Tag Archives: gifts

Pinch me.

28 Feb

vscocam9                                                            Photo By Keila Belch

Dear Mr. Sandman,

We had some great times. Remember the good ‘ol days in college when we used to roll around in bed together until mid afternoon?! You hardly even visit me now. Was it me? Was it something I did? I fear it was the kids. Perhaps they were keeping you up at night too? But, for you to leave without having the common courtesy to give me some warning…well, that was what hurt the most. Perhaps someday we’ll meet again in an empty nest and we can rekindle our once passionate love affair. Until then, I’ll dream of you in my semi-conscious-non-REM state of mind.





Since my sister is still a college student, she is still able to sleep. She is actually nearly impossible to wake. Her superhuman ability to sleep through just about anything inspired me to make some dreamcatcher art.

I started with a plain canvas and some embellishments–crocheted pieces, yarn, beads, twine and feathers–everything I already had on hand. I glued everything down with my handy dandy hot glue gun and let it dry completely. Then I brushed some craft paint over everything.

photo 1

Once I felt like I had enough coverage with the craft paint I went over it with some spray paint  so that the coverage was even.

vscocam7                                                            Photo By Keila Belch

The result is modern and clean but three dimensional and interesting  too.  Sweet Dreams!

Trix Are For Kids

12 Jul

…And for kids’ birthday parties!

I had the pleasure of assisting our dear Summer with setting up for her daughters’ birthday party.  With a vintage circus/carnival theme, naturally there were many polk a dots incorporated.  For some crazy reason, party supplies in her area were limited so we got creative.

We used the classic rice krispie recipe but swapped out Rice Krispies cereal for Trix.  They are colorful and fun and a little extra sweet.  My favorite part?  When you cut into them, they creat a really pretty pol a dot pattern from the side.

To package each to be placed in favor bags, I wrapped each with a small piece of plastic wrap (so it won’t stick to anything).  For decoration and to further our theme, I took a couple of extra favor bags and cut them into strips just long enough to fit around the Trix Treat.  Then I wrapped a piece of Japanese washi tape in a coordinating color around the center of that.  They were placed in a basket near the favor bags and each of the small guests got to pick one to add to their favor bag before leaving.  There were a few extra for us big kids too…

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!

Oh Sweet Splenda

21 Jun

I have never baked with Splenda before, I thought I’d give it a shot. I am not a fan of sugar substitute… but these little treats were going to be a gift for my papa for Father’s day.

These little sweets are Pumpkin Spice “cookies”… I say “cookies” because they really are in between a cookie and a cake. These little bites have a sweet glaze made up of cooked down (until dissolved) Splenda (2-c), milk (1/4-c), molasses (1-tsp), butter (3- tbsp) and at the end…add a little vanilla extract (1-tsp). Keep warm!

Have you ever baked with Splenda?

Thanks, Teach!

13 Jun

This is the last week of school!  Yay, I get to sleep in again!

It is customary to give your teacher a little something to say thank you for all their hard work.  Lets face it, teaching is one of the most challenging careers and is unfortunately typically also under compensated.  Once upon a time I wanted to be a teacher myself.  As the mother of a kindergartener (soon to be first grader), I can say with certainty that I would have been terrible at it.  I simply don’t have the patience.  I have been so beyond pleased with my son’s teachers this year.  He has grown so much and I am so proud of him.

To thank the lovely women who guided my rambunctious 6-year-old this year I put together a couple of gift baskets of sorts, each with their own themes.

The first is similar in structure to a diaper cake.  The bottom layer of the cake is a beach towel.  The middle layer is a couple of beach appropriate easy-on-the-brain magazines.  The top layer is a reusable cup for a cold beverage on a hot summer day.  Each layer is rubber-banded like a diaper cake would be, which is then covered with decorative ribbon.  I added to the “cake” a pair of sunglasses, a tube of sunscreen and two beach ball cake pops.  The whole thing sits on a cake round inside a large plastic basket gift bag, tied off with a coordinating ribbon.  I added a tag which read, “Thank you for making learning so fun, take a break to relax in the sun!”


The second thank you gift is a DIY herb garden.

I included a tray with three small pots, three packets of seeds, and a coordinating magazine.  In each pot I added some floral foam and a cake pop.  I wrapped it in a large basket gift bag, tied with the same ribbon.  The tag reads, “Thank you for helping Owen GROW!”

Thank you Ms. Santos and Mrs. Ebbing!  You are both wonderful educators and beautiful people!

Floral Cake Pops

12 Jun

Its been a while and now its seems I’m on a cake pop binge.  These cake pops would have probably been better if they were a little smaller, but once I got into it I couldn’t turn back.  There was a baby counting on me to hurry up.

I made regular white cake pops and sprinkled them with yellow sugar before they set.  For the petals, I purchased a pack of matching cupcake papers in two sizes.  (They were in the dollar bin at Michael’s…Score!)  I took two of the larger cupcake papers and cut them in to petal shapes and off set them.  Then I simply placed the smaller cupcake paper in the center.  Using an X-acto knife, I cut a small X shape in the center and pushed the stick through.

I wrapped each with a treat bag and closed it with washi tape.

These make a cute little thank you gift, perhaps…

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!

Rustic Wrapping

6 Jun

Speaking of bread…

The Strawberry Bread went so quickly that I had to make banana bread with some over ripe bananas we had.

Everyone has that favorite banana bread recipe, often handed down and guaranteed to be the best you’ve ever had.  Well here’s a quick and easy way to share such a jewel with family, friends and neighbors.

A lunch sack.  That’s it.  Were you expecting something more?  A simple lunch sack tied off with rustic twine or decorative baker’s twine is all you need.  It turns out those brown paper lunch sacks are just the right size for a full sized loaf.

Simple.  Easy. Pretty.

Mama Bird

31 May

I remember as a kid noticing that the moms in my life had rings with various precious stones in them, representing the birthstones of each of their children.  Some of those pieces are not really my style, but I adore the idea.  I love wearing jewelry that represents my little guys.

I came across this tutorial via Pinterest and fell in love.

I immediately ran out and purchased beads and wire, a rare outing as I recoup from my C-Section.  Luckily for me, making these pendants is low impact and can be done while “resting” in bed.


These are so simple and sweet that once you start you won’t be able to stop until you’ve made one for each Mama in your life!  Too bad I didn’t get on the ball before Mother’s Day!

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

28 May

Need an easy hostess gift or maybe just a sinful snack?

Melt 12 oz of peanut butter chips per package instructions and stir in one 16 oz. can of milk chocolate frosting.  Pour it into an 8×8 dish and place in the fridge to set up.

Once set, cut into bite sized pieces and enjoy!

These are smooth and delish.  They seriously taste like peanut butter cup candies.  You won’t be able to resist!

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