Currently Browsing: pinterest finds friday

gender reveal party! it’s a girl!

my brother and his wife are expecting their first child early next year. my dad, stepmom and myself wanted to get ahead of the baby shower shuffle and throw a baby shower early with the gender reveal theme.  for the past month, i have been working on all the details, from ordering etsy goodness to food planning to doing as much homemade as i could.  it was definitely a labor of love.  i am so tremendously happy for my little brother and i absolutely can not wait to meet my NEICE! that is right, they are having a baby girl.

we welcomed guests with the chalkboard sign that i made from a dresser mirror.

my very talented neighbor made the amazingly delicious gender reveal cupcakes.  inside the cupcakes were the PINK frosting.  since we were not immediately doing the “reveal” i wanted to make a friendly sign to make sure guests stayed away.  i.e. my grandmother!  basically, this sign was just for her.

more sweet treats.  this was simple and easy to do. color the hershey’s wrapper with the theme colors, pink and blue.

i was nervous at first of ordering sugar cookies online but i found a great person from etsy.  she had amazing reviews and these were a HUGE hit!

instead of having an organized “game,” i opted for various activities our guests could participate with.  when the mom-to-be was opening gifts, i had these “wishes for baby” sitting on a table.  i found the template online but added some more personal questions like, ‘i hope you get your mom’s …. and i hope you get your dad’s …”

another activity was a “tally your vote” board and a “name suggestion” cork board.  the names quickly went to silly, such as honey boo-boo for the pink (girl) slips of paper and sugar bear for the blue (boy) suggestions to derek jeter. both mom and dad are huge yankee fans. don’t worry little niece, i will be sure you know to love and respect the red sox.

as a thank you favor, i found individual cupcake boxes on etsy and we had these sitting at the front door.  we had “boy” and “girl” buttons and this was a great way to remind guests to give their buttons back (i mean, surely this isn’t the only gender reveal party we will be hosting!) before taking a cupcake to go.

me with the mom and dad to be.  i can’t wait to become an aunt to this little girl and watch these two become simply, mom and dad.

team pink!

team blue!

3-2-1 go! team blue on one side and team pink on the other.  my husband took a video and i can’t wait to edit it down to a little “movie” for everyone.  it was such a great moment!

my little niece will be named addison and called “addie” for short.  addie, i can’t wait to meet you and spoil you completely.  you will be entering into a crazy family, full of drama and even more laughter.  you will be so tremendously loved. in fact, you already are.



gender reveal party sources:

sugar cookies:

cupcake individual boxes for favors:

“boy” and “girl” buttons:

“bows” and “mustache” cupcake decoration:

cupcakes: Angela Romanski-Riccio (let me know if you would like her contact information)


writing on a chalkboard. {pinterest finds friday}

do you guys remember the chalkboards i made a while back from old frames and mirrors?  for a quick recap, here you go! i loved how they turned out and this week i was able to put them to good use.

along with my dad and stepmom, i am planning a gender reveal baby shower for my brother and his wife.  it is their first and the families first grandchild, so needless to say, this baby is already beyond loved.  i wanted to have chalkboard signs throughout the party, because hey, i love the way they look!  so yesterday i found this pinterest find about how to design a chalkboard.  here is the inspiration:

click for source.

of course, mine did not turn out anything like the above.  but it was fun to think about the design of lettering.  i love typography and fonts.  i love good visual design.  so here are my boards.  the big one is almost finished but i was super happy with the “welcome” so far.

instead of chalk, i found chalk paint markers.  they are super easy to use and i absolutely LOVE them.  these have to be transported and i worried that chalk would wipe off entirely too easy.  for the cupcake table, i wanted a “friendly” sign that reminded people to keep away from the cupcakes until reveal time.

on a side table, as people are leaving, we are going to have cupcakes as favors for all the guests. basically, i just wanted another reason to use a chalkboard sign!

the husband has assured me that the final touches (electrical so i don’t mess around) will be completed in our bedroom this weekend. i can’t wait to share with you all my new favorite room!

have a wonderful weekend :)

homemade diy laundry detergent {pinterest finds friday}

happy pinterest finds friday! we made it another week, a week that has been filled with great smelling, clean (not completely folded) laundry.  i have been testing out my homemade laundry all week and have to say, it actually works! it didn’t take any time at all to make and only uses 1-2 tbsp per load.  talk about cost savings!!

here was the inspiring pin.  there are so many out there floating around.  i plan to try the lemon scented natural one next.  next being a while from now because this batch will last me a long while.

click for source.

here are my supplies.  most came from walmart.  i ordered the zote from amazon because, well it was cheaper and we are amazon prime members so free shipping.  no need to twist my arm.  i found this cheese grater at a thrift store (yay! for my soul mate thrift store friend. thrifting with her, especially on her birthday, is the absolute best!) i decided i didn’t want to use the same grater that i use frequently in the kitchen.  i didn’t read anything against this, it just felt like the best thing to do.

note, after i used my thrifted grater, i have decided it is actually nicer than the one i use in my kitchen. i am now on the lookout for a grater like this for my kitchen now.

not pictured is the large dog food container that i will store the laundry detergent in.  i bought the smaller container (above) to keep on my laundry room shelf. the excess container will be stored in a linen closet near the laundry room.  easy peasy.  the more time consuming part of making your own homemade soap was grating the bars of soap.  but lets be honest, it took maybe 5-7 mins.  it takes me longer deciding how to wear my hair each morning.

here is what you need:

