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Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Tree Brownies- Quick and Easy

Life has been busy!Insanely, crazy, holy freaking moly, busy by me...How about you all???

 I never knew how any extra time I may have once had to squeak in some blogging or do some baking and crafting would be sucked away once my little guy became fully mobile.

And he is very mobile, vertically, horizontally and any which way in between. And did I mention curious and strong and always in the thick of it all.

Most days I am drowning in the insanity of finding balance in the middle of a lot of kids all with different wants needs and desires. Yet, I wouldn't change any of it  for all the money in the world. Even though I also know that could probably provide me with daycare and someone else to watch and raise my kids....whatever.

 And with the arrival of my next little guy in less than eight weeks (Yes, if you did not already know, I am expecting again...lucky number four!!!)

So anything I make now, HAS to be quick and easy. Gone are my days of spending hours on edible food projects, that will have to wait for another point in time.

But since I'm talking about fast and easy lets talk about these festive holiday treats. Super fast and easy to make, they don't require a ton of decorating know how.

Can you bake some brownies???Can you squeeze chocolate out of a bag?? Can you toss some sprinkles on top?? Then these are for you!!


Here what you will need to make them!!

  • Your favorite brownie recipe or boxed mix.
  • Chocolate candy melts.
  • Colored sprinkles ( Colorful Sunny Seeds look like colored lights if you want to use them!!)
  • Yellow M&M's or candies to use as star on top.
  • Decorating bag or plastic zip lock baggie.
  • Wax paper or parchment paper.
Bake you brownies and let them cool. I used a double batch baked in a 9 x 13 pan. After the cooled I cut the brownies into triangle shapes like so...


Remember this is not an exact science..the above is just to illustrate how to get the triangular shapes. I'm sure there are better ways to cut them...but this way ensured that there would be "test" pieces we would have to try. Gotta make sure they taste good right!!!

Anyhoo...moving on. Place cut brownies on top of a piece of wax paper or parchment paper with the edges not touching.  Melt you green candy melts and place them in the decorating bag or plastic baggie and make a small cut at the tip.

Now drizzle the chocolate back and forth across each tree. Easy right!
Now strategically toss some sprinkles on top and place a yellow m&m or candy on top for the star.
Let them set and you are done...finished.

Pile them on a plate or wrap them in cello bags with a colorful ribbon

Now go play with the kids or sing some Christmas songs or sneak out to Starbucks for a well deserved coffee treat since these just saved you a ton of time!!



SO EASY!
Enjoy!!







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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Minnie Mouse Birthday

It has come to that time of year when yet another Birthday is closing in fast, no not mine that already passed, but my daughter's fourth birthday. Last year she requested a Rapunzel themed birthday. She talked about it for an entire year before it even happened and I had a great time putting all of the details together to give her a party she would be thrilled with.

This year though, she wants a Minnie Mouse party, a green Minnie Mouse birthday party. Since Green is her favorite color at the moment, it makes perfect logical sense to her that everything should now be green.....everything.

I started out designing her a simple invitation that conveyed the essence that is Minnie with her ever popular bow and made it green to keep the babes satisfied!


Now if some of you have  noticed I am not online the way that I used to be. This is because I'm at that stage with my kiddo's where I am basically not allowed to do anything short of hang with them. If I do get to sneak off for a bit to do some side work, I am quickly reeled back into my role as Mom as shouts, screams and non-stop requests  of  "She hit me", "She won't share.", "The baby is climbing", "The baby took off his diaper.", "Can I have some juice.", "Can I have a snack." keep me far to occupied to complete a whole though in my head, never mind create a blog post.

I want to be present for them in all things that they do cute and slightly annoying, so I make the choice to go and hang with them and do the things we do. But every once in a while they are fed, content and occupied long enough for me to re-visit this blog of mine, where  I can share some of my newer creations that I have been making.

With three kids at my heels most of the waking hours my main mission in life at this time is to keep things simple. Long gone are the days of me being able to find ample time to make wonderful edible creations, now I need to be smart and like I mentioned keep it simple.

Like the toppers I made for her party. I wanted to make all sorts of sugar creations with the ears and bows, but then I realized.....

#1- She's four
#2- She doesn't care if it's made from fondant or paper.
#3- I'm the only one who will get nuts.
#4- As long as it's green I could put crumpled paper on top of the cupcakes.

