Cake Tutorials, Cookie Tutorials

Tribal Baby Shower Cake and Cookies

This cake and matching cookies were created for my long time childhood friend, who is having her first baby. Her mother is full blooded Indian so it was no surprise to me that they were going for a tribal baby shower theme. They picked out the tribal baby cake topper, and that was ordered in advance.

Tribal Cake topper for tribal baby shower cake.

 

There was actually a long conversation and debate going on about who was going to be responsible for keeping it at their house until the baby shower. Her sister and I said we both had too many kids for it to hang out at our house for that long, so it was decided that her father would keep it at a safe place in his house until I needed it. The Etsy shop it was ordered from is https://www.etsy.com/shop/InscribingLives?ref=l2-shopheader-name.

The cake was vanilla cake with vanilla icing.

Tribal Baby Shower Cake

I decided to go with the chevron on the bottom tier because I felt like it kept the cake simple enough not to take away from the beautiful cake topper, but it still fit into the tribal theme perfectly. For the chevron I used pink and white homemade fondant . I painted the white fondant with gold luster dust. My favorite is from Grunderfully Delicious, and she’s a homeschoolin’ mama too!

The cake board was actually 3 gold cake boards hot glued together with pink ribbon hot glued around them. I was super thankful for my daughter asking and receiving a hot glue gun for her birthday in May, because I have never owned one!

I learned how to do this from Rose, one of my favorite bloggers ever, over at Rose Bakes. Again, another homeschoolin’ mama! It was super easy to do and really complimented the cake so well. I’m not sure I can ever put a cake on a plain white cake board again.

They wanted matching cookies for the baby shower as well, so I came up with these cuties.

Tribal Baby Shower Cookies

 

They turned out so cute and matched the cake perfectly. The teepees were my favorite!

Tribal baby shower cookies

I used these cutters and I again used the luster dust to paint the hearts on the teepees and painted some on the feathers. The arrows were airbrushed on with my airbrush machine and gold airbrush color.  I used my arrow stencil from The Cookie Countess for the onesies.

Tribal Baby Shower Cookies

So, that was my very first tribal themed cake and cookies! I’m pretty proud of myself for how the turned out and I know that you can do it too!

Have you done a tribal theme before? Do you have any other cake or cookie questions for me?

 

Recipes

Easy, Delicious, Homemade Fondant for Cake Decorating

 

Learning to make my own fondant was a game changer. Until then I had been buying it premade, which becomes very expensive and very aggravating when you’re in the middle of decorating a cake and realize that you don’t have enough of it.

I had no idea it was so easy and cheap to make. I do still buy black fondant. For me it’s just a pain (and a mess) to make, but for every other color fondant I make it myself.

 

All you need to make your fondant is 1 bag of mini marshmallows (I use jet puffed), a 1 pound bag of confectioners sugar, water, vanilla and Crisco.

 

Super simple.

 

*Note- this recipe is for a full batch and makes a lot of fondant. You can half this recipe if you need a smaller amount.

 

First, dump the entire bag of marshmallow into a bowl.

 

Next add 1/2 cup of water.

Now you want to start microwaving it 30 seconds at a time. Be sure to stir it well after each 30 seconds. It will go from this.

to this,

Then you’re ready to dump the 1 pound bag of confectioners sugar into the bowl of melted marshmallows.

Now you start stirring, and stirring, and stirring.

*Note- If you need just one color fondant, the best time to add the color is now. If you need several colors you’ll have to wait to add the color when the fondant has come together.

And when you’ve stirred all you can stir, it’s time to get your hands in it. And that’s when you’ll want to apply a very generous amount of Crisco to your hands, so you won’t end up a hot, sticky mess.

Rub it all over your hands (trust me all over), and then start kneading. When it starts to come together I usually half it and kneed it in halves. It’s pretty hard to kneed a whole batch at a time.

