Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Nest Easter Treats


     Every year I google Easter treats and say I’m going to do something different.  But, man!  I just can’t get over the cuteness of little chow mein nests!  AND it gives me an excuse to buy multiple bags of the crunchy awesomeness under the guise of “one bag might not be enough.”


easter treats


     So here is this year’s treat from Sherri Haab (recipe is hers, picture is mine).  I have to warn you, it’s not for the weak.  You WILL get messy!  Trying to mold these little suckers is like trying to get gum off the bottom of your shoe.  The marshmallow turns into stringy cob webs that will have you screaming, “Why didn’t this happen to the chick on the internet??”  Have no fear, though.  The cob webs settle into shiny little perfect nests that any Hershey’s chocolate egg/bird would want to take up residence in.



1/4 c. margarine

4 1/2 c. mini marshmallows

1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 c. chow mein noodles

Chocolate eggs, peeps or M&Ms  (If using peeps, I would let them cool completely before adding the birds)


In a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over medium heat until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Stir in noodles.  Mold into little nests and top with eggs.  Store in an airtight container.


Enjoy!  : )

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jungle Cats

tiger jaguar face paint
     I get asked to do a lot of cats at parties, so it’s a good thing I have a coupla kids to practice on.  Lazy afternoons are perfect for entertaining my kids with my brush, and on this particular day, we were on our way to see "Rio.”  I guess I should have done birds or parrots or something, but there’s a jungle in Brazil, right?  Not many tigers in the Brazilian jungle, but I doubt my kids would care.  And being that it’s a movie about Carnivale…it could have been worse.  (We’re no strangers to sequins and boas.)

jaguar face paint
     Anything other than princess crowns and butterflies earns Savannah’s “serious” face.  You should have seen her as a jedi.

     tiger face paint

     And Madeline didn’t care what kind of cat she was as long as she was a baby cat.  This is as kitten-ish as it gets.  At least she’s off her baby-wookie kick.  That’s the last book about Star Wars I bring home.  And no Madeline, wookies would not let you pet their soft fur.  : )

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Peeps craft

    I’m getting pumped about our egg hunt tomorrow!  It was originally scheduled for Friday, but we’re supposed to have crappy weather.   Moving it up one day sliced our guest list in half; maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.  I just know that the kids that do come are going to get a loooot of prizes.


     I’ve seen this peep craft in a couple places now, but I like to give credit where I saw it first- in this case Woman’s Day magazine.  It’s SO easy to make, especially if you keep an unGodly amount of Easter grass on hand “just in case.”  The eggs are dollar store variety and I’m LOVIN’ the fact that Michael’s carries tulle on a roll.  My porch looks like it barfed up a ballerina right now.

Wheeee!  Egg hunt!!
: )

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainbow Cake FAIL

I guess I really should start a new blog label just for all my epic failures, or should I say “learning experiences?”  Nah, this one just straight up sucked.  But did I eat it anyway?  Obviously, at least a little.

Rainbow cake

I actually think it’s quite aesthetic- pretty in a hippie Grateful Dead sort of way.  The problem I think was all in the recipe.  I’m going to spare my source because she probably did a much better job at it.  When I read that it was a Weight Watchers kind of recipe, I should have run.  Anything low-fat or sugar-free is borderline Satanic as far as I’m concerned, and if you’re going to have CAKE!…c’mon.  Just go full throttle.

Basically the recipe for the cake part is 2 white cake mixes and 2 cans of Diet Sprite.  That’s it.  No eggs, no oil, nothing else except cake and Sprite.  That was my first clue that “results could vary.”  Sure enough, I had to double the recommended bake time because the outside was crispy and the inside soupy.

If there is a next time, I’ll just do the traditional white cake recipe (although doubling it WAS a good idea) and go through the steps, which are as follows:

rainbow cake patterns
Divide each cake mix batter into three separate bowls and add food coloring gel (the liquid stuff isn’t recommended).  Then spoon into cake pans like so…

rainbow cake pans

Bake according to the box directions and frost!  The frosting was a small box of sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding and a container of sugar-free Cool-whip combined (actually not that bad).

Story behind the cake:  Lexi wanted a rainbow-themed party for her 8th birthday.  I decided it would be a good idea to practice that cake I’ve seen all over blogosphere.  She took one bite, and said, “Mom, I think I want a pirate princess party.”  I don’t blame you, kid.  Which means it’s time to break into the fondant scene, oh yeah!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Aaron’s 6th Mad Scientist Birthday Party

      Our friends Karen and Mike put their heart and soul into this AWESOME mad scientist birthday party for their son Aaron.   My Savannah had a blast!  (No pun intended.)

science lab sign

   This is the sign decorating the front entrance, and I guess it helps when you’re related to a professional illustrator.  (If you’ve ever visited the Pentagon in DC, you’ve probably seen his work.) 

The festivities kicked off with each child receiving his/her own personalized lab coat. 
lab coats

It wouldn’t be a mad scientist party without some homemade flubber- many of them just called it goo or slime, or in one little girl’s case, making brownies, because she used every color of food coloring.   Ech!

You (birthday boy) start with 1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue
flubber- glue

And add water, then food coloring, and finally borox to get it really gooey.  I forget the exact measurements, but the recipe is easily googled.

