Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Early Spring at Terrain-stunning!

 TERRAIN at Styers.  If you live at all in a reasonably drive-able distance to Philadelphia then you simply must make the trip to Terrain.  In love with Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters?  Then you will lust the enchantment that is Terrain, a charter store owned by the two previous companies.  It's located in the pastoral Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania, nestled nicely between antique stores set up in period homes and shopping centers with Home Goods and DSW Shoe Warehouse and the like.  This is a shopping MECCA!  I've blogged about Terrain once before, see that post here.

The store changes with each Season, perfectly displaying everything appropriate for that time of year.  This was my second early Spring trip and I was captivated as always.  Every single display is complete perfection!  I could LIVE in this store!  On the outside, the complex is made up of ramshackle barns and green houses seperated by gravel paths that have displays of their own.  There is also a large nursery area that carries obviously well tended, high quality plants, shrubs and trees.  

The real magic happens when you step foot into the main building. It's bucolic and elegant all in one with fabulous antiques and vintage furniture hold intricate displays of all sorts of goodies that you feel you must have!  Reclaimed wood and zinc topped tables showcase gorgeous table settings with ideas that you are going to want to remember!  There were pretty hickory cutting boards used as chargers and glazed terracotta saucers that I wanted to snatch up.  This store makes you wish you didn't have a budget!  After you finish shopping, there is a lovely cafe set up in an antique greenhouse bursting with lush plants and flowers. They have a huge collection of various teas, hot and cold and a tea of the day.  Hot bread is served in a sweet terracotta pot with a bit of whipped butter topped with sea salt.  The bread was so good, I ordered an extra loaf to bring home to my kids! Enjoy the photos!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rainbow Birthday Party

My youngest, Peyton is addicted to Pinterest just as much as the rest of us.  I've probably mentioned that once or 5 times before.  It's so cute because she has some boards that make me giggle: makeup (she just turned 10), nursery, 3 different party boards, cute babies, etc. When it came time to party planning for her 10th Birthday, she had definite ideas about what she wanted.  I think she's happy that she has a Momma crazy enough to TRY to accommodate some of them!  EDIT: The Rainbow invites are here if you'd like to check them out!

A little over 2 months ago she decided on a Rainbow theme.  As much as I love pastels for little girls and the pink and white shabby colors we've had the past couple birthday parties, I was excited for a bunch of bright colors.  The theme was set so the fun began!  I started picking up clear containers for the candy at Goodwill.  I already had a bunch of milk glass(from GW too!) that I figured that I would use sparingly.  The only containers that I didn't get there were the 3 apothecary jars.  I already had one, purchased the tall one(peeps) and borrowed one.  I bargained shopped candy everywhere I went and online and hid it all over the house.  We are a family of sweet thooth's so having candy around meant that we wouldn't have any for the party!  I will say when I got it all out a couple days before the party, I was surprised at how much I had!  This also happens to me with stocking stuffers every year!

 Armed with oodles of coupons, I attacked JoAnn's for fabric and ribbon.  First I sewed the felt garland.  I had seen a similar one on Pinterest.  It was EASY, CHEAP and I will definitely make it again in whatever color I need!  I then started on the buntings.  I am addicted to them after last years pretty pink one.  If I were to do it over again for this party, I would have changed the fabric to small patterned fabric in the rainbow colors instead.  Peyton helped sew these and had a blast and did a great job.  They are hung high toward the ceiling, you'll have to look for them to see.  I used 3M "Command" strips and they took off the paint and drywall paper in two spots on my ceiling.  Good thing the kitchen needed it's ceiling painted!  From the ceiling we hung the buntings, swirly streamer thingies, pretty tulle poufs, honeycomb balls and paper lanterns. The last "project" for this part was the rainbow tablecloth that is all over Pinterest.  I will be the first person to tell you that I am "sewing" challenged.  I sew much better on paper for scrapping then I do on any cloth.  This project totally put me to the test.  It was HARD.  As in I'm NEVER doing that again, hard.  If I had drawn lines the proper width apart where the rows of colored stripes were to go I probably would have enjoyed the process and liked my final project much better.  You live you learn.  I MAY do this again in an ombre effect for the twins b-day but now I no what NOT to do!

P and I both wanted to have a rainbow cake (again I know you've seen these too allover you know where) and it was fun to do!  Lot's of food coloring but kids and food coloring go hand in hand.  Well not always but at parties!  Peyton also wanted the cute little rainbow cupcakes using candy sour belts as the rainbow.  These were easy but I won't buy these Wilton cupcake cups again.  They darkened a LOT in the oven and the cupcakes themselves were really shallow and the frosting pulled away from the wrappers leaving them not very pretty.  Sorry Wilton, but as pretty as they were in the box, I think they are a FAIL for me. ;-(  

Back to the fun stuff...Here are a few tips I picked up from this party.1. The glasses are recycled TARGET bottled cappuchino.  The Starbucks ones no longer work because the label isn't pull off like the Target ones.  Cheaper too although this year, I'm saving them for the next party.  Even though Cole loves to have to empty the new ones. 2. The little flags on the straws are just strips of scrapbook paper, double sided tape and the ends are cut with the corner of a square punch. EASY!  3. Buy swirly lollipops from Oriental Trading, soooo much cheaper, then add a scrap of ribbon for some flair.  Oriental trading will then send you a coupon for 25% your next purchase, then buy the rest of the supplies you need!  4. GW is the best place for clear glass containers!  5. Don't make a rainbow tablecloth without penciling it out. ;-)

I've been long winded enough, here are the rest of the photos!   ...oh and one last little tidbit 'bout Peyton.  She likes to not be home while I'm setting up her party and then arrive about a half hour before the party starts so she can "be surprised" -those are her words.  It's a bit of a lot of pressure!  That's her happy little face when she first walked in.  I love it!

