Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Dessert for Those Who are Too Sick to Cook

Next to Christmas, Valentine's day might be #2 in my list of favorite holidays. I've always been a sucker for lace, doilies and hearts, even now as I approach my 30's.  However, this Valentine's day, I am sick. I think I caught a flu from my students because I've been knocked out for the past several days.  I also got my husband sick despite my efforts to NOT get him sick. Oops. Happy Valentine's Day dear!

We usually make prime rib for Valentine's day and eat in instead of dealing with the crowds. We are homebodies anyway so it makes sense for us.  But prime rib was way too involved for two sick people so we decided to make a super simple, but delicious tri tip recipe and lobster tail. We haven't made lobster tail before, but we figure it involves boiling which shouldn't be too difficult.  For dessert, I had to go simple too. So, I busted out a tried and true, super simple cake recipe my friends and I used in college.

I've never documented cooking before so there'll be a section where I pretty much forgot to take pictures. Please bear with me!

-Yellow cake (you can make it from scratch, but since I was sick, I got a box of premade cake mix. Mine needed 3 eggs, 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of oil)
-Fresh or frozen strawberries (defrosted)
-1 tub of cool whip

You'll need to mix the sugar and strawberries in a bowl a couple hours in advance and let it sit in the fridge. I didn't specify how much sugar because it'll depend on how sweet your berries are and how sweet you like your dessert.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix up your amazingly easy yellow cake mix.
3. Lightly butter 2 round cake pans and dust them with flour so your cake pops out easily.

4. Check the back of your box to see how long you need to bake these puppies for. I like to pull them out a couple minutes early since they'll continue cooking a bit while they are cooling in the pans. Use the toothpick test to check if your cakes are done.

5. Let your cakes cool for 15-20 minutes before you pop them out.

6. To pop these out of the pan, I placed a flexible cutting mat on top of the pan and flipped my cake onto that. Then I placed my wooden cutting board on the other side of the cake and flipped it right side up.

7. Trim the tops of both cakes so that it's relatively flat.  

8. Put one layer cake on your cake stand or plate.

9. Drain the juice from your strawberries. Take some of the strawberries and mix with 1/3 of the cool whip in a separate bowl.

10. Add a layer of of your strawberry/cool whip mixture onto the cake. If you like a lot of filling, then add more.  Sorry, I took so long trying to take a photo, my cool whip started to melt. No worries though, you'll firm it all up in the fridge.

11. Set your second layer of cake on top, bottom up!

12. Now frost your cake with the rest of your cool whip.

13. Put it back in the fridge for at least an hour to let the cool whip firm up.
14. Add some cute decorations and voila!

It's super homemade looking, I know, but for a girl who has the flu, I'm pretty happy. Okay, the tri tip is calling my name! Happy Valentine's Day!

Be Still My Heart - BHLDN is Here

Today was the launch of BHLDN, the wedding line at Anthropologie and it's full of wedding goodness!  It makes me miss wedding planning and wish that they launched this last year when I was getting married.

Everything has an Anthropologie feel to it. Soft, romantic, a hint of vintage charm. It lives up to wedding and Anthropologie prices too! Here are a few of my favorites looks! All photos are courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

top left: sash

top left: brooch pin

top left: headband

There must be a lot of people taking a first gander though because the site was sluggish.  So much loveliness in one day! I hope you enjoy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Newest Lovelies

For our wedding, we used traditional flowers which I loved. Orchids, peonies, sweet pea, it was heaven. But, one thing we didn't anticipate was the breakage.  All of our groomsmen, attendants and family members got corsages or boutonnieres made of hypericum berries and lovely green orchids. But, after a few hugs, our flowers started to not only wilt, but break. In fact, during our first look, when Chris and I hugged, the impact broke an entire petal off his orchid. Oopsies! I was just so excited to see him! Luckily, our florist had brought one extra boutonniere so we lucked out and changed out his broken one for  a new one. 

Here's us with boutonniere #2 of the day!

Well, why risk boutonniere breakage when you can have corsages, boutonnieres and brooch pins that will last a lifetime! newest lovelies!

These can be made in virtually any color and can be changed from wrist corsages to brooch pins.  Want more or less flowers? That can be done! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's in a Name?

When the idea to begin an Etsy shop really began to take place in my brain, I started turning over phrases and names in my head. What was I going to name my shop?  Handmade something something? Blah Blah Lovlies? After a couple weeks, I became distracted by work and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Then, one day, it came to me, in the place where all great ideas are born. The bathroom. 

Lucky for you, I was actually showering when I thought of it. The name of my Etsy shop, When Love Happens, was inspired by two things.  While planning my wedding, I often had that "this is the one" feeling.  First with my fiance, Chris, then our venue, my dress and my wedding photographer. When love happened, another part of my wedding fell into place.  The second inspiration came from my love of crafting. I started crafting when I was really little. My Mom would make pillowcases and duvets with her sewing machine. I'd tag along with her to the fabric and craft stores. I remember walking down the aisle and looking at bolt after bolt of beautiful fabric, not with the intention of buying, but just noting personal favorites in my mind.  As I got older, my love for crafts didn't end and I began crafting cards, scrapbooking and even trying my hand in making clothes (that didn't go over too well, though). Then, when planning for my wedding and coveting overpriced bridal sashes and hair clips, I decided that I was crafty enough to make them on my own. And make them on my own, I did. 

My crafty creations were well-received by friends and family and I thought, "huh. I like to make these and I'm pretty good at it. It'd be kind of cool to do this for a living."  But since I had a day job, I was much too busy to let this become a full-fledged idea.  One day, however, I vocalized this to my then fiance and he said, "Why don't you?"  As time passed, he'd see me make a brooch, sash or hair clip and encouraged me again to pursue an Etsy shop. It wasn't until I fell in love and married my husband, that this idea really took root and manifested itself.

It's been a long road and I know there's still a long road ahead, but I'm excited at the prospect of creating lovely items for my clients and customers for their weddings and everyday life!