It will start to come together and look like this,

You should let it sit for at least a couple of hours before using. This just firms it up a little more and makes it easier to work with.

After you’ve let it sit out for a while it’s now time to give it some color and work your magic!

 

So there you go, easy, delicious, homemade fondant! Let me know if you have any questions!

Nicole

Cookie Tutorials, Recipes

Easy, Delicious Royal Icing Recipe

Parmesan Cheese (1)

*This post contains affiliate links.

Decorated sugar cookies are a big thing right now. People want them for weddings, birthdays, party favors and gifts. Decorating sugar cookies like the ones you see on Instagram definitely takes practice, and having the right sugar cookie and royal icing recipe is an absolute must.

Here is my royal icing recipe. You can half this. I use the whole recipe because I make so many cookies. If you make your royal icing and have some left over you can freeze it and use it later.

First, I start with meringue powder. I don’t think the brand of the meringue powder matters. Others might think that it does. I have used Wilton’s and I have used Hobby Lobby’s and I have had good results from both. I usually go with Wilton’s because it is cheap at Amazon and Walmart and I can even order it through their grocery pick up service which is a life saver for this business runnin’, homeschoolin’ mama of 4!

Ok, back to the recipe. I dump 1/2 cup of meringue powder into my kitchen aid mixer.

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Then I add 2/3 cup of hot/warm water. I just feel that the hot water helps to dissolve the meringue powder better. Then I turn on the mixer until it looks like this.

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I then add two teaspoons of vanilla and a 1 pound bag of confectioners sugar.

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and mix it for 1-2 minutes.

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It will be pretty thick when it’s done. You can then start mixing in water to get it to the right consistency and start making adding in you colors.

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So that is the royal icing recipe I use for my decorated sugar cookies.

 

What other questions do you have about royal icing or decorating sugar cookies?

 

Mothers Day Cookies in Box
Cookie Tutorials

Teachers, mothers, and nurses, oh my!

 

I’m not sure how teacher appreciation week, mother’s day and nurse appreciation week ended up being all in the same week, but I know it should never happen again!
Whew! Talk about a busy week.

mother's day cookies

teacher box

teacher appr

teacher boxes

Oh, and did I mention that I also had my very first vendor event in the middle of all of those orders? No, I’m not crazy. Just trying to get my business out there.

vendor event

It wasn’t as successful as I hoped for, but it was a great experience and I now know what to expect at any other events I end up going to. I also was able to take all of my cookies to the store that I sell them in and they were sold out the next day. It turned out to be my most profitable cookie week so far.
Hmmmm…..maybe teacher appreciation week, mother’s day and nurse appreciation week should be all in the same week again after all!

It was a super busy week, so I didn’t get to make any tutorials, but if you would like to see some for any of these cookies I will be happy to make them. Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy decorating!

Nicole

 

Smowman Cake
Cake Tutorials

Snowman Cake

When I saw this snowman cake on The Cake Blog, which is one of my favorite blogs for cake inspiration, I knew I had to attempt to make it. It was soooo cute and I knew the kids would love it. It was also a very appropriate time to make this snowman cake. It was made during a blizzard! That might not be anything special for you, but where I’m from in the south, we don’t have blizzards. Actually, I think the last time they had a blizzard here I was 4 years old and of course I don’t remember it. So yes, I was as giddy as a 4 year old while experiencing my first blizzard.

Anyway, moving on to the cake.

The cake was a strawberry cake with strawberry icing and coconut on the outside.

coconut cake

 

The eyes and nose are made out of fondant.

fondant

The scarf is just a piece of ribbon I had and the gloves were printed off the computer from a good search and glued on to skewers. It turned out super cute, the kids loved it, and it was a great way to celebrate my first blizzard! 😉

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Dessert First by Nicole

Winnie the Pooh and Tiger too!

