Category Archives: Do-It-Yourself

A sneak peek of my imagination and creative side…

Home Depot Kids Workshop

I came to know very recently that the Home Depot does workshops for kids and it is completely FREE. It was so much fun to take Arya today and he had a blast. This workshop will happen first saturday of every month in the morning from 9:00 AM to 12:00PM. The staff is friendly and very helping. Kids are allowed to take their project to home and also they get a CERTIFICATE of ACHIEVEMENT of the project with their names and also a commemorative pin with a picture of the project to put on their apron they are given. Today we couldn’t get any aprons since they are running out of stock. Overall it’s a great achievment for the kids and a great experience to the family. I took very few pictures through my iphone6 at Home Depot in Jersey City, NJ.

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With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Yay! Arya’s Birthday.

Arya turned 4 this February 4th 2015. One day when I told him, his birthday is coming, he said, “Hoorayy! Arya’s birthday” and when I asked him what he wants on his birthday, he, without any pause, wants a car cake and a pizza. Then I told him, we had already cut the car cake for your 3rd birthday and ask for other cake. He, after thinking and thinking, said, “Zoo Animals Cake”. I said, Okay and he was all excited for his Birthday. I was keep telling him all about his coming soon birthday almost everyday and I also tricked him sometimes into drink milk or eat his food or cleaning his toys. 🙂

I started planning for the cake and did google search for an idea and inspiration. Most of the search results were cakes decorated with fondant. I never liked the fondant and I see most of the people don’t like it. It is a sweet layer to cover the cake for neat, sculpting kind of look to the cakes. I don’t say it is not necessary but I mostly try not using it in my cakes. Going through few more blogs, I found few ideas then adding up those to my ideas, I have designed my idea of cake. I purchased the ingredients and few things that needed and was ready the day before his birthday to bake and decorate.

Two days before his birthday, I have decided to prepare the goody bags for kids. So I asked Arya to help me to put the goodies in the bag and I did the rest of the work like wrapping. Since it is a Zoo animals theme, I rather not went much in buying fancy goody bags, but tried to get the look and synch in with the theme. I used already bought Brown Lunch bags(40 bags for $1) and I thought to stick Animal tags to the bag. So I bought the Animals printable templates from Etsy store for 99 cents and printed them on card stock and then cut into the shapes. I also bought the animal print washi tape from amazon for $4. The idea is perfect to me and this is what I can able to present and they are so lovely.

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So that’s my idea and I could able to do it with my little man’s help. He also made a bag for himself. I think that’s how kids are 🙂

later the next day in the evening, after school, while playing with Arya and then doing home work and then giving him food, I baked Banana Chocolate Cake of 9×13 inches sheet cake in two batches. By night 9:00, my two cakes are ready. I filled in between the cakes with Chocolate Gan ache. (I will post another one with this cake and ganache recipe that I adapted from www.joyofbaking.com ) It is a super moist and flavorful cake ever. After I make him sleep, I started doing my frosting’s. I made cream cheese and butter frosting. Before going into details, here is the picture of the cake.

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1. Animals and Trees are plastic that I bought from the dollar store. (As I said earlier, i dont like to use fondant and using these is time saving, trust me!) My idea is to get the look of the Zoo and the animals in it to view. So this is much easier way to decorate. 🙂

2. The Black dirt look alike is the crumbs of Oreo Cookies. These days Arya loves oreo cookies and I have these handy at home. Take 2-3 cookies, remove the cream and then put them in a ziploc bag, crush the cookies with hand or use pestle and crush little hard to make it ground powder. Then just sprinkle.

3. The brown dirt look alike is the crumbs of the regular cookies also I have these handy and followed to the same process to make it fine powder.

4. The Bamboo sticks like poles around the Zoo or the animals is the Pirouline Wafers that I bought it from the Walmart. I break down one big wafer and arranged all in different sizes around the cake.

