Monthly Archives: July 2015

Wedding Wednesday – Gifts for the Parents of the Bride & Groom

This week has been CRAZY at work!

Sorry this post is a bit late, but the bright side of it being Wednesday night instead of Wednesday is that it’s that much closer to Friday.

Today I wanted to share with you the gifts that we gave to our parents the night before the wedding.

For our moms I custom ordered these bracelets from ScrapheartGifts on Etsy.

Mother of the Bride Groom Gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Each has a pendant that says mother of the bride/groom & two messages: one from me & one from my husband.

Both of our moms wore them on the day of the wedding.

Mother of the Bride Groom Gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The gifts we gave our dads we actually bought several months before the wedding on our trip to Italy.

Father of the Bride Groom Gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We were in Burano, Venice & bought 2 lace handkerchiefs at a lovely little store. We had such a great time talking to the shop owner. My husband & I were really proud of ourselves for carrying on a 20-minute conversation in Italian with someone who didn’t speak any English!

We knew my husband’s dad would be touched to receive a gift from his homeland.

Fatherof the Bride Groom Gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

My cousin embroidered the handkerchiefs with a little message from me – the same cousin who made the flower girl dresses. She’s so crafty!

We gave the gifts to our parents at the rehearsal dinner.

We wanted to take the time to appreciate everything our parents had done for us. Not just helping us prepare for the wedding, but preparing us for life.


More gifts in store next week!

Champola de Mamoncillo

Where my Caribbeans at?

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This fruit goes by many names: mamoncillo, mamon, guinep, quenepa, Spanish lime, etc.

The name may change depending on where you are, but one thing that doesn’t change is how delicious it is. Mamoncillos are in the lychee family, but the taste does not compare. I do not like lychee. I love mamoncillos.

If you have never heard of this fruit, that’s OK. I’ve grown up with it all my life. It’s one of the perks of being Cuban. This is the season for them, but I never see them around where I live. Fortunately my best friend, Frank, lives in Miami & brought me some recently.

How do you eat this fruit?

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You crack the skin open with your nails or teeth & reveal the fruit inside.

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Sometimes you get twins!

Then you pop it in your mouth & eat the pulpy fruit around the pit.

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is what’s left when you’re all done. There’s not a lot of fruit to one mamoncillo. But you’d never eat just one!

WARNING: these little guys will stain your clothes. Handle with care!

Instead of just eating all of the mamoncillos, I made this:

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I might have lost some of you guys right off the bat with the word ‘champola’ in the title.

What is champola? The closest word I can think to describe it is ‘refreshment’. This champola, like most other recipes I’ve seen online, is really easy: water, sugar, & mamoncillos.

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I peeled like 1 & 1/2 bags of mamoncillos & put them in a large mason jar (the ones left over from my wedding centerpieces).

I then filled the jar with water & about 1/2 cup of sugar.

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Then you just leave it in the fridge overnight before serving!

Champola de Mamoncillo - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Mmm! You get a delicious beverage AND get to eat the mamoncillos when you’re done!

I love summer!

Wedding Wednesday – Wedding Dress!

Hello! It’s Wednesday. I am close to finishing the list of things I wanted to share with you guys on Wednesdays. It’s not a bad thing! I have very much enjoyed these Wednesday posts & having somewhat of a schedule. This ‘series’ will end some day, but today is not that day!

Today I am sharing details about my wedding dress!

I lump veil & jacket in here, too. It was all a part of my ‘look’ 🙂

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, mother in law, & sister in law pretty shortly after we got engaged. We went to Patricia South Bridal; I had gotten my prom dress there back in high school & knew that’s where I wanted my wedding dress from this whole time. We had a good time shopping! I only tried on like 5 dresses before the bridal consultant brought out a dress I fell in love with. She told me to try it on, even though the sample was a pink/blush color. She assured that the dress also came in ivory. That was it. I think I knew before I even stepped out of the dressing room!

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I wasn’t sure what kind of dress I wanted at all before going shopping. My only requirement was lace. I also knew I wanted sleeves, but knew that I could always add a jacket to any dress I liked.

