Monthly Archives

April 2010

Decorating for Spring with Flowers

By | Decorating | 36 Comments

Refreshing your home with Spring flowers can be one of the easiest ways to brighten your space.

I am lucky that we have many blooming trees, bushes and flowers in our area.  Many of the Spring flowers, daffodils and tulips are done or almost done. But our lilacs are just starting to open.

Lilacs are one of my favorite Spring flowers. I think they just smell heavenly.

Don’t you wish we had “smell-a-computer?” 🙂

Last Sunday, I sent Doug, my husband, out to cut me some branches to decorate with. He came back with 2 big buckets full for me! I’m such a lucky girl!

Even though I loved our Buffet decorated with the Bridal Veil, it doesn’t last forever. So, I added some Lilacs, Flowering Crab (white) and Red Bud (purple) branches.

After decorating our Mantle for Spring, I got super busy baking and cooking the Make-Ahead Meals and had not gotten around to decorating the top of the Entertainment Center. Since I had some of the beautiful Flowering Crab branches left, I added them to the top in an antique watering can.

Our Entertainment Center is an Antique Tool Box, that we bought many years ago. It’s my favorite piece of furniture in our house. I added a small wooden rocker, for balance, and a bear that I sewed many years ago. In the middle I put a metal, decorative planter with 3 bright colored metal pails and a splash of color with some silk flowers and berries. I finished with a small rabbit, levitra brand.

Since the forsythia had seen it’s better days, I replaced it with some Red Bud branches on our Mantle.

What is your favorite Spring Flower?  

Cupcake Tuesday ~ Goin’ to the Movies

By | Cupcakes, Special Events | 31 Comments


Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday!   If you are new here, grab a cup of tea or a glass of milk and enjoy a cupcake!

My oldest son, Andrew, works at our local movie theatre. He started working a couple years ago at the theatre in our town, then they closed and moved him to the theatre at a nearby city. Then our local theatre was purchased and so, he is back working locally. In celebration of the opening, Andrew wanted me to create some movie cupcakes. With his help, I came up with some cute Goin’ to the Movies cupcakes.

Once again, I headed to my favorite cupcake decorators, Alan and Karen, from What’s New, Cupcake and Hello, Cupcake books. They created the Popcorn Cupcakes in the Hello, Cupcake book. I started with that for inspiration, and expanded on it a bit.

You will need white and yellow mini marshmallows to create the popcorn. Lay the marshmallow on it’s side and cut each one into thirds, flatten slightly with your fingers and place in a cloverleaf like shape onto a tray or board. Then take another whole marshmallow, dab a small amount of frosting onto one end, and attach to the cloverleaf marshmallows, making sure to connect them all together. I used 3 yellow and 4 white popcorn pieces.


Casey was my helper! Frost your cupcake with Buttercream Frosting, place each of the popcorn pieces randomly on top. I added Buttered Popcorn flavored Jelly Belly Jelly Beans also, placing them in between the marshmallows.

I created the Movie Film cupcake with black licorice that I bought already rolled up. I found them at Albanese Confectionery Store. I unrolled it a little, then placed it on the cupcake, winding it up and down to make it look like Movie Film. I secured it with toothpicks and placed it in the fridge to set up.

Now for the drink, this one was the most challenging. I could see in my head how I wanted it to look, but couldn’t quite make it look that way.

I started by stacking 2 cupcakes on top of each other, then placed them into a paper cup. I tinted Buttercream Frosting to make it look like Soda, using Wilton Brown Icing Color and piped it on with my Wilton #2A Round Tip. I was trying to make it look bubbly. Then I added a bendable straw.


Now for the cupcake wrappers…several years back while looking around at a “junk” store, you know the kind, you name it – they got it 🙂 Anyway, I came across this huge stack of popcorn boxes, and thought it would be fun to have them for Goin’ to the Movies, even if it was just at home. They were only $1, so I snatched them up and held onto them, knowing someday…they would come in handy. Today was the day 😉

I started with a pattern that I found on the Paper Glitter Blog. I downloaded the pattern, cut it out and used it as a template to cut out the popcorn wrappers. If you haven’t seen Linnette’s work, please take a minute and browse around, she has lots of Free printables and works on lots of fun projects with SimplyNabiki. You will be seeing lots more of Paper Glitter at our Blog Frog Launch!

