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henry happened: April 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

winner | Gwyneth Paltrow's Cookbook

Sorry I'm a bit late announcing the winner of Gwyneth's new cookbook. The week got away from me and well, I forgot. :)

So congratulations to Emma at An Owl's Nest!

Emma drop me an email with your address and I will get the book in the mail!
henryhappened (at) gmail (dot) com


Thursday, April 28, 2011

eat | Scones and Jam Tea Party

My mother-in-law is throwing a tea party tomorrow in honor of the royal wedding. She arrived in town on Wednesday with a tiara and bags of tea. So I thought I should do my part and make scones and jam!

I've never made either before so I did a bit of web scouring to find doable recipes. Lots of cool scone recipes: classic raisin, tangelo-buttermilk, and maple oatmeal. Such a versatile little biscuit!

And I remembered seeing Ina make strawberry jam that looked too easy to believe. We had blackberries and strawberries on hand ... so I went with blackberry scones and strawberry jam.

While the strawberries simmered away in sugar, I worked on the scones.

I'm not sure how many scones will be left tomorrow but we are going to have enough jam for a loooong time. (Sorry the photo is blurry. The things disappear before I can get a decent shot!)

Can't wait to share photos of the event!

Blackberry Scones
Adapted from Karen Winters
Makes 12

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup blackberries

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks, until the dry ingredients look like crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add milk-egg mixture to the main bowl and stir until the dry ingredients are just combined (do not over mix). 

Add the blackberries and gently mix. Using a large spoon, scoop scone mixture onto baking sheet. You can also add the blackberries at this stage too. I found it easier to just push them in the dough rather than try to mix in. 

Sprinkle lightly with extra sugar. Mine stuck to the cookie sheet so use a nonstick liner or use cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden.

Strawberry Jam
Adapted from Ina
Makes two pints

2 cups sugar
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved 
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

Ina has two jam recipes that I combined. I saw her make this Easy Strawberry Jam recipe on hulu (love it!) but only had the ingredients for this Fresh Strawberry Jam recipe.

Put a plate in the freezer before you start. Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a big saucepan and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. If you don't like lemon, use maybe only the juice of half the lemon.

Add the strawberries and bring to a boil over the lowest heat possible. After it boils for a couple of minutes, add the apples. Keep the strawberries on a low boil for 25-35 minutes. See if the juice gels on the cold plate. If it does, then you're done.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. It will keep for two weeks.

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Yummy Mummy Takes the Cake

Wow! I love this cake so much I might be willing to eat the picture. Marina from Yummy Mummy shared this beautiful treat in our You Take the Cake challenge. You can see the full tutorial here. And while you're there, check out her gorgeous spring lasagna!

Got a birthday or special occasion cake you want to brag about? Send it to us! We'll feature a new cake for Tasty Thursday.

henryhappened (at) gmail (dot) com


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wear | Derby (or Royal Wedding) Hat Tutorial

If you live anywhere near Louisville, you know Derby talk is heating up. Hats, horses, mint juleps are everywhere! This year I decided I needed a marvelous hat even though I'm not actually going to the Derby (sigh). And major bonus: I can sit and watch the royal wedding in style.

Really big bodacious Derby hats easily pass the $200 mark. The hat I was inspired by was going for $240. Yikes! So I got supplies and created my own! Ok, I got carried away and made 3 but we'll start with the first and most flamboyant. :)

I started with this $8 hat from Wal-Mart.

And added a selection of feathers that cost about $40. The 5 feather bunches were $6 to $8 each. And the 3 peacocks were $2 each. (Outside of Louisville I'm sure this would be cheaper.)

I got a small styrofoam ball and painted it black to hide in the black hat.

Then I started sticking in the feathers! Running your fingers up the length of the feather will help it open up. Play with the placement a little bit before you hot glue the feathers into the ball.

After several minutes of staring in the mirror to figure out where to place the feathers, I cut the ball on an angle and hot glued it to the hat.

A last minute addition of the long brown feathers at the bottom helped hide the styrofoam ball. I love it. I may be doing the housework in this tomorrow.

What do you think? I think Kate would approve! Stay tuned ... two more hat tutorials coming up!

Only 3 days left! Thanks for your vote - I'm a finalist!

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wear | $40 Mabo Children's Clothing GIVEAWAY

I fell in love with children's clothing line mabo via my stylish friend Amanda, who held a trunk show at her home. The clothes are so beautifully made but look amazingly comfortable and wearable in natural cotton and linen fabrics.

