Thursday, June 28, 2012

Simply Link Party



Thanks for stopping by for this week's edition of my Simply Link Party!

I can't wait to see all you've created!

Please link up your latest creations.

  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
  • Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!
And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!





I participate in the link parties found here.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brownie Batter Dip


I recently tried the Brownie Batter Dip recipe that I had been spying all over Pintrest and I will gladly attest that it is delicious!


We loved it, our guests loved it, myself and 7 women almost finished it all off in just a couple of hours!  Yummy!

It is thick, rich, creamy and decadent without being overly sweet. 


This is a new favorite recipe for sure!

I used the recipe from Our Everyday Dinners here.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Say ANYTHING


A few months ago I had the pleasure of telling you all about the "Say Anything" game (both the family edition and the party edition!)  We have truly enjoyed playing both of these games and are so  happy to have them in our collection.


Say Anything is looking for help from YOU!!

They are looking for your suggestions for questions for Say Anything (Wits & Wagers and Crappy Birthday too)!

These questions can be very simple or a little more challenging, anything goes really!  You don't have to have played the game ever to submit a question!  (You can find out more about about these by checking out my blog post on the family edition and the party edition.)

The winning questions will have their name printed along with their question in a Facebook Promotional Pack of question cards.  These questions will also make it into future editions of Say Anything!  How cool is that!?

And the best part is that if your question gets selected, you will WIN a Facebook Promotional Pack with your name featured along with with your question!

But don't get worried, anyone can enter a question (whether you've played the game or not) and simple questions are often the best so just submit the first thing that comes to your mind!

Some of our favorite questions from the "Say Anything" game are:  "What's the most annoying TV commercial?"  "What two ingredients would make the worst candy bar ever?"  and "What's the best thing about being a man?"


Here's How to Enter:
  1. Go to Say Anything's Facebook page here.  
  2. Submit question, your name (ie Jane Smith)  and my blog name (fan of Simply Designing).  Your entry will look like this; "The coolest thing to have in your backyard would be? from Jane Smith fan of Simply Designing"  (please oh please put that you are a 'fan of Simply Designing' with your entry. If your questions gets chosen, I get a prize pack too and my blog name will also be listed on the card as well :)  So I would forever be grateful if you'd remember to mention little 'ole me :) Thanks!)
  3. Tell your friends and family to enter this contest also!  (Refer them to my blog post here for more info.)
  4. This contest will run for two weeks!

GOOD LUCK!

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Stickers with Printable Vinyl


I just discovered Printable Vinyl from Expressions Vinyl and I am in love!!


Go here to find out more about Printable Vinyl or to purchase it.  

And go here to read my how-to post on how to create stickers using printable vinyl.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Simply Link Party



Thanks for stopping by for this week's edition of my Simply Link Party!

I can't wait to see all you've created!

Please link up your latest creations.

  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
  • Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!
And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!





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Master Bed Re-Do


This is one of those projects that is a long time coming...

About a year ago my husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to upgrade our 10 year old queen bed (that looked like a postage stamp in our bedroom) and buy ourselves a new king bed.

This bed literally took years off of our life.

No.  Really.  When we got out of bed in the morning we both would moan and groan like we were 80 years old.  We honestly would say things like "my back hurts."

Yeah.  It was time for an upgrade....anyway...

Along with our new bed, we needed a new bed frame and bedding!

We love re-doing furniture and after a lot of searching we found the perfect bed to refinish for our bedroom.  Don't you love the end result?


Oh yes, this is what the headboard looked like before...


And this is what the foot board looked like before...


So we chopped off the posts.  And removed the glued on decor.  


And then my studly husband added this board on top and the molding to tie it all together.

Oh we had some crazy vision for this bed...


 We also took off the metal...thing...from the top.  It just wasn't our style.

Then after a lot of sanding and a couple coats of a dark Gel Stain and a nice coat of polyurethane, we finally got our perfect bed!


We were channeling Pottery Barn, can you tell?





The bedding is one of our favorite parts of this too!  Ok.  That is actually from Pottery Barn.  But we fell in love and we love how it looks with the bed!


And just in case you can't remember...here is a before and after:


Quite the transformation, huh?!


