Tag Archives: children

Birthday Boy

30 Apr


I have a long hallway.  And this is my hallway having a party…

Birthday Boy2

Its amazing what zooming in on some streamers and balloons will do for ya!  This backdrop was super easy and can easily be adjusted to any color scheme or occasion.  And unless you choose to, you know perhaps for blogging purposes, you never have to zoom out and no one ever has to know that this is really just your boring old hallway.  Fill that frame and all you see is a party!

birthday boy3

My baby boy turns 1 today.  *Tear* My baby turns 1 today!  I made him this smash cake to celebrate.  Chocolate cake with chocolate filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cake is decorated by piping large dots and then smearing them to one side.  A little tedious but the effect is pretty great.   I don’t know if you can tell, but I think he liked it.  We literally couldn’t get him to crack a smile once the cake came out.  He was all business!

Sweet blessings.

28 Mar


330.  I woke up at 5 am and made 330 pastel, silver-dollar pancakes. It sounds worse than it was.  I cheated (as I often do) and bought the Bisquick that only requires you add water and comes in a handy-dandy easy to pour container.  I added water and a little food coloring to no less than 5 containers.

I stacked 5 pancakes for each of the 1st graders at my son’s school and impaled them with a bamboo fork that was decorated with a foam cross.  Check out another variation here.

A team of moms turned the lunch benches into a fabulous Easter party.


My favorite part was hearing the kids’ amazement that they were getting to have pancakes at snack today.  When they are used to the standard cupcakes and cookies, sometimes you need to take it back to breakfast and dress her up a little.

I’m grateful for all those shiny happy faces.

A Valuable Gift

11 Jul

Looking for a gift idea for that special summertime birthday coming up?  I recently gave two of my favorite little girls a gift that keeps on giving.  I created a lemonade stand gift basket that included a jug with spigot, a juicer, a pad of paper for taking orders and keeping track of sales, a yellow tablecloth, plastic cups, straws, ice bucket, lemons and a jar of sugar (although they’re sweet enough already!).

The kids squeezed the lemons, mixed up the fresh lemonade, made their own signage and set up shop outside.  I made some lemon shortcut cookies to help lure in customers too.

I happen to ADORE fresh lemonade (and a good cookie) so I was the first customer in line.  But once the word got out on the street everyone from the neighborhood kids to the mail lady stopped by for a fresh treat on a warm summer day.   We all had a great time and the kids got to practice counting money  and learned a little business lesson too (like why it didn’t make good business sense to charge $5 a cup).

I told the kids to remember where they got their start when one day they’re powerful CEOs of their own companies…Cheers to summertime fun!

Summertime Cake Pops

11 Jun

Living in Southern California, most days feel summer-like. We certainly can’t complain about the weather. But every year there is a family who spends part of their summer vacation here in sunny San Diego and we have had a great time with them on this annual trip. It gives us a chance to rediscover our city as a tourist and see things we may not have thought about…at least in a while. But most importantly, having friends in town every summer is a sort of mental signal that the summer season has officially started. Even though I’m not the one on vacation, it almost feels like it.

So, this weekend I spent some time in the kitchen doing something I hadn’t done in a long while…making cake pops! I made some season-appropriate beach ball cake pops. To do so, just make cake pops as you normally would, covering them in white almond bark or melting candies. Then take a toothpick and lightly score lines in your pop to create the six sections of the ball.

Next take some of your left over melted white candies and a food safe paint brush and lightly brush the melted candy on to one section.

Roll it in colored sugar.

Repeat with the other colors leaving white spaces in between and top with a small circle of white candy. If any of the sugar gets into a white space you can simply brush it off with your finger.

On top of being a fun treat to welcome the new season, these make a great gift for school friends.

Happy Summer!

Ocean Adventure Day

1 Jun

My son’s Kindergarten class recently had an Ocean Adventure Day to celebrate all that they have been learning about sea creatures.  There were various opportunities for parents to participate, but given my post-op status, I opted for preparation of the day’s snacks (since it could be done at home).

My first thought of course went straight to sweets…cupcakes, cakepops and cookies–OH MY!

But, then the mom in me kicked in and I decided that a heartier–healthier–snack would be better, and appreciated by the other parents too.  So I scoured the interweb for ideas.  I found lots of images of blue jello cups with gummy fish swimming around, but that didn’t quite tickle my fancy.

So I had to look at food and snacks in a new way…Have you looked at a Babybel cheese round lately?  Well I did and I saw a crab!  The real challenge was creating the crab’s little claws.  The day just before our scheduled Ocean Adventure I still had no idea how I was going to make the Babybel cheese into a crab.  Until, that is, I saw this post from Oh Happy Day.   Grape Tomatoes!  Genius!

For each crab you’ll need 1 Babybel cheese round (red), 1 toothpick, and 1 grape tomato.  I sliced each grape tomato in half, long ways, and scraped the guts out, similar to how they made the boats on Oh Happy Day.  Then I notched a triangle shape out of one end of each half to make the claw.  I broke a toothpick in half and shoved the broken end into the cheese on each side of the body.  Place a claw on the pointed end of each toothpick.  For the eyes, I used a paring knife to cut two small semi-circles into the wax, then lifted each one up to a standing position.

I laid each crab on a bed of goldfish crackers inside a plastic cup, wrapped in a treat bag and tied off with some baker’s twine.

With each snack, I provided small water bottles for each student, decorated with a small plastic sea creature tied off with more baker’s twine.

