Monday, August 30, 2010

New pre-school backpack

Well, today was the 1st day of Gavin's 3yr old pre-school class!
I was so excited to use the adorable pre-school Pottery Barn backpacks the boys received from Sue-Sue but his school asked that we bring standard size backpacks, as art projects and papers don't fit well in the pre-school sized one. I agree, I cannot fit a standard size paper or coloring book in there without folding over the corners and shoving it in, but I'm still pretty bummed he couldn't use it for school! But at least they now have great church and 'going to Grandmas' bags, thanks again Sue-Sue!

So over the weekend Mom-Mom T. had given him a freebie backpack that she got from her work and it was pretty plane-jane to me so of course I had to spruce it up a bit!

I took him to the fabric store to choose his own material to decorate his backpack with. I know without a doubt that he would have chosen cars/truck or construction things but of course we got there and there were only 3 bolts of fabrics geared towards boys and 2 shelves worth of fun prints for girls, always how it is, poor boys get the short end of deal when it comes to clothing and now even fabric!

I'm sure if I scoured fabric stores all over MD or even the Internet I'd find something interesting, but I didn't have that kind of time and wasn't going to ruin the experience of him picking out his own fun thing by dragging him from store to store, that's no fun no even if you're not 3 yrs old! But even the lady who cut the fabric for us said that's what she wants to do when she retires, design material for boys b/c there isn't enough cute stuff out there for them- AMEN to that!

Gavin did go with a puppy dog print he liked, he called them 'choc-choc dogs' because some of their spots look like chocolate chip cookies :) I have to agree, they are cute!

So 2 hrs of gluing and sewing by hand was well worth the end result of a pre-school worthy backpack. Just hope it lasts the whole school year! If not, no biggie, at least it only cost me $8 total for the material and super sharp 'glove' needles that worked like a charm.

I even got to spruce up the name tag inside :)

handmade projects

Donut hole cake

I've been gathering info for holiday gatherings and Gavin's next birthday party and stumbled upon this idea online somewhere and had to give it a whirl! Super easy and adds a touch of fun to a party for sure!

All you need is:

a syrafoam cone
wrapping paper (to keep the crumbly styrafoam off the donuts)
approx. 55 donut holes ( donuts are 1/2 price after 6pm at Dunkin Donuts too!)

Wrap the cone with wrapping paper

Then start applying the donuts with the toothpicks. It's super easy!

I tried to make different colored bands around the cone but didn't have equal numbers of flavors. That and the boys, okay... me too, love the chocolate ones so I always ask for the box of munchkins to be half full of chocolate ones and the rest mixed. So this tower was mostly chocolate at the top.

And another note, I recommend starting with the larger sizes on the bottom and using the smaller ones at the top- you always learn the first time trying anything.

We gave this one to Aunt Stephanie so when she stopped by on a DNR run to Jug Bay she could take it back to work with her and share it with her co-workers, if it actually got to work first!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Go-to Fudge Frosting

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

All this week I've been craving chocolate and nothings quenched the taste for me this week, not brownie ice cream, toffee chocolate cookies or just eating a plain old piece of chocolate. Well, after tonight the craving's subsided thanks to a super chocolaty recipe I use in just these situations.

I could have gone for straight fudge and that might have done the trick but I was also in a cake mood. So I opted for the quick result and stuck to a chocolate box cake mix, added chocolate chips to the batter and made cupcakes. Super simple but they needed the ultimate topping, fudge! I love butter cream and it has a special place in my taste repertoire when it comes to cake but there's nothing like melt in your mouth fudge! I even went the extra mile to slice the cupcakes in half and pour some in the middle as a layer. Like a small decadent cake for 1!

Fudge Frosting:

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in large bowl. Stir in water slowly. Add butter and vanilla and beat until smooth, adding very small amounts of additional boiling water if frosting is too stiff.

Makes enough to cover one layer cake; square, round or loaf. It's great poured onto a bunt cake too!

The messier the better!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The joy of flowers and familes

Paperwhite Narcissus: my birth-flower

I love flowers, any and every kind. I'm often drawn to their color, shape, fragrance or even the meaning symbolizing each different one.

And of course there's the never-ending love of our family, each and everyone too. So incorporating flowers together with family makes for great memories.

Even if I have two boys, they can still like flowers too, right? Not like I'm putting them in their hair or anything, though they're so young still they might not notice a girly appearance and get offended :)

Stick 'em up: Paint a bunch of popsicle sticks green with your child, then glue a cupcake liner to the top of each stick to make easy flowers. For Grandparents Day I traced each boys hand, glue a cupcake liner in the middle, let them glue seeds inside the liner, and when that was dry glued it to a stick, and for a finishing touch added construction paper leaves.

Birth flowers: Forget birthstones, what about birth-flowers! allows you look up the flower of your birth-month. It might say alot about your child's personality too, but just like any astrology or horoscope, take away what you will from it. What a great idea to make a family portrait though, not of photos, but out of everyone's pressed birth-flowers! No bouquet could top that one in my book when each flower represented a family member!

Christmas in July...well, now August :)

I was so busy last month I didn't have much time to check out all the great blogs and sites I follow regularly. This month I'm trying to catch up!

In the midst of Christmas shopping and planning this summer, I am sooo syked to be done for the immediate family already, I came across some Christmas in July tips I thought I'd share with you from Tip Junkie. I get tons of 'make it your own' or 'free printable stuff' from her site! Enjoy!