Thursday, January 28, 2010

Signature Dish?

My church will soon be printing a cookbook and I can't decide what to submit. My buddy says I should turn in my "signature" dessert...the one I make often....the BEST peanut butter cookies loaded with both peanut and chocolate chips. Not sure I really want to share that recipe with the entire church though, know what I mean?
So, what sounds good to you....
  • Cheesecake Brownies
  • Red Lobster Rolls
  • Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
  • Make-ahead French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping
  • Enchilada Casserole
  • Make-Ahead Chicken Manicotti
  • Sopapilla Cheesecake
Vote soon, because I have to turn it in Sunday! While you are voting, what's your signature dish?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sissy....You Are Sorry....

Yesterday evening, Mr C bumped his overly-sensitive sister. Daddy said "Tell Sissy you are sorry." Mr C complied..."Sissy, you are sorry."
Miss M didn't find it as funny as the adults in the family.
I love that little boy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Little Blessings

Another dark and rainy day at my house car is heading to the shop on Monday...stuffy head.....blah, blah, blah...not really anything to complain about, if I keep it in perspective, right? But I am so thankful for children who say and do things like:
(I posted some of these on facebook recently, so forgive the repeat! I have some facebook holdouts in my family, so this is for them!)

Mr C shows off his dance moves, inherited from his dad...

Miss M, in response to the question 'do you act this way at school?' "Of course not Mama. I can't help it - I used all my goodness up at school!"

Mr C, upon coming to the table for lunch yesterday: "This looks delicious!" It was just grilled cheese and apple sauce that I had colored blue for fun. I didn't even know he knew that word.

Miss M, in Kidzone at church last week, in response to the question "who is the best person you know besides Jesus and your mom or dad?" Her response....My Nana.

Mr C is starting to say "that's just how me roll". Miss M was complaining about dinner and asked why I was so mean to make her eat it. "That's just how me roll!" was my response.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Catch Up - Part 2

As the coordinator of my MOPS group, I like to give my steering team a small gift at Christmas. With 12 ladies I can't afford anything too expensive. I learned about Wordle from a fellow blogger. It's a free site that constructs a "word cloud" using text you type in. For my gifts, I asked each steering member to list a few words or a phrase that either describes each leader or is something you admire about her. They had about a week to do this and then I typed in the text. I printed them out on glossy white cardstock and framed them in simple frames. They were originally unfinished so I gave them a quick coat of glossy black. This gift idea has lots of possibilities (grandparents, end of year teacher gift...) and I am sure I will be using it again. I found Wordle incredibly easy to use and enjoyed playing around with the colors, fonts, and word arrangement. Hubby helped me size them to a 5x7 - which took some work on his end. They actually print out 8x10 directly from Wordle.

Here's a shot of my finished project, tied up with ribbon left from Christmas past. I presented the gifts to my leaders at a luncheon at my home just before Christmas. We decided it was both encouraging and humbling to know how others saw us.Next for the women who graciously care for our children during our MOPS meetings. Again...small budget but unlike the above gifts, it doesn't come out of my personal pocket. I learned about a great deal from author Richard Paul Evans on Money Saving Mom.(Check her site out....tons of free deals, coupons, and thrifty ideas in an easy to read list.)For a limited time, he was offering 20 copies of his book The Christmas Box at a cost of only $15. This fit our budget perfectly. I even ordered a box myself to give as gifts to other folks. The little silver charms you see are elastic bookmarks. If you can cut string and tie a knot, you can make these. This link will give you specific directions, but basically:

1. Cut a length of elastic beading cord to 15 inches.
2. Slid your charm to the middle of the cord.
3. Tie a knot above your charm.
4. Tie a knot to secure the ends.

That's IT friends! I found a pack of 10 heart charms 50% at Hobby Lobby ($1.50) which made these little beauties ring in around $0.65 EACH! Can't hardly beat it! There are lots of charms to choose from, making this easy to personalize for any reader you know. The motorcycle one in the picture was one Miss M made for my dad.
There you have it...two economical and easy gift ideas. I also learned that LOTS of people like homemade fudge. I should know...I made and gave away 6 pounds of it last month!
Coming to a blog near you....Mr. C's thrifty Cars 3rd birthday celebration!