I didn’t get to attend Ocean Adventure Day myself, but I’m told the kids loved the snacks.  These would be great for an ocean themed party as well, or maybe just a few at a time as an after school snack.

My Little Leprechaun

8 Mar

St. Paddy’s Day is coming!  What will you find at the end of the rainbow?

I found a sneaky little Leprechaun!

My six year old and I made this leprechaun beard with some dollar store streamers.

You can find a tutorial here.

Of course, Easter is also around the corner…So we took down a box of Peeps while we worked…

Be sure to check back next week for more St. Paddy’s Day tricks and treats!  Have a great weekend!

A Little Birthday Bling

26 Sep

My youngest turned 2 over the weekend! Yay, terrible twos!!

For his birthday I planned a small grilled cheese party. We called it a “Whine and Cheese” party. Cause terrible two-year olds whine, and he adores cheese…Get it? Okay, just checking.

I went to the deli and bought 1/3 lbs of 6 different cheeses and laid out other fix-ins like, onion, tomato, peach salsa, tomato chutney, avocado and pears. To butter the bread we had regular butter as well as herb butter (my fav). We provided sourdough, country white and whole wheat bread sliced and cut in half so that guests only had to eat a half a sandwich at a time, leaving room to try another combination! I had the Panini press hot and ready to go when guests arrived. Not only was it great faire, it turned out to make for great conversation. Everyone was a buzz about the different combos!

We had to have birthday cake. Since I was a little under the weather, my dear sister Keila did the baking for me. She made a small chocolate cake and a dozen chocolate cupcakes. I frosted everything and topped the cake off with a little birthday bling!

To make the glittery no. 2 just pipe vanilla melting candy in the shape of a two on to a piece of parchment paper, making to sure to add a little tab at the bottom to be pressed into the cake. Then, add your glittery sprinkles and let it set in the fridge.

Happy Birthday Magoo!

Make A Wish…

16 Sep

We’re back!  Sorry for the unexpected disappearing act.  But I promise that going forward we’ll have a bright new perspective as our Dear Summer has blazed a trail (once again) to Oregon.

On to the important stuff…This weekend we have a birthday to celebrate!  Today’s post is in honor of Caasi’s youngest turning a very big 2!!!

Our family is….in a word….efficient.  Once a month we all get together and celebrate every birthday in that month.  We knock it all out in one day.  We started this for several reasons.  One being that there are a lot of us.  If we celebrated everyone’s birthdays separately we would literally have a party every Saturday and Sunday, excluding holidays.  Another reason is that as we’ve grown up (kinda) and got grown up jobs and bought grown up homes we’ve become a little more spread out than we once were.  It’s just easier.  It keeps the family bonds nice and tight and still allows us time to have our own lives.

For the September birthdays I made some pretty simple lemon cupcakes with blueberry lemon buttercream frosting and then a little kiss of lemon on top of that.  The really special part though, was the birthday candle.

I made candy candles using paper straws and candy melts.  To add a little whimsy and color to the candles I mixed some sprinkles in with the candy melts.  Once I had my melting candy ready to be piped, I cut my straws into thirds.  I piped the candy into the straws until I could see it come out the other end.  Place them in the frig to set.

Once they’re completely hard, you just have to (carefully) peel the paper straw off your candle.  Once I had them all out, I dipped the tips in a little water and rolled them in yellow sugar crystals for the “flame.”  They are so cute and totally appropriate for the little ones.  Plus you can still make a birthday wish on them.  I have it on good authority that they come true too!

Monkey Business

2 Aug

Over the weekend, my neighbor and friend celebrated her son’s 1st birthday. I was happy to have the opportunity to make some cupcakes and cake pops for the occasion.

Avery’s party was Paul Frank themed, so monkeys in some form or another were a must!

First I made some vanilla cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting. Classic. To make the monkeys I used both regular sized Vanilla Wafers and Mini Vanilla Wafers. I had no idea that they came miniature sized, but that’s good to know for little hands…

If you chop the top off one of the regular sized wafers, you’ll get the perfect size for the monkey’s face and cut a mini in half for the ears. I used decorating icing and gel icing for the eyes, nostrils and mouth. To make the monkey a little more Paul Frank-esque (cause Julius isn’t just a regular old monkey!), I made the mouth more horizontal and the nostrils a little closer together.

The cake pops proved to be a little more difficult. I formed my cake balls into a more oval shape, using the space between my thumb and index finger. After sitting in the freezer for a few minutes, I used a little melted chocolate flavored almond bark to adhere a couple of M&Ms for the ears.

Again, I let them set in the freezer before inserting the sticks. Once the sticks had set in the freezer, I dipped the whole head in the chocolate almond bark. Be careful not to coat it too much (like I did) because you’ll lose some of your shape and they’ll look less like a head with ears and more like a wonky rectangle. Using colored candy melts I decorated the faces, letting everything set in between layers.

Finally I wrapped them in clear plastic and tied them off with some baker’s twine.

The cake pops were labor intensive. This was mostly due to the fact that there were so many steps and layers to them and you had to let everything set as you went. But for a themed party, these are very cute and are sure to be a hit!

Happy Birthday Avery!

Sneak Peek

17 Jun

A certain couple of adorable little girls are celebrating their birthdays this weekend.  Here’s a sneak peek of some of the goodies prepared for the party.

Can you guess the theme?

Have a safe and fabulous weekend!  Be sure to check back next week for more details about the party!

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