Memorial Day recipes with Kellogg’s

For my latest project with, Kellogg’s and Tastefully Simple teamed up for the perfect combination of Town House Sea Salt and Olive Oil Flatbread Crisps and a Smokey Cheddar Cheese Ball, among other fabulous summer recipes.

With Memorial Day coming and summer BBQs on my calendar, I decided to serve them in mini cups (clear plastic found at most grocery stores) for outdoor events and easy cleanup.

I also chose to bring some color to an otherwise rather dull plate, by trimming and inserting a fun patriotic polka dot pattern under my cups. This sheet and the dessert label in the first image, are both part of my latest FREE printable, along with cupcake rounds and a four pattern banner.

Download my FREE Patriotic Printables now!

And as a bonus, you’ll find my FREE Teacher Appreciation candy bar wrapper printables at the end of the file too. Each can be edited directly in the document with Adobe Reader. No special application or version necessary!

More to come on my easy, ready in five minutes, red white and blue patriotic cake in my next post! In the meantime, hop over to for several more fabulous  and “simple” Memorial Day recipes that will have your guests coming back for more! 

Enjoy the FREE patriotic printables and as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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free patriotic party printables

I’m giving away some new freebies today! I’ve been working on some new craft and baking projects using these patriotic inspired party printables and of course want to share with all of you. Plus, I’ll share all the projects very soon!

The freebie includes four red, white and blue pattern pennants, dessert table tags (or placecards!) and round cupcake picks (also great as favor tags).

Download my patriotic party printable freebies now!

And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!  (By the way, I hosted a link party yesterday. I’d love for you to share your latest creation.)

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honey mustard chicken bites

My two boys are the pickiest eaters ever. EVER! Okay, my youngest will at least try new things from time to time, but my oldest only eats five things. Nope, I’m not teasing. He eats peanut butter, cheese, honey and bread/crackers/cereal and apples. Thank goodness for the apples!

Don’t yell at me yet. I DO try. I swear I do, but my oldest is stubborn. I can’t imagine where he gets that from. {grinning smirk}

So recently I hosted a small dinner party and I took the Hellmann’s® Chicken Change-Up picky eaters challenge! Hellmann’s® “Chicken Change-Up” aims to help parents manage dinner dilemmas in kitchens across America – and they’d love to know what’s happening at your house!

For the kids menu I had my boys help. I started off by showing them all of the ingredients before mixing/preparing. They were on board with the cornflakes, the chicken, the Hellmann’s® Light Mayonnaise, but then I got a “nuh-uh” look when I brought out the Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard. Then my oldest saw the word “Honey,” and we were back on again. {wink}

I find that letting them help, makes them more likely to try new things too. So I let them crush the cornflakes. That’s the most fun anyway! Right?!

It’s really super simple. Just mix 6 tbsp of Hellmann’s® Light Mayonnaise to 1 tbsp of Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard. Split your mixture into two bowls using  half to coat your chicken and saving the other half for dipping later. Once coated in mixture, bread in crushed cornflakes and then bake. Its as simple as 1-2-3. For full ingredients for this recipe, steps and cooking instructions, visit Hellmann’ 

They were a huge hit! And not only did we make these fabulous Hellmann’s® Honey Mustard Chicken Bites,  

I served cake (decorated with printables that you will soon be able to download for free!),

