Friday, June 28, 2013

July 4th Preparations

Hi everyone! I have been busy this week preparing for a July 4th party will be hosting.  So far, I am almost finished with some super cute burlap ribbon napkin rings - they are going to be adorable.  This morning I started making my now-famous-within-my-family cake balls.  They are super yum and are so versatile for any occasion.

Cake Balls
Bake your favorite sheet cake (I've used chocolate, red velvet, & white) - today, I used chocolate

Once your cake is baked and completely cool, you are going to crumble into fine crumbs.  You could use a food processor, but I simply use my hands - as it crumble easily.


Once it is crumbled, you will want to add a generous dollop of vanilla frosting.  I have used chocolate frosting, but it gets too sweet for my taste.  Stir until no trace of white remains.  

Once you are done mixing, your cake/frosting mixture will have the consistency of cookie dough.  I use a small ice cream scoop to ensure a uniform size of cake ball. So, simply start scooping and placing in a pan - I use the 9 x 13 pan I used to bake the cake in.  Cuts down on clean up!

 Once the cake balls are all formed, you can either leave them as is, but this time I found these fun lollipop sticks at Wal Mart, which will go great with my 4th of July theme! 

 Once all the sticks have been placed, put the pan in the freezer for a few hours to harden up. You can either proceed to the final step after the freezing process, or you may put them in a zip lock bag (after they are frozen) to store until you are ready.  In my case, I will not be doing the final step until the day before our party.

On Wednesday, I will be dipping them in red, white, & blue candy melts and adding patriotic sprinkles.  I will be back on Thursday to show you how it all turns out!

What are you up to for the fourth?

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quick Patio Update

Good morning everyone! Just making a quick post for a patio update....almost done, just a few finishing touches, and now I am able to start adding some decor to the space.  I will have a complete reveal coming soon! 
A cozy outdoor spot to read blogs on my Kindle!

You can see a bit of Parker's tail in the lower right corner of this pic! Also, on the left is a pile of bird houses and a ladder that I will be giving a makeover to.

It's been a chilly summer this far, so this firepit has been a cozy spot to hang out at during the nights!

Have a great day - thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Little Lovin' for the Yard

Hi all! Just a quick post about our yard.  The patio project is humming along, but still not quite finished.  They did the lawn repair work last week....

Pretty cool that they spray it on with a hose! Now we are sprinkling and watering like crazy to get the grass to grow.

There are a few details that need finishing up, some involve staining so we need a stretch of dry weather to come our way.  Forecast for tomorrow: Rain!  Drats!

Yesterday Mr. Bluebird, Sweet Daughter, and myself worked on odds & ends in the yard.  Here are some of the fruits of our labor:

Planted some zinnias in our new retaining wall/planting area.  We will eventually plant permanent shrubbery, but are going to spend the summer thinking about what ultimately will go there, so in the meantime some pretty annuals will perk it up. Can't wait until they fill in.

This is such an awesome picture.  I love the vibrant pops of color you get with zinnias - and they take alot of abuse and weather conditions.

I potted up a few plants.  I found these great outdoor woven baskets with plastic liners at Home Goods a couple of weeks them! You can see a snippet of one of our slate topped serving bars.

Sweet daughter spotted this fun plant at our local garden center and we simply had to bring it home.  It really does smell like buttered popcorn and grows up to eight feet tall!! Fun!

Pretty shot of one of my purple clematis...this particular plant has NEVER bloomed in five years, but this year it is one happy camper and is producing beautiful blooms!

I gave our mini chimnea a spray paint coat of "aubergine" yesterday - now I am awaiting a super chunky, outdoor flameless candle to put inside.  We have used it to burn real wood at times, but it's new home next to the wooden arbor isn't really conducive to fire! So a candle on a timer will really fit the bill and look so cozy every night, not just when we decide to light a fire.  Besides, since the chimnea is so small we spend alot of time tending the fire.  We have a large firepit elsewhere in the yard, so we can get our pyro fix that way! Lol!

A cute pot and bowl combo - still need to officially pot it up, I just plunked the nursery container in because I was anxious to see what it looked like. 

Here I am sealing the slate tiles we are using in our two outdoor serving bars.  I just love how the sealer brings out the beautiful color of these tiles. I also am crazy for the texture of the slate and all the variation - perfect for an outdoor setting.

Well, that's it from my corner of the world today. Friday was the start of my summer off, so my head is swirling with all the projects and activities I want to cram into the next 87 days! I am especially looking forward to having our patio project complete so I can start adding "the jewelry" and making it our own.  I will be sure to share the journey with you!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Linking to:

Metamorphosis Monday
Make it Pretty Monday

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Success.....There's an "AP" for That

Hi Everyone!
I want to share a themed luncheon that I created the decor for this past week.  Students at the school where I work are able to take Advanced Placement (AP) tests for possible college credit every spring.  This is a worldwide event and our room coordinates the testing for our school.  For the past several years we have rewarded the students who have taken AP exams with an extra special luncheon several weeks after testing has concluded.  We always try to do a theme - we have done Mexican Fiesta, Hawaiian Luau, Beach, etc.  This year we chose a technology theme and came up with the slogan, "Success....There's an "AP" for that."  Kinda clever, if I do say so myself.
The luncheon was held in one of our auxillary gyms, so the morning leading up to the luncheon, a giant smart phone, sign, and lights were outside the doors to get the students' attention as they passed going class to class.
I made the phones out of scrap insulation board and 99 cent plastic tablecloths.  I also made the poster using tracing paper & paint pens.

Here is another display of phones and another sign inside the gym. 

A view of all the tables set.  We served over 200 students during three lunch periods.

The centerpieces were five empty CD cases hot glued together, scrapbook paper on the inside, and three CD "flowers" made with colorful CD's glued back to back.  Then a little silver filler for fun.  the placemat was just a photo copy of a QR code blown up.  Multi colored fuzzy balls or "pixels!" and mini Slinkys for fun finished it off.
We always are on a tight budget for decor, but I am so pleased with how it all turned out.  The kids really seemed to enjoy it.
A favorite local restaurant catered and served the students:  baked potato bar, pasta bar, salad bar, fruit assortment, and an ice cream sundae bar, along with lemonade and fruit punch.  It truly was a hit and made the kids feel extra special!
I wish the pictures had turned out better, but the lighting was way off, and I did not have time to fidget with the settings on my camera. 
Anyway, this is always a super fun part of my job and I look forward to helping out with it every year.
Hope you are all having a great weekend,