Sunday, November 25, 2012


   MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! As it turns out Daily Infographic and Cyber Monday have something in common, most of the views/shopping take place while you are at work. You lazy good for nothings, what am I paying you for? Anyway if you’ve never heard of it, Cyber Monday is like the Black Friday of the internet. Black Friday of course being the Friday after Thanksgiving when everyone goes out shopping at an indecent hour for some pretty good retail savings. Violence has become a regular part of the frenzied event, this year including a woman pepper spraying fellow shoppers for an advantage as well as a men shooting a gun to intimidate shoppers.
   Cyber Monday is a relatively new thing having begun in 2004, however it’s youth has not stopped it from growing in popularity. In 2010 the average transaction was $195 up from the 2008 average of $130. Last year’s Cyber Monday also saw a record amount of total money spent the total coming in at $1.03 billion. If you want to save the money, but were too lazy to get up this past Friday you may want to check out some Cyber Monday deals.

Cyber Monday


11 {FREE} Christmas Printables

With Christmas just over a week away, I thought I would share a few Christmas printables that I’ve come across on Pinterest. Maybe these ideas will help you out with last minute decorating, giving and gift wrapping! You can click on the links under each image to be taken to the page to print. :)
Source: akadesign.ca via Myra on Pinterest
This beautiful printable is perfect for framing! I love the message!
Isn’t this list of Christmas rules adorable?!
Print out this beautiful tree out of a beautiful verse.
This printable is a great reminder of the reason for celebration!
I love the neutral tone of this beautiful subway art printable.
More Christmas subway art. I can’t get enough of it!
This funky, graphic, chevron printable is fabulous.
In the middle of all the ridiculous craziness, this is a great reminder to be calm and to sing.
I’m in love with this beautiful printable from Jones Design Company!
Source: myowlbarn.com via Myra on Pinterest
These owl printables are the cutest, most unique gift tags that I’ve seen.
In case you need a count down to Christmas sign, here ya go! :)


Happy Christmas in July


 This comes from www.littlebirdiesecreats.blogspot.com .

I had a bunch of this pretty Christmas paper left over from last year (it's Making Memories' Mistletoe line), so I decided to use it up before I didn't love it anymore. I've been meaning to make a star wreath for ages, and after seeing a friend's 3D stars lining the wall on her staircase (super cute idea, by the way), I decided to try them out. Easy and darling! Here's how to make a 3-D paper star wreath for yourself.

3-D Paper Star Wreath Tutorial

*Patterned papers
*Scoring tool (scoring board, bone folder, or stylus)
*Hot glue gun
*Wreath form (I cut my own out of chipboard, but you could use a wooden one from the craft store)
*Buttons, brads, and ribbon

1. Cut stars approximately 3" to 4" wide using a template or die cutting machine. I would've used my Silhouette, but it's on the fritz, so I used my trusty Slice machine. You could also trace a template. I used 12 stars, but you may use more or less depending on the size of your wreath.

2. Score a line from the top of each point straight down to the inside point. Do this for each of the five points.

3. Fold on each line. First, fold each line with wrong-sides of the paper together.

4. Then fold the short lines between points in the opposite direction to give your star dimension.

Repeat this for all stars. Aren't they cute?

5. Optional: embellish stars centers with buttons, brads, or rhinestones. I hot glued mine on.

6. I didn't want my white wreath form to show, so I covered it with green stars, cut just 1/2" smaller. This is also optional, especially if your wreath form is narrower or you have more stars. You can always overlap your big stars.

7. Apply glue to the inside points on the back and hot glue to wreath form.

8. Create a ribbon hanger with a piece of ribbon, and if you're froofy like me, you can add a big, fluffy bow or two. Glue to the back of wreath.

Hang and enjoy!

These 3D stars are also great as ornaments. Just glue a ribbon hanger to the back! You could also glue another star to the back to make it a little sturdier and more 3-D.

I also use them as gift tags. Or gift tags that are also ornaments!


   This recipe was found at www.foodpluswords.com .  Another over the top dessert!

