Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My kiddos will never try anything I cook again - especially on April Fool's Day

So, I thought and thought on how I could do an April Fool on my 2 and 4 year old, and after searching the internet, this is what I came up with this year!

A dinner of a cake that is actually meat loaf, a pizza that is actually cake and a drink that is actually jell-o! It was easy to make and so FUNNY watching the kid's eat it!

For the pizza cake, I used a cake mix and baked it in a round cake pan. I iced it with red icing to look like the tomato sauce and used a fruit roll up that I cut into circles as the pepperoni. The "cheese" was actually grated white chocolate!

Pretty convincing!

The drink was just red jell-o that I made in a cup, added strawberries, blueberries and a straw to it before it got hard!

For the meat loaf, I baked it in a rectangular cake pan and iced it with mashed potatoes! The kiddos were definitely fooled! I asked if they wanted to eat cake for dinner (which was really the meat loaf) and of course, they said yes!

My daughter taking a sip of her drink . . .

My son taking a bite of "cake" (actually meat loaf) . . .

Smiles all around when they realized that it was an April Fools and that they were allowed to eat cake (that looked like pizza) for dinner!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hop Hop Hoppy Easter Wreath

Hop, Hop, Hoppy Easter everyone! I wanted to share my lastest Easter wreath! I wanted to create a very colorful egg with an Easter Bunny "holding" the egg from behind, and here is the finished product!!

I love all the bright colors against our dark door! It was so easy to make. Here are the items you will need to complete this wreath:
Egg shaped styrofoam (I couldn't find one, so I bought just a rectangle and cut it into the egg shape)
Different colored fabrics
Fuzzy fabric for the rabbit's hands
Elmer's glue
Headband Rabbit Ears (I got mine at the grocery store for $1.99)

The first thing that I did was to cut out the egg shape from the rectangular shaped styrofoam using a serrated knife. Don't worry if it's not completely perfect, because the fabric should hide any imperfections.

Next a cut a slit into the styrofoam and put the ribbon that I was going to use to hang it with through the slit. I added a few more slits with ribbon for the ears and hands (that way I'd have something to sew it on with).

I then mapped out the different colors and patterns that I wanted for the egg.

I cut all the fabric into 2" X 2" squares and then wrapped each piece around a pencil, dabbed it in glue and then added it to the styrofoam. For the ears, I cut them from the headband and then sewed them to the ribbon that I had attached to the styrofoam. I also tied a bow with some different ribbon, attached a note saying "Hoppy Easter" that I printed from the computer, and glued it onto the egg. Finally, I cut out some hand shapes from the fuzzy fabric and glued them on as well!

And, that's it!! Happy Easter Everyone!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Eyes of Texas are Upon You

So I know I usually talk about cakes on Saturday, but this week I found out that one of my techs just got into UT School of Pharmacy (my alumni)! I had been trying to help him and had written his letter of recommendation, so I feel like a very proud mentor:) To help celebrate this very special occassion, the kiddos and I made him some UT cookies and burnt orange popcorn!

We had to make the cookies quickly since we left the next day on our Spring Break trip, so we cheated and used store bought dough. My little Princess was super helpful in rolling out the dough and cutting out the cookie shapes.

Of course you have to have a longhorn and Texas cookie cutter to make the perfect UT cookies:)

Here they are cooling off while we made the royal icing. Now I know you can make it with meringue powder, but I don't think it tastes as good, so we made royal icing with egg whites using this recipe:
2 large egg whites

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
Basically, you just beat the egg whites and lemon juice with a hand held mixer while you slowly add the sugar a cup at a time until it's all mixed. Then add your food coloring.

Here's the finished cookies!

For the colored popcorn, we just followed the direction on the back of the popcorn kernel jar, but also added food dye to the oil along with 1/4cup of sugar.

Then we put on the lid and let the popcorn do its thing.

