Category Archives: Wanna Be Foodie

S’more Bites with Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy Smore Bites

Halloween candy s’more bites are a super quick treat to make and the perfect way to use up that Halloween candy. These are also a great treat to bring to a Halloween party.
What sets these s’more bites apart is the gourmet graham crackers I get from the Tulie bakery here in Salt Lake City, Utah. A world of difference in the taste and texture department!


Each cracker is about 3 inches square so I quartered them. Making each bite perfect for one marshmallow.


I then cut up an assortment of candy into smaller pieces. My favorite topping is Almond Joys.


You don’t need a fancy torch, I just lined a baking sheet with parchment, added the crackers and marshmallows, and toasted them in my over on broil. It took about 3-5 minutes to get a nice golden top.


Press the candy down into the toasted marshmallow, being sure to get it down in the gooey melted part!

You can serve these warm or cool like I did last night. I let them cool down for a few minutes, added a lid and took them to a party.

I want to hear about your s’more bites so leave a comment with your favorite S’more topping or where to find gourmet graham crackers in your area.

xoxosarah

 

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Wow, there is a reason why everyone’s hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES!  Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days.  These are the brownies of my dreams.

I knew they would be good because every Julia Child recipe I have ever made turns out to be a winner but this was beyond expectation.  I’m totally in love with the fact that something so complex in both texture and taste came from just 6 simple ingredients.

The hardest part about this recipe is having patience while melting the chocolate and butter.  But other than that, it comes together very quickly.  Just remember to not over work the batter in the last few steps and they will turn out to be the most fudge like, creamy brownies you have ever had.

Ingredients

Melting the Chocolate and butter.

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Add in 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla.

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Whisk remaining sugar and eggs.

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Add half of egg mixture to chocolate mixture.

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Whisk remaining egg mixture till doubled in volume.

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Gently fold into chocolate mixture.

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Add dry ingredients. 

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Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly.

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Bake

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Eat!

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Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia Childs Best Ever Brownies

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling Wow, there is a reason why everyone's hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES! Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days. They are the brownies of my dreams.

  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c plain white flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 inch square pan and line with parchment paper, which makes it much easier to cut into perfect squares at the end.
  3. You have two options for melting the chocolate: Option A If you have really hot tap water you can use this method or skip down to option B. Place a medium glass bowl inside of a slightly larger bowl. Add hot water from the tap to the outside bowl. Add the chocolate and butter to the inside bowl and allow to sit for about five minutes while you prep the dry ingredients. It will have melted slightly, keep stirring often. Switch out the water if needed. Keep stirring until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and incorporated. I switched out the water twice and this took about 10-15 minutes. This method requires patience but ensure that this mixture doesn't get too hot for the next few steps. Option B In a medium glass bowl, add chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan half full of water and bring to a very gentle simmer, reduce heat to low. Stir the chocolate and butter continuously to fully incorporate and avoid overheating.
  4. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe dry. Mix in 1c of the sugar and the vanilla.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the other 1c of sugar and the eggs until just combined. Gradually stir half the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir a few times during the next step to keep from thickening up too much.
  6. Either with a stand mixer or by hand whisk the remaining egg mixture until pailed, and doubled in volume. I did this step by hand and it took about 5 minutes. I will definitely use my stand mixer next time. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Once the eggs are almost completely folded in, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 23-28 minutes, the batter will rise a little and the top will look dry. If you give the pan a gentle shake, it should have just a little movement but not look like batter.
  10. Let the brownies cool completely, then using the parchment paper, lift out of pan. With a large knife cut straight down into 16 equal pieces.

Here in Salt Lake, the first official weekend of Fall was a cold and dreary one. The perfect kind of weather to stay in, put up Halloween decorations, and bake.  This recipe really got me back into the baking mood after a really hot summer.

So get your fall baking on with this amazing recipe.

xoxosarah

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Dog Treat Recipe

forpinterest1I’m excited to share with you this awesome dog treat recipe with peanut butter, bacon, and  bananas.

But first, let me introduce you to our furry family members.  Gidget pictured below is a Black Shepard mix and a “daddy’s girl.”

