Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cheap and Easy Birthday Gifts

Just a quick and easy gift idea that we made for two special friends who have birthdays very near Mr C. I painted unfinished 4x6 frames from the Dollar Tree with a glossy black. We added pre-painted wooden cutouts and personalized them before attaching to the frame with hot glue. We also added a $5 Blockbuster card for each brother. Total cost for TWO gifts: $13, not including the paint we already had on hand. So easy and the best thing about this project is that is can be adapted for just about any interest/color scheme! I had planned to include a photo of the the birthday boys and my children in the frame, but dork that I am....the best photo is vertical! Wouldn't look so good in a horizontal frame, would it? Oh well, I see this family often so I am sure I can get it taken care of soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday Funnies

This is a day late, but I think I will start a "Friday Funnies" post each week....IF I can remember. When my children are particularly humorous, the post be will a quite from one of them. (Like today's post) Otherwise, it can be any random thing I read/hear/experience and find funny.

Yesterday, the entire family went to a children's museum in our city. We go several times a year and the children were excited because Cupcake Daddy had the afternoon off and was going with us. All the way there, Mr C. kept saying "I really love the Maggot House". The real name of the museum? The Magic House = lots of fun. The Maggot House - probably not so much.

Not so funny....I turned 35 on Thursday. Once again, older than the hubby until October rolls around. I do appreciate all the birthday cards, phone calls, and Facebook posts from friends and family though!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thrifty Faux Ice Cream Valentine

As's the lowdown on this really cute Valentine favor. I saw this several months ago and just knew I had to try it. An easy and cheap supply list:
  • ice cream sundae dishes I thrifted mine - the most expensive one was marked $1.25, but I got it and several others at a 50% off sale, making most only 35-50 cents.
  • assorted Valentine candy - candy corn, gummy hearts, conversation hearts, M&M's (The M&M's, red hots, and probably the convo hearts could be purchased on Feb 15 when everything goes on sale and stored, unopened until next year.)
  • red foil wrapped chocolate hearts or red Hershey kisses (I purchased mine last year)
  • Pixie sticks or straws
  • My Grandmommie's Candied Popcorn - recipe follows
  • cellophane
  • ribbon
You can see from the photo how this is assembled. If you want some other ideas on how to top your candy, hop over to Jesse Kate Designs where I originally saw this idea. Some folks have used cotton candy, marshmallows, taffy....but these were mostly glued on and I wanted mine to be 100% edible. I stuck a toothpick through the bottom of the chocolate heart and gently worked it into the popcorn ball to serve as a cherry.

Candied Popcorn Recipe:
Pop about 1 C of popcorn on the stove and put in a large bowl that you have lightly sprayed with Pam. Melt 2 sticks butter, 1/2 C light corn syrup, and 1 1/3 C sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until it reaches hard crack stage. Immediately pour over the popcorn and mix well. Pour out on waxed paper to cool. Break apart when cooled and store in an airtight container.
If you are making this for the sundae project, use two large spoons (lightly sprayed) to form mounds of popcorn. Be really careful with the hot candy - just a drop can really hurt your hands. This is NOT a part your children should assist with.
I have all everything ready except the popcorn. The popcorn mounds are ready to put on and then I will tie the entire thing up using ribbon and clear cellophane, just before they are delivered on Thursday. So a handful of candy, a little popcorn, and thrifted dishes help make this little project ring in at maybe $1.50 for the largest dish.
Come back tomorrow or Thursday for the cake pops...they are turning out pretty cute! My neighbor enjoyed the ones we delivered for her birthday today!

Love Is In the Air

It's 2 days until my birthday and 5 days before Valentine's Day. It is also 2 days until Miss M's class Valentine Party. Let's just say I have been busy! Take a peek at what I've been up to the last two weeks or so...

Teacher Gift prototype...directions will follow in the next post!
You know how I love a festive mailbox...using a scrap of pink tulle, the last of some really old silk flowers, a little floral tape, and a strand of Mardi Gras beads...Miss M's Cupcake Love Shirt...made using the same technique from our matching Christmas shirts
seasonal love banner using paper and stickers...
A late night snow that was too fine for snowballs or snowmen...instead we "stomped" out messages and designs which included the heart above and a happy birthday cupcake to help our neighbor celebrate her special day today. Several schools were called off today, more for the frigid temperatures than the measly few inches of snow we received. Even though it is warmer in my freezer than it is outside, we braved it for a bit today! Their cheeks looked like Raggedy Ann and Andy after just a few minutes.
Right now, I have 3 dozen cake balls chillin in the freezer, waiting for their transformation to cake pops from Bakerella's site. I guess I could have just set them in the screened in porch, huh? Don't get excited...mine will not be anything near as fancy as hers!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mr C's 3rd Birthday - Cars Theme

From this scary beginning... To this boisterous and lovable boy just three short years later...Mr C LOVES anything related to Lightening McQueen (as do his little buddies), which made his party theme this year a no-brainer. It was made even better when I found some cake toppers, paper goods, favors and more at a super low clearance price back in the summer.
Since his birthday is January 3, you will notice I still have Christmas stuff up in some of the pics. And yes, my kitchen is STILL not finished from the wallpaper removal/skimcoating/painting job we started back in the fall. Just ignore it; apparently, I am getting pretty good at doing that myself!I found these stickers are the Dollar Tree and the cold pack at Goodwill for 59 cents....marked down from the Target price of $2.99. We used an extra pack of stickers to make the invitations and thank you notes. (I HATE those little plastic, trinket items some people give as favors. If you are going to give favors, make it something useful and/or consumable please!)
The party was on New Year's Day and we invited two other families. A meal of hotdogs and chili came before the fun cupcakes. It was a houseful, but a great day of celebrating Mr. C with some special friends.

Best buddy Nathan...always a ham!
These guys are moving when school is out...we will miss the entire family.

Decorating the cupcakes turned into a family affair...
At three years old, Mr C:
  • loves anything that bounces or has wheels
  • still needs his blankie at night and sometimes during the day
  • loves his sister lots
  • talks a ton and your comedic side is starting to emerge
  • will only wear one pair of shoes - Lightening McQueen ones
  • really likes blueberries, milk, most meats, and green beans + smarties, chocolate ice cream and M&M's
  • enjoys hide and seek and making up games with Sissy
  • likes to talk on the phone and/or Skype with Nana and Poppa everyday
  • hates to miss story time at the library
  • weighs 30 pounds FINALLY!!
  • sings and dances a lot-especially Jesus Loves Me, ABC and various Go Fish songs.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine Prep

I am working on some fun things and hope to post pics this weekend. Check back for:
  • Miss M's Valentine/Cupcake Shirt (done)
  • A variation on the the adorable teacher gifts pictured above (not even started!)
  • A little giftie for my MOPS steering team (barely going on this one!)
  • Banner for the fireplace (almost finished)
Here's a link for the teacher gift, if you don't want to wait on my directions! I plan to use my Grandmommie's popcorn ball recipe for the top of mine, wrapped in clear cellophane, so that the entire thing is edible. Above, the taffy is glued on. I will let you know how they turn out. Also, I have not forgotten about posting about Mr C's camera and computer aren't speaking right add that to the above "to do" list!


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