Monday, April 30, 2012

Perfect Strawberry Shortcake

Yum. This is really the most perfect strawberry shortcake. Would be wonderful for Mother's day. And it's not too hard, so you can have your hubby make it for you with the kids. I love to serve it to my friends and family. The most common comment I hear is, "Wow, this is really rad. So much better than angel food cake. You are a crazy awesome baker Natalie. And you look great in that apron."

Really. People say that. Almost verbatim. 

Can you see that cool color on the wall behind the pretty culinary delight? 
Just a little sneak peak to our new guest room......

Busy day Cake -
I would recommend doubling this if you want leftovers.
1/3 C shortening
1 3/4 C sifted cake flour
3/4 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Place shortening in mixing bowl. Sift in dry ingredients. Add egg and half the milk. Mix until flour is moistened. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add remaining milk and vanilla; beat 2 minutes longer.
Bake in greased and lightly floured 8x8 pan. 375 degrees about 25 minutes or until done. Test with toothpick.
Strawberry Sauce
I use Ina Garten's recipe for raspberry sauce, just replacing raspberry for strawberry and lemon juice for the liquor.
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup seedless strawberry jam 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine the strawberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, jam, and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth. Chill.
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Top with strawberries macerated in sugar.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This Week in instagram

This week was really a nice one.

Someone left me a little yellow treat at my front door.

I showed Collin how to spin in the swing.

He got a hair cut from Shane. 
I was not happy when I saw the curls were gone.

Found my dream car in the perfect color. 
No, not yellow. I know. Blasphemy. 
But I look good in blue.

Relaxed with a little herbal tea in the china my Grandma gave me.

Did a little photoshoot of a darling newborn.
(These aren't instagram)

Made me a little baby hungry. 

So I cuddled a little with my baby.

Lydia had her kindergarten class photos, so I dug up mine. 
Just look at these little hipsters!

I wish I had some of those old clothes. Lydia looks so darling in retro.

Made Shane some fresh juice as he slept in on Saturday morning

Next time I'll stick with Tropicana. 

Tried out a new coral lipstick for our date night.

Earlier, Lydia and Shane had their own date out for ice cream.

While I took Collin to the park in our matching shirts. 
(Not planned)

Been making lunch at Cafe Rio with the family a Friday tradition.
It can be a bit pricey though.
I made some at home that turned out exactly like their salad. So good. 

What I liked:
Chicken breast grilled with just garlic powder, salt and pepper
This recipe for rice - but leave out the sugar
This recipe for beans - but I use water instead of the tomato sauce
Those tortilla from costco you cook (have them at winco too)


Gathered together one of of my other favorite colors during my spring cleaning.

Got my earrings all organized on a vintage shoe rack.
(More fun than mopping.)

Yes. I know. This a lot of earrings. 

Spoke in church on Sunday. And my little man looked so handsome.

Soon after church, Collin had gotten himself dressed in more comfortable clothes and ran himself through the sprinklers. 

I like to call this his homeless in Tijuana look.

Shane was supposed to head out of town on business. After a few hours in the airport his flight was canceled. He surprised me by showing up with a bag of chocolates and the diaper genie refills he knew we needed. 

I say it over and over again, but really, best husband ever.

Even more so when I saw his Karaoke rendition of "Dead or Alive".

Finished the guest room.
This print is framed over the dresser. Photos to come.

We have family sleeping in that guest room this weekend. Off to spend some time with them.

Speaking of spending time together, this is a shot from last night.
How many wireless devices do four adults really need at one time. 
(Apparently seven, if you count the one I'm using to take the photo.)

Have a great weekend!

Follow me on instagram : natssentiments

Monday, April 23, 2012

Simple Shower

When I got back from my trip to Spokane last month, I realized that my friend Robyn was about to have a baby, but she hadn't had a shower yet. She moved into the neighborhood a little before me, so we are both getting to know people. 

I thought it would be nice to throw her a shower, but I would only have about a week to plan it. How could I possibly plan a shower in that amount of time? There were invites to handcraft, a theme to choose, favors to make. Then I remembered that before this world of blogging and pinterest, events weren't always so involved. Maybe I could just have a simple shower and it would still turn out nice.

Invites were emailed.
No theme.
No favors.

It was still great.