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Blanca pictures below is our mystery prize since Juice saved her about a decade ago after being abandoned.  She is most definitely a “Momma’s girl!”

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A little over a week ago our two escape artists Shawshanked their way out of our backyard while we were away from home. Which lead me to briefly question why they would ever want to leave our little piece of paradise? Seriously, they live with two full-time “crumb monsters” a.k.a. my hubby and toddler, who leave a trail of delicious crumbs wherever they go. They have a big yard to try to destroy on the daily, dog beds at every turn. But I digress.  Luckily our neighbor saw them running the streets, lured them back into our backyard and secured our gate.
So I added “do something nice for your neighbor” to my to-do list.

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(On a side note, If a scowl could kill!…Oliver inherited this exact scowl from me. In his defense it was a really bright day.)

Then our friend Janell helped us out with our dogs on our last day of vacation and I again pondered what to do to say thank you.

I thought about baking human treats for both, but since I’m not familiar with my neighbors food preferences, the last thing I wanted to do was show up at her door with a dozen cookies only to find out she is diabetic or has a gluten allergy.  That is when it became obvious that I need to make doggie treats!  It was a perfect solution since they both have dogs, and while my own dogs haven’t exactly written up terms for surrender like better food, I figured a few yummy pupcakes might just keep them from trying to escape.  In the words of Michael Scott, it’s a WIN, WIN, WIN scenario.

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I found this great recipe on The Happy Foodie by Martha Stewart for Peanut Butter and Banana dog cupcakes but I decided to improve it immensely with one simple addition;  bacon. Your pups will thank you.  If you would prefer to weigh out your flour and oats into  grams you can use the recipe above but I doubled the batch and converted the recipe to the U.S. Cups.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Pup Cake Dog Treats

A super easy dog treat recipe that your pups will love.

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 12m
  • Total Time: 27m

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c bacon crumbles
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash ripe bananas, add honey and eggs, stir until combined.
  2. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.
  3. Add rolled oats, flour and baking powder, stir until combined.
  4. Mix in bacon.
  5. Add water and stir gently till combined.
  6. Fill mini cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Store in air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

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pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

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I hope your fur babies love this treat as much as mine did.
xoxosarah

Dirty Shirley Temple Recipe

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I have been in love with Shirley Temples since the first time my dad ordered me one when I was a little girl.  I mean whats not to love, an adorable and sweet little 7-up , a splash of grenadine, topped off with a perfect little cherry.

Maybe my 35th birthday had me subconsciously reaching for something that made me feel young again. But as much as I wanted to make Shirley Temples, I found myself wanting to “adult” it up a bit with vodka.  Maybe I am ok with getting older, emphasis on maybe.

As I planned my birthday party I found several great recipes for a dirty shirley but most of them required way too much effort for this working momma. I wanted to try out my own recipe but all I had at home was a can of lemon Sanpellegrino and didn’t want to run to the store for 7-up. Man I am glad I stayed home. Sanpellegrino is pretty much the only soda I ever buy and that 17% lemon juice always makes it a great “mixer!”  The incredible bite of tart lemon really compliments the sweet grenadine and fruity vodka. Topped with a gorgeous cherry and you have a drink worthy of the title dirty Shirley.  This drink is crazy refreshing.

I hope you love like I do.
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Dirty Shirley Recipe

An adult take on a childhood favorite, a Shirley Temple. The darling sweetness of the pomegranate, cherry, and grenadine are perfectly complimented by the tart citrus in this delicious libation.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Total Time: 5m

Ingredients

  • 1 quarter lemon
  • 1 quarter lime
  • 1 oz pomegranate vodka
  • 1 oz cherry vodka
  • 12 7/48 oz can lemon (Limonata) Sanpellegrino
  • a splash or two, grenadine syrup
  • maraschino cherry

Instructions

  1. Fill 16 oz cup half way with ice, squeeze the juice from 1 quarter lemon and lime over ice.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Add lemon soda.
  4. Add a splash or two of grenadine syrup.
  5. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Cheers,

xoxosarah

Lets Flamingle- a Tropical Flamingo Themed Party

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In honor of my birthday week I though I’d share my 35th birthday party inspiration; a Tropical Flamingo party.

