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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Closet Organization, Baking and More

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Less cake-making has lead the way to many little projects finally getting done around my house, not to mention it’s a lot cleaner these days. I have always kept a tidy home but when I got busy with cakes, the housework often got neglected. So here’s what I’ve been doing with my newly found free time:

I organized my handbags using this built-in I stole from my husband’ side of the closet (a bookshelf would work just as well):

Handbag OrganizationMy shoes have been pretty organized thanks to these neat little racks from the Container Store. I love these because you can stack and expand them to fit in pretty much any space you have and with the store coupon they’re much cheaper than having a custom built-in. Some of the racks are almost ten years old so they are definitely sturdy. The design was changed a few years ago but thankfully it still worked with the few racks I had from the old design so I didn’t have to repurchase.

Shoe OrganizationI started going through my clothes and put my out-of-season and too-big-but-don’t-want-to-get-rid-of clothes in these cute storage boxes I purchased at JoAnn. A future project is to Modpodge the boot boxes underneath the storage boxes with a cute coordinating paper I also found at JoAnn.

Storage Boxes

I still have all my accessories to organize (jewelry, hats,scarves, gloves). Once those are completed, a post will follow.

Because I still love baking, of course I still do that every now and then too! This weekend I made some “from scratch” strawberry cupcakes with strawberry Swiss Meringue frosting.

Strawberry CupcakesThe next day I made a chocolate cherry cobbler for Father’s day. Boy it was a huge hit!!!! I’m not sure if my family was happy to have something other than cakes or it really was that great :). I’m going to say they really loved it because I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo of a bowl of it served with ice cream. I used a recipe I found in the latest issue of Better Homes. It can also be found here.

Chocolate Cherry CobblerLess cake-making has given me more time to work out and I also avoid having to taste test all those goodies so now the weight seems to be coming off easier 🙂

IMG_1393All work and no fun is no bueno so here I am poolside while the kids played at the pool!

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Frio River at Garner State Park (Concan, Texas)!

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I just returned from a weekend at Garner State Park and it is absolutely beautiful! We went a couple of weeks ago during Memorial Day weekend and weren’t able to enjoy the river due to heavy rain. We hiked the Old Baldy and Crystal Cave trails and liked the park so much we decided to go back and hopefully enjoy the river on our next visit. None of the pictures in this post are Photoshopped, filtered or altered in any way other than some minor cropping on a few and the making of two picture collages.  All photos were taken with a mobile phone. The river really is this beautiful! I say this because when I came during the heavy rain, the river did not look this beautiful and I thought maybe all the photos I had seen online were altered. I am so glad I decided to come back and see it in its normal state! I will post some other helpful tips on the bottom of this post.

The first four pictures below were taken off the Blinn River Trail. I highly recommend this trail. It is an easy hike with stunning views of the Frio River. Blinn River Trail View 1Blinn River Trail View 2

Blinn River Trail View 3Blinn River Trail View 4The following pictures were taken on the section of the Frio River behind the Live Oak camping area. Very clear, cold water!

Frio RiverFrio River Clear WaterIMG_0773IMG_0386IMG_0778IMG_0595Our campsite located in the Live Oak camping area is below. It was walking distance to the river, had some shade and there was a good amount of space in between campsites.

Live Oak CampingOur camp food:

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My “I feel like a kid and can’t wait to go to the river” selfie:

IMG_0151Helpful tips:

1. If you are able to drive through Utopia on your way to Garner State Park, I highly recommend it. It has stunning views and if you have kids with you this will build the excitement.

2. Garner State Park will close to guests once it reaches capacity so I recommend you get there early in the morning if you do not have a campsite and wait in line until the park opens. The line will become very long but the worst thing would be to be turned away because you arrived too late (we saw this happen to many people). The good thing about this is it keeps the park from feeling crowded! You will not feel crammed or claustrophobic here unlike some other rivers.

3. When you reserve a campsite, you are guaranteed a site but they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. So if you want to have an option on your location it is best to arrive early. The clerk on our visit was very helpful and advised us on the differences on the available campsites (some were closer to the river, some in full shade, some with no shade, some with more space between campsites) but I have read that not all clerks offer this information.

4. Because this is a family-friendly park, alcohol consumption in public areas is not permitted. If you like to consume alcohol while floating the river, this park is not for you. I personally love that this park enforces that because it keeps the park family-friendly.

5. The bathrooms are cleaned twice a day (when I was there, that is what I saw) but they do get dirty quickly and are dated.

6. If you plan on doing tubing, wear water shoes because the river rocks hurt.

Below are some links to some of my other travel posts:

Disney World

South Dakota

San Antonio

Graduation Cake With Cap Topper (Photo Tutorial)

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My intention is for most of my posts to be helpful whether they are related to baking, fashion, or even photography. I am not the technical photographer in my house but I am the one behind the artsy, creative poses and composition ideas. So when I do share photography posts on here it’s because I’ve contributed to them in some way :). With that being said, I hope you find this tutorial helpful.

When I made my first graduation cake I recall there weren’t many tutorials out there for the cap topper (where the topper was not made out of cake) so now that I’ve made a few graduation cakes, I finally got around to taking pictures to document how I make mine. This cake was fun to make because I was given quite a bit of liberty with the design. The only requests were that it be Spring HS colors, have a quilted top tier,have a congratulations message and possibly a lion paw print for the school mascot. I ended up changing the design a bit from my initial vision but I think it was for the better. I love how the cake turned out.

Spring HS Graduation Cake DesignThe assembly of the cake:

IMG_0024Final cake:Fondant Tiered Spring HS Graduation CakeFor the cake topper I use a foam ball that’s been split in half and a thick piece of card stock. The foam ball is about 4.5″ in diameter and the card stock was cut into a 5.5″ square. Both pieces were covered in fondant.I made holes on the center of each piece prior to covering with fondant. These holes are what connects the two pieces.  By making the holes prior, I find it’s easier to find the center and remake the hole once covered with fondant because it will be softer in these spots. Once the fondant dries and hardens, I assemble with a lollipop stick and cover the center with tassel topped with the cap button. The video tutorial below the image is a great tutorial on how to cover the foam ball with fondant. I followed the same steps to cover the card stock.

Graduation Cap TutorialVideo tutorial for covering foam ball. This lady is amazing and I love her tutorials. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BimxvdCvu5U

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