This post linked to:

~Made By You Mondays hosted by Skip To My Lou

~Weekend Wrap Up Party hosted by Tatertots and Jello

Show and Tell hosted by Blue Cricket Design

And don’t forget to leave your questions for the authors of the What’s New Cupcake? book! They’ll be answering them soon, during the upcoming cupcake video series!

Now it’s your turn! Please share your cupcake or muffin recipe! For the guidelines, you can visit Cupcake Tuesday.

Please be sure to link back to this post, so that your readers can see all the yummy creations and visit some (or all) of the other participants.

Weekly Menu Plan ~ Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas

By | Budget Meals, Cooking, Main Dishes, Menu Planning | 9 Comments

Our dinner time was a breeze last week, mostly due to my Make-Ahead Meal Cooking Day. If you missed out, let me catch up you a bit. I reviewed the Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms cookbook, and created a week’s worth of meals, the grocery list and the recipes. Last Monday, I prepared and cooked our meals for the week. It was alot of work, but went really well. We have had all but one of the meals and loved every one of them.

One of the dinners I fixed was the Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas. The recipe even made enough for 2 meals, which was even better. I cooked a Spiral Ham that I had bought on sale at Aldi’s, they had them a couple weeks ago for $5 off, it cost $7.15 and we got 4 meals out of it. One night we had sliced ham, the 2 Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas that I prepared on Monday and I put the rest in the freezer with the bone to make Ham, Bean and Bacon Soup.


Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas

An easy make-ahead dinner from Cheesy Pasta, Ham & Peas

  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 4 cups large elbow pasta, uncooked
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Cheeze Whiz Original Cheese Dip (I bought the Aldi’s brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups ham, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas


  1. Spray 13×9 pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions on the box, drain and set aside.
  3. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes, set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk for one minute.
  5. Slowly add the milk, whisk constantly.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium and stir until thickened.
  7. Remove from heat, add the Cheeze Whiz and stir until melted.
  8. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  9. Stir in ham, peas and pasta, mix well.
  10. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly.
  11. Allow to cool before covering with foil.
  12. Refrigerate until time to reheat.

Cooking Directions

  1. If you make this meal ahead, take the dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Bake, covered for 30 – 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Freezing Directions

  1. After dish is cool, wrap tightly with foil, label and freeze.
  2. Remove from freezer 24 hours before cooking.

I bought some foil 13×9 pans at the Dollar Store, they had plastic lids that worked out great.

Weekly Menu Plan for this week

Monday ~  Chicken Tortellini Tetrazzini (carrying over this dish from the Make-Ahead Meal Cooking Day)

Tuesday ~ Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches, veggies and dip

Wednesday ~  Chef Salad, Homemade Rolls

Thursday ~  Chicken Stir-Fry and Rice

Friday ~  Taco Ring, Mexican Rice, Nacho Bar

Saturday  ~  Stuffed Crust Pizza


Unfinished Wood Craft Project ~ A Special Gift

By | DIY Projects | 14 Comments

There are many great things about having all boys. Not being able to ever sew a frilly dress, have a tea party or buy a tutu are some fun things I missed out on. But, now since the boys have girlfriends, I’m getting a chance to make some cute girly things.

Last weekend, we celebrated Nick’s girlfriend, Brittney’s 16th birthday.(remember, she shared her Snickers Cupcakes with you)  Her parents had a surprise Luau Party for her. I had the privilege of baking cupcakes, which I will share soon, I sewed her an apron with cupcakes on it and these super easy, fun wooden initials.

She actually has 2 bedrooms, 1 at her Dad’s and 1 at her Mom’s, so I made her one for each room that match her decorations.

