Saturday, August 30, 2014

Baking Away the Last Days of Summer

I looked at the calendar last weekend and realized we still had an entire week of August left. Sigh... I like summer, that's for sure, but fall is my ultimate favorite season. I know that many people are grasping at these last days of summer, hoping to make them last longer, but with school starting already and the rainy, cooler weather we've been having, I am so ready to deck my house out with my favorite fall decorations and officially begin the autumn season.  And for me, it isn't official until September 1st. So I shall wait.

And as I wait, ever so patiently, for fall to begin, I've been pinning fall dessert recipes like mad. Pumpkin bars, pumpkin rolls, oatmeal cream pies (they just look like a wear a sweater on a brisk yet sunshiney fall day kind of dessert to me), pumpkin whoopee pies, apple spice cupcakes...I am dying. Just check out my fall baking pinterest board...all I can say when I see that gallery of amazing desserts is "Are you KIDDING me?!" I want to make them all today. But there is one recipe in particular that has been especially tempting my taste buds. Pecan Praline Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing, from My Own Sweet Thyme.

 Let me just show you a picture of the batch I finally made yesterday afternoon.
Aaannd one more.
Okay, now that you're hooked...:) 
I first came across a picture of these beauties and the recipe on pinterest, of course ;), which lead me to a blog that had totally RIPPED the recipe (and the picture) from the original source. I was trying to find the blogger's name so I could give her complete credit on this post, when I found another blog with the same recipe and picture, this one much more credible. Can you believe people? So, the real credit goes to Lisa from My Own Sweet Thyme. Hop on over to her blog for the recipe.

I had drooled over Lisa's picture of her cookies for weeks, and yesterday I excitedly set to making a batch. These cookies turned out good, but oh, the frosting. It was heavenly. That is the only appropriate word I can think of to describe it. I whipped up the frosting and dipped a spoon in it to test it out, worried that I had burned it. Inexpressible joy when I tasted it. Quickly I slathered it on a cookie and took a bite, only to realize that the flavor of the cookie didn't let the frosting shine like I was hoping it would. So, my mind immediately started racing, trying to think of alternative ways to use this frosting! You know, it actually tastes almost exactly like the frosting my grandmother would make and drizzle over angel food cake. That stuff was also heavenly. I'll have to try this frosting on angel food cake!

I think if my cookies had ended up a little less pudgy, and more flat like Lisa's, the frosting/cookie ratio would have been perfect. What I did differently was use baking powder instead of baking soda (we were out) and I didn't put nuts inside the cookies. Not sure if that's why mine were so different. The last pan I made, which had only two cookies, had thawed a bit so I pressed them down in flatter circles, and those came out looking much more like Lisa's.

So the moral of the story is, these cookies are good! But I will not judge you if you decide to just mix up a pan of this frosting and straight up eat it for dessert. And most importantly, for me, daydreaming about, then making and eating these cookies has helped me get through one more summer day (oh the torture ;) as I await the start of my favorite season. :)

Fall officially begins the day after tomorrow! Bring it on! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gray Fabric Headboard

First of all, my mom is amazing. She can do anything. Like, for real. If there is a project she wants to do, a piece of furniture she wants to paint, fix, build or sell, she does it. And she does it well. And those are only the beginning of her all-around major skills. Well, my pretty awesome mom came to visit a few times after I gave birth to our second baby (she lives out of state), as I've mentioned before. She flew to my rescue and was literally a lifesaver for me. LITERALLY. She was there when I needed her, and I can't thank her enough. But besides being there and caring for our family, she also got her craft on while at our house both times she visited. The first time making those gorgeous yellow pillows, and the second time making this beautiful gray headboard.

For months previous I'd been telling her all about the kind of headboard I envisioned for our bedroom. It started off in my mind looking kind of like this, but morphed over the months. As we chatted over the phone many times before she came for her visit, I pitched the idea to her that the next time she came to visit we could to try and tackle this project together, because there is absolutely no way on earth I would ever attempt a project of such magnitude on my own.

Mom came for her visit and we ventured out to find all of the supplies at Home Depot and JoAnn's (I know it's not technically "JoAnn's", but I can't bring myself to simply say "JoAnn" sounds so weird), and we got to work! But really, it was 99% my creative mom. I was there to help and learn from her, and I'm amazed at her ability to build such a thing!

And here it is.

Ahhh, I just love it!
 Oh, do I love this headboard. It is so gorgeous!! I absolutely love the fabric we chose. At first we wanted to put brass tacks all the way around the border, because we both loved that look. But we didn't find what we were looking for and decided to save that for a later date. I've decided that I like the simple, clean look of the gray fabric without the tacks, so at least for now, I won't be adding any. But adding tacks would be an easy way to totally switch up the look of this headboard if I'm feeling it later on.

So as far as a tutorial...this will not be in depth. At all. It really isn't a tutorial. But you can look here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here for some really helpful headboard tutorials! That's a lot of tutorials, but you can never have enough inspiration, right?!

 First step when making a headboard:

Put the babies down for a nap. This step is pretty important. :) 
 I'm not going to number the rest of the steps. But here's what we did next. We ironed the gorgeous gray fabric that we bought from JoAnn Fabrics.
 We sprayed adhesive to our plywood board and placed the foam egg carton mattress over it.
 Mom did some trimming...
 Then we flipped over the board and stapled the egg foam to the back.
Next we placed our layer of batting over the foam and stapled that down as well.
 Then for the fabric. The most important and nit-picky part!!
 Jared is the handy man who attached the legs to the headboard, having to do it several times until we got just the right height. Thanks, babe!

And now, over a year and one move later, I have decorated my room enough to where I think it deserves a few pictures! So here is the pretty headboard that my mom made for us, along with the stunning pillows. :) (Larger pillows and pillow cases ordered off of Amazon here and here).
And we actually  just moved, again, last month! So these pictures are now outdated...awesome. The master bedroom in our new place has grayish-blue walls that the headboard and Sunburst Mirror clash with. So I've got my work cut out for me to figure out what to do...probably just a quick paint job! That will make a world of difference. But until then, I'll just stare back at this beautiful room and sigh! I really wanted our bedroom to become a place of relaxation where I could steal away to read a book, or two or three. :) I hope to create that again in our new home!
I also have to add how in love I am with this Sunburst Mirror!! I think it looks so pretty above our bed. I followed Linda's tutorial (here) over at Craftaholic's Anonymous - one of my very favorite blogs! :)

About a million thanks go to my amazing Mom for this beautiful gift of a headboard! You are the best, Mom, and for an incredible amount of reasons. Love you, Mama!