It’s funny because I don’t think I would have ever in my head picked out this trumpet-style dress without trying it on. The fact that this style is called ‘trumpet’ was also a sign this was the one for me – my husband is a trumpet player!

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Here you can see the difference between blush & ivory.

I got to try on the whole look I had in my head: fingertip length veil & lace 3/4 sleeve jacket.

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It was perfect!

The dress was within my budget, however the jacket & the veil would have put me way over! Sorry, Patricia, but I got those 2 items much cheaper online!

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I couldn’t resist posting this picture when my veil came in! It’s a very simple veil, since the dress has so much going on with the beautiful lace!

My wedding dress took a couple of months to come in, & when it did I immediately went to check it out!

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It’s soooooo much prettier in ivory!

How did I keep my husband from seeing all this stuff? My mom had the dress at her house, but I had all these pictures on my phone. Not that my husband would have looked on purpose, but we all know what can happen when you are scrolling trying to look for something. This is why I had a whole separate album on my phone. This way I could show others without worrying about accidentally showing my husband. I even made a special album cover for it.

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He’s great, I knew he wouldn’t peak!

Closer to the wedding, once I had my shoes & everything, I had my first official fitting. Luckily, the dress didn’t need much work! I listened to the consultant when I was first shopping & bought the recommended size. It’s just a number, ladies! The way it fits, feels, & looks is way more important!

Wedding Dress - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I love this dress! I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I have not sent it to be cleaned & preserved yet. I will! I love the idea of someday using it in some way for my children, so I will store it until that day comes.

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This dress made me feel like a million bucks on my wedding day!


See you next time!

Wedding Wednesday – Guest Bags

Time is going by so quickly. I think it only gets worse as I get older. It’s already Wednesday!

Today I wanted to share the guest bags I made for the wedding.

Guest Bags - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I was inspired by some awesome gift bags I saw on Pinterest & knew I wanted mine to be at least a little bit special.

But I also wanted them to be relatively inexpensive.

I saw these paper gift bags at the Dollar Tree 2 for $1. I figured I could draw on them or use stamps or something. Then, when I ran the idea past my friend Beth she suggested embossing. She embossed all her own wedding invitations & became something of an expert at it. This type of embossing is really easy & looks really pretty. Beth has an embossing tool, which is basically like a hair dryer. The way it works is simple: you take a regular rubber stamp & ink, stamp your design, pour the powder on it, shake off the excess powder, & use the embossing tool to melt the powder. It’s really neat! We had a little assembly line going & knocked out 20 bags in no time.

OK so the bags are pretty, but what did we put in them? Well, I didn’t know I was going to have this blog at the time so I didn’t photograph the contents. Sorry guys, I dropped the ball there. But it was pretty standard stuff: water bottle, mini hand sanitizer, advil, lint roller, candy canes, ghirardelli peppermint bark, other candies & a little bottle of tequila (of course!). Every individual thing was $1 or less. I think the bags cost me about $4.50 each. I love the Dollar Tree.

I also love the screen caps I’ve been able to grab from our wedding video!

Guest Bags - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is as close as I have to a professional picture – from a professional moving picture! The guys happened to have a couple of bags in their room when they were getting ready.

I think our out of town guests appreciated the little token, & packing them was just one more little thing my husband (then fiance) & I got to do together to get ready for our big day.


See y’all next week! It’ll be here before you know it.

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Recently my husband bought these pancake & sausage on a stick things for breakfast, like a breakfast corn dog with pancake instead of cornbread. A blueberry pancake. I took my first bite at my work desk & it was pretty tasty. Then I looked down at my breakfast pancake dog & saw that it was purple. Like, really purple. Marie from Breaking Bad would love these. But then again, who wouldn’t like pretty food?

Somehow this lead to me wanting to make a purple cake for the 4th of July.

I was unamused with my search for a blueberry cake recipe. They all basically said, “toss some blueberries into your cake. Done.” So I sort of came up with my own, using boxed cake mix.

This is becoming my pattern. I like it!

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I didn’t just want pieces of blueberry in my cake, I wanted my whole cake to be blueberry!

