Friday, March 29, 2013

Pink pastels

This is just a simple recipe (inspired by this Cupcakes and Cashmere blog post) Hayden and I made a while back, but I never got around to posting it. I thought the pretty pink pastel color would be perfect for Spring, not to mention the Easter weekend.

You may have noticed that I haven't been entirely raw for a while now, although I still tend to eat a rather high raw diet (I often regret naming my blog something with "raw" in it, as I don't want it to define me or my blog; I obviously have other interests, as well). Some days are all raw, while others are raw until dinner, etc. For example, this recipe doesn't require any cooking, but it isn't really raw either. It's just a fun treat to eat.

To make these strawberry smooth and melties, Hayden and I flavored some whipped coconut cream with finely ground freeze-dried strawberries. The freeze-dried strawberries were ground into a powder using my Tribest personal blender.

The coconut cream was made by placing an unshaken can of full-fat organic coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Then, we removed the cream that separated to the top of the can, placed it in a mixing bowl and whipped it like whipped cream. We added the ground freeze-dried strawberries to the coconut whipped cream, along with some pure vanilla extract (you can also add some of your favorite sweetener at this point), and whipped it some more.

We kept adding the powdered strawberries until we were happy with the color and flavor. Isn't it a pretty shade of pink?

Lastly, Hayden helped me pipe out star shapes of the strawberry coconut whipped cream onto a piece parchment, which we placed in the freezer until firm. Once set, they are a semi-sweet smooth and melty treat, perfect for a few small bites or as a decoration on a Rawdorable cupcake. Yum!

Anyway, I should be receiving this month's Eco Emi soon, so that will probably be my next post, if I opt to post about it. My kids are on Spring Break right now, which means I'm taking a break, too. Enjoy your weekend :-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Step into Spring snow?

As you know it's Spring, and I'm already reflecting the season in my DIY projects (check out my last post for how to make the floral necklace below). Unfortunately, Mother Nature must have missed the memo.

My latest project was a pair of shoes I had hoped to wear for Easter. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates, as I wouldn't advise wearing these in the snow.

I've wanted to try covering a pair of shoes in fabric for a long time, and I finally got my chance. I had gotten a pair of white sparkly shoes that were a bit too juvenile for my taste (probably because they are kid shoes; I have very small feet), so rather than keep them in the closet, I decided to give them a bit of a makeover.

Inspired by yet another sold-out J.Crew design, I purchased this similar fabric (it's definitely not the same shade of blue, but I think I like my brighter hue) to cover the top of the shoe, along with some silver glitter to jazz up the heel (did I mention that the J.Crew pair has a $278 price tag, while mine only cost me around $20).

To start, I made a pattern out of tissue paper. I just shaped it to the shoe and used a pencil to mark the outline. Then, I cut out the pattern and traced it onto the fabric (tip: pay attention to the print on your fabric; try to line the patterns up so both finished shoes will match).

Of course, I cut out the fabric, making sure to leave enough around the traced area to tuck under as I adhered it to my shoe (this ensures a smooth edge). 

I opted to make my shoe pattern into two sections, based on the construction of my shoe. I glued the smaller of the two pieces to the shoe, folding, tucking, cutting and readjusting until it fit just right.

If you thought the last step was difficult, just wait until you try applying the larger piece of fabric to your shoe. It's important to work in sections and cut darts as needed. It's also best to work from the toe to the back.

Once I completed covering my first shoe, I repeated these steps with the second one. 

Later, I glittered the heels (ignore the wet fabric mark that faded once the shoes were completely dry). I recommend mixing a craft glue like Mod Podge with your glitter and painting it on with a brush (I tried the "shake it on/knock off the excess" method first, but it didn't work as well). Do this in multiple coats and allow it to dry in between each coat. 

It's best to wait a day or two before stepping out in these shoes, but I still slipped them on for a quick pic. I hope to wear them out of the house after the snow melts.

Yes, I said it again; I said "snow." Can you believe these pics of Hayden and Jacob are from the church Easter egg hunt yesterday? It was nice enough to have it outdoors. 

And, this is Hayden peeking outside at the snow we have today.

When the flakes slow down, I'll be taking the kids out to play in it. Who else is having a Spring snow day?           

Thursday, March 21, 2013

If it's sold out, make it yourself

 A while back, I had my eye on this J. Crew Beaded Rose Necklace (it was styled on J. Crew's Tumblr, worn by Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View" and featured on the Pink Peonies blog). Now that it's Spring (although it doesn't feel like it outside yet), I'm still craving this currently sold-out pop of color.

