Tuesday, December 20, 2011

JOY! NOEL!! Christmas DIY

Last year was the first year we had our mantel in working condition for Christmas. Well, I attempted to decorate it but ... with our little ladies arrival the day after Thanksgiving, the mantel did not get the attention it deserved. I don't think I even have a picture of the sad turn out.

This year as I was decorating for Christmas I was dreading the mantel because I just didn't know what to do with it! During the rest of the year I have a large family photo centered on the mantel, but surrounded by Christmas decor the photo looked MAJORLY out of place and I needed something large and symmetrical to be the focal point to build from. So I started pondering... then I remember a piece of poster board I bought for Q's birthday but didn't use and a large frame we had stored in the basement.

So I busted out the handy ol'stencils (used previously here and here), craft paint and brushes and got to work. Here's the rundown:

JOY NOEL Christmas Sign
1. Cut the poster board to the size of a large old frame, this one (18x24) we had lying around and weren't currently using.

2. Mixed up some paint colors. I used espresso brown, leaf green, and bronze mixed in different proportions for the two colors.
3. Paint and remove the stencils. This is when I noticed something was off, it was the O, it needed to be green to tie the JOY together (and direct your eye to read JOY not JOEY). Once fixed it looked MUCH better, see photo in step 4.
 4. Decorate the mantel and enjoy the festive holiday decor!


I contemplated adding a star burst in the upper right corner but didn't end up pulling the trigger. Maybe something I can add next year!

This project was essentially free. I had everything on hand but recently had purchased the poster board for $0.50. The craft paint is about 5 years old, YIKES, and the frame is about 6 years old, both were happy to get some new life!

That's my Shiny ~


Monday, December 19, 2011

This is love.....

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Drinkers and Jokers, all soul searchers like you and me. Searching for love love love..... Dave Matthews Band

This is my favorite Christmas song (not to mention the BEST Christmas Pandora Station EVER!!). I love that this song covers the breadth of Jesus' life not just his birth. Also the OVERWHELMING love Jesus brought to this earth and that WE ARE ALL jokers, and soul searches in need of His LOVE LOVE LOVE!
This is the God I LOVE and the Christmas I CELEBRATE!
Wishing you and yours the most LOVELY HOPE FILLED Christmas POSSIBLE!!
That's my Shiny ~

Sunday, December 18, 2011


There's a LOT of 80's trends going on that I just CANNOT get on board with, but sequins is back people and I can get EXCITED about that! What girl doesn't love a little extra something sparkly every once in awhile and THIS is the time of year to get SPARKLY! Sequins is back and in a BIG way!

Spending lots of money to get your GLITTER ON really isn't ideal. Considering sequins is something you wouldn't throw on for just any old day and this festive time of year only comes around, well, once a year. Here are a few of my favorite finds for under $25.00!! Snag some bling without spending all your cha-ching (wow, I know that was a little ridiculous, but we are talking about SEQUINS here folks)!!

Also, lets remember friends. All things in MODERATION! One glitter item at a time, at most two per outfit, as long as one piece is the Main Character and the other is the Supporting (say paring item #1 and #2 together)

I love this little sparkly jacket, I would wear it just like the picture, with jeans and a white or black tank. You could also throw this over your favorite summer LBD to make it winter friendly. Maybe paired with the flower ring below.

Wear with this great cocktail ring with the sequins jacket above.
sweet starlight flower ring

These would look great with a black pair of cigarette skinny pants, a chunky sweater, and simple earrings.

I would wear this with a fitted black blazer, jeans, black heels, and drop earrings

5. Sparkly Bow Belt from Old Navy: $16.94
This belt would be FANTASTIC with a sweater dress to cinch in the waist

6. Boat Neck Gold Sequins Top by Fresh Brewed:
This top would look AMAZING with a black pencil skirt, sling back heels and a simple gold bracelet

This mini would be quite daring for me, but I think I would definitely wear it with an opaque pair of black tights, a long sleeve white button down shirt tucked in and black platform heels (oh and maybe grab the flower ring from above).

This little clutch is so CUTE I think I would carry this at just about any night time event!

This is one of those tops that you could grab for that Holiday gathering when you have no idea if the attire will be totally casual or some what dressy (like a NYE house party). This would be great with some dark skinny jeans and tall black suede wedge boots to wear just about anywhere.

I am a big fan of these glittery lovelies but would probably only really wear these with pants (unless maybe in Vegas or at a bachelorette party or something) I'd wear either of these with a pair of great long and lean flare jeans, a simple snug scoop neck long sleeve top and dangly sparkly earrings.

Another daring hemline but it's too cute not to think about! I would wear this to a GREAT party with those same opaque black tights, black heels and some shiny silver earrings.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL time getting GLITTERY this holiday seasons!