I think I need this swimsuit and these bloomers for Caroline and this adorable romper for Henry. And this floral set is now my go-to baby shower gifts.

After buying a gorgeously simple linen dress and super soft lounge pants, I had to find out more about the mom who started the line from home. Creator and designer Emily McMaster agreed to answer a few questions and give a $40 gift certificate to her online store!!

How did mabo start?
I worked in film until my first daughter, Ruby, was one, and never thought I'd do anything else - I have a masters in cinema studies and thought I'd always do film or academia. But when Ruby was born, it was just too much and I quit to be with her more. I've never been into fashion, but have always loved to sew and knit and found myself becoming obsessed with making clothing for her. When I started spending money on babysitters so I could get extra time to design kids' clothes, I decided it might be time to go for it and start a line.

What inspired your spring/summer collection?
In terms of inspiration for the spring line (and in general, I suppose), my mom saved a lot of my special childhood clothing (much of it handmade) in a cedar chest. We'd periodically go through it and talk about how old I was and what was happening when I wore certain items - many of which my kids are now wearing!

So I think I had a sentimentality in dressing my girls that has inspired my line. Clothing that is special and timeless enough to be worth saving for my kids' kids to wear, but not so fussy or precious that it can't be worn to everyday activities. My girls are very into the girly-girl thing right now, which I'm not a huge fan of, so the spring line is also inspired by my desire to create simple but feminine dresses and items that both of us could be happy with. 

I also liked the idea of incorporating some simple gender-neutral items since I often end up shopping in the boys section for my girls basics and I know a lot of moms to boys that complain about not having as much fun dressing their boys.

You can't wait for your kids to wear: Swimsuits and sandals!! Right now we're all just desperate to get outside and basically wear nothing. 

Last kid clothing item you purchased: A nightgown for my daughter, which ended up being the quest of my life! She wanted one desperately after years of pj's, but I found it so hard to find an affordable classic one that wasn't made of polyester. I'm more excited about the next item I'm going to buy - this cherry dress from bobo choses!

Describe your mom style: My mom style is basically nonexistent at the moment! Ponytail, jeans, a sweater and my ratty bensimons every day. I'm lucky to fit a shower in, so often I wonder why I'm spending so much time thinking about how to dress kids and so little on myself!

Thank you Emily! Now you have a chance to win a $40 gift certificate to the mabo online store!

Please visit mabo and tell me which item in the spring/summer collection is your favorite 

1. Sign up for the mabo email newsletter

2. Follow henry happened via RSS or Google Friend Connect

3. "Like" henry happened on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

4. Tweet, blog or Facebook about this giveaway

* Contest will be open until Midnight EST on Thursday, May 12. Contest winner must have a US or Canadian mailing address.

* The winner will be randomly selected from random.org and announced on Friday, May 13. Please check back to see if you won, or leave your email address with comment.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

how to | Campaign Desk Makeover

Remember my two carloads of stuff from Goodwill? Well this $50 desk was one of them. I'm not sure if it's true campaign style (the pulls are different) but I still love it. The picture makes it look a bit washed out - the color is richer than this shows. But I did go for a darker shade of green than my inspiration piece:

I went with Behr Ultra in Dill Pickle. 

Here is the before shot:

I hand sanded and did two coats of paint. The paint included primer but I really should have either primed it or given it a third coat. I was worried after the first coat - it was very lime-y. But the color got much darker as it dried.

And I cleaned the brass pieces with Brasso.


I am clueless at styling (I'll move things around a dozen more times) but I like it. Now I just need to move the picture down (something else used to be there) and find a chair!

What do you think?

Only 3 days left! Thanks for your vote - I'm a finalist!


how to | Making Mom Friends

I'm trying to get on a bit of a schedule with my posts (see left sidebar) in an attempt to be more focused & organized. So today is How-To Tuesday. And of course, I was immediately like, um, what should I post about? Not sure if organization is helping the creative process.

Then I got an email from a blogger friend that I am hoping to feature and I was struck by what she wrote. 

"I really enjoy your blog ... it makes me feel like I'm not the only mom out there. It can get lonely being at home sometimes!!!"

Isn't that so true (ok, not just the part about my bloggy fabulousness)? But how lonely and isolating being a mom can be. Someone should have warned me that being a stay-at-home mom literally means you will rarely leave the house. School runs are the highlight of my day. A trip to Target (without kids) is like a vacation. 