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Don’t you love when you agree to do a last minute cake order and it turns out to be one of your best?! That’s kinda how this Winnie the Pooh cake went. It was a short notice order and the client didn’t really have an exact idea for the cake other than it needed to be Winnie the Pooh themed. I actually even procrastinated and gave myself an uncomfortable, small amount of time to get it done and then when the pressure was on, BAM, I felt like I knocked it out of the park!

Do you ever surprise yourself like that? Do you ever say yes to something and then stress about it and almost regret saying yes, but when it gets down to the wire your inner most creativity comes out and you actually do some of your best work? Funny how that happens, huh?

 

 

 

homeschooling, Uncategorized

How Morning Time Saved Our Homeschool

Morning Time

I was discouraged. I was frustrated. I was close to giving up.

I had no idea how homeschooling four children, all different ages, was supposed to work out.

And then I discovered morning time.

I actually learned about the idea of a morning basket on Pam Barnhill’s blog. I spent about a good hour on her blog just soaking in all of the awesome information and great ideas she shares. I subscribed to her blog and her podcast. It’s awesome stuff!

I then went and got all of our curriculum together and organized. I created our loop schedule and I began our new way of homeschooling the next Monday morning.

And it was such a blessing.

That Monday was the first smooth running homeschooling day that we’ve had in a while. No chaos, no yelling, no running from child to child.

The main idea of morning times is to start your homeschool mornings learning together no matter your children’s ages. We all come together (ages 9, 6, 5, 3), at our dining room table after finishing our morning chores, to start our school day. We start with our Bible reading time, Scripture memory, and prayer. We then move on to calendar time, IEW, and math. We do all of these together at the same time.

My 3 year old begins each morning with us and makes it to somewhere around handwriting or math time. He will then usually say he’s all done and go play with his toys.

After finishing our morning time, we then take a short break for snack and then I do reading individually with each of the older children. By the time they’ve all had their individual reading time, it’s time for lunch and another short play break while I clean up the kitchen and do a few chores.

Afterwards, we regather at the table and work on our loop schedule. Our loop schedule includes art, music, history, science, and geography. I’m really loving our new loop schedule because I don’t feel like I have to rush through all of these subjects each day. By doing 1 a day we can really take our time and enjoy learning about each subject.

By this time in our day we’re usually ready for another break (yes, in this ADHD family we take lots of breaks) and then we have our daily tea time each afternoon.

This new schedule and specifically morning time, has truly saved our homeschool. I actually look forward to mornings with my children and I’m enjoying homeschooling again.

If you are becoming discouraged in your homeschooling journey I encourage you to give morning time a try. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Do you begin your home school day with morning time?

Uncategorized

S.O.A.P. Bible Study Method

On December 1st I started an online Bible study through Love God Greatly and I am really enjoying it. It is an advent Bible study called The Road to Christmas.

One thing that I am really enjoying is the SOAP Bible study method. Believe it or not I have never heard of this method for studying the Bible until now. I heard of SOAP when I was in massage school for taking client notes, but never in Bible study.

The S.O.A.P Bible Study Method

S. Start with scripture. Write it down. Whether it is 1 verse or 10 write them out on paper. Writing scripture down helps me remember it and really think about.

O. O is for observation. What do I see? This is where I reread the scripture and write down what it tells me. If there are words in the verses I don’t know I look them up and write down the definitions.

A. Application. This is the hard one. Writing it down is not hard, but living the scripture out is. I ask myself during this step, “What is God’s Word saying to me? How can I apply that scripture to my life today? Are there any changes that I need to make in my heart to be able to live this out?

P. Prayer. The best part. Isn’t it awesome that we get to talk to God? I write my prayer down according to what I wrote down in the application step. I pray that God would help me to live these scriptures out. If I did see that there were changes I needed to make (and usually there are) I pray God would give me the strength to make those changes. Also, pray God’s word back to Him.

Here is an example of what I did this morning with Psalm 25: 8-10.

S. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His testimonies.”