So I compromised with my need to be creative and and easier less painful method to keep the theme alive and created these toppers.


They are made to coordinate with the invitation.


 I was a lucky girl this past Christmas and the hubby purchased me a Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle Kit , which allows me to now make a lot of cut items that I no longer have to hand cut.  I have a lot to learn as my designs are still very simple, but I am excited to see what I can come up with in time.

I made a green version, per the birthday girls request...


And because I always love a mixture of colors when it comes to decor I went with a pink bow as well.


When I showed m daughter the pink bow, she looked at me like I had somehow gone crazy and explained to me that "Pink is not her favorite color...green is." I told her we would be using both at which she really emphasized to me how much that pink was not her favorite color :)

I will be making some other themed stuff to go along with the party, some stick toppers for the cake pops and such, which I will share when I am able to at a later date.

I will be offering these in my Etsy shop at some point in the near future, I just need to figure out some details. But I will offer them in  a variety of colors which can be seen here.


 A swatch like this is always a great resource because one can print it at home to see what the final resulting color will be. Different screens project slight variations in colors, so I like to be safer than sorry :) If you are interested in purchasing these items please feel free to contact me directly. The cost for the toppers at this point would be in the range of $10.00 USD per dozen, plus the cost of shipping. Invitation price would depend on the amount needed.

I hope you enjoyed this post!!! Hopefully I will see you again sooner than later, because I have some really big news to share in the near future!!

Be well!!









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Monday, June 30, 2014

Veruca Salt Cupcake Toppers




I can't even believe that I am going to start this post with "When I was a kid."

But here goes nothing......when I was a kid, TV  was a very different thing then it is today. Cartoons were reserved to two or three shows in the early mornings hours before school and maybe another one or two shows like Popeye, Woody Woodpecker and Scooby Doo after. And on Saturdays, well Saturday mornings were like a slice of Television heaven for kids. All morning they would play across a majority of the 13 channels, or something to that degree. But the one thing I remember te most about TV back then was how once a year a few family favorites would come on TV.

There were no DVR's or movie channels, I don't even think there was more than 12-13 channels, VCR's had yet to be heard of in most American households. So you either saw what was shown or you had to wait until it played again the following year.

A year people, you would have to wait a whole freaking year to get your chance to see a movie. Us kids were at the mercy of the TV stations and our parents.

So when the commercials for the showing of these movies would begin airing about the TV waves. I paid attention. This was sort of a big deal...in my little world anyway. A few of my all time favorites were Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Wizard of Oz and who could forget the one and only Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Seriously, it was the thing dreams are made of. Candy bars with golden tickets, factories of candy, quirky food themed inventions and Mr. Wonka and his crazy self. It was a film that left a lasting impression in my mind as I am sure it did in so many others. It is also one of my most requested custom designs as people are ga ga over Willy Wonka inspired parties.

It was only a matter of time that I would begin creating the characters from the movie besides Mr. Wonka and his little Oompa Loompa friends, but since everyone loved them so much it was inevitable that the rest of them would follow suit.

Now if you have seen the movie, I am sure that you may remember the "Bad Egg" Veruca Salt. Boy was she a rotten, spoiled little girl. Always with her "I want it NOW." So here she is in all her mean glory.


 I created her with an additional topper that proclaims her "I want it NOW" trademark.  A perfect addition to any Willy Wonka themed party.


The topper come with five images per each 8-1/2x11 sheet of paper. It is suggested they are printed on a heavier card stock type of material. 


They can be printed from home or uploaded and printed from a local printing shop. Print as many as you need.


You can purchase them through my Etsy shop which can be found HERE. They are available for instant download once payment is processed. For additional Willy Wonka Party themed goodies, please visit the Willy Wonka Party section of my shop HERE.




So what is you favorite movie??? Anyone else from my generation???

Thanks for reading along!!






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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Busy Mom of Three.....


I have three kids. Ages One, Three and Five.

My hands and arms are figuratively and literally full.

Life as I used to know it pre-kids has changed in more ways then I could have ever imagined. I used to think a SAHM had tons of time to do things like, sleep, shop, watch TV, go to the gym, then I had kids and that illusion was shattered into a millions and one screaming tantrums. My day starts at 6:30 am (If I am lucky to sleep that late) and ends about 10:00 pm. Within that 14 hour or so time span, 90 percent of it goes to my kids, leaving very little time left for me.

