April 14, 2014

Spring Bunny Baskets - with files for Silhouette!

Looking for a quick and easy project this spring? You come to the right place! These baskets are inexpensive, easy, and would be great as gifts for teachers or co-workers. I made them for the sweet ladies my boyfriend works with and filled them with paper grass and cupcakes! Yepp, those are cupcakes! And they're not that hard to decorate! (read on for the link!)

If you have ever been in the dollar section at Target, then I'm sure you can relate. If you haven't, go to Target NOW! It is the best and worst idea Target ever had. The best because it is filled with tons of adorable items, and for the most part they are only $1!!! But this can also be a very bad thing, because you pick up a million things telling yourself, "Its only a $1, I cannot pass this up!" and then you get to the register and your total is $47... I may or may not be speaking from experience.

Anyway, I found these adorable baskets in the dollar section and had to get them because the colors were so spring-y! And then I used some extra vinyl I had sitting around.

So these baskets were not even $2 a piece to make!

I got the chevron bunny file from the Facebook group All Things Silhouette Cameo & SD but you can download it here!

Then I used the font Making Lettering Tall, that you can get for free here!

I always use Oracal vinyl, but any kind will work for these baskets since they won't be outdoors or washed.

First you want to open your Silhouette program and open the Chevron Bunny file. Then size the bunny to however big you want it to be on the basket. I made mine 2 1/2 inches tall. Then duplicate it to make however many bunnies you want. I did nine because I had three of each color basket.

Now you want to open a new project in Silhouette and choose the text tool. Then on the right hand side scroll in the font options to find Making Lettering Tall. Click where you want the text and type a name, or whatever you want on your baskets. Then I always fill in the color because it makes it easier for me to work with, and I also like to change the line thickness (under the line tab).

Next you want to size your vinyl to what you need and place it, color side up, on your mat. Then load your mat into the Silhouette and go to the cut settings. Select the vinyl option from the menu or input your own settings. I normally choose the vinyl setting and then increase the thickness to 10. Now you're ready to cut!

Once you've cut your bunnies and names, weed out (remove) the excess vinyl. Always clean the surface you're about to adhere vinyl to; I normally use rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner. Then using your contact paper or transfer tape, my favorite is the Cricut brand (I know this is a Silhouette tutorial... don't judge me!), pick the vinyl up off the backing and stick it to your basket. Repeat until all baskets are adorable and done!

On to the inside. First off, the cupcakes. I just made a basic white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, but you could use any kind of cake and pretty much any kind of icing as long as it is not too runny to pipe and it crust when it dries (I wouldn't recommend canned icing). These adorable flowers are easier to make than they look, I found some awesome tips and pictures over at My Cake School.

Now your ready to fill up your baskets! For mine, I balled up some green tissue paper to fill up most of the space, then put the cupcake on top and filled in the holes with the paper grass. This seemed to work the best for me, just make sure your icing has had plenty of time to crust, so they don't get messed up as easily.

These take a little time, but they are pretty inexpensive and adorable gifts for spring. And who doesn't love bunnies?!

But that's not all! Check out these other blogs for 40 more awesome Spring Silhouette Projects!

Seriously, you have to go look at them! These other 40 bloggers and I are participating in the Silhouette Challenge where each month we all post a Silhouette project with that month's theme! Here are the themes so be sure to check back each month for more awesome projects!

