28 May 2012

simple celebrations: may 28-june 3

This week's simple celebrations:
May28-National Hamburger Day
29-Paper Clip Day
30-CD Birthday
31-Bicycle Race Day
June 1-Donut Day
2-Dinosaur Day
3-Egg Day

21 May 2012

simple celebrations: may 21-27

This week's simple celebrations:
21-National Waitress Day
22-Toothpaste Tube Birthday
23-Penny Day
24-Scavenger Hunt Day
25-National Tap Dance Day
26-Cherry Dessert Day
27-National Grape Popsicle Day

16 May 2012

mini chocolate trifles [recipe]

I've been loving mini things lately. Maybe it's because I hang out with a baby all day and I can't get enough of his mini fingers and toes and clothes. Anyways, I made these mini chocolate trifles for a baby shower and they were a big hit! They looked fancy, but were actually quite simple. Aren't we all about simple?

I used a recipe called Chocolate Divan that I got from my festive cousin. My contribution was making it into mini trifle.

Mini Chocolate Trifles
1 Devil's Food cake mix
3 cups milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large box chocolate instant pudding
1 container cool whip
chocolate grated and/or chocolate kisses or fresh berries for the top

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Bake cake in cupcake pans. Let the cupcakes cool. Blend softened cream cheese and 1 cup milk together. Once that is mixed well, add 2 cups milk and chocolate pudding mix. Mix with a whisk until it starts to set up.

To prepare mini trifles, cut each cupcake in half horizontally. Take the bottom and place it in small clear plastic cup. Spoon chocolate mixture on top. Then place top of cupcake on chocolate layer. (You could also add cool whip layer before top of cupcake to make it look prettier.) Then add another chocolate layer and finally a cool whip layer. Garnish with grated chocolate, chocolate kiss or berries. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve. Refrigerating them overnight is preferred.

*You could make any trifle using this method.  A berry one would be fun for summer!

15 May 2012

paper pinwheels

Paper pinwheels are fun! And very simple to make.
I followed instructions from Martha Stewart and made some for a spring centerpiece.
All you need is patterned paper, wood skewers, and brads.

14 May 2012

simple celebrations: may 14-20

This week's simple celebrations:
14-Motorcycle Day
15-National Chocolate Chip Day
16-Wear Purple for Peace Day
17-Root Beer Birthday
18-Visit Your Relatives Day
19-Frog Jump Day
20-Strawberries Day

08 May 2012

raspberry brownie tarts [recipe]

When I first saw these raspberry brownie tarts at a party, I thought they had come from a bakery because they looked so perfect. When I asked for the recipe and learned of how simple they are to make, I was shocked. I stored this recipe away until the perfect occasion came. This past weekend, we blessed our little baby. We planned to have a luncheon afterwards. I thought these would be a perfect, fancy, and easy treat. I made the tarts and filling the morning of. Yet, with all the craziness of the event, I totally spaced finishing them off and putting them out. Needless to say, I have a whole batch of these still around. I guess I'll just have to finish them off one-by-one. There could be worse things, I guess. 

If you need an easy and fancy treat for a gathering, shower, or party, these are them. 

Raspberry Brownie Tarts

1 pkg. chocolate fudge cake mix
1/2 cup butter melted (no margarine)
1 egg

filling: (1/2 this for only one batch of tarts)
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup half and half
1 8 oz container cool whip, thawed

combine and mix together all tart ingredients. spray mini muffin pan with pam. fill tins 2/3 of the way full with tart mixture. bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes. remove tarts from oven. let stand for 1 minute to cool. use a tart shaper (or water bottle lid) to press down center of tarts to form a small bowl.
leave in muffin pan until completely cooled to room temperature.

for the filling, mix chocolate pudding with half and half for about 30 seconds. then fold into thawed cool whip. use cake decorator tip or a gallon size ziploc bag with corner clipped off to fill the tarts with filling. top each one with a fresh raspberry.

originally from: laurie gustafson

07 May 2012

simple celebrations: may 7-13

This week's simple celebrations:
7-National Tourism Day
8-No Sock Day
9-Buttons Day
10-Clean up Your Room Day
11-Jigsaw Puzzle Day
12-Limerick Day
13-Tulip Day and Mother's Day!!

05 May 2012

flower arranging 101

I learned how to arrange flowers the other night. There is actually a method to it as opposed to just putting a bunch of flowers in a vase. I won't be going into floral design anytime soon, but I wanted to write down what I learned before I forget.

1. Use special flower tape to make a grid across the opening of the vase. This will help keep the flowers standing straight up.
2. Fill the vase 3/4 full of water and add plant food to prevent bacteria from growing.
3.Use 2 different kinds of greenery. Make sure you clean off the stem so no leaves get in the water.The greenery should be shorter than any of your flowers.
4. Decide what color scheme you will go with. Monochromatic, complimentary, etc.
5. Use 2 vertical flowers to create height.
6. Choose one flower to be your focal point.
7. Fill in with other flowers. Use different types to create pops.
8. Add in more greenery if needed.
9. Finish off by adding a bow to tie everything together.

03 May 2012

diy drink umbrellas

Summer is coming! 
There is nothing more festive than adding a little umbrella to a smoothie or shake in the summer time.
(Disregard the fact that this smoothie looks off-colored. It is a spinach smoothie with berries. Looks disgusting, but it is actually delicious and healthy!)
I finally got around to trying out some homemade drink umbrellas (tutorial courtesy of Martha Stewart).
They were really easy and fun to make. 

What you need: 
-scrapbook paper
-toothpicks or wood skewers
-double-sided tape

To make:
Using a soup can, trace a circle onto your paper. Cut with straight or scallop-edged scissors. Cut a small triangle out from the edge of the circle to the center. Attach a piece of tape to the edge of the triangle and tape the 2 edges of the circle together to form an umbrella shape. Dot some glue on the inside of the umbrella where it peaks. Then take a skewer and poke through the top. The glue will keep it in place. 


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