encourage reading with the very hungry rolo-pillar

As a mom of two boys (and statistics show that boys read less as they get older), I’ve made reading a bit of a fun requirement around our house. As a matter of fact, my boys see it as a punishment if we don’t get a bedtime story or two… or three. Honestly, it’s a bit of a disappointment for me too so I think it might have happened once in the past six years!

And now that my oldest is six, I encourage him to read to me. I love it. I love hearing him sound out the words and make mistakes. It’s adorable. My youngest, age four, loves a good book too and snuggles up with me every chance we get.

So as summer is approaching we’ve already started to plan what day we’ll move our regular library trips to (since we can go in the middle of the day then, yay!), and I’ve started thinking about fun ways to celebrate books for our summer reading program.

This is my first idea for an old classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The treat is just Rolos topped with M&Ms, served on a tissue paper leaf with jimmies for antenna (and don’t forget to trim out some teeth marks!). It took me all of 2 minutes and the boys were ecstatic. And this idea goes perfectly with the library playdate idea from Family Fun magazine that I blogged about a few weeks ago!

Happy Monday everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Participating in the following “link” parties: Skip to My Lou’s Made By You Mondays & Tip Junkie’s Tip Me Tuesday.

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“done-ut” graduation cupcakes

If you have a graduate who’s finally “done it” {I know… the title is totally corny} then these are the donut cupcakes for you!!

Recently we launched a new graduation collection (invitations, printables, damask table decor) and I got busy in the kitchen to create a fun new twist on the mortarboard graduation cupcake. I came up with two ideas. The first, a mini cupcake with Hershey’s Bliss mortarboard and twistie tassle, was a bit more traditional and I posted it a few week’s ago. 

This is the second, and in my opinion a bit more fun, using a chocolate covered donut as the graduate’s head {hee hee}. It’s super simple, here’s what you’ll need:

  • small chocolate covered donut
  • Keebler Deluxe Graham cookie
  • fruit chews (match to school colors)
  • white icing

And here’s how you assemble:

  1. Cut two pieces of fruit chew. One for the scroll (roll and set aside) and one for the tassle (cut a 1.5 x 1.5 inch square; using a straight edge knife cut individual threads leaving the top .5 inch attached; roll)
  2. Ice your cupcake
  3. Set one donut in the center of the cupcake and insert the scroll (do this while your icing is fresh so that it will hold)
  4. Using a small dolup of icing, attach the Keebler Deluxe Graham cookie to the top of the donut and allow it to set for a few minutes
  5. Place a very small dot of icing on the cookie (aka mortarboard) and attach your tassle

As always, I hope you’re inspired! And stop over at Snackpicks.com for more of my Kellogg’s treats ideas.

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teacher appreciation week!

Some of my favorite crafty bloggy buddies have reminded me that next week, starting May 2, is Teacher Appreciation Week! Eeekkkk! But no need to fret because these ideas will keep your little ones on the Teacher’s Pet list for sure!

First off, the clever sisters over at eighteen25 came up with these fabulous “Teacher’s Treats” jar toppers and what’s even better… they’re FREE! This is only one of the them. The other’s are for us moms. Things like “Bubble Gum Bribes” and “Mom’s Secret Stash.” LOVE this idea to hide my dark chocolate goodies! {huge smile}

And next we have a super talented duo. Amy of Living Locurto designing the printables and Kristan of Confessions of a Cookbook Queen made these insanely adorable cupcakes. That’s icing on top, not ice cream! Hop over to Living Locurto to download the FREE printables and get all the “how tos” on making these beautiful cupcakes!

And check out Tidy Mom’s Apple Caramel Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream IN A JAR! What teacher would say “I’m on a diet” to this idea? NONE, that’s how many. She’s guest posting over on Skip To My Lou with all the details, lots more pictures and a fabulous FREE printable to boot!

Happy Monday everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Easter cross krispies

 

 

I was in charge of the Easter celebration “sweet” snack for my son’s preschool class yesterday (there were also healthy snacks… but for some reason I’m never asked to bring those… hmm… ) and I chose to make these fun cross krispie treats

I was going to pipe a purple ribbon of icing, but then decided that I would be nice to his teacher and not add another shot of pure sugar to each child just before circle time. I should get a gold star or something for being so considerate! {grin}

You can whip these, or any other shape, up with a bit of butter (since my guy has food allergies we used Kellogg’s Rice Krispie cereal and Smart Balance Light Butter to make these dairy free) on your cookie cutter and maybe a touch on your hands.

As always, I hope you’re inspired and HAPPY EASTER!

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tiny peek at last week’s shoot

I’m so excited to share our newest collection and the photos from our shoot with the fabulous Angie Arthur Photography. Although we’re not ready yet, I couldn’t resist showing you a quick picture I took with my camera of one of the small flower vases on the table {let’s be clear, this is me, Angie’s images are amazing!}.

This entire project just made me smile. We designed, we crafted, we created custom monogrammed birthday shirts to match the collection, we partnered with a fabulous new company to make lovely dresses for all of our little models from our casting call, my cookie partners baked custom butter cookies (that the little models gobbled up), plus much more. As I said, I can’t wait to share!

By the way, we’ve got a fabulous giveaway planned when the new collection is announced! Stay tuned!

