Friendship bread is baked!

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I posted earlier, on day six of my starter, about why I was baking friendship bread. Well, day ten fell on last Thursday and it was time to bake!

I had all intentions of baking while the kids were still awake, but things got kind of crazy so it had to wait until after bedtime.

When I started to bake, I realized we were out of milk, I only had one bread pan, and I would need more flour. Thankfully my wonderful husband volunteered to trek to the grocery store for the needed supplies. By the time we started mixing the first batch it was after 8:30 pm. We wrapped up after 11:00 pm, which is way past my bedtime!

I decided to make two different variations. The loaf on the left is a coffee toffee flavor and the loaf on the right is a cherry cheesecake flavor. You can find all kinds of recipes for friendship bread starter here at the Friendship Bread Kitchen

Now, as you remember, I can’t eat dairy so I’m not sure how they turned out, but I can tell you that both my husband and son love the cherry cheesecake flavor and the loaf of coffee toffee friendship bread that I took to work was gone by 9:00 am.

I really enjoyed everything about my experience from reading the novel, caring for the starter, baking the bread, and sharing the starter with friends.

My next mission; to make a dairy free starter so I can partake in the bread too!

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Friendship Bread

You may have seen my mention of my favorite blog, A Bowl Full of Lemons in an earlier post. The creator, Toni Hammersley, recently started a book club that you can learn more about here.

The last book we read, Friendship Bread by Darien Gee, inspired me and a couple of girlfriends to get our own starter going. My friend Carly took the ball and ran with it!

I am currently on day six of my starter. Now unfortunately, it was made with milk so I won’t be enjoying the fruits of my labor, but the boys will! I’ll be baking on day ten and making two variations to keep; cherry cheesecake friendship bread and coffee toffee friendship bread. After that’s done and the starters are handed out to friends and family, I plan on making my own starter using almond milk so it’s dairy-free.

Stay tuned for another post when the baking fun happens!

If you’re interested in reading the book and making your own starter for friendship bread, you can purchase the book here.

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Let there be light!

At least once a year, my family holds a craft challenge. We make a Facebook group for all the participants as well as friends and other family members. The date for submissions is announced and after pictures are posted, members of the group choose their favorite by commenting on the photo with the word vote.

The winner selects the next challenge. First were pine derby cars followed by bird houses, wind chimes, then most recently lamps. I won the wind chime challenge which had an extra stipulation; it had to be made from recycled materials. I made mine from a wine bottle with the bottom cut off, and fishing line draped with beer bottle caps bent in half. As the winner, I chose the most recent challenge of making a lamp. I chose this because I made one in a 3-D design class in high school and really enjoyed it.

I knew I wanted to make one that we could put to good use in the house so I decided to make one to fit in with my son’s sports-themed room; a baseball lamp.

The bottom is a pitcher’s rubber, the trunk, if you will, is made of stacked practice balls within a glove, and the lamp shade was purchased at K-mart. My husband was kind enough to help and drilled through the pitcher’s rubber and five practice balls. Through the center is a small metal pipe. We used a lamp kit from Home Depot and threaded the cord through the pipe and constructed the top of the lamp. I printed out a White Sox logo (my husband’s favorite team) and taped it on the inside of the lamp shade and traced it with a pencil on the outside of the lamp shade. I painted around the logo with black acrylic paint.

I think it turned out nicely and my husband loves it so much that he wants to put it on his desk at work. I have to keep telling him that we made it for our son’s room!

I submitted my picture on Saturday and so far I’m in the lead. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Now what to make next time…

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Fashion, Swag, and a Real Housewife

A local department store had a fashion show this morning showcasing the latest spring looks. My friend Neil and I got spruced up nice and early, 5:30 am to be exact, to attend. There were fifty head-to-toe looks put together by a stylist. A lot of good inspiration for the coming months! The swag bag full of free samples and gift cards wasn’t that bad either!

I instantly fell in love with a tangerine, gold studded Michael Kors bag that I shed a tear about when I saw the $428 price tag. Boo!

But, the best part of the day was meeting Jill Zarin from the Real Housewives of New York! She was so sweet! We got autographed pictures and had our picture taken with her. A dream realized as I fancy myself somewhat of a Real Housewife!

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Barefeet welcome!

Well, spring has finally sprung here in Pennsylvania, although it’s felt like summer the past week!

Just in time for spring, I completed my spring wreath. In a previous post I described the spring wreath that I made during my Crafts and Cocktails get together. I then had grand plans of crocheting a scalloped lace ribbon to hang the wreath with. Well I did and it was a beautiful disaster. The scalloped lace ribbon came out nicely. I used a fine, bright white, crochet thread and spent many a night working on it after the kids were in bed. My husband and I hung the wreath when the lace ribbon was complete. I actually use an upside-down command hook on the inside of our front door to hang my wreaths with. The ribbon was a little thick to go over the top of the door, but I thought it would still work fine.

The next morning when my husband headed out the front door with the dog, the slack that had been created by closing the door released and my wreath fell to the ground and broke into three pieces right on the front porch. I did a little wreath surgery, if you will, that night. I couldn’t use hot glue because that just melted the foam base. I joined the pieces together and used straight pins to reconnect them. If you look closely in the picture, you can see the green, pearly heads of the pins. Perhaps the saddest part was that I had stitched the crocheted lace ribbon together around the wreath and there was no other way to get it off other than cutting right through it. I may have shed a tear or two when I had to ruin it to remove it. Since my first idea didn’t work, I bought a clean, plain, white ribbon to hang the wreath over the door with.

Despite it’s tragic history, I think it looks beautiful on the front door. I like the contrast of the bright and airy wreath against the black. The next season in our house is birthday season for our son who is turning two. My next wreath will be one to celebrate his birthday and I’m making a spare for the giveaway too. Which reminds me, don’t forget to enter!

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Turning Our House Into a Home

We built our home last year and moved in three weeks before Christmas. We were unpacked and decorated for the holidays just in time. My daughter arrived in January and since then, it’s been survival mode at our house. We’ve done a few things here and there like painting my daughter’s room, buying a new bedroom set for the master bedroom, and buying and hanging blinds on a few important windows like the one behind the toilet in the master bedroom. My husband was tired of peeing sitting down…

The windows in the living room were becoming a priority because they are facing the road behind the house, and as my dad would say, “I don’t like people looking at me.”

We decided to hang curtains a while ago and had gone on many excursions to find some but always with no luck. The curtains in the adjoining breakfast area are turquoise and the rug is a pale green.

Since the rooms are adjacent to one another I wanted to be sure they had some commonality to improve the flow. We have turquoise accents on the mantle and found beautiful orange, coral, grey, and white striped curtains. We went with a dark wooden rod capped with brushed aluminum ends. I think it works quite nicely and our house is beginning to look like a home.

My next project will be the decor for above the fireplace. I want to buy an ornate frame and spray paint it a coral color then sand it to make it look more rustic. I’ll cover the back with burlap and not insert the glass. I would like to then put a large white wooden M in the middle. That’s my goal for next week. Stay tuned!

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Giveaway!

I am hosting my first giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a birthday celebration wreath handmade by yours truly. Perfect to hang on your front door to acknowledge your little one’s upcoming birthday or even your own! Adorned with balloons and ribbon, this wreath is fun and festive. In the center, a spot to hang your child’s age.

Enter by following the link and completing the steps to earn entries. Everyone has a chance to earn up to 16 entries! Please share this with your friends too, the more the merrier! The winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter on May 5th. The winner will need to send me their mailing address in order for the wreath to be shipped. Good luck to all!

Rafflecopter Birthday Celebration Wreath Giveaway

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