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Monday, February 28, 2011

{Tutorial}: Vintage Wood: How to Distress

Vintage is in.  Everywhere you look, you will see vintage-inspired items. {I say "inspired" because most of it is not actually vintage ~ it just looks vintage}.  From frames and furniture to jewelry and hair accessories, it. is. everywhere.  Now, what precisely do I mean by vintage?  Old.  Worn. Weathered.  Beautiful.

So, I've been perusing stores to see what I can find in this realm {by the way, there is a fantastic store in the Phoenix Metro area if you're local ~ it's called "Potato Barn."  If you live here, be sure to check it out if you're looking for old, farm-style, vintage-inspired pieces!}.  Most of it is fairly expensive...and unfortunately I have not come across many cool, urban antique-y stores around here {with the exception of the aforementioned one; so if you know of any, please do share!}.  At this point I've been mostly just looking because I'm not exactly sure how to implement some of it into our home...not sure how far I want to go with it, ya know?  If I would have thought of this a year and a half ago, I would have done a vintage-inspired French baby nursery...but too little too late there.  However, I think I'll use that same theme to redo Baby K's room in another year once she's outgrown her nursery.

Here is some inspiration for that room makeover....more than a year away, of course, but it doesn't hurt to start looking early!

french vintage postcard
handpainted telephone
french vintage collage
french vintage postcard
vintage-inspired - love the doilies and jars

vintage dress forms
vintage-inspired necklace I got yesterday...loving it!
love these rings!
So now that you're inspired to add some vintage into your home, too, let's get started!  As far as doing it yourself goes, distressing wood is a great way to begin adding that vintage feel to your home.  For my first project, I started small with picture frames.  But I'd love to try this same technique with an old wooden dresser or table...add some vintage-inspired glass knobs, and I be it'd be beautiful!

Friday, February 25, 2011

{Humor}: If Babies Had Facebook Pages

Did you all see this in the latest issue of the Babytalk magazine? I'm LOVING the relationship status - "attached to Mom's hip" and likes ~ "Boobs" and "Nap"...not so sure about those peas, though!! 

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cupcakes & Caterpillars.

We have been trying to soak up as much beautiful weather as we can here in Phoenix before the dreaded, blistering summer comes {and if you don't know, it comes about April around these parts, so it's creeping up altogether too fast!}

So yesterday we headed out to enjoy it!  We first stopped at one of my newly discovered favorite cupcake shops, "Caketini."  I've tried just 3 different ones so far {Amaretto Poppyseed, Snickerdoodle & Decadent Duet {peanut butter & chocolate}}.  The fave? Decadent Duet, but of course.  I am a huge peanut butter lover, after all.  {Send it my way!! And if you've got a great PB recipe, please share!!} :)  The other reason I love it?  They have a divine white iced tea with a coconut flavor......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

"Snickerdoodle" and "Decadent Duet" cupcakes by Caketini

Nope...she didn't enjoy the cupcakes one bit! :)

After noshing on some sweet goodness, we headed over to the little nature-themed play area to burn off some calories...well, not me so much. Ha!  I love seeing Baby K finally starting to be able to participate with the other kids now!  It's so funny...{and I'm sure any Mommy out there with a baby girl knows this already}...all the older girls flock to baby girls.  So it was hard for me to snatch a shot of Baby K without other girls around,  {P.S. I did NOT experience this with my firstborn, a boy ~ it's just a girl thing!} but I did manage to get a few!

Baby K sporting our new "Burlap & Tulle" headband from adam's blankie

We had a great afternoon!  Can't wait to hit up this routine again soon!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011



{drum roll here, please...}

And by random selection, the winner is...


please email me at adamsblankie@gmail.com
so that I can get your address to send this sweet headband to you!
And THANK YOU to everyone who entered and left such loving comments!  Love you guys!

please post your name and comments here, on THIS POST, to enter to win!
I will include those on facebook who have already entered...but we'll continue on this platform.
Entry rules are the same: "like" our Facebook page AND "Share" our post about the Burlap & Tulle headband!
Good luck! :)

We have a fabulous new Burlap & Pink Tulle Headband at our shop!  And starting NOW, you can enter to win it!  All you need to do is visit our Facebook Page, "like" us, comment with your email and hit the "Share" button!  Don't wanna wait?  Purchase it here in our shop!