Christmas Catch Up - Part 1

Well, yet another trip back to Arkansas for the second funeral in a month...with a sick little boy...who shared his germs with's been a long January. This time we mourned the loss of Cupcake Daddy's paternal grandfather. Again, illness took a toll on his body and Grandpa Doug left this life on his 86th birthday. He and Grandma Dee treated my like family from day one. I will miss his silly jokes and songs but enjoy seeing that talent in both of my children. It was a life well lived.

Enough with the melancholy...Now, to catch up on a few things! I just have to share few ideas that you might want to file away and use some day. So that this post won't be SOOOO long, I will split it into two. This one will focus on decorating ideas and the next one will feature some easy gifts that you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and want to try soon for yourself.

First up...I found this super cute Christmas cupcake fabric on sale on Hobby Lobby a few weeks before Christmas. I used my super handy iron on fusible webbing and turned out these matching shirts for Miss M and myself. A little ribbon detail (the bow is removable for washing) plus some hand-stitching around the edges for added detail and this is what you get... (You can click on the picture to see the details better.) I already have plans for a Valentine shirt for Miss M.)
Remember this post, where I shared with you a blog that inspired me to make seasonal banners for the mantel? Here's another one I made...
The peppermint candle in the corner is super easy to make...take a pillar candle (mine is red) and place a thick rubber band around the middle. Then slip your candy canes under the rubber band. Finish it off with ribbon to cover the rubber band. You can also use the J shaped candy canes...putting the crook at the bottom, facing out. I told you it was too easy!

Next up...larger than life suckers! I painted a few dowels cut to various lengths white. Then I stuck the rods into styrofoam circles, wrapped the circles in cellophane and wired them closed at the bottom. I then covered the wire with ribbon. I bought a roll of mylar wrapping paper at the dollar store and covered a cashew can that I filled with sand borrowed from the kid's sandbox. I think I will change a red to green for next year...just used materials I had on hand. And I think I want ribbon other than white....again used what I had. (Ignore how groddy my porch was below freezing when I took the picture!) The little wooden peppermints were something I clipped off an ugly swag I picked up while thrifting.
Last up....the mailbox...I found the cute ribbon at the dollar tree and added it to a floral something that was 50% at Hobby Lobby...making this cost a grand total of $3!
Now, just a few random Christmas pictures...

Stop the insanity!!!
"Oh brother!" she seems to be saying....literally!Cupcake Daddy showing his GQ side in the Razorback snuggie that he received from Aunt J.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where In the World Is Cupcake Mama?

So it has been over 1 month since my last post. My computer was ill for a bit, plus I was busy making Christmas gifts, decorating, baking, traveling to see family, and above all else celebrating the birth of my Saviour. Plus Mr C turned 3 on January 3! Whew!! I do have some pics to post at some point...just a few ideas you might want to stash in your brain for next year. (Or you may just dump them in the trash!)
We returned home from Arkansas last Wednesday, after being there for one week. Then over the weekend we received word that the hubby's grandfather has passed away. So, back to Arkansas we drove....just one week after we left. He was 93 and had been in fragile health for a few years now so we were not surprised. His wife passed away about three years ago. A friend lost an aunt and uncle earlier this week in a freak accident that took the family by surprise. The friend has two preschool children and they made the decision not to tell their children. The friend's wife commented that even though they were special people and loved my many, their two young children won't miss them now that they are gone. Isn't that sad, but true? That is how it will be with my children and their great-grandfather. My last grandparent died 2 years ago and even though Miss M was 5, she rarely speaks of my grandmother. So my words to you....make each day count for something and live IN the moment - not by the clock.
Now, I am off to live in the moment with Mr C...or at least see what he is yelling about!


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