DIY nautical party cake

I’m so excited this morning to share the first of many easy birthday party cakes decorated with printables designs! I created my first one for my youngest son’s pirate party this past summer (coming in a post soon) and have been thinking up ideas ever since. And just this past week I finally stopped long enough to grab my camera and photograph a few.

This cake is perfect for a nautical inspired baby shower or birthday party and a cake printable party set (as you see here and with the option to have personalized) is available in the shoppe along with the rest of my Little Sailor printable party collection, including invitations, thank you notes, beverage wrappers, cupcake wrappers, dessert tags, banners and more, later today! 

Not a great baker?! No matter. Just visit your local bake shop or grocery store and order up a two layer flat iced buttercream or whipped frosting cake. I picked this one up at Kroger for $14. 

Here’s how you get started. The set comes with both anchor and whale rounds (I suggest using a 2 1/2″ circle punch, available at any craft store) and a sheet of red and white stripe paper.

You’ll also want white lollipop sticks (cut in half), a thin dowel (available in packs of 20 at your craft store for $2), a glue stick and your hot glue gun.

Plus, you’ll want some type of candy filler or edger to hide the base of the cake. I used bright red sixlets. And this cake plate, is the medium square cake plate from the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s.

And here’s how you assemble your printable cake designs.

Port holes for cake sides:

  1. Punch out the whale and anchor rounds
  2. Place a small dot of hot glue on the end of one lollipop stick and attach the whale round to the end, like a flat umbrella, repeat six times

Sailboat mast:

  1. Cut out a mast from the pattern sheet (cut out a rectangle with a straight edge paper trimmer and then using scissors, cut a  slight curve in at the sides)
  2. Cut out a flag (long rectangle, 3/4″ x 5″)
  3. Place glue (glue stick works best) on the back side of your flag and fold it around the top of the dowel starting with the stick at the center of the paper. Sure up your edges the best you can and then trim off any small pieces of white and trim out a triangle on the tip.
  4. Place one dot of hot glue on the dowel where you want the bottom of your mast. Insert the center portion of the paper, holding it straight up, not flat. Allow it to dry for 8-10 seconds. Repeat at the top allowing the paper to bow out as if the wind is blowing.
  5. Add a dot of hot glue to the center of the mast and apply a anchor round.

It’s one of the easiest cakes I ever decorated, especially since I didn’t have to bake or ice! Hop over the shoppe to see my entire Little Sailor printable party collection, including the cake printable set later today! Want to see a few more of my easy to decorate birthday cakes? Visit my post for an art birthday party and dessert table and bugs & butterfly birthday cake with many more to come!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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easy no-bake bumble bee cookies

For my most recent article with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created these bumble bee cookies along with an easy to decorate bugs and butterflies cake and favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details on how to make these simple no-bake cookies, perfect for Spring.

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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Easter bunny treats

I had the best weekend. I just relaxed, spent time with family and friends and played with a few new recipes. It was perfect. And this little treat was one of the fun things I worked on.

By the way, are you on Instagram?! I just got on and I’m admittedly a bit addicted. It’s a great way for me to share with you what I’ve got working, while I’m working on it! If you’re on, I’d love to connect with you! You can find me at @thecelebrationshoppe   

Okay, back to these goodies. Easter is only a few short weeks away and I’m so so so ready for Spring, so this weekend I started planning.

I ran to Kroger and grabbed some Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats, toothpicks, Pillsbury icing and green crepe paper. I even picked up the sweet little platter and bowl I used to style the shot! You’ll also need a bit of tape and orange food coloring.

So here’s what you do. Cut a Treat cross-ways creating two triangles/carrots. If one side of your triangle has a sharp edge, just mold it down with your finger.

Next, tint your icing orange. I use gel food coloring; it’s less watery. Once you have your icing the color you want, melt it in eight second intervals. You want it soft, but not hot. It needs to run, but not drip. I melted a cup of icing for my treats in three, eight second, intervals and it was perfect. (NOTE: Depending on how many you make and how quickly you move, you might have to rewarm your icing as you go.)

To cover your carrots, dip if your icing is deep enough. Mine wasn’t so I used a spoon to quickly cover the entire Treat. Then I added ridges with a toothpick before the icing dried.

While your treats are drying, make your carrot tops. Take a 10″ strip of green crepe paper and fold it in half twice (four layers).

Cut a fringe to the half way point and roll the crepe around a toothpick making a cylinder. Once wrapped, insert a small piece of folded tape inside the last fold to close. Remove the crepe from the toothpick and trim off a 1/3″.

 Here’s what you’ll have, perfect little carrot tops.

These would be perfect placesettings for Easter dinner. I filled the little bowls with dirt… aka the new Keebler Dark Chocolate Stripe Cookies! YUM!  

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join me on facebook, sign-up for my daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow me on twitter and pinterest.

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bugs & butterfly birthday cake

For my most recent post with Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com, I created an easy to decorate bugs & butterfly birthday cake, bumble bee cookies and a colorful favor idea that will have all your guests buzzing!

Hop over to Snackpicks for all the how to details, tips on applying your decorations and lots of photos!

And hop over to my shoppe to see more of my bugs & butterflies printable birthday party collection!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join me on facebook, sign-up for my daily feedburner e-mail (box in the right navigation), follow me on twitter and pinterest.

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peanut butter cookie dough brownies

I like to experiment with desserts and this past weekend I made peanut butter cookie dough brownies! I only wish I had gotten a picture of my family’s faces when they tasted them. It was a cross between “oh my!” and “give me more!” Yes, they are really that good!

As a matter of fact, as I edit these pictures I’m thinking that there is one left in the kitchen calling my name…

okay… I’m back. {grin} So here’s how you make them: a Duncan Hines Chewy Brownie Mix (plus the egg, water and oil the mix calls for), large chocolate chips (I used the organic chips (Kroger brand),  1/3 cup Jif Peanut Butter and 1/3 roll of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Mix the brownies and add large chocolate chips.

