Recipe: Orange Lemon Cake

Orange Lemon Cake | AshleeProffitt.com

This cake recipe is absolutely delightful. It is the perfect spring dessert and so simple to make! With only 3 steps and 7 ingredients, this moist, citrusy cake will be your go-to dessert for every get together this spring. You will love it and so will your guests! Promise!

Orange Lemon Cake | AshleeProffitt.com

Orange-Lemon Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 box Orange Gelatin (3 oz)
  • 2/3 cups Water
  • 2/3 cups Canola Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons Orange Juice
  • 1 box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 box Orange Gelatin (3 oz)
  • 2/3 cups Water
  • 2/3 cups Canola Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons Orange Juice

Directions

Step 1
Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan.
Step 2
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 3
For Icing: Combine confectioners' sugar and enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.

Recipe from Taste of Home (Simple & Delicious / May 2010, page 53)

Fashion: Expensive Looks for Less

3 Trending Expensive Looks for Less! | Megan Michele for Ashlee Proffitt

 

Boyfriend Jeans… because this might be the look that our daughters in 20 years say, “what were you thinking”, opt to purchase the super inexpensive Old Navy jeans versus the pricier J. Brand version.

  • Old Navy Cropped Skinny Boyfriend Jeans | $30
  • J Brand Jake Slim Boy Fit Jeans | $224

We all love a good statement necklace to dress up a “blah” outfit, but because they’re so bold, sometimes we dislike more quickly than we liked them… Check out J. Crew Factory and spend a fraction of the cost for their sister company, J. Crew’s version.

Love the look of a RockStud Valentino pump, but not the price tag? Consider these Sam Edelman pumps

 

All Things Fashion by Megan Michele | AshleeProffitt.comMegan Michele joins us bi-weekly for a fashion & style post to keep us young busy moms and career women looking our best. She offers simple tips and ideas to create effortless looks that won’t break the bank and beauty tips we are all looking for. Check back here every other week for beauty tips and style inspiration!

Intentional Mama: Mondays!

Mondays can be crazy in our family so I assume that may be true for you as well.

In our family, because Sundays are the biggest work day of the week for my husband, Mondays can often feel a bit overwhelming as we are all a little extra tired and even a tad bit grumpy.  This is especially true after big weeks for our church, such as Easter, because the responsibilities and pressure are more on all of us. And because yesterday was Easter (Happy Resurrection Day!!) I thought today’s Intentional Mama post should be a practical resource to help you mamas make the most of Mondays.

As our family has grown so has the tendency for craziness (insert: more bodies to clothe, more breakfasts to make, etc.) however I have a hard time allowing the start of our week to feel so unintentional and hurried. So, I have a few tips that help keep our family smiling on Monday mornings and I hope will help you too! 

Intentional Mama | How to have a joyful Monday | by Ashlee ProffittIntentional Mama | How to have a joyful Monday | by Ashlee Proffitt

  1. Plan your week / tasks on Sunday evening. Have a checklist that you use each Sunday! I use the Day Designer by Whitney English and have a sticky note with my Sunday checklist that I transfer from Sunday to Sunday. I find it helpful to list out the responsibilities I need done before the week starts so I don’t start the week feeling behind. My Sunday list includes:
    • laundry (washed AND put away)
    • meal plan for the week
    • grocery list made (I grocery shop on Monday morning
    • weekly to-do list (family & work)
  2. Set out outfits for the morning. Lay them out where the kids will see them first thing! Make sure to communicate your expectations to have them get dressed in the morning. (We ask our two oldest to get dressed and put their p.j.s away before they come out of their room. And brush their teeth before heading downstairs for breakfast.) Outfits pictured.
  3. Make lunches on Sunday evening. Super simple task that will alleviate stress on Monday morning. Lunchbox Pictured.
  4. Have a set wake time for you & the littles. This wake time should be different from one another and yours should be earlier. Spending even a small portion of time alone, readying yourself for the day is invaluable. (I drink coffee, read my Bible and spend some time in prayer, asking God to settle my heart and rest in Him before the day begins.) We use this alarm clock ‘OK To Wake Alarm Clock’ in our boys’ room! It lights up when to signal they are allowed to come out of their room.
  5. Prepare simple, healthy, ready-to-go breakfasts the night before. I actually have not done this one yet, but I purchased the ingredients necessary to start making overnight oatmeal and am ready to make this part of our night time and then morning routine. It is super important to my husband and me for our family to have a healthy breakfast so we typically end up both hurrying around trying to make said breakfast. I think this recipe will be a great start to making the mornings, especially Monday mornings less crazy.

