A journal

Thanks for visiting me at Experiment MOM (Mother of Multiples). My digital Scrap for Hire business, ScraPicts, is coming soon so please check back with me again or Click the Follow Me button on lefthand side of my blog.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate-dipped Strawberry Carrots for Easter

Hoppy Easter everyone!  Last night my friend Sarah came over for strawberry dipping. She had seen these adorable orange chocolate-dipped strawberries on the cover of the Harry and David catalog and so we set out to recreate them. Also Sarah HAD given up sugar for lent but let's just say the fast was over a tad early!!!

Harry and David Version:

So this is what we did.  Some notes ahead of time.
1. Get medium strawberries and if you are picking them yourself, make sure to keep the leaves and even some stem on them to grasp while dipping.
2. Wash and dry thoroughly before dipping. Bring to room temp if they have been refrigerated.
3. Set out cookie sheets with parchment for drying dipped strawberries
4. We got about 24 strawberries out of a double recipe of chocolate plus a bunch of peanut butter filled pretzels
5. Making the little carrot lines seemed difficult.  Read on..

Ok here is the recipe we used for making the double recipe of chocolate: 2lb white chocolate morsels+ 2tablespoons shortening.  Place in double boiler over med heat to melt and stir.  Add food coloring to desired color.  Don't bother using toothpicks to hold strawberries.  They will just pull right out. Grasp strawberry by the stem and dip to cover. We found the chocolate in the double boiler cooled pretty quickly so some of our berries were a tad lumpy (but still delicious!) and you have to stir the chocolate and dip quickly.  Place on parchment to dry.

We contemplated making the carrot lines but decided against it.  We felt like if the chocolate were melty enough to drizzle from a pastry bag or snipped ziplock that it would be too hot to handle and if it were cool enough to handle it wouldn't be drizzly enough.  Maybe we could have used a fork to splatter the chocolate on but it certainly wouldn't be very controlled.

Since we are heading to a friend's house for Easter, I decided to make a Carrot Garden Dirt Pie.  I used this recipe for the "dirt." I've forgotten where i read this recipe originally but there are recipes all over the internet that are pretty similar.

14oz-16oz oreos
8oz cream cheese
1/2 butter softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2tsp vanilla
5.9 oz pkg instant pudding chocolate (or vanilla)
3 cups milk
1 pkg cool whip

1. Use food processor to chop oreos (cream and all) into small pieces.
2. Cream together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla.
3. In large bowl add milk to pudding and mix together.  Fold in cool whip.
4. Add butter mixture to Pudding mixture and mix well.

Alternate layers of cookies and pudding in a large glass pan. Top with layer of cookie dirt. I used a deep dish casserole dish and it just barely fit everything!

To decorate, I used a wine stopper to depress cone-shaped depressions in the "dirt" to set the "carrots" into.   added some gummy worms for fun!  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Natural dyes for Easter Eggs

Yeah for natural dyes. You might recall that last august I tried to find some natural food dyes that would dye some frosting for my kids' bday cake. It wasn't overly successful.  But around comes Easter and natural dyes are all the rage on pinterest and facebook.  I knew I had to try them out!  So i sent the hubby off to the grocery store with my list: 8-12 large yellow (spanish) onions and a head of red cabbage.  Luckily I have turmeric in my spice cabinet and vinegar always on standby.  I also did purchase some liquid chlorophyll from Whole Foods around St Paddy's Day but you'll see this is unnecessary.  All measurements and times are approximate and you'll want to experiment on your own to get the colors you desire.

Here are my beautiful results!  From top left to right: Onion dye 2-3 hours room temp and oiled with olive oil, Cabbage dye room temp 2 hours, Cabbage dye + turmeric powder boiled then refrigerated 2 hours. Bottom Left to Right: turmeric dye, Cabbage dye refrigerated, Cabbage dye + baking soda room temp

Red Cabbage: Isn't it pretty? Cut 1 large head of red cabbage into chunks and place in large pot. Add abt 6 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer 15-30 minutes or more.  Cool before use. Strain out cabbage. And add 1 tablespoon vinegar per cup of dye. Place cooked eggs in dye at room temp or in fridge.  Dyes pretty BLUE.  Add 1/2 tsp per cup turmeric and microwave. Add egg to dye GREEN.  No need to use liquid chlorophyll.  Add baking soda (watch out, it will FIZZ) to dye eggs TURQUOISE.