5. The water effect is from the Blue icing gel that I bought it from Michaels store.

FotorCreatedI always like the mini card stock or fabric birthday banners on the cakes. I just adore them. They are some thing unique representation than writing on the cake. So i handmade those banners, “Arya’s Zoo” and “Happy Birthday” with Green card stock, cut into mini triangles and a rectangle and glued to the twine. The poles are the paper straws and you see in the picture how I tied he twine to the poles and inserted into the cake and the wafers. Just to show off more. 🙂 FotorCreated2This is all my surprise to our 4 year old in the morning and I’m glad he loved it. His beautiful smile says everything. Later that weekend we had a small gathering with our family and he asked me to make a Thomas cake. I have tried a cupcake cake and make his one of the Thomas trains stand on the cupcakes track 😉 .You can see my latest Instagram picture.

The whole week was super duper busy and exhausted to me but to our surprise, Me and Chaitanya were amazed by our little ones gesture that weekday night when everything is done and all three are relaxing. He, with all the shy and twinkle in his eyes and with that beautiful smile, said,” Thank you so much Amma, Daddy!” I had fun. I love the cake, cupcakes. Thank You So much Amma, Daddy! I love you Amma Daddy!” (He is still trying to frame the sentences and repeating the same thing 🙂 ) This means a lot to me. Really, a lot to me. After our big hugs and kisses, I fell asleep tucking him in bed and thinking about his cute feelings and expressions. Sighhhhh!

If anyone reading this, Thank You So much! Have a great Day! See ya in the next post.

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Thanksgiving treats for Arya’s School.

Wishing the viewers and readers a Very Happy 2015!!!!

I wish 2014 had been a great year and hoping the new year will be more

I really don’t know what to start or where to begin. I was off from this “my space” quite a long time. I know, I’m sorry my blog 😦 . But then lets start this year with great posts . The reason could be whatever but here i’m with some fun, creative, cool posts just for you. To begin with here is a post on my baking for Arya’s school teachers and the class for the Thanksgiving 2014.  Arya played a major role in this to deliver the treats to his best. 🙂

I have decided to give THANKS to Arya’s teachers and his class. This is one amazing school with awesome teachers and lovely kids. Hence I put my hands on my very own baking and thought what could be better than home baked gifts. I made Cinnamon Spice Pound cake for teachers and vanilla cake pops covered with chocolate to kids and packed them neatly with Arya’s help.

Firstly, the Cinnamon Spice Pound Cake: Very easy and simple recipe also simple ingredients and just the best way to start you day with this as part of your breakfast with your coffee or can be savoring for your evening tea time snack. 🙂

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon Powder
a pinch salt
1 Large Egg at Room Temperature
1 1/2 Cups Unsalted butter at Room Temperature
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 cup Milk

Preparation: Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes on medium speed and then add sugar and mix it well then add the egg and beat it for 2-3 minutes so that the whole mix looks creamy and fluffy. Meantime prepare the loaf pan and preheat the oven at 350F and also the dry ingredients mixture. In a bowl add flour, baking power,baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder and whisk it to blend well. Add this flour to the butter and sugar and mix slowly using the mixer and make sure you add the flour in portions and once the ingredients are blended well, add Vanilla extract and also milk to make it smooth consistency. Once this done, pour the batter in the loaf pan and bake it for 30 minutes. Once it is done, let the cake cool down and savor it.

Once this is done, we have decided to pack in a glass floral bowls (that i bought for his teachers which has a sunflower shape in multi colors). Then I place the 3 piece of cake in each bowl and wrap them with the cello wrap and packed in the a gift wrap tied with a DIY “Give Thanks” message labels that I printed and cut in the shape of Fall leaves. I made sure Arya write his name by himself on each label. And he did it 🙂

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You can see some more pics of our crafts.

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I also made Vanilla Chocolate Cake pops for kids but unfortunately I couldnt take pictures because I was almost tired and I have make everything ready for the next day Thanksgiving Feast. I will definitely curtain-raise the Cake Pops project  soon in my blog. Till then take care and Always a Happy face 🙂 (That’s how I tell Arya when he cries or sad and also he tells me the same – Amma, show me your happy face.)

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥.

Handmade Diya’s & Homemade Diwali Cupcakes.

