Like Mother, Like Daughter

All moms have a part time job to annoy their children.
Yes, you have to eat that.
Yes, you have to clean that.
Yes, you have to wear that.

Well, my first memory is my mom teaching me to skip (Awwww!) followed closely by the memory of my mom forcing me to wear this dress for a picture. There was definitely a tantrum that ensued because it was itchy and had weird sleeves.


What's this mom to do but to now torture my own girls with the itchy dress!




We all survived the two hours of itchy dress torture from our moms. And sometimes our mom's really do know best, because I love all my pictures of my girls. All taken a the same age (5) and with all the same poses, it's fun to see the resemblances and differences. When it comes to mother-daughter traditions we all know, "No Pain, No Gain"

Flower Cupcakes in Fab Boxes

Q: How do you make these cupcakes even yummier?

A: You put them in these yummy, dreamy, and spectacular cupcake boxes!

I really can't say enough about how cute these are.  The scalloped edge sends me over the edge.
I love to find things that are unique, and this isn't your average pink bakery box.  They did take some dedication in the folding process, but the effort was worth the WOW factor!

Kass made a cute personalized tag.  (egg stamp from house of 3 digital brush kit)

My sister and I recently made these gifts for Easter, but I think they can easily be used as "spring" gifts.

So you're in love with these boxes too, and you're dying to know where to get them?
{Sometimes I can read minds}
Here's the link to Jules Cupcake Boxes.   :)  :)  :)

Mickey Mouse Cookies

Our family just went to Disneyland!  My sister and I are pretty intense about getting there when it opens, and getting our money's worth.  We work the fast passes like nobody's business!  This trip was even sprinkled with a little bit of special treatment in California Adventure.  Oh yeah!
Kids with Minnie

I was exhausted from my vacation.  Then I was exhausted from my laundry.
{Said sarcastically, but there's some truth there}
But after I recovered, I got back down to cookie making.  
disney cookies

Go see my guest post on somewhat simple to see the rest!

Monticello Butterhorns

With Easter dinner preparations in full swing.....
(addressed to those of you On Top Of Your Game)

Or, if you find yourself Saturday night with some yeast, butter and flour on hand...
(addressed to those of you fully enjoying an Easter Break from mommy homework)

Either way, these yummy rolls need to come to your house.

This is another family recipe staple straight from our Mom, by way of Thomas Jefferson or possibly his wife.
She picked this puppy up at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, one one of our many family visits to Virginia to visit her family.

These have to rise twice. But before I hear sounds like you might click on another blog right now, bear with me, you owe it to our founding fathers. And your mouth.


First get your yeast going.
Mix 2 T. sugar
1/4 cup warm water
Sprinkle 1 packet yeast on top and let sit


While that is doing it's yeast thing...
Scald 1 cup milk with 1 cube butter
(Scald means to cook until just before a boil, when little bubble start forming on the edges of your pot)


Cool this mixture just slightly and add
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt,
3 well beaten eggs

Add this mixture to your mixing bowl with the yeast.
Add 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
Mix well and set aside for 3 to 4 hours
I put a clean dish towel over top


The dough will be sticky. Do not knead.
And after 3 to four hours it looks like there's gonna be bursting


Divide dough in half
Take one half and turn onto a very floured counter
Roll dough into a circle
Take a pizza cutter and cut into 12 pieces


Take each piece and roll up starting at the large end.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, or pizza stone or Silpat and let rise about 2 to 2 1/2 hours


When they are all risen and perty like this, Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown. This recipe makes 24.


Miss Nat was my special helper for this batch and they aren't all quite the same size but it was a good mom moment instead of a good blog moment. But, that's how it was in my Mom's kitchen. Not always perfect but always yummy and homey.


Now, I feel hungry and patriotic. Too bad this mom is on spring break.

Wheatgrass in Soup Cans Makes Cheap Decor

I needed some cheap spring decor for our church Easter party.  We wanted to spend our limited budget on the food and the egg hunt!  Decor wasn't that important, but we didn't want empty tables or anything.

Then I remembered my friend Katie's Easter party and how she had Easter baskets full of spring grass on the tables.  So I consulted her expertise, and she assured me it was so easy to grow wheatgrass.
grass 1

Yep, you can grow pretty grass from regular old red wheat.  So I busted open a good old #10 can I had of it.  I haven't been grinding it to make nutritious home baked wheat bread lately.  *Don't hate me because I love white flour*

I watched about 10 YouTube tutorials on this and they all told my this is a "no fail" project.
Well, leave it to my dead, brown thumb to fail at this project.  My first trial run was a failure.  I'm pretty sure I overwatered because it got moldy.  And smelly.  I almost gave up.