How do you tackle Mondays mornings in a way that leaves you smiling? I would love to hear your tips!!

House & Home: Little Boys Room

Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt

I kind of adore my little guys’ bedroom so I just had to share it with you!

Yesterday I gave you a little sneak peek of their room with a couple before and afters of their dresser. The transformations were amazing and so simple to do and cost nearly nothing.

Their room is full of handmade details, vintage finds and lots of love! I hope you enjoy the tour!

Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittIMG_3680Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee ProffittRed & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt Red & Navy Boys Shared Room | by Ashlee Proffitt

What’s your favorite detail?! I really love the alphabet blocks that spell Proffitt. Aaron and I picked those up in an antique store before we were even married! I love that adorable gum ball machine too! A recent yard sale find that is in need of some gum balls!

Sources

  • Bed – Craigslist (We needed a bunk bed that had a full on the bottom so the boys could sleep together. I transitioned Asher out of a crib super early because his baby sister was about to be born and I am far too practical to buy another crib when he would be out of it soon anyway! We wanted him to be able to snuggle with his big brother so this type of bunk bed was a perfect option! Eventually, I would love to paint the bed black to coordinate with the toy shelf and other black details!)
  • Tall Dresser – Craigslist
  • Tiny Dresser – Goodwill
  • Toy Shelf – Expedit Shelf from Ikea
  • Chalkboard – Ikea
  • Curtains + Bedding + Pillows – Ikea
  • Mini Bookshelf (under top bunk) – Ikea (spice rack)
  • Vintage Phone – Gift from a friend
  • Aaden Sage Wood burn Art – from a crazily talented friend
  • A’s – Michaels & JoAnns
  • Super Hero Prints + Brother Prints – Me!
  • Pendant Bunting – another crazily talented friend made them for me… in about 5 minutes. Fabric – JoAnn’s.

So, tell me! What was your favorite detail?!

Before & After: Thrifted Dressers

Anyone else love a good before & after?!

When making our house into a home, I work with a tiny budget. For the most part I’m ok with that (insert: learning contentment) because I love projects and I see potential in just about everything.

Two years ago we had just moved into a new house due to some crazy circumstances. I took that opportunity to change up the design of the boys’ room. I gave away their existing furniture to their soon-to-arrive baby sister, so that meant they were without a dresser. This was not a huge problem because their new bunk bed (craigslist find!) had two drawers under the bottom bunk and was perfect for their little shorts and pants. However, I still needed something to house jammies and undies. Due to the circumstances with which we had to move, the finances were tighter than ever. So when I found this little gem at Goodwill for a whopping $12 I had to make it mine! Or the boys rather. :)

Before & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee Proffitt

I liked the lines and knew that a fresh coat of paint and new hardware would make it perfect!

I painted it Behr’s Pure Red and added black knobs from Home Depot and it was perfection!

Before & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee ProffittBefore & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee Proffitt

Then, a little over year ago we moved again into the home I hope we get to stay in for awhile. :) The boys were now another year older and as they were growing so were their clothes so this tiny little nightstand/dresser just wasn’t big enough. So I searched on Craigslist and scoured the thrift stores until I found a dresser that I loved and was inexpensive. I found the gem below via Craigslist.

Before & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee Proffitt

Again, I loved the lines and knew that a coat of paint would make this $40 find just perfect!

I used the same can of Behr’s Pure Red to paint the dresser and spray painted the hardware black.

Furniture Painting Tip: Zinnser Primer is a dream and makes projects like this super easy! It’s oil based and smelly so make sure to do this project outside. No need for sanding with this primer! Just paint your primer coat. Let it dry and then paint your top coat. Red is tricky and definitely took a few more coats than I would have liked but with this primer I have had no peeling and even with rambunctious boys pulling the drawers out everyday for over a year, it still looks amazing! (And no, Zinnser does not even know I exist, this is in no way a sponsored ad. Although that would be nice. ;))

Before & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee ProffittBefore & After: Thrift Store Dresser Re-do | Ashlee Proffitt

What do you think? Aren’t they pretty amazing! Stay tuned for all the details of this cute little boys’ room tomorrow!

