Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #101

Hey everyone!  Welcome to the 
What I Learned Wednesday Link Party!



Thanks for coming!  I hope you all had a fabulous Easter weekend.  We had a weekend full of Easter egg hunts and family fun.

Here are the features for this week!



Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza @ Lamberts Lately

Cupcake Decorating Party @ Counting Candles

A flora and fauna highboy @ 551 east

Banana Streusel Muffins @ Gator Mommy Reviews

And now let's party!





Monday, April 21, 2014

Decorative Pinatas



Pinatas are such a fun thing at parties!  They're full of candy and you get to break them open with sticks!  They're festive and colorful!  So why not bring them inside to liven your Cinco de Mayo party? 

That's why I came up with these cute decorative pinatas!  And don't worry, they're a lot easier to make than the big candy filled ones..  :-)



Here's what you need:


balloon
glue
flour
water
newspaper
tissue paper
ribbon
scissors
tape
card stock
paintbrush

And here's how you make it:

Blow up your balloon.  Tape down where you blew it up so that the balloon is nice and round.  

Make 5 paper cones by cutting semi circles and rolling them into cones.  Tape it together.  Tape the cones onto the balloon where you like them.  I placed three on the bottom so that the pinata could stand on its own.


Make a paste of 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour.  This will be enough for 1-2 balloons.  Cut your newspaper into 1 inch strips.  Dip each strip into the paste and carefully pull the strips between two fingers to take off the excess paste.  Place the strips on the balloon so that it covers it completely.  You don't need to cover the cones.


Let the balloon dry overnight.


When the paper mache is dry, cut strips of tissue paper and make fringe by cutting small vertical lines.

 

 Pour the glue into a bowl and add a little water to make it a little thinner.  Use the paintbrush and paint a strip of glue on the paper mache then place a piece of tissue paper fringe on.  You can make your own design or I just wrapped each color around the balloon and worked my way to the top and bottom.


Then do the same to the cones to cover them in tissue paper.

Cut a few strips of ribbon and curl them.  Then tape them onto the top two cones for a little extra decoration.  And there you have some fun and cute decorations for your Cinco de Mayo party!

I also made a smaller one with a mini balloon and smaller cones and let my daughters decorate it on their own.  They had a blast and it actually turned out quite well!  It's a fun, but also very messy, craft to do with your kids!  Like I said, messy.  Which is why my toddler is without a shirt.  :-)






And here are some other great ideas to add to your 
Cinco de Mayo party!



Mint Limeade by Rickabamboo
Mexican Grilled Pizza by Keep it Simple, Sweetie
Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes by From Gate to Plate
Decorative PiƱatas by We Like to Learn as We Go

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 7-day Christian Book Review



If you have ever read anything by Brad Wilcox, you will know how amazing his work is.  His genuineness and love for people shines right through his words.  I actually had the privilege of taking a class from Professor Wilcox while studying at BYU.  He was one of the people who helped you remember why you wanted to be a teacher.  His enthusiasm for teaching and children is amazing!  After you read this book (which you totally should) definitely check out more of his books and talks. You can watch this amazing BYU Speech called His Grace is Sufficient and I've heard his book Continuous Atonement is amazing.  I'm going to read that one next.

The 7-day Christian is a wonderful book all about how living our Christian beliefs every day can change people and ourselves.


Many religious books are great, but can sometimes be hard to get through.  And maybe it's just me, but I can read a fictional novel much quicker than a religious book any day...Except for this one.  I love that this book reads like a novel.  The 7-day Christian is so interesting and full of personal stories, quotes, and examples that you want to just keep reading more!

I also love how he explains things in such a simple way.  For example, He explains why God gives us freedom to choose.  I read it to my husband because it was put in such a way that just made total sense.  And in a way that I've never thought of before.

Another thing I love about this book is his reference to classic and popular novels - Les Miserables, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even Harry Potter.  He takes situations from each of these novels and uses them as examples to support his ideas.  I love that!  Another way that it makes the book so interesting and helps you make connections that you may not have before.  

This is a great book to help us better understand what it means to be a Christian and how to show that to others.  Not in an intrusive way, but by living a life that shows discipleship of Christ.  By taking little steps along the way, we can each become a Christian every day of the week and help make the world a better place.

Definitely go check out The 7-day Christian at Deseret Book!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #100!

Hey there!  Welcome to the 
100th 
What I Learned Wednesday Link Party!


I cannot believe I've had this party 100 times!  Thanks so much for coming each week!  I love seeing this party grow!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.  If you want to see an awesome video about Christ to help you get in the Easter mood, check this out!  It's really worth watching. #BecauseofHim



And now for the features this week!


Party Items You Should Buy at the Dollar Store @ Pams Party and Practical Tips

Bunny Tails for You! @ Stamping on the Back Porch

Chocolate Easter Cupcake Sheep @ Simple Life Mom

And now let's party!





Super Cute Easter Frames



Recently I got together with my mom and sisters for a craft night.  The kids were all in bed so we got our crafting on!  We made three really cute frames which are perfect for anyone's Easter/Spring decor!