I have been obsessed with flamingos for almost a decade, it all started on a shooting party in an Arizona dessert. My stepmom Sheri had packed up a box of potential targets including a glorious pink lawn flamingo.  But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save it.  I smuggled him out of harms way and stashed “Felipe” in my suitcase.  Felipe the flamingo become my beloved mascot, I even named my apartment “the Flamingo.”
In 2008, Felipe was kidnapped and held for ransom. I unfortunately never saw him again.  But his memory lives on in my heart.

Here is what you need to throw a fabulous tropical Flamingo party.

Decor

Start with a whole flock of flamingos.  But not just any flamingos, go with the original Don Featherstone flamingos, they have the best details.
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I finally decided to try my hand at a balloon arch after drooling over several amazing arches on The House That Lars Built.  You can check out the one pictured above on Wedding Chick or there is a great tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.

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I am in love with this tropical flower backdrop on Blitsy.  Perfect for a D.I.Y photo booth.
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No tropical themed party would be complete without  a pineapple flower centerpiece.

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Menu

I have loved Shirley Temples since I was a little girl but since this is my 35th birthday, not my 5th, I decided to “adult” it up for my party by serving a Dirty Shirley.  Here is a great recipe from The Solstice Table. 

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For an appetizer try this tropical bruschetta.
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For the main course I will be serving Kahlua pork, coconut rice, and Hawaiian mac salad.
For Dessert try coconut cream pie shooters or a gorgeous coconut cake like this one.
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Invitations

Check out these adorable invitations from Carlson and Co on Etsy.

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Happy Flamingling!

xoxosarah

Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This is the story of how I created the easiest tres leches cake recipe of all time. With only 5 ingredients, this recipe is perfect for pot lucks, BBQ’s, and last minute desserts.

While preparing to make Tres Leches for my work “Cinco De Mayo” pot luck I had dreams of grandeur. I did the research and was mentally prepared to separate egg whites from their yolks. I was ready to beat egg whites into stiff peaks. It was going to be the damn Tres Leches anyone had ever tasted.

But then I got stuck in really bad rush hour traffic, got home late, realized I need to go to the grocery store before I could make dinner. I had a toddler saying “mom, mom, MOM” in increasing volume while begging for snacks that I knew would inevitably ruin his appetite for dinner.

And so in about the length of time it took Oliver Jack to get through his 3rd chorus of “mom, mom MOOOOOOOM” I let go of my dreams of grandeur and got real.

But I couldn’t show up to work empty handed. While throwing a handful of Pirate Booty in my little crooners direction,  I googled “tres leches + pound cake”  just to make sure it was a viable substitution. All while contemplating whether Pirate Booty counted as a vegetable?!  But Oliver’s Vegetable consumption was a problem for another day.

With very little encouragement I was running out the door to the store.

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Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15m

Ingredients

  • 2 Loafs pound cake
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 10 oz container of Truwhip or whipped topping
  • 12 maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Cut each pound cake loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Place bottom of each loaf in transportable container or lipped serving dish.
  3. Using fork, poke holes throughout layer of cake.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in an easy to pour container. Then pour half of milk mixture over prepared pound cake. Place top layer of pound cake loafs on top and poke holes throughout layer with a fork. Pour the remaining milk mixture over top being sure to get the corners and edges. If there seems to be a lot of the milk mixture pooling in the bottom you don't have to use all of the milk mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Top with whipped topping and maraschino cherries.

All things considered, I was totally surprised with how well this turned out and I have since made this recipe 5 times. The correlation between how easy it is and it’s deliciousness is totally bonkers. Nothing this easy should taste this good. I hope you enjoy!
xoxosarah

My favorite new cake trend: Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake.  I like to call it a drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed with this hot new cake trend.