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration! Spring Cleaning - Custom Canisters I Love Paris In the Springtime Etching for Sping - Mug Personalization for the April Silhouette Challenge WHEELY excited about spring No-Sew Fabric & Burlap Peter Cottontail Banner Narwhals, plus friends Gold Fern Easter Eggs Mr and Mrs Easter Egg Head Easter Bunny Plate Welcome Spring - A Sign From Tile Paper Flowers Wall Art DIY: Bunny-Stamped Goodie Bags for Easter Inspirational Window Now We Have Everything Nursery Art Spring' and Flowers Paper Banner Glitter Jars with a Happy, Hoppy Bunny Made with the Silhouette + Free Cut File! Mother's Day Wreath Decorate A Watering Can With Vinyl! April Showers Sketch Pen Printable Spring Wreath Burlap Garden Flag with Heat Transfer Vinyl Pretty Little Herb Pots Peter Cottontail Door Hanger Spring Has Sprung Spring Has Sprung - Subway Art Bloom And Grow Sunflower Bouquet for Teacher Appreciation Sharpie Easter Eggs Tear Open Easter Egg Cards Look what's Blooming! ~ Silhouette Challenge Everblooming Paper Bouquet Silhouette Challenge: Spring Polish Swap Card [B] is for Bloom: Scrap Lumber Flower Vases Tulip Time - Fridge Magnets Neon Paper Pinwheels {tutorial} A Happy Spring Card Sketching Just Got Easier! Spring Bunny Baskets Bird Nerd Easter Eggs Easter Peeps Treats with {FREE} Printables and Cut File Garden Bench Update
1. Dream a Little Bigger // 2. So Much Better With Age // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. Creative Carnival // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. feto soap // 7. One Dog Woof // 8. The Experimental Home // 9. From Wine to Whine // 10. Architecture of a Mom // 11. Grey Luster Girl // 12. Minted Strawberry // 13. Designed Decor // 14. Tried & True // 15. Silhouette School // 16. Bringing Creativity 2 Life // 17. Weekend Craft // 18. Practically Functional // 19. Please Excuse My Craftermath... // 20. McCall Manor // 21. unOriginal Mom // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. A Tossed Salad Life // 24. A Glimpse Into Barb's Life // 25. Kate's Paper Creations // 26. Simply Kelly Designs // 27. Cutesy Crafts // 28. Persia Lou // 29. Whats Next Ma // 30. Two Purple Couches // 31. The Frill of Life // 32. Nearly Handmade // 33. Get Silvered // 34. Ginger Snap Crafts // 35. Life After Laundry // 36. The Sensory Emporium // 37. Monograms & Cake // 38. The Thinking Closet // 39. My Paper Craze // 40. Chicken Scratch NY

December 17, 2013

Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

As you might know if you've been looking for the "perfect" sugar cookie recipe, there are TONS of recipes to be found. Some with margarine, some with butter. Some with granulated sugar, some with powdered sugar. Some that require refrigeration, some that don't. Some that don't spread a single millimeter when baked, some that spread a little and make rounded edges.

Well your search is over, but not because I am giving you the perfect recipe. There really isn't a "perfect" recipe.

This is a recipe I found over at The Sweet Adventure of Sugarbelle, and it is one I prefer for many reasons. It doesn't have to be refrigerated, which is good for me because I am very impatient. This recipe does spread slightly but not so much that the shape of the cookie changes. And most importantly, the cookies have a flaky, buttery taste unlike other cookies that are hard and dry.

Really any cut-out sugar cookie recipe will work for making beautifully decorated cookies. Just find a recipe that works for you, and stick to it!

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Makes 2-2 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) real unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 teaspoons flavoring (I use butter vanilla or buttery sweet dough flavoring from LorAnn)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar.
  2. Add the egg and your choice of flavoring. Mix until egg is thoroughly combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture in small amounts. 
  4. The dough is done when most of it sticks to the paddle. You can test it by touching it with your finger. It should have a little give, but not stick to your finger. 
  5. Let the dough sit for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thick and cut desired shapes. 
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. If the edges start to brown, take them out NOW!  
  • The dough does NOT need to be refrigerated. 
  • This recipe doubles well to make 4-5 dozen. 
  • The cookies freeze well so you can make them far in advance. I sometime make mine a month in advance. Just let them thaw and decorate when you need them. 
  • This recipe does spread a little.
  • I prefer to roll the dough out the "old fashioned way." I use a rolling pin and flour right on the counter top. Most of the time I use powdered sugar instead of flour when making cookies. 
  • I love my Orka Silicone Baking Mat (link at bottom) for baking cookies. There is no need for parchment paper and they never stick! 