And most of the items you need you probably already have.  I didn't take step by step photos of how to make each frame, but they're pretty simple to figure out.




Carrot Frame

Green decorated paper straws
Orange decorated paper straws
Scrapbook paper/card stock
Painted frame
Glue
Scissors

To make the carrot frame, get card stock you like, or take some scrapbook paper and glue it on the card stock.  This will make it thicker and less flimsy in the frame.  Then start cutting the straws!  There really isn't a science to it, you can make the carrot as skinny or as thick as you want by cutting different straw lengths.  Glue them on your paper to make a carrot shape.  Remove the glass from the picture frame and place the carrot in.  And you're done!


Egg Frame

Fabric
Egg silhouette
Scrapbook paper/card stock
Painted frame
Glue
Scissors

Find an egg silhouette online (we just google egg silhouette, look in images, and print one we like).  Then trace it on the fabric and cut it out.  I also made a little banner on mine which is totally optional.  It was all free hand.  Glue the scrapbook paper to the card stock, then glue your egg and banner on the scrapbook paper.   Remove the glass from the picture frame and place the egg in.  And you're done!


Bunny Frame

Fabric
Bunny Silhouette
White pom pom
Scrapbook paper/card stock
Painted frame
Glue
Scissors

Find a bunny silhouette online (google it as we did above).  Cut out the silhouette of the bunny on the fabric.  Glue the scrapbook paper on the card stock, then the bunny on the paper, then the white pom pom on the bunny for a tail.  We found that cotton balls fell apart so the pom poms are a better option.  Remove the glass from the picture frame and place the bunny in.  And you're done!

So easy and so cute!

These are mine and my sister's so you can see how you can make them as unique as you like!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Yummy Bunny Berry Cake!



It's berry season!  Don't you just love fresh berries?  I do!  It's one of my favorite things about the spring and summer- all the wonderful fruit.  I love them by themselves, but I especially love berries in desserts.  Yum!

Now that spring is finally here and Easter is this weekend, I have a super cute Berry-licious bunny cake to show you from Driscoll's.  Not only is the cake decorated with delicious berries, but also filled with it!  I took it to my family's house this weekend as we celebrated Easter and a birthday while everyone was in town and it was a huge hit!  The adults loved it, the kids loved it.  It also makes a ton of cake so we got to keep the leftovers.  :-)  It's perfect for a family event!



Berrylicious Bunny Cake
Found on the Dricoll's Website

Ingredients

Cake
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups hulled and chopped Driscoll's Strawberries

Frosting
(Or you can use my homemade frosting recipe which is what I used - I also doubled my recipe)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
4 cups confectioner's sugar, whisked before measuring (plus extra as needed)
2 tablespoons whole milk (plus extra as needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract




How to make it


Cake1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly coat the insides of a Wilton Bunny Pan with nonstick spray and dust lightly with flour.  Or two 9 inch round cake pans (which is how I made my cake).

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition. 

5. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Chop enough hulled strawberries to equal 1 1/2 cups and fold into batter. 

6. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top.

7. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs. The cake will be golden brown on top and around the edges and will have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool pan on racks for 15 minutes. Unmold and place directly on rack to cool completely.
Frosting
1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. 

2. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. 

3. Add remaining sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on high speed until silky smooth; this might take several minutes. Frosting is now ready to use.

Assembly
After cutting the cake pieces that you need, cover the entire cake with frosting.  Then cut and place strawberry slices for the ears, nose, and bow tie.  Line raspberries around the entire outline of the cake and use two for the eyes.  Put some frosting on the back of two jelly beans and place them in the raspberry eyes. Then use jelly beans for the mouth.

Here is the original cake that's found on the website (used with the Wilton Bunny Pan).  Use it and my cake to inspire your own bunny-licious berry cake!


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Sacrament Book Review - A Great Teaching Tool



I recently had the opportunity to read The Sacrament by John Bytheway.  If you're familiar with John Bytheway at all, you know that he produces quality and entertaining work.  My husband is a big fan of his talks that he listened to growing up.


The Sacrament is a great book to teach your children about the meaning of partaking of the sacrament.  I'm sure many of our children (and us) have found the Sacrament time to be a little bit boring or we find our minds thinking of other things.  This book is a great way to teach our children why we have the sacrament, what it represents, and what we should think about while we take it.  

It also has an explanation of the symbols of the sacrament which is another great teaching tool. I even learned some things from the symbols being explained!  Did you know that the white cloth put on the sacrament table represents the cloth that covered Jesus' body in the tomb?  I didn't!

The book is written in poetry form which I love!  I think that's a great way to get the attention of children. The story itself is also very clever - it's about a young boy who goes on a family vacation to his grandfather's house.  Since they are there on Sunday, they go to church with him.  They find the meeting very boring, but his grandfather teaches him about the sacrament in a way that he will always remember it.

This is one of my favorite pages.  :-)

I love when childrens stories become teaching tools!  It's a great way for children to learn!  If you have younger children or grandchildren, then definitely check out this book!  There are also great illustrations that portray the story so well!

Head on over to Deseret Book to check it out!