I mean, whats not to love, you take an already amazing cake and then drip drizzle your way to beyond amazing. The best part of these gorgeous drip drizzle cakes is all the crazy toppings; donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macarons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.
new cake trend drip drizzle cakes

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!

xoxosarah

The Perfect Tea Party Bridal Shower

If you are currently looking for inspiration for an upcoming shower or birthday party, you have come to the right place because I have put together the perfect tea party shopping list.

Last spring I had the honor of helping my dear friend and boss Starla with her daughter Kylie’s bridal shower. Since I adore them both I was really excited to help.

I wanted the event to be whimsical, bright, fun, and a little eclectic.

The food for this shower was a sight to behold; fresh salads, an assortment of delicious tea sandwiches, veggie shooters, hummus shooters, chocolate and pistachio mini bunt cakes, mini lemon cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, and beautiful candy dishes filled with hand crafted caramels and marshmallows.

To continued the eclectic, whimsical vibe I added edible butterflies and canapé flags to many of the dishes.

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Edible butterflies from SugarRobot on Etsy

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Truly Scrumptious canape flags

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Lavender and Vanilla Caramels from Calabasas Candy Co, cucumber sandwiches, and chocolate covered strawberries.

(Since working on this post I have had an intense desire all day to make cucumber sandwiches for dinner. I’m not sure how My hubby Juice or little O.J. would take it but these were so delicious, I might just be willing to risk their disappointment.)

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Truly Scrumptious plates

For the decorations we gathered up miss-matched tea sets from friends, family, and a few stops at the thrift shop. We then pulled an old collection of books from her bookshelves, covered them with craft paper, and added a little lace and ribbon as part of each table centerpiece. About a week before the event Star planted pretty little flowers in a handful of the extra tea cups and had them ready to go the day of the event. To finish off the centerpieces we added large goblets, hot water, and tea flowers.

I also used one of my favorite tricks; micro flower arrangements. We used 2 dozen roses and a “garden bunch” to create 12 mini flower arrangements in gorgeous champagne glitter votive holders. There were flowers everywhere but we didn’t spend a fortune.

All the tables were covered in white linens and then layered with different crocheted tablecloths and mismatched doilies.

Star’s big back yard was the perfect space to add in giant lavender and mint balloons strung with lace.

We strung a large glitter “All You Need Is Love” banner across the front of her Pergola along with an eclectic butterfly garland.

and added delightful little paper butterfly cake toppers to all of the flower arrangements.

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my balloon guy, John with Balloon Architects

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tea party bridal shower baby shower

tea party bridal shower baby shower

Butterfly Caketoppers from Kiwitinicreations on Etsy

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Champagne Glitter Votive Holder as a mini vase from SweetHeartsStudios on Etsy

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Free to Fly Butterfly Garland from Julamade on Etsy and All You Need is Love Banner from ThreeLeafPaperie on Etsy

The ice tea bar was the perfect solution to having a tea party on a HOT spring day.  Darling paper straws and delicately hued lavender and mint sugar cubes were the sweetest addition to a fabulous, ice cold, glass of tea.

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Iced Tea Bar

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Colored Sugar Cubes from TrioArtisanDesigns on Etsy

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The Perfect Tea Party Paper Straw Combo from Twigsandtwirlsllc on Etsy

For the favors we filled pretty little paper bags with cookies for later and finished them off with hand stamped “thank you” doilies.

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Cookie for Later Favor with these Hand Stamped Doilies from OhJoyGypsy on Etsy and these Favor Bags from theStationeryRoom on Etsy

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As promised here is the perfect tea party shopping list:

Truly Scrumptious Plates

Truly Scrumptious canape flags

Butterfly Paper Caketoppers

Free to Fly Butterfly Garland 

Lavender and Vanilla Caramels

Champagne Glitter Mini Vase

Colored Sugar Cubes

Paper Straws

Hand Stamped Doilies

Favor Bags

All You Need is Love Banner

Edible butterflies 

My balloon guy

I hope this list saves you time and helps you throw a gorgeous tea party.

xoxosarah

Cherry Blossom Inspired Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

I have been experimenting with chia seeds for a couple of weeks and I am crazy excited about this chia pudding recipe. My perpetual sweet tooth doesn’t necessarily play nice with my current caloric goals so finding a dessert that won’t break the calorie bank is a total score.

