Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brother Bear's Big Boy Room

Hey friends!!! It's been a great week round these parts!

By great week, I mean that the kids have gotten to school ON TIME every day, Mama has picked herself up Starbucks often, a great friend and her baby stopped by for a visit, hubby has come home EARLY each day and I have cooked every night and gone to bed by midnight.

In hashtag lingo -----> #winning

I have taken lots of pictures of the kids and my latest crafting endeavors and its been fun! I tend to post more regularly on my Insta account, so come follow there if you want to keep up more than my sporadic blog posts!!

Anyhoo, as I was going through pics on my phone, I realized that I never showed you Brother's big boy room. I never posted these because its not completely finished and I wanted things done and perfect before I revealed.

That said, nothing around these parts are ever finished, done or perfect, so I figured I would post them today and tell you what we are still missing!

Brother Bear is still in the crib and Moosey is in the pack n play. Sooner than later {I hope?} to move Brother to his room and then Moose to the nursery/his room. I have a feeling it will be awhile though before that happens and so more realistically, I see us putting the pack n play in this room til we switch. All kids are sleeping well and I am not ready to rock that boat if I don't have to!!

If you recall, when we did Brothers nursery in our old house, the deal was that we were surprising my hubby. I came up with the idea and then my Dad and sister helped me pull it off. Dad snuck down for a day, helped me flip and decorate the room and hubby walked into us hiding in the room and the surprise! The video of him seeing it is the best!

Since the Life Is Good paintings were done for Brother, I knew I wanted to use these in his big boy room. My Grandmother gave us the entire bedroom suite and the dark wood was perfect. I had the curtains already {Target} and early in the summer while we were still living with my parents, I had a discount at Ikea and snagged the bedding.

The only things that are missing are eventually, I want to make a few pillows with his initials on them for the bed, my Dad has since added a hat rack, I need lamps {last thing on the list!} and a rug that I ordered back in AUGUST that I have been told THREE times was on the way and I have yet to see it. Its coming {eventually} from Wayfair and we have not had the best ordering experience with them. If I hadn't already looked for months for an inexpensive blue rug, I would have cancelled this one but I am so over it at this point, I have succumb to the wait and am still waiting.....Its supposed to be delivered by December 2nd. Don't hold your breath, peeps.

I really love his room. I feel like its cute and adorable for a little boy and something he can grow into!! Once its officially finished I will post a few pics for you, but til then, here is our progress




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Friday, November 14, 2014

Wild Child

My wild child says to have a great weekend!! ����

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Elmo Cookies + Decorating Tutorial

As yall know, my latest crafty thing has been decorated cookies.

Lots of people have asked how I do it and honestly, they are SO easy. There is one trick to this and its an important one. What is it you ask?

Consistency.

I know I have mentioned it before but it is all about the consistency of the icing. I will walk you through step by step how I made these and towards the bottom I will show you a comparison shot of when I had the consistency wrong and how I tweaked it.

As I was looking through cookie cutters, I saw a Christmas wreath one. My brain was thinking of fun Christmassy things I could make and it dawned on me. The Christmas wreath flipped over would be the perfect Elmo!! A few quick clicks later and my wreath/Elmo cutter was on its way to meeeee!

First, you have to make the cookies!! I use a sugar cookie recipe similar to this recipe from My Recipes. When you roll them out to cut, don't make them too thin. Mine were about 1/4 inch thick. Press out and bake.



I baked my Elmo cookies probably a week and a half or so before I needed them. I just put them in a Rubbermaid container and wrapped them well and froze. When I was ready to frost them, I pulled them out, spread out on the pan and we were ready to go!! 

I am NOT an expert {yet!} on this whole icing deal, but here is what I know. The thicker consistency icing is used for "outlining" or "damming" and the thinner consistency icing is used for "flooding." You will see what I mean below. I used the Martha Stewart Royal Icing recipe initially and its easy to understand and work with.

Its basically confectioners sugar and two egg whites and water. When you do these cookies, you outline first and then let that set for a few minutes and then you flood it to fill it in. The outline will help hold the icing and the flooding will dry with a nice, smooth finish. I go EASY on the water to begin with so that I can use the THICKER icing to outline and then I thin it out to flood/color the cookie.
 
I mixed my icing and then scooped out a bit into a bowl. With the thicker icing, I drew the outlines for the eyes.
  

I then added a tad bit of water, and mixed it up to thin it. Go easy on the water. If you add too much, it will be too watery. You can always add more confectioners sugar to thicken it up, but just use it sparsely til you get the consistency you want. Then, using your icing bag, fill in the eyes. Go all the way to the edges. 

  

From there, I scooped out more of the original thick {white} icing into a new bowl and added my black food coloring. This is the THICK icing and so I drew the outline for Elmo's mouth. The eyes where I had flooded them were fairly dry {probably should have waited a bit longer but I am impatient} and I went ahead and put the dots for the eyes on with the THICK icing. If I had used the thinner/watered down, it would not have held the shape.


Next, I added a tad bit of water to my THICK black icing bowl and mixed it up. I used the thinner black icing to then flood and fill in the mouth. 