Royal Icing

Makes enough icing for 4-5 dozen cookies

  • 2 lbs. (1 32 oz. bag) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • about 3/4 cup water
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla (or flavoring of choice)
  1. Add powdered sugar and meringue powder to the bowl. Mix with the whisk attachment until well incorporated. 
  2. Add the water and flavoring to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are combined. It should be about the consistency of warm honey or shampoo. 
  3. Mix on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. It should be about the consistency of thick pudding.
  4. Turn up your mixer to high and mix for 2-3 more minutes. It is done when stiff peaks form. 
  • Royal icing and oil are NOT friends.  Make sure all of your utensils are oil free, including your bowls.  Wash them well in hot soapy water.
  • Royal icing keeps for a long time.  I have heard that many people leave it covered on the counter for a month and its just fine.
  • If you need to refresh it, you can fluff it up again with the mixer, and it will be like new.
  • It’s also alright to add a little bit of corn syrup to your icing. I do this if I want it to be a little shinier.
  • Gail's "Shpritz" idea was life changing for me! I use it to get extra powdered sugar off the sides of the bowl while mixing and when I'm thinning my icing for pipping and flooding. 
For more royal icing information and to learn how to color and prepare royal icing, visit The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle. Her cookie and icing posts were basically how I learned to make great cookies! 

December 14, 2013

Vera Bradley Inspired Cake

About a year ago I took the first 3 courses in the Wilton Cake Decorating Series, and I LOVED it! If you are thinking about taking the classes and can't decide, go for it. It was one of the best things I've done as far as my decorating skills are concerned and my instructor gave us so many tips and tricks from her experience.

However, since this past summer I haven't made any cakes because I've been busy with school. So yesterday I began this cake with great hesitation... But my decorating classes paid off once again and it was a success!

Now I'm gonna share some of my favorite tips and the things that help me make a great cake.

First of all, the cake recipe I use for most of the white cakes I make came from Recipe Girl. It starts with a box mix, but it tastes 1,000,000 times better!

Wonderful White Cake (or Cupcakes)

makes 2 - 9 inch rounds plus a little extra, or about 36 cupcakes


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut parchment paper the size of your pan and put it in the bottom, then grease the sides; or place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with a mixer for 2 minutes. (the full 2 minutes are needed! otherwise your cake will be flat)
  3. Pour about half of the batter into each pan, or until the pan is 3/4 full. (set aside extra batter to make a few cupcakes!) Or fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake the cake for 24-26 minutes or the cupcakes for 18-20. Test with a toothpick to see if they are done. 
  4. Let cakes cool completely and then remove from pan.
  • For the cake I made I wanted 3 layers, so I made two recipes and used the extra batter for cupcakes.
  • I always use Wilton Bake Even Strips (link at bottom of the post) when baking cakes to help them be more uniform in color and shape. The tops won't dome as much, so you don't cut as much off when you level the cake. And the sides don't get darker than the rest of the cake.

When icing the outside of a cake, I always use the recipe I learned in my decorating classes. It comes out pure white and it holds up really well, especially in humidity. The recipe is from Wilton.

Wilton White Buttercream Icing 

makes 2 1/2 cups icing 

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 6 -7 teaspoons water
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  1. Cream shortening, flavoring, and water together. 
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until fully combined.
  • Crisco sticks are the best shortening to use because it is already measured for you and 1 cup = 1 stick.
  • Making a double recipe is the easiest way to make this icing, and then you will have enough to icing your whole cake plus some for decorations.
  • When you add your dry ingredients, place a towel around the top of the bowl before you mix. Then you won't have powdered sugar dust all over your kitchen.
  • This recipe makes a stiff consistency icing, but medium consistency is needed for icing cakes and adding decorations. Add 2-4 teaspoons of water to reach medium consistency; it should be like toothpaste but a little thicker. 
  • If you don't have meringue powder you can leave it out, but the icing may not hold up as well in humidity. 

When coloring my icing, I prefer to use Americolor instead of Wilton, but it's just a personal preference. I think it gives a more intense color and it's easier to dispense because of the squeeze tops. For this cake I made 3 recipes of icing and colored 2 recipes teal (I had a lot of extra), and used the 3rd recipe for my other colors. I made about 1/2 cup black, 1 cup green, and 1 cup white.

