Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Wear the Fisherman Sweater

Thrift Thursday!!
So first off, this is why I always have Kimberly model…because I can’t! But this was the perfect night to showcase my beautiful Oscar de la Renta sweater with the amazing Christmas decorations and lighted streets in Old Town Alexandria.

The Aran sweater, often known as the fisherman sweater, takes its name from the set of islands off the west coast of Ireland where it originated from in the late 1800s. The stitches are said to carry their own unique meaning in the lives of the Island community. Today, the mass versions of the sweater are seen everywhere and I just can’t get enough! It’s a classic and new wardrobe staple.There’s something so cozy and rugged about the loose fit and chunky cable-knit details. Although this is more of a masculine look, it can serve as a nice counterbalance to more feminine garments, like the skinny black jeggings I paired it with. 
I found this amazing Oscar de la Renta sweater for $15.00 at my local thrift store!! I paired it with my favorite pair of black Calvin Klein pants that I have worn at least 100 times which were only $7.00!! I have definitely gotten my money worth!! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Horse Inspired DIY Crafts

So for Kellie’s trip I was put in charge of the cheese platter to bring with us for our wine tour. Willie and I made 3 of these gorgeous huge chalkboard cheese boards last year when I was on maternity leave (these crafts kept me sane and gave me a break from new mom duties). The inspiration for these horse inspired cheese boards came around when Willie found the horseshoes at the thrift store. I mean how cool are they?!?

Here is what you need:

  • Large piece of thick wood (11″ wide, 1.5″ thick, cut to make 36″long)
  • Horseshoes (we found these large game version ones from the thirft store, but for a smaller version, regular horse shoes would work great too)
    • Option – Spray paint (used the gray hammered color)
  • Drill with metal drill bits
  • Large Screws
  • Paint or Stain for the wood
  • Chalkboard paint for the middle in order to write on
How to assemble:
  1. Make the holes in your horse shoes by using a drill with metal drill bits.
  2. Measure and line up the horse shoes to your piece of wood and pre-drill your screw holes into the wood.
  3. If desired, spray paint your horse shoes and set aside to dry.
  4. Stain or paint the piece of wood. I just used a very dark wood stain for this, but the others I painted in grey and they turned out beautiful.
  5. Using painters tape (I used the 1.5″ thick version) use the outside edges of the wood as your guide to line the tape up.
  6. Paint the inside area of the tape with chalkboard paint.
  7. Remove the tape after 10 minutes of drying, this will prevent it sticking but let the paint settle a little.
  8. If you want a border between your stain/paint and the chalkboard paint (like the gold trim you see on this version) use painters tape again lining up with the top of the chalkboard paint line you created and then from the edge of the board down so you create a thin line.
  9. Let set and completely dry overnight.
  10. Finally, screw on the horse shoes and your DONE!

Oh I haven’t mentioned this amazing wine bottle we created as well using gold paint and gold sparkle spray paint. Isn’t this horse embellishment darling?!? The MOH’s mother had it for a sewing project and we just could not use it for something, so I think this was the perfect gift for Kellie.

At the end of the trip we all signed it and gave well wishes to Kellie!! Great memory of a wonderful trip!
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gluten-Free Ombre Rosette Cake

So remember that gorgeous pink ombre rose cake I made for Hartley’s 1st birthday cake smash photo session?
Well I tackled another one…

My beautiful friend’s Kimberly and Brittney (twins) turned 28 this year. This year was HUGE for both of them…they both got married!! So what a better way to share another milestone and good luck into their first year of newly-wed bliss then a small family birthday celebration with a fabulous cake! Kimberly has been gluten-free for years now, so I made sure that she could enjoy it along with tasting amazing that everyone else would not know it was specially made for her J

The recipe we used was modified slightly from Gluten Free Recipe Box’s Yellow Cake Mix Recipe (We used 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar, since Kimberly likes it a little sweeter). Then the icing was just those pre-made white icing jars (totally your preference on brand, but the thicker the better). Most all the ready to spread icings I’ve seen are gluten-free, but if you have a sensitivity just read your labels. It was a hot night we made this too, so it looks a little runny, but just remember to ice only when your cakes are completely cooled and keep icing chilled.

  • Mix & bake the batter according to the recipe you choose to use. We doubled the recipe mentioned above and were able to split the batter into two 9″ circle cake pans.
  • Wait until completely cooled (big must!) our icing turned a little runny because we were being inpatient!
  • On the two cakes cut the “hump” top off so they have a flat surface.
  • Then, cut each cake into 2 so you have 4 small cake layers for stacking.
  • We did 4 color layers on this cake since we had 4 cake layers instead of 3. So split your icing into 4 bowls to create the colors.
  • Once you have  the 4 color variations you like, you are ready to start assembling!
  • Put the bottom cake layer on your stand and then put a thin layer of your darkest color icing on top. This will show in ombre on the inside too, but you can use white icing if you don’t want this.
  • Then, your next layer of cake with the second darkest color icing.
  • Then, your next layer of cake with the lightest color icing.
  • Then, your final layer of cake on top. You then want to do a crumb layer of icing all around the cake (we just used the white version from the icing jar).
  • Once you have all your layers in place and the icing set, you can decorate!
  • I used gallon sized ziplock bags and just snipped enough of the end off to fit your 1M tip but you can also use special patry bags.
  • Start at the bottom with your darkest icing color. Starting in the center of where your rosette will be (I eyeballed, but you can outline this using a round cookie/biscuit cutter), begin piping a circular swirl outward until you reach the outer border of how long your want your rosette. Then, move right on to the next circle. Keep going around the bottom layer until your rosettes meet.
  • With your next layer of icing start in-between the rosettes you created from your first layer, so you have a overlap look. Go all the way around again until they meet.
  • Your lightest color is next. Remember to start in between the layer you just finished and go all the way around until your rosette layer touch.
  • Last one!! For this final icing layer, we just used the white. Keep your rosette making up to the top and just make sure you are alternating and able to overlap so your whole cake is covered in beautiful rosettes.
  • Finished…whew. The directions are much longer then what it will actually take, I promise 🙂


Here is that beautiful cake stand that I couldn’t help featuring again! Found this at my local thrift store for $9.00!! Whoohoooo!


I hope you enjoy making this spectacular easy DIY cake for anything special occasion!
Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Vintage Pyrex

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I have become the entrusted biscuit and doughnut maker to carry on the family tradition. Every Thanksgiving I make my Mamaw’s (my great grandmother) biscuit recipe. Pulling out the handwritten recipe just makes me remember all of our wonderful family memories and traditions. I am excited that I can now incorporate this meaningful recipe while also creating new traditions and memories for my own daughter and husband. These beautiful pyrex bowls are my grandmother’s and it is just so cool that I remember using these in her kitchen and now I can use them in mine.

I am very blessed and so thankful for my beautiful daughter and amazing husband. I hope you never forgot the special recipes or items that make your house a home. Enjoy your day with your family and friends.

xoxo- Ashlyn