I started by making a blueberry ‘sauce’. I’m really not sure what to call it. It wasn’t really reduced, I just cooked the blueberries with lime juice & sugar to make a liquidy blueberry concoction.

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Then I strained my concoction to get 1 cup of liquid. I used this to replace a cup of water from the boxed white cake instructions, & saved the solids to be added to the cake batter later.

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Check out that purple!

While the cake was baking, I made lemon buttercream.

It was my first time making it. My mother in law makes delicious buttercream all the time & never uses heavy cream. I took her word for it & got good results using 2% milk. Mmm!

After baking for approximately 30 minutes & cooling, I frosted my colorful cake. I got to taste a little bit of it when I was leveling the cakes to stack them. More mmm!

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Since this cake was for the 4th of July, I got a little patriotic.

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I should get bonus patriot points because red & blue mixed together gives you purple.

I was so excited to serve this homemade dessert at our first big shindig at our new house. We had our families & Sunday school friends over for a 4th of July party.

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This cake was so good, everyone has some even though we were already stuffed to the gills.

The cake & the party were a big success!

Blueberry Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 18 oz fresh blueberries
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Remove stems/leaves from blueberries. In a medium saucepan, cook blueberries, lime juice, & sugar for 3-5 minutes. Mash up the blueberries a bit.
  2. Strain the blueberries until you get about 1 cup of liquid. Save the blueberry mash.
  3. With an electric mixer, mix eggs, water, blueberry liquid, oil, & box cake mix on low for 30 seconds. Then mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour cake batter into 2 8″ round cake pans. Spoon blueberry mash into cake batter & mix.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until set in the center.

Lemon Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  1. Beat softened butter on medium speed with the paddle beater for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add sifted confectioner’s sugar and stir on low until incorporated.
  3. Add lemon extract and milk. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes.

CCapture

This is my 50th post! I’m very excited about that. This blog has helped me in ways I could never have anticipated when I started it in January.

In The New House Designs

Wedding Wednesday – Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces

It’s Wednesday! Half way through the work week; half point to the weekend!

Today I want to share our centerpieces.

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

From the very beginning I knew I wanted to use Christmas wreaths in the centerpieces.

I had grand ideas of doing it all myself.

 I was a little over zealous with the projects.

I am so glad that my BFOTB, Frank, talked me out of trying to completely DIY the centerpieces. But I’m glad I still got to make some of it!

After meeting with my florist & planning out the centerpieces (I’d do the jars, she’d do the wreaths & the set up), I bought some 64oz mason jars & came up with the plan.

I used the same sheet music paper from other wedding crafts & some lacy red ribbon for the jars. Beth came over one day & helped me assemble them, plus a few extra for reception decorations!

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I wanted the mason jars to also be the table numbers, so I used some stickers!

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I personally prefer smaller/shorter centerpieces to the taller ones. I loved how these centerpieces were functional, beautiful, & simple.

Christmas Wreath Mason Jar Centerpieces - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’m really happy with the way these turned out. They were relatively inexpensive & didn’t cause me too much grief! I can honestly say that I didn’t even notice them the day of the wedding, but I know my guests liked them! At the end of the reception, guests took them home. One of my aunts had a Christmas party & used a few of the wreaths as decorations!


Enjoy the rest of the week!

Cranberry Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

My church serves breakfast/snack between services every Sunday. All the Sunday school classes take turns bringing in food, which means that it’s my class’s turn roughly every 6 weeks. One time we got all fancy & made hot food – with chafing dishes & everything! However, usually we try to bring cold/room temperature foods, which makes getting creative difficult. We usually end up with a lot of dessert type foods – cookies, pastries, etc. Beth sometimes makes these amazing homemade donuts. She’s famous for them at church!

Recently it was our turn again & I wanted to make something different. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating cookies any time of day. But I wanted something with a little more substance. Suddenly it came to me – granola bars! Yes, they can still be pretty sugary (& mine kinda were), but granola & dried fruit say ‘breakfast’ a little better than cookies.

Cranberry Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This was a really easy recipe to make. As usual, I was looking for a recipe online & wasn’t satisfied with my search results. So I got some ideas from various recipes & made my own!

