Celebrate 4th July Round-Up: Decor & Crafts

 

4th July is fast approaching and I wanted to celebrate one of my favorite holidays in style with a Celebrate 4th July Round-Up!

Today it is all about decor and crafts! I am not the most crafty person in the world so I love it when I find incredible, inspiring and yet simple crafts and decor ideas.

I am delighted to share these exceptional creations with you! They caught my eye from The Pretty Pintastic Party a link party I co-host every Friday 

Now onto the Round-Up:

Indoor Decor

 

1) No Sew Table Runner by The Checkered Apple

2) Pottery Barn Knock-Off Pillow by For What It’s Worth

3) Pom Pom & Fireworks Centerpiece by Little Miss Celebration

4) Patriotic Stars by Julie Is Coco & Cocoa

5) Patriotic Holiday Shelf by The Road To Domestication

 

Outdoor Decor

 

1) Flag Pallet by Krafty Cards Etc

2) Door Flag by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

3) Paper Fireworks Wreath by Love Pasta & A Toolbelt

4) Patriotic Pom Pom Wreath by Krafty Cards Etc

 

Crafts with Kids

 

1) Wooden American Flag by Meatloaf & Melodrama

2) Easy Patriotic Banner by For What It’s Worth

 

I hope you are getting in the festive mood ready to celebrate 4th July!

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Turkey

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Turkey

Captain America has been busy in the kitchen again – this time demonstrating his skills at cooking the perfect Turkey.

I know I am running a series of very unseasonal posts right now, yesterday was Pumpkin Cheesecake and now today it’s the perfect turkey – anyone would think it was Thanksgiving! However it is not, and we all know that you can eat turkey all year round and it makes for a very flexible, multiple meal option for a family.

We used a bone-in turkey breast which we got on sale in our local grocery store.  We roasted it up and used it in various meals, lunches, sandwiches for the next few days!

Captain America boasts about his Roast Turkey and I can understand why (I feel like I say that about everything he cooks – but really the man is a genius in the kitchen….I am very blessed!!) – it was very moist and flavorful not at all like many of the turkeys you usually get served around the holidays. It was, in fact, the perfect turkey!

This is a super quick and simple recipe – there is no need for days of preparation here – you will need about 10 minutes to prep it before sticking it in the oven to bake! Easy as can be!

What is your favorite method of preparing turkey??

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Top 10 Cleaning Tips For People Who Hate Cleaning

Top 10 Cleaning Tips For People Who Hate Cleaning

I HATE CLEANING!

There I said it!

If there is one thing in the world I would like to never have to do again – it’s clean.

Captain America knows when it’s cleaning day, because I wake up and moan about it, and then expect a plethora of congratulations and comments about the glory of the cleanliness of our apartment!

That’s right, if you didn’t know this already we live in an apartment…..I don’t even have a huge house to clean….no just a 1,000 sqft apartment…..that’s how much I HATE CLEANING!

I wish we could afford a cleaner, but even then I don’t think I could bring myself to hire a cleaner for such a small space. So instead I put on my big-girl pants and clean….and moan about it, and then don’t want to use or touch anything for at least 24 hours so I can bask in the glory of a clean house!! I am crazy, I know!

So why, oh why am I writing this post about cleaning, I hear you cry?? Well, because I hate cleaning so much, and I know many of you share in my hatred, I thought I would reach out to my blogging friends and ask for their top tips to make cleaning as fast, efficient and painless as possible! In lieu of my own genius solutions for cleaning I turn to some of my favorite sites for advice!

Top 10 Cleaning Tips For People Who Hate Cleaning

I know there are some strange ones out there who actually enjoy cleaning. To you I say congratulations and I am caught in a state of disbelief and jealousy, disbelief because I find it hard to believe that anyone actually ENJOYS cleaning and jealousy because I actually would like to find some joy in it…..because currently there is non. Just misery!

If you are one of these crazed people who actually enjoys cleaning…what are your top tips for cleaning??

Help rescue me from my misery!

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Domesticity 101: The Perfect Frosting Techniques

Domesticity 101-The Perfect Frosting Technique

Frosting is one of those techniques that I think most chefs and bakers dread.  I am one of them.

I am not particularly good at it but I am developing techniques that help me out and develop new skills – and they are all relatively simple.

When it comes to frosting I have discovered that confidence is key.  If you pause, or panic mid ‘frost’ it all goes terribly wrong!  I learned this the hard way!

A while ago a watched this video that really helped me, especially with cupcakes. Watch it for some great tips!

