Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Favorites: 10-27-11

I have absolutely loved using my Silhouette Cameo this week!  I didn't even get to hook it up until Monday, but I've made two garland banners and two signs for the upcoming bridal shower I'm throwing. 

I have had a lot of friends ask me about the Cameo--what is it?  It is an electronic cutting tool, but, unlike the Cricket, it is completely off your computer.  You download software and then have access to an online library of thousands of shapes, fonts, outlines, etc.  Each download is about 99 cents.  So, I only have to spend several dollars on one party or theme rather than buying a whole "cartridge" for 50-80 dollars with theme shapes I might only use once or twice.  You can read more about the machine here.

So far, I've used only cardstock with my machine, but it cuts vinyl and fabric too.  I know all three will come in really handy.  I will be able to make signs and those cute baby onesie gifts lickity split! 

AND, Silhouette is not endorsing me or giving me anything to talk about them.  I'm not even a blip on their radar, but some bigger crafting blogs--including the Silhouette blog--are giving away free Cameos right now!  Enter and see if you can win one!  I am LOVING mine.

So, I haven't been posting tons of projects on my blog.  I am sorry!  It isn't that I'm not doing projects, but I'm busy making projects I can't share yet!  I am throwing an autumn themed bridal shower on November 12th, which I can't wait to share with you--creams, whites, golds and tans will be our color scheme, with a fun appetizer bar and favor bags.  I can't wait to show you!  (I did preview the cream pumpkin centerpieces on the Calico and Cupcakes Facebook Page). 

I am also throwing a crafting boutique--the first official sales for the Calico and Cupcakes SHOP--on November 27th!  I will be posting my products as soon as I start crafting them--Christmas decor!

Oh, and, since I'm not busy (ha, HA!), I'm speaking on crafting at our church's young mom's outreach group on the 4th of November.  Whew! 

Somewhere in all that November craziness is my hubby's birthday.  I need help.  I really want to encourage him this year--he is a hardworker looking for a new job to provide for us.  Does anyone have any low cost ideas for celebrating and encouraging your spouse?  We have a gift card for a fun date night to celebrate, but I want to give him some really thoughtful gifts or activities.  Ideas would be much appreciated!

Okay, okay.  Enough "blah, blah, blah" from me.  It is time for Friday Favorites!  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Can you believe November begins next week? shared a cute kiddie favor from for the Thanksgiving table or for your favorite little gobbler.  All you need is felt, googly eyes and a Tootsie Roll Pop.
Turkey Pop made pilgrim hats to decorate the Thanksgiving table.  Reeses, frosting and a cookie are all you need for this cute decorative dessert.
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El Mundo Reciclaje (Okay, Lucia, is that The Recycled World?  My Spanish is rusty.)  shared a cheap easy way to make pumpkin centerpieces.  You will need a dryer vent cut into pieces, spray paint, a cinnamon stick and some Spanish Moss.  So cute!

Disney Family Fun gave us a cute neighborhood scavenger hunt to do with the family on Thanksgiving.  Some of the points might not apply to sunny, warm southern California, but you could write up your own fun list of things you know you could find in your neighborhood!
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

Okay, this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but monogramed balloons--can you say GENIUS!?  If you have a vinyl cutter, you could use that, but this tutorial from Life in Wonderland just has you cutting out printed letters and attaching them to the balloon.  What a BEAUTIFUL and personal touch for a party!

Finally, am I the only person who hasn't tried a salted caramel mocha from Starbucks?  You have NO idea how much I love caramel.  It has taken every ounce of diet will power to not try one.  Sigh.  I can enjoy perusing salted caramel recipes, though, and here are two that looked yummy!

The Greedy Gourmand made a salted caramel and vanilla baked cheesecake.  Look at these pictures!
salted caramel & vanilla baked cheesecake

52 Kitchen Adventures shared a recipe for a salted caramel mocha.  Looks. . . So . . . Good! 
Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha by 52kitchenadventures: Save money and control the calories. #Beverages #Salted_Caramel_Mocha #52kitchenadventures

I'm off to San Diego with the family this weekend for a little relaxation and rest!  Yahoo!  I pray your weekend is blessed too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites: October 21, 2011

Yes, this was on my doorstep last night.  I know!  I am beside myself excited.  I watched the training video and read the quick start guide, but this is going to be a huge learning curve.  Once I understand it, I will be able to do SO many things with this Silhouette Cameo.  I am giddy!

I also set up my Etsy shop this week--nothing for sale yet, but that will change once I get the Cameo purring.  The shop IS officially open, though.  I just need to list some items . . .

Well, there are some fun inspiration ideas this week.  Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Okay, I love that I can discover new online stores from finding cute outfits on Pinterest.  I thought this dress would be so cute with a cardigan, tights and cowboy boots.  It is from La Posh Style, which is completely affordable and carries some really cute items.  Check it out!
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OhDeeDoh created children's book placemats.  This is such a fun idea for a book themed birthday party or for Dr. Suess Day at school!  Get an old book from Goodwill or one that is missing pages, etc. in your own library.  Laminate the pages and create placemats.  SO fun!
Pinned Image showed us a really easy clip to make for those of you with girls.  What a cute idea for Christmas parties and celebrations.  It is just ribbon, an alligator clip and glue. . .
 cute christmas tree bow!