We are officially addicted to re-finishing furniture in our house!  Love it!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Expressions Vinyl and a GIVEAWAY!! - winner announce too!


**Giveaway is now closed - winner is announced at bottom of page!**

I have been so lucky to be able to work with Expressions Vinyl for a while now and I am so happy that I am able to help them celebrate their BIRTHDAY this week!


I love birthday celebrations and this year, Expressions Vinyl is going all out!

If you don't already like Expressions Vinyl's Facebook page, I highly suggest you do!  This week there are games, festivities, coupon codes and GIVEAWAYS from Expressions Vinyl and liking Expressions Vinyl on Facebook is one of the best ways to keep up to date!

Also, did you know that Expressions Vinyl regularly sends out coupon codes through email?  Be sure to join their email list so you can be sure to get their latest coupon code!

Expressions Vinyl has also re-vamped their shipping prices and now, smaller orders can ship for less $ and all orders over $75 ship FREE!

In honor of Expressions Vinyl's birthday, they have added a lot of great new vinyl and other products to their already amazing product selection!  You can see all their new product here, but here is the condensed list:
  • Glitter Vinyl
  • Heat Transfer Glitter Vinyl
  • Metalized and Reflective Vinyl
  • Fluorescent and Glow-in-the-Dark Vinyl
  • Etched Glass Vinyl in different colors
  • Inkjet Printable Vinyl (different sizes)
  • T-Shirts
  • Tumblers
  • Canvas Tote Bags

Wow!  Expressions Vinyl has always had the BEST prices on their vinyl and they keep their product selection so competitive!  They are honestly, the first place I go when I need / want to buy vinyl!

I am so excited that they now carry products to put my vinyl on like the t-shirts, tumblers and canvas tote bags!

But I was even more excited when Expressions Vinyl offered to send me a package including samples of many of their new products to play around with!  I got a whole huge variety of their new vinyls, two tumblers and a canvas tote!


And I get the opportunity to GIVE AWAY a similar prize package as well!


But first, I want to show you a few things I have created using my awesome prize package!

I used Expressions Vinyl Canvas Tote Bag, Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl in Jade and some pink heat transfer vinyl I happened to have laying around to create a Library Bag for us!


We frequent the library so often in the summer, I needed a good way to carry and store our books!  Their canvas tote is the perfect size for a library bag!  


And I love this quote by Dr. Seuss, so it just seemed fitting to put this on our library bag!


And I love how sparkly the new Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl is!!  It just makes me smile looking at my pink and jade sparkly bag!!

I also love Expressions Vinyl's new Tumblers!  The are BPA free and dishwasher safe and they are made out of a softer plastic then most acrylic tumblers out there.  This means they are more kid friendly and can be dropped without being broken!  Hurray!

And while my kids were begging for both of these...my husband and I spend a lot of time out doors and we needed plastic cups we could use while in the yard.  My kids are still young enough to use sippy cups...us...not so much.  So I decided to monogram these tumblers up real quick for my husband and I!


I used Glitter Ultra Cast in Black and Melon.  

And aren't they just so pretty!?


I love the great selection of Glitter vinyls they now carry...they are so fun!


And yes...I fully realize that even though I put our initials on them...I doubt my husband or I will ever see these again...


Now on to the GIVEAWAY!  Please enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter link below, however, feel free to leave some comment-love for me below if you feel so inclined :)

Thanks and GOOD LUCK!

**Giveaway is now closed**


Winner Announcement:  

CONGRATULATIONS Joan L.!


I have contacted you via email, but you still have 72 hours to contact me at simplydesigning@gmail.com with your information in order to claim your prize pack!


Thanks so much!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Align and Replicate in the Silhouette Software Program


Do you have a Silhouette, but are still trying to learn more about how to use it and how to use the software program?

Are you considering purchasing a Silhouette Cameo but want to find out more?

Check out my post today over at the Expressions Vinyl blog on two AMAZING features: Align and Replicate!  You are going to love these amazing little commands in the Silhouette!


Go here to read my post about Align and Replicate in the Silhouette Software Program.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cupcake Cookie-Pops


Have you ever found a product that you know was meant for you?  I am so excited to tell you about a product that I absolutely LOVE and I think you just might too.