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Diwali ( a Hindu festival of lights, fireworks, home decorations with diya’s, flowers, rangolis, fun with family and friends, lots of food especially sweets, beautiful dresses, exchanging gifts…) is always special to me and gives me immense happiness since childhood. I love all the festivals and I make sure to celebrate all of them very well at my home and also being a mom, I do these for Arya as well to make him believe and understand our culture and values. This time we had a simple, peaceful time at home and I started working on these diyas 3 days before. I used Crayola Clay and Fabric Paints and few gemstone embellishments. Neither I know about making clay sculptures nor I tried before (Well I did Ganesha Idol for a festival which was a month before). Without any hint I just laid my hands on this cute project and I think I able to create my vision of beautiful Deepams. 🙂 Check my gallary:

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Yes, the cupcakes in the background are also homemade by me. As it is Diwali, I baked Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting in Mehandi and some Diya designs on them. I can tell you a best tip if any one wants to try these mehandi design cupcakes (I’m not sure if that is what the bakers do outside) – I used the Ziploc bags as the piping bags and after you put the batter in the bag, cut the edge where you want to pipe as per your design. Could be small or medium. I did cut a very small part to make sure I get the thin lines on my cupcakes. In this you can avoid using tips and waste the piping bags. 😉 Again the gallery of my cupcakes:

 

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I hope you enjoy the post as much as I enjoyed doing everything for the family. Please leave me comments if anyone needs more details. I really want my blog to be very helpful and more interactive if you like it.

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

 

DIY “THANK YOU” treats wrapping

Today I want to show you all the very simple, using handy materials around the house for wrapping any edible dry treats to show that love and gratitude to the people who did something great for you. This post is all about that and you need the below stuff and some little imagination and some of your precious time. 🙂

I just love being creative when I give gifts/return gifts so on and so forth. This DIY is inexpensive and consumes very less time (depending on the count). All you need is:
1. Cellophane wrap (Any design ones are preferable rather the solids)
2. Cupcake wrappers/liners (Any design ones preferable rather the solids)
3. Scissors
4. Twine

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I got some MAX BRENNER pecan chocolates and I wanted to give them to my girlfriends so I thought I give them wrapped beautifully using the above list of materials. Just put the number of chocolates in the cupcake wrapper and cut a cellophane wrap in large square shapes (count is depending on number of goodies you want to give). On that square shaped cellophane, place this chocolates filled cupcake wrapper and bring all the edges of the cello wrap to the center and hold the center and tie it neatly with twine or jute twine or colored twine (anything of your choice). If you feel the edges are up and down try to cut those unwanted and level it or it is okay if you leave like that.

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Don’t you agree, these are very simple to DIY:-) You can give cookies, dry fruits, any dry desserts using this wrapping and may be you can do more creatively by tying “Thank You”, “Happy Birthday”, “Best Wishes” etc tags to the twine. Anything… just bring that imagination in to your mind and enjoy making such cute ones.

Hoping you like it. 🙂

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥

Crazy Hat Day!

This is for my three year old when they had Crazyhat Day where everyone should wear a crazy hat the whole time in the preschool. It sounds to me new and ofcourse crazy. I didnt pay much attention to this then when his teacher hand over to me that week’s activity sheet. I was under an impression he can wear any hat. The day before in the night I wanted to just check in google about this and then i decided i should do something crazy for him to wear. Arya is not at all an accessory-friendly-kid. But then I still tried and in my whole thought process I came up with an idea – farm animals on his hat. I’m sometimes innovative and also I want to show educational in my creativity (:-p).

Well, i got an idea but implementing this in just one night – I have no idea, how? After a lengthy scan in his play area while he was sleeping, my eyes were on the Melissa and Doug wooden Farm animals puzzle. It got flashed that I should use those wooden small animals to glue it on his hat and then without any delay I glued them and still it looks not so  crazy for me. Then I took a print of barn picture in color and glued on the backside of the hat and to add little more details I wanted to name the whole thing which is going to be on his head as “Arya’s Farm Friends” and so I did as a banner supported by two mini wood sticks I bought it long time back from Michaels. By the way I forgot to mention that the hat I used was his own from the last year spring.

Take a look at my finished product. I was very proud that I used all the things that I need found around the house. It was sorta silly that I created something silly :-p

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To my surprise, some of his friends at school came to me and told me that they liked Arya’s hat so much. (Ha…ha…haaa).

With Love,
♥Prashanthi♥