O. The Lord is good. He instructs sinners in the way. Not perfect people, sinners. He leads the humble in what is right. Not the proud! He teaches the humble his way. All the paths and ways of the Lord are constant, loyal, reliable, in love, and faithful for those who keep His commands.

A. Because God is good He will instruct me. Most importantly God instructs me knowing that I am a sinner. God knows I am a sinner. God knows I will sin. But He will lead me in what is right and He will teach me His ways IF I am humble. Humble=low in my own spirit and heart, submissive to God. Knowing that I can do nothing without God. And IF I keep God’s commands He will lead me. The path God leads me down will be a path of love and faithfulness. To keep his commands I need to know His word! And when I know His word I need to OBEY His word. And then I can trust in His ways and trust that no matter what happens in my life He will be guiding me with love and faithfulness.

P. Father God, thank you for being good, especially when I am not. Thank you for leading me even though I am a sinner. Thank you for Jesus and for providing a way back to you. I pray that I would accept your instruction and not push away from it and try to do things my way. I pray that you would help me humble myself and live a humble life. I pray that you will lead me in what is right and that you will teach me your ways and how to live them out. I thank you that all your ways are loving and faithful. Please God help me to trust in that and live that out.

in His name, Amen

If you have never tried the SOAP Bible study method before I really recommend you do. It helps you do more than just read the scripture. It helps you dig down in to them and also helps you dig down in to your own heart.

cooking with kids, preschool activities

Teaching children about Lottie Moon.

lottiemoon collageSo tomorrow starts the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at our Church. Do you know who Lottie Moon is? Lottie Moon was a missionary to China for nearly 40 years. She taught the people of China how to read and write.

She often made tea cakes (cookies) for the children. The children would eat the cookies and then take Lottie to their mothers where she would then share the gospel with the family.

Since we are starting our Offering at Church tomorrow I wanted to do an activity with the kids to learn about who Lottie Moon was. I searched for information and found this story about Lottie and a recipe for the cookies she used to make.

First we read the story.

Then we made the cookies.

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After making the dough we rolled it out and cut the cookies.

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Then we popped them in the oven. They only take 5 minutes to cook!

I found  coloring pages to go along with the story so while the cookies were cooking (and while we ate them) they colored the pictures.

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Well, the bean cut his.

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Then we ate them! And they were really good.

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So there is a really neat lesson for children (and parents) about Lottie Moon.

And it was a lesson for me. I learned what a tea cake was and that they are pretty good. And very quick to make!

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motherhood

The lesson I learned from my Thanksgiving pecan pie.

pecan pieI have made pecan pie before and it turned out really good, but this one did not. I think I left it in the oven a little too long. It came out of the oven and the crust and pecans were a little on the well done side.

I went to cut a piece to check the middle and it wasn’t burnt. It was ooey gooey.

So I tried some.

And it was delicious.

So I ate some more. And so did my mom and husband.

After we had finished digging out the center of the pie I began to think…

That pie wasn’t perfect, but it was good.

Kind of like life and motherhood.

As mothers we are not perfect (at least I’m not). Sometimes my edges and life’s edges feel a little burnt. Things get hard, I’m overdone because I have put too much on my plate and I become stressed and become a little rough around the edges.

But I don’t give up. Why? Because it’s the middle that matters the most. The center. The heart. My heart.

In my motherhood journey I’ve come to accept that hard days are inevitable. I’m human. I’m not superwoman and that’s ok.

I have bad days. We all do and I don’t fill myself with guilt at the end of those days. I take a nice relaxing bath. I pray. I ask God to forgive me for the things I said and did that did not glorify Him and ask Him to strengthen me in those areas where I am weak.

The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

If God, the creator of the world, the One who created me, who knows I mess up and will continue to mess up, can give me new mercies each morning, then I can give myself new mercies each morning.

My days of mothering are not perfect. And yours probably are not either. But let’s not focus on those hard, burnt edges, let’s focus on that ooey gooey middle because that is the part that is oh so good!