Thursday, March 31, 2011

Danger dessert for April Fool's Day

Mmmmm...cake.  Moist, delicious chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. What could be better?  How about a moist, delicious chocolate cake with buttercream frosting piled high with chocolate-covered strawberries

Don't you just want to dive right in?

This is a birthday cake that is begging to be shared.  But what's on the back of that "Happy birthday" message?

Oh no, it's a warning! One of the delicious chocolate-covered strawberries has been poisoned!

Which one is it?

I made this cake for a friend's birthday, and with our twisted senses of humor (we're both huge Regretsy fans, if that tells you anything) I thought the threat of poisoned strawberries would be funny. 

And it was, making this the perfect dessert for April Fool's Day.  For the record, I did not poison any strawberries...

...but to be safe, I still ate the cake first.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Simply ReMarthable

It's time to vote for your favorite Simply ReMarthable contest finalist!  The winner will be announced on the Martha Stewart Show on April 1.

Personally, I think the fortune cookie baby booties are darling so they are getting my vote.  And bonus! Your vote also doubles as an entry to win a big basket of Martha goodies--I see lots of crafts and cooking tools in the basket.  You can vote here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Martha Stewart goes on a lot of great trips (see here, here and here) and includes tons of pictures about her travels on her blog.  I certainly don't get out as much as she does (unless my recent grocery run to Jewel can be mistaken for antiquing in Palm Beach), but I do make an effort to get out of my house occasionally. Once a month I grab the kids for a day trip into the city for culture, fun and overpriced lunches. 

We recently got a membership to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  I'd never been there before, so this was a treat for all of us.  Please enjoy the pictures from our trip!

Note to nice lady who took the pictures of Little Guy and Little Miss going down the slide:  THANK YOU!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Martha Monday--Pies & Tarts

I've been hearing about this book for months now, and it's finally out.  You can buy it here.

If Pies & Tarts is anything like Cookies, then I have to get my hands on this.  Now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Under the sea

Last year at this time, BFF Laura helped me redo the kids' bathroom.  Over the course of a week it went from barf green to tropical sea blue, all inspired by this shower curtain:

Since then, I've been searching for artwork to further enliven the space.  On a random Target shopping trip, I spotted a sea-themed Motifs in a Minute on the clearance shelf.  Score!

These are vinyl clings that stick to walls. The package came with a variety of creatures in different sizes.

In just a few minutes, I went from this... this!  Isn't that fun?

The Little Guy was very excited and had to get involved.  You can tell which ones he applied by how far they are off the ground.  :)

Here's the area by the medicine cabinet and light switch.  I am loving these things!

I added some fish over the linen closet... well as above the shower.

For just under $7.50, I've added some more visual interest to the kids' (and guests') bathroom and it took less than 30 minutes to get it done.  These clings were a real find!

What cheap decorating solutions have you found recently?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rosemary potatoes

The Little Guy and I made roasted rosemary potatoes for a yummy side dish recently, and it's a recipe I've adapted from one I found years ago in a Taste of Home magazine.  It's a very simple side dish and goes great with just about anything.

Start by peeling and dicing potatoes. Throw them in a bowl.

Pour some olive oil over the potatoes and stir to coat.

Next, let your 3-year-old add the seasoning salt.  Watch him closely lest he add too much. Trust me on this.

Then let your adorable son add the rosemary.  He can go crazy with the rosemary--that's okay.

Stir everything up so the potatoes are coated with the olive oil, seasoning salt and rosemary.

Put it all in a sprayed, foil-lined pan.  You can put the potatoes directly on to your baking sheet, but this way it's much easier to clean.

Bake the potatoes at 350F until they are fork-tender and golden brown (usually 30 minutes or so).

Then, enjoy!  Doesn't this look great? It smells and tastes fabulous.  When done correctly, these potatoes should be slightly crispy on the outside and completely soft on the inside.

This is a very easy comfort-food side dish, and perfect for the next few weeks as we wait for spring to truly arrive.  Give these roasted rosemary potatoes a try!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Transitioning to Easter

Because Easter is so late on the calender this year, I wanted to get my Easter decorations on display in order to enjoy them as much as possible.  So at the beginning of March, the winter decorations (all of my snowman and snowflake stuff) get put away and the Easter stuff came out. 

As you can see from the dining room table, the transition between holiday/season decorations can be a bit messy. Can you see the Little Guy back there? My son is almost completely hidden by all the winter and spring decorations on the table.

Here he is! My Little Guy was checking out the Easter eggs. 

Fortunately for me, My Big Martha took over the task of decorating.  Once the Easter boxes were out of the basement, she got started on the mantel. 

She worked with various Easter baskets to find the right height and began filling them with all the decorative eggs and figurines from the boxes.

The mantle quickly became the focal point of the room with the bunnies and baskets.

Doesn't this look great?  My Big Martha has a knack for design and decoration that has apparently skipped my generation--I certainly couldn't do that!  Already we've gotten several compliments on the mantel. 

I like the mantel (and other decorative scenes she set up) so much that I've already booked her for next Easter.  I'm trying to get her for this Halloween and Christmas, too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Martha Monday--Hopping down the bunny trail

Easter is late this year, which is great--we all have plenty of time to get ready and celebrate the season.  Martha Stewart .com has their Easter Everything ready for you with crafts, decorations, menus and treats for your perusal. 

I am loving this Easter Egg Garland:

If I host Easter this year, then my hope is to make everything look like this:

Isn't that gorgeous?  The garland, cupcake picks and treat bags all match.  I love it!

To get the Little Guy geared up for Easter (Little Miss is still to little), I'm looking at this gallery of crafts for kids.  I really like these marbleized eggs:

Dyeing Easter eggs has to be one of the funnest things to do during the season.  I can't wait!

What do you have planned for Easter?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Herb progress

Several weeks ago, the Little Guy and I planted some herbs for our kitchen windowsill.  It was my hope that by early summer, we'd have fresh basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme to season our meals. 

Apparently, the herbs didn't get that memo.  Progress has been slow.

This is the basil.  It's coming along.

As is the thyme.

The oregano is barely coming through after four weeks, but it's there.

See?  Here it is:

But one herb has failed completely.  For a while I thought maybe we hadn't put the seeds in, but now I just think it's not growing to spite me in my attempt to develop a green thumb.

And who is this deviant herb? 

Take note, Rosemary:  you will grow, or else.  Or else.