Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect Cupcake Photography Props

I am SOOOOOOO excited right now. When I went to Michael’s today, it was with the intention of getting some baking supplies. I passed by their little dollar spot and saw these:

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That little plate is about 3” in diameter, the little frame about 3.5”.

I started a cupcake blog called The Cupcake Challenge. Basically I’m going to be baking a new cupcake recipe every week. ( If you know of any fun, unusual or interesting flavor combos, send them my way!) (My first recipe is here) My dream is to one day own a cupcake shop. So I am trying to perfect some recipes. In the mean time, I will be blogging about the entire experience. So I needed some photo props.

When I saw the plate and the frame I thought, “that might look cute. will have to see if the cupcake will fit” and then I forgot about it while looking for my other stuff. When I came home, I took one of these little candlesticks:

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(that price is for 6 from Hobby Lobby online)

Sprayed it with Satin Espresso from Rustoleum:

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and stacked it all together. Please excuse my not-ironed-right-out-of-the-package pillow case, but I was just too excited to do anything else. Here is what I got:

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Is that not the cutest thing ever!! Oh Em Gee!

They are NOT glued together because then I can interchange them, so it basically makes it a 3-in-1!:

Just the plate:

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Just the frame:

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I just can’t get over my excitement. I was planning on going out and getting some fancy plates for props and then I came across these! Tomorrow I am going back and getting every color plate they had, (I think there were 4) and then a few more frames to spray paint some neutral colors. I’ll have a big set of cupcake stands for my pictures. I’m in LURVE!!! (I’m debating spraying this frame with the Satin Espresso so it matches better. We’ll see with some better lighting)

Here it is again all stacked, just cause I can’t stop loving it!

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Of course I have to get my faux Ott light out to put over the set up, but I just had to show you guys!!

(Cupcakes are Margarita and the recipe is on my new blog)

Monday, January 10, 2011

War Of The Roses

No, not the movie! I have been making paper roses to be put on a new wreath to go over my faux mantle. I want something that can stay their year round, well except for the holidays. I’ve made a few roses and would like your opinion.

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I would prefer to use a recycled method for this. The first rose and honestly my favorite is made from Trader Joe’s grocery bags:

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These colors honestly do compliment my living room the most, however I’m wondering how many bags it would take to make enough roses. My other option would be to mix these multi colored roses with some solid color that match.

#2 on my list is a book page rose:

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I like the way this one looks as well, though its much lighter. However again, mixed with some color accent colors, may work well.

My 3rd and 4th options were made by just printing a sample of sheet music and French script on my printer on regular white paper. So if any of these patterns are chosen, I would print them on a more beige-ish off white paper:

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Sheet Music

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French Script

I love how subtle the French script is, but I think it may be too subtle for the whole wreath.

I would love to use a recycling method (either 1 or 2) the most, but I’m open to suggestions. What do you think?

Linking to these great parties!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finding A Good Preschool

I’ve been busy for the past few weeks trying to find my son a new preschool. There is nothing wrong with his current school, but its too far away. It made sense at one point in our lives, but not any longer. So I have been on a quest to find a new school and I found one. My father and I toured a few schools and finally decided on one we liked very close to home.

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I’m posting this because its scary to have to find a school or new school for your child. I’m trusting these people with my most precious everything and it’s a tough decision. The current school he attends was a referral from a trusted family friend and some parents at the daycare he initially attended, so after a tour we were sold. But this time I had to go in blind.

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Something I didn’t know and learned through this search was that you can call the state licensing board to see if there are any infractions against the school. I liked the idea of being able to call and see if there had been any complaints logged about the schools that I was researching. It went back 3 years and eased my mind when I made my final decision. Another thing that sold me on the school we chose was the PE type program they offer year round. An outside group comes in once a week and for a small fee, they teach the kids different sports. My son loves sports, so this was very important to me. Also the room he will be in, is huge and shared by the next class up as well. There is plenty of room for both classes, but I like that he will be able to learn from kids a year older as well, at his own pace.

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Before going to any of the schools, I wrote a list of what were important questions that I needed to know before enrolling him at the school. The child/teacher ratio, how they handle bad behavior, how easily (or not) someone can access the school or classrooms, the curriculum, types of food they serve, how often toys are washed, how easily accessible everything is for the kids, etc. I liked that most things were at the kids level and some things put aside that need teacher assistance. Kids are responsible for their own things, so they have cubbies and special hooks for their jackets. The room was clean and everything put away when we initially visited ( the kids were outside).  When we took my son for his first visit, we got to see how he played with the kids outside and how he reacted in the classroom. The school is even letting us bring him once a week for a few hours ( at no charge) so he can get better acclimated with this school before officially starting.

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There are also a lot of functions that I can participate in. This school has parent meetings every other month, lots of pot lucks and occasions for parents to come to the school and I cant wait for that. I’m pretty excited we found this school. Just knock on wood that it will be an easy transition for my son. He already made a friend, so it may be easier. I know he will miss his old friends and teachers, but we can still see them on occasion.

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There are many resources online that are helpful in picking out schools. A lot of my questions came from this site. And other parents can sometimes point of things you may not think of. I felt a little overwhelmed at first and was grateful not to have to do this alone ( thanks Dad!). Just crossing my fingers it all works out!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bathroom Remodel Series Part 1-Cabinets

I am an embarrassing funny story to tell. About 8 years ago I painted my entire bathroom with a generic $5 gallon of white paint I bought at Big Lots. No joke! I didn’t know how much paint mattered and I decided I was going to change things up a bit from the wood paneling that was in there. So off to work I went.

