Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Cake

How is it already Wednesday?  My mind and body have kicked into full Summer mode and we still have 4 more weeks until the "real" Summer begins!  I'm in trouble.
I want to share the recipe for the cake I made for the girls' Rainbow Tea Party.
It's amazing!

1 c. unsalted butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yokes
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 c. cake flour (spooned and leveled)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk

Directions :
(I learned that it is very important to follow the directions exactly for the best results! Things that I thought didn't matter - DO!)
1. bring all cold ingredients to room temperature
2. in a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy (about 6 minutes)
3. beat in 4 large eggs and 2 large egg yokes one at a time until combined. Beat in vanilla.
4. whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
5. with mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and combine. Then add 3/4 c. buttermilk. Then 1/3 flour mixture, then 3/4 c. buttermilk and finish with remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Makes 2 9-inch round cakes, lightly grease pans, bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out with tiny crumbs on it (I tend to set the timer for less time and check it early - 25 min.)

The Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows (I use marshmallow cream)
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. coconut
Whip together the cream cheese, butter, marshmallow and sugar.  Remove 1c. of the frosting and mix in the 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice.

The Cake:
After baking and cooling the 2 round cakes, place one cake on a cake stand.  Take the frosting with the lemon juice and frost the top of the cake.  Layer sliced, fresh strawberries all over the top of the frosting.  Place second cake on top.  Use remaining frosting to frost entire cake.  Gently press the coconut on the sides of the cake. 
I swear, this might be the best cake I've ever had!

*I will be taking a blogging break until June 1st. 
I'm dreaming up some fun Summer series that I hope you'll join me for!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Rainbow Tea Party

I have precious twin girls who just turned 6. 
Because the have a shared birthday party, I let them each decide what theme they want, and regardless of what those themes are, we make them into one party! 
For their 4th birthday, we had a Pink Pig Red Butterfly Party!
This year - A Rainbow Tea Party!

It's important to me that my girls' get to participate in the planning of their parties and help with some of the decorations.  This year they made the tissue paper rainbows (you'll see a few more of those!)  and put together this welcome sign for our front door.

 One of my favorite places in our backyard is under our lemon tree.  It always casts the perfect shade in the afternoon, so naturally it was the perfect place to set up the tea table.

 There had to be a chandelier over the tea table! 
So I made one out of ribbon and colored wine charms.

When the little girls arrived, they selected a fancy hat to wear to the party.

The the little girls decorated their own cupcakes and placed a rainbow topper with their name in it.  They their cupcakes were placed on individual cupcake pedestals (one of my favorite things of the party!)

Outside they could make rainbow jewelry to get even more fancy!  And get a rainbow painted on their fingernail.  My mom used to paint fingernails at my birthday parties when I was little, so it was fitting that she was there to carry on the tradition!

By the way, my mom's sweet head piece was her mothers!
After nails and jewelry making, it was tea time!

Our menu was simple:
pink lemonade (tea)
tea sandwiches -
turkey, ham, and pb&j
rainbow jello in wine glasses
petit rainbow fruit skewers

We had a brief intermission for Pin The Cloud On The Rainbow!
The birthday girls really wanted to play this game, so they planned the whole thing and made the lovely rainbow themselves!
Then we returned to the table for birthday cake and ice cream.
(I'm going to post this cake recipe on Monday - it was out of this world!)

Identical twin girls teach my son's Sunday school class and in regards to the birthday, they asked me, "does each girl get her own song?"  "No," I said, "We usually just sing 'Happy Birthday' once."  They gasped and demanded that we sing twice and each girl get her own song!  So this year we started a new forever tradition - each girl gets her own song!

As each little girl was served her own decorated cupcake on the pedestal, they also were given ice cream in these crazy cute ice cream cone tea cups!  I saw them on pintrist and couldn't resist!

Oh, white gloves were handed out with dessert too!

And then my favorite part of the party happened.  Completely on their own accord, all the little girls gathered on the grass and started dancing!  There were fancy dresses spinning all over and it was a scene of innocence, freedom and beauty.
I didn't capture a photo of the favor bags, but the girls went home with their hats, gloves, rainbow jewelry, rainbow button candy and a rainbow colored water bottle.
It was a fancy, colorfull day!