Best Ever Cupcake Icing Kit by Bake It Pretty

For our recent wedding celebration party in England my Mum and I made over 100 cakes and I managed to get a few shots of Mum frosting some of the cupcakes.  She is really good at it….although Mum’s always make things look easy don’t they!  However, she did teach me some great techniques and she is and excellent cake decorator.

The following photos show some great tips:

Hold the frosting bag firmly with both hands, squeezing the frosting to ensure there are no air pockets in it.

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Frosting

Start from the outside and work your way inside.  With these cupcakes we were just doing a swirl of frosting around the outside, and we put a dollop of lemon curd in the middle of the frosting.

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Frosting

Frosting sheet cakes is much easier as you just spread it on and smooth it out, or create patterns with a flat pallet knife.

With the cakes below these were Coconut Cherry cakes so we sprinkled some toasted coconut on the top of the frosting.

There are three great things about sprinkles of any kind –

1 – they taste delicious,

2 – they make the cake look pretty

3 – they hide any frosting mess 🙂

 

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Frosting

Domesticity 101: The Perfect Frosting

Here is another company My Cupcake Addiction that I found a whole series of helpful videos from their YouTube page that show you exactly how to frost cupcakes.  It is very practical and useful so I hope it helps you too!

Decorating Techniques and Frosting Styles by My Cupcake Addiction on YouTube

 

For more inspiration about beautiful cupcakes……all of which I hope to make just as beautifully myself one day in the not too distant future…..in the meantime we just have to take from others around us who excel in these areas.

 

Check out my Pinterest Cupcake Board

Coupons for this recipe:

$0.85 off any ONE (1) Truvia Natural Sweetener
$0.55 off ONE 15oz Country Crock Spreadable Butter
$0.35 off ONE 8oz Country Crock Spreadable Butter
$0.75 off any Smucker's Natural Fruit Spread
$0.75 off one Agave In The Raw Bottle, 18.5 oz

Domesticity 101 – The Perfect Frosting Recipes

Domesticity 101 - The Perfect Frosting

Last week in Domesticity 101: The Perfect Cake I promised more information on making The Perfect Frosting!

Let me start with this disclaimer…….I AM NOT THE EXPERT ON FROSTING but over time I am developing my cake frosting skills and gaining confidence and I want to share it with you!

 

Frosting cakes is terrifying!  It always seems like everyone else’s cakes look professional (and for all we know they may be….we know your tricks, ladies!!) and mine turn our looking, well let’s just say, a little ‘rough around the edges’!

 

Recently I have fund a few helpful recipes and tips that I wanted to share with you here! I also asked some other blogging friends for their input and their favorite frosting recipes – so all in all you should be able to give it a really good go when you combine all of our advice.

 

This post includes specific recipes, and much like last week, the basic recipes which you can then adapt and create your own masterpieces from.  

Next week we will talk about technique – so don’t panic! There is more to come!

 

Before you know it we will no longer have to buy cakes from professional bakers, we will all be able to present wonderful, beautiful cakes, made from scratch! WAHOO! Continue reading

Domesticity 101 – The Perfect Cake

Domesticity 101 - The Perfect Cake

I LOVE CAKE!

There, I said it!  I am a huge fan of good ol’ sponge cake/white cake/yellow cake…..or whatever you most ‘normal’ basic cake is called in your part of the world!

Making The Perfect Cake is hard to do!  It’s very easy to make a dry, bland, overcooked, undercooked, cake that sticks to the pan or falls apart.

Domesticity 101 - The Perfect Cake

My personal favorite – Victoria Sponge Cake

However, I believe I have the recipe for a fool proof cake!  This is the easiest and most basic cake you can make – but what’s wonderful about it is that you can then adapt the cake in many, many ways.  You can create different flavors, shapes, patterns, frostings (more on that next week!) for all different occasions and tastes!
Last week, you may have seen my post about Our British Wedding Celebration – for that my Mum and I made loads and loads of cake – 168 pieces to be precise! We made Victoria Sponge cake, Coconut Cherry Cake, Coffee Walnut Cake, Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cake and Fairy Cakes or Cupcakes – big and small…..all using this same basic recipe which we adapted at the final stages to change the flavors and fillings!
Wedding Celebration Cakes

A selection of the cakes we made

Here is the recipe YOU NEED to make The Perfect Cake:

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Domesticity 101: Baking Equipment

Domesticity 101 - main 2_03

Domesticity 101: a guide to all the essentials and basics around the house and kitchen.

