special day was go to Barnes & Noble for books and then to the craft store for painting supplies. 
I cannot tell you how happy that makes me!

You might have noticed that the cakes look the same.  I found an awesome recipe on Pinterest for 'Crack Cake' because when you're thinking of a cake for children, you want to hear the words "crack" and "wine" right?

Crack Cake

**1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix 
1/4 c brown sugar 
1/4 c white sugar 
**1 box vanilla pudding instant mix 
**2 teaspoons cinnamon 
4 eggs 
3/4 c water 
3/4 c oil 
1/2 c white wine (really any kind) 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix the above ingredients by hand or hand mixer. 
 Grease a bundt pan. Pour into pan. Bake for 50 minutes.

 When cake comes out of the oven... 

 Melt 1 stick butter into 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup wine.
 Pour over hot cake. Cool. Flip out of pan onto plate and serve.

**JP wanted a lemon cake so I used: 
1 box lemon cake mix
1 box lemon pudding mix
2 teaspoons lemon zest

This cake is delicious and super moist!
It gets better the longer it sits,
so make it the day before!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dark Ocean Dreams

Our son, Ryan, works for the salon Visible Changes.  Each year they offer up a hair show of up and coming talent.  Ryan and his partner for the event, Michael, competed along with 50+ other stylists in this year's theme:

 'Dark Ocean Dreams.'

From left to right: Ryan, Brittany, Michael

Their creation was this stunning
'Calypso Sea Goddess'

Unlike the other contestants, Ryan and Michael painted their model head to toe in beautiful sea green tones of make up.  They didn't use wigs, but the model's own hair which they molded around a balloon (then later popped to create a hollow shell of hair) that resembled an octopus.  Ombre green and blue extensions were curled into tentacles, and pearls and sequins framed her face along with lovely patina jewelry.  Her dress was completely hand made.

And as gorgeous as she is, 
the pictures just don't do their work justice!
She was truly a work of art.
She was also a favorite among the crowd, 
receiving deafening screams each time she walked the runway.

The guys had a great show and came in among the top ten, although, they were the winners of the whole show in my opinion!  We are so proud of Ryan and I am simply in awe of his talent.

He's only been with the company for three months.

I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him, 
great things I am sure!

Congratulations, Ryan and Michael!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

Mary Grace is turning 3 this weekend!
She received a cute fabric crown on her first birthday (Thanks, Mrs. Janet!)
but the poor thing is so worn and won't fit her anymore.

I figured it was time for a new one.

I followed this tutorial
and in about half an hour 
she had a brand new crown.

And of course she needed 
a matching dress to go with it.

The Geranium Dress from Made by Rae
is the perfect party dress.

Turning three is going to be awesome!

Monday, October 6, 2014

And so it begins...

I walked outside barefoot the other day and discovered that the pecans were ready.  OUCH!

And so it begins, 
harvesting, cracking, and eating of the pecans.

It's a good time of year y'all.  

Thankfully, Mary Grace will scavenge for pecans for hours!
Unfortunately, so will our dog, Abby.
She will eat them shells and all.
She loves them so much and stalks me 
as soon as she hears me cracking the shells.

Our first pecan treats this fall:
Turtles ~ Creamer style!

Place a layer of mini pretzels on a sheet pan 
and top with a Rolo candy on each one.
Put pan in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes.  
Top with pecan half and press gently.
Then place the pan in the freezer for a few minutes to set the chocolate up.

It's the perfect bite of salty, sweet, chewy, and crunchy!
Danny says we should top these with bacon next time...

don't tempt me child!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Crochet Beanie

With cooler weather approaching, I've ditched my sewing machine and picked up my crochet hook to make some adorable beanies for the kids.

I am a self taught crocheter (is that even a word?).
And most of my projects have been from YouTube, 
in particular, from IHeartStitching


She shows you how to make everything from these adorable beanies to baby blankets, scarves, and dish cloths.  
The tutorials are simple and clear enough for a rookie like me, 
but look like they took hours to make!

And who doesn't love a warm, 
cozy hat for those chilly winter days?