Our kitchen is the personality of the house. When we renovated two years ago, we painted an entire wall with magnetic chalkboard paint, and it's been like finding a long-lost friend. Our kitchen is always overflowing with children's artwork, new projects, garden finds, and lots of little helping hands. It's a naturally expressive space, and I love posting notes, schedules, greetings, and jokes as part of our environment. And when my loves are away from me, the kitchen becomes my space to prepare not only the food that they'll enjoy but also a little piece of home through their lunchbox notes.
- - - - -
MJ is the publisher of the blog Pars Caeli (a piece of heaven), her webhome where she invites lively participation and shares in the joys of a thoughtful life. Pars Caeli is a cozy space with posts on happiness and heartbreak and parenting and the wonders of childhood, as well as design, fashion, and DIY. MJ is a graphic designer and social media junkie who juggles the big personalities of her 8-, 6-, and 3-year old children while daydreaming of the next date night with her best friend. If you're in need of a corny joke, follow MJ's feed of #lunchboxnotes from ParsCaeli on Instagram.
- - - - -
You can find this week's Endless Summer Projects post on Classic Play, where Jennifer shares a fun tutorial for making these cute bug habitats!
Drop Sugar Cookies might possibly be one of the greatest things to happen to mankind ever. You might think I'm overstating things a bit, and maybe I am, but I stand by the statement and here's why:
Sugar cookies are delicious. Everybody loves them. I think lots of people might even say that sugar cookies are their favorite cookie save for one glaring flaw: they are a hassle to make. And I'm not talking about a 30-minute stint in the fridge hassle. I'm talking about a several hour stint in the fridge plus a roll on the counter plus cutting out with cookie cutters hassle, and that's before all of the frosting and sprinkling and general cookie decorating. By the time you actually get to eat a sugar cookie, that craving that hit 6 hours ago is long gone; making sugar cookies is the complete opposite of instant cookie gratification.
One Valentine's Day, when I was quite pregnant but very much in need of a sugar cookie, I decided to try and find a recipe that tasted like the ones I grew up eating--buttery, soft, delicious sugar cookies--without any of the fuss. I found this amazing recipe on the internet for drop sugar cookies that didn't have to be chilled, didn't have to be rolled out, didn't have to be cut out with fancy cookie cutters. They were as easy to make as their less glamorous cookie cousins, chocolate chip and oatmeal, and rivaled traditional sugar cookies in flavor and texture. In the 5+ years since that glorious day, I've rarely bothered to make any other sugar cookie recipe, because now we can have sugar cookies on a whim. My family, as you can imagine, is delighted.
June is a big, exciting month for Lulu the Baker: it was 5 years ago this month that I started this blog and wrote my first post! It's been an amazing 5 years. I've learned so much and met so many talented and generous people. I really do love this crazy blogging community.
To mark my 5-year milestone, we're spending the entire month of June celebrating! We started off last week with fun projects, recipes, and printables for a Star Gazing Party, and this week we've had a recipe for a show-stopping Chocolate Cake with Oreo Buttercream, and cute yarn-wrapped flower pots that would make perfect party favors or sensational centerpieces! And we still have two weeks of June left to party it up!
We're ending every week in June with a fabulous give-away! This week, I've rounded up some of my favorite baby items for our Box for Baby Give-Away. One lucky Lulu the Baker winner will receive a package worth nearly $200 filled with
--one of my favorite 5x7" prints from Minted --a pair of size 4 moccasins in Smoke from Freshly Picked (These babies are super hot!) --a pair of "I Like Milk" leggings, size 12-18 months, from Penny & Tillie --a leather triangle mobile from The Alison Show (We have one in our nursery and love it!) --a red and cream polka dot blankie from my shop, max & ellie
To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post! Please leave an email address in your comment if one isn't provided in your profile. It's the only way I can get in touch with you if you win. I don't do anything else with the email addresses, promise. This contest is open to US residents only (sorry!). One entry per person. The give-away will run until Tuesday, June 18th at midnight, and the winner will be chosen randomly. I'll contact the winner by email, and they'll have 48 hours to respond, after which time I'll choose a new winner. Good Luck!
Despite the fact that I can't keep houseplants alive, I think plants in sweet little pots make the perfect gift. You can choose plants to match the season--grape hyacinths in the early spring, sweet basil in the summer, button mums in the fall--and you can decorate the pots to match a friend's new home or the party decorations for the baby shower you're throwing next month. I've been quite enamored of yarn lately--I love the nubby texture and saturated color--and I couldn't resist wrapping simple terra cotta pots with yarn to make these garden-fresh gifts even prettier. You can find the directions on how to make these easy yarn-wrapped flower pots on my latest post for Celebrations At Home!
- - - - -
Today is Wednesday, which means another Endless Summer Project is live! Check out Pars Caeli today, where MJ has a great tutorial for Sharpie-dyed T-shirts! I just bought myself a new pack of Sharpies, and can't wait to try this with my kids when school's out (yes, we're the only people in the country still in school!).
Be sure to share your own Endless Summer Projects on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #endlesssummerprojects! And if you missed the previous Endless Summer Projects posts, you can find all of the links below...
This is man-catchin' cake. Heck, this is anybody-catchin' cake. I had a party to go to a few months ago and was asked to bring a cake, and I had this great idea to frost my favorite chocolate cake with a batch of Oreo Buttercream. And guess what? That turned out to be one of the best ideas I've had in a very, very long time. It was a big party, and there were a lot of cakes, and every last crumb of this one was gobbled up before the end of the night. No one can resist a fudgey chocolate cake covered in rich, Oreo-stuffed frosting. No one.
Thanks for stopping by all to week to check out the fantastic Star Gazing Party projects from The Party Hop. Now that school's out, you can plan your own summer star party, filled with games, goodies, and great friends! But before you go start all of those awesome DIY projects, be sure to enter our fabulous give-away! We've got over $400 in prizes, and 11 lucky people will win!
You can enter in the Rafflecopter box below. There's one entry per person, open to everyone 18 and older. The give-away is open until midnight on June 14th, and winners will be listed on this post as soon as the contest is over.
Today brings the last round of projects for the Star Gazing Party! To see previous projects, you can check part 1 and part 2. To round out the party, today's projects are all things your party guests can take with them when they go home: cute party favors, a star game, galaxy pillow cases, printable star crowns and wands, and a printable constellation guide! Links to all of today's project are below, and don't forget to check in tomorrow for a fabulous give-away!!