This recipe is inspired by my favorite sign of Spring, the cherry blossom.  A lightly sweet, delicately pink, strawberry chia seed pudding, topped with ripe strawberries and matcha (green tea) whipped cream.

And here is the best part, each serving is 105 calories. Sweet tooth satisfied..check…my fitness pal tracking still in the black…check.

 

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Strawberry Chia Pudding with Matcha Whipped Cream

  • Prep Time: 8h

Ingredients

Pudding

  • 8 strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c chia seeds

Topping

  • 11 oz carton of Truwhip or whipped cream ( reserve 2/3 for topping.)
  • Remainder of Truwhip or whipped cream
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder
  • 10 strawberries, washed, hulled, and diced
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 16 cookies or Asian bread-sticks (optional)

Instructions

Pudding

  1. It is best to make chia pudding at least 8 hours ahead, making it the night before works really well.  
  2. Wash and hull strawberries, place in blender along with honey and coconut milk.  Blend until smooth.  Since strawberries can vary in size, keep in mind the proper ratio for a thick chia pudding is 4 parts liquid to 1 part chia seeds so for this recipe aim for 2 cups of liquid.  You can always add more strawberries or coconut milk to equal 2 cups.
  3. Place chia seeds in bowl and then add the strawberry milk mixture, stir until mixed well, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Before serving add 1/3 of the Truwhip container or about a cup of whipped cream, fold until combined.

Topping

  1. Small dice strawberries, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Fold 1 teaspoon of matcha powder in 2/3 a container of Truwhip until combined.
  2. Spoon or pipe pudding into a 2 oz shot glass, add diced strawberries, add optional garnishment; sugar wafers or little bread-sticks work great. I found these strawberry and green tea dipped bread-sticks on the International isle at the grocery store.  If you are going for gluten free on this recipe, just pick up gluten free sugar wafers.
  3. Top with a dollop of matcha Truewhip and either a little sprinkle of straight matcha powder or you can combine a teaspoon of matcha and a tablespoon of sugar, then sprinkle that on top to garnish.

Happy first week of Spring!!

xoxosarah

Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

jessbabyshowerforlivingdarling

Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled to throw her a baby shower.

What better theme to celebrate a little girl than a Kate Spade inspired baby shower complete with: polka dots, stripes, gorgeous flowers, black and white, gold, hot pink, all punctuated with a little sparkle and sass.

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This gorgeous cake is from Swirly Girls Bakery in Daybreak, UT.

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This Hello sign is from HelloHeidiWallArt, Which I usually have hanging in my kitchen but loved the idea of Hello Baby so I used it for this fun shower along with a d.i.y. floral BABY sign. I just cut out the front of these paper mache/ cardboard letters , painted them black, and then filled in each letter with an assortment of pink silk flowers and a little hot glue.

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Have I mentioned how much I love a fruit pizza bar?!!!

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Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

 

 

kate spade baby shower

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If the last time you had sherbet punch was 1992 like me, you need to make some and be quick about it.  It was even better than I remembered.

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I decided to do pink nail polish as the favor, but about choked when I saw how expensive most nail polish is.  Luckily I shopped around and found just what I was looking for at Walgreens. How cute are all these different shades of pink?! I just added a cute tag and a little bow.

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Here are a few more pictures of the invites and address labels. I did bleep out my actual address, if you want to leave me love note, you can always leave me a comment.

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kate spade baby shower

“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”

-Kate Spade

 

I thought it was the perfect quote for all little girls, and big ones for that matter, to remember to sparkle.

kate spade baby shower

One of my favorite things during the shower was the realization that almost every single gift was wrapped in coordination with the theme; pink, polka dots, & stripes.   It was definitely a sight to behold.  It made me smile knowing the invitations totally conveyed the theme enough that all of these ladies go it and just ran with it.

I am also dying over these amazing pictures my awesome nephew Alec took at the shower. It was a huge stress relief to have his help.  I am totally blown away by his talent and really excited to see what he does with it.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

xoxosarah