I am not an expert, just another woman trying to figure life out and make it the day-to-day tasks as simple as possible – and that’s what I will be sharing here.

The title, Domesticity 101 can be defined as:
do·mes·tic·i·ty (dm-sts-t)
n. pl. do·mes·tic·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being domestic.
2. Home life or devotion to it.
3. domesticities Household affairs. Original source

We kicked off the series with Pantry Essentials – this includes ingredients that we use very regularly and are featured in many of our recipes.

Week One: Pantry Essentials: Herbs & Spices

Week Two: Pantry Essentials: Oils, Sauces & Marinades

Week Three: Kitchen Equipment

Today we continue the series with Baking Equipment – covering all the basic Baking Essentials you will need to make you life in the kitchen a whole lot easier!

Do you have a question that you want answered?

If so, please leave a comment or email me and ask the question and I will try and answer it!

Enjoy!

Continue reading

Domesticity 101: Kitchen Equipment

Domesticity 101 - main 2_03

Domesticity 101: A guide to all the essentials & basics around the house and kitchen to help you.

I am not an expert, just another woman trying to figure life out and make it the day-to-day tasks as simple as possible – and that’s what I will be sharing here.

The title, Domesticity 101 can be defined as:
do·mes·tic·i·ty (dm-sts-t)
n. pl. do·mes·tic·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being domestic.
2. Home life or devotion to it.
3. domesticities Household affairs. Original source

We kicked off the series with Pantry Essentials – this includes ingredients that we use very regularly and are featured in many of our recipes.

Week One: Pantry Essentials: Herbs & Spices

Week Two: Pantry Essentials: Oils, Sauces & Marinades

Today we continue the series with Kitchen Equipment – covering all the basic Kitchen Essentials you will need to make you life in the kitchen a whole lot easier!

Do you have a question that you want answered?

If so, please leave a comment or email me and ask the question and I will try and answer it!

Enjoy!

Continue reading

Domesticity 101: Pantry Essentials-Oils & Sauces

Domesticity 101 Oils & Sauces

Last week we started a new series on our blog thanks to a suggestion from an avid reader and dear friend, Kristin.

She suggested we start a “how-to guide” to the basics of cooking.

That got me thinking.

Here it is: Domesticity 101.

A guide to all the essentials and basics around the house and kitchen to help you out.

Domesticity 101 - main 2_03

I am not an expert, just another woman trying to figure life out and make it the day-to-day tasks as simple as possible – and that’s what I will be sharing here.

The title, Domesticity 101 can be defined as:
do·mes·tic·i·ty (dm-sts-t)
n. pl. do·mes·tic·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being domestic.
2. Home life or devotion to it.
3. domesticities Household affairs. Original source

We are kicking off the series with Pantry Essentials – this includes ingredients that we use very regularly and are featured in many of our recipes.  Last week it was Herbs & Spices, today we are looking at Oils, Sauces & Marinades, followed by many more helpful tips!

Do you have a question that you want answered?

If so, please leave a comment or email me and ask the question and I will try and answer it!

Continue reading

Domesticity 101 – Pantry Essentials

Domesticity 101 - Herbs & Spices

Today we are starting a new series on our blog thanks to a suggestions from an avid reader and dear friend, Kristin.

She suggested we start a “how-to guide” to the basics of cooking.

That got me thinking.

Here it is: Domesticity 101.

A guide to all the essentials and basics around the house and kitchen to help you out.

I am not an expert, just another woman trying to figure life out and make it the day-to-day tasks as simple as possible – and that’s what I will be sharing here.

We are kicking off the series with Pantry Essentials.  This week it’s Herbs & Spices, next week is Oils, Sauces & Marinades, followed by Baking…with many more ideas brewing!

Do you have a question that you want answered?

If so, please leave a comment or email me and ask the question and I will try and answer it.

 

Pantry Essentials: Herbs & Spices

Herbs & Spices

Firstly, I have to admit that these ingredients are all here because Captain America is the king of herbs and spices.  He knows just the right combination of herbs and spices to make any dish delicious.  He has taught me so much about seasonings since we have been married, and now I am a total convert.

There are a lot of herbs and spices in our pantry, but all of them are used all the time.  They are reasonably inexpensive based on the usage and well worth the initial purchase price for the taste enhancement they bring to your recipes.

There are various ways of buying them cheaper: buying in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club offers many of the basics at much cheaper prices, if you have a space big enough to store them.  Most regular grocery stores have the others and they are often on sale, so wait for a sale and stock up then! Continue reading