Thursday, May 29, 2014

LDS Baptism Book

I thought I would also share the baptism book that I made for my daughter's baptism.  I liked the idea of having a small memory book for her to fill out about her special day that she can treasure forever.  And I also wanted a place for guests at the baptism to sign in so she can remember who was there.  I had searched online to get some ideas for an LDS themed baptism book & I just didn't find very many examples at all.  So I decided to come up with my own.  I used my digital program again & created 8" x 8" scrapbook pages.  I had taken her to the temple to take some pictures of her in her white baptism dress so I used those photos throughout the book.  I included some pages that had a poem, song or scripture on it as well as some fill-in the blank pages where she could record how she felt on her baptism day.  I also left some pages blank so that we could add on some pictures from her actual baptism day later on.  After I made my digital scrapbook pages I waited.  I waited until Shutterfly had one of their free 8" x 8" hardcover photo book deals.  (Watch for them because I swear it seems they have this offer about once a month.)  Then I uploaded my scrapbook pages in jpeg format into Shuttefly & created a blank book.  It was so easy & I only had to pay for shipping!  The book turned out really nice too, I am really happy with it.  So I thought I would share it here in case anyone else had a hard time finding some ideas for a baptism book.

Here's the actual book:

The following are the digital pages that I made for the entire book:

Front cover:

First page inside:

The following pages go side by side in the book:

Back cover:

So here are a couple of pictures of the actual book with some of the pages where I added pictures of her baptism day later:

Shutterfly also gives you the option of adding a clear memorabilia pocket at the back of your book which I thought was a great idea:
I put one of her invitations (click here to see that) in the pocket along with some other pictures from her baptism day.  You could also put cards that were received in there too.

I am so glad that I made this book for Kaylee.  It was easy, inexpensive & now I have the template already set for when my other 2 daughters are baptized in the future.  All I will have to do is change the accent color to whatever color they want & personalize it just for them.  

I hope this gives you some ideas if you are wanting to make your own baptism book!

Friday, May 23, 2014

LDS Baptism Invitation

As I said in my previous post, my oldest daughter, Kaylee, just turned 8!  This is a big birthday in our family.  In our faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon) when our children turn eight years old they are baptized.  You can read about LDS baptism here if you would like.  It is such a special event no matter how old you are when you are baptized!  (I was 22.  Maybe that will be a post for another day!)  We really wanted to make Kaylee's baptism special & a day that she will cherish & remember forever.  I decided that I wanted to send out invitations to her baptism.  At first I thought I would just do a digital version that I could email out.  But I am still a little old fashioned I guess & I like sending & receiving cards & thank you notes in the mail, regardless of the high cost of postage these days!  So I still made one in my digital program but then had them printed up at Costco with their new signature greeting card option.  I was pleasantly surprised with how great the quality was & I loved how they turned out:

We had taken Kaylee to the temple one afternoon to take some pictures to use for her invitations & I'm so glad we did.  I'm no professional photographer, but I think the picture still turned out nice.  Then she picked aqua as an accent color for her baptism.  Oh yes, we of course needed an accent color for her baptism!  I made the invitation very simple & then on the back I typed up the address for the church, the address for our house where the dinner would be after the baptism & I also added the RSVP info.  I love those digital doily stamps too & they kind of became a theme for her baptism dinner.  I'll have to post pics of that too.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cake Decorating Party

My oldest turned 8 in April.  
I really cannot believe that she is 8 already.  
Stop.  The.  Clock.  Please.  

Anyway, I love celebrating my girls' birthdays!  They get so excited when it's their birthday & I get so happy to make them feel extra special as they turn another year older.  Kaylee, had been talking about her birthday party since she turned seven.  Yes, she loves a good party & loves to help with the party planning too.  As her birthday got closer we told her she could have a small party at our house with a few friends.  She quickly decided that she wanted a crafty party.  A girl after my own heart!  When I asked her what crafts she wanted to do she told me cake decorating & jewelry making.  Ok then!  

Kaylee & I went to Hobby Lobby one day & shopped for everything for her party.  I think we got just about everything for her party at Hobby Lobby!  She chose some zebra print & pink invitations & we just took that theme & went with it for the whole party.  It was a lot of fun!  Since her birthday was on Easter this year & the weekend before was already booked up, we decided to do her party on the Tuesday during Spring Break.  And it worked out great!  I think the girls liked getting together during their break from school too.  It wasn't a fancy party, but it turned out well & the girls had a lot of fun which was the most important thing!  Ok, enough chatter from me, on to the party details.  And thanks to my friend, Jill, for some great cake decorating party tips!  She had just done a similar party for her daughter that was super cute.

We set everything up in the backyard:
 Luckily it was a nice warm day!  It looked pretty cute too & then it made for easy clean-up after the party.

We hung a simple banner on the fence:

We bought these plain white aprons at Hobby Lobby for the girls to decorate as their first craft & then to wear while decorating their cakes.  We even found zebra & pink iron-on letters that I ironed on with each girl's first initial:
 To decorate the aprons we had a bunch of fabric markers & then we hot glued some flowers & gems on as well.