I bought the unfinished wooden initials and the embellishments at my favorite craft store, Hobby Lobby. You may notice that I didn’t use the small blue flowers. While looking for an exacto knife, I came across some old wallpaper border that had the bright colored daisies on it. When Brittney re-decorated her bedroom last summer, I had given her some silk daisies that I wasn’t using any longer that matched that wallpaper. So, I decided to cut out one of the daisies and use it instead.

I had the scrapbook paper, ribbon, paint and glue on hand.

Using the unfinished wooden initials as a pattern, I traced them onto the paper first. For the striped paper, I traced on the front because I wanted to be sure to position the stripes so they looked right. The other paper didn’t matter, so I traced it on the back.

I used regular black craft paint to paint the edges and back of the unfinished wooden initials.

After the paint dried, I added the ribbon, for a hanger, to the back with my glue gun. I tied a knot in the ribbon so it would hold the glue better, and after I glued down the knot, I put another small amount of glue on top of it to make it a little stronger.

Then I added the embellishments. For the butterfly, I simply cut the wire off and for the daisy, I just glued it on with tacky glue.

I think these initials would also be super cute in a babies room or even a college dorm. They cost less than $5 for both initials. And she really loves them. 🙂

What fun DIY project have you done lately? Share your ideas!

My Blog Frog Community

By | Featured Posts | 14 Comments

Have you heard about the new Blog Frog? They recently made some changes and I’m really excited about it. This is a great way for my readers to get to know each other, for you to learn from each other and for me to learn from you.

If you are not familiar with Blog Frog, you can learn all about it from Holly, How to Participate in a BlogFrog Community. She shows you what a community looks like, how to find a discussion and how to reply.

While joining Blog Frog is exciting enough, I have a bit more excitement for you. The Blog Frog, along with (you know Alice, everyone needs an Alice), 6 awesome bloggers ( Tatertots and JelloThe Thrifty Mama, Faithful Provisions, The Happy Housewife,  Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Me Yours Truly) will be hosting a BlogFrog Extravaganza!

Mark your calendars! May 6th!

There will be prizes, lots of prizes, fun and of course, lots of great conversation!

How about a housecleaning service for 3 months!   Wouldn’t you love that?!? I know I would 😉

Or how about a Spa Day or even some flowers? Yep, we are pampering all the hard working Moms!

You can get started now, by joining my Blog Frog Community. I’d be just thrilled to have you join in a conversation or even start your own.

This post linked to:

~I’m Lovin’ It hosted by Tidy Mom

~Works For Me Wednesday

How to make Earth Day Bug Cupcakes

By | Cupcakes, Special Events, Spring Cupcakes | 20 Comments

On Tuesday, I shared my Earth Day Cupcakes. I ran out of time to take extra pictures, so I wanted to show you how easy it is to create the bugs and butterflies for the Earth Day Bug Cupcakes.

You all know how much I love cupcakes, and especially the Hello, Cupcake and What’s New, Cupcake? books. I used the templates in the Hello, Cupcake book.(yes, that’s chocolate on my well used book)  If you don’t have the book, you could draw your own or even print them off the computer.

I cut some squares of Wax Paper and placed it over the template. I found it was easier to use small squares instead of a large piece of Wax Paper, then you can easily move it off and start the next bug.

I gathered my decorations. This project moves very quickly, so you need to have everything ready.

I used store bought {gasp} cookies, 2 sizes of M&M candies, chocolate coated sunflower seeds that I got at Albanese Confectionery Store, Wilton Chocolate Candy Melts and a Wilton Disposable Decorating Bag.

Place the chocolate wafers into the bag and microwave them for about 1-2 minutes, watch closely so they don’t burn. Using your fingers, work the chocolate until it’s all melted. Snip a VERY small tip off the end of the bag.

Following your template, pipe the chocolate onto the Wax Paper, and immediately, gently push candies into chocolate.

Repeat for other bugs

For the ladybugs, I used a red M&M and piped on small dots and a large dot for the face.

For the butterflies, I piped the antennae and the body, then used coated sunflower seeds and cookies, that I cut into quarters for the wings.


What do you do to help Mother Earth? 

Quick Recipes

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.