Do The Mardi Gras Mambo!

Wreath 1

It’s Fat Tuesday, Ya’ll!

And if you didn’t know, Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.

The New Orleans carnival season is the preparation for the start of the Christian season of Lent. It begins on Epiphany (Jan. 6th) complete with an abundance of  parades, balls, and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; at one time “coming out” parties for young women at débutante balls were timed for this season. My cousin, Kalynn was presented this year at Bacchus.

To New Orleanians, “Mardi Gras” specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent, the highlight of the season!

Here are some of my favorites from this year’s season:

Favorite Mardi Gras related blog post: You Dont Know Mardi Gras Like I Know Mardi Gras by Kristen Duke Photography.

I love that she de-boozed and de-breasted the world’s persona of Mardi Gras the way only a person having grown  up in Louisiana can do. And, I especially loved seeing the pictures of her as a child dressed up in costume for the parades.

Favorite Parade Photo:

image via

I love this photo because it truly captures how nasty our weather was this past Saturday.

Endymion’s new motto should be “Rain Or Shine, Endymion Rides”.

Favorite Mardi Gras Wreath:

Saw a Valentine’s Day wreath tutorial on How To Nest For Less and immediately said “self, that would look lovely in Mardi Gras colors”.  So I made it in Mardi Gras colors. And I liked it so much I refused to hang it outside.

Favorite non-traditional Mardi Gras treat:

Are you noticing the insane details on these cupcake toppers?

Like, um, the microscopic baby?!?!

Maria from Love & Sugar Kisses is one of the sweetest, most talented chicks on the planet.

She rocks my socks and I tell her so at least once a week.

Favorite traditional Mardi Gras treat:

image via

Gambino’s is a New Orleans based bakery known for their king cakes for over 50 years. Luckily, they have a location in Baton Rouge, too! If you ever wondered where Oprah Winfrey gets her king cakes from, it’s from Gambino’s.

My personal favorite are the ones filled with pecan praline cream cheese.  Oh. Mmmm. Gee.

Favorite Mardi Gras mask photo:

And yes, my mask is totally on crooked, but that’s how I roll, yo.

Favorite Mardi Gras Jester Pet:

When you live in south Louisiana, you can expect your groomer to deck out your pet for carnival season…. without being asked.

Note: The bow in her ear lasted all of twenty minutes. {sigh}.

Happy Mardi Gras!!!!

Don’t Monkey With My Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

I’ve made “Monkey Bread” several different ways. I’ve made it with cream cheese pockets and today I made it without. This recipe is by far the easiest!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

DIRECTIONS

                       Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle the base of the pan with the pecans. (You’ll be flipping the bread, so what you put in first becomes your topping). In a large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat.  In small bowl, mix brown sugar and melted butter; pour over biscuit pieces and keep a small amount on reserve.  Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; reheat the reserve brown sugar & melted and drizzle over the top. Pull bread apart, and serve warm.
Seriously delicious!!

I love you….a latte!

Latte 1

You can go all out for Valentine’s Day, or you can go all Aimee which is ten times easier. Due to the husband being out of town for Valentine’s Day, and rather than celebrating when he returns (hello, that’s way closer to my birthday at that point) the day for us has come and gone. Which is good for those last minute people, yeah I’m talking to you,  who still haven’t decided what they’ll do for their hunnys.

Seriously, you can whip this up in less than 2 hours.

And the “oh wow, you did all this for me?” will still apply.

I’m calling it….. I Love You… A Latte.

Because, you know….I used latte mugs.

Ok, so here’s what you do to create your very own Valentine Breakfast of Champions, I love you a latte morning. No dessert tablescapes or fake photo shoots, just breakfast. Straight up, cute breakfast.

The live, laugh, love plaques are normally on my media center. I swapped them out with the Mardi Gras paraphenalia that was currently on the dining room mantle, shelf thing.

Then I made a fun little burlap banner. Seriously, ya’ll- in less than 15 minutes.

All you do is create a pocket looking template out of card stock. Cut out a few. Create a seam along the top of the “pocket pennant”, by ironing it down,  run some twine underneath, sew it flat, add some ribbon in between. Bam. You’re done.

Now, go find yourself some oversized mugs. I originally saw the chalkboard painted mugs at Target and said um, no thank you to the $8 each price tag. In fact, I said “oh, I can totally make that”.