Yes, Hobby Lobby even sells these convenient bakery boxes:
 We figured these were necessary for each girl to transport her cake home safely.

I just added a simple card stock scallop circle with their name on top of each box:

The best part about this party was that there was a lot that Kaylee could help with in preparing for it.  We had so much fun together!  The majority of the preparation could be done ahead of time too which was great.  We baked the cakes about a week before & then kept them in the freezer.  We also made the buttercream frosting a few days before & kept it in the fridge.  Then the day before her party we frosted the cakes in plain white frosting & kept them in the fridge for the next day.

Good thing we have a spare fridge in the garage:
 We made 10 little cakes & then one larger cake to eat during the party.

The morning of the party we put the frosting in the frosting bags with tips of various sizes & designs.  We also put the edible decorations (sprinkles, flowers, etc.) that Kaylee picked out into foil muffin tins.  Again, I was thinking about easy after party clean-up!
  I love the bright frosting colors she picked out:

 After the girls decorated their aprons they took a snack break (Cheez-Its, pretzels & Capri Suns) while we got out all of the cake decorating supplies.

These girls had so much fun decorating their little cakes:

 Oh yeah, I also started them off with a few simple tips for decorating a cake.  I gave each girl a paper plate too for them to use if they wanted to try out the different frosting tips before using them on their actual cakes.  But I didn't give them any direction because I wanted them to decorate their cakes however they wanted.

They really got into it:

I was a little surprised by how seriously they all took it & how much attention they paid to detail.  The cakes turned out so great! 

I took a picture of each girl with her apron on & her finished cake.  Kaylee included the photo with each girls' thank you card.

Here's Kaylee with her cake:

And my 4-1/2 year old, Aidynn, with her cake:

So being that this was a cake decorating party I wasn't sure what to do as far as serving a cake or some treat that we could put candles in & sing "Happy Birthday" to Kaylee with.  I ended up just making a cake to eat at the party since the girls were going to take their little cakes home to share with their families.

It had bright pink frosting of course, with these cool zebra print candles:

 Make a wish, birthday girl:

 The inside of the cake had a surprise too:
It was zebra print!
I have seen cakes with zebra print inside online many times & I thought it would be perfect for this zebra print party.  I just layered chocolate cake batter & white cake batter 1/4 cup at a time into my baking pans & baked them normally.  I was a little nervous about how it would look when we cut into it, but it looked so cool!  The girls loved it!

It got a little wild on our coordinating zebra print plates too:

After we had cake then my daughter opened her presents & then the girls finished the party by making beaded necklaces & bracelets.  The party was 2 hours long & it was the perfect amount of time to get everything done.  I would say this was definitely another successful party!

Happy 8th birthday, Kaylee-girl!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baking Stuff

I love to bake!  I get that from my mom.  She loves to bake too.  The problem?  Then I end up eating it!  Ha ha ha!  I didn't actually do too much baking over the past few months just because I have been trying to eat better & if sweets are around, I will eat them.  Luckily we have many neighbors & friends who enjoy being the recipients of the baked goods.  

I made this simple bundt cake for my hubby's birthday:
 Luckily his birthday cake requires very little fuss.  He requests this chocolate chip bundt cake every year.  It is easy & it is so good!  What I also love about this bundt cake is that it's dense which makes it sturdy so it travels well too.  I can't do bundt cakes too often because they are just so heavy, but I'll make this recipe a couple times a year.  If you are in the mood for chocolate, lots & lots of rich chocolate, then this cake is the one!

Here's another pic of the apple decorated cupcakes we made for our annual back to school dinner:
 I saw this idea on Pinterest & they were so easy to decorate-red buttercream, green fruit slice cut in pieces to make leaves & a pretzel rod for a stem.  The girls loved helping with these too!

For Thanksgiving this year I made some pies:
 I'm not a big pie person, but my absolute favorite kind is the Apple Crunch pie (above right).  That's actually the only kind of pie I usually make.  So for Thanksgiving I thought I would branch out & also make a pumpkin pie & cherry pie.  Yum!

We went to my parents house for the actual Thanksgiving holiday & my mom made cupcakes with our girls:
 She had bought one of those little cupcake decorating kits & they turned out really cute!

For some sweet treats for friends during the holidays I dressed up my chocolate chip bundt cake & made them mini:
 Why are they just so cute when they are mini?  And they looked pretty with the powdered sugar "snow" & holly berries.

In January our baby turned 2!  She is SO into Monster's Inc. & Monsters University.  It is so funny!  She drags her little Mike & Sulley stuffed characters everywhere.  So it was just the natural choice for the theme for her birthday party this year.  I saw this Monsters inspired cake on Pinterest & decided to give it a try myself.

I think it turned out pretty cute:

Quinn loved it & that's all that really mattered!  Oh & it tasted pretty darn good too!