BONUS:  If we get to 1200 fans by tomorrow, I'll be posting a code for you to get 25% off of any one item in our shop!!! Whoo-hoo!! So go ahead and head on over! :)

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{Tutorials}: Flowery Bloom Balls ~ 3 Techniques for 3 Different Looks!

I love Spring, don't you?  The fresh colors, the cool breeze and new fragrant flowers starting to blossom everywhere....ahhhhhhhh!  For most of you, I know you welcome the warmth, but here in Arizona, not so much.  Still, I do adore Spring.

So a couple weeks ago, while perusing design & decor pictures, I saw some flowery balls and instantly thought of Spring and just knew I had to make some!  I already knew just the technique to use to get these results, as I've used it many times in my hair accessories that I make for my shop, adam's blankie. 

I plan to display the ones I made in some apothecary jars in my entry way for the Spring season and then move them to their permanent location in my office afterwards.  {I have been changing my work space gradually by adding lots of pops of fresh colors to inspire and keep me motivated!}

From the image below, you can see that I actually made three different types of flowery bloom balls, but they are all the same idea: round bursts of freshness!  You can purchase the PDF pattern for the 2 pink ones as one file from my Etsy shop.  The ivory one can be made from a different flower pattern from my shop, as well!

Sooooo........hop to it!  And Happy Spring!

Due to high demand of these, I have decided to offer the 2 patterns for half off TODAY ONLY!! So for just $3.75, you get the 2 patterns to make the pink ones {and $0 shipping, of course!}  Visit here to see all our patterns available for purchase!!!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

{Recipe}: Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs {Perfect for Easter!}

I have always had a great love for a fabulous sugar cookie.  But until this past week, I'd never found a recipe where the cookies turned out well...or maybe it's just that I had never perfected it properly.  A couple years ago I purchased Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, though, and I have discovered some fan-tabulous recipes in it!  I would say all of my favorite cookies are from it actually!  So, if you don't have it yet, get a copy!!

Last week my son and I had some great fun in the kitchen making these!  {Well, he lasted through the tasting of the batter on the beater and cutting out a few cookies, but he had fun, and I had lots of fun with the whole experiment!}  We made heart-shaped cookies for Valentine's Day, but the real test here was trying to see if I could come up with an "edible" cookie for my daughter's 1st birthday party coming up next month! {We plan to wrap up butterfly ones in cellophane to give as party favors}.

Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs {yields 2 dozen 4" cookies}
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
Royal icing (optional; recipe follows)
food coloring (optional)
Fine sanding sugar (optional)

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

2. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.  Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk.  Wrap each in plastic.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
mmmmmmmmmm....cookie dough!

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper & lower thirds.  Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature until just soft enough to roll (about 10 minutes or so).  Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness (add more flour as necessary to prevent sticking).  Cut out cookies with a 4-5" cookie cutter, transferring them to parchment-paper lined baking sheets as your work.  Roll out the scraps, and repeat.  Repeat with remaining dough disk.  Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 minutes.
enjoying doing the cut-outs!

4. Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 - 18 minutes {DISCLAIMER: My first batches came out a little too hard for my taste.  Following the recipe will yield a crisper cookie.  If you want a softer sugar cookie, make sure the cookies are at least 1/4" thick and bake only about 13 minutes!}.  Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing {yields 2 1/2 cups}
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes.  If icing is too thick, add more water; if too think, beat icing 2 - 3 minutes more or add confectioners' sugar a tablespoon at a time.  Use icing immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 2 days (icing hardens quickly when exposed to air!}.  Beat well with a rubber spatula before using.

How to Frost a Cookie with Royal Icing
Okay, bear with me here.  I'm not trying to poke fun at you for not knowing how to frost a cookie!  But I did learn that there is a specific way to work with royal icing in particular to get good results.

