Sometimes when life gets messy you've got to spread around a little fairy dust to make it through the day!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • Ingredients called for on box mix (water, vegetable oil and egg whites)
  • Red food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
  • 1 container white frosting 
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. 
  2. Generously grease a tube/bundt cake pan. 
  3. Make batter as directed on box, using water, oil and egg whites. 
  4. Pour 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl; stir in red food coloring until well mixed. 
  5. Pour another cup of the batter into a seperate bowl; stir in blue food coloring until well mied
  6. Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan. 
  7. Carefully pour remaining white batter over the red batter in the pan. 
  8. Carefully pour the blue batter over the white batter. 
  9. Bake as directed on the box. 
  10. Cool cake (usually 5-10 minutes)
  11. Meanwhile, place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Turn tube/bunt cake pan upside down onto cooling rack . Cool cake completely (about 30 minutes).
  12. After the cake is completely cooled, divide frosting evenly into 3 microwaveable bowls. 
  13. Microwave 1 bowl of frosting uncovered on high a few seconds until smooth enough to drizzle over cake (I did about 10 seconds)
  14. With a spoon, drizzle all of the white frosting back and forth around cake in a striping pattern. 
  15. Repeat microwaving second bowl of frosting until smooth. Stir in a few drops of the blue food coloring until well blended. 
  16. Drizzle over cake, moving the spoon back and forth. 
  17. repeat with remaining bowl of frosting and red food coloring. 
  18. let cake stand at room temperature until frosting is set. 
  19. Store covered (I put on a plate and covered it with an upside down large bowl)

Happy Father's Day

These cute cards were a hit among the daycare families that I couldn't resist making one for my husband and my father as well.

Materials Needed:
  • Patterned scrapbook paper 
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick 
  • Matching buttons 
  • Pen (to write a personal message inside)


I was in need of a quick craft for my daycare kiddos and was having a hard time coming up with something so I pulled out my craft bin. This is what we came up with...

Materials Needed:
  • Construction paper of various colors. We used blue, purple, red, pink, and green. 
  • Scissors
  • A template (and pencils. I cut one out and had the older children trace and cut their own pieces out. I cut additional pieces for the younger kids)
  • Glue sticks
  • Googly eyes 
  • Pipe cleaners (and tape, used to secure the pipe cleaner inside)
  • Stapler (after the kiddos glued the rolled construction paper, I secured the rolled paper with two staples)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pickle Things

Pickle Things, Alligator Eyes, Pickle them whatever you want....just know they are delicious! I can't think of a holiday in the past 5 years that I haven't been requested to make these. I have now perfected the art of making these yummy treats! Note: for the best flavor combination do not substitute any brand other than what is mentioned below!!

  • 1 jar Claussen mini dill pickles (found in the refrigerated case)
  • 2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 4 packages Budding pastrami

  1. Gather the above mentioned ingredients. Leave the 2nd package of cream cheese in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it (you do not want the cream cheese to come to room temperature, keeping it cold will help it to adhere to the pastrami better). 
  2. Gather a butter knife (for spreading cream cheese), a steak knife (to cut the pickle things), a cutting board, paper towel (can get messy), and serving platter or Tupperware (if you aren't planning to serve them right away). 
  3. Open package of pastrami and lay one flat on the cutting board. Using the butter knife take a small amount of the cream cheese and slather across the pastrami (thinkness is up to you). Take a pickle out of the jar and wrap/roll the cream cheese covered pastrami around it. Set aside. Take another piece of pastrami and slather that one with cream cheese as well. Retrieve the pastrami wrapped pickle and roll the 2nd piece of pastrami around it. Repeat with remainder of pickles, pastrami and cream cheese until you run out.
  4. Depending on if you plan to eat them now or store for later as to what the next step will be. If you plan to eat now: cut the ends off each side and set aside (don't worry they won't go to waste - if someone is around they always get eaten right away - otherwise you can store them and eat them later - for presentation purposes I don't set these out with the other ones). Then cut the rolled pickle into equal parts (I usually get 4-5 little coin pinwheels off one pickle). If you don't plan to serve them right away, just put them in an airtight Tupperware in the refrigerator until you do serve them (for freshness you will want to serve them within 24 hours of making them). 
  5. Enjoy!