This is where the kids had to abandon their spoons and get messy.  Squeezing out the extra water is important.
getting messy

And the end result is some fabulous albeit messy flubber!  I don’t envy the dishes Karen had to do after this one.

The next fun experiment was alka seltzer rockets!  Woot!  The kids used what looked like 35mm film canisters, but they were white plastic and the lids didn’t go on quite as tight.  I’m guessing that’s key. 

Basically, you fill it just less than halfway with water, drop in half or a whole tablet of alka seltzer, replace the lid,
alka seltzer rockets

stand it on the ground- lid down, and get out of the way.
rocket safety

This all has to be done pretty quickly because you only have about 2-8 seconds before….LIFT OFF! 
DIY rockets

By then the kids were ready for snacks, and oh my!  Check out this party table!

mad science birthday party

Eyeball cupcakes, beakers full of who knows what, worms, drinking cups that are actually beakers with eyeballs in the bottom, and where the HECK do you get dry ice?

mad scientist party

All the kids wanted to touch the “smoke” from the dry ice, obviously.  I highly recommend the strawberry/apple/banana/sugar and cinnamon salsa with cinnamon pita chips.  Mmm-hmm!

And just when we thought the party was over, there’s more!  Homemade lava lamps!

alka seltzer in oil

We all saw what the alka seltzer did in water, but would it bubble in vegetable oil?  Good question…

This was another easy experiment that still guaranteed to blow your mind.  Fill an empty water bottle 3/4 full with vegetable oil.  Top it off with water.  Drop in 10 drops of your favorite color food coloring, and add an alka seltzer.  Voila!  Insta-hippie!

homemade lava lamps
This party is definitely going down as one of my favorites.  Good job, Karen and Mike!

 science birthday party

Life’s Delights “Recycled” Owl Clock

DIY clock
     This refurbished clock may look familiar.  I posted it along with the rest of my daughter’s new owl and nature themed bedroom a while back.  I picked out just this photo to participate in Heart2Heart’s “Reuse/Recycle” challenge. 
     Yard sales are the best places to find items to alter.  The clock originally had that creepy 1970s wood paneling color going on, so I painted it, worked some paper/stamping/Cricut magic, and BAM!  You’d never know it’s something I paid a whole dollar for!  : )

CTMH “Whooo Loves You?” stamp set
CTMH Life’s Delights paper pack
Cricut- Alphalicious cartridge

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Splendor “Happy For You” Card

Splendor card

     As you know, I usually don’t make or blog about cards, but there were several challenges I wanted to jump in this week.  Mojo Monday provided the sketch, Heart2Heart gave us the “April showers bring May flowers” theme, and the Play Date Cafe chose the colors.  Coincidentally enough, Close to My Heart makes a paper pack with lots of flowers based on the blues and greens- moonstruck, sky blue, and topiary.  So this card was actually pretty easy to put together, not a lot of thought required.  I did have to squirm just a little when I decided my handwriting is (still) crap, and I had to cover it with the bracket thingy at the top.  Is there a name for the shape that looks like a rectangle, but each side is a bracket?

    Two nights ago, a CTMH sister and flower guru, Michele Auten, taught us how to make these 3-D flowers at our team get-together.  Of course, now I have to put them on everything.  The fleece flower pillows had a good run, we’re set for a couple birthday parties, and now I’m back to paper flowers.  I just might have to tackle the flower box on Michele’s blog. 

Thank God for spring!  (And that fact that I’m not prone to allergies.) 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fleece Flower Petal Pillow

If we’re friends on Facebook, you might have seen that I recently incurred a craft-related injury.  Guess what?  Hot glue is…HOT!  When my 3 year-old almost tripped over the cord taking the gun (and my project) with her, I did a little dance to try to save everything at once and failed.  My blisters are healing great, though- means to an end.  And it was all for these

You can use felt too if you like, but fleece is much softer and on sale right now at most fabric stores.   I got the idea from Come Together Kids blog- check it out.  That chick is awesome!  She also has complete instructions are completing your own flower pillows.  She did monochromatic pillows like the pink on on the left.  Switching up the colors and adding ribbon petals was all me.  (I have to add at least a little flair!)


Hopefully, my sister will be proud because I actually sewed just on the leaves and the back (the rest is hot glue).  It was stressful, and I spent more time correcting mistakes than real sewing, but again, the product is worth it.  And this purple and pink beauty is a birthday present for her daughter’s 6th birthday.  Lexi is pumped about churning them out as birthday party presents.  I like that it’s cheap and something we can do together.  If you have a girl, chances are one is coming your way.  : )

Friday, April 1, 2011

Star Wars Face Paint Gig


I was absurdly excited to do a little BOY gig finally for a friend’s son’s birthday party.  It was almost two themes in one: legos AND Star Wars (Clone Wars to be more specific).  But once I got going with the Star Wars painting, the legos images I brought seemed weak.  I did have to do a couple puppy dog faces for the little sister and friend, but I’m hooked on full storm trooper faces now.  Anyone want to let me practice??


This double light saber was straight on his arm when it was pointing toward me…but…


Apparently, I only got shots of the two Darth Maul kids I did.  Hoping my friend sends me more pics…


Madeline let me practice on her before I left…




I’m still waiting to do a pirate party at some point.  That would be cool, but my kids aren’t biting.  Looks like this year is going to be luau, rainbow, and Donkey Kong themes.  (Donkey Kong has potential…)



: )