Honestly I’m not sure where the idea to put pretzels in them came from. I’ll just chalk it up to divine inspiration. I need to start putting pretzels in more things; the results are delicious. Cranberries were an easy decision, though. Why have raisins when you can have craisins! And chocolate because, duh.

I was so focused on making these that I really didn’t take any pictures until the very end. Oops! But the steps are so simple you don’t need to follow the play by play. Once you toast the oats, melt the butter, & mix everything together, you just press it into a pan & chill it in the fridge until you get one giant granola bar.

Cranberry Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Then just cut it up & serve!

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These were so good that I made a double batch & still had to control myself from eating it all!

I think granola bars are my new go-to for church breakfasts.

Cranberry Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pretzel pieces
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips, plus a little extra
  1. In a 9 x 13 inch pan lined with parchment paper, toast oats in the oven set to 350 for 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter & combine with sugar, honey, & vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats & add the cranberries and pretzel pieces. Let cool & then add chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the oat mixture to the parchment lined pan & press into a uniform layer. Scatter some chocolate chips on top & press into the granola.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. After the granola has chilled completely, lift it out of the pan & cut it into bars.

Our TV Wall

My husband is a very techy guy. He works in IT, & just has a way with electronics. I’m convinced he has some sort of electromagnetic field around him, because he can fix most electronics by just touching them. There have been times where my phone is acting up & I’ll call out for my husband. By the time he gets up from his chair, my phone is working. It’s like even just the threat of him touching it is enough to fix it. Don’t make me come over there!

When I told him I wanted to hang our TV & put shelves up around it, he was totally in to it!

TV Wall - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We hung the TV (48″) in the direct center of the wall, then planned where we wanted the shelves.

We had never really hung shelves like this before. It was a slight pain to get them all even, but we did it! My biggest recommendation to anyone hanging shelves with visible brackets like this is to hang the brackets on the wall first, then put the shelves on top & screw them in. Also, if you don’t have an electric/battery operated drill, get one!

Besides being tech savvy, my husband is also very handy. He’s the best. 🙂

Concealing all of the wires for the surround sound & everything took some planning on our part, but we did it!

TV Wall - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Here’s our secret: We took a vinyl basket & cut the back off of it. The surge protector & all the wires go inside. Tada!

For the wires we couldn’t conceal as easily, we used racetrack.

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That’s an antenna. We ditched our cable bill a while ago. Netflix & HBO Go, baby!

You’ll also notice that we display plenty of love for our alma maters, with these signs & our bookends holding the DVDs.

Another little trick I’m proud of is using a desk organizer as a remote caddy.

TV Wall - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I love this whole shelf thing because of the holiday/ special occasion decorating potential. I can’t wait to decorate these for Christmas!

TV Wall - Mrs. Dessert Monster
In The New House Designs

Wedding Wednesday – Gift Card Box

Sometimes I look back on all of the stuff I did myself for the wedding & think I could totally do it all again. Then my husband reminds me how freakin’ stressful the second half of last year was!

I enjoy doing crafts, but wedding crafts are extremely high pressure. Crafts on steroids. It’s nice to be able to look back at last year with rose colored glasses on Wednesdays.

Gift Card Box - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This was one of the last projects I did before the wedding. I think I finished it on Wednesday. It was pretty simple.

I wanted to be a little creative & have our card box be like a Christmas present, but I couldn’t find anything like that. Finally, I saw that Oriental Trading sells plain white boxes for this very purpose (it has a slit on the top for the cards). I bought one, along with some wrapping paper, ribbon, & bows. The glittery letters were from my craft stash – I’m a sucker for stickers.

I think it turned out really pretty!

Gift Card Box - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’m glad I was able to grab this screenshot from our wedding video. Being that I only finished this 3 days before the wedding, I didn’t take any pictures of it. I love our wedding video! I highly recommend having a videographer at weddings. We almost didn’t, to save some money, but after seeing our video I am so glad all those moments were captured on film. I was also able to grab a screenshot of our bar sign!


Stay tuned for more wedding fun!