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

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!