Merry Christmas!

That's my Shiny ~


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ladybug Cake

One thing I have REALLY enjoyed doing as Momma is making our kiddos special birthday cakes.  For C's first birthday I made him a big and little monkey head similar to Q's ladybug.

 for his second birthday I made him a baseball, baseball field and baseball cake pops.

 Now for our little lady I got to make this SUPER fun ladybug cake!

Overall I am happy with how the cakes turned out but if I make a ladybug cake in the future I might do a few things differently.

I used this yellow cake recipe from Bakerella, which was amazing!! It was very good and moist. This will be my permanent yellow cake recipe.

Ladybug Cake:

Moist Yellow Cake (adapted)
from Bakerella

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon
butter flavoring (I used butter flavored shortening, it worked well)

Baking Bowls and Pans Needed:
1 large baking bowl (big ladybug's body)
2 small custard cups (small ladybug's body & big ladybug's head)
Mini Muffin Pan (small ladybug's head)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour all pans 
  • Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
  • In a separate bowl combine (combine salt, baking powder, and flour 
  • Add flour mix and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.  
  • Poor 3/4 of your cake batter into a large baking bowl (like this one)
  • Poor enough batter both of the small custard cups (like these) until 3/4 full
  • Poor enough batter to fill 3/4 of one small muffin in mini-muffin tin
Bake Time in Oven:
Mini-Muffin - 8 minutes
2 Small Bowl - 18 - 28 minutes
Big Bowl - 50 + minutes, place bowl on a baking sheet before sliding into the oven, once cake rises and is golden on top tent with foil to prevent top from over browning

Cook's Country 2010 April/May Issue

3 sticks of butter unsalted
3 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar

1. cream butter with an electric mixer using whisk attachment, beat butter, cream, vanilla, and salt on med-high until combined, about 1 minute.
2. Reduce mixer sped to med-low. With motor running, slowly add confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth, 1-2 mins. Increase speed to med-high and beat frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 mins.
3. Add desired food coloring, see details below.

Chocolate Frosting:
Prepare as above. Using 2 1/2 sticks of butter and adding 8 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled, in step 1. In step 2, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder can also be added for additional chocolate flavor. (I didn't make this large of a batch, I used the remaining vanilla I had added 1 additional stick of butter to it and then added only the melted semisweet chocolate, this was plenty chocolaty and delicious)

1. let cakes cool on a wire rack. Using a butter knife or flexible spatula loosen the cakes from the edge of  each pan before removing. Place plate or serving platter on top of the bowls and turn upside down to release cake, tap bottom of the pan gently to help release the cake. The muffins should pop out of the pan with gently pulling the sides up and using a knife from underneath. 

2. Flip your bowl cake over and trim the top bump off your cake so it is flat. Flip back over and place on your serving platter with enough room for the head on one side. Do the same with one of your small bowl cakes if needed.

3. Trim a moon shape out of your remaining small bowl cake to mimic the curve of your large bowl cake. This will be the big ladybug's head (see above), use toothpicks or wooden skewers to secure. For the small ladybug use the small muffin cake and secure to small bowl cake with toothpick.

4. Add red food coloring to about 3/4 of your vanilla butter cream until the desired color is achieved. Frost the body of your large and small ladybugs using a butter knife or small spoonula. Be careful near the head and bottom to not get messy.  It is easier to use a freezer bag and cut off the tip on one corner and carefully pipe on frosting to meet the edge of your cake and the platter and head. 

4. Get out your chocolate butter cream. Start a new freezer bag of chocolate butter cream. Pipe and / or spread chocolate butter cream onto the head of the small and large ladybug. 

5. Let frosting firm up a bit by putting the cakes in the fridge 30 mins is sufficient.  Get cakes back out and work on dots.  Using a pointy tip of a skewer or knife free hand draw your ladybug wings and dots.  Once happy with placement and amount of dots, using a small spoon gently remove some of the frosting inside of the dots. Fill in each dot with chocolate butter cream.

 Presto! A big and a mini ladybug cake!

I also made a standard 2 layer round cake out of this AMAZING chocolate sheet cake recipe from Pioneer Woman, and by AMAZING I really mean the best chocolate cake I have ever made BY FAR! I frosted the cake with the chocolate frosting recipe above.

Have any of you made fun birthday cakes?  What have you come up with? Have you found a favorite cake or frosting recipe? It seems that I am always on the hunt! I'm definitely still searching for the perfect buttercream frosting, if you've found one that you love PLEASE share your secrets!

