The Epitome of Summer Desserts

July 3rd, 2013

Fruit pizzas are the epitome of summer desserts…the sweetness, the coolness, the perfectly ripe in-season fruit; it’s the taste no one can resist! Not only is it my favorite summer dessert, it’s my favorite dessert of all time. The delicious combination of sugar cookie crust, cream cheese icing, and fresh fruit is unsurmountable by other desserts to my taste buds. Oh! and there’s one more reason I love fruit pizzas more than any other dessert: they are a blank canvas for design, so let your creative juices flow!

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Recipe for the Perfect Fruit Pizza

Sugar Cookie Crust
⅔ cups shortening
¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
4 teaspoons milk
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons salt

Combine the wet ingredients separate from the dry ingredients before mixing together.
Pat/smooth in well-greased round pizza pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350º.

Cream Cheese Filling
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.

Orange Sauce
1 cup orange juice
¾ cups water
¼ cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 dash salt

Boil until thick. Cool.

Fresh fruit
The best fruits for fruit pizza (in my opinion):
1 carton of strawberries
1 carton of blueberries
2 kiwis
2 peaches
1 carton of raspberries

Use your choice of fresh fruits and mix lightly with orange juice sauce.
Arrange as desired on cream cheese icing.
Optional: serve with whipped cream.

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Special thanks to the Leof family for sharing my favorite fruit pizza recipe of all time! Enjoy creating, sharing and eating this one!

Jellyfish Lanterns

May 31st, 2013

Hosting an under-the-sea fiesta? Decorating for Ariel’s quinceañera? By golly, then these jellyfish lanterns are for you! I found a few different variations of these while scouring the internets for Dakota’s birthday party, but ended up doing something unique based on these pretty ombre lanterns I found at Target.

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Supplies
• Paper Lanterns (1 per jelly) —These ones are by Spritz from Target
• Crepe Streamers —1 200ft roll was enough for 3 jellies
• Small Paring Knife
• Scissors

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Step 1: After setting up your lantern, decide where you want your tentacles (crepe streamers) to hang. I decided to start from about 2/5 up from the bottom of the lantern. With your paring knife, cut through the paper where it’s not attached to the wire underneath. Stop cutting where the paper overlaps. Proceed to cut towards the bottom of the lantern following the line where the paper overlaps, but don’t cut the wires that hold the lantern together.

Step 2: Remove the paper that you have cut out by carefully peeling it off from the wire where it’s attached.

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Repeat Steps 1 & 2 until you have gone around the whole lantern.

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Step 3: Using a technique I found on the Glittered Nest, pink and twist the crepe streamers every inch or so. Cut or tear the streamer when it gets to the desired length of your tentacle.

Step 4: Tie a streamer to a newly exposed wire on your lantern. It helps to roll the end of the streamer so it’s more durable for tying. When you are done, cut off the excess end with your scissors.

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Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you are satisfied and your jelly is complete!

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And if these paper lantern jellyfish aren’t jelly enough for you, take a look at this other great jellyfish lantern tutorial over at Paper & Ink!

Revival of the Illusion Neckline!

May 8th, 2013

I’m not much of a fashion connoisseur, but being a designer, I know what I like when I like it! So with no formal background or schooling in the fashion realm, I’ll boldly say that I (and you too) can take something as unoriginal as a mass produced bridesmaid dress (no offense of course to Miss Vera Wang) and make it yours by making it one of a kind! Now, this could be like the time I decided to add band stickers to my acoustic guitar and people looked at me like I was nuts…or maybe the idea of being original isn’t as bad as adding sequins (purchased for $3 from Michael’s Craft Store) to a Vera Wang design? I guess we’ll find out!

One of my best friends, Carrie, was getting married and asked me to be in her wedding. She told me she was going the mismatched bridesmaids dress route which I thought was super cool and exciting to hear. It gave us all the chance to be our unique selves. She gave me a color swatch and told me to pick out something that was unique and…myself! I could help but take this assignment to the next level. Here’s the Vera Wang bridesmaid dress I picked out for the wedding:

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The illusion neckline is one vintage fashion trend that’s been revitalized with enough twists, takes, and fervor to become one of my favorite formal looks. I thought this one could use some bedazzlin’. Here’s some of my inspiration for adding a little somethin’ somethin’ to the neck:

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After picking out two tones of silver sequins and gray thread to match, I hand-stitched them onto the bobbin netting, each being about an inch apart. This video proved very useful for sequin stitching: How to Sew Sequins

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and voilà! A super easy and super fun attempt at being a fashion designer! Woot woot!

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Now whether or not I get laughed at for altering a Vera Wang dress…I guess that doesn’t matter to me! Especially when I gots this arm candy!

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Sneak Peak! Taryn Christine Photography

April 29th, 2013

I just so happen to have a super talented friend who needed some help branding her new photography business, in addition to building a brand new website for it. The website is nearly finished and ready to go into development, but I can’t wait to show you what it looks like! This project has been so much fun! It’s hardly work when you’re designing for someone you look up to and admire as an artist. I’m so excited Taryn has decided to pursue her creative passion, because she’s truly a rare talent. If you are looking for an out-of-this-world photographer I can’t recommend her enough. Kevin will be doing the programming of her website, and I can’t wait to share it with you all soon!

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Casetagram

March 24th, 2013

Dakota’s favorite toys always seem to be the least colorful, least interactive and least toy-like things he can possibly find. Whether it be an inexpensive gray battery charger or a very expensive Mac Mini, he seems to be drawn to things that are strictly not sold at a Toys”R”Us.

For instance, he loves our black Insignia channel changer that, for him, does nothing spectacular. On a rare occasion he happens to be biting on the right button, while it’s pointed in the right direction at the TV, and subsequently changes the channel, but I can tell you he couldn’t be more completely unaware that it’s of his doing. In regards to him always stealing our remote, my mom decided to buy him his own kid toy remote that’s colorful, lights up, plays music and even tells him that he’s in control when he pushes a button. But alas, this was no match for the uncolorful, boring in nature, black Insignia remote that we continue to search for in our living room.

It was only a matter of time before Dakota discovered and sought after my phone. I always preferred my phone sans case, but once Dakota started drooling all over it, gnawing it, and throwing it off the bed, I figured it might be a good idea to invest in one…and a very colorful one at that. After all, it couldn’t hurt to make my phone look like a toy. Then I could test my “Dakota unimpressed by toys theory” on something I just could’t afford to scavenge the house for every day.

Cue Casetagram.

I found Casetagram by chance and decided it would be fun to personalize my phone case in addition to making it colorful. I gathered fun and colorful pictures that I had taken off my phone and SLR camera. I also grabbed some of my super talented, friend and photographer Taryn Christine’s photos—the one of Dakota’s little feet being my favorite.

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I put them together and voilà! My new colorful phone case!

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As for the results of my very scientific experiment…Dakota must be like those drug sniffing dogs…only for technology. Although the colorful case did not seem to thwart his interest in my phone, at least now there’s some protection for it’s future wear and drooly/gummy/toothy tear.