Nothing says UT like burnt orange popcorn! Congrats 'V'!!! I'm so proud of all your hard work!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today I Am . . . Shirt

My kiddos love to pretend, so I decided to make a shirt to make it clear to the rest of the family who they were on that particular day! It was super easy and the kids love them! Here's my son's shirt:

Here is my daughter's shirt:

It just says,"Today I Am" and then it has boxes that he/she can place a little check or heart in so we know if he/she is "Batman" or a "Fairy" or "Spiderman" or a "Princess" or best of all, him or herself! To make the shirt, I just printed out different fonts from our computer, made a stencil from freezer paper, ironed it on and painted!

For the check and heart, I just used sticky velcro and put a little square in the middle of each box (I used the soft part of the velcro for the shirt), and one little square on the felt check or heart that I cut out.

And, that's it! A quick and easy way to make a really fun shirt!

Monday, March 15, 2010

12 Months 1 Table Runner

I enjoy decorating for all the holidays, even the little ones:) My dining room is the first thing that people can see when they walk into my house, so I love having a decorative table runner, but those things can get expensive, so I came up with a year round table runner that you can change for each holiday. Here it is in action for St. Patty's Day!

This was not only SUPER easy, but also very inexpensive to make! Here's what I did! I bought two large poster boards, 3 yards of white fabric ($2.99/yd plus they were having a 30% off sale - I LOVE SALES!!), sew on velcro, and different holiday colored ribbons and fabrics. I decided on the design that I wanted for each holiday (hearts for Valentine's Day, clovers for St. Patty's, etc) and printed the shapes out from our computer.

For the actual tablerunner, I measured out how long I wanted it, folded the fabric in half and cut it out. I then hemmed the edges and sewed a strip of velcro down the center of the runner. I also sewed some velcro at either end of the runner horizontally to attach the holiday designs.

To make each holiday design, I cut out the image from the computer, traced it on the poster board, cut it out and then using my hot glue gun, I glued the different fabric on each shape. I finished with some decorative trim and then glued a piece of velcro on the back.

I took the cordinating ribbon and sewed on a long piece of velcro so that I could attach it to the center of the tablerunner. And, WAH-LAH, that's it!! So simple and fun! The possibilities to this project are endless!! I love it! Here are the holiday designs that I've completed so far. I'll post more as I get them completed.

Valentine's Day! If you look closely, you can see some of the velcro at the bottom of the hearts, but I don't think will ever show unless people get right up on it, so don't stress over it (I did at first, and decided it was gonna be ok).

St. Patty's Day!


That's all I have now, but I'll be working on it the rest of the year:)! I highly recommend getting creative with this project, and if you do, please send me pics! I'd LOVE to see what all you EXTREMELY TALENTED ladies out there can do it!

This was FEATURED at:
Be Different Act Normal
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Finding Fabulous

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Holy Cape, Batman . . .

My kiddos are huge fans of superheros! There are a few that are more popular at our house, Batman (girl), Spiderman (girl), and of course, Hulk Man (as my son prefers to be called). Last Halloween, both kiddos dressed up as superheros, and since their birthdays are right after Halloween and only 13 days apart from each other, we decided to keep the superhero theme alive with a Superhero Party! I did an Evite invitation on the computer and included a picture of the kiddos in their Halloween costumes!

Look at all those muscles!!
I used a lot of ideas for the party from Birthday Party Ideas! It is such a great reference for party ideas!
The invitation said:
"Calling all Superheroes! We must unite to defeat the super villain! Please meet at headquarters to prepare for the invasion. We must defend our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a happy birthday! If you can join with us to defeat this villain and eat cake, please respond as soon as possible with the following top secret information: 1. Your secret identity (your name.) 2. Your superhero name. 3. Your superpower. 4. Your super color. Your participation is vital to the success of this mission!" People did their RSVP there on the website. Those that could come said "You can count on me!" Maybes were "I'll see if my cape is back from the cleaners" and if they couldn't make it, it said, "My powers are GONE!" It was a lot of fun seeing all the creative super powers and superhero names that my friend's came up with!