and s’more brownie bites! YUM! I hope you’ll plan some of these fabulous recipes for your next family gathering! 

 ~~~ SHARE your ideas & ENTER to win $5,000!~~~

By the way, from now until April 30, 2012, parents across the country can participate in the Hellmann’s® Chicken Change-up by trying one of the featured Hellmann’s® chicken recipes, sharing their recipe reviews and providing their own advice for managing dinnertime obstacles. After participating, consumers can enter into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a $5000 grocery store gift card and other daily prizes.[1]

Visit and like Hellmann’s® on facebook to see what other moms are doing and to enter your reviews and advice!

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.

[1] NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Hellmann’s Chicken Change-Up is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Begins 12:00 PM ET on 03/01/12 & ends 11:59 AM ET on 04/30/12. For official rules, visit the ‘Chicken Change-Up’ tab on the Hellmann’s Facebook page at

I received compensation from Hellmann’s for this post. But you ladies know me, all opinions stated are my own. I would have it no other way!

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s’more brownie & marshmallow whip

I’ve had a sweet tooth all week. I’m not sure what’s up with me, but of course my kiddos love it. So yesterday we were debating over whether or not to have s’mores or brownies for dessert… so we compromised and the outcome was incredible!

AND I was able to make it dairy-free so that my little guy could enjoy them too!

Here’s what you’ll need:  Duncan Hines Chewy Brownie Mix, Chocolate Graham Crackers, Butter (I used Smart Balance Lite, vegan, for my little guy) and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme.

And here are the simple steps:

  1. Make your crust ~ crush one bag (1/3 box) of graham crackers and mix with 1/4 cup softened butter 
  2. Prepare the mix ~ with eggs, oil and water as directed
  3. Layer ~ place thick layer of your graham cracker crust in a 8×8″ pan and top with brownie mix
  4. Bake ~ according to box instructions
  5. Serve ~ with a dollup of marshmallow creme

And with summer, BBQs and tons of outdoor fun just around the corner, why not make them brownie bites! They’re easy to serve, easy for guests to manage while mingling and the perfect portion size.

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

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simple patriotic favor idea + free printables

These mini gumball machines are perfect favors for the July 4th holiday! It’s not always necessary to give favors, especially at low-key family gatherings like most of us will host this weekend, but if you can squeeze it into the budget, it sure can be fun

And what’s better, they can be placecards when dressed up with our FREE printables. We designed placecards/favor tags, straw slips and napkin rings for our contributing article with Mom magazine. Download your templates now. And as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY! 4th of July party ideas

I ran across Lisa Storms blog this morning and just fell in love with these simply and clever DIY party ideas for the 4th of July! You already know I love crepe so the little ruffle vase is just too cute, but it’s probably the “let freedom ring” that got me. And she did all this with Fiskars paper punches and a little creativity.  Hop over to Lisa’s blog to learn more!

By the way, yesterday’s shoot went extremely well. Just imagine: eight little models + bright colors + water & sun + a dash of sugar = the perfect summer afternoon. I plan to share the new collection invitation and thank you tomorrow with pictures and DIY details from the shoot coming soon.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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thinking red, white & blue

Although the rain refuses to go away here in Ohio (like eight straight days now…) I’m dreaming of summer and my idea sketch pad has quickly moved on from Easter and is now looking a bit more patriotic. Here are just a few of the things that are inspiring me this morning.

More to come on what my sketch pad doodles will turn into. In the meantime, I’ve been nominated as a Top 50 Mom Craft Blog on Babble. If you up for it, I’d love your vote! Click here and scroll until you see “The Celebration Shoppe” and then give us your thumbs up. Thanks!

 As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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FREE summer printables!


Amy from Living Locurto asked me to guest blog for her this week, while she’s off on a Carnival Cruise {green with envy}, and she asked that I give a free printable away to her readers! So I thought since summer is starting to wind down… I know… it’s very hard for me to think that way too… I would give away the printables we created when we styled the backyard BBQ for the July-September issue of Mom magazine. I’ve already given them away here, but just in case you missed them, here’s another chance! (Oh, and if you’ve not seen it yet, here’s the full article.) 

The printables were created with our patriotic holidays in mind, but I chose a variety of patterns, all in primary colors, so they can be perfect all summer long!


Here’s a closer shot of the straw slips I used, which can also be perfect as toothpick skewers in sandwiches, etc.,


the napkin rings, and


the placecards, which can also work great as favor tags.

Download the set now! And if you’re new here, please come join me on facebook, twitter, or sign up for offers (in the upper right corner) so you don’t miss out on future freebies!

Happy Monday everyone!

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real parties: end of summer fun


When I was browsing the web to find just the right images to pull together yesterday’s back to school party post, I stumbled across Brooke at Cheeky Kitchen and Jaimee at Sophistimom, two talented women who are also moms and friends. I was instantly inspired by their posts about an end of summer picnic they had with their children last year. The photography is beautiful, the recipes are yummy and their writing style is engaging. If you’ve not met them yet, you must meet them now!


I’m absolutely in love with Brooke’s unique lunch pail (the kind of buckets you get when you go to your local orchard) idea. They’re simple and yet make such a statement in her beautiful photography. In Jaimee’s words “Within each basket was nestled a sandwich to satisfy the most ravenous sweet tooth, a vintage book, confetti corn, and a root beer.


Don’t you just wish you had been invited along on this adventure?!


And the food looks amazing! (There are many more photos that you must hop over and see on both blogs.)


As you likely are, I’m inspired to plan a end of summer/back to school picnic for my boys. I hope we have as much fun as it appears these two families had! Happy Wednesday everyone!

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patriotic inspiration


As we’re all gearing up for a fabulous long weekend, I thought I would share a few last minute ideas for desserts:


And a few DIY decorating ideas:

Have a safe and fun holiday everyone!

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