1. Attach a tip to a pastry bag fitted with a coupler {if you are unfamiliar with all these terms, please visit the Wilton website ~ they've got about everything you need to know about making and decorating cakes, cupcakes & cookies!}.  Form a cuff with the top 3 inches of the bag.  Set a damp paper towel in a glass; place the empty pastry bag upright in the glass.  Spoon icing into the bag until it is 2/3 full; cinch with a rubber band to prevent icing from seeping out.

2. Outline the whole cookie using a #2 tip {or any of the small "plain hole" tips - I used a #4, and it worked just fine!}.  Let the icing set for 5-10 minutes.

outling the cookie {upper right}

3. Then using a #5 tip {again, here I kept with the #4, and it worked fine}, draw several zigzags across the entire surface of the cookie {this is called "flooding"}.
"flooding" the cookie {upper right}
4. Spread icing evenly over the cookie with a small offset spatula {don't ask me what "offset" means ~ just use a long, flat one!}.  Allow the icing to dry overnight.  Store unused Royal Icing in an airtight container at room temperature {as long as it's made with meringue powder {see image below}}.  When ready to decorate, use a #2 tip to pipe your design. 

spreading on our "butterfly" cookies

available in the baking/cake section of Michael's or Wal-Mart {among many other Wilton products!}

You can also take different color of frosting and use a toothpick to swirl into your already frosted cookie while still wet {see one of the heart cookies below for an example of how this might look}.

The book does go on with instructions for adding decorative designs on top of your basic frosting "shmear," but we didn't go that far this time.  Basically, once your frosting layer has been set, you can pipe on whatever else your little heart desires.  While wet, you can also spoon over lots of sanding sugar and let set 5 minutes.  Then shake off excess.  You can even purchase special pastry brushes to dust off the excess sugar!   But anyway.....  As with most things, you learn things as you go.  I did discover some shortcuts to take, and some other things to definitely go by the book!  Hopefully these tips will help you, too!

our finished sugar cookie cut-outs!

Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts
1.As mentioned earlier, make sure your cookies are NOT LESS THAN 1/4" when cutting out, and underbake a little...that is, if you want a soft cookie {I did mine for just 13 minutes in the oven}.  If you're more of a crispy cookie lover, bake according to Martha's instructions. :)

2. I didn't find it necessary to use different tips for outlining and flooding.  I used a #4 tip for everything, and there weren't any problems.

3. You DEFINITELY need to add a rubberband to the end of your pastry bag to prevent the frosting from coming out!  AND, make sure it's tight!  Don't think that just twisting and holding it firmly in your fist will work - it won't!

4. I didn't find it necessary to wait 5-10 minutes after outlining your cookie.  I just proceeded right into flooding it, and it worked great.

5. If swirling in another color of frosting, use a lot of it!

6. A little bit of food coloring goes a long way!

7. When using your long, flat spatula to spread the icing over the cookie, I found that using a small circular motion worked best.  Also, be sure to spread immediately after flooding the cookie...otherwise, it will start to dry, and you'll see cracks and wrinkles in the icing when you start to spread it.

8. Outline your cookies as close to the edge of the cookie as possible ~ it just looks better!

And last but not least, prepare to give some of these away unless you want to gain 5 pounds that week!! :)

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Owl Love.

Our Spotted Owl Burp and Bib Set {image #5} was recently featured over at the Modern Handmade Child blog.  She put up a list of some just-too-cute owl items handmade just for baby.  So here's a link to the post and her blog~enjoy! {And if you're looking to decorate your nursery in owls, this is your winning ticket to the best finds out there!}

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{Recipe:} Margherita Pizza

Everyone loves pizza.  Especially a hot, bubbly cheesy one.  But there's nothing quite like home-made pizza. We're talking about the crust and all ~ no Boboli or pizza dough-purchasing going on here!  If you want it to taste the best, you have to make it from scratch!  But hear me out: it is NOT difficult!!!  Really! 

We made this Margherita Pizza {see ours below} last week and loved it.  And you will, too. {Recipes are courtesy of Family Circle magazine}.