That's my Shiny -


Friday, December 9, 2011

Shiny of the Week: Ending better than the Start

We have had a week of ups and downs. Monday we were still trying to recover from a stomach bug and the Mr. left for a two day business trip. Not the best day. But as the week progressed we got the house cleaned up, food back in the pantry, the Hubs came home and life started to feel nice and cozy again.  

By Wednesday the sun was shining and it was beautifully glorious to spend time outside in the cool air with the bright sun shine all around us!

Today (Friday), we are enjoying being HEALTHY, the snow outside, and the Christmas season by making cookies. Sugar cookies (recipe here) to be exact, with yummy colorful frosting (recipe here). We are still in the process of decorating and I think we will finish tonight around the kitchen table, as a complete unit.

 With the help of the two best little helpers around we made cookie dough, cut out our shapes and baked the cookies. We had lots of fun squishing dough, flattening it, using the spatula, learning to use our cookie cutters and of course EATING a cookie just to be sure we baked in lots of yumminess. 

What Christmas FUN!!

That's my Shiny ~


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sleeping This Weekend & A Sparkly T-Shirt

Friday Night: 
I slept on the floor next to Q's crib.

At 4:00 AM our little 12 month old baby daughter LAUNCHED herself out of her crib and on to the floor. Yes, yes you just read that correctly. She is 12 MONTHS and 1 week to be exact, and yes her crib is moved to the lowest level, the side rail was not down and she did not use any type of stuffed animal to aid in her escape. So needless to say, we were a little frazzled and worried. She thankfully landed on her bum so no major injuries occurred other than my nerves being SEVERED! Until we figured out a solution I wasn't going to leave her in there unattended, so what did this Momma do? I rocked my baby back to sleep put her in her crib and slept on the floor until morning. Saturday we hunted down and bought a crib tent. Yes, I know not my idea of cute and precious nursery decor either but at least she will be SAFE!

Saturday Night:
I slept on the couch with a bucket and a towel

Near 10:00 PM my belly started doing flips. Looks like Q's little stomach bug was not going to be polite and leave me alone. My barking dog friend had returned AGAIN (more about that here).

Sunday Night:
I slept in C's bed

Why: Sunday morning the bug continued it's TORTUROUS rounds and went after our sweet little boy next. He had a rough Sunday and did fairly well sleeping until some time in the middle of the night when he said "lay in my bed Momma", and of course I couldn't resist the request of the cutest little sick boy. So I crawled in, thankfully I was so tired I actually slept.

Hopefully we are on the other side of this mayhem and we are PRAYING that our family can be healthy for awhile after this long stretch of sickness. So yet again I apologize for the delay!

Bedazzled 1 T-Shirt Tutorial:

t-shirt or onesie
fabric paint
small craft paint brush
ladybug buttons (or buttons of choice)
Scrap book ready to stick gems

1. Pick out your desired number or stencil.  Use some kind of tape to tape down your stencil in the desired spot on your T.

2. Squirt out a little of your fabric paint. Get your small craft paint brush. Carefully paint the outline of your number first, don't use to much paint and try not to push your brush right up against the edge of the stencil too hard, this will result in the paint bleeding. A little bleeding is okay but you don't want it too look messy. After you paint the outline fill the rest of the number in. Remove the stencil and let the paint dry.

3. Bedazzle time! I used the scrap book ready to stick gems. They actually worked GREAT! Not one fell off. I did this for two reasons, I went out to get my remaining supplies on black Friday so the store was crazy and I was not about to continue hunting for other gems among the madness. Second, it saved me a gluing step and I wasn't intending on this being more than a one time wear shirt (after washing only about 1/2 the gems made it). To add longevity you could just put a dot of fabric glue on each gem before sticking. I used two sizes of gems and outlined the number. This is what ascetically looked best to me. Have fun with it and do what you think will look best!(forgot to take a picture of the sticking, sorry)

4. Sew buttons on to your shirt. I choose to sew the buttons on to one shoulder of the shirt to look like little ladybugs where crawling up her sleeve. I thought it looked cute and really pulled the tutu and shirt together. 

TA DA a special little shirt for your special little person!

Stencil: $0 Already owned (I bought this pack of letters and numbers for $5.99 at Walmart, used for this project originally)
Gems and one Pack of Buttons: $3.00 (with sale, I only used three of the 9 buttons)
Fabric Paint: $2.00 (I only used a smidgen of paint, I have lots left for more projects)

Total Cost: $7.00

Time: 2 hours, I spent about an hour making this shirt and probably another hour shopping (I went to three different stores, mostly due to the fact that I didn't have a clear picture of what I wanted when I started).

