The Life of Jennifer Dawn: June 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Berry" Good Friends

 Lydia Grace and her "berry" good buddy Addy got to spend some more time together the other day.  Here they are at the Fruit and Berry Patch picking blackberries.  Yummy!

This is one of our family's favorite summertime activities.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Camping at Mornings with Mommy

Lydia Grace and I have been doing Mornings with Mommy this summer at a local church.  This past week's theme was camping.   Here is Lydia Grace...

 *The "paint" was a shaving cream and glue mixture.  When it dries, it has the texture of a marshmallow.  How cool is that?!

I love being able to have my summers off so I can do activities like this with L.G.  We still have a lot more summer to go!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finger Food Fun

A carrot tree with kiwi leaves,cheese sandwich dinosaur with raisin spots, and vanilla wafer sun made a fun and yummy lunch for Lydia Grace.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pals Playing at the Park

Lydia Grace and her pal Addy played at the park together the other day.  Addy's mom watched L.G. last year when I went to work, so Addy and L.G. became great little buddies.

I loved that when one looked towards the camera...the other would look away.

Here's to the carefree, playful days of summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Whipped Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened; not melted)
  • 4 tbsp. butter (softened; not melted)
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. container of cool whip (whipped cream or 2 cups of dream whip made according to the package's instructions)
  • yellow food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, blend together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is completely incorporated into the frosting. Food coloring can be added to give the frosting a lovely lemon color. About 12 drops works perfectly, but this is optional. Fold in the whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight before piping it onto cupcakes. This would also be delicious on cake, fruit, or tarts.
*Keep refrigerated.

The Story Behind the Recipe:
Originally this was meant to just be a lemon cream cheese frosting, but it turned out very runny.  After trying to thicken it up with a little more sugar and even some cornstarch, it was still too runny to frost with.  As a final resort, I remade it, added a container of whipped cream, and... 
Voila! My kitchen mishap suddenly turned into a delicious disaster.  The frosting was even tastier than before and had a wonderful creamy consistency. Thus my frosting became a yummy whipped lemon cream cheese frosting.  I hope you enjoy!

How about some Whipped Lemon Cream Cheese Tartlets? You can find that recipe here.

Happy eating!

*Affiliate links are present on this post and site.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raspberry Cupcakes with a Whipped Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I was watching Cupcake Wars the other day on the Food Network and my pregnant self started craving cupcakes.  For some reason, this idea popped into my head.
It's a cupcake made with fresh raspberries baked into my favorite golden cake batter recipe and topped with a whipped lemon cream cheese frosting.  Originally it was supposed to just be a lemon cream cheese frosting minus the whipped part, but it turned out even better this way.  I'll share the icing recipe with you tomorrow and why it ended up being whipped.  For now...please enjoy a little "eye candy."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sand Dollar Jewelry Tutorial

Look at what we found at the beach while we were on vacation...

Are you wondering what Lydia Grace is doing?  
She was helping her Mimi and I to paint a hardener/whitener on the sand dollars to make them less fragile.  My mom wanted to use hers for a home decor idea.  I wanted to use mine to make some
jewelry.  Here's how...

I raided the jewelry making aisle at the craft store and stocked up on some $0.99 supplies (pearls, hooks, clasps, chains...).  I also bought some acrylic paint in metallic gold to paint a few of the sand dollars.

The painted sand dollars were used for necklaces.

I strung larger pearls to make the necklace for myself and smaller pearls to make the necklace for Lydia Grace.  I also used a smaller sand dollar for hers.   
(Tip: Instead of using pre-made jewelry loops to attach the sand dollars onto the necklaces, I made my own loops with pliable gold wire.  Trying to fish the pre-made loops onto the sand dollars only causes them to chip and break because the pre-made loops are way too tight to feed through the holes on the sand dollars.  Trust me...I learned this from experience.)
 Gold toggle clasps finished each necklace off.

I also made bracelets.

For these, I assembled gold chains, jewelry loops, and pendants together.  Lydia Grace's is a bit simpler, but both have a sand dollar attached to them with a pliable gold wire loop.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011

We had a blast, but it is nice to be home now.  I posted a few pictures while we were still on vacation(Click here for that post.)  

But here are several more pictures of our trip to Florida.  We stayed right on the beach on Anna Maria Island but took a couple of day trips into Sarasota and Tampa.  (I took exactly 450 pictures during the course of the vacation--most of them of Lydia Grace.  Don't worry.  I didn't post them all--just a few highlights.)  

What a great time we had...

playing in the sand...

splashing in the water...

making new friends...

going fishing...

visiting the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota...

enjoying the zoo in Tampa...

playing tennis...

collecting shells and sand dollars...

spotting dolphins...

grilling out...

and enjoying the beautiful sunsets.