DIY Projects

Serving Tray Re-Do 

I'm always looking to re-use or re-purpose things that I have found. This project is no exception. I was given for free an octagon shaped dark wood serving tray after it didn't sell on a garage sale my in-laws were having. My mother-in-law asked if I wanted it. At the time I had no use for it, but decided to take it anyway. Well, it has sat in my basement on my end table for the past year. I kept looking at it... trying to decide if I wanted to re-paint it. But I couldn't decide or commit to what I'd want it too look like. Then I got a wonderful idea...Michael's Craft store was having a sale on their scrapbook paper. So I decided to pick up a few sheets of paper and mod-podge the paper into the center tray portion. I wound up using two sheets of 12x12 paper, cutting them like a puzzle to fit inside. Then using a paint brush painted a thin layer of the mod-podge down, laid the paper on top, and then applied another thin layer of mod-podge on top. Here is the end result:

Baby Hat Shadow Box:

Who doesn't love craft stores and their awesome discounts and sales? I know this girl does! When I was at Michael's purchasing my scrapbook paper for the tray project mentioned above. I found that their shadow boxes were on sale for a good price. I had also gone armed that day with a coupon for 40% off my entire purchase of goodies. So I decided to get me a shadow box! I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but had been looking at some ideas on pinterest's website the past few weeks. So I knew I could do something with it. As soon as I got home, I knew what I wanted to do. It was a quick and easy project and I love, love, love looking at it every time I go into my daughters room. I took her baby hat she received while at the hospital and pinned it inside. I then hopped onto my computer and whipped up a quick little note that says "Audrey Campbell Weers, January 7, 2011, 7:25 PM, 5 lbs, 14 oz * 18 inches". I then glued it to the front side of a piece of pretty scrapbook paper and then attached that inside the shadow box. I then asked my husband to hang it on the wall in her room (he's better at hanging things than I am). Here is the finished project:

Kitchen Knife Block Embellishment/Monogram:

I have been wanting to do a kitchen makeover ever since we purchased our house five years ago. But just haven't been able to do it yet (maybe this will be the year). So I've been looking at little ways to do a mini-makeover until we can replace the counter tops and floor. After looking on pinterest for some ideas, I came across several ways to dress up the knife block/holder. Since this sits out on the counter all year I thought I'd give it a try. I found the monogram ones were quite cute! So I decided to do it that way. I was lucky enough to receive a Cricut for Christmas so I knew it would make the letter "W" for Weers just fine. I just had to decide what material to use and what font I wanted. I picked up a roll of vinyl made for Cricut projects at Michael's craft store, picked out my font, and let the machine do the work. All I had to do was peel and stick it on. Best part is if something splatters on it, it can easily be wiped down. Also can be easily removed without leaving any marks ... that way if I want to redo it, make something different, or sell will easily come off! 

Monogram Wood Block Letter:

I decided my daughters room could use a monogrammed block letter! Not sure how I came to this decision, I just know I did! I used one sheet of another piece of scrapbook paper and the letter "A" wood I also purchased on sale at Michael's to do this project (see tray project above). I started by flipping the sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper over, placed the letter upside down and traced around it using a pencil. I then cut along the traced line. Using a paint brush and mod-podge, I applied a thin layer to the front of the letter "A". Then lined up the sheet of paper to the front and applied another thin layer on top of that. After it dried, I used an knife to cut off any pieces of the paper that hung over the side. Here is the end result:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Spring!

Here are a few fun crafts I made with my daycare kiddos (ages 2-4).

Flower Pens for Mom and/or Dad:

Materials needed:
  • Pens (I got a package on sale and with a coupon for free!) 
  • Green floral tape (used up the sides)
  • Scissors or wire cutters (to cut stems to the right length)
  • Flowers (I purchased in a bunch at the Dollar Tree for $1/bunch). 
This project was simple, fun, and easy for the kids!