But I gave it one more try, and this time it was now or never.  You need to start 2 weeks before you need it.  I'm happy to report I was, for the most part, successful.  This is what I did, the second time:

1.  Soak the seeds, in water for 12 hours prior to planting.
2.  Put 2-3 inches of dirt in the container.
3.  Spread a layer of seeds (covering the the entire thing, but not layering).
4.  Sprinkle a thin layer of dirt over the seeds.
5.  Water, just enough for the dirt to stay moist.
6.  I continued to water it with a spray bottle twice a day, to keep it moist.
7.  By day 4, you should see lots of sprouts.  By day 7 it is about 1-1.5" grass.  By day 12 it is how it looks in this picture.  My good friend watered the wheatgrass for the last few days while I went on vacation.  I was worried when I left, but was amazed when I got back and saw it!

I grew some in these plastic tray liners and we put them in some Easter baskets I had spray painted.  I also collected soup cans and spray painted them pastel colors.  The only thing I actually bought were the plastic liners and 2 cans of spray paint.  I had the wheat, dirt, some paint,ribbon, and the baskets were donated.
plastic liners

I originally did about 35 cans of grass to cluster on the tables, but I did have a few that didn't end up growing as full and I left them out.  (What gives?... I thought I treated them all the same...) We still had plenty.  Oh well.

I was too busy to take pictures during the party, but I brought some home to keep for the next week or so.  I wish I could report that I am now juicing it, and drinking the supplement daily, but I'm just using it to decorate my house.

Amidst all of this grass drama, came my favorite part of this story:
I originally thought I was copying my friend Katie (who I've known since 2nd grade), but when I asked her for more details on how to grow it, she said, "Let me check with my mom, she helped me with it and she might remember more."  When she called me back, she told me that her mom had originally gotten this idea from my mom, years and years ago.  Apparently Katie had spent the night at my house and my mom planted baskets of grass with Katie and I.  We didn't remember this, but Katie's mom did.  I can't tell you how heartwarming it was to know that I was recycling one of my mom's old ideas.  I often wish I remembered and gleaned more from her creative talents, especially in the gardening department.  But even though she is gone, her ideas and creativity are still being shared.  I love that!

Thanks for the inspiration, Katie, Kay, and Mom!

I'm linking to Today's Creative Blog!

A Tip for Your Chick Pops

{Tip of the day}

If you are making chick pops this Easter...
RUN, don't walk, to the Target dollar aisle!

I found these little chick buckets that are the perfect place for your chick pops to nest!
chick pops 2

We gave these to our teachers, who loved them!  Chick pops are now an Easter tradition at our house!

I originally blogged about "chicky snacks" (and the fabulous Bakerella) here!

Stuffed French Toast

Are you looking for a yummy weekend breakfast?

My favorite breakfasts involve waffles and strawberries, crepes and strawberries,  pancakes and strawberries and french toast and strawberries.  (Maybe it's because I was allergic to strawberries a kid {hives} and I've been making up for lost time since I discovered I grew out of that allergy).

But if you add some cream cheese to the occasion, then stuffed french toast and strawberries steals the prize for my favorite breakfast ever!  Something about the sweetness of the maple syrup with the tanginess of the fruit, just makes my heart sing!
stuffed french toast

I start with "Texas toast."  Ya know, the thick cut bread?  It is actually a good thing if you have let it sit out on your counter to dry out for a few hours.  But it's not necessary.
texas toast

Then I cut through one side and make a place to put the "stuff."  Now, this isn't easy, and I've massacred many pieces of bread trying to do this.  Until I used my electric knife...  It just cuts a perfect pocket like buttuh!  However, you need to be very, VERY careful.  That thing is a lethal weapon.  I make sure my fingers are far, FAR away from the electric blade.  It's a tricky skill, try it at your own risk.  You may not want to go to extremes, just for the look of your breakfast.  You can just use 2 slices of regular bread and slap them together with the stuffing.  It doesn't look as good, and it's messier, but it's an option.
cut bread

I added a citrus kick to my cream cheese.  It adds a unique element, and I dig it.  Set out your block of cream cheese a few hours before so that it is room temp.

8 oz cream cheese
zest of one orange
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon sugar

This will generously fill about 6 slices of bread.
cream cheese

Then you need to make your french toast batter.  Here's how I do it:

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar

I cook these on my cast iron skillet.  Let me tell you.  I entered a whole different breakfast realm when I started using this as opposed to my electric skillet.  I add 1 tsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter to the med/hot skillet!  When that melts, I throw on my toast.  I love the slightly crispy layer it gives the outside of the toast/pancake.

