Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Easy Coffee Cake Recipe

I'm always looking for easy recipes, especially when I need to bring something for a brunch or breakfast.  I'm not the happiest of bears in the morning, so getting up to whip up an eggs-stravaganza is not my idea of how to start a morning.  I found this gem on Pinterest and it turned out absolutely lovely.  This is a picture of my finished product.  Here is the recipe you can try for yourself.  
What you need:

1 pkg of yellow (golden) cake mix
1 instant vanilla pudding mix (the size that serves four)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of water
4 eggs
4 tbsp of brown sugar
3 tsp of cinnamon

In a large bowl mix (electric mixer) the cake mix, pudding mix, oil and water.  Add one egg at a time into the mix and beat for one minute after adding each egg.  Pour half of the batter into a greased (I used Pam) bundt pan.  Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle half of that mixture over the batter in the pan.  Pour the remaining batter in the pan.  Top with the remainder of the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  And, finish by doing my favorite part! Swirl through the batter with a knife.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.  Wait for 5-10 minutes, then invert and pop out of the pan.

You can use this same recipes with other variations.  Lemon Cake mix and Lemon pudding mix and cover in a powder sugar glaze.  Even a chocolate cake mix with banana pudding mix would be yummy!  Be creative and enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Word Art Crafts

Fourteen years ago today, my Mom passed from this life to the next.  I miss her every day and look forward to the day I'll see her again.  I expect our first hug to be amazing and her still smelling of Estee Lauder's Pleasure perfume.  One of the many traits I inherited from my Mom was her love for crafts.  We would take classes together, shop in craft stores for hours, and watch all those crafty shows on television.  With the busyness of life and work and school, I needed to find my craft groove again.  In June, I decided to find a craft class that looked appealing and I found one at the local Michael's store.  I ended up being the only student in attendance and had one-to-one attention.  Below are the two products of my class and a brief description of how to do it in case you'd like to try it at home.

You start by determining what phrase you want to use on your canvas.  This one was for a sweet couple who open their home as a wonderful bed and breakfast and I affectionately call their home Robinson Mountain.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

 - 12x12 canvas
 - Scrapbooking page - design of your choice
 - Opaque Mod Podge
 - Alpha Stickers (Be sure that the stickers are at minimum 1/4 inch thick)
 - Acrylic Paint to complement the color scheme of your scrapbook page
 - Fabric Flowers (ones to assemble are more fun!)
 - Bling for your Flower Centers

Dampen your scrapbook page to make it more prepped to accept the Mod Podge.  Spread the Mod Podge on the canvas and then place the scrapbook page on top.  To secure the page, spread another layer of Mod Podge and allow to dry.  Determine the layout of your phrase and position your letters/numbers on the page to see how it looks.  Once you have determined the layout you like, stick the letters on the page.  

After the stickers are placed, paint the complement color over top, covering the entire canvas, even the edges.  Once the paint dries you can peel off the letters.  The beautiful scrapbook design will show through.  The second picture is a phrase to describe my friends' little boy, Levi, and his mission to change the world.  

Once you've removed the stickers, apply another layer of Mod Podge and allow to dry.  The flowers I used were different colors, designs and sizes that allowed for creating a 3D effect.  I used Tacky Glue to create them, and then to attach them to the canvas.  I used some bling brads that were easy to use for centers, but when I ran out of those, I used....drumroll...nail art!  Those fun glittery stickies are just the right size to also play the part of a flower center.  This part of the craft is the most fun as I was able to be creative on making the flowers and placing them on the canvas.  

And voila!  Your project is complete.  This was fairly easy and inexpensive for the supplies.  Other ideas for this technique...using it for wedding gifts, by using the wedding colors and putting "The Smiths - Est. 2014."  Or maybe even for a new baby with the birth date and name.  Instead of flowers for boys, you could use more masculine 3D items, such as scrapbooking cut-outs.