Pizza Dough {Prep 5 minutes, Rise 2 hours}
1 cup warm water
1 package (.25 oz) dry active yeast
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Place water in a small bowl and stir in yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Marinara Sauce {Prep 5 minutes, Cook 31 minutes}
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium-size saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring so garlic does not burn.  Stir in tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil & salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cook, with lid ajar, for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Okay, so I have to admit that I cheated here....I took one can (14 oz) tomato sauce and added some sugar, salt, dried basil, oregano and olive oil to it.  I'm sure making it myself would have been better, but I didn't have the time for it!!

Classic Margherita {Prep 10 minutes, Bake at 500 degrees for 13 minutes}
1 pound pizza dough {use previous recipe}
3/4 cup marinara sauce {use previous recipe OR use short-cut listed above!}
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated {I used slivers} Parmesan cheese
8 fresh basil leaves

1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Coat a 14" pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray {or, alternately, use a baking stone, as I did, which does NOT need the spray if it's been well-used}.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 14" circle {or to fit your stone}.  Gently roll up onto a lightly floured rolling pin and unroll onto prepared pan {or stone}.
3. Spread sauce evenly over dough to within 1/2" of edge {I like to use the back of a big spoon to do this, so as not to tear the dough}.  Sprinkle oregano over the sauce.  Arrange mozzarella over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 500 degrees for 12-13 minutes or until nicely browned on the bottom {or cheese is bubbly}.  Remove from oven.
4. Garnish with basil.  Cool slightly and cut into 8 wedges. Serve.

I guarantee you will enjoy this classic ~ simple, yet sooooooooooo delicious!  Enjoy!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Party Preparation {Baby K's 1st Birthday!!}

Yep, I've already started preparing for Baby K's birthday party.  Can you believe it's already been a year?  Seems like just yesterday I was complaining to you all about her being overdue and being scheduled for induction at the hosiptal!  Whew! Time flies!

I have had SUCH a blast getting geared up for the Big Day!  I debated over themes {considered the vintage circus, bumblebees, ladybugs and candy}, but ultimately landed on an ever-girly Fairy & Butterfly Garden-themed party!

I had my friend Christy, from CHDesign Studio, design my paper graphics - from the cupcake toppers and invitations to labels for food and Thank You's! {Thanks, Christy!!}  I'm going with fun, bright, summery pops of color in reds, pinks, yellows, oranges & greens!

As a special addition to some of the cupcakes, I'm using this tutorial from The TomKat Studio to construct mini cupcake stands.  I was so excited when I found these because I had been looking for a sophisticated cupcake stand and never found one!  And with these at about $2 each {mine were a bit more expensive than hers because I used a thicker base so that I could attach the ribbon around the rim of it}, you can't go wrong!  TIP: I thought about mod-podging some paper to the tops, but I decided to leave them white and just tape papers to the top so that I can interchange papers for different parties.

Soooo....there will be plenty more pictures to follow once the actual party takes place...but for now, I'll leave you with some "teaser" pictures of what's yet to come ~ enjoy!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

{Birthday} Invitations!!

So I decided to splurge on the birthday party invitations for the kids this year ~ mainly because it's Baby K's 1st birthday and so wanted it to be special.  And what you do for one child, you must do for the other, so even though age 4 isn't a milestone birthday, I had to take the plunge for A Train's birthday party, too!

As they both have birthdays in March, I did toss around the idea of having a joint party, but ultimately decided to do them separately {again, mainly because it's Baby K's 1st, so wanted it to be special}.  So, of course, that doesn't help trying to be cost-effective since I'm paying for 2 parties at once {insert sigh here}. BUT.  It is what it is....AND I'm happy to report I'm pretty excited about how the invites turned out!!

I had my graphic designer friend, Christy {of CH Design Studio}, create them for me.  The images below show the front and back side of them....spectacular, aren't they?  I wish I could have totally customized birthday {along with baby showers, house-warming, Christmas, etcetera!} invitations for the kiddos every year, but I don't think that will be happening, just due to the cost of creating & printing things like these.  Next year is Evite! Ha!!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011


For those of you who checked out the post yesterday about making teacher Valentine gifts, I have since updated our store so that you can purchase either the fabric flower brooch OR the tutorial to make them yourself!

Purchase the brooch here.

Or purchase the pattern here.

Both are just $5.  Thanks! :)

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