Happy Spring Cards:

Materials needed:
  • Construction Paper (various colors - we used orange, purple, blue, yellow and green)
  • Glue stick 
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Medium size colored rhinestones (purchased at a craft store for not much money, have a flat back so it's easy to glue onto paper)
For my littlest kiddos I cut out the flowers, stems and leaves. The older kids traced one I had made on card stock then cut them out. The kids loved doing the gluing. While we glued we talked about the different parts of the flowers, paying attention to where the parts are located (ex. stems are on the bottom, leaves come out of the stems, etc). We also looked at some real plants in the yard that were just emerging from the ground and talked about what we were seeing! 

Get Well Soon Card

Recently I have made several of these cute cards for those I know recovering from surgery or just feeling under the weather. I also made one with one of my little daycare kiddos (age 3) for her mother who fell and broke her foot. She had a blast making it and took so much pride in it when she gave it to her mother! The best part is is that it's quite simple! But some adult assistance is needed when working with little ones (see note below).

Materials used:
  • White (or colored) card stock - cut to your desired length, then folded in half to make a card
  • 2 band-aids (I used two cheap off brand ones - know one really knows the difference). 
  • A colored maker
  • 4 small googly eyes 
  • Hot glue (here is where the adult assistance comes in!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Growing Up So Fast!

Wow how the time has flown by! It feels just like yesterday I started this blog. I was doing a little browsing back through the blog and came across the first pictures I posted of Audrey when she was one month old! Oh how she's grown! She is now 14 months old and we just had her pictures taken again. Time is sure getting away from me! My New Year's resolution this year was to slow down and enjoy every moment (especially with my daughter). It's been a bit difficult as I am still doing home daycare (though right now part time - but soon I will be back to full time), Tyler has been working out of town a lot recently and lots have been going on with extended family members. I'm struggling everyday to make every moment count and to enjoy them all. I'm taking a moment here to do some reflecting and re-enjoying these recently taken photographs!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day treats and crafts

St. Patrick's Day is on Saturday. So this week was spent preparing and celebrating with the daycare kiddos. We love holidays around here and they make for wonderful learning opportunities with the kids. This week I made and gave out little treats to my daycare families, close friends and family members. I got the idea off of pinterest but adapted it to use items I already had on hand. The only things I had to go purchase for this project were the candies!

  • Clear cellophane goodie bags (pre-purchased for another project from Party America, but I've also seen them at Walmart)
  • Rollo candies (any candy in gold wrappers would work. I found these were the cheapest at where I was shopping so I got them)
  • Colorful Twizzlers (cut in half to fit in the bag and to make more goody bag treats to hand out)
  • Staples and stapler
  • Green construction paper (cut into a square then folded in half)
  • A circle label stating "YOU ARE MY POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW" printed on white card stock 
  • Glue 
  • Cutting board and knife (to cut twizzlers in half) 

Here is a craft I did with the daycare kids. I used it as an opportunity to work on matching and colors. Older kids could work on cutting skills as well.

Materials used:
  • White construction paper
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple construction paper cut into small pieces (and scissors)
  • Box of crayons
  • White cotton balls 
  • Glue

Here is a leprechaun craft: 

Materials used:
  • White paper plate 
  • Orange and black crayons
  • scissors (to cut out pieces and to cut along beard)
  • Googly eyes 
  • Green, black and yellow construction paper
  • Glue

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Patriotic Wreath

I love wreaths on my front door. I think I have one (maybe even two) wreaths for every holiday. Most of them are store bought. So I decided to make one of my own (with the help of pinterest). It didn't take me all that long to make (maybe a little over an hour) and was much easier than I thought it would be. It was also very affordable!

