Decorating For St. Patrick’s Day

Top ‘O the Mornin!  St. Patrick’s Day is highly celebrated and under-decorated.  Growing up in an Irish family, I have always loved March 17 for its tradition, fun, beer, and c’mon, everyone looks great in green!

Here are some of my favorite simple decorating ideas for St. Paddy’s Day…

Pin up St. Patrick’s Day cards, pins, and  kids’ artwork!

20130314-130119.jpg

A few assorted beer glasses with green water and a floating candle make an easy and inexpensive display..

20130314-130301.jpgSPD2

St. Patrick’s Day in a ball jar!  Fill a jar with gold coins and cute green hats(available at Michaels)

SPD3SPD4

Festive signs from the $1 section at Target on the front door…

SPD5

No St. Paddy’s Day is complete without some real beer…in a cupcake!  This recipe is delicious and leaves some leftover Guinness that just can’t be wasted.  I found this on www.partypeopleblog.com last year and have promised my son that my fingers will not get caught in the mixer again this time.  That was before I drank the Guinness BTW.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Icing

-For the Cupcakes-

1 bottle Guinness

1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

Baking Temperature:  350 degrees

Baking Time:  17 minutes

Makes 24 Yummy Cupcakes

1.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

2.  Bring Guinness and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.

3.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly

4.  Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl.

5.  Add Guinness-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat until just combined.

6.  Add flour mixture and beat on slow speed.

7.  Fold batter until completely combined.

8.  Fill cupcake liners, 2/3 to 3/4 full.  Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 17 minutes.  Cool completely on a rack before icing.

-For the Frosting-

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 tablespoon milk

1.  Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy.

2.  Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well (about 2 minutes) after each cup until a good consistency is reached.

3.  Add Bailey’s and milk until just combined.

Ice, decorate with sprinkles or a shamrock, and enjoy!!!!

Erin Go Braugh!!!

Advertisements

Outdoor Summer Essentials!

Now that Summer is finally here, we try to spend as little time indoors as possible. That means we are coming and going, in and out our back door, constantly. To save ourselves from a pool playdate with no swim trunks or an evening cookout that leaves us looking like we are suffering from leprosy after a mosquito attack, I have a few no-fail solutions.  Well, sometimes I fail.  But, for the most part we leave home and return in one piece.  I try to keep my summer essentials easily accessible in a shoe organizer inconspicuously hanging on the wall behind the mud room door.

SummerOrganizerSummerOrganizer2
Here are the top 10 items to keep close to your back door this summer…

1. Sunscreen

Duh.
 2. Bug Spray

BugSpray

This is my favorite.  It is organically derived with a pleasant eucalyptus scent.  It doesn’t feel oily or sticky on your skin either.  Available at Whole Foods.
3. Swim Necessities

Keep swim suits rolled up in the shoe organizer and ready-to-go along with swim diapers and sets of clean clothes.

4.  Citronella candles and lighters or matches.

5.  Fireworks

Must include “Whipper Snappers”.  I have done extensive research and thus far can report no injuries.  Conclusion – toddlers love whipper snappers. Please be sure an adult is in charge of any fireworks that require a spark.

6.  Glow Sticks

Somehow these never get old.  If they do, cut off the tips and put them in a closed container of water to make glowing lanterns.  Old water bottes work great!

7.  Spray bottles filled with water

Pick up as many as you can from the “dollar section” at Target because they will break. I don’t know why spraying concrete, plants, each other is so fun, but it is.

8.  Buckets and paint brushes

Again, I am not sure of the science of why this offers hours of entertainment, but painting the concrete is fun.  Cleaning the driveway is fun.  Painting trees is fun.  Wiping away bird poop is fun.

9.  Money.  Cash money.

You do no want to be caught without a dime when the ice cream truck rolls through your hood.  So stash some dollar dollar bills yo.  I keep some in the shoe organizer, thus I can grab and run to the treat truck!
10. A bag already loaded with snacks

Keep a bag at the back door already loaded with snacks and juice boxes.  Then when you are heading out in a hurry, just grab whatever items you need from your Summer essentials buffet.

Hope you can enjoy a safe, relaxing, and stress-free Summer!  Have fun!

Remote Controls Driving You Crazy?

If your family room is anything like my family room, television remotes outnumber family members.  And they can be as hard to find as a Dad when there is a #2 diaper change in order!  We found a simple way to keep track of our remotes, and have them look as good as a pile of black plastic can!

Inexpensive Cute Tray + Remote Control Placement Mandate = Problem Solved!

Remote Tray

Decorating For St. Patrick’s Day

Top ‘O the Mornin!  St. Patrick’s Day is highly celebrated and under-decorated.  Growing up in an Irish family, I have always loved March 17 for its tradition, fun, and c’mon, everyone looks great in green!

Here are some of my favorite simple decorating ideas for St. Paddy’s Day…

Pin up St. Patrick’s Day cards, pins, and  kids’ artwork!

20130314-130119.jpg

A few assorted beer glasses with green water and a floating candle make an easy and inexpensive display..

20130314-130301.jpgSPD2

St. Patrick’s Day in a ball jar!  Fill a jar with gold coins and cute green hats(available at Michaels)

SPD3SPD4

Festive signs from the $1 section at Target on the front door…

SPD5

No St. Paddy’s Day is complete without some real beer…in a cupcake!  This recipe is delicious and leaves some leftover Guinness that just can’t be wasted.  I found this on www.partypeopleblog.com last year and have promised my son that my fingers will not get caught in the mixer again this time.  That was before I drank the Guinness BTW.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Icing

-For the Cupcakes-

1 bottle Guinness

1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

Baking Temperature:  350 degrees

Baking Time:  17 minutes

Makes 24 Yummy Cupcakes

1.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

2.  Bring Guinness and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.

3.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly

4.  Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl.

5.  Add Guinness-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat until just combined.

6.  Add flour mixture and beat on slow speed.

7.  Fold batter until completely combined.

8.  Fill cupcake liners, 2/3 to 3/4 full.  Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 17 minutes.  Cool completely on a rack before icing.

-For the Frosting-

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 tablespoon milk

1.  Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until creamy.

2.  Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well (about 2 minutes) after each cup until a good consistency is reached.

3.  Add Bailey’s and milk until just combined.

Ice, decorate with sprinkles or a shamrock, and enjoy!!!!

Erin Go Braugh!!!