Monday, December 10, 2012

Fond memories, sharing, and a giveaway to boot!

Well, the past 6 months have been a crazy whirlwind. But somehow my page has managed to grow to over 5,000 friends! So I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY to say thank you for all the lovely comments and words of encouragement. 
Here's what one lucky person will receive - hope you love cupcakes!

 Most of my summer & fall were spent in pain, resulting in my not being able to do what I love most: play with my favorite 6yr old, and bake!

Here's my little sweetie decorating cupcakes <3

We also moved. 
To be honest, we haven't even finished unpacking all the boxes yet. 

Feeling overwhelmed and a little depressed for quite some time I started thinking about some of the happier times in my life. 

There were so many and so much to be thankful for. 

One thing I remembered was spending time with my Mother, baking Christmas cookies! I have 4 brothers, Mom would let us help roll and cut out all the cookies and decorate them with LOTS of sprinkles!!! I also loved baking with my Grandmother when I was a little girl. She made the BEST apple pie EVER!!! There was always extra pie crust and we'd make yummy treats with it. We'd roll it out and cut out circles with a juice glass, then cut even smaller circles out of the centers of half of them, bake them, spread jam onto the full circles and top with the holey circles - - - So. Good!

These are some of my favorite memories. So it got me to thinking... my Giveaway should be all about your favorite baking memory! I bake with my son all the time, he loves to help in the kitchen :)

Here he is watching his cookies bake last Christmas.

Here he is with my husband making the annual Gingerbread House.

And here he is measuring and pouring in the ingredients for pumpkin muffins.
We're always mixing up something yummy!

My hope is that when he's older he will look back at these times and get all those warm, fuzzy, feelings I get when I think about the times I baked with my Mother & Grandmother.

So now it's your turn to share your special memories with me. Leave a comment telling me all about some sweet baking experience you've had! In one week I'll randomly select a story and I'll send a box full of memory-making cupcake goodies to that person. 

Please remember to leave your name & email address so I can contact you!

*** Giveaway limited to continental United States only, please ***

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Blog to boldly go where no Blog has gone before... or something like that!

My baby recently had a birthday. Since he's 6 now, I probably should stop referring to him as my baby, but I can't! He's my only child and so he is destined to always be my baby. Ahem, what were we here for? Ooooh yes, my son's recent birthday party. Aside from his 1st birthday we've encouraged him to choose the theme for each party. His 1st was "Cookie Monster" and I had a 
very blue stained baby for several days.  For his 2nd birthday he chose "Nemo"...

See my sweet little guy peeking back there? Awwwwww!

His 3rd birthday was a Pirate theme. This was so much fun! I made treasure maps on the walls and had the kids digging for buried treasure in the sandbox. I also made pirate cookies but at the time I didn't always take pictures of everything. (the Horror!)

His 4th birthday was all about Thomas the Train 
and his 5th was a crazy combination of Lightning McQueen, Ducks, and Ladybugs! (He couldn't make up his mind so he drew a cake sketch which incorporated all 3 and I made it!)

Which brings us to the 6th Birthday! How time flies, sigh...
This year my sweet boy chose to have an "Outer Space" Birthday party. He and I sat down as I was instructed on just how he wanted his cake to look and discussed decorations and guest list. He asked me to make rocket cookies for his school treat.

A couple weeks before the party he painted planets for the backdrop, he used several of his space/planet books to try to get them just right. 
(Wonder where he gets that from???)

Here's what we came up with...
I think his planets came out terrific!

The cake was so fun, and exactly how we'd sketched it out.

I finished off the table with several fun treats...
Decorated sugar cookies

Space shapes Goldfish crackers & cheese ball Asteroids!

Intergalactic cupcakes with sparkles, mini confetti stars, and fondant planets.
(My dear friend, Wanessa, made the finishing touches on these!)

"Moon Rocks" so simple, yet made a great addition to the table. 
These were sugar cookie dough with several colors added then marbled and shaped. After baked and cooled we added some lustre dust to give them a bit sheen. Easiest cookies I've ever made!

All in all, I think the party was outta this world and I had one happy 6yr old!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Care for some "Catch-Up" with your Blog?

Oh. My. Gosh! I know!!! It's only been forever since I made a Blog post. Sheesh, what could I have been doing that was soooo darned important that I couldn't take a few moments to sit down and write up a new post?!?!? Well, this post is all about catching you up on what I've been neglecting to share with you since LAST FALL?!?!? Can it really be that long ago? *I hang my head in shame* ... Moving right along :)

Here is a quickie little photo collage of some fall decorating and goodies I made. Perhaps this year I can stop for a minute and tell you how I did things, wouldn't that be fun? Because decorating is one of my all time favorite things to do. I loved how my chandelier came out! I just picked up a bunch of sticks, stuck them through, added a some silk leaves, pumpkins, hung a few glass acorns, and tada! So fun! 

