Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Swanky Paper is going digital


Great news ... Swanky Paper is going digital!

Ok so not completely. Invitations and Announcements are now being offered as printables. And in the words of my son, "Hip Hip Hooray!" I have been offering digital files of invitations and announcements upon request for the past year and decided it was time to make them more available.

At the moment, Swanky Paper digital files are only available on Etsy. I just re-opened my shop and have added a few designs. I still have quite a few more to add. Adding the digital designs to my website will be next on the to-do list.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Rich, Creamy, Refreshing & Delicious

I made these last weekend for a family gathering - we celebrated the baptism of two of my neices. Good food, great company, and yummy dessert! It was hard to only eat just one ... so I had two!!

I found a recipe for the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes on the Gimme Some Oven blog ~ however, the cupcake recipe called for the use of Strawberry cake mix ... on my side of town Strawberry cake mix is not easy to find. Three of my local grocery stores did not have it. Either they stock only a few, or these cake mixes are in high demand! Who knew?

Anyway, so I moved onto another site to make the cake recipe from scratch - it would taste better anyway, right? So, once I got a recipe and added all the ingredients, I then added some lemon juice.  

The frosting came from Gimme Some Oven. It was rich & creamy. I ended up using way more powder sugar than the recipe called for, but I wanted a thick creamy consistency.

Here is the recipe:

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
2 cups white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

3.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.
Strawberry Lemonade Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup pureed strawberries (made from fresh or frozen strawberries)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar (adjust to achieve desired consistency)
To Make Frosting:

Cream butter in an electric mixer on medium-speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the strawberries, vanilla and lemon juice, and mix on low-speed until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes. *(Add in more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin.)

*I ended up using 2 boxes of powdered sugar
If you try out this recipe let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover: Weekend Edition

I am pooped!

By Friday afternoon our busy weekend had begun. We are FINALLY finishing up the kids room's. I am so very pleased that with only a few more final touches they are almost done - and we completed two rooms for pretty cheap.

I can't wait to share, but only when they are truly complete.

In the meantime, here is a little teaser:

A bit of Robin's Egg blue paint

and my two handsome helpers

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Butterfly Love

The beautiful Catrina is getting married this summer and I was asked to make her bridal shower invitations.

I heard that she loved butterflys and wanted to incorporate this into her invitations.

I found a few more ideas to decorate for your own butterfly themed event

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vroom ~ Vroom

My hubby is an avid dirt biker! Any chance he gets to get out in the desert and ride he takes it. Last summer he and the boys, along with a few cousins & uncles, went out camping in the desert on several occasions. During the days they would ride - dirt bikes for the men & battery powered quads for the little kids.

Now that it is almost summer and we thought our little man was ready ...

We went to an empty parking lot for his to test out the bike -with training wheels of course. I'll be honest, initially I was against having my 4 yr old on a motorcycle, however with the training wheels, and an option to adjust the speed, meaning he is limited on how fast the bike will accelerate, I was a little more comfortable.

He is super excited to go camping with dad!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Don't forget to Keep in Touch

One of the last things on your mind when packing up the house and moving to a new place is letting your family and friends know your new location.

I know, because I have been there.

If you are anything like me, once Christmas comes around you have to get your cards out early so that everyone on your list knows where you are now!

We have been living at our current residence for 7 years now and have no plans at the moment to re-locate. However, if we were, I'd send out one of these moving announcements:

or maybe this classy one here:

A few other NEW moving announcements are making it's way into the Swanky Shop.

If you are re-locating, buying your first loft, moving clear across the country, or even moving just across town, don't forget to let your friends and family know where your new digs are!!

This is what LIFE is ALL about

We've been a little busy here at home which may explain my lack of blogging ...

One of our recent adventures included a trip to our new favorite place:  The Aquarium of the Pacific

My boys could spend all day - everyday here! It is so much fun to see their excitement at each new exhibit. They are so eager to see all the marine life and learn about the sea creatures. If I had known this place was just as exciting for them as Disneyland, we would have come sooner.

(all pictures were taken with my phone - sorry for the lack of decent photos!!)

Watching the "jellies" 

My little guy wanted to lay down and watch the sea turtles & sea lions pass by

This sea lion came over to say "hi" to the boys.

On our way home, both boys agreed that their favorite exhibits were the "jellies" and the Shark Lagoon!

We can't wait to go back!