1 (4 lb 12 oz) box of borax- found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of arm & hammer super washing soda- found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) container of oxyclean- found in the detergent aisle.
2 (14.1 oz) bars of zote soap- you can also use fels naptha
1 (4 lb) box of arm & hammer baking soda
1 (55 oz) bottle of purex crystals fabric softener- found in the detergent aisle

grate the two bars of soap. pour all ingredients into large container and mix. then i poured into a smaller container, easier for me to deal with on an almost daily basis.

our towels are soft and smell fresh, which is really my favorite part of laundry.  clean towels.  ahh.

we have a front loading, high efficiency washer.  i use 1 tbsp for all of our loads and it has worked great.

make chalkboard on a mirror or glass. go on. do it!

for this pinterest finds friday item, i took advantage of this beautiful weather and got outside.  one of my favorite pastimes is spray painting.  yes.  i went there. it is true.  i love what a can of spray paint can do to an object.  it is quick. fun. it simply makes me happy.

i am planning my brothers baby shower and i love the idea of fun chalkboards to welcome guests.  off to find an inspiring pin …  here is what started it all.

click for source.

i immediately went searching throughout my house finding old glass frames and mirrors that i wasn’t using.  it is pretty amazing the things that are just laying around waiting for a little inspiration.  i then set out a large tarp and got to work.

i donated a dresser that my stepmother gave to us when we remodeled our master bedroom. i couldn’t part ways with its mirror.  i didn’t know why but i just couldn’t.  i loved the design and the angles.  voila! a perfect large “welcome” chalkboard for hosting parties.  next up is a mirror that a dear friend gave to me when she moved across the country.  i loved the design but until now, didn’t know what i wanted to do with it.

this was a clearance target find. originally $49.99, i found it for $6.49!  it was a mirror (i spray painted the mirror chalkboard before my “before” shot!).

a few process shots.  i found it was easier to paint the edging first, then paint the mirror or glass.  i learned this by doing the opposite above and below painting the edging first.  true story: if you tape cooking magazine pages down, you will get really hungry while painting.

oddly enough, this magazine was a womens health, which didn’t motivate me to run.  i was still hungry from the other magazines pages.

i used two types of chalkboard paint.  spray paint chalkboard and the rustoleum paint.  i liked both.  i didn’t use primer on anything and both worked great.  the only difference, the paint paint was easier to control than the spray paint.  so when working with an object like this, that can’t be taken apart, i liked to paint on the chalkboard.  for the frames where the glass could be taken out, i liked the spray paint better.  plus the spray paint is much quicker. ultimately, both worked great.

don’t get nervous when painting on the chalkboard and there are lots of streaks.  i used two coats that they all blend together.

finished smooth surface!  i love it!!

i didn’t get a before for this frame, it was just a wood frame with glass.  i love it!  distressed wood makes my heart very happy.

i looked online and found chalk paint markers.  i am not going to lie, i am now a little obsessed.  i can’t wait to show you the painted up frames for the baby shower!

remember to link over to pinterest to see what other projects are in the works.  i would love your feedback! let me know any projects you would love for me to try!

pioneer woman cinnamon rolls – pinterest finds friday.

i love pinterest for crafts and diy projects, obviously, but i also love finding all the food recipes. there are great healthy snacks and dinner ideas and then there are recipes that i am sure make me gain a pound just looking at the photograph.  for this pinterest finds friday installment, i went with food.  and food that will most definitely NOT fall into the healthy snack category.

it all started when the husband asked if i could make something special for his morning presentation on friday, today.  i immediately went to pinterest and found pioneer woman’s cinnamon rolls.  apparently, they are out of this world amazing.  i have never made homemade cinnamon rolls, so i felt it would be a great challenge!

here is the original pin:

click for source.

here is the original, pioneer woman cinnamon roll recipe. i rolled my sleeves up yesterday morning and finished last night.  it was not a “work every minute of the day” on this recipe kinda deal.  it was more, make the dough, let is rise for an hour. add some flour, let is rise for an hour.  punch it down, then refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.  refrigeration is optional but i highly recommend it.  it makes the dough less sticky (aka, pain in the ass to deal with) and the rolls hold their shape better.  i mean, if you are going to spend all this time making something homemade, you might as well make it pretty.

here is the recipe:

ingredients for the rolls:
1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce packets
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
2-3 cups of melted butter
2 cups sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

for the maple frosting:
1 bag 2lb. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
½ cups milk
¼ cups melted Butter
¼ cups brewed coffee
⅛ teaspoons salt


  • for the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. set aside and cool to warm. sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
  • add 8 cups of the flour. stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. after 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
  • to assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the bowl. on a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. the dough should be rolled very thin.
  • to make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter.
  • now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. when you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. when you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
here is my rolled up roll of goodness.

after all logs cut and rolls placed in the pans. lots of clean up to be done :)

  • slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. one “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.
  • repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. preheat the oven to 375°F. cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
  • while the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: in a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. splash in the maple flavoring. whisk until very smooth. the icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
  • remove pans from the oven. immediately drizzle icing over the top. be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. as they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

this recipe made a TON of rolls. which is perfect in my book.  it was a lot of work, so if there is lots to freeze and enjoy later the better in my eyes.  i sent the husband off with three large rectangle pans (40+ rolls) and i have two small 8×8 pans in the freezer waiting for out of town thanksgiving guests.  thats right, i am already planning for november cooking. below are the rolls after they had risen.  now ready for the oven.

all done. baked and iced and ready to go.

i intentionally made these with all-purpose regular flour.  i didn’t want the temptation.  i may play around with a smaller batch of gluten free rolls.  i can’t to hear how these were when the husband comes home tonight. i did give him two last night and he enjoyed them.  quote, “these may be the best thing you have ever made.”

i have my supplies ready (now i just need to find the time) to work on the pinterest find for next week. i am super excited!

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