Hope you had a lovely weekend! We celebrated my birthday on Saturday night (so fun) which made it an extra special weekend for me. My actual bday is tomorrow and I’m looking forward to celebrating again with Kevin and Liv. There’s nothing like a little family time to make for a great day.
During a bit of my spring cleaning around here, I came across a camera card full of photos from this time last year, including this adorable Dr. Seuss baby shower thrown for our good friend Grace and her baby boy Cyrus! I had made Dr. Seuss-themed cupcakes for the special day and I forgot how much I had loved using the creative children’s books as inspiration
The shower was absolutely adorable with lots of Dr. Seuss inspired decorations and food. Great job Cassie and Denise! As for my part, I put together four different cupcake designs based off the One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & Thing 2 books.
I’m pretty sure I used a standard boxed cake mix for the actual cake part of these guys, but when it came to the neck up I had the chance to get a little creative. I had fun creating four unusual looks and used inspiration from plenty of images found ’round the web, two designs that I especially loved were this one and this one.
The base for each of the four different cupcakes was a flat round icing disk that I made out of a pliable homemade fondant. I must have spent an hour yesterday looking for the recipe I used 11 months ago to share here – but I can’t find it anywhere… argh. You can actually purchase pre-made fondant and marzipan from craft stores or there are a ton of great DIY recipes out there (the marshmallow ones look especially intriguing). Now I need a new go to!
My one suggestion for creating your own is to watch how much you mix your icing. You want the fondant to be stiff enough to mold but you also want to avoid any cracking when it begins to dry. Aim for playdough consistency. (This is for small projects – if you were covering a cake with this stuff I would say that playdough consistency is far too soft and will lead to several lumps and bumps).
First up in assembly were the Cat in the Hat cupcakes. I dipped marshmallows halfway up in a small bowl of water and then in a dish of red sugar (or red sprinkles) to create the illusion of a striped hat. I stacked two marshmallows onto a skewer (that has been cut in half to size) and used the pointed end of the skewer to hold the flipped over hats into place on top of the cupcakes.
The One Fish, Two Fish cupcakes were as simple as a bit of blue sugar, a couple of Swedish fish and a small black icing dot to accentuate the eye facing up. A small dot of icing will also hold the fish in place.
My Green Eggs and Ham cupcakes were actually just green eggs without the ham… but I used a green M&M to serve as the egg yolk and reshaped the flat round icing disk into more of an over easy egg shape. Black icing (bought pre-made in a squeezable tube) helped to outline the cracked egg.
Tracking down blue cotton candy for the Thing 1, Thing 2 cupcakes was a bit more challenging… luckily we had visited Sea World the day before the shower and I snagged a cotton candy on my way out for 1/2 price! A glob of semi-shaped stringy cotton candy helps form the hair for Thing 1 and Thing 2, and a simple ’1′ or ’2′ in black icing finished the look off.
Cotton candy has a tendency to melt when in direct sunlight! Lesson learned. Best to bring out the dessert just before everyone gets ready to eat it lest you have a melted, sugary, globby mess on your hands:
All in all a success though! And so much fun to put together. I think my favorites were probably the Cat in the Hat cupcakes and next time I might try and cover that fondant base in a red sugar too for a little extra pop.
More from the shower!
That’s the guest of honor and the host there in the center above, and several of the cute ideas, labels, food and decor from the rest of the day.
Dr. Suess is a classic that I cannot wait to share with Liv when she’s a little older. And the books – amazing. I think my favorite is probably ‘Are You My Mother?’, do you remember that one?
Tags: Baby Shower, Birthday, Blue, Desserts, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes, Red, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Parties & Entertaining | 5 Comments »
Last I left you, we were starting on the dining room from almost scratch.
This is so fun! This room is in need of almost everything less most large furniture items.
Let’s talk a moment about that new light because she was quite the adventure. The original chandelier was beautiful, ornate and most likely original to the house (meaning it was 77 years old).
She was clearly showing her wear though. Everything from missing pieces to really, really bad wiring.
My favorite accent has got to be the faux dripping gold candle wax .
Despite it all though I still think it is such a cool piece and that it should stay with the house. Maybe I can fix it up and make it more of an accent light in Liv’s big girl room (whenever we decide to take that on), or perhaps keep it neatly wrapped up in storage so that we can pass the original lighting on to future owners.
What I did know though, was that a new light would be an instant, updated impact to the entire space.
After much pendant hunting, I had narrowed my ideas down to:
I love the big round Eden pendant that we installed in Liv’s room – this has to be my favorite go-to in terms of price and look, and I thought that this version with a natural linen shade would fit the dining room even better. I was also drawn to something a bit more rectangular, like this West Elm shade pendant or this beautiful capiz pendant (so stunning! but Kev was not on board). Finally, I thought a light with multiple drum shades might just fill up the space well, like this one.