So, I thought to myself, "I could make that." First, I considered forming the roses out of beads, like the original, but while at the fabric store today, I came up with an even more simple and affordable option.

I was searching for fabric for another project, when Hayden asked if we could look at the buttons. To my surprise, the store had exactly five red rose buttons (I couldn't find these online for you, but I got them at Jo-Ann's; the store I went to also had them in pink, peach and cream), perfect for my J. Crew Factory-size version (their Factory site tends to sell less elaborate versions of some of the brand's popular sellers) DIY rose necklace. I picked up all five marked at $1.75 per button, along with some large chunky gold metal chain for $3.99 (I only used about half of it, so I'll have more on hand for another project) and a pack of matching gold metal clasps with hearts on them for about $2.99 (I only needed one, so the rest will go in my jewelry supply box). Oh, and the sales lady was sweet enough to apply some coupons to my purchases to reduce my total (thank you!).

This necklace was so easy to make, as you can see in these photos. I started by attaching my first button to the end of the chain, using my jewelry-making tools. 

Then, I skipped two links and added another button to the chain. Just use your jewelry-making tools or pliers to pry the link open ...

... and after you thread the button onto the open link, press the ends back together again. 

Repeat the process with the third rose ...

... followed by the fourth and fifth rose buttons. You get the idea. 

Once I had all five rose buttons attached to the chain, I decided how long I wanted the finished necklace to be by holding it up around my neck. I opted to have 16 links on each side of the row of blooms. I removed the extra links from one side and attached 16 links to other side.

The last step was attaching the clasp. Just open the end link, thread on the clasp ...

... and secure it in place. 

Your finished necklace looks like this, unless you want to add some extra sparkle. 

The original has a bit of sparkle in the center of each flower, so since I had some tiny crystal beads leftover from another project, I adhered them to the middle of the rose buttons with jewelry glue.

This is how the embellished DIY rose necklace looks when it's done. Let me know if you make one, too :-)   

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saving my green for tomorrow

My title sounds like some kind of financial advice, but I'm actually referring to tomorrow being St. Patrick's Day. Everyone seems to be posting something green in honor of the holiday; however, I plan on just enjoying some green food then (gotta have some green o.j.), without actually posting it on my blog.

Since I took some photos of my latest unbaking project, I decided to share them with you. These mini Rawdorable cupcakes are not green in color, although I'm sure they'll still go well with any St. Patty's Day celebration (especially if you garnish them with a green clover, like I did with this cupcake).

You may recall me making these yummy Gluten-free Raw Neapolitan Brownies/Blondies a couple of summers ago for someone new to our church. She is going to be moving again soon, so I was asked to make another Rawdorable dessert for her.

On short notice, I gathered the ingredients I had on hand and made these mini coconut cream-filled chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing (I used the "cake" recipe from my Rawtess Cupcakes, although I didn't have any almond pulp at the moment, and the icing from the Neapolitan Brownies/Blondies).

One batch of my Rawtess Cupcake recipe was enough to yield exactly 16 mini coconut cream-filled cupcakes (I didn't have any cashews, but I did have the most perfect coconut cream at the top of a chilled can of coconut milk. Yum!). I shaped them in a lined cupcake tin (if you are going to use paper liners, I always recommend forming your cupcakes in a baking tin to maintain the liners' shape).

Anyway, I have a lot to do before my hubby and I have our date night, so here are my step-by-step photos (please refer to my Rawtess Cupcake recipe for the ingredients).

Placing the liners in a mini cupcake tin.

Adding the cupcake ingredients to the bowl.

Whisking the ingredients into a "batter."

Forming the mini cupcakes with a well for the filling (I set aside extra batter to top off the filled cupcakes; simply divide the "batter" into 16 equal parts and remove the tops as you form the bottom of each cupcake).

Filling the cupcakes with coconut cream.

Topping off the filled cupcakes with more "batter."

I transferred the filled cupcakes to a box (I reused my Conscience Box, which holds all 16 mini cupcakes perfectly in place). Then, I chilled them in the fridge while I made the icing (equal parts coconut oil, cocoa powder and pure maple syrup, some pure vanilla extract and sea salt, all blended until smooth in my Tribest blender).

Then, I frosted the filled cupcakes with the chocolate icing. I hope they are well received.

Oh, and before I sign off from today's post, I wanted to thank Lauren from Ginger is the New Pink, as I won her latest giveaway, Kristen Suzanne's "Raw Awakening" book (thank you Kristen, too). I can't wait to check it out :-) 

Have a happy St. Patty's Day everyone!