After you level your cake, refrigerate it. After you stack your cake, refrigerate it. After you put the main color of icing on, refrigerate it. 

The best trick I learned in my decorating class, which was from my instructor, was don't stress over making your icing super perfect. Put the icing on as best you can, covering all holes and making it generally smooth. Then use the paper towel trick. This YouTube tutorial shows you what to do.

Before pipping anything on my cake I used a toothpick to draw all of the lines out. This really helped me to visualize things and if you don't like it, you can smooth it back out and re-draw it. 

Then pipe everything on. I always start with the top, work my way down the sides and finish with the boarder. When you pipe in this order there is less of a chance of bumping or messing up what you've already done. That's all there is to it!

December 11, 2013

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Looking for the perfect cookie exchange recipe? Looking for a quick and easy cookie that looks festive? Just looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth?

Well you've found it! This cookie is such a great cookie for the holidays. The red peppermint pieces really pop against the chocolate and Oreos. 

These are one of the easiest cookies to make! They start with a cake mix, a stick of butter, and an egg. Then add some peppermint extract, Oreo cookies, Peppermint Crunch pieces, and chocolate chips.

I found this recipe from Inside BruCrew Life and I am so thankful that I did!

Beat together the cake mix, egg, melted butter, and extracts until a soft dough forms. Fold in the cream cheese, then carefully stir in the peppermint pieces, the chocolate chips, and the cookie pieces. The dough looks so festive at this point!

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, and then roll into ping pong size balls, or whatever size you want your cookies to be. They spread a little but not very much, so the size of the ball will be about the size of the cookie.

Place the dough balls back into the refrigerator for 30 more minutes. Then bake for exactly 9 minutes at 350 degree. I bake mine on my favorite Wilton Cookie sheets (link at the bottom), covered in parchment paper. They won't look completely done after 9 minutes but they are! Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.


Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Makes 28-32 depending on size

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Oreo cookie chunks
  • 1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  1. Combine the cake mix, egg, melted butter, and extracts. Beat until a soft dough forms. 
  2. Add the cream cheese and fold in gently until combined. 
  3. Stir in the peppermint crunch pieces, chocolate chips, and Oreo cookie pieces. 
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough into ping pong size balls; I got about 28 of this size.
  6. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Do not over bake. The cookies will be very soft and look like they aren't done. Let them sit on the hot cookie sheet for 2-5 minutes, then gently remove them with a spatula and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did! 

December 10, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup Made with Love

Today has been such a cold and rainy day here in Georgia. But that means it's perfect soup weather! And it also means it's time to bring my favorite soup recipe out of the pantry.

I originally got this recipe from Sophistimom, who gives a great tutorial on how to cut heart shaped carrots like I did. They are much easier than they look, and they add so much more "love" to this recipe!

Chicken Soup with Heart-Shaped Carrots

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • three large carrots, cut into hearts (see instructions above)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock (Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock is what I normally use)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 pound small pasta, such as farfalle or rotini
  • fresh parsley (if desired)
  1. In a large pot set over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, carrot hearts, diced onion, celery, thyme (both kinds), bay leaf, and sage. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add in stock, a cup of water, and vinegar. Add in cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes, check the soup for flavor, and add more water, salt and pepper, as necessary. Add shredded chicken to the soup to give the chicken a better flavor.
  2. In each individual bowl, place the desired amount of pasta, cover with a ladle of the soup, and top with parsley.

December 9, 2013

Momogramed Red Velvet Cake Pops

To start off my blog and the holiday season, I thought these cake pops would be a great first post!

To tell you a little bit about my self, I have always loved baking. I can remember when I was little baking with my mom and my grandma, and now about 12 years later I have improved quite a bit in both my baking and decorating skills! 

Another fun fact about myself, I am OBSESSED with monograms. Like Reese Witherspoon says, "My rule is, if it's not moving, monogram it!" 

I recently ordered a Silhouette Cameo and I love using it for all of my monogramming projects! One of my favorite projects will by posted shortly, so check back soon. 