Spread the brownie and chocolate chip mixture into your pan. Heat 1/3 cup peanut butter for 6 or 7 seconds in the microwave so that it’s just warm enough to spread on top of your brownie mixture.

Add cookie dough crumbles.

Wash your dishes… or not. You’ll notice I had a “little” bit of help as you can see from the blue fish tail spoon. {LOVE baking with my boys!}

Bake at 350 for 14-18 minutes, depending how chewy or cakey you want them. Enjoy!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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Wii remote Rice Krispies Treats

My little one celebrated his “half” birthday at preschool today (Back story: At his school, if your birthday is celebrated in the summer months you can have a “half” birthday so you get to celebrate with your school friends.) and so I of course asked him what theme he wanted (it’s a very small celebration, only 15 minutes… but still… this is what I do.)

And he responded that he wanted a Harry Potter Wii game party. Hmmm… Well, since I couldn’t pull that off in 15 minutes I asked him if he would be interested in Wii remote Rice Krispies Treats instead. He giggled and screamed yes! So Wii remote Rice Krispies Treats we made!

Here’s the inspiration…

So super simple. We just made regular Rice Krispies Treats, with Smart Balance butter since he has food allergies (or you could use the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats in packages and cut them in half if you want minis and no food allergies, they contain dairy), outlined the rectangles and flooded them with Pillsbury icing (also dairy/nut/egg free), added the plus control and the name Wii in blue icing and finally a dot candy for the on button.

I started to add more detail, but it just got crowded since I made them half the size of the real thing.

Perfect for a “half” birthday in preschool and perfect for any gamer party you might be planning! {wink}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy weekend!

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frozen banana & granola bites

Have you ever had those chocolate dipped frozen bananas at an amusement park?! If not, let me just tell you that they are fab-u-lous!

Well, this is a twist on that traditional frozen treat.

Here’s what you’ll need: pink melting chocolate (all kinds of colors are available at your local craft store, I picked these up at JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores), granola, bananas and wooden sticks (I also picked these up at JoAnns in the wood working section).

And here’s what you do: Cut your bananas, freeze them for at least 2-3 hours, melt your chocolate in either a double boiler or in the microwave (in 8 second intervals until smooth), dip and/or spoon cover the frozen bananas, roll in granola and refreeze for another hour.

These went over big in my house. I hope you like them too! As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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wagon wheel cookies

Simple, incredibly yummy, only two ingredients and no baking cookies. You can’t beat a recipe like that! Keebler Fudge Stripes + Strawberry Marshmallows = Wagon Wheel Cookies perfect for any cowgirl hoedown and our newest party collection! Just heat a marshmallow in the microwave for seven seconds (the middle will get hot, but the marshmallow skin will still be in tack allowing you to pick it up with your hand) and then sandwich between two cookies. The chocolate in the cookies will melt slightly holding the sandwich together.

By the way, you likely recognize the light cookie as Keebler Fudge Stripes, but what about that dark one… ? That is the new, and extraordinary… oh my it’s good, Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe.

Kellogg’s sent me a box of goodies a few weeks ago, one of the many perks of being a Snackpicks.com blogger, and these were my very favorite. As a matter of fact, I’m typically really good at portion control. One cookie, one piece of candy, one whatever and I’m content. But with these, I ate four the first time I opened the package and I never do that! {guilty, not regretful, grin}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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easy Valentine marshmallows

My itty and I ran into the grocery yesterday to grab a few things and I saw these huge Kraft marshmallows on sale for $.50 (all sizes and colors are on sale this week at Kroger)!! Yay!

My first thought was to make Valentine marshmallows and use them to decorate my boys’ placesettings Valentine’s Day morning. Then I thought of their poor teachers… and decided these might be a better treat in the evening. {wink}

These Valentine marshmallows are super simple. You’ll need Karo syrup, large Kraft marshmallows, sprinkles and a toothpick.

Just write your message in Karo and add sprinkles. The Karo is clear so all you will see are sprinkles! I used this technique on smaller marshmallows for my art party collection, when I made marshmallow paint cans.

 Did I mention…

because I really do! As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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chocolate chip cookie bars

Many of you know my youngest has severe food allergies. He’s allergic to all dairy products and nuts. Needless to say, it’s challenging. Every school snack, every birthday party, every sports snack… he always looks to me with that face and those big blue eyes… “Can I have it mommy?” It’s heart breaking because 90% of the time I have to say “I’m sorry baby!”

I of course carry snacks with me, but it’s just not the same when he can’t have what all the other kids are having, especially when it’s something chocolate. That’s just a treat he doesn’t get very often.

So I’ve been working on some recipes that I can make for him and that other moms who have little ones suffering from food allergies can eat too! And with that in mind, if you know of a great website, resource, recipe, etc. I’d love to hear about it. My biggest challenge is finding dairy-free chocolate easily. The chocolate featured in this post is from a local bakery, but it only comes in small chips. I want large blocks and chips for melting and baking.

So this weekend I whipped up dairy-free chocolate chip cookie bars. Both of my boys loved them and my oldest does’t have food allergies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup softened butter (I use Smart Balance Light, make sure you look for the “vegan” language on the front as there are a few “light” versions)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • tsp. vanilla
  • 1 12 0z package semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (as I mentioned above, these are from a local bakery, but I’d love a resource for large chips and blocks if you know one)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Preheat to 375 and in small bowl combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla, beat until creamy. Beat in eggs and then gradually add flour, mixing well. Finally stir/fold in the chocolate chips. Bake in a 8″ pan for 16 min and cut into 2″ squares.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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