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Archive for October, 2011

Piece of Heaven

Oh lawdy! Is that a 13-layer cake? Why yes, yes it is.

Just had to share this heavenly picture. It’s littlest sister’s birthday cake and I’m pretty sure I dream about it every night. Thirteen layers of pure chocolate bliss.

Is there such thing as a 30-layer cake? Hmm…

Posted 10/26/11, Topic: Eats

DIY Sparkly Balloon Streamers

I know I’m not the only one that has drooled over Geronimo’s gorgeous sparkly balloons creations, they’re just so glittery and full of charm! While I would’ve loved to have been able to click “add to cart” on tons of their products, let’s face it, sometimes hundred dollar balloons are just not in the budget.
With just a little creative thinking and a whole lot of time (yeah, this is not for those of you in a hurry), I created my own Geronimo-esque balloons and now you can too!
Sparkly Balloon Streamers
What You Will Need:
1 metal key ring
1 metallic gold door curtain (Found at Party City, similar to this)
1 package metallic Christmas tinsel garland (Found at Hobby Lobby)
Tissue paper fringes, paper hearts & other miscellaneous trimmings
Makes 5 balloon streamers.
Basic Summary: To make these streamers, all of the foil, tissue paper, trimmings, etc. are tied to a metal key ring that is then secured to the base of a 36″ balloon. 
To do this, start by tying a string to the key ring and hanging it from the ceiling. Adjust the height of the key ring so that it is similar in height to where you want the base of the balloon to be. (This way, you can build your streamers without having to hold they key ring and it will allow you to adjust the lengths of your streamer material accordingly.)
Attach the metallic gold door curtain to the key ring first. The metallic gold curtain is key in this project. It will give you that beautiful “puddling” effect at the floor that is so indicative of the Geronimo balloons. Begin by laying the curtain out on the floor and cutting it into 5 equal pieces, lengthwise. You should end up with 5 – 8′ sections. Feed the top portion of the curtain through the key ring and secure with ribbon. 
Once the gold curtain is secured to the key ring, the rest is pure imagination. There really is no right or wrong way to decorate the streamer. If you can tie it to the key ring, then chances are you can add it to the streamer. (Just be careful that the decor doesn’t get too heavy. Too much weight could cause the balloon to droop.)
I added pieces of metallic Christmas tinsel. The tinsel had a wire center, so I used that wire to attach it to the key ring. I cut out paper hearts and glued them to a long, pink ribbon that I tied to the key ring. I made different style tissue paper tassels and attached them to some ribbon as well.

Once you are satisfied with the look of the streamer, use a piece of curling ribbon to tie the metal key ring to the base of the balloon. Make sure the balloon is weighted down enough so it won’t float away. These balloons hold tons of helium and most likely will need something kind of heavy to hold them down. We tied ours to bricks. 
Viola!
Photos by {Blue Eyed Yonder}
That’s all there is to it. Put on your creative hats and fill your next party full of sparkle!
Sources: I purchased the balloons from Shop Sweet Lulu in blush, rose and ivory. Warning: Their site is packed full of gorgeous goodies, you’ll be tempted to buy lots!

Posted 10/25/11, Topic: DIY

Whoopie!

So I guess I have the start of a new Fall tradition on my hands. Last year we made these delicious pumpkin whoopie pies, and, with fall in full swing, we decided to make them again. Just couldn’t resist.

Photos by {Blue Eyed Yonder}

If you’re looking for something yummy to whip up to satisfy a hankering for that irresistible, it’s-that-time-of-year pumpkin flavor… make these. Everybody like a little whoopie. (Unless your name is Shea, and then you like whoopie, just not the pumpkin variety – wink.)

I made a little adjustment to this recipe from the last time I made it. The amount of frosting was never enough to fill all of the pies, so I doubled the vanilla icing recipe below to make sure you don’t run out.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Pies:
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 – 15oz. can pumpkin puree
Vanilla Filling:
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. light corn syrup
For Pumpkin Whoopie Pies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cakes.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling: Beat the shortening and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. Continue to beat until the filling looks like soft mayonnaise.
To Assemble: Take one cake and spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of the cake. Top with another cake. The assembled cookies can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes about 14 Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

Posted 10/24/11, Topic: Eats

DIY Ombre Caramel Apple Sticks

Okay, so this DIY is so super easy, you’re gonna say to yourself, “Did she really need to post directions for this?” Nevertheless, you can make these and host your own fabulous caramel apple bar this Fall and make everyone think there was a lot of skill and complicated artistry involved. (It’s our little secret.)

We were originally going to use plain wooden dowels for the caramel apples, but had a last minute light-bulb moment and decided to jazz these babies up with a little girly ombre effect. Oh! Did I tell you these caramel apples were made in a crock pot? Gotta love that simplicity.


Ombre Caramel Apple Sticks
What you will need:
Wooden dowels (6″ sections)
Spray Paint

For the wooden dowels, I purchased the 3-foot long medium wooden dowels from my local craft store and cut them into 6″ sections. Once they were cut, I took the dowels, one by one, and sprayed the ends with pink spray paint. I sprayed the paint in light strokes, concentrating more paint on the end of the dowel (opposite of the apple) for the “ombre” look. (Be careful to not get any spray paint on the area of the stick that will touch the apple.) Once dowels have competely dried, insert them into the stem area of the apple. Tip: If the dowels are stubborn going in, you can use the light tap of a hammer to get them down into the apple.


Caramel Apples
What you will need:
8 small Granny Smith apples
2 packages (14 oz. each) caramel squares
1/4 cup water

In slow cooker, combine caramels and water. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until caramels are melted, stirring frequently. Once the caramels were melted, we unplugged the slow cooker and brought the caramel outside to the caramel apple bar. (It was hot enough that it still worked well in coating the apples for about an hour.)

Dip the apples into the caramel, turning to coat evenly. Continue holding the apple above pot, scrape off excess accumulation of caramel from bottom apple. Roll coated apples in toppings of your choice. We used rainbow sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Get creative! Don’t feel limited to just using one topping. Once you are finished, place the apple in a cupcake liner. This is a great way for guest to be able to remain mobile and mingle until they are ready to chow down.

Photos by {Blue Eyed Yonder}

Posted 10/21/11, Topic: DIY

Sparkly 13th Outdoor Movie Party

I have to say, littlest sister’s 13th birthday party was one of the funnest parties I have ever been a part of. Girly invitations, vintage charm, sparkly giant balloons, shimmery tassels, ombre caramel apples, cozy quilts, mounds of confetti, s’mores and a 13-layer cake… I think I’ll just hit “replay” when it comes time for my birthday. 
The girls played charades, ate to their heart’s delight and then snuggled up for a movie under the stars – such a perfect way to celebrate 13.
 
Photos by Mr. & Mrs. Blue Eyed Yonder
Keep your eyes out for some fun DIY tutorials coming your way: tassel garland, ombre apple sticks, balloon streamers and more!

Posted 10/20/11, Topic: Events

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