Some details:
1.  plastic table cloths are amazing, inexpensive decorations!  I used them to cover our pool equipment fence (ruffled of course!) and they made a beautiful backdrop.
2.  I made the cupcake pedestals from candle stick holders from the dollar store, wooden discs from the craft store, paint and embellishments.  Easy and adorable.
3.  The ruffled rainbow table cloth - the truth is I saw it and loved it!  I bought the fabric knowing it would be way too much work to pull off for a non-sewer!  At 10pm the night before the party I had the brilliant idea to use my hot glue gun and not the sewing machine!
4.  I made the fancy party hats and can make them for you if you are interested.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Embrace The Fascinators

Here is a sneak peek of our Rainbow Tea Party celebrating my girls' 6th birthday!
We had lots of fun at this fancy tea party that started with our fancy hats!

It was a magical day with lots of fancy, colorful fun!
Come back tomorrow for all the pictures of the Rainbow Tea Party.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some Of My Favorites

Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite things in the blogging world!  I could list way too many, but here are some of my favorites!

Finiky Baby
My friend started this blog because with the birth of her second daughter, she had to go on a strict diet because the precious baby girl has a sensitive belly.  No dairy, nuts or caffeine!  Her blog shares some great recipes and ideas of how to survive with a finicky baby!!  Check it out!

House of Turquoise
My new obsession - this site!
It’s pure house d├ęcor eye candy!  Enjoy

Enjoying The Small Things
Everyone should read this blog.  Seriously.  Everyone.  Enough said.

I have sobbed reading this blog on several occasions.  Plus her photography is lovely, her children beautiful, her style very fun, inspired and cheery and she loves Jesus.  Cool.

The Tom Kat Studio
One of my favorite party idea blogs
So many yummy ideas, photos and treats!
Another favorite thing of mine was stumbling upon this McQueen Party my children threw in their play room and took my camera to document it!  They love to throw parties like their Moma! 
Speaking of parties, get ready for some Rainbow Tea Party pics on Friday.

And lastly, I keep forgetting to post my “What’s For Dinner” ideas on Monday, so check out my latest (literally late-st!) on the right!
PBBB&J Pancakes

What are some of your favorite sites in blog land?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Make Out Monday - Traveling Romance

It's Make Out Monday friends!!  In an effort to be intentional with our marriages, this is my monthly challenge to keep dating your husband! 
you can check out details of the Make Out Monday challenge here 
The theme for the month of May is
Traveling Romance

Flashback to a trip you've taken together.  Pull out the photo album.  Watch the home video.  Decorate your table with a souvenir purchased on the trip.  Cook a meal that you had on the trip.  Have fun remembering the journey together!

My husband and I worked in college ministry prior to getting married.  Prior to dating in fact!  We had the awesome privilege of leading a team of college students to Thailand and Burma on a mission trip.  Our Traveling Romance date took us to Thailand!

This beautiful fabric I bought in Thailand was our table cloth.

See... it really is from Thailand!

We have a fabulous Thai restaurant that we love to get take-out from, but in an effort to save a little money, I made a few Thai dishes. 

 Curry Tom Gai

Thai Peanut Noodles with Prawns

And for our entertainment, I pulled out the video I took while we were in Thailand.  A few years back my dad took all my mini hi8 tapes and put them on DVDs for us - such a treat!
We weren't dating on this trip, but I was so in love with him!  Throughout the video I kept pointing out to my husband, "I was so in love with you then!"
More than it being a lot of fun to remember some outrageous adventures in Thailand, it was inspirational to see the people we met there and hear their stories of God's faithfulness in their lives.  From the women at The House Of Love who were sold in the sex trade and now suffering from AIDS, to the incredible people living in refugee camps, we were changed then when we met them and blessed to be reminded of their stories as we watched the video.
It was a wonderful date.
Now it's your turn!  Pick a trip you went on with your husband - it doesn't have to be international - it could be a weekend you spent camping, your honeymoon, anything!  And create a little date around that trip and have a wonderful time remembering together.


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