So then we moved on to winter holidays... hmmm, my last post was a giveaway of all my favorite Christmas things. Sigh. I *heart* Christmas. Soooooooo, perhaps I'll share a few photos from Christmas. Yeah, why not! First, I host a Cookie Swap every year. Because I love to bake and decorate cookies, and I love to host little get-togethers. Here's the table with everyone's cookie contributions. Yum!

At my cookie swaps I like to 
have a Gingerbread House 
decorating contest. 

 This was our decorating station.

And here are a few of the contestants fabulous creations!

After the party things got super busy getting ready for Christmas 
and making SO MANY goodies for everyone.
These little babies were full of cookies and fudge snowflakes 
to be shipped all over the place.

Here's a sample of some things that were in the packages.
(not Opus, he was for my hubs. In fact he still has him!)

So then it was just cookie heaven for a while.
I made a bunch of these guys...

... and these, which I think were my favorite from the entire season!

Aaaannnnd some Night of the Living Gingerbread Zombies, because they're Zombies. 
Don't Zombies deserve a nice Christmas too? Yes, I thought so :)

The next holiday I neglected to share with you was Valentine's Day. This is my little guy posing for a photo shoot along with the Valentine's we made to give out at school :)

We made some crafty stuff, too. Like these fancy streamer hearts! 
I learned this trick in kindergarten. It was great fun then and it's still great fun now. 
PLUS, the kids can make them, too.
Here's a quickie tutorial:
1. Cut squares of streamers. Many, many, squares.
2. Push the eraser end of a pencil into the center of a square and twist a little.
3. Dip in craft glue. Just a bit.
4. Press onto a canvas where you've previously drawn a heart shape.
5. Continue this process until you've got the whole shape filled in.

Almost looks like flowers, doesn't it :)

What's next... Oh yeah, St Patrick's Day!!! My little guy wanted to have a party 
so I took advantage of the opportunity and made a whole sweet table ~

The kids made "Leprechaun Traps" and asked to have them put into the tree. 
Evidently that's the best way to catch those little buggers!

Then there was Easter and more fun cookies and treats.
(and a sweet little boy)

Most recently we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. 
My son took in something special each day, including these ice cream sundae cupcakes.
I originally saw the idea on Living Locurto's blog. (forgive me I don't know how to tag!)

In between all these things I've been making and decorating cakes, 
cupcakes, more cookies...

I think that pretty much brings us up to speed - Phew!
So, now hopefully you get an idea of what's been keeping too busy to blog. 

BUT - I'm already working on my next post... It's gonna be outta this world ;)

And I'm going to try to make at least one blog post each week! Because seriously, I don't think you or I want to go strolling down memory lane like this again in 6 months due to my neglectful blogging habits :/

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"A Few of my Favorite Things" Giveaway!!!

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Once upon a time I promised to give away a few of my favorite  things
and THESE are few of MY favorite things!

To celebrate & to say “thank you” to all who’ve supported me throughout my kitchen, & Mommy, & now blogging, adventures, I’m giving away a bunch of stuff I love:

The movie “Elf” because nothing gets me through a long night of decorating like Christmas movies and this is one of my faves!

A super cute magnetic notepad with tree-shaped sticky notes and a festive little pen. J Because we must always have something to jot our thoughts onto.

Sprinkles & super cute cupcake liners w/matching picks. Because sprinkles are a food group, it’s true, look it up. I’ll wait…. See?!! Told ya!

Adorable tags. I have a slight addiction to Christmas tags. Doesn’t matter how many I already have, every year I HAVE to buy more. So I’m sharing my addiction with you, aren’t you lucky!

Cutesy Christmas napkins!  Because they're napkins. What’s not to love?

A set of 4 Handmade Christmas Crafting books! Because I LOVE CRAFTS!
I probably own just about every available craft book in the land.
The 1st one is “Handmade Christmas Crafts”, tons of great ideas!

The 2nd book is “Handmade Christmas Ornaments”. You can see just on the cover several terrific crafts!

The 3rd book is “Stocking Stuffer” crafts. So many, many cute things!

And the 4th book is “Snowman Crafts”. An entire book dedicated to the man made out of snow! (and women, too. And snowkids? Sure!)

I also have for you 2 sets of Christmas cookie cutters. Because it wouldn’t be Christmas without roll-out cookies. Well, at least not in my house it wouldn’t. There are 6 cutters all together, and just in time for you to get busy!

Finally I have also a Gingerbread Boy-shaped cake pan. Because there are so many ways to decorate a Gingerbread person, why try to fit it all onto little cookies when you can go all out on a whole cake! (um, forgot to take a pic of the pan by itself, but it’s in the photo with everything else – oopsy!)

So, there you have it! So many of my personal favorite things, and all you have to do is just a simple thing (or two, or three…).

  • Thing 1: Leave a comment here, on my blog, telling me your favorite thing about Christmas.
  • Thing 2: Share this Giveaway on your page, then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did. (and thank you, in advance)
  • Thing 3: Follow my blog, leave a comment to let me know if you did that, too J
  • Thing 4: “Like” my page on Facebook, then leave a comment, here, letting me know you did. If you already do, please leave a comment telling me you already do.