Intentional Mama: Holy Week

Intentional Mama | Easter & Holy Week Activities by Ashlee Proffitt

I’m straying just a bit this week from the normal alphabet focus and activities. Spend some time this week intentionally and purposefully celebrating Holy Week as we prepare our hearts for Easter Sunday. If you are looking for additional activity ideas as well as focused Scripture emphasis and devotional reading ideas for Holy Week, check out the Easter Advent Calendar in my shop now as a printable! (There is even a FREE art print included in the printable!)

Memory Verse Printable for Easter | He Has Risen | by Ashlee Proffitt

Memory Verse Printable (Click to download, save and print!)

Talk About / Questions to Ask

  • Ask: What does this Bible verse mean?
  • Ask: What does ‘He is not here’ mean?
  • Ask: What does ‘He is risen’ mean?
  • Ask: What do we celebrate on Easter morning?
  • Ask: Is Easter really about a bunny and eggs (even though those are fun things to play?)
  • Ask: When Jesus rose from the dead, what did that mean for me? (Talk about how Jesus defeated sin and death and made a way for us,  as sinners, to be connected with Him!)
Activity 1

Dye + Decorate Easter Eggs! (Make your own colors using this chart. As you dye them talk about what the colors mean and read the Scripture together:

  • Black: Our Sin / Romans 3.23
  • Red: Jesus’ Blood & Death / Romans 5:8-9
  • White: Forgiveness of Sin / Isaiah 1:18
  • Purple: God’s grace / Ephesians 2:8-9
  • Blue: new creation / 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Green: Growth in our faith / 2 Peter 1:3-7
  • Yellow: eternity & heaven / John 3:16
Activity 2

Make Resurrection Rolls!

Ingredients

  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Large marshmallows

Directions

  1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter in another small bowl and cool to room temperature. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying well with non-stick spray.
  2. Give each child a crescent roll. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Have them unroll the dough. Read: Matthew 27: 57-61 & Luke 23:50-56
  3. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus. Dip the marshmallow in melted butter, representing the oils of embalming. Now dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar, representing the spices used to anoint the body.
  4. Then wrap the coated marshmallow with the crescent roll. Seal the roll well. This represents the wrapping of Jesus’ body after death. Talk about how Jesus was buried to prove that He died.
  5. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake according to directions on crescent roll can (Talk about how Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days. Pretend like they’re in the oven for three days!) Cool 10-15 minutes (center will be very hot).
  6. Open the rolls and discover that the marshmallow is gone! Talk about how Jesus was raised from the dead and the tomb was empty! Read: Matthew 28:1-10 & Luke 24:1-12
Activity 3

Pray. Spend some time talking about prayer, what it is and how we can think of it as simply talking to God. Emphasize what a gift prayer is, that when we talk to God, He hears us! Talk about how prayer is a privilege (ask: what does ‘privilege’ mean?) and how prayer is powerful (Give examples of answered prayer in your own life. Your children probably being a major one!) Then read Mark 14:32-42 and talk about how Jesus prayed in the garden. Talk about why He was praying and what He was praying for. Finish up by spending some time in prayer with your little one!

Praying for all of you mama’s this week, that you would intentionally and purposefully pursue Jesus and the hearts of your children! Happy Holy Week!

Branding: Collateral Must-Haves

Building Your Brand: Collateral Must-Haves

When thinking about your client experience, the best and most efficient way to address your experience as a whole is to simply list out every touch point you have with your client or potential client. Then address each touch point and ask the following questions:

  • Does this element visually represent me, my authentic style/preferences? Does it visually depict my brand?
  • Does this element resonate with my ideal client?
  • Does this element have purpose & intentionality?
  • What are my ideal clients’ needs? Am I fulfilling those needs with these elements? What’s missing?

Client experience is not limited to your tangible collateral pieces but for this post let’s chat just a little about a few collateral pieces that I believe are must-haves.

