Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pirate Room Make-Over: Part 1!

Ahoy Matey! Doesn't it seem that children grow up much too fast? Arrrrgggg!!! (Pardon the puns! hehe) Didn't I just have the fun of putting together my son's Mickey Mouse room? And yet here we are a year and half later with a new baby boy, and so, a new boy room to share. I had seen some very cute space ship bedding and had lots of ideas in mind, but then I went to Target(dang them!) and saw their adorable pirate themed bedding. I was smitten! So I went home and hit up Pinterest for Nautical and Pirate room ideas. Man, there are some very clever people out there! I saw actual boat beds and rod iron wall lamps. I saw painted ceilings and huge sails and pirate flags. I had neither the budget or the time for something that grand, but I had plenty to work with!

So here is Part 1!


The Bed: I bought the cute bed frame on a local buy/sell FB page for $50. Score! I painted it brown with Spray paint from Lowes. I think the color was called Thorny Brush by Valspar. I found the navy striped comforter online at for $19! The sham and skirt were separate but total bedding was $35! The Pirate quilt I had been looking at was $79, so that's a savings of almost $50. 

Wall Art: I bought Pirate wall stickers from my local Target where I saw the bedding. They were $12. I then went and bought a set of canvases from Michaels. It was a 4 pack that was on sale for $7.99. Woot! So I made the wall art with the stickers and canvas. I just simply painted the canvas and then applied the stickers. Done. The Yo Ho sign was one of those pieces of foam board that are .99 cents. Painted it and added the words. Its not perfect but it will do! I bought the ship's wheel at Hobby Lobby on clearance and they added an additional amount off due to damage. Hey, if it works, it works, right? I thought it all turned out pretty fun! 

Window: I used a twin sized sheet from Walmart ($4) for the window "sail" and some rope from Michaels($5). All I had to do was create a rod pocket for it to hang. I cheated and used the Witch Stitch stuff that you just iron on instead of actually sew. Then I swooped it over with some twine and tied it with a knot. 

My most expensive splurge was the Pirate Octopus pillow from Target. He was $17.99. 

So far I have come in under budget and have been pleasantly pleased. I am now working on the other half of the room. A lamp, dresser, crib bedding, and book shelf. Then onto Daughter's room! No rest for the weary...

Hope you are having a great summer!

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Grab a glass of milk! This is honestly the best chocolate cake and frosting recipe that I have made to date, and that is saying something because 1) I'm impatient when baking, and 2) I can mess up a box cake mix. So seriously, this cake takes the cake! Pun intended. Ha!

I would describe this cake as velvety smooth with the perfect sweetness. Its not so rich that you are immediately licking your pallet and thirsting for a glass of milk. Instead, you savor the flavor. Its melt in your mouth good, and the side of vanilla ice cream or glass of milk just enhances it. Its not a rescue. Have I mentioned yet that it was easy and fast? Here it is in all its glory!

I'm not a pro decorator or anything, but I did try my hand at a few roses. Next time some colored icing for a fun rose cake!

Here is the original pin and link:
The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} from

Visit her site for the original recipe tutorial and more fun recipes and ideas! She has more than just chocolate cake!

Here is the recipe:

For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1.  Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring. I also like to use the wax paper method. Cut out a piece of wax paper to place in the bottom of the pan after you spray. Helps the bottom just pop out!
  2.  Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine, or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  3.  Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. (If it appears pretty runny, then you are doing it right!)
  4.  Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  6.  Frost cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

For the Frosting:
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder

  1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

My last little note is this: ESPRESSO POWDER is not generally available at your local store. You can buy it through Amazon or specialty places. I did not have Espresso Powder so I looked up a substitute and found that you can use regular instant coffee crystals instead. You just use twice the amount. 

Get to your kitchen and make this cake now! I guarantee no crumbs left behind!

As always,

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth of July Fun!!!

I love the Fourth of July! Its a holiday that no matter how old I get, I always feel like a kid. The fun, the food, the fireworks! Growing up, we always had this big block party that my mom coordinated every year. Neighbors and friends would congregate on our front yard with desserts and fireworks, and the party lasted for hours! Kids ran around with sparklers and poppers, and the dads formed a group in the middle of the street lighting up the main event. My dad always went out of his way to get some of the illegal kind that rocketed into the sky for the finale. I'm not sure it was a picturesque Norman Rockwell painting or anything, but my memories are sure rosy and warm. I appreciate what my family and neighbors did and have a happy fondness of the holiday. Not only that, but they instilled a sense of pride and love for our amazing country!

So to honor America's birthday, here are some fun ideas and links to help kickoff your celebration!

First off, how about some fun Red, White, and Blue sweets!
Red, White, and Blue Rice Krispies Treats cute for July 4th, Memorial Day, or Labor Day recipe

Firecracker Cookies with Pop Rocks - Reasons To Skip The Housework

How about some food ideas for that BBQ or party!
4 great 4th of July party snacks!

10 4th of July recipes!

Its not ALL about the food, how about some fun crafts!
35 Patriotic 4th of July Kids Crafts & Activities

You know how I love a good wreath!
Patriotic 4th of July Burlap Red Faux Burlap Wreath by TowerDoorDecor, $35.00


How about a fun free printable?!

God Bless the USA Free Printable (two different versions available). Great for Memorial Day or 4th of July!

I honestly could go on and on for pages. There are so many fun and creative ideas on Pinterest! We all know how it sucks you in. Admit it, you go to look for a recipe and next thing you know its been over an hour! Ha!

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July! 

-Happy Pinning!