So now you can probably understand where the name for this blog came from, two of my favorite things! But enough about me for now, it's time to share this super easy red velvet cake pop tutorial with you. 

I originally learned how to make cake pops from Bakerella's blog. She is the Queen of Cake Pops! I highly suggest going to look through her pictures for some inspiration. Or even buying her book (listed at the bottom of this post), which is amazing!

If this is your first time making cake pops or maybe the first time you've even heard of cake pops, you've come to the right place!

There are two variations of cake pops: bake-in-pan cake pops or cake-and-icing cake pops. I am blogging about the cake-and-icing kind, which are pretty self explanatory. You bake a normal 9x13 sheet cake, and mix it with icing!

The first step to making these cake pops, is getting together the ingredients. All you need is a box of cake mix (any flavor you want), a can of icing (something that goes with the cake flavor), and candy coating. I prefer to use almond bark for a white or chocolate coating, or Wilton Candy Melts for a colored coating. Melted chocolate chips or chocolate bars might work to, but in my experience candy coating works MUCH better!

Now you are ready to bake the cake. Just follow the instructions on the box and bake in a 9x13 pan. Once you take the cake out of the oven, let it cool completely. I normally put mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Once the cake is cooled, its time to get messy! That beautiful cake you just baked, break it to pieces. Yepp... you read that right. Break the cake up in pieces and put it in a large bowl.

Add the entire can of icing to your cake pieces and stir, stir, stir! This step can take some arm strength if you're using a spoon, but you can also use your hands if you really want to get messy. I think using my hands is easier because everything comes together faster, but I hate the mess so I normally use a silicon spatula.

Keep stirring until there are no icing streaks and no cake pieces visible. It should look like a sticky, soft dough.

Now its time to make the cake balls! I use a rounded tablespoon to make mine all about the same size, and I roll them with my hands. Again, a big mess. And if you're using red velvet cake mix, you'll look like you've been caught red handed! Ha ha ha... okay, maybe not so funny.

Then you put them in the freezer for about  15 minutes. While they're in the freezer melt you candy coating and get you lollipop sticks ready. Take them out of the freezer, dip a stick in candy coating and then gently push it into the center of the cake pop. Put the cake pops with the stick back in the freezer for a few minutes. Take them out and dip them in the melted candy coating; I use a spoon to help cover the tops. Just remember to be gentle! Or this could be a really bad experience, as in all of the cake pops will fall off the sticks. And trust me, that is not fun.

And last but not least, decorate how ever you wish! Although, I suggest monograms. (: 

Red Velvet Cake Pops
Makes 36-40


  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (or any flavor)
  • 1 can cream cheese icing (again, any flavor)
  • 32 oz. candy coating (almond bark, candy melts, etc.)
  • lollipop sticks
  • decorations


  1. Bake the cake mix according to the directions on the box. 
  2. Let the cake cool completely; you can put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes and it will be cool
  3. Break the cake up into pieces in a large bowl. 
  4. Add the entire can of icing, and stir until completely mixed together. 
  5. Use your hands to shape about a tablespoon of cake dough into a ball. 
  6. Place cake balls on a parchment lined plate or baking sheet and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. 
  7. Melt the candy coating in a microwave safe bowl, in 15 second increments. 
  8. Take cake balls out of the freezer. 
  9. Dip the end of the lollipop stick into the candy coating and gently push into the center of the cake balls. 
  10. Place back in the freezer for 3-5 minutes. 
  11. Remove from the freezer again and dip the cake pops into the candy coating; I use a spoon to help cover the tops of the cake pops. 
  12. Place either upside down on parchment paper to dry, or right side up in a cake pop stand. I did mine both ways because I didn't have enough room on the stand for all of them. 
  13. Decorate as you wish and that's it! 


  • Don't skip the freezing step after putting the sticks in. The cake pops will fall off the stick and you will be ready to pull your hair out!
  • Reheat your candy melts to keep them at a smooth consistency while you're dipping your cake pops. This will make it easier on you and they will look better!
  • If you want to use homemade cake and icing, add the icing in small increments. You can always add more icing but if you add to much they will be ruined!