Yellow Onions: Remove skins only from 8 large onions.  Place in pot and add 3 cups water. Boil  and then simmer for 15-30 minutes or more.  Cool to room temp, strain and place liquid in shallow pot.  Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and add uncooked eggs to dye.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute then take off heat and let come to room temp. Place eggs in dye at room temp or in fridge. Dyes dark REDDISH-ORANGE.

Also you can wrap some hardboiled eggs in the remaining skins tightly (i used a paper towel) and refrigerate.  Adds a fun texture.

Onion Wrapped eggs after a couple of hours

natural dyes (left onion, middle cabbage, right cabbage + baking  soda

So I did try using liquid chlorophyll and it does dye eggs GREEN (see below) but it was grainy and the color didn't seem especially colorfast (ie I think i would remove it if I wiped the egg).  The YELLOW below is Turmeric boiled in water and add a little vinegar.

beautiful eggs
So I never got a nice purple or red so I'll have to work on that - next year (beets, pomegranate, grape juice) etc!  I also will donate several of my leftover onion to friends for use in recipes and the leftover dyes I will also pass along as I know the shelf life will be pretty short and I am done dying eggs for the season.  These eggs will be headed to the deviled egg factory in a couple of days (YUM).  Hope you get a chance to try dying eggs naturally!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Egg hunt pictures and my first real scraplift

Hey all. Do you know what a scraplift is?  Well, basically it is replicating someone else's layout with your own spin and pictures.  I would call it "copying" but since the scrapping community accepts this practice I will call it scraplifting. I wasn't overly inspired in laying out some pictures of the kids from this past weekend's easter egg hunt so I went on a hunt of my own - to find a layout that I liked that would showcase a few of the pictures. On DigiShopTalk's gallery, I found this cute layout by Celeste.  Her credits are as follows:

Mye De Leon & The Ardent Sparrow Sew Happy kits
Sketch template from Simple Scrapper's Premium Membership

Now here is my spin:

The idea is not to copy it exactly but to use it as inspiration for your own layout. I thought it came out cute.  I love The Urban Fairy's Butterfly Kisses purples patterned papers and they are perfect for easter scrapping!!

Here are the credits for the page:

The Urban Fairy elements from – RandomIt, PLifeJournalCards, FizzlePop, ButterflyKisses, JustLove

Veronica Spriggs Straight and Narrow, Erika Zane Grow, SugarPlum Paperie EveryDay Memories, Tracey Stroud PocketFullAddon, Serendipity ScrapDesign, Gennifer Bursett from An Innocent Heart collection.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter fun - Turmeric and Lemon frosted Cupcakes

What? a non-scrapbooking post?  LOL. Yep this week i'd like to get back to some lifestyle stuff- crafts and such.  Last night I had to make a bunch of cupcakes for our annual Spring Fling which is an egg hunt, crafts and activities for our mothers of multiples club. I knew I wanted to make an easy bunny rabbit but wasn't sure about the frosting. I am on a natural food coloring kick right now so I thought I would see how turmeric colored and flavored some cool whip I had.  It was a beautiful yellow shade and the flavor needed - something! well I had a lemon hanging around and I thought that maybe those two flavors might melt together pretty well.  So I squeezed (squoze?) it and added just the tiniest little amount of lemon juice to the whip. It did very slightly curdle the whip which gives it a fun texture, and it tasted - well - pretty good. So if you want to replicate it, try adding the turmeric slowly to some cool whip or other whipped cream frosting, and mix well and taste as you go. Then add lemon juice a very small amount at a time until you get the taste to your liking. Ok I haven't seen Turmeric Lemon Frosting anywhere else on the internet so if you come across something, i'd love to see it.

Here is a picture of three bunny cupcakes I made - the one on the left is just cool whip. The middle is cool whip with just lemon juice and the right cupcake has the turmeric lemon frosting.  I used the pastel candy corn as ears and yogurt covered raisins (in easter colors) for the mouths (unfortunately neither of these have natural dyes - only fake dye...ugh).