Black Velvet Layer Cake

look at this cake!
isn’t it sinister? isn’t is spooky? don’t you just want to eat the whole thing in one sitting?
i honestly can’t think of a more perfect cake for halloween. black velvet cake! with chocolate marshmallow frosting, no less!

black velvet: it’s not just a name for a horse anymore! or kitschy paintings of kittens! or a ridiculous, cheesy ’80′s song!
wait. the horse was black beauty, not black velvet. just kidding.
also, that song is stuck in my head now. go listen to it. it’s ridiculous.

alright, let’s talk about this cake. aside from the fact that it’s uber-black (totally metal!), it’s also effing delicious. italics for emphasis and seriousness. it’s that good.
most scrumptious version of red velvet cake i’ve ever made. true story. you know how sometimes red velvet cakes are super-gorgeous to look at, but once you take a bite you realize it’s just a good-looking heap of dry crumbs?
not this cake. it’s got beauty and brains! well, good looks and a moist crumb, rather. same difference, really.

wouldn’t this layer cake make a lovely centerpiece for a halloween party? especially if you light the sparkler right before you cut and serve it. drama! anticipation! sparkly flames! what’s not to like?
theatrics: people love ‘em. give the people what they want.

i’m pretty sure you would do a better job frosting this cake than i did. my frosting skills aren’t the best, and my cake layer leveling skills are downright laughable! thankfully i can make a damn tasty cake, so people are pretty forgiving when i serve them an off-kilter cake that’s completely covered in sprinkles.

i love this black velvet cake! i really do. it’s simple to make, the unfrosted cake layers freeze beautifully, and the flavor is absolutely pitch-perfect. top it off with deeply chocolate, fluffy marshmallow icing? i’m swooning. hold me!
seriously though, i want this cake to be my life partner. i want to marry it. don’t tell my fiance.

a word of caution: this cake will absolutely turn your mouth black. no joke. totally worth it, i promise.
i don’t mean to be bossy, but make this cake. make a gorgeous layer cake. make cupcakes. make mini cupcakes. whatever you do, just make this cake!
it’s really quite a spooktacular dessert.


Black Velvet Layer Cake

Yield: one four layer cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes


Black Velvet Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened coca powder (not Dutch process!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste (substitute an equal amount of pure vanilla extract for the paste!)
3 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup half & half
1-2 tablespoons black food coloring (depends on how dark you'd like your cake to be!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme (also known as fluff!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, depending on how thick you'd like your frosting to be
black food coloring (you can find this at your grocery store in the baking aisle! and how much you use depends on how dark you'd like your frosting...i used about 2 tablespoons to get a very dark charcoal gray/black frosting!)
sprinkles or nonpareils, for decorating (optional)


 Black Velvet Cake

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the center.
butter and flour two 6" round cake pans and set aside.
sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted on, combine the butter and sugar.
cream on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until pale in color and fluffy.
scrape down the sides of the bowl. with the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
add the vanilla and coffee, and mix on medium speed until combined.
combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl or glass.
with the mixer on low, beat in the dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with the buttermilk liquid mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
once all the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
with the mixer on low, add the black food coloring a little at a time until the desired shade of black is achieved.
in a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. it's going to fizz up a bit, so be prepared!
with the mixer on medium, immediately add the baking soda/vinegar mixture to the bowl and beat for 10 seconds.
turn the mixer off and deposit the cake batter evenly between the cake pans. there might be a bit left over, so make some cupcakes while you're at it!
bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes for the cake layers, and 18-24 minutes for the cupcakes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake/cupcake comes out clean.
remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cakes/cupcakes from their pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
once the cake layers are completely cool, you can frost and assemble your cake. you can also wrap each layer well with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil, and store in a freezer-safe plastic zip-top back for up to three months.
to thaw a frozen cake, simply remove it from the freezer and transfer to the fridge to thaw overnight.

 Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting

using a spatula, scoop the marshmallow creme out of its' container and into a large bowl.
add the unsalted butter, confectioners' sugar, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract.
mix with the spatula until all ingredients are well combined.
add the heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time until your frosting is a smooth, spreadable consistency. you don't want it to be runny, just smooth and easy to spread!
assembling the layer cake
using a serrated knife, trim the domed part of the cooled cake layers off. cut each layer in half so you have four even layers.
dab a quarter-sized amount of frosting in the center of a cardboard cake round. if you don't have a cake round, you can trim a paper plate to be slightly smaller than the cake layers and use that instead.
place one layer onto the cake round, pressing down gently.
deposit approximately 3 tablespoons of frosting onto the layer and using an offset spatula or butterknife, spread the frosting onto the cake layer in an even layer. try to leave about 1/4" border around the edge of the layer.
stack another layer on, making sure the layers are lined up and even.
repeat with the frosting and stacking until all four layers are stacked together.
add about 1/4-1/2 cup of frosting to the center of the top layer and smooth it out over the top and onto the sides of the cake.
the marshmallow frosting is pretty thick, so you might be able to get away with not doing a crumb coat, especially if you plan on covering the sides of the cake with sprinkles like i did!
smooth the frosting over the cake as evenly as you can. the top and sides should be relatively smooth!
decorate the cake however you'd like, and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the cake to firm up.
serve and enjoy!
the frosted cake will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. just take it out about 15-20 minutes before serving!