When I worked, my cube friends provided socialization. So when I quit, I lost more than just the income. And in trying to make new mom friends I felt like a total loser. Like high school all over again. Be my friend? Please?

My little girl was just starting preschool, and it felt like I was the only mom without an established play date network. We had no roster of gym, music, dance, whatever classes. Getting a birthday party invite made my day!

I obviously don't have this figured out - maybe that's why I started a blog, to make "virtual" friends. But since this is "how-to" day, here are some tips:
  • Put yourself out there. I was shameless about asking moms to get together. I took the roster from Caroline's preschool class and pretty well emailed the entire list.
  • Go to a park close to your house and get chatty. Talk to the mom pushing the swing next to you. Seems like most moms do the I-don't-see-you-even-though-you-are-right-next-to-me thing. Which totally drives me nuts. If you do connect, odds are they live close by.
  • Weekend brunch is great for socializing. It usually doesn't interfere with nap time (unless you have an infant) or early bedtimes. Bonus: people come to you!
  • Once you find a mom you click with, see if she can connect you with her friends. I haven't really done this yet, but it seems logical.
  • Don't take it personally. If I got the brush off twice, I moved on. On a side note, if someone asks you to get together, SAY YES! You may be one of those moms with the oh-so-packed scheduled but you can make time for another mom.
  • Stop feeling guilty about getting a babysitter. If you can afford it, do it. Meet another mom for coffee or make a date to go thrifting.

So moms, your turn to give advice! How do you deal with this? What tips or tactics worked for you in making new mom friends?


Monday, April 25, 2011

giveaway | $50 Target Gift Card CLOSED

Yep, they've done it again - given me one more (and, really, do I need one?) reason to go to Target.

To celebrate the launch of Target’s design collaboration with Calypso St. Barth we're giving away one $50 Target gift card

I'm loving the bright print dresses and summery white outfits. Don't think I'll try the tiny bikinis but the patterned tops & shift dresses are perfect for the beach. And this may be just the maxi dress for me to try out the trend. You can see the full collection on Fashionista.

The Target Calypso St. Barth designs hit stores May 1 so enter to get some shopping money!

* up to 4 ways to enter. Leave a comment with your email with each entry:

1. Vote for henry happened... by clicking on the Circle of Moms icon below and giving us the thumbs up:

2. Follow henry happened via GFC or RSS (or leave a comment if you are already a follower)

3. "Like" henry happened... on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

4. "Share" this contest on Facebook. (Using the buttons at the top of this post)

* Contest will be open until Midnight EST on Monday, May 9. Contest winner must have a US mailing address.

* The winner will be randomly selected (from random.org) and announced on Tuesday, May 10. Please check back to see if you won, or leave your email address with comment. The winner will need to contact henryhappened@gmail.com to provide name and shipping address.


winner | $30 handmade tutu

Congratulations Lesli! You are the winner of the handmade tutu from Turquoise Angels

I will contact you via email & we'll get your tutu in the mail!


your photos | You Take the Cake

I read this fun post about birthday cake bragging rights on Momfilter (have you heard of them? A new site from the founders of Cookie!) . Well, I'm sure the cake tasted great but I thought, hey, my snake cake was better than that!

And I thought how fun would it be to feature YOUR homemade birthday cakes! Do you have a fun creation you want to share? Doesn't have to be new, just something that you made.

Send it to me at henryhappened(at)gmail(dot)com

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy | My Easter Eggs

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I couldn't resist sharing a few photos from our time in Nashville this weekend. The cousins ("my Easter eggs") had a great time hunting eggs and eating candy together.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

play | Vintage Dress Up Storage


Caroline's interest in playing dress up has increased exponetially since this red suitcase came home with us from Goodwill. Not sure I'd want to be traveling with Amelia Earhart luggage but I love that it still has a Louisville SDF luggage tag on it.

There is nothing she loves more than dragging out hats and purses and prancing through the house. And I love that I can shove them all back in the suitcase and close it up. I think a tutu like this one from Turquoise Angels is an essential dress up staple, along with a strand of old pearls and wings of course.

And I found a few more fun things for the suitcase - most for Henry!

 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

How do you organize dress up clothes? What fun things have you put in your kids' box?

P.S. Circle of Moms nominated us for their Top 25 Moms with Style Blogs. Just takes a second to click and give us the thumbs up. You can vote once a day! Thank you!

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