Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let There Be Cake!

You probably don’t want to read another one of our lame apologies for not blogging enough… so we’ll just get going like we’ve been here EVERYDAY!

Anti-social :/

Before we jump in, you may need some background information. Chelsea, yes Decor Roomie Chelsea, had her 22nd birthday a month ago. All of us, as in other roomies and friends were not able to celebrate with her since we were had winter break. Thus, Rachel (a roomies) planned a surprise birthday party for her. I (Allison) am currently being anti-social and typing this post because I am just too darn excited about all of this.

Rachel invited all of our friends and Val made Penne a la Vodka and I made a cake (you may have already figured that out).

Isn’t it beautiful? Okay so maybe my frosting skills were off, but I was in a rush!

Want the recipe? Of course you do :)

1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
2 Cans of DRAINED Mandarin Oranges (the average size can… threw it away already otherwise I would tell you how many ounces)
Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

Prepare the yellow cake mix according to directions on the box for 9” round cake pans.

Allow the cake to cool and start preparing the whipped cream.

The recipe for that is as follows:
3 cups of whipping cream
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
Orange Zest

Combine all of the ingredients and use an electric mixer on medium speed until peaks form. You may also use a whisk, but your arm or elbow will begin to hurt after a while as mine did.

Once the cake has cooled and the whipped cream has been chilled in the fridge, begin the assembly process.

Place one cake layer on a plate and spread a generous helping of whipped cream on the cake. Then take use about one cans worth of mandarin oranges and spread them out over the whipped cream.

Top this with the next cake layer and then frost the entire thing with the whipped cream. Beautify the cake by topping it with more mandarin oranges.

Chill the cake before serving. I made this recipe up and I am rather proud of it. Everyone thought it was delicious and I am happy, yet sad, to say that there are only two slim slices of it left.

Chelsea’s surprise party was a success! Time to socialize :)



Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Good Kind of Hurricane

Thanks to all of the blogs we love reading, Allison and I have been inspired to try lots of simple projects that we can make our own. We love to try things that require the least amount of brain power, and more importantly, cash. Due to our college student status, extra amounts of either of these items come at a premium. Some of the projects we’ve come to love the most are those using items from none other than our local Dollar Tree. DT has become the place to get our DIY-ing fill when time and money run short. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that you must have an imagination and no fear of using a little elbow grease.

A specific project we came across on various other blogs that was so easy, and cost less than $5 total, was making decorative hurricanes using Dollar Tree items. It was easily customizable for both of the bedrooms we wanted to place them in, just by choosing different fillers for each.

To start off, I picked up my DT items: one pillar candle holder with a flared rim, and one glass candle stick holder.

Then, using some Gorilla Glue we already had on hand, attach the end of the candle stick with the opening to the center of the bottom of the pillar candle holder. …We made no measurements to find the center, a simple eyeball did the trick for us. Be careful not to go overboard with the Gorilla Glue since it does puff up.
Here’s the hard part. Once you’ve applied the glue and have your hurricane sitting upside down, DO NOT touch it for an hour! Place a cookbook (or textbook!) balanced on the candle stick holder to add some pressure. Otherwise, set this out of the way and WALK AWAY!

When the Gorilla Glue is good and dry, you can flip it over, and admire your handy work. But not for too long, because that beauty now needs something inside it! For our hurricanes we chose two different fillers, because these were going to be placed on two different desks, in two different bedrooms.

For Chelsea’s hurricane, she used some sand brought back from a local beach, some glass bead fillers she found packed away in the holiday decorations and a white pillar candle from DT. Allison’s hurricane contains a green DT candle and some black DT river rocks. Each one looks beautiful in their respective bedrooms, and cost just under $5 for both the hurricane and the filler. And the best part? It is so easy to change the contents to fit any room, any season, any mood!

Not the best shot, but you can see where it lives there next to my computer.
Another one...

And another! This one is a bit different and lives on the coffee table.

For those of you looking to beef up your holiday d├ęcor for next year, you could fill this hurricane with some shiny and colorful ornaments, or some sprigs of evergreen and red berries. They look great on a mantle in a grouping of three, a bedside table, or if you’re like us college kids, you can add a little beauty to the place you end up spending more time than you’d like: your desk. 

Be sure to check this easy, wallet-friendly project out! If you’ve created something similar, comment with a link to your finished product! 

Have a happy and decorative new year,