nails of the week: Game of Thrones

Season three of Game of Thrones begins tonight. So, here are my Game of Thrones nails. I devoted my thumbs to House Stark with their words Winter is Coming and the wolf's head. I devoted the rest of my nails to House Targaryen. Daenerys and her dragons were my favorite parts of the books. She has grown so much since the beginning and I was inspired by her words I will take what is mine with fire and blood. She is the rightful heir to the throne.

*Byron helped me draw the wolf's head and took the pictures. He is a wonderful, supportive husband (even though he likes House Lannister) and I love him very much.*


My blog is 1 year old today. Yay! One year ago, the weather was warmer and Alice was smaller (my hair was also darker-- hello ombre blond) but other than that, not much has changed. Life continues on, the good and the not so good. I have really enjoyed keeping track of our life with this little blog. I hope you have been able to find something sweet here, where the persimmon tree shakes.  

The trees are trying to usher in spring. 

Rosy is being uncooperative.

I moved a bird nest. Poor little bird built it in a trash bag next to a gas can so I made her a little bird box that should work much better. She has been working so hard every morning, getting the nest just right. Maybe soon we will have little eggs and baby birds-- if spring will ever arrive. 

heart art

I saw this cute idea on Pinterest (but I didn't pin it and can't find the link. Lesson learned- always pin everything). I used a heart shaped paper punch and cut up a stack of paint swatches then just glued them to a canvas. Easy, cheap, pretty art. I love the way the glue makes the paper curl up. My nearest Home Depot better watch out, I can't wait to get my hands on more paint swatches!

I plan on making a green toned one next. I parted ways with my pink creation- gave it away to my BFF as a Valentine. 

light box

Mmmm, pie. I just finished off the last piece. But this post isn't about pie, it's about taking pictures of pie. I love my house, but the sunlight only shines in during the early morning and evening hours. Good for heating and cooling costs, not so good for photography. So, here is my new favorite accessory, the light box.

I took those pie pics on a particularly cloudy and rainy day. Evidence: my poor dog bathed in darkness (see two pics down). This light box has saved me from flash and florescent lighting disasters. I found instructions for it here. My only complaint: it takes up a lot of space. 

I like to set it in the doorway when the sunlight (or what little sunlight can escape from the oppressive clouds) is present. The tissue paper on the sides and top of the box diffuses the light and softens the shadows for photography perfection. 
*I also prefer to lighten all of my photos in Photoshop by playing with the curves*

One must be careful to keep any animals away from the foods being photographed. 
Warning: styled foods are sometimes smaller then actual foods being eaten. 

*The above picture was taken on my kitchen counter, as evidenced by the inconsistent lighting.

when life hands you lemons...

...make Lemon Chess Pie!

We haven't received too many lemons lately, just a few irritating things that made the week not so great.  
Pie makes everything better, don't you think?

This recipe is from Paula Deen's The Lady & Sons Just Desserts

This recipe was super easy and fast. The pie turned out ooey and gooey, golden and delicious. 

nails of the week: nude

I am usually not a fan of plain nude nails. Pale skin and most nude shades don't complement each other too well. My mom gave me this shade, Essie's Sand Tropez. It may be the perfect nude. It looks great with a hint of gold or some sparkle. It might make a good zombie nail too. 

sick day

We had a sick day this week. This is what it looked like.

Reading books in the sun.

Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown, our favorite.

Tiny, pink painted toes. 

Silly smiles and saying "No" to Rosy.

Rosy laying in her sun spot.

mini doughnuts

My new obsession is this, mini doughnuts. I made them over the weekend since my parents were visiting. I used the dough recipe from Sprinkle Bakes and made three different icing variations. The chocolate ones were the best. Rich and decadent. The maple drizzled had a wonderful depth of flavor, without being too sweet. The pink lemonade were tart and refreshing.

Chocolate Glazed with Chocolate Jimmies

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
1tbsp whole milk (more or less depending on desired consistency)

Maple Glazed with Chocolate Drizzle

1cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp whole milk (more or less depending on desired consistency)

Pink Lemonade with Sprinkles

1 cup sifted powdered sugar (more or less depending on desired consistency)
juice of 1 lemon
1 drop of red gel food coloring

You can buy a mini doughnut pan here. The recipe makes 60-72 mini doughnuts, so it would be beneficial to have a few pans. After breakfast, we only had a dozen doughnuts left over. That means everyone ate at least a dozen. No shame though, these babies were delicious. 

Mom got to lick the bowl as I cleaned up. Role reversal! 

nails of the week: St. Patrick

Green dots on my nails for St. Patricks Day. So, don't pinch me. 

baking nook

I feel the need for more sweet, baked goods in my life. So, I did a little (actually, a lot) of rearranging and cleaning in my kitchen to create a baking nook. Here is a list of eleven essentials for a baking haven. 

1      A variety of sprinkles and jimmies
2      Dessert plates
3      Cupcake liner papers
4      Cookies cutters
5      Ingredients: flour, sugar, powdered sugar
6      Measuring spoons and cups
7      Baking cookbooks (they should really be called bakebooks, right?)
8      Grandma Niecie's recipe box
9      Pink mixer
10    Pink spatulas
11    Jello molds (belonged to my Grandma Niecie)

spring color

Finally, a beautiful warm day. After running some errands and cleaning some messes I convinced everyone to paint with me. 

Alice painted a beautiful picture, even though she was a little ornery. She also tried to eat the brush and may have ingested some paint (don't worry, it's non toxic). 

sparkle cookies

I received this beautiful book for my birthday last year. The desserts are intricate and inspirational. For my first attempt at dessert art, I decided to make some cookies. Heather suggests displaying them on a cone covered in buttercream. I decided to just stick them together with the icing and eat them up. 

I like to use a number 50 scoop to shape my cookies. It also works well for mini cupcakes. On a second attempt at these beauties, I used the same scoop then cut the dough into quarters to make tiny, fairy cookies (as one friend called them).

For this recipe, the sugar cookie dough is rolled into a ball then rolled in sugar.

 Once baked, the cookies flatten on one side and become crumbly and sweet. They actually melt in your mouth. 

I squished them together with some buttercream and more sprinkles, because...sprinkles. 

This is my happy. 

signature color

I added a streak of raspberry pink fun to my hair a few weeks back. It makes me happy to see something so bright and colorful. Once it fades I might switch up the colors. I have my eye on a pretty sweet orange. 

nails of the week: minty fresh

Why is it not spring yet? I am in need of some sunny days and warm weather. I will have to settle for an update in color while I wait for the season to change. Pastels are perfect for spring and I can never resist a bit of glitter. 


Oh, just a family on a dinosaur walk. More fun from the Museum of Life and Science

This was near the end of out visit, that's why Alice looks so unenthused.