And so I did.

Mugs. Chalkboard paint. Paint primer. Heart stencil. Done.

The husband isn’t really a coffee/latte drinker so I put a little note on them, and stuck our cereal in them.

Bonus points for creating a heart out of a strawberry.

Next I did something that was borderline pushing the envelope. I pulled out my party wares, and I stuck his juice in a milk glass. Complete with printable, striped straw,  and all.

{Free printable from Whisker Graphics}

The free printable was designed to tuck inside a mini envelope, which I also did.  Whisker Graphics is sort of one of my new favorites. Seriously cute stuff.

Then, I whipped up some personalized place mats to put them on.

 I’m quickly becoming the queen of burlap, for a tutorial on runners and how I did them, click here.

I knew I wanted the husband to have something in his belly besides cereal before traveling clear across the country, so I whipped up our very favorite monkey bread.

That recipe will come tomorrow.

And of course, I created an apron for myself that coordinated. Because, well, um, that’s what I do now. More information on the apron line coming soon.

And even when I tell the husband, no flowers because they’ll just die.

He brings home 2 dozen. Pink roses because I hate red- way too traditional.

Have a great day, and an even better Valentine’s Day!

Lacy Burlap Table Runner {How To}

Step 8

 If you’ve spent any amount of time on Pinterest or Etsy, you’ve stumbled upon a zillion deviations of the burlap runner. If you’ve spent any time noticing the prices of said runners, you might’ve found yourself in sticker shock. $35 for a simple runner. Oh no, no, no.

Recently, I contributed two of those shabby chic little numbers to the Piggy Bank Parties Vintage Valentine Collaboration

{Photo via Piggy Bank Parties }

Supplies:

1 1/2 yards of Burlap

1 1/2 yards of Broadcloth (Broadcloth serves as your lining. You can choose a fabric with a print for a fun touch or another color, if preferred)

2 yards of Eyelet Lace

Scissors

Sewing Machine

 First, I like to run the iron over the material I’m working with. In this case, give both the burlap and broadcloth a quick touch up. It makes cutting, pinning and sewing a lot easier.

Next, measure out the desired length of the runner. Since you’ll be turning the runner inside out, allow an additional 3/4 of an inch to both the length and width so that the “turn in” won’t mess up your desired measurement. Measure, mark or pin, then cut. Your burlap and broadcloth should mirror each other in measurement.

{Photo by me. Photo collage via Piggy Bank Parties}

Now, turn your fabric/burlap inside out.

You’ll want to pay your iron another visit and press down the edges. Make sure the burlap is on the burlap side and the white lining is on the white lining side.

On each of the exposed open ends you’ll fold toward the inside both the burlap and the white lining allowing them to meet—about 1/2 inch inward. Press, pin then topstitch in place making sure to backstitch on both ends.

{Disclaimer}: Who knew I had ugly little spots on my ironing board!? I’m buying a new one before I do another tutorial involving the iron!

If you don’t want any lace on your runner, you’re all done. For lace ruffles, keep reading.

Now determine where you want your lace. You can put it on the overhang ends. You can add multiple layers and create dainty little ruffles or you can add it along the front of the runner extending the full length. If you can’t decide, you can do one of each like we did!

For ruffles on runners with overhang, pin and topstitch the ruffles where you want them.

{Another Piggy Bank Parties collage}

For a single ruffle extending the length of a buffet runner, pin the lace onto the backside of the burlap runner and stitch. Both sides will look alike so just choose one side to be the backside. You’ll stitch it in place on the backside, then flip it over for use.

To ensure your runner looks crisp, return to the ironing board and give the runner one more quick press.

You’re all done! Sit back and marvel at (1.) How beautiful & charming your runner is and (2.) How much money you saved by doing it yourself.

If you’re here because you spotted the Valentine’s Day placemats, I made those very similarly to the runners. Decrease the size, instead of lace attach ruffled strips of patterned fabric. Cut out a heart in the same fabric for the center of the placemat, run it through an embroidery machine, then glue in place. Had I thought about it prior to sewing the ends of the placemat closed, I probably would’ve stitched the heart onto the burlap, then attached the ruffles & lining. But you know, it didn’t come to me then.