Materials used:
  • Styrofoam wreath (purchased on sale and with coupon from Micheal's Craft Store)
  • Red, White and Blue Yarn (also purchased at Micheal's on sale and with coupon)
  • Ribbon (for loop on top to hang on nail or door hanger)
  • Hot glue 
  • White felt sheet 
  • Star cutout (printed using the computer on card stock, then cut out. I used it to trace around the stars on the felt)

Valentine Crafts

Here are a few fun crafts I did with my daycare kiddos for Valentine's Day:

  • Pink construction paper glued onto a thin cardboard (could also use card stock paper)
  • Red ribbon (bought on sale and with a coupon at Micheal's Craft Store)
  • Stickers and foam stickers (bought for $1.00 in the dollar section at Target and at the Dollar Tree)
  • Crayons
  • Scissors 
  • Hole puncher (I made the holes but older kids could do their own) 
  • Tape (I taped the string onto the back)

  • Red construction paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Googly eyes 
  • Glue
  • Crayons

Valentine Goodies

While grocery shopping with my husband and daughter I stumbled upon some cute heart shaped cake sprinkles in the bakery of our local store. They were priced at $1.98 for a large container of them. I wasn't sure what I'd use them on but found several ways to use them over the next couple of days. 

1) As an extra special treat I made Valentine cupcakes to give as treats to my family and close friends for Valentine's Day. 

I used a white cake mix. Following the directions on the box. Added some store bought vanilla frosting and the cake sprinkles. 

To dress them up a bit, I put them in a clear plastic punch cup. Then set the cup with cupcake inside down into a winter treat bag (I purchased after Christmas at Walmart on clearance for about 50 cents a package). I then printed off a cute little tag stating "Happy Valentine's Day! Made with love, Diana, Audrey and Tyler". I then hole punched the tag and slipped it on with some pink and red curling ribbon. And ta-da!! I got lots of compliments on these! They were cute, quick and easy to make!

 2) Again using a cake mix (this time I used a chocolate one), I followed the directions on the package. I divided the batter by pouring half of it into a circle cake pan and half into a square cake pan. After the cake baked and cooled, I cute the circular one down the middle and used it as the top parts of the heart. Again using a store bought frosting I frosted the cake and put the cake sprinkles on top!

3) I still had some of the cake sprinkles left over so when family was over visiting we offered warm hot chocolate with cool whip and sprinkles. Everyone thought it was a wonderful touch!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Valentine's Day Treats

We love holidays in our house! Especially Valentine's Day! Giving out little treats is always something we enjoy doing. Seeing the smile on our family and friends faces when we give them one of our little treats is always a joy! Here are some treats my daughter handed out this year:

Green Heart: WE ARE "MINT" TO BE - with a mint attached
Pink Tag: WE'RE TWO OF A KIND - with two smarties attached
Pink/Red Heart: YOU MAKE ME "LAUGH" VALENTINE - with a Laffy Taffy attached
White Tag: YOU ARE A "SWEET" HEART VALENTINE - with a Sweet Tart attached 

She also handed out candy sticks. We used construction paper for the wings, pipe cleaner for the antenna and the candy stick for the body! They turned out so cute!

Homemade Play Doughnuts

My husband and I are constantly trying to find new ways to reuse or recycle items. About a year ago we decided to make an effort to throw away less and start reusing or recycling as many items as we could. We starting taking monthly trips with a car truck full of recyclable items (ex. newspaper, junk mail/scrap paper, plastic containers, glass, plastic bags, cardboard, magazines, etc) to the local recycling areas instead of throwing them out in our trash. We've definitely made the run to the recycling center part of our routine now. My husband also started a compost pile in the back yard behind our shed. We hold yearly garage sales instead of disposing our no longer needed items in the trash. We do a lot of our shopping for desired items now at consignment shops, consignment sales (like NeatRepeatz), and at garage sales. I try to reuse as many items around the house as possible before throwing them in the recycle pile as well. With my new found love for pinterest I have lots of ideas of ways to reuse items. Which brings me to the homemade play doughnuts....

Recently my socks have starting "sprouting" holes in them. So instead of throwing them out I made them into these cute doughnuts for my daughter and the daycare kids to play with. The doughnuts have also been a hit among the adults in my family. 