Re-nest posted 5 great ways to get your home smelling like fall for your seasonal get togethers.  There is nothing better than the smell of cloves, cinnamon and apples.
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Le Choses de Marie showed us a creative and amazing smelling way to display candles in your fall decor.  Genius and so pretty!
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Midwest Living gave us a delicious recipe for creamy artichoke lasagna.  Talk about comfort food!
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If you are trying to be good, like me, here is a healthier recipe.  Aggie's Kitchen shared a spicy shrimp and avocado lettuce wrap. Yum!
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Finally, let's end with something sweet.  Dreamy Desserts made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  What a fun treat for the fall season!
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I hope you found something pretty or tasty or fun to make!  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cupcakes and the Famous Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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So, I have to confess I'm having a bad day.  I've realized it doesn't take much to throw me off my game, though.  A not so nice worker yelled at me at the car dealer (long story), and, though I tried to apologize for something I am not so sure was my mistake, I got a head shake, something muttered under her breath, rolled eyes and heavy sigh aimed in my direction.

I'm learning about the folly of pride in WBS this week AND heard about it in Sunday's sermon.  I love it when God makes it clear He wants me to pay attention to something.  It is a good thing, because my prideful self wanted to report the rudeness to her manager and also give her a piece of my mind at how she treated me.  Truly, though, I am guessing SHE was having a bad morning and needed the grace that she wasn't giving to me.  It was my opportunity to show humility and grace.  Ouch.  Pruning hurts.

Then, when I attempted to be nice and fill up my husband's car with gas for him, I had a strange man knocking on my driver door as I was ready to pull away.  I am always nervous about people approaching me when I am getting gas in my car--safety issues and all.  I gave him the best authoritative glare I could muster from my 5'3" frame and gave him an untrusting, "Yes?"  He smiled nicely (so much more than I deserved with my snippy "YES?") and said my son's cardoor was slightly ajar.  Sigh.  He was being nice.  My defenses melted, and I thanked him profusely.  I was shown grace from him and reminded again of my need to be humble ALL THE TIME.  I can be safe, aware and humble all at once--no snippy words needed.

Anyway, that has NOTHING to do with pumpkin cupcake muffins, but I had to share my morning and be real. 

NOW, a lot of you have seen this recipe on Pinterest, but these semi-sweet muffins--cupcakes if you will--are really good.  They are from the blog Sweet Verbena.  The best part is they only need TWO ingredients!  They call for a box of cake mix (unprepared) and a 15 oz. can of pumpkin.  I read through the comments on the original blog and saw some people added chocolate chips, so I, OF COURSE, added about 1/2 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips into the mix.  I also used spice cake mix instead of the yellow cake mix in the picture.

Here is the recipe--short and sweet:
1 box of cake mix--unprepared (I used spice cake)
1 can of pumpkin (15 ounce)
1/2 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Put into cupcake wrappers or muffin tins and cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Now, the best part is that I topped them with my mom's famous cream cheese frosting.  I grew up with this stuff, and it always makes me happy.  I am warning you, though, I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth--not chocolate, but SUGAR--and this stuff is sweet.  If you are more of a bitterweet chocolate person, this might be the perfect muffin for your sweet frosting, because the muffins aren't as sweet as a regular cupcake.  It takes the edge off the sugar.

Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 box of powdered sugar
1 package of cream cheese, 8 oz.
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. of vanilla

Mix the wet ingredients at low speed until blended.  Then add the powdered sugar a little at a time with a medium speed mixer until it is all blended. 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites: 10-14-11

I haven't been able to chat about my church women's retreat last weekend.  It was amazing!  We studied I Corinthians 13 and dove into a deep study of godly, sacrificial love.  I am walking away with a goal to work on patience and not being so intent to have my own way.  I was heading up the greeting at the retreat for the first time, which was really fun.  I got to meet many new women and also come out of my shell a bit. 

I forgot my camera (so sad!), but my church had photographers there.  If I remember I'll post some of the church's pictures on the blog.

I have been keeping busy by making baby gifts, making invitations for my sister's wedding shower--so excited to share all the details with you when I host that in mid-November, decorating pumpkins for our ministry wives' workshop this weekend and gearing up for a boutique sale with some friends at the end of  November.  Oh, and I'm a guest speaker on crafting at a young mom's group at our church in early November.  Ha!  I have a lot on my plate, but I love it all!

Here are some fun ideas from the week.  Enjoy and have a beautiful weekend!