Enjoy bedazzling and stenciling a jazzy shirt for a special person! Have any of you made a shirt or something special for a birthday boy or girl to wear? I hope you all had more comfortable sleeping situations then myself this weekend. Have you found your sleeping routine disrupted by anything ridiculous, oh say like a 29 1/2 inch little gymnast doing an aerial out of her crib?

That's my Shiny ~

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Tutu Tutorial ~ Ladybug Bubble Hem Tutu

I apologize for the delay in adding these tutorials, WE HAVE A SICK CHILD A-G-A-I-N!! Our little birthday girl got a stomach bug and lost her lunch Wednesday evening. Lets just hope the rest of us can stay healthy and we should be in good shape! 

The origin of how I put the ladybug tutu together actually started as fixer for Q's baptism dress. My Meme (Q's Great Grandma) made her a dress to wear for her baptism, it ended up being more like a shirt on our long lean lady. I really didn't want her to miss out on the opportunity to wear something so special and made just for her, so my wheels started cranking and I thought of the idea to make her a slip / tutu to wear under the dress. My mom and I went and scoped out fabric and we landed on some baby pink organza with and without sparkles. 

Here is that tutu / slip:

Crisis averted! The slip worked great and it actually took the dress from something simple and made it extra special!

Now, back to the tutu of the hour. Here is the run down on how I made Q's ladybug bubble hem tutu. It started with heading out to buy fabric and supplies for the outfit I was envisioning for Q's birthday celebration. My original plan was to make a no-sew tied tulle tutu, like this one. I've never made one before so I thought I would give it a try. BUT when I was looking for tulle, I found this AMAZING red and black polka dot organza AT 40% OFF!!! I could not pass up the PERFECT fabric for a ladybug theme AND on SALE! So I quickly revised my plan (organza frays so the no sew technique went out the window) and decided to make another bubble hem tutu. This time I would make it less of a slip and more of a tutu by adding volume. So instead of two layers of organza I did three layers, one layer of organza and two layers of tulle.

The How-To:
1.Buy organza and / or tulle fabrics. I bought organza for the top layer and red tulle and black tulle for the layers underneath. (1 layer organza, 2 layers of tulle). I bought each in a half of a yard. This created the perfect length for the bubble hem for Q, depending on the length needed you may need more. You should determine this before buying fabric or have a rough idea of the desired length, you will need to double that length in EACH fabric for the bubble effect

2.Get your fabric home and determine EXACTLY how long you want your tutu. Then you will need to lay out your fabric flat. Fold the material in half, long end to long end (making sure the outside or front of your fabric is facing outward). You should now have a long skinny tube with one open end and one closed end (see picture below, what it will look like after sewn). The closed end will be your bubble (bottom of tutu).Double check that this is the correct length you want, if what you have laid out so far will be too long you will need to trim off the desired amount to shorten the tutu. Measure from the fold or bubble up to the top determine how long you want it and then adjust the bubble hem so you have one longer side peaking over the other, trim off the desired amount. 
3.Once you have the correct length pin the open side of your fabric. Take your fabric to your machine and sew with about 1/8  to 1/4 from the edge (organza frays leave some room). Repeat this process with all of your layers of fabric. You should now have three long tubes of fabric (see pic above for reference). 

4.Find your original hem on what you want to be your top layer, pin all three of your fabric pieces together near the top seam . Now you will sew about 1 1/2 inches from that seam to create a pocket for your elastic and ribbon. This will also attach all of your material to each other.

5. Now all three pieces of your material should be connected. Get a Popsicle stick or something hard and skinny. Measure and cut elastic for the waste, measure and cut your ribbon about triple the length of your elastic. Tie your elastic and ribbon to the stick. Shimmy it through the pocket you made in the top layer of fabric and begin bunching the fabric over the elastic and ribbon. 

6. Remove Popsicle stick once you have fed the elastic completely through. Bring the two ends of the elastic together and stitch them closed either by hand or if you can wriggle it in to your machine. Make sure ribbon is pulled through even on both sides of the skirt.
7. Turn skirt inside out and bring the open pieces of your top layer together at the back of the tutu. Fold the two pieces together so the seam will be on the inside of the skirt and sew together to close the opening.

VIOLA! A bubble hem tutu for your special little gal!

Ladybug Bubble Hem Tutu Cost:

Fabric: $4.10
Elastic: $0 I had it on hand (probably $1 worth)
Ribbon: $2.00 (1 yard)

Total Cost: $6.10

Total Time: 2 1/2 hours including shopping for the fabric (1 hour shopping, 1 1/2 hours making the tutu)

For extra cuteness I added six randomly placed ladybug buttons to the tutu. I used the same buttons on the shoulder of Q's shirt (I will post that tutorial hopefully later tonight or tomorrow morning). 

Happy sewing!

That's my Shiny ~