Sunday, July 27, 2014

Picnic Beach Party 5th Birthday!

My dear friend celebrated her daughter's 5th birthday by having a Picnic Beach Party theme. They have a fabulous beach house which supplied the perfect backdrop for the party. They hired a local gal, Masks & Mugs Face Painting, for each guest to have their face painted and the kids loved it. There was a treasure hunt on the beach, sno cones, pinata and lots of fun and games.

Cupcakes & cake were supplied by a local grocery store, and were quite delicious.

Sand pails and sand box toys were used as the centerpieces. Sand pails were filled with fish suckers, goldfish crackers and swedish fish candy.

Yummy "flip flop" sandal cookies a perfect reach for the little's to enjoy.

A family relative found this fabulous idea on pinterest, to make a dolphin centerpiece using bananas. 

All the kids had such a great time, they played hard and when it was all said and done they were very worn out. My kids were asleep before even pulling out of their driveway, now that is a good party!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Zucchini Cake - Two Ways

I love this time of year for so many reasons, but zucchini's being in season is probably one of my favorites. I absolutely love zucchini bread, cakes, cupcakes you name it! So delicious and you even get a little greens mixed in. 

I have two recipes for zucchini cake that I love to make, one is more of a traditional zucchini/spice cake and the other is all chocolate! Who doesn't love a little chocolate? 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil (you can substitute apple sauce, won't be quite the same but still good)
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 milk
2 - 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of cloves
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13 x 9 cake pan or muffin tins. Mix all ingredients together except for the chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan or muffin cups, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Once toothpick inserted comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool.

Zucchini Bread

I make this recipe all of the time and could literally eat a whole loaf just by myself. This recipe was given to me by a good friend of mine and I haven't found a better recipe yet.  I have played around with it by substituting the oil with apple sauce and using whole wheat flour. It is still good, but not as good and it adds a different texture.

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of cloves
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare with grease & flour two 8 x 4 pans. Combine all ingredients except the zucchini, beat well, stir in zucchini. Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely. 

I hope you get the opportunity to make one or even both of these recipes sometime this summer, I can't express into words how yummy they are. Enjoy, now I'm off to go steel another piece of zucchini cake!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dining Room Rehab

For quite some time I have been wanting to change up a few things around my home. I decided I would start with the dining room, a little smaller and a place where I can hoping make it feel like me!

This is what I started with, there have been a few minor changes since this picture from when we moved in 4 years ago. 

I thought I would start with paint and then move on from there. When we originally built our house 4 years ago we really had no idea what colors we wanted so we decided to paint the entire house a good neutral until we could decide. Now 4 year later and our house is still all Huntington Beige by Benjamin Moore. It is a nice color, however I am ready to add some life into my walls.

I knew I wanted to lighten the color up and I had envisioned a nice blue/gray color. Now the issue was finding the color in the midst of all those paints samples. Does anyone else just get totally overwhelmed by the paint aisle? I feel like I start off with a plan and then before I know it I when I bring the samples home they look completely different than I had imagined. 

So I set off for some paint samples and with the "help" of my 3 year old we came home with several colors in all different tints and hues, sticking to mostly the blue/gray family. After making my husband stare at color after color and hearing "which one do you like best, no really which one? Oh you like that one, well what about this one?" I finally settled on a color, Sirocco by True Value. The sample looks more like a steely gray but when you put it in my space it has a definite blue hue. 

The room isn't quite done, I plan to have a new buffet, curtains and of course accessories. So stayed tuned for the reveal!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

1st Birthday Smash Cake Photos

Thank you to the amazing Ashlee Jensen Photography for capturing my baby boy's smash cake session for his 1st birthday. Since the theme was Farmall tractors we incorporated the theme into his session.

The cake was made by a local gal from Eat. cake. now. She did a fabulous job and on very short notice, and my son seemed to love it!

The backdrop banner was re-used from his birthday party decorations and the vintage tractors are part of my husband's collection. See the birthday party post here for all the party details.

My baby boy really enjoyed his cake; took his time, very content with just sitting there eating. There wasn't a whole lot of smashing going on, it was more shoveling it in and then also offering to share. Nothing like slobbery fingers and cake!

Ashlee did a fabulous job I highly recommend her, the work she performs with newborns is amazing. Check her work out at Ashlee Jensen Photography.

Thank you Ashlee for capturing my sweet boy!