Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Gift Basket

So today we were lucky enough to have warm enough temps to be outside with the kids, which was quite welcome after the recent blast of cold air and snow in our forecast for tomorrow.  Easter is only a week away and I wanted to share with you a fun and easy and also inexpensive gift idea.  I made these flower pot gift baskets for the kid's cousins filled with some fun Easter treats.  First, I used chalkboard paint to paint a shape on the front of the pot with a homemade stencil.  Since the stencil was not perfect I choose to outline the shape with some simple acylic paint using only the end of a Q-tip, which actually was great for this purpose.  Then I filled the basket with some paper shreds and added the goodies.  I used Cracker Jacks, little bags of Craisins, fruit leather, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and of course a package of seeds to go with the little clay pots.

I had  purchased little wooden shapes from Michael's and painted them with chalkboard paint and hot glued a popsicle stick to the back to use as a plant marker.  Wrapped the whole kit and kaboodle in cellophane wrap and tied it with a bow.  Super easy gift basket for all of the little ones.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pizza Garden Pot

If you are anything like me you are always looking for cute and thoughtful gift ideas.  A couple of years ago I decided to make Pizza Garden Pots for Father's Day gifts.  This was incredibly simple and super inexpensive, two of my favorite things.  All of our kids were able to help out with this gift.  We purchased a fairly large clay pot from the garden center at our local hardware store and filled it with potting soil.  We chose to plant a tomato plant, bell pepper plant,  basil and oregano; obviously this is where you can be as creative as you like.  Then we wrote on the pot with chalk, tied it with a big bow and attached a card with our favorite pizza dough recipe.  My only advice is don't choose too big of a container as it would be hard to move, however the choice is yours.

This gift could be made for anyone and altered to suit their tastes.  Another easy idea would be a salsa garden or pico de gallo garden.  I cannot wait for spring to get back out in our garden.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Cookies & Milk Baby Shower

I am so excited to share this baby shower with you.  I cannot begin to tell you how much fun my mom and I had planning this baby shower for my wonderful sister-in-law.  We were looking for a sweet and simple gender neutral theme.  So naturally we started our search on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea of cookies and milk.  Who doesn't love cookies?  We found the most adorable invitations on Etsy by Libby Lane Press.  We couldn't have been any happier with the service or the invitations.  Aren't they just the cutest?

The Decorations

We had so much fun making our own decorations.  We choose to go with the black and white polka dots to match our invitations.  We made a banner which read "Udderly in Love" from black and white scrapbook papers, twine and black clothes pins.  We found a site with a free printable to print the banner letters.  We were quite pleased with how it turned out.

We found black and white polka dot bandanas at Hobby Lobby and used these on the tables.  We used one to make a slip cover for the chair for our guest of honor.  To make this I cut 4 strips of ribbon in 24" lengths and sewed them on to the bandana edges.  My mom also made a cute little bow and pinned that in the center.  Just place over the back of the chair and tie the ribbons...voila...super cute slipcover.

The table was set with a variety of different serving dishes (courtesy of my mom) to display all of the cookies.   I couldn't help, but snap a few pictures while we were getting ready...

Here is the table all set and ready for our guests.  We choose to make some cookies and purchased others.   We found the adorable little chalkboard at Michael's in the wedding aisle.

Of course when having cookies, one must have milk and coffee.   My mom found these darling little milk bottles and paper straws which were used to serve the milk.  Drinking milk was never so much fun. 

The Games

We thought it would be fun to have a couple of games.  The first of which was a Baby Guessing game.  We asked all of our guests to email a baby picture of themselves around age one, or bring a picture with them.  Once I had received the pictures, I would edit them to black and white which made the game more challenging.  We made the frames from photo cards found at the craft store.  Using a black stamp pad and a pencil eraser we added the polka dots, which we saw here.  The bulletin board was covered in black and white wrapping paper to match.  To number each photo I used a 1" circle punch to cut out black polka dots from scrapbook paper and used white number stickers, sadly I didn't get a photo with each of the pictures numbered.  We made a master list of all of the guests who had their picture included and then had blank number slips for each guest to enter their best guesses.  This game proved challenging, but a lot of fun.  The winner of this game was awarded the Smart Cookie cupcake.

At the end of the party all of the guests were to take home their framed baby picture.  Our other game was a simple game of guess how many cookies in the cookie jar.  We filled a glass jar with mini Oreo cookies.  The lucky winner of course took home the cookie jar.  Found this idea on Pinterest as well.


As a gift for the parents-to-be, we had a copy of If You Give A Mouse a Cookie for all of the guests to sign and offer their best wishes to the new baby.  So many cute wishes were written to the baby to be.

Thank You

As a thank you to all of our guests, we made what else, but jumbo chocolate chip cookies.  The tags were purchased from the same Etsy shop as the invitations.  We packaged the cookies in a paper CD envelope.  Found the idea for this here.


A huge thank you to all of our guests who braved a horrible ice storm that day so they could join us to celebrate with the parents-to-be.  Thank goodness my brother and father were here to escort each guest safely to their cars and keep the walkways salted.  Such a fun party to plan, and could easily be altered to suit any party.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Homemade Marshmallows

So I thought to celebrate our snow day this week that we could attempt to make homemade marshmallows.  I wasn't all that confident (I rarely am when using a candy thermometer), however I was pleasantly surprised.  They were super easy and really good.  I used the following recipe from Betty Crocker Easy Peppermint Marshmallows.  I only made a couple of changes.  I used Vanilla extract in place of the Peppermint extract and did not use the food coloring.  They were met with rave reviews. 

Enjoy with hot cocoa or all by themselves.  Such a great treat for our snow day.