I cut the toast on the diagonal and garnish with strawberries, syrup and powdered sugar.  I'm sure whip cream would sweeten the deal too!  Why not go all out?
I've served these to a few crowds, and it has been a hit!  I hope you give it a try!

Prom Corsage

My head hurts sometimes when I think that I have to deal with diapers and dating in my house.
But, the dating is harder to cope with than the messiest of diapers. Because, I have to accept that my baby is growing up.
Insert irrational mom tears.
So, in my attempt to bond and show her I care, I decided to make the corsage and boutonniere for prom.
Teenager says, "You know how to do that?"
I say, "That's what the internet is for!"


So if you are a florist feel free to laugh at my tutorial. But, if you are overly confident in your ability to make something up as you go along, like I am, then my "tutorial" goes like this.

Gather some supplies: ribbon, floral tape, wire, corsage pin, wrist corsage form, and fancy stuff (it doesn't get much fancier than feathers!)


I started with some ribbon wired to make a bow and wired it to the corsage form


Her dress was the classic prom color, electric blue. So, I was stuck with finding white flowers. And, I love roses on Valentines day, but wanted something a bit different for missy. I bought 2 stems of Lisianthus which are the big flowers, that still look a bit like roses. And the tiny ones are hyacynth which we blinged up by gluing in rhinestones.

I took wire bent almost in half and inserted it into the flower so the wire comes out on either side of the stem.



Then I wrapped the floral tape around the base of the flower, securing the wire in there, snipped more of the stem off and wrapped the wire around the corsage form.


We just kept adding fun things, wiring the big things in and gluing the little things in. The wise people on the internet said to use a special floral glue, which I couldn't find and didn't have time to order. So I committed a bit of a cardinal sin and used a glue gun on the non-flower things.

I forgot to take a picture of the boutonniere, but I did the same thing with one flower wired, wrapped in floral tape and added a feather, two leaves, a bit of ribbon and some pearl fanciness.


When they were done, I put them in the fridge overnight and crossed my fingers they would be alive in the morning and not fall apart on the prom dance floor. She never would have forgiven me for that one!

Music Cookies

I have a passion and appreciation for good music.  

I wish I would have developed my musical abilities much further and worked harder, but I get by with enough to appreciate those who did!  In my life, music has been a source of fun, joy, therapy, inspiration, healing, testimony, laughter, soothing and always evokes memories of events and moments in my history.  One of my favorite things is finding a new song/artist that I love.  A new playlist can get me though a grueling task or even a tough time.  My ipod can sometimes be a comforting friend.  I believe in the power that music has to influence our moods and even behaviors.

As a mother, I have always wanted my kids to experience the joy of music too.  I put them in piano lessons to give them a foundation.  It will be up to them whether or not they want to make music a large or small part of their life, but I'm sure that a music education will help them appreciate good music.

But I'll be honest.  Teaching my kids music is not always rosy.  There have been bumps and challenges, but because of 2 wonderful teachers, we have had a great experience with piano lessons.  And I'm pleased to say we're at the point where I am thoroughly enjoying listening to my kids play.  

So what does this have to do with my project blog?  Well, aside from the fact that practicing with my kids is an ongoing project in my life, we had a recital last night.  And it is there that my passion for music and cookie decorating met for the first time.  Music, meet sugar cookes!
music cookies 1

The best part of making these was that I quizzed the kids on their music symbols as if the cookies were flash cards.  Yes, I was sneaking in some music theory when they didn't even know it!  Score one for the  mama!  
music cookies 2

Speaking of music theory, thanks for allowing me to share my music theory with you.  I know I'm getting a little deep over a few recital refreshments, but I'm feeling sentimental about my budding musicians. :)
music cookies 3

I think this unknown quote sums up my feelings well:
"Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul."

Spring Topiaries

This place needed a little cheering up.
So I brought Spring indoors with these simple topiaries.

They're not terribly original, but they are simple and easy!  I painted some plain old terra cotta pots.  Then I put floral foam in, a stick, then hot glued some moss to cover the foam.  Then I popped a styrofoam ball on top.  I just picked the size that would look good in relation to the size of the pots.

The only thing I had to buy was a hydrangea stem.
They're on major sale this time of year.

I cut it up and hot glued them onto the styrofoam ball.

I decided I like the smaller flowers better.  The bigger blooms look a little wild for the size ball I had.
This is where you can learn from my mistakes.  :)
no bow

Last but not least, I thought they needed a bow.  I grabbed some ribbon scraps and...

Now I have a touch of Spring in the house.
Let's hope it can put a "spring" in my step!  I've got to get motivated for Spring cleaning!
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