Then, I took a tad more of the original THICK white icing, started a new bowl and mixed red/yellow food coloring for his orange nose. I did the outline, thinned the icing in the bowl and then filled the nose. This sounds like a lot...outside thick icing, thinning it out, doing the inside, etc, but I used the same bag of icing and same tip and so I just squeezed any excess thick back into the bowl when I added the water and then since it was the same color, I just put it right back into the bag. Not having to switch bags or tips made it fast and easy!


Now that his face was done, the only color left to do was the red. I used the rest of the thick white icing and added red food coloring. I did the outline around Elmo's face then thinned it with a bit of water and filled in the remaining. The main thing with this was to go all the way to the edges and all the way to the nose, eyes and mouth to make sure the cookie got all filled and covered!





Yall would never know that my Elmo shapes were really Christmas wreaths from the pic above!! I really was pleased!

Here is the difference in the icings and the reason consistency is a big deal. The outlining icing is thicker to help hold in the flooding. The thicker is WAY easier to work with as it holds its shape. The flooding is thinner so it dries smooth and basically just spreads out like a liquid. Make sense? Here is a visual...

The Elmo on the LEFT was colored/filled with the thicker icing. To fix this, I added a SMALL amount of water to the icing. The Elmo on the right {and all around it} were filled with the thinner. Neither were dry yet but you can obviously see how one smooths out and sets better.


This sounds like a lot, but really its super easy and more about the method or process. Its step by step, but the steps go fast once you get in the flow. The cookies were pre-made and the icing took about 3 minutes to make and so the bulk of my time was spent decorating. I made probably 30 cookies and it took me less than 45 minutes. Not too bad for my first go and taking pictures to document along the way! Each time I get better, faster and the whole thing gets easier!

Thursday morning, hubby and I took the Elmo cookies to school to celebrate a certain special someones birthday. The look on his little face made every second worth it!!



Anyway, I know they aren't perfect, but I sure did think they came out cute! My big boy loved them and I hope this tutorial has helped you! I will be making other cookies come this holiday season and may try to take a few more step-by-step pictures of my cookie decorating if people are interested!! 

Happy cookie making {and eating!}
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekending

You know those weekends that you need a weekend to recover from?? This past weekend was that! 

#howmanytimescanLaurensayweekend

Kidding. Anyway, one of my BFF's from all of life got married this weekend and it was lots of fun but the planning, preparing and getting out the door wore me slap out! Thankfully, my parents kept the kids one night and my inlaws the next, so I was able to relax knowing that they were in good hands!

Friday morn was the bridesmaids luncheon and after that, a bunch of us girls went and had girl time and got mani/pedi's. From there we split to run home, freshen up and then meet for a quick drink {or sip for me since I was driving and I am nursing!} before the rehearsal dinner. 

We were all honorary bridesmaids so had no official wedding duties and that allowed us to skip the rehearsal and just show up for the dinner! All of us girls sat together and sadly, my hubby had to work, so I went stag. 

Lets all pause to look at how gorgeous my friends are!! ...lets also pause for the fabulous camera angle here. My face is NOT that skinny but I appreciate the help. Well done, photog.

Saturday morning, we slept in, got the kids around, attempted to tidy up the house and then we got ready to go. My in-laws kept the kids and hubby took me to meet up with the bride and my friends and he had a laid back afternoon sitting at Starbucks. 

You know the guys who lounge at Starbucks in their suits, with a venti in their hands, sipping away as they casually read newspaper? That was him. So distinguished and fancy.

Meanwhile, Rachel and Natasha did the Bride's hair and make up and I stole extra sandwiches and snacked! Leave it to me to find the food!!! Before we knew it we were at the wedding site and it was time for us to do our own hair and make up, for the pictures to be taken and the wedding to happen!

 

At the reception, seating was tight so we grabbed a little table from outside and pulled it {well crammed it into the corner} so we could all sit together versus having to split up. Cheers to friendship and fun nights being together.

 

The rest of the night was spent dancing, chatting and photoboothing until we sent the bride and groom off to begin their happily ever after! 


 

Hubby and I got in the car and I immediately went to CBS mobile to watch the Alabama vs. LSU game. I had been casually checking the score throughout the evening and my Dad was texting me updates so I knew it was close. 

I am pretty sure I didn't utter two words to CT3 as he drove and I gasped, cheered and fussed at the game. It was tied 10-10, then LSU pulled ahead, then Bama tied it up in the last 50 seconds of the game sending it into overtime. We arrived home just in time to get the overtime on the TV and for me to watch my boys win!!!
 

Sunday morning was great. We woke up, went to church, came home, everyone napped, Annie M blew leaves with her Daddy, the kids played in the leaves and then we went on a family walk around the block.



After our walk, the kids still wanted to be outside so I announced that I would do my wifely cooking duties and order pizza. We haven't ordered pizza in a while and it was nice not to have to think and just to have dinner show up at the door. Bath and bed happened shortly after and then today {or yesterday since I am posting this late} kicked off the start to a new week!!! Have a great one, yall! Pin It Now!
 
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