You only need to do one thing (the comment about your favorite thing) but each additional thing will give you extra chances (plus they’re all nice things to do, and you want to be nice, right?)

Now for the formalities:
~This giveaway is entirely because I feel like sharing. I am not, in any way, being compensated from any of the companies or brands included in the giveaway.
~Giveaway is limited to the continental United States due to postal restrictions and other matters that I have no control over – and I DO like to have control of my favorite things.

~So go, now! Be festive! Share! And rejoice~
Oh, and do it before midnight on December 1st to be eligible to win!

Thank you!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making Cakes & Fighting the HalloThanksMas urge!

Every year I battle the “HalloThanksMas” urge. You know, that overwhelming need to decorate for Christmas before you’ve even finished putting away the Halloween stuff.

Last year I gave in, I caved, my tree was up on November 1st.  But since I was getting so much: “Shame on you! Every holiday deserves its own time!” & “DON’T RUSH ME!!!” feedback, my little one & I TP’d the tree so it would feel more like leftover Halloween tricks rather than hurrying Santa. Of course the moment Thanksgiving was over we stripped that TP off and went full-on Christmas glory.

I should mention, in my defense, that I get very busy this time of year and want to have ample time to decorate and enjoy the sparkle of Christmas without “trying to fit it into my schedule”. Also, I adore Christmas and all that goes with it – the crazed shoppers, the decorations, the crafts, the gift wrapping, the cookie exchanges, the whole feeling of LOVE and FAMILY that the Holidays seem to bring. Not to mention the “Elf on the Shelf” and the wonderous, magical powers he holds over all small children with the ever-threatening “Hmmm, what do you think Elfy will have to report to Santa tonight?” Yeahhhhh, that’s what it’s all about.

This year I’m fighting the urge. It’s already November 7th, the Halloween decorations are packed up, leaving only a few random pumpkins, leaves, pinecones, turkey crafts, and cornucopia’s to represent Thanksgiving. My plan is to leave those fall decorations alone until the 25th then engage in an all-out fury of decorating. A veritable Christmas tornado, if you will, to get it all pretty before the madness of cookie season sets in. I’m not gonna lie, I may not make it. But at least I have a plan… and chocolate, plenty of chocolate.

I’ve done most of my shopping to keep myself super busy, ya know, so I wouldn’t be tempted to decorate “just a little”, but I don’t know how long I can last. I mean, I only have so many hiding places before I need to start wrapping gifts, and if everything is wrapped then surely I’ll need a tree (or two) to put the gifts under, right? Ok, ok, stop now! Before I go hunting for the trees.

I've also kept myself busy with caking. Have I ever told you how much I love it when someone orders a cake, gives me the theme and maybe an invitation to work from, and then says "Go!" and I get to do my thing?!?!?! Well, I love it! Here are a few examples of me doing my thing from the last couple weeks...

It's like a little gift when I get to do it however I please (for the most part, anyway). 

Oh! Speaking of gifts, I will be posting a “Few of My Favorite Things” giveaway later this week – and it’s ALL CHRISTMAS stuff! (I gotta get my merry on somehow!) So keep your eyes open for that – I cannot wait! I love gift-giving, I love wrapping and ribboning and shopping for those special things that I just know will make someone happy J

I know I’m not the only one who jumps the gun on decorating (my SIL already has trees up), when do YOU do it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Zombies - vs - Hello Kitty

Ok, so I’ve made it to my second Blog Post. Yay, me!

What I’d like to do today is tell you about something I posted recently on my Facebook page. Last week, while grocery shopping with my 5yr old, we came across something kinda cool. My son said to me: “Mommy, you need this cookie cutter!” and just as I was about to ask him to put it back (because Lord knows Mommy already has a bazillion cutters), I looked down and noticed he was handing me an upside-down skull cutter, but I saw something very different, so I bought it. Then I posted this photo on my page ~

It was so much fun watching everyone try to guess what I saw! So many people saw something completely different. Yes, some very unique & colorful ideas, indeed J

This is what my brain saw (brain saw? Ha, being a Zombie lover, that makes me giggle.) Anyway…

Nobody guessed it would be Hello Kitty in a pumpkin! It’s exactly what I’d imagined in that moment at the grocery store. Whatcha think? I LOVE repurposing cookie cutters, it’s like a fun little challenge for myself. I do it with those shaped cake pans as well. I cannot tell you how many ways I’ve used my old Dora pan! Wait.. whaaat? To make a cake!!! How many ways I’ve used it to make a cake! Get your minds out of the gutter already! Sheesh.

I made these little dancing Skelly Guys, too. Looks like they're scaring the bezeezes out of ol' Kitty!

Oh, I nearly forgot to wish everyone a Happy Sweetest Day! (yesterday)
Here is what I gave to my Sweetie ~

Yes, we share our Zombie Love <3