The one area I still struggle with accepting as a permanent change, is the total lack of time I have for myself.
But I have learned a thing or two along this path of Motherhood and being a SAHM.  Number one is to be smart, there are so many services and so much information available to help those like me on a tight time frame, still get done the normal everyday grind type of things AND find the time to do stuff for me.

Two of these things is finding time to exercise and to eat right.

I joined a gym earlier this year only to discover my little guy wanted nothing to do with the daycare and would scream and cry until the daycare people would come and get me, this would be a hot 10 minutes. So the gym was pretty much a wash. I have scoured the internets for many different at home workout routines and food recipes that align with my nutritional beliefs. But discovered it took up more of my precious little time I had and got old quick.

So when I was oofered to partner up and check out a site called Grokker, I was sort of kinda like "Wowzers!!!this is perfect!!!!" And just so you know, I would never write or review something I myself have or wouldn't use, but this got me excited and I decided to scream from the mountaintops (or my kitchen) all about it and maybe direct someone else in the same predicament as me when it comes to time.


Grokker.com

Grokker is the expert video network for high quality, expert-led instructional videos in three key wellness areas:  YogaFitness, and Cooking. Grokker makes it easy and fun for enthusiasts to find the time to practice personal wellness, gain mastery of new skills, and develop authentic connections to expert instructors and other enthusiasts via our community programming. At Grokker, we produce our own top-quality videos in-house, featuring expert yogis, chefs and trainers/fitness instructors hand-selected by Grokker’s editorial team. There are 1000+ premium videos available on Grokker today with new videos released daily.

I hurt a thigh muscle a few months ago, shockingly chasing after my kids and it was suggested by my Physical Therapist to add some yoga into my normal stretching routine, to help keep my muscles flexible. I have found a few videos scattered about online, but I am loving that there are a ton available for me to choose daily!! Their yoga videos have been helpful in allowing me to learn new techniques, which is the only thing that has helped me in becoming more flexible. I have not been able to take advantage of their huge selection of fitness videos as of yet, because my thigh muscle is prone to re-injury, so those have been put on the back burner for the moment.

As for recipes, I do quite a bit of recipe development on my own, but more often then not I don't have the time to "try" a recipe I find online, I also am an amateur at best when it comes to cooking, so the cooking videos they offer are amazing.  I like being able to see techniques and learn new ways to prepare food.Like most people I want something that is good, sometimes healthy ;) and tested by others.

Grokker.com
Step by step clear instructions, that demystify some of the areas of cooking I am not really up to par with. The best part of this site is that it is fully customized to what you like; want to see more culturally inspired recipes, fine!

Grokker.com

Want to only see fitness videos, no problem.

Grokker.com

Want to learn the basics of yoga or learn a new type of flow, sure thing!

Grokker.com


It is tailored for the user, which means that the Grokker user experience their own interests and preferences by “loving” specific videos. This is perfect for me who has a tendency to get distracted by things that are of no interest to me. I just want to get things done and find what I am looking for without having to navigate and sort through a lot of unwanted information.

So for those of you looking to find the best videos as well as awesome instructions, give this site a go and save yourself the hassle of looking in a million different places for the information. They have it all in one place!!

If you would like more information, you can learn more about them {{HERE}}...







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This sponsorship is brought to you by Grokker.com who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Communion and Christening Candy Bar Wrappers




It's almost that time of year again! You know, where Every. Single. Weekend is completely booked with religious occasions such as communions. I myself have three weekend filled with them as of right now, so I know that I'm not alone in this.

I'm completely aware that in no time at all my girls too an eventually baby boy, will be making their First Holy Communion and I will have to plan and prepare a celebration for afterwards. Which brings me to the topic of this weeks post,  which happens to be in about candy bar favors for such occasions or more specifically Communion Candy bar wrappers. I have sold these in my Etsy shop for some time now, but a of recently I have been getting a lot of requests for different colors, patterns etc. So I added a few options for people to be able to see.

The front of the wrapper has room for customization such as name and date of the event. The back of the wrapper offers options to include Church name, time, date, parents names and the Godparents names. If other information would like to added I am able to do that as well. Here are a few of the newer options I added....


















