The Turquoise Penguin

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas, Friends.

I posted this quote onto my facebook wall a couple of days ago and I couldn't agree with it more.

"Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with them. - Unknown."

Life is about surrounding yourself with people who make you smile. People who make you burst with happiness. So, this Christmas - find those friends and family...and laugh. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New HP Printer Giveaway!

One of my favorite religiously read blogs, The Pioneer Woman is giving away one of the new wireless HP Printers. You can send a picture from your phone to the printer without even being in the house!

Only one week left to enter!

Go here, to enter to win! All you have to do is enter in what your favorite Christmas treat is ... Eggs & Bacon, Pretzelini's, Pug Cupcakes!??!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Baking: Pretzelini's

Most of you know that I really enjoy baking even though I don't get to do it as much as I would like. But, I have two stipulations when baking; the end result has to be: 1. Tasty/delicious/give me some more, good 2. Cute/Creative/So pretty that you don't want to eat it. Well, number one being the most important.

Next up: Pretzelinis. For a lack of a better word.

Easy. Easy. Easy. Honestly, I don't really even have to put too many directions because they are pretty self explanatory. Lay out the waffle pretzels on a cookie sheet. Top with any type of candy you wish. I chose: Hershey Hugs, Hershey Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses and Rolos. Pre-heat your oven to 350. Pop the cookie sheet with candy-topped pretzels in the oven for no more than 2 minutes. ((I judged by the shiney-ness of the candy, when it looked like it was pretty shiney...take them out of the oven!)) Next, while the candy was soft and melting, I topped this Kisses with a holiday M&M. OR topped the Rolos with a pecan (they taste like Turtles!) Then - let cool down. Boom. Told ya it was easy.

Topping the pretzels with Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kisses. Say that five times fast.
 Ready to be put in the oven!

 Rolo's topped with Pecans.
My favorite were the Hug Kisses topped with M&M's. I think it's because they have stripes. Anything that somewhat resembles a zebra - I love. They almost look like you could lay your head down on a little Pretzel Pillow.

Now it's time to find my next recipe because today Meredith got me a super cute peacock apron from World Market for my birthday! 

Merry Christmas, friends. 

Again, I'm hoping I made santa's "nice" list:: because that Nikon5000 would sure take a lot better pictures than my cell phone. *wink,*wink.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not Your Average Bacon & Eggs

This morning I walked into the office and told my co-workers that I had made them "Bacon & Eggs" for breakfast. At first their initial reactions were a bit on the surprised side - for one, that I actually woke up early enough to make them breakfast. They know I allow exactly enough time to get myself ready & out the door in the morning (no extra time for making breakfast!). And for two - that they were actually CANDY! One lady in our office is a vegetarian. I think her reaction was the best, i.e. "you know I'm a vegetarian" look. Then she realized that they were candies and asked if she could hang it on her wall. 

Looking for a quick, cheap(er), homemade gift to hand out this holiday season? Looking for a kid-friendly recipe that is sure to get lots of laughs?

Look no further. Bacon & Eggs to the rescue.

Bacon: 2 pretzel sticks
Egg White: White chocolate bark, melted according to package, then drizzled over pretzel sticks
Egg Yolk: 1 yellow m&m

p.s. 2 big bags of plain m&m's get you about 95 to 100 plain yellow m&m's. Maybe I'll make some green eggs and ?bacon? with the rest!

Sorry for the poor quality pictures - I actually took these on my cell phone. I'm asking santa for a new Nikon5000 for Christmas. I hope I make it on his GOOD list!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chris & Lisa's Wedding Logo

Which one would you choose??
Winner will be announced after Chris & Lisa's wedding!
Thanks for reading!

3 for 3 - BOOM!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's a Bay-BEE Shower!

So, since my last post was about my first Valpo friend - I guess it's only fitting that this post is about my first Nashville friend, Kathleen.