I love making Cookie-Pops!  They are similar to cake-pops but you make them with cookies and they are a no-bake, simple, delicious yummy treat!

Some of my favorite cookie pop's that I've made are Oreo Balls, Nutter Butter Cookie Balls and Thin Mint Balls.  Yum!

In the past, I have hand-rolled them into balls and dipped them in chocolate.  I think my rolling skills are truly lacking though because they never turned out quite round; I always ended up with slightly odd-shaped treats.  They still tasted amazing, so no one minded, but they were always less than perfect in appearance.  

Well, I recently discovered My Little Cupcake's no-bake cake-pop mini molds!

They make a mold for cookie balls!!!  Whoot whoot!  I knew I was going to love this product the first time I laid eyes on their website!!


Their website is truly eye candy for those who love cookie balls!  Yum.  Yum.  Super Yum!

The mold set I received came with a circle mold, a heart mold, a cupcake mold and a cone shaped mold:


Holy cow!  The stars have aligned and this amazing company created a simple, amazing product for those who want a different shaped cookie ball or just aren't very good rollers (like me)!  Hurray!

I love how quick it is to make cute little pops now!  I know there are some of you that hand create cute cake and cookie pops...but you know that I am all about simplifying and making things easier, and these certainly make creating cookie pops simpler, easier and cuter!

My weakness is products that help me create cute things, more simply and in less time!  And My Little Cupcake mini molds certainly do just that!  I am now able to create cute, stylish cookie balls and cookie pops in just a few minutes!  These are sure to be the star of my next party!

The possibilities are simply endless with the shapes in this set!

My sweet 5 year old daughter insisted that the cupcake mold be the first one we try though.

So I whipped up a batch of Oreo Balls and followed the simple instructions that came with my mold set.


After I had my mini cupcake cookie balls, I placed them in the freezer while I melted the chocolate.

Again, my sweet daughter wanted to use white and pink chocolate :)  So we started by dipping the bottom half of the cupcake in white and then inserting a pop stick into the bottom.


We allowed the white chocolate to set and then we dipped the top part of the cupcake into pink chocolate, added sprinkles and waited not-so-patiently for the chocolate to set before we could dig in!


Not only did these cookie pops taste amazing, but they were also super cute!  And I love how simply and quickly these went together.  

These molds are made out of a great quality plastic that the cookie ball dough did not stick to.  This made taking the pops out of their mold easy and clean up a cinch! 

Like I said before the possibilities are endless with these molds!  Here are a few great examples from My Little Cupcake:

 

 

You can find more inspiration for your cookie pop molds HERE.

And My Little Cupcake provides some great recipe ideas HERE.



I love how simple My Little Cupcake mini-molds were to use!  They also made very cute shapes very simply and the clean up was a cinch!

And with these super cute shapes, my wheels are already spinning for many ways to decorate my cute pops using these molds!  And my 5 year old daughter it making suggestions too!  I love how my child can be so involved in the process of making these cookie balls and it allows her be creative while learning some basic baking skills!


If you had a set of mini-molds like this, what would you create?

If you want to learn more about My Little Cupcake, you can visit their website here, their blog here, or like them on facebook here!

I was not compensated for this blog post.  
I did however receive the above shown mini-molds for purposes of my review.  
All opinions are 100% mine. 

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rootin' Tootin' Father's Day


It's not too late to whip up a simple, inexpensive Father's Day gift that is sure to please almost any dad out there.

(I'm not the only person out there just getting around to thinking about Father's Day...right!?!?)

I've even included my Father's Day Tag for FREE to make this project simple for you.  (hurray!)


Just grab the man-in-questions's favorite brand of root beer (or...the brand that the store you happen to walk into carries...)


Print off a cute Simply Designing Exclusive FREE Printable...


Attach with a bit of twine or rope and give to your father or your hubby for Father's Day!


I hope all the father's out there have a Rootin' Tootin' Happy Father's Day!


My printables are for personal use only.  
Please feel free to use as gifts or for personal use.  
If you would like to share my printable, please link directly to this blog post to share.
Any other form of distribution is prohibited.    
Any commercial use or use for monetary gain is strictly prohibited unless prior written permission is gained from blog owner.  


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Simply Link Party



Thanks for stopping by for this week's edition of my Simply Link Party!