Then, I also didn’t realize that one coat of said $5 paint was not going to be enough. But I was tired. I mean who would have thought painting would take so much work? Who would have thought it had to be so precise? Me? Never LOL

Fast forward 7 years to me discovering DIY blog land and all the amazing women that do these home improvement projects themselves. Fast forward to me feeling like I had found my people!! Fast forward to me learning that you cannot paint a bathroom and expect it to look good with one coat of $5 paint. HMPF! I can admit when I am wrong.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I decided (after reading many inspiring blogs) that I can paint this bathroom myself and make it look good. I cannot believe the difference a $15 quart of paint can do! I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Sweet Molasses UL-130-23. Don’t you just love that name? Here is the swatch:

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Now here are my embarrassing cabinets before:

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Ack, they look worse in pics that I thought. I was really in denial about that $5 paint.

Anyway, those plus this:

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Equals this!!!:

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Aren't they just lovely?? I love them! And it makes the bathroom look so much bigger…I was shocked! Total love. Sigh.

My little guy liked them too and helped me pick out the hardware at Home Depot. No joke, he pointed to these (he’s got the creative eye I think):

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So proud of myself for accomplishing this. Have I said how much I love them??

Part 2 coming soon, my medicine cabinet transformation.

Linking this week to all of these incredible link parties!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pajama Party #5 and Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first Pajama Party of 2011!!

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I hope everyone is having a great New Year so far! I am really hoping that everyone’s dreams can come true in 2011!

Life in my PJs

Here are a few features from my last Pajama Party!

Donna from Comin Home made these fantastic Fleece Kids Sleeping Bags and I have one on my to do list!

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The Creative Mommas posted these great Vinyl On Tile gifts:

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Cyn over at Pink Sparkle made this great Personalized Tote!

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Thanks to everyone who linked up! If you were featured, please grab a button from my buttons page!

Please link up any projects you have been working on.

I just ask the following:

  • Link to a specific post NOT your main blog. This could be anything DIY related, cooking, crafts, home improvement, fiber arts, ANYTHING creative. Even great finds it ok to post, I’m flexible =)
  • Please try and comment on the person/people before you. The more comments the better!!
  • I ask that you follow my blog as well.
  • Please have my button somewhere on your blog. I have all my buttons on my buttons page. Can be in the post, on a separate page or as a link.
  • Have fun and come back every week!!

That’s it! I will post a few of my favs the next party. Can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tea Time With Donna

My new friend Donna has a very cute blog named Comin’ Home with lots of tutorials and great conversation! Every Tuesday she has Tuesday Tea, which is a link party. For me, this will be my weekly reminder to sit down for a few minutes and reflect on life, what I love and what I need to do. Basically for me, this will be a quiet time to be happy and move forward.

Donna is a very generous soul who really loves to help people. She has a great tutorial for a kids fleece sleeping bag that I will be making this week. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity if it wasn’t for Donna. This wonderful and generous lady found the perfect fleece at a store near her home for me, since mine did not have it. She sent it to me, no questions asked, before I even had a chance to paypal her ( which I did right away, but not the point). She is a very caring, friendly and wonderful person. Just go check out her blog.

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My favorite tea is Passion tea from Starbucks!

Here are my reflections for this week:

Even though I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, it seems that I have made a few changes since the end of last year. I posted last week that I wanted to start cleaning out my office/craft room. I’ve been doing that, along with a few other things. All of a sudden I wanted to redo my bathroom, so I got some paint from Home Depot and painted my lower cabinets! (I’ll be posting about this redo soon). I’m also redoing my bedroom and have been looking at ways to revamp the living room. So I had decided a few days ago that I was going to do a series on each room as I complete it. Pretty exciting for me!

Another thing that I have to start thinking about is switching my son’s preschool. This is very hard for me for one reason….I do not want to see him upset when he starts at another school. All the pros for switching are there..location, cost, this school goes through kindergarten, very short commute, but the one con is that it may be a tough transition for him. He did already have to transition once from daycare to preschool and he did pretty well. But I think that had something to do with 2 of his friends making the same transition to the new school at the same time. Here he won’t know anyone. I know this won’t harm him in anyway and it will actually give me more time to spend with him daily, which I love and I know he will, but I still worry.

On a funny note, this is how he looked when he left for school today:

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I wear glasses and he wanted to play with them with one of his trains that has a crane. I told him he couldn't but I would give him some sunglasses that I don’t use. He hasn’t put them down! He knows the sun is in his eyes sometimes on the way to school and he wanted to wear these on the way LOL. He kept them on almost all the way there.

Here are some pictures from our New Year’s Eve night in:

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Didn’t I just have the cutest date ever?!?!

Can you believe these were all taken AND edited with my phone? Apps these days are amazing and so much fun! I think I will be taking all my phone pics with this App just so I can edit them like this. All sorts of filters and borders! FUN!!

Another thing I would like to do this week is go to the thrift store and hopefully try to find some nice tea cups and saucers. I would love to be able to use a different one each week and start a collection. Something girly and pretty and maybe even….pink!

Thanks Donna for letting me a part of your Tuesday Tea!