Kathleen and I met at the gym. Which ironically is funny to the both of us now since you would rarely ever see us both there at the same time (I guess I'll be honest - we're rarely ever there!). Anyways, we met around last November and pretty much gravitated towards each other. Kathleen is my creative friend. She likes to do crafts with me and doesn't mind when we are still doing them 5 hours down the road (she's got good craft endurance, it's a talent...really!). She's always there. She gives the best advice. And probably listens to me better than anyone I've ever met and believe me - I know I talk a lot! All in all...she's my great friend and just gave birth to a (bee)eautiful bay-(bee) boy (sorry, had too!), Logan! He's lovely and I can't wait to watch him grow before my eyes.

So, her friend, Sarah and I decided to throw her a bay-bee shower to welcome bay-bee Logan into the world!
The mascot of the shower.

The invitation. I think the honeycomb detail at the top was my favorite.
I printed these out and glued them to a wire. We had them poking out of the amazingly, delicious food that Sarah made. Speaking of, my mouth just started watering for her homemade baked brie. *Note to self* get that recipe!
Just in case you forgot whose bay-bee shower you were at. :)

And bingo...there is it, my cupcake stand! The cupcakes didn't come out exactly how I had planned - but sometimes you just gotta live and learn. I used a yellow peanut m&m for the body and piped on black icing stripes and antennas. Then piped white icing for the wings.

This was my gift to Kathleen. Which, I sort of think is funny because if you're a reader of the blog. I think it's the third post (she actually wrote) is about diaper cakes. So, Kathleen actually taught me how to make her diaper cake for her. Which I think is neat in it's own little way. Lastly, I want you to take a look at the bee topper! It's a piggie bank I found at TJ Maxx randomly. SCORE!

You didn't think I'd leave you hanging without showing you what precious baby Logan looks like? Brenna from Sparkling Seal Photography did an amazing job at capturing this little nugget! Personally, I think Logan is pretty dang lucky to have a mom like Kathleen. Congrats, lady friend!

Two posts in two days...someone check my temperature! Thanks for reading!!

It's a nice day for a (Black and) White Wedding!

Let me let you in on a little secret; I LOVE black and white weddings. The classic-ness (is that a word?) of the black mixed with the light and airy white. It's timeless and I think a perfect choice for any wedding.

Let me tell you about Michelle, she was my first official friend when I moved to Valparaiso, Indiana. Her and I used to drink Oliver soft red wine in her garage and talk for hours. She taught me how to make guacamole. She introduced me to Havarti cheese. She's one of those friends that I actually ENJOYED shopping with (although - it was much harder on the wallet, whoops!). She has a beautiful son, Aiden - and him and I loved to hate each other...and by hate, I mean we were best buddies. He liked to sing to Michelle. He liked to fall asleep in his car seat after eating powdered donuts. She's short but she can pack a mighty punch - she is one strong woman who I am honored to call, a friend. George most definitely is lucky to have found this lady.

When she asked me if I would help her with her wedding invitations. I was honored. I was honored that she would choose me to help with the identity of her classic black & white wedding (you figured I was going somewhere with the black and white, didn't you?). Well, bingo. Michelle told me that they were going for a classic, Audrey Hepburn style wedding. So, this is what I came up with for their big fat greek wedding. :)

Their logo. As a sidenote - George is fabulous to Michelle. They are one great couple that I ALWAYS enjoyed being around. 

outside of program

Inside of program. Lots of I said - she had a big fat Greek wedding!! :)

Their invitation. Holy black you are GORGEOUS.

The menu was my favorite thing to design and with a caterer like Bistro 157 - it's hard to go wrong.

Michelle, I wish you years of wedded bliss and a lifetime of fun and happiness. BOOMSHAKALAKA. Love you and miss you dearly.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

The only thing better than a 3 day weekend - is a 4 day weekend. Van Morrison. to. the. rescue.

