Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two New Additions

There are two new little additions to my family. My cousin-in-law had her TWINS last week!! That means I've been hard at work making lovey blankets for them to cuddle, and hats to adorn their adorable little heads.

I got the idea for the lovey blankets from a woman I follow on Instagram and this pattern on Ravelry. They have an elephant themed nursery so I'm going to make an elephant head from here (which I also found on Ravelry) to put on the lovey blankets instead of the lamb like the pattern. I was watching the last episode of "Smash", sniff sniff :( , while working on them the other day.

The hats are a Tunisian crochet pattern and yarn that I found buried in one of my yarn bins. I totally forgot that I had bought that yarn to go with the free pattern from the shop along the LYS Tour two years ago. It's still cute none-the-less, and I can't wait to see how it works up. It was a pain to wind since the beads can't fit through a regular ball winder; so I had to wind it by hand off of the swift.

I'll post pictures of the finished projects in a few weeks. What are your favorite projects for babies? What projects are you currently working on? I love to hear your feedback!

This is How My Garden Grows (May 2013 Update)

I have been so busy lately that I have been horrible at weeding my garden, and planting seeds this spring. Thankfully rhubarb doesn't take much care so I already made a rhubarb pie!

The raspberries are trying to take over the whole garden area. I've been pulling shoots out of every section lately. The bees are busy pollinating, which is what I like to see! There are already too many berries starting to grow that I can't count them all. :) In the picture, don't mind the patch of dandilions that currently occupy the raised bed.

This year I'm trying out those Topsy Turvy tomato growers. I hope that having them in a sunnier spot will produce more red tomatoes instead of being left with a bunch of green tomatoes in the fall. A bonus is that while out for a walk around the neighborhood a couple weeks ago, I found a table with FREE tomato starts! I'm Dutch, so anything free is awesome!

Another new addition to my garden this year is the strawberry tower. I got the idea when I was on a field trip to Seattle Tilth with my pre-k class. I figured it would be easy enough to DIY so I drew a mock up on Google SketchUp first, and then handed the plans over to my Dad. Thanks to Stacy for the strawberry starts to put in it! I'll transplant the rest of my strawberry plants after they finish producing fruit this summer.

Last but certainly not least, is my flower bed. Which has actually been getting more attention lately than the garden. I noticed dahlia shoots coming up so I weeded around them. I had to cut/pull out some of the vinca ground cover to give the dahlias and iris more space to grow! I aslo took out the sticks that were supposedly supporting them as they grew, and replaced them with tomato cages since I won't be needing those this summer. A nice addition of rabbit poop fertilizer, and they're growing wonderfully. Now if only the slugs would stay away from them. :(

I'm hoping that blogging about my garden gives me more motivation to finish weeding so I can plant more. What have you planted in your garden this spring? What would you like to grow in your garden?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Birthday Cupcakes

So I settled on baking mocha cupcakes with raspberry buttercream for my Dad's birthday.

I used the mocha cupcake recipe that I found here from Pinterest (of course!). 

The raspberry buttercream I adapted from my "taste. Cupcakes" cookbook. I found it at Sam's Club, and originally bought it solely for the Advocaat buttercream recipe; which I will post at another time. Anyways, here is my version of raspberry buttercream.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Yields enough to frost 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
3-5 Tbls. seedless raspberry preserves or jelly

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. On low add in the raspberry preserves until desired taste and color is achieved. Either spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

These were the best looking from my batch. Note to self: get piping tips for better results! I also got to use the DIY Cake Stand that I made in this post. :)

I love to hear your feedback! Please comment if you try this recipe. Or what have you baked lately?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dad's Birthday Choices

My Dad's birthday is tomorrow so I've been scouring my cupcake book, and Pinterest for ideas of what cake/cupcakes I should make for him. His favorites are raspberry, coconut, and coffee.

So far I'm either making cinnamon rolls or scones for breakfast. The cupcake choices are as follows: coconut with raspberry butter cream, mocha with raspberry butter cream, or mocha with espresso butter cream. Such a tough choice!

It helps that he has a sweet tooth, hmm probably where I get it from, so he'll enjoy whatever I end up choosing. I'll post pictures of what I chose tomorrow.