  • Business Cards. Obviously. Except how many of us business owners actually have cards that we love and feel like are purposeful, intentional and beautifully represent our authentic brand?!
  • Note Card. A general note card for saying hello to a client, welcoming a client, sending a note to a colleague or vendor.
  • Thank You Card. Separate from the note card so that you have an opportunity to genuinely, intentionally and purposefully say Thanks. Do this with your voice. If you say ‘thanks so much’ then the card should say that! Or ‘Thanks friend,’ or ‘Thank you’ or ‘Thanks a ton.’ Your pieces need to speak your voice!
  • Gift. Whether your client is signing on for you to plan their wedding, photograph their wedding or they just purchased something from your online shop, use every opportunity possible to wow them. Figure out a gift that fulfills a need in their life, resonates with them, has purpose, intention and represents your brand well.
  • Packaging. Is your packaging purposeful, thoughtful and intentional? What kind of wrapping paper did you use? Is your ribbon appropriate to your brand aesthetic? Do you need a branded gift tag? How will it be delivered? Is it shipped or given in person? If shipped, what kind of mailer are you using? Do you need a sticker or decorative item on envelope?
  • Final Touch Point. If you have a long-term relationship with your client (i.e. wedding planner or photographer) you need to consider the last thing you leave in your client’s hands. I would encourage something tangible and beautiful that reminds them why they ultimately chose you when they could have chosen anyone else. Remember, a great client experience is the best marketing tool you could ever have for your business and your brand.

Shay Cochrane‘s collateral is a gorgeous example of  what a cohesive experience looks like. (Logo designed by Emily Ley. Client Experience and collateral pieces by Ashlee Proffitt.)

Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane

Just a few things for you to consider as you work through your own branding! What do you consider a must-have collateral piece for your business and brand?

 

 

Recipe: Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jelly | Tips for Easy Canning | Ashlee Proffitt

Here in Florida we have the amazing gift of strawberry fields upon strawberry fields. I  have this crazy strong desire (it’s the country-girl-grandaughter-of-a-farmer in me) to teach my children about food, how its grown, where it comes from. So, every spring we go to the strawberry fields. And it’s one of my most favorite things! The littles get their own bucket and pick/eat to their heart’s content.

After all our picking, the question then becomes, what to do with all of these strawberries?!

I do a few different things:

  1. Freeze them! I use them in smoothies and they will last for about a year if sealed well.
  2. Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups (SUPER simple and so good you will likely want to eat the entire batch when they’re done. And you will never want a fake fruit roll-up again.)
  3. Make jam!

Before you make anything you must:

  1. Wash the berries. I let them soak for about 15 minutes in my sink. I sprinkled with baking soda to help clean them and after they soaked, rinsed really well.
  2. De-stem the berries.

For the first-time canner/jam-maker:

  • You will need at least 8 80z jars for the recipe below.
  • I used a mini hand blender to ‘crush’ my berries. I ‘pulsed’ it and it worked amazing! (Similar to this hand blender. Also, it is perfection for making baby food!)
  • I do not own a canner (although it would have made the process much easier and plan on investing in one next year!) and used this method (scroll down to see how she created a rack for her stock pot. GREAT post for beginnners!) with my two largest stock pots. Worked great, just a little extra tedious. And another method that would probably work as well.
  • Spend the $1.00 on the funnel. Makes pouring the jam into the jars super easy!
  • I use the directions/instructions from Sure Jell and the recipe in the box works like a charm. I listed it below in a way that is just a teenier bit easier to understand.

Strawberry Jam

Serves 8 8oz Jars

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Strawberries (Discard Stems & Crush Strawberries)
  • 7 cups Sugar
  • 1 box Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Butter (*if desired)

Directions

Step 1
Fill canner (or large stock pot) half-full with water.
Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer.
Step 2
Wash jars & screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water.
Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan (off the heat). Let lids stand in hot water until ready to use.
Step 3
Crush strawberries. Use a potato masher and crush 1 cup at a time.
Step 4
Measure exactly 5 cups crushed berries into 6-8 quart saucepot.
Step 5
Measure exact amount of sugar into separate bowl. (DO NOT reduce sugar amount or the jam will not set correctly.)
Step 6
Stir in 1 box pectin (Sure Jell) into saucepot with the crushed berries. Add 1/2 tsp butter to reduce foaming, if desired.
Step 7
Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. (Rolling boil will not stop bubbling when stirred.)
Step 8
Stir in sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
Step 9
Ladle jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of top.
Close jars with lids. Screw bands tightly.
Place jars in canner.
Step 10
CANNING INSTRUCTIONS
1. Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches; add boiling water if necessary.
2. Cover canner; bring water to a gentle boil.
3. Process (allow to gently boil) for 10 minutes.
4. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
5. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
6. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in a cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams up to 3 weeks.

Strawberry Jelly | Tips for Easy Canning | Ashlee Proffitt