Caroline’s First Birthday ~ Chic with a hint of shabby ~

Well, I do believe it has been forever since I last post, but maybe this blog will let you see what I have been doing.

My baby girl turned 1 year old this past Sunday, yes she is a Saint Patrick’s Day baby. Of course I can’t do anything for her small. So what did I do? I took about 3 solid weeks and crafted until 1 or 2 am sometimes, then at the end, all I did was bake and cook and mix things up for food. Trust me, we did not lack in the food department as you will see.

Okay, here are some pictures! (Most of the photos were taken by my sister, Hannah)

My baby girl’s big day:

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I took a few photos the night before, thus the empty beverage dispensers.

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Instead of plastic cups, I did what every one seems to be doing now and used mason jars with ribbon!

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A simple ribbon tied at the top of the dispensers with the label on the front was simple yet elegant.

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A coffee filtered wreath I made, with a yarn #1 and material flowers, against a strip-torn material backdrop served as an eye-pleasing area for my baby girl to eat her cake.

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The food table as we were loading it with the food.

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This is above the food table. I used tulle to frame the table and the popular homemade pompom balls.

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I made a station that had a poster of all her sizes, and her likes along with a photo album of her 1 year pictures. I had people write a note to her on 4×6 index cards to put after pictures to become a yearly tradition.

IMG_4436 - CopyUsed a $0.95 photo frame from Walmart to class up the explanation sign.

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The birthday high-chair!

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The birthday girl!

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If you know how to sew, please don’t laugh, I did the best I could with the skirt. An explanation of her outfit, I tea-dyed a long sleeved onzie, printed out the graphic on transfer paper, and sewed lace around the sleeves and the collar. I also (never sewed anything before) created a skirt design, in my mind, and somehow got it to work. I don’t have a sewing machine so all of it was done by hand.

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Caroline and her Poppop (my dad)

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Here is the filled food table! Told you we didn’t have a shortage.

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Everything was homemade (except my momma bought whole wheat buns for her delicious contribution of bbq chicken sandwiches). Pictured, we had blueberries, watermelon, blackberries, bbq chicken sandwiches, cucumber tea sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches,  PB&J for the ones that didn’t like the other options, and bagels and lox (oh, I bought mini bagels, but the lox we did make), and bloomin’ onion bread.IMG_4462 - Copy

Here we have cucumber dill dip and wheat thins (those bought obviously), carrots, cauliflower, sweet peppers, colby jack and mozzarella  cheese blocks, GF Cherry bars, GF/dairy free/egg free  chia lemon loaf, and homemade chocolate cake with butter cream icing.

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I am not a cake artist, but I did the best I could. I am a person that prefers pies and my hubby doesn’t like cake, there fore I don’t make many cakes, BUT we both LOVED this cake, and might have even finished the few leftovers for breakfast over the next two days…

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Who wants boring ice cubes when you can have berry fizzle ice cubes?

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And the complete drink station

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Up close of another table decoration. Can you guess how they are made? =)

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Gibbs, our munchkin cat, decided he was going to claim one of the chairs.

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Caroline with her Mommom (my mom)

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Grandma! (my hubby’s momma)

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My sister, Hannah, and me!

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Caroline decided she wanted a break from the party, so what did she do? she grabbed a book, went to her favorite spot, and started flipping through the pages and “read” her book!

IMG_4511 - CopyMy hubby with his brothers and the star of the day!

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Getting ready for cake!

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Birthday girl was so tired! She had just opened well over 20 gifts. Exhausting stuff, when you are only one.

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But exhaustion seemed to fall off of her after the first couple of bites.

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One messy girl!

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(this should have gone in earlier, but this is the full view of the cake backdrop)

IMG_0974The Happy Birthday Caroline banner. No I’m not rich enough to have a Cricket just yet, so everything was cut out by hand. Took forever, but I like the end results.

We turned our garage into another room for games and had it all decorated too, but forgot to take picture =( But what we had in it was a futon, with more pompoms hanging over it. We had a large wooden spool that they used for power lines, using it as a table, covered in the same material as the beverage table. We used that as the game table which had Sour Apples to Apples, Uno, and Phase 10. I used an old Coca Cola wooden crate and glued bottles in them for a ring around the bottle game. We also had friends bring their Corn Hole game for everyone to play. We were also going to have a fire in the fire pit, but it decided to rain.

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I forgot to take a picture of these before when it was actually full. Since it was mostly adults at the party, I gave out homemade soap, bath salts, and hand sanitizer. This was sitting on a hay bale draped in lace outside the garage, but the rain made it have to come back inside and not look quite a shabby chic.

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Here is the wooden spool (undecorated seeing as how I forgot to take pictures of anything in the garage before or during the party) that we used as the game table. Also showing is the ring around the bottle game.

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We hung a shower curtain and sheers costing a total of $24 to divide the laundry room part of the garage and the party part of the garage. Add a futon with some pillows and some decorations and you have a nice looking “party game” room.

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The sign hanging over the party favors.

Hope you enjoyed viewing all the photos! I had a blast getting all of her party decorations and games together.

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Breakfast Bread ~ A sweet, but mostly healthy treat

It has been awhile since I have posted anything, and that is mostly due to my major cleaning and organizing of the house. It was a long time over due, for sure!

I have been trying this recipe in my head for the past few weeks, and have finally decided to try it out. I love bread in almost any shape and form, and since I make all bread in our household, I end up slicing a piece and having it for breakfast with a slab of butter…this repeated over time is not the healthiest way to go. So, I set out to make a breakfast bread. Yes, I realize there is sugar in it, but hey! What is breakfast now days if it isn’t made with some sugar?!?  Might as well make it homemade without preservatives and chemicals, and make it mostly whole grains!

So here we go:IMG_0865

Ingredients: honey, active dry yeast, salt, unsweetened apple sauce, warm water, chia seeds, unbleached white whole grain stone ground flour, unbleached AP flour, rolled oats, cinnamon sugar, chopped pecans (or nut of choice).

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Mix 1/4 cup honey, 3/4 Tbs yeast, 1 1/6 cup luke warm water, 2 Tbs warm apple sauce, 2 Tbs Chia Seeds (optional), 1 1/4 tsp salt. Mix for 3 minutes.

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Add 1 cup white flour, 1 1/4 cup whole wheat, 3/4 cup pureed oats, 1/2 cup whole oats. Mix until well combined.

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Continue to mix on medium speed for approximately 3-4 minutes until batter remains sticky and very glutenous =)

Cover with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel and let rise for 45min to an hour.

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On a well floured surface, press dough out into a rectangle. Now here is the fun part. You can customize this however you want!  It’s your time to shine and to make it something you can personally brag about =) But here is what I did.

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Take your chopped pecans (or your choice of nut), and press them into the dough.

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Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar (ratio to make your own is 1:3 cinnamon to sugar). However much or little you want.

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Roll up the dough.

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Place it into a greased pan and let rise for 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while 15 minutes still left of rising.

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This is after it has risen. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

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after it has been baked, let cool completely on wrack

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Showing you my idiotic mistake. Make sure you put it in the pan with the end of the roll on the bottom, or else it will look like this 😉

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Once it has cooled, dig in! It’s really yummy!!! No butter needed.

This is a dense bread, so a little will fill you up quickly (thankfully!)
I hope you enjoy this! Let me know what you think and/or alterations you did to improve the taste and to make it uniquely yours!