After much searching and much envisioning and much research, I finally fell for the West Elm short drum natural linen pendant shade. It didn’t hurt that on one of my random visits to the store, I found it marked down a third of the price! I haven’t seen that discount since but it was clearly a sign that she was the right modern pendant for the space.
I was very keen on the light, but not so keen on the white cable and silver wire/canopy that suspended the light from the ceiling (a little too modern for the space) – not sure why the above shows black because it’s definitely white! The pendant had to be converted to a wired version rather than a plugin, so in that process I opted to nix the West Elm mounting and added the shade to the oil rubbed bronze rods (just two rather than the three stacked 12″ rods it came with) and canopy of this Lowe’s pendant:
A pricey upgrade but definitely worth it. The new bronze mounting fits the Spanish-style space (with those rounded walls and inset ceilings) but the size and shape of the shade makes a huge modern difference.
Using a kitchen pendant light to update another ceiling fixture is an easy and affordable tip, though I must warn that we got this one wrong on the first try. I originally bought a candelabra mini pendant light that emitted about 30W – aka not enough to eat your dinner by! This monster shade needed a real deal light base (like the size of a usual light bulb) and we reinstalled the pendant again with the right sized light mount (thanks Andrew!). Now something like this option or this option, while not as big as I wanted for the space, would have provided three or four light bulbs for the large shade and would have cut down on this problem all together.
Another reason it doesn’t emit as much light as a usual chandelier?
The bottom of the shade is covered with a see-through insert that diffuses any light that comes out of the chandelier. You need as much watts or lumens (the LED version) as possible!
This all wraps up with my love for drum pendant lights, whether you hang them high in the center of a room like the Eden in Liv’s nursery:
Or low over a table, like the new linen short drum in the dining room!
Though I do wish it could be a half a rod lower – just need to learn how to rethread rod iron rods .
Read the full dining room story by starting here: the before!
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Home, Lighting
Posted in DIY, Home, Our Dining Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
Have you seen those adorable chalkboard decals floating round the web? I was initially inspired by this one, but decided that it was a bit ornate and pricey for our space. So instead I ordered a long sheet of chalkboard vinyl off of Amazon and made my own.
Our fridge is stainless steel so it doesn’t hold on to magnets for lists or invites or pictures that we want to hang. It’s usually nice to keep it clutter free (and we actually have a little white board for proudly displaying invites, cards and Liv drawings in the corner of the kitchen) but I thought a memo pad for the fridge would be nice.
It’s proved to be a pretty little addition to the space, too!
DIY Chalkboard Decal
To create the chalkboard memo pad, I designed a little swirly edged rectangular shape in Adobe Illustrator and printed it out on 16×20″ paper (here’s a link to download my high res version). The graphic ended up being about 12×18″ to accommodate the size of the vinyl.
Then I cut the above out and traced it onto the back of my vinyl paper.
And then carefully cut out my vinyl decal.
Attaching to the fridge took a little bit of time and a lot of smoothing (my Driver’s License worked great for slowly smoothing out bubbles as I applied the decal). I used the ice and water fridge door insert as my guideline for where the decal should sit on the door. This stuff is completely repositionable! I must have pulled it off and reapplied it 5 or 6 times before settling on the final placement.
Will the vinyl decal leave a mark when it’s removed? I love my fridge too much not to double triple check! The packaging said that absolutely no residue would be left behind, but I tested anyhow.
I cut a little strip of the decal and left it on the side of the fridge for a couple of hours and no residue – and then a second strip for over two weeks! with no residue to be found when I gently pulled the decal up.
There was a faint outline of where the decal had been placed, but I think it was a little bit of moisture build up because a dry cloth was all it took to gently wipe it away.
Now the memo pad is available for little grocery messages or inspirational reminders. The easiest way to memorize a helpful quote or saying is to see it everyday, after all! I think that that probably becomes especially useful as kids get older. But, if we change our minds long before Liv can read, I can rest assured that this baby should come off with no problems and no damage, at least as far as our particular fridge is concerned.
Kind of adds a little something, don’t you think? A little curvy art to a big grey box has a nice look to it.
No eraser needed if I want to remove the message, just a soft cloth and a little water and it’s completely gone. Not a trace of chalk left behind. In that sense it’s not really chalkboard material – no opportunity to screechingly scratch nails (thank goodness), the decal is actually more of a vinyl feel.
Now both chalkboards are in full use at the house! Liv loves her kid-friendly height version, and my list-making side loves my kitchen version.
If you’re not interested in making your own, here are some great Etsy options, too! There are so many great options out there.
But now back to the refrigerator, which Liv finds incredibly fascinating. So many good things come in and out of it all day – I wonder what sort of magical box she must think it is.
All kitchen makeover posts can be found right here.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »