Ken and Barbie: Valentine’s Day

By Libbie Summers 
With David Dempsey

Once a year, on Valentine’s Day, Ken takes one for the team. 
Ken and Barbie, Barbie Dolls, Ken Dolls, Fun with Ken, Instyle Magazine, Valentine's Day

Beautiful Candy Bark (VIDEO AND RECIPE)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted By David Dempsey

I LOVE a gift from the kitchen. This past holiday I made 4 pounds of Everything Bagel Topping and before then it was Homemade Mega Marshmallows. This year for Valentine’s Day, I was under the gun and needed to Macgyver something fast…but still with some Libbie Fun and Beauty.

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Beautiful Candy Bark
(makes 24 servings)

What you need:
2 (11 ounce) packages Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, melted (I used a double boiler)
Food coloring gel, I used purple
Sprinkles or colored sanding sugars (I used light and dark purple sanding sugars and gold dragees. NOTE: It will only take a tablespoon of each)
Edible Flowers (I used violas)
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What to do:
1. Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Have all your toppings ready.
2. Divide: Divide melted chocolate into two bowls. One will have 2/3 of the melted chocolate and the other will have 1/3.
3. Color: Add just enough food coloring into the smaller amount of melted chocolate until tinted the color you would like.
4. Spread: WORKING QUICKLY, spread the white chocolate out on the prepared baking sheet. Next, drop dollops of the tinted chocolate on top of the white. Using an offset spatula, swirl the two together.
5. Decorate: AGAIN, WORKING SUPER QUICKLY. Decorate with your sprinkles, sanding sugars and edible flowers before the chocolate starts to harden.
6. Break: Allow the bark to set until completely hardened (about 20 minutes) then lift off the parchment and break apart into pieces.
NOTE: If using edible flowers, Beautiful Candy Bark is best eaten within 24 hours. If not, bark will be good for up to one week. Honestly, you don’t even have to store in an airtight container. We just leave ours on the kitchen counter for nibbling.

Need more help? Watch the video!

Sprinkle Sugar Scrub (RECIPE and VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I love giving gifts made in the kitchen –especially on Valentine’s Day. Making something for your loved one just seems to say “hey, I dig you” a lot more than a grocery store card. Add in the extra cool factor of it being the most yummy smelling exfoliant and moisturizer and you are bound to get some action! 😉

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Sprinkle Sugar Scrub
(makes 8 ounces)

What you need: 
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1/2 cup colored coarse sanding sugar (I used pink)
1/2 cup Toyland Sprinkles (you can sub coarse white sanding sugar)
1/4 cup almond oil
1/4 teaspoon bubblegum extract (you can sub with your favorite extract or essential oil)

What to do:
Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Scoop into an 8 ounce jar and seal. Shake before using.
(NOTE: We used pink sanding sugar and there was a visible pink hue that was there when rubbing into the skin, but left when washed away…it was really nice!)

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Watch the fun video of making the Sprinkle Sugar Scrub!

A Bandana-Inspired Holiday

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Photography byTeresa Earnest Social

When an iconic pattern/print takes over your creative mind, really fun things can happen. Sure they aren’t for everybody, but maybe just a little takeaway from this room of crazy can help you decorate your holiday this year. Maybe just wear one of my Pom Pom Bandanas from the Yum Yum Smile Shop or make a bandana ornament, or wear a vintage bandana print jumpsuit, or make a bandana backdrop, or bandana up the ends of your fireplace logs, or sew festive stockings. It’s not all or nothing here…but all is really kind of great!

1. Bandana-Inspired Holiday Style
Bandana print jumpsuit, Libbie Summers Wears, Bandana Style, Bandana Holiday Style, Holiday Style
Pom Pom Bandana from Yum Yum Smile Shop
1960’s Vintage Bandana Print Jumpsuit from Birthday Life Vintage on Etsy
Glitter Boots from J Crew
Relaxed Boy Shirt in Crinkle Gingham from J Crew

 

2. Bandana Ornaments

 

3. Bandana Stockings
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More handmade stocking ideas HERE!

4. Bandana Gift Wrapping
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On our packages, we used a bandana printed ribbon and festooned the gifts with blocks of bandana scraps and loose bandana “bows”.

5. Bandana Fireplace Logs
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If you have a non-working fireplace like we do in the studio, have some fun with it. We decoupaged the ends of birch logs with colorful bandana scraps.
Maybe you like gingham better? Check this video out.

6. Bandana Toy Horse Blankets for Stocking Hangers
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Happy Holidays!

Pool Party Cake (Recipe)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Three layers of delicious cake colored in an ombre of “country club” blues. Butter cream frosting, sides covered in Yum Yum Smile Shop Country Club Sprinkles, white gum balls and miniature pool floats. Quite possibly the most adorable, delicious and easy to decorate cake in all the land.

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Pool Party Cake
serves 20

What you need: 
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (can substitute extract)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Blue food coloring gel in three different colors (I used a turquoise, cornflower and royal)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow)
Yum Yum Smile Shop Country Club Sprinkles
White gum balls or other white candy balls
Small pool float toys (I bought mine HERE)

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. |
4. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
5. Add flour mixture alternating with the milk JUST until smooth (don’t overbeat).
6. Stir in the extracts.
7. Divide mixture evenly between 3 bowls. Add a little of the different food colorings into one of each of the bowls (each bowl will only have one color in it). Stir until well mixed. Add additional food coloring as needed to achieve the color you like. I liked mine super saturated, so I added enough to achieve that.
8. Pour each color of batter into one of the prepared pans and bake until tester inserted in the cake comes out clean (about 20-25 minutes). Allow to cool before removing from pans.
9. Frost cooled cakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and decorate with sprinkles on the side (watch video below for sprinkling the sides of a cake and final decorating), gumballs on the top and pool float miniatures floating on the sea of gumball bubbles!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
yields about 5 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
4 to 8 tablespoons milk
copper colored food coloring (or any color you like!)

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add the salt, vanilla paste and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more of the sugar (1/2 a cup at a time). If the frosting is too thick, add more of the milk (1 tablespoon at a time). Stir in a little food coloring at a time until you get your desired color. Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes before using.
*Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been with a vanilla bean in a jar for a few weeks imparting a mild vanilla flavor
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Yum Yum Smile Shop, Cake Decorating, Cookie Decorating, Sprinkles, Blue Sprinkles

Watch the video here for easy decorating!

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