Gift Basket for Bride-to-be!
Do you have a newly engaged friend? Here's a great gift idea to celebrate this exciting time with her! One of my best friends recently got engaged and I made this gift basket for her. It was so much fun to put together! Can't wait for her big day!
A few ideas of things that I used in the basket:
The cute moroccan-print gold and cream basket is from Hobby Lobby.
Gold dot cosmetic case for holding makeup, etc. for all the upcoming wedding events!
Gold stripe clipboard and blue/gold dot journal for lots of wedding planning to come (from Hobby Lobby and Books-a-million).
Blue/gold initial tumbler (Books-a-million)
Jewelry polish for her new bling!
Nail file and Essie polish to keep her manicure great with her ring!
Martinelli's sparkling cider...perfect for celebrating!
"Bless your heart" thank you cards...for all the thank you notes to come (from Wal-Mart)
Washboard metal "C"...the initial of her new last name-to-be!
Burt's Bees colored lip balm
Chocolate, and of course, a Ring Pop!
Gold dot jewelry dish for the new ring (from Hobby Lobby)
White/gold "Mrs" mug (from Hobby Lobby)...I LOVED this (and wanted one for myself)!
The Knot: The Carolinas magazine
Southern Weddings magazine (my absolute favorite wedding magazine when I was planning my wedding!)...their website here.
I used a gold and cream color theme...perfect for wedding/engagement! I also used a few pops of blue for fun. I used cream-colored crinkle paper in the basket to raise the gifts up and add cushion.
Once you have all the goodies for the gift, you just have to put the basket together! I also bought some thin gold dot ribbon to tie on a few of the items in the basket.
To finish it, I just added a bow I made with some sheer, cream, sparkly ribbon!
It's one of the greatest times of year...March Madness. It's such a fun time to watch your favorite college basketball team (and root against your rival)! Here are some of my favorite things for watching the games from home!
People are watching a ton of games on TV, and for all of your favorite game day snacks, dishes with your favorite team on them are perfect! I love this UNC platter and chevron dish! I hang the UNC tea towel in our kitchen during basketball season, so cute! My mom found the Carolina Yankee Candle for me, perfect to burn in your living room while you're watching the games!
I also love this Carolina polka-dot bowl my husband and I found at Southern Season in Chapel Hill (such a cool store!) You can find their website here.
This is one of my favorite T-shirts! I found it at Underground Printing on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. You can find it here.
My husband got me this charm bracelet for Christmas, I love it! It's from Moon & Lola. You can pick and choose from lots of different charms they have. Mine has the pearl, gold "C" initial, and North Carolina charm in Carolina blue. You can find their website here.
A few weeks ago, my friend and I wanted to do a fun, crafty activity. We knew Valentine's Day was coming up so our crafternoon turned into these adorable homemade Valentine's cards. We made a trip to Michael's and stocked up on supplies and then had a ball. If you're looking for a fairly simple, fun craft or activity for Valentine's Day, here is a great one! It's fun to do while you're watching one of your favorite TV shows (which is what we did) and they're perfect to send to your friends and family for Valentine's Day!
Sugar Cookie Cuteness
Valentine's Day is this weekend! I wanted to do something fun and festive...I had a roll of sugar cookie dough that I never used from Christmas and finally decided to use it. Last year for Valentine's, my mother-in-law gave me this cute set of heart cookie cutters and this was the perfect opportunity to use them! If you're looking for a simple, but fun little project for Valentine's Day this year, here you go!
I just used some pink and white icing, decorative edible pearls, candy crystals in red and pink, and Valentine's sprinkles on these sugar cookies. It was really fun making and decorating them...and my husband had a lot of fun eating them.
I got this adorable little bowl at Target last week...it is white with a lace design on the outside, and pink with a little heart on the inside. You can find it here. Super cute for Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine's Day y'all!
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
I'm finally back on the blog after a LONG break from it at Christmas! I wanted to share about the Strawberry Shortcake Cake I made recently...my husband loves strawberries so I decided to try out this new recipe I found for his birthday cake!
One of the places we went on dates in college was Nantucket Cafe in Chapel Hill. If you are ever there, I highly recommend their Strawberry Shortcake cake...it is our favorite! I wanted to make something similar for his birthday. I wanted to make something completely from scratch and make a little project out of it.
This recipe I found sounded awesome so that's what I tried! I found it on Pinterest from rosebakes.com, link to the original recipe here. Disclaimer: This cake takes a SUPER long time to make...but it's worth it if you have time. It has a lot of different steps, but it was fun to make and it comes together as a huge, beautiful cake! And...it turned out to be DELICIOUS!
Step 1: The Frosting
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups heavy cream
I recommend doing this step first because it needs to sit in the fridge for a while before you use it (you can make it up to 12 hours in advance if you need to). I chilled my mixing bowl in the fridge for a while before starting. I started using the whisk attachment and my stand mixer, but actually found that my hand mixer with the whisk attachment worked even better for this. In the chilled bowl, add in the vanilla extract, sugar, and heavy cream.
Mix at medium speed until medium peaks form. Cover and refrigerate frosting until well chilled (I did several hours).
Step 2: The Strawberries
3 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 5 cups)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Toss to thoroughly cover the strawberries. Let them sit at room temp. for at least 20 mins (I did them after the frosting and let them sit while I did all the other cake steps, which was plenty of time). I set 5 strawberries aside at the beginning (do not soak them with the other ingredients) to use for decoration on the top of the cake.