One thing that most people know about me is that I'm a lover of lists. Any type of list: To-Do Lists, Grocery Lists, Bucket Lists, Christmas Lists (which I used to start making my list in July when my mom got the big 'ol JcPenny book of toys - forget dog-earring the pages. I wanted to make sure santa had that list), Birthday Lists, Target lists (oh how I love le Target) get the point. So - why not make a happy list? For me. A list of things that make me happy. Sometimes I think it's good for people to sit back, take a look around them and realize all of the great things they have to be happy about. We all know I can be a bit on the windy side (okay, so maybe more than a bit) - so I'll keep it short and sweet with ten things that make me happy.

  1. My family. (duh.) Well, I would pretty much get in a fist fight with anyone who said my family isn't cool. I love them. And they make me beam with joy.
  2. Road Trips. Sometimes you just can't help but smile when you think about renting a van and going someplace without any idea what the weekend is going to bring.
  3. Music. I may not be a music nerd/nut whatever you want to call it and know every new artist but by golly - my yellow ipod brings so much happiness to my life.
  4. Snail Mail. Being a designer (and my designer friends know this) we check out everything from the feel of the paper, the typography (bodoni. bodoni. bodoni), color, print quality (I'm a SUCKER for letter press)
  5. Kentucky Lake. I honestly feel that I was born a boater. floater. skier. beer-drinker (sorry, mom), laugher. & relaxer. When you jump in that lake - all cares jump in too. See ya later cares!
  6. Giving gifts. More than anything - the "perfect" gift. I've been known to give gifts months in advance just because I knew I'd end up telling them what they were getting. One year at Christmas my brother convinced me to tell him about the Notre Dame (yes, boo to Notre Dame) hat I had so perfect disguised in a gallon milk container, only to find out the roller-skating doll that I so badly wanted wasn't really what he got me. Not a fair trade. He STILL attempts to trick me into falling for that every year. I'm gullible - to a fault.
  7. Reading blogs. Whoa. Holy Cow. I'm obsessed. There are so many talented people out there - bakers, photographers, designers, mom's, friends, dress-makers, scrap-bookers, etc, etc. Give me a cup of coffee and my Google Reader and I'm one happy chick. Usually after I'm done reading my head is spinning so fast with things I can't wait to do. I probably have a list of about 1,000 cupcakes I cannot wait to make! (cupcake cuteness = pure joy)
  8. Puppies. Totally cliche. But so true. It's hard for me to not talk to them in that, "Oh, your so cute, I can't put you down, you're so cuddly" high pitched voice.
  9. Weddings. How can you not be happy at weddings? And don't let the guys trick you - I've seen guys that are bursting with happiness from free alcohol.
  10. My friends. New. Old. Ancient. Future. I've shared so many laughs with so many incredibly great people. I'm one lucky girl. And incredibly happy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little Va-Va Voom for the Groom!

Before I get to the wedding invitations - I thought it was appropriate to show Lauren's Lingerie Shower/Bachelorette Party invitation first. My main inspiration for her invitations were Sex & The City meets Pin Up Girl. And Voila!!

I don't know about you guys but after seeing this invitation again, I'm ready for another Bachelorette party!


Final Fling Before The Ring!

Okay, so this post is wayyyy over due. My best friend, Renee told me that she added my blog to her Google reader and well basically since she's did that - she has got nothin! Sorry, Renee. This is for you.

Today my topic of choice is going to be Bachelorette Parties. Especially since I have been going to about a million lately. Okay, not a million - but you get the point.

Meet Lauren. She's my best friend in the entire world. I was her MOH for her wedding last October. Her and I randomly met at Purdue as random roommates. We honestly did not care for the other at first...but a few months into college, it was hard to find one without the other. THEN we joined DZ together. So we got to live together for 4 years. I miss her dearly!

This is her at her bachelorette party that we held at a friends house in Chicago. But, first thing is first - check out those awesome sugar cookies she's holding! I made those in Nashville and they made it in one piece to Chicago with me. You should've saw the looks I got while walking threw O'hare holding a pan of "bra & panty" sugar cookies. Most people figured out that it was for a bachelorette party. As for the rest - well, they just thought I was weird.