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FREE Easter printables designed for Parents magazine

For my “Crafty Easter Tabletop Ideas” article with Parents magazine we created a few FREE Easter printables. The “Happy Easter” wrap is perfect as a napkin ring, beverage wrapper, or

vase and craft jar wrapper. Download the Easter wrappers and two pattern sheets (used to make the mommy bird craft seen at the beginning of the article).

Other ideas for the table include surprising your guests by dressing up their cups with colorful straws and a Murray Sugar-Free Shortbread Cookie (YUM!),  

and by embellishing the backs of the chairs with fun and simple crepe paper ruffles. And if you didn’t see the other crafts included in the article, here’s a quick recap:

Make sure you hop over for your FREE Easter printables and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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~~Participating in Tip Junkie’s Tip Me Tuesday!~~

 

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Easter chick cookie pops for Parents magazine

I’ve shared on numerous occasions that my youngest has severe food allergies. Well as you can imagine it breaks my heart when he can’t have something pretty and yummy like the other kids. With that in mind, I made these fun dairy and nut free Easter chick cookie pops for my article with Parents magazine.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sandwich cookies (I used Oreos because they have no milk, egg or nut products), two per chick
  • Icing (I used Pillsbury white icing because it has no milk, egg or nut products)
  • Yellow and orange gel food coloring (liquid thins the icing)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Orange non-perils
  • Resealable bag, icing connector and #2 and #46 tips

Easy steps:

  1. Open your sandwich cookies and lay a lollipop stick inside, pressing it into the filling
  2. Tint ¾ of your yellow icing in a microwaveable bowl
  3. Spoon out ¼ of the yellow icing, set rest aside, and microwave it for 8 seconds
  4. Spoon melted icing over lollipop stick, replace cookie top and allow them to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Melt remaining icing and spoon over each cookie pop; allow them to cool for a minute and then add eyes and beak
  6. After cookie pop is completely dry, pipe on wings (icing tip #46) and feet (icing tip #2)

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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~~Participating in Tip Junkie’s Tip Me Tuesday!~~

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Easter egg flower craft for Parents magazine

This is probably the craft I loved creating the most for the Parents magazine “Crafty Easter Tabletop Ideas” article. These DIY felt and Easter egg flowers are so simple, the kids can help and you can color coordinate them to any Easter color palette!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Egg
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Craft paint
  • Hot glue
  • Lollipop sticks

Easy steps:

  1. Hollow out your eggs and wash gently (see the pictorial in yesterday’s post about the mommy bird egg).
  2. Let the kids finger paint the eggs and set them to dry on lollipop sticks. (You can also paint the lollipop stick to look like a stem if you want to display in grass or moss!)
  3. Cut petals out of felt.
  4. Hot glue petals to the base of the egg (near the larger hole) and display on lollipop sticks.

You can see more craft ideas and download FREE PRINTABLES from my article at parents.com. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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~~Participating in Tip Junkie’s Tip Me Tuesday and Today’s Creative Blog Get Your Craft On!~~
 
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press: Easter ideas for Parents magazine

I couldn’t be more thrilled and feel more blessed to finally share that I wrote a contributing article for Parents magazine, titled Crafty Easter Tabletop Ideas. It’s currently the first idea listed under Easter parties on parents.com {still reeling from excitement}!

I would LOVE for you to hop over, scroll through the article and if you like what you see, click the facebook “like” button for me, or if you’re a parents.com member, leave a comment! And if you do, please let me know and I’ll send huge virtual hugs your way! Oh, and did I mention there is a FREE PRINTABLE in it for you? Yep! You didn’t think this was going to be all about me did you?!

The article includes a colorful Easter placesetting idea, two easy Easter craft ideas, a fun Easter treat idea and three FREE printable sheets.

And here are a few images to go with the “how to” steps listed for that cute little mommy “egg” bird in the feature image. By the way, step 1, hollowing out the egg, is actually pretty easy. You just pearce both ends with a needle, making one end large enough to put a lollipop stick in. Whirl the stick around a bit to break up the egg yolk and it will come right out. As the final step, wash the egg throughly, and gently, with anti-bacterial soap and allow it to dry before letting the kids finger paint the body.  

I’ll be sharing more images and details for the other crafts and ideas tomorrow.

As always, I hope you’re inspired and thank you so much for supporting me and my dream. You all make my heart sing every day with your follows, likes, tweets and sweet comments! I couldn’t ask for a better support system!

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special delivery! baby shower

I shared with you a few weeks ago our storyboard for a new baby shower collection: Special Delivery. I’m just in love with purple this season. And when I found these purple swiss dot plates and napkins I just knew they would be perfect for our baby shower shoot. And the fabulous part is, they’re in the shoppe with the rest of the collection: custom invitations, thank yous and printables.

Here’s another look at the invitation. How cute is our little “special delivery?!”

The other fun thing about this collection is that although it was created with baby showers in mind, we didn’t include the stork in all of the components making this collection perfect for an Easter, Mother’s Day brunch or even a spring birthday party.

And how much do you love these fabulous cookies from Sweet Sugar Belle?! I’m thrilled to say Callye will be guest posting all the DIY details for the stork, including an easy to follow pictorial on Monday! (Update: Read post!) Make sure you stop back in!

You can find the invitations and thank yous in the shoppe today and all the decor, including the printables you see here and a few more, will be in the shoppe on Monday. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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