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Monday, October 20, 2014

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #29

lou lou girls linky party
Thank You! To everyone that shared their amazing projects last week! I’m always impressed, we had so many outstanding projects shared at this party! We had over 375 entries! WE LOVE YOU, GUYS ! Please spread the word and if you have your own party and it’s not listed, please let us know and we would LOVE to add it! Now on to this week’s Party
  • Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds and archive loves. We want to see whatever is inspiring you!
  • Grab a Lou Lou button or link back in some way!
  • We would love to have you follow along with us! We will be back every Tuesday with our favorites and yours with a brand new party!
  • We will PIN each and every post who join the party!
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Not Your Usual Halloween Costumes

"In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it." –Mean Girls

In just about every Halloween movie you see now days the quote above it true. I hate going out on Halloween in a costume I am uncomfortable in. If you go to purchase a costume they are always too tight and show a little too much cleavage. Who wants to be uncomfortable when they are supposed to be having fun?! No one! Here are some good alternatives to the usual Halloween costumes!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

  1. OITNB (Orange is the New Black) - Who hasn't watched the Orange is the New Black Netflix series? This costume is sure to generate new script ideas for season 3. Comfortable too! Buy it at SpiritHalloween.com.
  2. Comic Book Girl - Fans of Roy Lichtenstein will love this costume. Includes the dress and the headpiece. Find a ton of Comic Girl makeup tutorials & nail art ideas on Pinterest. Buy it online at Target.com.
  3. Chicken Kigurumi - Fun, casual and super cozy. What's not to like about a Kigurumi onesie as a Halloween costume? You can slip right into bed once the party's over. See all the fun choices (kid sizes too) at Kigurumi-shop.com.
  4. Classic Flapper - The 1920's flapper Halloween costume is an eternal classic. And now, with even more timely given the Boardwalk Empire HBO show, whether you want to make that reference or not. A sexy but not oversexed costume. Buy it at SpiritHalloween.com.
  5. Where's Waldo? - Or should we say Where's Wanda? Add your own jeans and sneakers and you're good to go. Maybe get the Waldo version for your date. Buy at SpiritHalloween.com.
  6. Disco Queen - The perfect excuse to get yourself on the dance floor. And to demand dance-able music all night long. Go ahead! Channel your inner Donna Summer with this 1970's Disco queen costume. Buy it online at Walmart.com.
  7. Love Child - Peace & Love dude! It's Woodstock all over again. Best part? You get to wear flat, ergonomic sandals all night in this Halloween costume. Buy it online from Kohls.com.
  8. Lunch Lady - Lunch ladies have traumatized many of us. Now it's your turn with this Lunch Lady Halloween costume. Scary enough? Buy it online at SpiritHalloween.com.
  9. Atlantis Goddess - One to appreciate the myths of Atlantis? You are totally entitled to make up your own goddess tall tales while wearing this Atlantis Goddess costume for Halloween. Find it online at Kohls.com.
  10. I Love Lucy - We all love Lucy. Remember the Vitameatavegamin skit? Your prop? a DIY "Vitameatavegamin" label that you can stick on a bottle of cod liver oil. A different kind of horror for Halloween. Buy it online at SpiritHalloween.com.

How to Make a Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake, and a big secret!

Let me just say that I am THE messiest cake maker around. There are mounds of powdered sugar and corn starch everywhere. I also like to surprise my kids, so I do it the night before their birthday, after they’ve gone to sleep. These pictures represent both of these truths, I’m trusting you though, this is a friend zone right? Don’t judge me too harshly!

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My sweet Sophie Julieann turned three earlier this month!


She is the sweetest little mischievous stinker around, like most 3-year-olds. And, before I had a chance to take a good picture of the cake outside, with good lighting, She ate the ears and the bows off! I was in the shower for only a few minutes, and the cake had already been devoured. Oh well, it was for her anyway!

Even thought the cake was destroyed, I didn’t want to pass up the chance to show you how to make this super easy cake! It only took a couple hours, and that’s including baking the cake and making our fondant from scratch.

In the past we’ve done tutorials on how to keep your cakes from sticking, and how to basic frost a cake. I would recommend looking at those before getting started, especially if you’ve never made a cake before, or you feel you’re still a beginner. Here they are…

Click here --->cake baking tips and here---> fondant recipe.