Six Sisters Stuff made 4 ingredient Rolo cookies.  Have I mentioned I am a caramel fanatic?  Sigh.
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Parmesan Hashbrown Cups?  Yes, please!  Thank you
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Pieced Pasttimes shared a beautiful tutorial on making a subway art sign.  The directions are clear and the outcome is beautiful!
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I love Lisa Leonard for many reasons, and she, of course, gives a cost effective, beautiful project for Christmas.  Take a 5 dollar Ikea doormat and paint the stencil JOY.  This would be fun with placemats, canvas art, etc. 
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Stay at Home Artist had a guest blogger, The OBriens, make such fun, whimsical fabric pom pom necklaces.  We are used to the strand poms or rolled flowers, but this is dainty and fun without being SO crafty and such a large statement.  Plus, this is insanely easy to do.
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I love Tidy Mom.  She is a really nice blogger who keeps it real and always has fun ideas.  Tis the season for bringing appetizers, and this puff pastry garlic chicken puffs look delish!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Women in the Word Wednesday: Someday

There is a constant conversation that happens around our house lately. 

My five year old:  "Mom, when can we go to Disneyland/go to the bounce house place/go to Legoland/take a plane ride again/etc?" (Fill in the blank with the activity of choice on his mind.)

Me:  "Well, God willing, when daddy gets a job again, we can go someday."  (I just have to stop and say I am so, so proud of my hardworking husband and how well he is using all his energy to lead his family and find work to provide for us.) 
"We'll have to wait and see what God has planned.  For now, let's be thankful for our blessings like our family, house, health, church, etc." (All the while, I'm making a note to self and checking my heart attitude too.)

Five year old: (happily) "Okay." (skips off)

You see, because my five year old trusts me with a blind kind of trust, he takes what I say as truth.  He doesn't like to wait, but he knows I love him and I will do what I can for him.  He is motivated just by the promise of a POSSIBLE someday.  He fills his heart with the hope it might happen and dreams about the possibilities.

God too tells us that blessings, rewards, justice, glory and perfection await Christians . . . someday in Heaven. Unlike mine to my five year old, God's promises are sure.  In Genesis 3, He tells us this world is broken and fallen in due to our sin. Throughout scripture, He points Christians to the definite hope we have in Heaven.

I don't like to wait. 

There are days I impatiently pout and curl my lip over in sin.  I want the pain and hard situations to end, and I am not content with the circumstances God allows to come my way.  I want justice to be served.  I want the sickness to go away.  I want everyone to be nice.  I want Heaven now.

On those days, I am not trusting God as I should, staying content as I should, or meditating on the "someday" that will be here in a blink of an eye.

Like my son trusting me, I need to better trust in God's promises and have them motivate me to live in thankfulness, contentment and obedience today--even when the circumstances are difficult.  God's promises are sure--much better than my own.

May I dwell on God's "someday" of Heaven and use God's SURE promises to get me through this life with obedience, trust, and a happy heart full of hope and confidence.

I'll experience the glories of Heaven and all will be made right because of Christ Jesus.  I know this with all confidence now, but it will be a reality to me. . . someday.

Revelation 21:1-4  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday Favorites: 10-6-11

I am posting Friday Favorites early because I am leaving for my church's Women's Retreat early in the morning tomorrow.  I'll share pics and let you know what I learned when I get back!

Enjoy these fun ideas!

I am an adorer of organization.  Curbly used a Quaker oatmeal box to organize ribbon.  I love this idea!
created on: 12/03/08

Modern Day Moms made the cutest mousepad.  What a cute gift idea--and really cost effective!

Made by Rae made the cutest bibs for baby boys!  I love to decorate onesies. .  . I'm going to have to give some of these ideas a try!
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The Less than Perfect Life of Bliss came up with a fun way to reward and motivate good behavior on a road trip.  I love how she decorated each clip as well!

Here are 3 different ways to decorate your fall pumpkins with ribbon.  Each idea is so creative and fun!

My Blessed Life

The Autocrat

Eddie Ross

Finally, let's end with some yummy fall recipes.  My Kitchen Addiction made pumpkin spice cannolis.  Yum!

These Peas are Hollow made Gingerbread Bundt Cake.  They are so cute--perfect for those neighbor gifts at Christmas.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Katie's Engagement Party

Katie and Jon

My sister in law got engaged in September, and my in laws threw her a beautiful engagement party.

I got to make the vertical photo banners that are hanging on the patio pillars.  It was fun looking through Katie's pictures of the years she and Jon have dated. 

I also did a tutorial on the photo banners here if you are interested.

We had yummy Italian food, live music, twinkling white lights, luminary bags around the pool and lots of friends and family.

I'll be throwing Katie a bridal shower in a cream, white, gold and brown autumn theme in mid November.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and share the ideas with you all.

Enjoy the beautiful party pictures . . .

One of Katie's friends, Marina, made beautiful tarts, cupcakes, cheesecakes, macaroons, and mint brownies for the dessert table.

My lovey sisters in law, Katie and Sarah.

This is one of the five photo banners hanging on the patio pillars.  They are cardstock with punch designed scrapbook paper, covered by 8 by 10 photos.  The big photos and papers are all hanging on white ribbon.

Sarah hung beautiful white globe lanterns all around.

More photo banners . . .

The beatuiful tree that sparkled once it got dark.

The beautiful waterfall into their pool.

My brother in law and hubby.

Orchids floating with candles were arranged by Sarah.

Here is detailing of the scalloped paper I made.

A detail of the ribbon that hung and tied the banners to the posts.

Starting to get dark--beautiful.

Happy engagement, Katie and Jon!

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