I can't wait to see all you've created!

Please link up your latest creations.
  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
  • Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!
And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!






I participate in the link parties found here.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updating your Home with Simple, Affordable Accents

We have lived in our home for a year and a half.  And, as I have told you before, we almost double our last square footage.  Which is fabulous!  But definitely caused some decorating dilemmas.

Being an interior designer, I have grown to love and appreciate so many different styles that it is often hard to pick one for my own!  And since I don't have the means to fully decorate home entire home at the same time, I slowly try to add things, and one day I think I will get to the point where I love my fully decorated home!

I recently had the opportunity to order a few more fabulous DownEast Home items!

I have said many times how much I love DownEast Basics clothing and Home Decor line, and I will say it again...I LOVE DownEast Home Decor line!

I love their line because their items are simple yet chic, affordable yet well made, and stylish yet classic enough to look good in your home for years to come.

What's not to love about that!?

Come and see what I've done...

The 5" Artichoke just made me smile!  It is cute and perfect for my front entry table!

When my husband saw it he asked if it was a real artichoke!  Yeah, it looks quite good in person :)

 
And I love how it looks on this glass covered pedestal!

I also got two of their 10" Glass Vases in Grey!  

I am in the process of working on my piano room and I think these make the perfect addition on top of my piano!

I added (2) stems in each vase of their 32" Small Bud Stem in Blue along with some other foliage from a local craft store and can't believe how cute these look!

If you haven't checked out DownEast Home line or Clothing line, I highly recommend it!  They have some pretty great stuff at amazing prices!


Have you shopped DownEast's Home Decor line before?

I was not compensated for this blog post.  
I did however receive the above shown items for purposes of my review.  
All opinions are 100% mine. 


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake


A few weeks ago I took my kiddos Strawberry picking!  We came home with 8.5 lbs of delicious, fresh, ripe strawberries!  Yum!

Now one of my favorite things to do with strawberries is to make Strawberry Shortcake.  But, I have to admit, I am a bit particular about my strawberry shortcake.  I kind of do it in my own way and it is amazing!

Not long after being married, we had dinner at my in-laws house and my MIL made the best ever strawberry shortcake.  It was her unique use of an angelic angle food cake that convinced me that strawberries were meant to be served on a plate of light and fluffy angel food cake (instead of a heavy pound cake).  

My MIL's Angel Food Cake Recipe is divine and once you taste this you will never be able to eat store-bought or box-mix again.  It will ruin you.  So be warned.  But it is so worth it!  

So I've combined my MIL's angel food cake recipe with my own mom's way of preparing the strawberries and I've come up with an amazing concoction destined to create world peace.  

Just sayin'...it's that good!


Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:
  • 1 c flour
  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 12 large egg whites (approx 1.5 c)
  • 1.5 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c granulated (white) sugar, plus additional for strawberries
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Strawberries

Directions:

Angel Food Cake
  1. Sift and set aside flour and powdered sugar
  2. Beat egg whites, cream of tarter and salt in a stand mixer with a wire whisk attachment until foamy and stiff
  3. Gradually add 1 c granulated sugar to mixer
  4. Beat on high until meringue holds to stiff peaks
  5. Take your whisk attachment off the stand mixer and use it to add in your vanilla and almond extract
  6. Next sprinkle in flour / sugar mixture and fold into meringue by hand with whisk until mixture disappears (see photo below)
  7. Put batter into un-greased tub pan
  8. Cut through batter with knife to get air bubbles out then pound on counter to get more air bubbles out
  9. Cook at 375 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch
  10. Invert to cool (see photo below)
Strawberries
  1. Cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces and place in bowl (be sure to remove stems too)
  2. Add a bit of water and sprinkle sugar over strawberries to taste
  3. Stir strawberry mixture and set in fridge until ready to serve


Using your wire whisk to add extracts, flour and sugar into meringue keeps this angle food cake light, fluffy and assures it won't be over beaten!


Use a bottle to invert your pan to cool your angel food cake.

Strawberries in a sugar and water mixture create a light sweet syrup that is delicious on your angel food cake!

Both kids (and adults) LOVE this recipe.  It is a family favorite in our house!


Doesn't this just look incredible!

Off to go and eat another piece...

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