August is just around the corner and that means it’s time to update your wallpaper! It sure still feels like summer so the August 2016 wallpaper features cute drink umbrellas. So next time you’re working on your computer you’ll feel like you’re laying by the pool sipping a pretty cocktail with a drink umbrella in it! Or at least you can pretend, right?
Want more free wallpapers? Check out every one I’ve created over the years over on the wallpaper page. And if you just adore the drink umbrella illustrations, you can purchase the vector and hi-resoltuion files here for use in your own designs!
If it weren’t so darn hot, I’d want summer to last forever! Besides popsicles, beach bike rides and barbecues, one of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of summer produce. And this year it seems summer fruit is the star. And I don’t mind one bit. I’d gladly put a cute summer fruit print anything and everything. That’s why I designed these free printable summer fruit placements. Just download, print and enjoy!
The placemats are formatted to fit an 11″ x 17″ sheet of paper. You can download the file and take it to your local copy shop to get them printed. Or if you’re like me and love to print out tons of stuff, I highly recommend investing in a large format printer. I purchased the Canon PIXMA iX6820 last year and have been so happy with it. It’s a rather compact ink jet large format printer and prints as large as 13″ x 19″! I use it for printing placemats, art prints (hello instant wall art), and even used it to test the scale of the horse wallpaper I made. (This post isn’t sponsored, I just wanted to share about some of the tools I use day in and day out).
I printed my placemats on matte presentation paper. It’s similar to copy paper but has an ultra bright white side that makes colors really pop.
This week flew by as I’ve been playing catchup since being in Florida last week. Only one more full week before we head on our big trip of the year! So this weekend and next week are going to be busy for me! We’ll be traveling to London, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Have you visited any of those cities before? Please leave a comment and let me know what we can’t miss! I’m making a big list of all the places we want to check out.
4 DIYs to try
These citrus shelves will add some summer color to your home year round.
Loving palm print on everything including this cute pencil case (that can double as a summer clutch).
One of my favorite summer traditions has got to be making s’mores. Nothing beats the taste of slightly toasted gooey marshmallows with the sweet crunch of graham crackers and melted chocolate, and I right? The only thing that can take your s’mores to next level is adding some of these homemade chocolate Pocky marshmallows. Today I’m excited to share a simple recipe for them!
These homemade chocolate marshmallows get their flavoring (and a little crunch) from Pocky, one of my favorite sweet snacks. By adding crushed up Pocky bits into the warm marshmallow batter you create an rich chocolatey flavored batter that has a little crunch in every bite. I used Original Pocky for this recipe but it would also be delicious with any of the other Pocky flavors. Here’s looking at you Matcha Pocky!
Homemade marshmallows are way easier to make than you think. Check out the video below to see how they are made!
Homemade Pocky Chocolate Marshmallows
Makes about 3 dozen marshmallows
2 – 2.47 oz. packages of Pocky in any flavor of your choice
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
Nonstick cooking spray Optional:dark chocolate candy melts for coating marshmallows
Place all 3 packets of gelatin in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of ice cold water.
In a small saucepan, combine another 1/2 cup of ice cold water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Turn the stovetop on to medium high heat and cook, covered, for about 4 minutes. Then use a candy thermometer to check the temp. When the mixture reaches 240° immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
Turn the stand mixer on the stir setting (or lowest setting) and while it’s running slowly pour the sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture. Increase the speed to high and let it run for about 15 minutes. It will magically transform from a kinda gross looking clear mixture to a fluffy whipped cream looking texture. Stir in the vanilla extract the 2 bags of crushed Pocky. The warm temperature of the marshmallow fluff with melt the Pocky just a little making the marshmallow mixture deliciously chocolate flavored.
Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar and corn starch in a small bow. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray then cover with the sugar and corn starch mixture. When the marshmallows are done mixing, use a spatula to pour the mixture into the preparing pan. Allow the pan to set for at least four hours or overnight before you dig in.
Spray a large knife with the nonstick cooking spray and cut the marshmallows into bite size pieces and enjoy.
Dip the marshmallows in dark chocolate
If you love chocolate as much as I do, melt some dark chocolate candy melts in the microwave in 20 seconds intervals until completely melted. Dip the marshmallow squares into the chocolate and place on a sheet of wax paper. Allow to harden and then enjoy! You can speed up the hardening process by placing them in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
If you prefer to have the Pocky flavor without the crunch, crush up the Pocky in a food processor until it resembles graham cracker crumbs. Then just add it to the batter like normal.
Making marshmallows at home is a really simple process but there’s one kitchen supply that is key—a candy thermometer. This inexpensive device can be picked up online or at most grocery stores and is a must for making marshmallows. You clip it onto the saucepan while you’re heating the syrup mixture. When it just gets to 240º you immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. That’s the not-so-secret part to making perfectly fluffy marshmallows.
I’m in Florida this weekend visiting family and friends. It’s been a bitter sweet time as central Florida has been our home for the past 7 years. But one thing I sure don’t miss is the summer heat. Boy has it been hot!
If you’re looking for a fun project to try this weekend, here are a few of favorites.