  • A clean sock
  • Scissors
  • Thread and needle
  • Colored felt 
  • Colorful beads 

  1. Snip the tip off of a sock. Turn the sock inside out and roll the sock into a donut from the tip to the end. Sew the sock to its self using thread (this part will be hidden underneath the felt. 
  2. Next cut your colored felt to make the icing on top. 
  3. Before sewing the felt down, sew colorful buttons onto the felt. You may want to thread the beads several times (I re-threaded the beads 3 times) so they don't come off during play. 
  4. Sew the felt on the top, making sure to cover up the sewed part of the sock.

 Here is a close up of one of the sock doughnuts:

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Birthday Treat

Back in January our daughter turned one! We had lots of family in and out over the weekend of her birthday to celebrate. We also held two parties with family and close friends. Our house is not a house built for parties, so space is limited. Thus having two small parties. I made cupcakes instead of a cake served with ice cream and lots of different toppings.

My mother-in-law gave me for Christmas a surprise cake pan from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The cupcake/muffin pan has a spike in the center of each one so you can stick goodies (ex. cherries, candy bar chunks, etc.) on them then pour your batter around it and bake it.  The first batch didn't turn out as planned. I followed the directions on the package. I skewered a Reese's Cup to the center and poured my batter on top. After they baked and cooled, I attempted to remove them from the cupcake tin. I quickly realized my mistake as the cupcakes crumbled. When I poured the batter onto of the Reese's Cup the weight pushed the candy to the bottom. When I went to remove the cupcakes the candy stuck to the bottom and thus crumbled!

I didn't want to throw the crumbled cupcakes away so I set them aside and started on a fresh batch. Below I will show you what I did with the crumbled cupcakes...which turned out to be a huge hit and a great recovery!

Here are the cupcakes that I served:

M&M with sprinkles Cupcakes

For these cupcakes I used a white cake mix. Followed the directions on the package for mixing/making but added colorful sprinkles to the batch. After baking and cooling, I frosted with a vanilla frosting. I added M&M's to the top to make the number one. The cupcakes turned out to be cute and my daughter and guests loved them.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes:

On these cupcakes I cut up Oreo's and mixed them into a chocolate cake mix along with the ingredients listed on the package. After baking and letting them cool, I frosted them with a chocolate frosting then piped a bit of the leftover vanilla frosting onto the top center. I then broke up several Oreo cookies and put a piece in the center of each one.

The Crumbled Up Mess Recovery (see notes above about the crumbled cupcakes):

I didn't have to throw away the crumbled mess of the Reese's Cup cupcakes...instead I made them into cake balls and served them along side the cupcakes and ice cream at her party.

How they are made:

I put all the crumbled pieces into a large bowl. Taking a fork I cut up/meshed up all the cupcake pieces inside the bowl. I then added a whole can of chocolate frosting, mixing really well. I put the cupcake/frosting mixture in the refrigerator to chill. After one hour I removed the mixture. Using my hands (which were coated in cooking spray) I rolled the mixture into small balls. I put them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and place them back into the refrigerator for 30 more minutes. After 30 minutes passed I melted half a package of chocolate almond bark. I dipped the chocolate cake balls into the chocolate almond bark, placed them back on the wax paper lined cookie sheet and returned them to the refrigerator to harden. After another hour I took them and placed them in an airtight container until it was party time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cherry Lemon Squares


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  •  2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • Powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spread batter into a greased 15x10 inch pan.
  4. Cut in 28 squares. In center of each square spoon equally the contents of one can cherry pie filling.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cool.

Monster Cookie Bars

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 pkgs. baking chips (I used what I had in the cupboard - 1/4 pkg. peanut butter chips, 1/4 pkg. cherry chips, 1/4 pkg. white chocolate chips and 1/4 pkg. dark chocolate chips)
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan. 
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. 
  3. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. 
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. 
  5. Slowly beat flour mixture into butter mixture. 
  6. Stir in chips (and nuts).
  7. Spread into prepared pan. 
  8. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: I baked mine for 13 minutes and felt it was a bit over baked for my liking.