And of course we saw the Easter Bunny with just about expected reactions. I hope they are not scarred for life.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Butterfly Kisses and more The Urban Fairy giveaways and coups


Ohhh...This is a good one. Take a look at the newly released kit from The Urban Fairy. It is called Butterfly Kisses and was inspired by one of our Creative Team Flutters, Priya.  It is perfect for scrapping Easter and spring pictures. There are also coordinating Word Bits, Stacked Papers, Shabby Papers and Patterned papers. Available now HERE at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio

And check out the pages I made with this adorable kit.

AND there is more Birthday Bash fun today at The Urban Fairy store - 45% off everything, One Day Only

And of course there is a daily Giveaway of a TUF kit at theStudio and DigiShopTalk
Today's is Less is More Vol3 - Templates

Check out this page I made with one of these templates. It is a pict that I took of the Pantheon in Rome which the hubby and I visited last May. Beautiful!

And the last bit of news - The Artful Love Bundle is The Deal of the Day at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio.  70% off today only!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome to The Urban Fairy Birthday Bash Blog Hop with FREEBIES

Hi everyone!  Welcome to my blog, ExperimentMOM.  This week, the creative team of The Urban Fairy (The Flutters, as we are called) is hosting a blog hop for many of our team members.  Each of us came up with some great questions for The Urban Fairy, aka Dani, and we hope you enjoy this progressive interview as well as all the fun goodies that you will find when you HOP over to the next blog in the hop.  You can do that by pressing the Blog Hop Button (that I designed) in the top left column of my blog. And you MUST go visit The Urban Fairy's blog and Facebook page as well for tons of freebies and coupons! But don't leave yet!  There are still freebies to be had! Keep reading....

Here were my questions and answers for The Urban Fairy
 Jen:  Do your kids inspire or influence your designs? How so? 

TUF: Yes they sure do! Especially when they're being crazy!! My oldest { Zamera,10 } is getting very interested in what I've been doing so she likes to give her input. I'm hoping to be able to get a computer for the kids this year and help Zam learn to use Adobe and work on her own little creations. My middle child, { Serenity, 5 } likes to help me with the colors. She will see a color some where and tell me all about it and how I should use it in my next creation!

Jen: What do you love and hate about digital scrapbooking?

TUF: I love that the possibilities are endless. There are so many styles and techniques that each time I work with a new collection the ways I can create something always keep me on my toes! I HATE making previews. Lol!  It's so hard to pack the beautiful creation into a small preview and make it look good. I'd say that it's going to take me many more years to get it right!

And now - - > FREEBIES!!  These are my first-ever freebies and I hope you really like them. They were created using the newly released "A Little Moment" kit from The Urban Fairy.  I tend towards a modern minimalist feel when I design scrapbook pages and I think that comes out in my freebies.  Please let me know if you use them. It would make me feel SO GOOD!!  Send me an email, post to The Urban Fairy facebook page, comment here on this post or get in touch with me any way you'd like!! You can even post your layout to the Urban Fairy Gallery at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio HERE. You'll notice that the files have a _SDSDS attached - that is me, Jen, at ScraPicts Digital Scrapbooking Design Service (SDSDS) and you can use that when you add any credits to your layouts!  Click HERE to get the freebies.

Did you enjoy the freebies?  Did you like learning more about The Urban Fairy?  I really loved having you here and if you could follow my blog using GFC (the "Join this site" button is in the left-hand column about half-way down) and/or follow me on Pinterest, twitter or G+ that would be awesome. Also feel free to leave me a comment here to say Hi! I'd love to follow you back if you blog about mommy stuff, scrapbooking, crafts or cloth diapering!!!

For those of you hopping - here is a list of the blogs in order in case you get off track or you start in the middle by accident. We wouldn't want you to miss any free goodies!

Flutter jen

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pin it to Win it at The Urban Fairy!!

Want another fun way to win some great The Urban Fairy digital scrapbooking products?  Well the Pin It to Win it contest through Facebook is LIVE

Pinterest People........Pin It To Win It is HERE....If you are not on Pinterest but would like an invite leave a comment here or message Rae Lynn or The Urban Fairy on Facebook with your email address and we will gladly send you an invite! All you have to do is Pin your favorite scrapkits from The Urban Fairy {Live.Laugh.Love.Scrap} ( Collabs excluded) . Make sure you post your your Pinterest Name/Link here so we can find you. Once a day a random name will be drawn to win one of the scrapkits they pinned! - Make a separate Board called TUF Pin To Win so we can find it easily! You can choose your favorites here and start pinning!!!