Here's the birthday girl during her "photo shoot" for her birthday invites you can see here!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sister Bonding Time and Coconut layer cake with Angel Feather Frosting, the RECIPE!

 These are my girls. Acting silly.  I LOVE them to pieces of course and they love each other too.  ...but you sometimes wouldn't think so!  Peyton thinks that Callie walks on water.  Callie thinks (at least a lot of the time) that Peyton exists to annoy her.  Except for last night.  There was some SERIOUS sister bonding going on here at our home!  After Matt finished the board and batten last week (yes, I have yet to show you the completed project, it's coming!) he took most of the furniture to the dump. Believe me, after 15 years it was ready to go.  I weeped with happiness as I waved goodbye.  Not really but you know what I mean. I was ready to kick it to the curb.  It wasn't Craigslist worthy. That's saying something!  (It dry-rotted for whatever reason other than it was cheap!)  Now the girls have a large open space to dance in! LOL  They danced together until 10:00 last night and then they crawled into the shower and into bed.  It was so awesome laying upstairs in bed and listening to them giggle and teach each other different techniques! It made my night, week even!

Okay, here's the recipe!  It's a bit different then what I used last year for Peyton's Sweet Shoppe coconut cupcakes. 

1 C. Softened Salted Butter
1 3/4 C. Sugar
1 C. Cream of Coconut (found where the alcoholic drink mixes are at the food store) SHAKE this! (set aside the remainder of the cream of coconut for use later)
4 Large Eggs
pinch of salt

2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. low fat vanilla yogurt (you can substitute PLAIN yogurt, full fat, Greek etc.)
1tsp. coconut extract

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray 3 8" cakes pans with baking spray. Separate the eggs into mixing bowl, leaving the yolks in a separate small bowl.  Beat the first 3 ingredients (not the eggs)until fluffy.  Sift the next 4 ingredients until well combined. Mix the coconut extract with the yogurt. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the yogurt mixture beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk or beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt till until stiff.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Bake about 70-90 minutes.  Check them at 70 minutes using cake tester. Transfer to a cooling rack.  Drizzle the remaining coconut cream over the 3 cakes.  This is VERY helpful for moistness and flavor! YUM!

Transfer the cooled cakes to the freezer for at least 1 hour up to overnight.  After frozen frost immediately and transfer to the fridge for about an hour.  You can eat immediately or let thaw to room temperature.

Boiled Frosting (Angel Feather Frosting)

You will need a heavy saucepan and a candy thermometer 

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. water
4 egg whites
1/2 - 1 tsp. coconut extract
Coconut -if making for coconut cake

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt and water in a heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until clear. Cook, without stirring, to 240 degrees (soft ball stage)  

While syrup cooks, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, continue to beat adding 240 degree syrup in a heavy stream.  Add flavoring and continue beating just until stiff peaks form and frosting is thick enough to spread.  Immediately spread on cake.  Makes 7 cups!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Coconut Cake with Angel Feather Frosting!

Sweet Ms. Peyton is our youngest child so it's very evident to me that these are the LAST times I will be doing many things like dance recitals, violin lessons and BIRTHDAY PARTIES!   I've always enjoyed planning the kids parties for sure.  There were a couple years where I wasn't able to do much because their  birthdays were right around the times I had my back surgeries.  So when Peyton started pinning (yeah, she's as addicted to Pinterest as the rest of us) different parties, I knew it was time to plan!  On her REAL birthday she wanted a coconut cake with "marshmallow" frosting.  I am short on time this am but will be back later to post the recipe.  It has a surprise ingredient!  She also loves Cotton Candy ice cream so I surprised her with a cotton candy cake made from YOGURT that I ordered from TCBY. It was AWESOME!  I'm working on the rainbow birthday post, it's gonna be a BIG one! So come on back!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rainbow Birthday Party Invitations and Bubble Gum Favors!

EDIT:  The Birthday Party is HERE!
It's almost birthday season at the Bedsaul House.  Our little one, Peyton is in March (turning 10) and the twins, Callie and Cole will be 16 in May. (YES, oh holy COW the twins turning 16 just feels unreal! Where DOES the time go?!) Peyton is just as addicted to PINTEREST as I am.  She decided a while back that she wanted a Rainbow Theme Party!  I've slowly been accumulating candy and decorations for a couple months. It's easier on the budget that way!  I went to Etsy and searched Rainbow party invites and showed them all to Ms. P.  I had my heart set on a certain one but wanted it to be her decision.  Miraculously (well maybe not, we have similar taste) she choose my favorite!  It's a sweet little invite that's bright but still has a bit of a vintage feel.  You can see the fabulous seller here.  Peyton had some specifics she wanted on her invite (she's a GIRL who knows WHAT she wants!!!) and sweet Paige was happy to accommodate.  GREAT seller! I found the lyrics to the song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on Pinterest and just made it rainbow instead of the plain ochre color it had been.  On the flip side of that we put the slumber party instructions.  Added a little TINSEL GLITTER from Micheal's and we were done.  Oh and we lined the envelopes with a shot of Peyton but I wish I would have desaturated and overexposed it more. Next time I will.

When I was in the dollar tree and saw these little gumball machines at the bottom of the shelf, I knew they would be a GREAT favor. AND soooo cheap too!  A bag of gumballs for DT and the machine and you have a 2 dollar favor. AWESOME!  I hope to get some tags done for them too.  I still have to make the rainbow bunting and the rainbow table cloth that Peyton has requested.  I think that girls going to be a party planner to the stars!

I'll be posting more about Peyton's party as I get things done. Come on back!