Instead of pastels I went with more vibrant colors.

Aren't these tulips beautiful? Our good friends the Maynors sent them to us for Easter. 
We miss our Southern friends :( 

As you can see, I use this bunting all the time.
 I need to get a boy version for Collin's birthday I think.
I found a three pack of gerber daisies at Costco for $10. 

Then I found these colorful planters at the dollar store. 
(That place is awesome! I'm just discovering it.)

Grabbed a few bouquets and had them set up throughout the house.
My friend Crystal made 4 dozen cupcakes. (Thank you Crystal!)
A lesson I learned from an expert party planner, a big bowl of chocolates is mandatory at any soiree. 
Serving them in a strange baby chick bowl is not. 

I love these little baguette slices filled with "veggie bouquets" and dip.
I did the same thing for my sister's fall themed shower.
We also had spinach artichoke dip and a meatball appetizer. 
Shirley temples to drink.

Some of the ladies enjoying refreshments.
Like our new entertainment center? 

That's my gift in the white box and fuchsia bow. Wish I had taken a photo of what's inside. 

Ah, there's the guest of honor. 

We had a lot of people show up. I didn't have near enough chairs. 
That's not really such a bad thing.

"Guess the number of safety pins in the jar".

Me, Robyn and Crystal.

I'm glad I decided to have candles lit around the house. The shower invites said from 7-9, but the last guests didn't leave until almost 11. 
As long as you have good food and good company, your party is going to be lovely.

Congrats Robyn on your beautiful baby girl, Samantha Jane.


Speaking of babies - The Rexburg names are out!!!!!

Please, if you are planning on having a baby soon, head over to Jessica's post on the Rexburg names of 2012.  Read them. And then, DON'T DO THAT TO YOUR CHILD.

I've already posted about my thoughts about stripper names and such, but it merits repeating. No one should be namedIzibele, KeiseLyn, Brayah or Reggie Tayzlie. Seriously.


I didn't hear from the winner of the Gourmet Brownie Prize, so I'll just go to the next comment.
Wendy! Congrats! You get a yummy box of brownies. Lucky you!
Hey, I know you Wendy. We've kissed the same guy I believe...

Friday, April 20, 2012

This week.

Ok, I'm a wee bit in love with instagram. It's pretty fun. I haven't picked up my camera for a while now.  I just carry my phone and I'm good. 

On a walk around the neighborhood, we discovered an empty clover field with a large sand-pile.
We made some new friends as well.

Collin loves to be outside.

Just kicking it with his peeps. 

When it's so beautiful, how can you not want to bask in the sunshine.

Loving that we bought a house with established trees.

Of course our lawn needs work.
On the bright-side, I'm already getting dandelion bouquets.

And other nice treats as well.
I was finally up for an upgrade with my cell phone provider and I got myself an iPhone.
I'm in love. And the built in camera is awesome.

Shane snapped this shot of me and I thought it was kind of cool.
Thought I'd try editing it in PicMonkey, the Picnik replacement.

Really cool program. Thank heavens.
I cried a little when Picnik announced it was closing. Seriously I did.
(They don't have collages yet. I did that collage yesterday on Picniks last day.)

I made papaya muffins for an afternoon treat. 
Kind of like a mix between banana and pumpkin muffins. 
I don't normally like papaya, but these were yummy.

Yesterday I didn't want to vacuum so I made strawberry sauce instead. 
Thought it would be good over ice cream or cake this weekend.

Went antiquing and was so close to picking this beauty up.

And these.

And this.
I love peter pan collars.

But I am trying to keep myself on a budget. 

Be good Natalie.

I've been rocking a top knot almost every day for months now. 
I hope the bun stays in style for a long long time.

I like it for church too. 

We didn't get a photo Easter morning, so I had Shane snap one last Sunday. It was just such a beautiful day. I don't usually plan matching outfits with Lydia, 
but just this once I thought it'd be fun. 
(Bag from Sweet Pea Totes)

Hope your week was sunny too.

Join me on instagram, natssentiments.
Find me on Pinterest here

life rearranged


Winner of the Gourmet Brownie Giveaway is Jami Mayer!
Congrats!! Chocolaty goodness coming your way :)
Jami - I don't have your email, so contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize. Otherwise I will choose a new winner.
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