Make sure to leave your pinterest link on our facebook post HERE so that you can be entered in the giveaway!  

One of my favorite collections from The Urban Fairy is Flutter Fields. Unfortunately this kit is now retired.  I just put together this layout yesterday of some pictures I took at the St. Josephs Day Festival at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is famous for the Return of the Swallows from their Argentine migration grounds.


AND The Urban Fairy just posted a Fan Freebie Alpha to her Facebook Fan site for your downloading pleasure. How cute is this? Make sure to LIKE her to access the Fan Freebie!

Start of The Urban Fairy's Birthday Bash

Well it's here!! Today March 20 marks the start of some fun events for The Urban Fairy!  First off it's Dani's 30th Birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  She and the Flutters have some fun things coming at you today. Let's get started!!

First off  - coupons for The Urban Fairy's store on the Digital Scrapbooking Studio!!

Birthday Coupon Deal! Spend $5.00 and get a coupon back { to the email listed on the order form } for $2.50! Spend $10.00 and get a $5.00 coupon back! Spend $20.00 and get a coupon for $7.50 back! This will run from today { March 20th } to March 24th!!! Savings are a MUST! ♥

The second are giveaways of The Urban Fairy's Just Love kit, going on at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio and Digi Shop Talk hosted by Flutter Vanessa. You have to comment on each website's thread. TheStudio link is here and the DST link is HERE.

Ok i'll try to update throughout the day as more fun stuff happens!!

Flutter Jen

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Little Moment - new release from the Urban Fairy

Today, The Urban Fairy released the next kit in her "little" series called A Little Moment. It's available now at The Digital Scrapbooking Studio for only $1.75!  You'll want to get this one, as the CreativeTeam Flutters have designed a slew of coordinating freebies for our fans, coming out on Thursday!!

"It really is amazing what you can do with the right colors and elements. A Little Moment is a great example of that! By using bright, brilliant elements against the dark yet elegant papers, the end result is just stunning. Included in this kit are 22 elements and 6 lovely papers.Truly a great blend of elegance and modern-ness!"

WOW. I have never worked with black backgrounds and I thought it was going to be pretty hard but black really adds an air of elegance to your work!  Take a look at what the creative team came up with:

You can see more CT layouts at The Urban Fairy's Blog.

Here are my layouts for "A Little Moment."

The first is a photo I took in New Hampshire during the spring thaw. I thought it was appropriate for this time of year as we celebrate rebirth and renewal.

The second layout are photos I took at our friends Brendan and Jordan's wedding back in 2010. I had a hard time choosing which version of the larger photo to use.  Here were my three versions. Which do you like the best?

And the last layout is from another wedding - that of our friends Alex and Melissa. I think this must be her grandfather but I'll have to ask her when I send her this page.

We all had a great time working with this kit and we'd love to see what you come up with. Please feel free to post your A Little Moment creations in The Urban Fairy's Gallery HERE at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio.

St. Paddy's Day

What a fun St. Paddy's day! We had two families over (both with multiples and one with an older daughter) and it was a blast. I made brisket in a red wine broth and corned beef (both from Whole foods) and veggies and roasted fingerling potatoes and my friends brought fresh handmade spring rolls, irish soda bread and a delicious brownie and pudding trifle!  The kids (all 7!) were in really good moods and played outside, running around and blowing bubbles for almost 2 hours while the adults chatted and caught up. I made green beer (a pitcher of miller lite with liquid chlorophyll and 1-2 drops of green food coloring) and my friends brought Guiness. The kids were all decked out in green and we had the Celtic Pandora channel playing on the stereo.

So I got some really cute pictures of my friend Lydia and her family. They were really in the St. Paddy's spirit with their outfits and the most adorable pinterest-worthy trifle.  Check out the scrapbook page I just put together with Manda Lane Scraps Lucky Kit, a quick page by Ivory Keys Digital Dreams and a freebie designed by one of my fellow The Urban Fairy Flutters, Robin.

And here are some more pictures from the afternoon


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