To make these I used a Wilton heart cookie cutter, Betty Crocker Sugar cookie recipe, my mom's buttercream recipe, and wilton food coloring/bags/tips. They were a ball to make. I tried to make as many bra & panty "sets" as possible. I'm sorry I didn't take any "in the process" pictures. The bachelorette party was actually my "pre-blog" days. 

My favorite thing of the party was actually the "Panty Line." I randomly found this poem on the internet a while back (and by a while, it's at least been a few years - I started preparing for Lauren's bachelorette party years in advance.)  So here is the story: (you can totally adapt as needed - just make sure it still rhymes!)

I have a secret to share
About our little bride
She is obsessed with underwear
And that I cannot hide

So for our little panty queen
I gathered up some twine
And put the panties in a row
To make a panty line.

Lauren, these undies are to last you
All throughout your life
And Brandon will be pleased to say
He has a sexy wife!

So listen up to hear about
Your lifelong panty plan
These underwear, we have no doubt
Will last your whole life span

The first are for your wedding day
Of course they are pure white
We know Brandon will shout, “Hooray!”
When he sees you on that night

The next are for your honeymoon
They’re sexy and all lace
We hope you’ll leave your hotel room
’Cause Aruba is such a gorgeous place!

On Valentine’s you’ll wear this pair
Before you hit the bed
‘Cause Cupid’s arrow in the air
Shoots tushies that are red

After a year has passed you’ll face
Anniversary number one
With these you’ll surely have a blast
’Cause zebra’s so much fun!

Then when the time is right for you
And don’t be saying, “Maybe”
You’ll wear your little pink or blue
In honor of your baby

And when your years of wedding bliss
Become the big 2-5
Don’t worry - you’ll just slip this on
To keep the sparks alive

When finally you’re old and gray
With these you can’t go wrong
’Cuz sorry Lauren but at that age
You just can’t wear a thong

Close up of all the fun panties!
  That's me reading the story to Lauren with the "panty line" hanging behind me.

Lastly, I made this for Lauren. She's a big scrap-booker and she loves senimental things, so I knew she would cherish what the girls had to say. Now, as for what we did write - we read it out loud to her after we filled in the blanks. Wine may or may not been involved.

The letter read:

It's been _____ years since we've known each other and if I remember correctly the first time we met was______________________.
We've shared so many times together, but my favorite memory of you has got to be__________________________________.
I think you and Brandon are perfect for each other because _________________________________.
If I could give you one piece of advice on marriage, it would have to be _______________________.
With Love,

I've actually used this exact same template for my friend Ashlee's bridal shower. It's a nice way for the bride to have something to remember everyone who shared in her special day.

Whew, that was a blog! Stay tuned for Lauren's wedding invitations that I designed!

Thanks for reading - Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Nashville Flood. May 2, 2010.

As I sit and try to come up with the right words to even describe the flood that just recently swallowed Nashville, the only word that comes to mind is: devastating. People lost homes, treasured belongings & memories, cars, jobs, pets, and even family and friends.

I was fortunate enough only to have to evacuate my apartment with the 'possibility' that the water may continue to rise and enter my home. So, yesterday, along with hundreds of my neighbors, we moved all of our belongings to high grounds and waited. We watched as our parking lot turn into a swimming pool of cars. I am one of the lucky ones.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those not so fortunate. So, I'm going to make the most of this blog and tell people to volunteer and for those that aren't close, please donate.

An easy way to donate is to text 'REDCROSS' 90999.

For other ways to donate or volunteer for Nashville:

Take a moment to watch the video and take a glimpse in just a little of the damage that the flood water has caused.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hello Jimbo.

As many of you know, I have a slight obsession with cupcakes. I'm not positive where it stemmed from but I think there is something so cute about a mini cake, an individual piece of heaven that you don't have to share with anyone.