And here----> for basic cake frosting tips.

Okay, now you’re caught up. Your cake is baked, fondant made, and your cake is frosted. Now you can color your fondant. I use Wilton food coloring gel. They can be found at Walmart. DON’T use liquid food coloring! It will mess up your fondant. I repeat! You must use the gel for fondant!

After you’ve colored your fondant, by kneading a small amount of gel into it, you can start by rolling your fondant out into a sheet. Make sure you cover your smooth surface with corn starch. This prevents it from sticking, and is also the reason why cake decorating is such a messy task!

Make sure your sheet of fondant is big enough for your cake by measuring the top of the cake and the sides. So, if your cake is 8” across, and the height is 4”, your fondant needs to be at least a 16” cirlce, so it will cover the top and ALL of the sides completely. Walmart sells a fondant mat if you’re nervous about this part.  I’ve learned to eyeball it, so I don’t use mine anymore.

Once you’ve rolled your fondant to the size needed, pick it up and gently lay it on your FROSTED cake. Use your hands to gently pull and shape it onto the cake. I like using this tool to help me smooth it without accidentally digging my fingernails in.

After your fondant is smooth, use a cookie cutter to trim the excess fondant.


Next, roll out your white fondant. Use a round cookie cutter, or pill bottle to cut out polka dots. Use a food grade paint brush to wet the back of each circle with a little bit of water. This will glue it to your cake.

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I like to use Rice Krispy Treats a lot when I’m decorating cakes. I just made a batch, according to the package directions, and pressed it into a lightly greased cereal bowl. After it’s cooled, I just easily flip it out.

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Then I lightly frost it and cover it with black fondant. Don’t worry about the corn starch getting onto the fondant. You can gently rub it off with your fingers, or a slightly damp paper towel.

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Next, have your assistant, my hubby, roll out a strip of fondant that is long enough to wrap all the way around your cake. At this point you could use a ruler and a cookie cutter to cut a straight line, like a ribbon, for the base of the cake, or you could buy a fancy tool like this.

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Wet the back of your fondant ribbon with a little water and gently press it onto the base of the cake.How-To-Make-a-Minnie-Mouse-Birthday-Cake (18)

I like to lay mine right next to the base before pressing it up, just to make sure it’s touching the bottom. Once you stick it on, it’s hard to fix.

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Now you can add your round top. Make sure the base of your cake has enough support. I push six or seven straws into the base of the cake and trim off the top. That way the top of the cake won’t settle into the base overnight. You can also use wooden dowels, but that’s just more work, in my opinion, because you have to have power tools to get them to the right length.

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Next, cut out your Minnie Mouse ears. I used the top of my cornstarch bottle for this. Make sure these have time to dry, gum paste would dry more quickly if you’re in a pinch. You can buy that at Walmart too. I am always too lazy though, so I always just use my fondant. These need to be rock hard, so I let mine dry overnight on a cooling rack, so the air could get to both sides.

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Next, you need to make your bow. I just use a rectangular piece of fondant, wet the edges and pinch them together. Usually, I would tell you to let it dry overnight too, but I put mine right on Minnie’s head so they could dry in the shape of the head.

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The middle will just be pinched together, then you can add another strip of fondant to cover up the ugly middle. Like the picture below, remember to lightly wet the fondant, so it will stick.

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Next, color the remaining frosting pink and write the name of the birthday girl or boy on the cake, using a piping bag.

Add small white polka dots to the bow, making sure to cover any imperfections.

And finally, once the ears have hardened. Use a butter knife to etch out a space on the back of the cake behind the bow. I didn’t have my hubby there to take a picture while I was doing it, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Then, gently press the ears into the slit. I let mine rest against the bow, because it was completely hardened.

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There you have it! Please feel free to ask questions in the comments!

If you need more inspiration for cake decorating, look at these other cakes we’ve made!



