Cake Pops!

My mom and I (along with some well-intended help from the kids) made cake pops for the kids' preschool Christmas parties. Basically, they are cake balls on a lollipop stick. Check out the Bakerella website for instructions and tons of cute ideas. 


Although time-consuming, they are relatively easy to make and lots of fun. Not to mention yummy. And as the name says, you can literally POP the whole thing in your mouth! Ours were devils food cake/white icing for the ball, covered in melted red candy coatings. We also melted some green candy coatings, put it in a plastic mustard bottle and drizzled some on top.

While we were working on the pops we stuck them in a floral styrofoam block. For the finishing touch we wrapped each in a tiny treat bag and tied a tag onto it (the kids punched the tag with a heart-shaped hole punch). All the supplies can be found on Amazon.


We had a few left over...but they didn't last long around my house!


Cinco de Mayo

It's almost Cinco de Junio, but I still wanted to share with you a couple of photos from a Cinco de Mayo party in Dallas.


My cousin, Laura Adams, and her fun group of girlfriends, affectionately known as the Girls of Belfort Place, held a party to celebrate this holiday which is actually more widely celebrated in the U.S. than in Mexico. I love the miniature pinatas hanging from the chandelier! I wonder if they were filled with candy? {A funny sidebar: when I was little we took a trip to Mexico, where my parents bought a pinata for me to take back as the star attraction for my birthday party. The party goers and I were surprised when no candy fell out despite repeated beatings of the paper mache animal! How were we to know we were supposed to fill it ourselves?!?}


Margaret Story made this adorable cactus-inspired centerpiece for the party, which was held at the beautiful home of Kay Neve. I can't wait to try this clever idea!

O' Danny Boy

In celebration of St. Paddy's Day next week, here's a favorite drink recipe of my dad's (and several friends): Danny Boy. So named because of my dad's extreme (and I do mean extreme) fondness of the song and also because our ancestors emigrated from Ireland (by way of Scotland), the country of origin of the song, to our current stomping grounds in southwest Virginia (due to the strikingly similar terrain).


Jack Daniels (single barrel preferred, regular ok)

Sprite or 7-Up (note: diet not allowed)

Orange slice (not wedge; and in the drink, not hanging off the side)

On the rocks


Somewhat of an unusual drink by some standards. So many friends and family (husband included) have adopted it as their signature drink that it's the norm around here now.

May the luck o' the Irish be upon ye!

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Kids love Easter and our little bunnies are no exception. They are still little, but I wanted their Easter baskets to be something special. I happened upon these bright buckets at Lowe's one day (for about $6 each) and knew they would be perfect to hold all the treasures the Easter Bunny would bring this year.


The lady at the checkout counter looked at me incredulously when I told her why I was buying the buckets. She remarked that I would have to get a "lot of toys and candy to fill up those things." Little did she know that they would be filled with mostly grass!


I lined the buckets with "grass" made from brightly colored cardstock paper that was run through our industrial-sized shredder at work (it makes crinkle-cut shreds). You can also make small quantities of paper with small shredders from office-supply stores. As you'll see in just a moment, we had enough grass to plant a small yard, which I would not recommend unless you plan to single-handedly bring back multi-colored shag.

I filled the "baskets" with lots of fun items from the $1 section at Target (I even managed to squeak by this year without including any candy...don't worry, they had plenty from friends & family!). I cut out colorful flowers and glued them onto paint stirrers (also from Lowe's) to add a bit of height to the baskets. Our kids used them as wands and rakes to scoop up their grass. They became somewhat dangerous as the day wore on so they were retired to the "later" pile (the wands, not the kids).


After church we went out for Easter lunch and the cutest centerpieces were on our table. What fun to put Peeps and jelly beans in the vases! They didn't last long...our kids took one look at them and the Peeps were history within minutes. So much for the no-candy Easter!


Our three-year-old got a haircut on Good Friday and his hairdresser (yes, he already has a hairdresser) surprised him with this cute-as-a-button homemade bunny cake. It was as delicious as it was pretty. I had a hard time making it out of the parking lot without biting off an ear. Don't think the kids wasted any time in getting to know this wabbit weally well!


Egg-coloring (real) and hunting (plastic) was big at our house this year. I've never seen a prettier bunch of eggs than this, the first-ever batch colored by my little rabbit fu fu's (when I was younger I used to recite that riddle over and over, standing on my grandparents' hearth. Maybe I was doing a rain dance of sorts and didn't know it, since I ended up with so many rabbits?).


A tiny part (and I do mean tiny) of our Easter grass explosion, or tumbleweed, as depicted here. Honestly the kids loved the grass more than any of the other toys, proving once again that the packaging is often better than the product. As they say, the grass is always greener.

Heart Ornaments

Thanks to Chrissie at flip flops & applesauce for this fun project! My three-year-old and I had a ball doing it so I thought I'd share our version with you. First you will need to make your own dough:

2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt, 3/4 cup hot water

mix with a wooden spoon or your hands

*tip: coat your hands and work surface with

plenty of flour so you don't get too sticky!


For this recipe you definitely don't want to lick the bowl...yucky salt taste! Roll out the dough fairly thin on a cutting board and cut out your shapes. We used a heart, of course, but think of the shapes you could make: bunny, reindeer, star, etc.! Put a hole in the ornament so you can loop a ribbon through it. I used the end of a paint brush to make our holes, which need to be very clean-cut so there's enough room for the ribbon. Bake the ornaments in the microwave for about 2-4 minutes. They will be very hot so use caution when removing them! After they cool, paint a coat of Mod Podge on the ornaments.


Sprinkle (or in our case, pour) glitter on the hearts. You could also just paint them rather than using Mod Podge and glitter.


We had a virtual rainbow of hearts!


The finished product hangs from a kitchen cabinet.

We gave ornaments to daddy, grandparents and friends.

Happy hearts day!

Valentines for Kids

Our church is having a Valentine's party for the kids on Sunday. We were given a list of the children in class so that we could give everyone a Valentine. Realizing that this could turn into a costly proposition over the next 18 years, I decided that we would make our Valentines. When I told my mom this she gasped, but seriously it really doesn't take long, it costs pennies and it puts a personal touch on the cards.


Our four children are in the same class so we are making one Valentine for each person that will be from all four. Since they are ages three and under I have to help the process along a little (as they get older the kids will be able to do the entire card by themselves). I used a piece of red paper, size 8.5" x 11", and on my computer printed "Happy Valentine's Day" on the bottom front. On the other side I printed their names and then folded it in half (turn the paper upside down so it works out when you fold it in half).


My three-year-old used Elmer's glue and helped apply glitter in heart shapes on the front (you can trace a heart shape and hope to sort of stay in the lines!). On the inside I let the kids scribble with markers and add stickers (don't worry, we used washable markers...I just thought it would be funny to show Sharpies to make my mom gasp even more!).

I hope the other 2 & 3-year-olds enjoy the cards as much as we enjoyed making them!

Simple Holiday Table


Christmas may be behind us but there's still a little time left to set a simple holiday table. Perhaps for New Year's Eve? This was our table a few years ago and I love the contrast of the rich red walls and table accents against the dark furniture. A few well-placed pops of color go a long way towards adding a festive feel to any place setting.