My best friend, Carolyn, had a birthday last July and I wanted to do something special for her birthday. Because I loooooove birthdays. After some thought I remembered the book I received last Christmas called Hello Cupcake. They have a darling little section with lots of different styles of dogs. Lucky me...they had a pugcake!

Meet Jim. Carolyn's pride and joy.
I'm sure my roommates thought I was crazy. I was always taking over our kitchen table with my projects.

Here you can see that I used mini m&m's for the eyes & nose and piped black icing for the mouth.
I can't even tell you how many times I laughed out loud while making these.
The ears are tootsie rolls that I rolled out and cut in half and shaped to make the ears. The tongue is a pink starburst that I cut into thirds and made the cute little happy tongue. Then piped white teeth under the starburst. Little Jimbo's came to life!
I can almost hear him panting!
I don't know about you - but I find this picture really funny.
One little, two little, three little pugcakes...four little, five little, six little pugcakes... I think they are all saying that they are, "ready for their close-up."

All in all, I used Funfetti for the base (you can't go wrong with Funfetti). I tinted the base a light tan color, used black piping for the mouth area then used a tad bit of white icing for the teeth. A whole tootsie roll for 2 ears (divided in half) and one pink starburst made three tongues. Lastly, in the book they suggested using black jelly beans for the nose - but at the beginning of July...jelly beans aren't exactly a hot item. So, I settled for brown mini m&m's and turned them a different way. 


Happy Sunday! Abby

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Diaper what.???Yes... Diaper Cake!

Well Hello!
I know by now you all have read Abby's wonderful blogging! Forgive me but I really enjoy calling it blogging! Anyway, I am new to this as well. So, I hope you enjoy my first attempt in the blogging world! We both have some great ideas and hope everyone can get some enjoyment out of The Turquoise Penguin!!!

With spring here and summer right around the corner, it is time for showers! Baby showers of course! I know they happen year around but there do seem to be more this time of year. With this in mind, I wanted to share a fun little project with you... Diaper cakes.

I have made several of these and they are so much fun to do and people love them. They work as a great centerpiece and a great gift. If you are hosting the party, do this as your gift and it does a little double duty for you as decoration as well! Whoohoo!!!

Like Abby said, I apologize for not having any pictures during the making but hopefully I can explain it pretty well. Next time I will take pictures throughout the process. I promise!

50-75 diapers
burp clothes/wash clothes
baby products such as lotions, shampoos diaper rash cream, etc.
baby bottles
stuffed animal or something to use as a topper

Now... the ingredients can change depending on how much you want to do. You can add more clothing or maybe a bottle cleaner or even a bigger item if you wish. Completely up to you!
I usually try to follow a theme, maybe the invitation or the bedroom decor. Pick something so you can gather items similar in color to make it look more cohesive.

Find something to set the "cake" on so you can transport it easily. (I have used an inexpensive cookie sheet and pizza pan. This can be part of the gift as well.)

roll the diapers from end to end and secure with a rubber band.
once you get enough to make a layer of the cake wrap a ribbon around the diapers to secure them as one piece or one layer.
Repeat this for each layer. (I would suggest sticking with 2-3 layers.)
After you have made your layers, tuck the onesies, washclothes, bibs or whatever you have gotten into the layers. Pull out some of the diapers and replace them with bottles or lotion, again using whatever you have purchased.

Top the cake with a stuffed animal or something to finish it off. I used flowers for one cake and I thought it turned out pretty cute! You can tie in pacifiers or rattles anywhere and especially in a bow!

These can also be very cute for a wedding shower or housewarming party. You can use hand towels and wash clothes for the diapers and tuck in kitchen gadgets or household goods like hand soap and candles!

So... good luck, keep an open mind and HAVE FUN.

But... if you just love this idea and can't stand the thought of getting all the items and putting it together, just let us know. We would love to make the next centerpiece for your shower or party!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!