From the information I gathered, I made each guest a superhero T-shirt and cape! Now it may sound like a lot of work, but it was super fun and EASY! I bought a bunch of shirts from Hobby Lobby for ($2.99/each) and Target (clearance $3-$4/each). I bought about 4 1/2 yards of black felt, a few precut squares of white felt, some adhesive velcro and some fabric glue. I also purchased some iron on transfer paper ($7/10 sheets).

This stuff is super easy to use!!
I used Photoshop to come up with each child's superhero design! It was so fun putting together all the different superheros based off their information. I then transversed the image, printed out 2 copies of the image on the transfer paper and ironed it onto the shirts. I then cut out a cape from the black felt (this was so easy, I just put the felt up to my daughters back and with a piece of chalk, drew a cape in the size of the bigger kids, and did the same for the cape for the smaller kids using my son as my reference). I ironed the second image onto the white felt and then used the fabric glue to glue the image onto the the cape. To attach the capes to the shirts, I just used the adhesive velcro on the shoulders of the shirt (I put the soft part of the velcro on the shirt, so when the kids wore it without the cape it wouldn't scratch them).
** Transversing the image on photoshop is very important! I forgot to do it on my shirt and this is how it came out:

I tried to cover it up by saying I was Superhero MirrorImage, but I think they knew what really happened:)! Luckily, that was the only shirt I messed up on (itsn't cute though, with the pictures of my kiddos in their Superhero costumes!?)
Here are a few of the other designs!

Here's my son as Silver Sir Finn Hulk Man! It's a hybrid of the Silver Surfer, a knight and the Hulk!

Of course, my daughter was Super Princess!

This was Super 'G'!

Even the babies got superhero shirts (I bought a package of 3 white onesies (I had 3 baby superheros) from Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks). I didn't do capes for the babies for safety reasons.
When the kiddos arrived for the party, I made a big sign for the front yard with my little superheros in their costumes and the words, "Superhero Headquarters". Right next to the door was a giant punching bag of Batman, and I made a sign that looked like the quote bubble from a comic book that said, "Welcome Superheros. Come on in and prepare for Training". When everyone arrived, we passed out their shirts and capes and let them play for a little bit before the games began.

Here's the Superheros in action!
And, what would superheros be without a super villian? Introducing Captain Havoc (played by my very patient/loving hubby)!

I made his shirt and cape the same way and used some left over felt to cut out a mask!
The games we played were actually part of the "training" and included:
1. Find the hidden Kryptonite (which I hid in the pinata, so when they broke it the kryptonite (little glow stick necklaces that I got at Party City) fell out along with the candy). They had to find one Kryptonite stick each and put it in their party gift bags. There was one blue Kryptonite that we used later on to defeat Captain Havoc as well.

2. Captain Havoc released a bunch of BOMBS (bouncy balls from Party city) in the bounce house, and the superheros had to collect all the bombs and hide them safely in their gift bags as well.

3. We also did an obstacle course made out of the kids' slide (which we already had), hop scotch pads(already had), hula hoops and cones that I got at Target for $1/each on clearance after summer. (Plan ahead and save!)

We had snack food and pizza with little signs that said, "POWer Snacks". I made an all inclusive superhero cake that had Spiderman, Wonderwoman, Batman, Superman (woman) and the Hulk represented.

I think the party went really well, and when all was said and done, it really didn't cost much money at all. The superheros got to take home kryptonite, a bouncy ball, superhero tattoos and stickers ($1 at Target that I got months ahead of time), Superhero Pencils ($1 for package of 6 from Target), and their shirts and capes. I had many calls from my friends the next couple of days saying that their kiddos had wanted to sleep in or keep wearing their superhero clothes! That made me feel super happy:) I really don't know how I'm gonna top this party, but I'm sure gonna try!!