Step 3: The Cake
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9" (original recipe calls for 8" pans, but I used 9") pans with baking spray (or grease and flour pans). In mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In separate mixing bowl, combine oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Mix with whisk attachment on hand or stand mixer on medium speed until batter is airy and light in color (around 5-7 mins). Scrape down sides of the bowl and add dry ingredients. Whip for around one more minute (until smooth).
In another clean bowl, whip the separated egg whites to medium peaks. Gently add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in about 1/3 off egg white mixture into cake batter until every distributed. Then add remaining egg whites just until combined (make sure you don't over mix this).
Pour batter into pans (divide it equally between the two pans). Bake for around 25 mins (original recipe calls for 30-35 mins with 8" pans), or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on cooling rack in pans for at least 15 mins. Run a knife around edges before flipping them out to cool completely.
Step 4: The Filling
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
This is good to make while the cake is in the oven. With whisk attachment on hand or stand mixer, mix together mascarpone cheese, vanilla, and heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Immediately cover and refrigerate.
Step 5: Putting the cake together!
Drain the strawberries and reserve the syrup. Divide the syrup in half.
Once cake has completely cooled, use a serrated knife to cut off a small sliver of the domed top of each cake (giving you a fresh and exposed layer of cake to absorb the syrup). Using a pastry brush, brush a bowl of the syrup on each of the cake layers (on the cut side of the cake).
Put the first cake layer down, syrup side up, on the cake plate. Evenly spread 1/4 of the filling over the bottom cake layer.
Arrange the strawberries standing up (with the steam end down) on top of the thin filling layer. Make sure they are fairly even across the cake (trim them down if needed to make them level).
Cover the strawberries with the remaining filling. Make sure you fill in all of the empty space.
Stack the second cake layer over the filling (syrup side down), pressing it down gently to secure it.
Using a butter knife (or offset spatula), spread a thin layer of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Put it back in the refrigerator for about 15 mins to let it set.
Then, generously spread the remaining frosting (I still had a good bit left over) all over the top and sides of the cake. Place back in the refrigerator for at least 15 mins before serving so frosting can set.
It was a fun birthday!
Cute little edible acorns!
As Fall ends and Christmas season is here, I wanted to share these cute little treats I made for the end of Fall! These edible "acorns" are a perfect sweet treat for company. I made them for when our Thanksgiving week guests arrived! They are fairly simple to make, they taste delicious, and they look adorable! Here's how to make them...
Nutter Butter Bites (Make sure they are the "bites")
Milk chocolate chips
Mini chocolate chips (can be milk, dark, or semi-sweet...I used semi-sweet)
*You can make as many of these as you want, so the amounts just depend on that!
Unwrap all of your Hershey's kisses. With each Nutter Butter bite, carefully separate the top and bottom cookie so that one will have all or most of the peanut butter left on it. You will not need the cookie half that doesn't have the peanut butter on it.
Melt some of your chocolate chips in the microwave.
Carefully dip the large end of a Hershey's kiss into the melted chocolate and top it with the peanut butter-faced side of the Nutter Butter bite half. Place on wax paper to dry. Repeat for all of the kisses.
After they are mostly dried, carefully dip the large end of a mini chocolate chip into the melted chocolate. Place on the top center of the Nutter Butter bite half. Repeat for all.
And that's it! You have dainty little acorn bites...display them on a cute plate and enjoy!
Table settings for Fall!
I love Fall and there are so many different ways to decorate your table/dining space for it! Here are some of my favorites that I've created...
The first two are from this Fall...a little more casual table settings that I leave on all the time!
For the first one, I used a table runner that I made (thank you to my mother-in-law for recently teaching me how to sew!) and napkins with gold beaded trim from Pier 1, as well as beaded glitzy napkin rings from Pier 1. I also used my footed fruit bowl and filled it with small, glitzy pumpkins.
For the second one, I used solid, dark orange placemats from Pier 1, champagne-colored chargers, and these pretty Fall-colored print napkins I found at HomeGoods. I filled our silver beaded bowl with Fall-colored shiny pumpkins/gourds.
In celebration of Thanksgiving this week, the last one is my Thanksgiving table setting from last year!
Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!
Tar Heel tailgate and football game!
Last week I got to fly back to NC for a fun, busy weekend! I went to the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, tailgated and attended the Carolina football game vs. Miami, and killed an eight-point deer! (Yes, you read that right.) I squeezed a lot into that weekend and it was a blast! I'm posting this in celebration of the nail-biter Carolina victory this past Saturday over the Hokies that sends the Heels to the ACC Championship!! Excited is an understatement.
I had SO much fun at the UNC vs. Miami game! Tailgating in the southern part of heaven with great family and friends, your Mama's cooking, and then a Tar Heel victory...it doesn't get much sweeter than that.
Cornhole, tons of delicious food, root beer in a bottle, and cowgirl boots ...everything for a perfect tailgate.
As always, it was a great day to be a Tar Heel.
BLOG OF A...
Southern Belle and Carolina girl who loves Jesus, family, and life below the Mason-Dixon line. A Fan of Southern hospitality, grits and biscuits, pearls and bow ties, cotton and magnolias, sunshine and sweet tea, and all things monogrammed!