Jessica Smile

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Outback Steakhouse Inspired Bread

outback steakhouse bread
Zac use to tease that he was going to marry a really rich woman and he would stay home and make bread. He’s not married and he has a job but he really loves making bread. We are getting really spoiled because he doesn't just make one kind of bread but tons of different kinds. If you like the bread at Outback Steakhouse, you will love this!
1/2 cup Molasses
1 Tablespoon gluten booster
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup 10 grain cereal mix
1 package yeast
Mix ingredients together and then let rest for 10 to  30 minutes in a covered bowl.
Then add:
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 cups white flour
Raise until it doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Punch down the dough and then separate into equal parts.
Roll in corn meal and then place into bread pans.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Homemade Bread Bowl

bread Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the smell in the air, the changing colors of leaves and that brisk air that let’s you know that fall is here! One of our favorite meals for this season is soup. My husband makes a mean bowl of soup but it’s even better in a homemade bread bowl. Zac is at it again! These bread bowls are unbelievable. You need to give them a try!

3 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet RapidRise yeast
2 teaspoons diastatic malt powder
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons water


  • Dissolve the malt powder in 1/4 cup of water. Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Combine malt and yeast mixtures.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a mixer bowl with a dough hook, slowly add the additional 1/2 cup water, vegetable oil and keep kneading until the dough forms a ball and clears the sides of the bowl. If it appears to be too dry, add a little bit more water until you achieved the desired consistency.
  • Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Divide dough into 5 to 6 equal pieces
  • Take each piece and pull down the sides toward the bottom to create a smooth top.
  • Place dough, seam side down, on a clean work surface. Place the palm of your hand over top and roll in a circular motion, keeping the seam side down to seal,
  • Transfer the rolls to a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Whisk together an egg white and 2 Tablespoons of water and brush the mixture over the top of the rolls.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cool on a rack before cutting the tops.

5 Speed Cleaning Tips

5 speed cleaning tips
I don’t know if you’re like me but I love a clean house but I wish someone else would clean it! The dirty clothes seem to have baby dirty clothes and just when you thought all the dishes were clean, one shows up in the sink! Here are 5 tips to make your house cleaning go a little faster.

1. Dishwasher Duty: Once a week, shake baking soda on a wet sponger and wipe around the machine’s edges to remove food or stains. To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic. During the winter, add a quarter cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill the bacteria. The dishes will be safe and sanitized after the rinse cycle has finished.
2. Make it shine like the top of the Chrysler building: Rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on the glass shower door twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off.
3. Bedtime is cleaning time: When kids are getting ready for bed, wipe down the tub, toilet and mirrors, and toss out the clutter. When they’re finished, quickly wipe down the sink and floor.
4. To The Rescue: Do a 5 minute sweep through each room, taking a laundry basket with you. Place in it anything that doesn’t belong in that room, then put away the stuff that does belong.
5. Stop the clutter at the front door: Mount a plastic or cloth shoe rack inside your front entry closet door and use it to stash all kinds of living room things-toys. gloves, magazines. You can even designate one of the pockets for mail.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Must Have Kit for Moms

In our family, Halloween is a big deal! Momma Kim and Lisa are all about the decorations and costumes, and the Ulrich's are pumpkin carving artists!! It's hard for us mere mortals to keep up, so here are some little finishing touches that can help you out on your Halloween holiday! I won't lie to you, the Spiderweb gun is probably one of the coolest things I have seen! Check out these ideas!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

  1. Spiderweb lights - Decorating your exterior is the first step. Throw up 5-6 of these spiderweb lights from Target. Not too scary for littles - your neighbors will love you.
  2. Spiderweb gun - For the kids who get tired of crafts and want to stir up a little mayhem:). From the Halloween experts at Spirit Halloween.
  3. Vinyl tablecloth - For carving goopy pumpkins. Kohls has a nice selection. Save your good knives with this pumpkin carving set from Spirit Halloween. Pumpkin scooper - It's the scooping that will really do you in, save yourself via Spirit Halloween. Jack O'Lantern stickers - For your small ones, so they don't get frustrated with the cutting, also from Spirit Halloween. Pumpkin power saw - Be sure to supervise, but this gadget may keep your big kids engaged. How many times have the grownups wound up still carving, long after kids have moved on to something new? Thank you, Spirit Halloween!
  4. Spooky hand towel - You'll need to clean up after those goopy pumpkins, via Kohls.
  5. Orange plates - Feed your trick or treaters on Halloween colors, via Walmart. Compostable utensils from Abe's Market - It's always a good time to respect the planet. You're going to generate enough trash with candy wrappers tonight!
  6. Alexander McQueen skull scarf - From Nordstrom, for Mom, as a thank you for all her work, and to wear trick-or-treating with her little hobgoblins.