These can be used as a favor for just about any religious event. So far the most popular ways they are used is Christenings and communions. A picture of the child is added and can be in black and white or color. Most if not all patterns can be colored to whatever you would like and if you do not see the pattern that you are looking for chances are I have in somewhere, so please if you don't see if just ask me!

They print out on a standard sheet of 8-1/2x11 sheet of paper and come two wrappers per sheet. They can be printed at home or uploaded to a local print shop. Using the basic paper option (24lb) they cost as little as $0.79 per sheet which brings the cost of the wrapper to approx $0.30 per wrapper.

They wrap around a standard Hershey's Bar, which  can be purchased at about $0.50 each. making the cost of the favor very feasible if you are working with a budget. And seriously folks, wouldn't you be happier with a bar of yummy chocolate, than some of the favors I see floating about in the Internets, I know for me I do not need another crystal cut oval picture frame or a candy dish to shove into the closet of "Never Gonna Use" which also is slang for right in the trash can, I'm  just being honest! It's just something to consider!

Either way I hope you enjoy and thank you for stopping by! If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section of contact me through my Etsy Shop {{HERE}}

Thanks and keep creating!



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Friday, April 4, 2014

Miniature Lemon Sunshine Sandwich Cookies




Whenever I think of lemons, images of colorful Spring, sunshiney days come to mind. And since it is Spring (IS it really though???)  I decided to bake up some  little lemony sunshine of my own.

Miniature Lemon Sunshine Sandwich Cookies, I know it's a mouthful, but whatev's they are good, tiny and delicious!

Lemon jut imparts a bit of sweetness into any day! These are perfect as a treat or a gift!


Check out the full recipe as I guest post over at Bake It Up a Notch today!!





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Friday, March 28, 2014

Lucky Spring for YOU!!

I cannot even begin to explain how terrible this winter was and how incredible thrilled I am that it is almost over!! Maybe it's because of  me having three small children literally trapped in the house for months clawing at the walls, drooling on the windows wanting so badly to play outside. Or maybe it's because we all just seemed to pass one form of illness on to the next for the past few months, or that it has been cold and snowy....

Whatever...I guess it comes with the season. But at least it's almost over. I can smell spring just on the edge of each gusty March wind and am counting down the seconds until the Sun shines warmly on my skin. With a new season almost upon us what better way to celebrate that with a giveaway!

A cash giveaway. I bet there is a ton of stuff  $1100.00 could purchase. Good LUCK, and I hope it's a lucky spring for you!!!




These large cash giveaways would not be possible without an amazing group of bloggers and small businesses who contribute. They include: Spaceships and Laser Beams, Vintage ConfectionsTania Fischer DesignThis Little MamaMade by a PrincessMighty DelightyDesigned by Dawn NicoleYumtasticsFrench PemberleySamantha Walker LLCJellyfish PrintsYoung Adult MoneyA-Manda CreationBellaArtista InvitationsSugar Co.BellaGrey DesignsParty PatisserieA Wife A Mom A LifeBabies ArtroomPiece of CakeKristeNicole PhotographyHousekeeping Services of Hilton HeadThe Storybook ShoppeSeshalyn PartiesBest BirthdaysCustomized Wedding CreationsFantabulosityGiggles and Grace DesignsMagical Vacations by TracyOne Swell StudioEat It & Say YumWise Owl ShopReality To DreamsSugar Sugar CakesUR InvitedTutus & Bowties EventsBe Envied Entertaining and Child Go GoAnd that's not all! To see the entire list check out the Rafflecopter form below!

$1100 Thank Goodness It's Spring Cash Giveaway
March 27, 2014 at 11:59PM toApril 21, 2014 at 11:59PM
Open Worldwide

PRIZE: One winner will receive $1100 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, April 21, 2014 at 11:59PM. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to report to and adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country or territory where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must have a PayPal account to receive it. The winner also must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. Please ensure that  spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win! Running short on time? Come back as often as you like to finish the form and maximize your chances of winning the big prize.







 
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Now and Then...a Friday Flashback.

Did you ever have a day when your ability to draw/pipe/create anything beyond a cup of coffee is just off and all you can muster is a few shameful bits of creativity that amount to just about nothing?? A day in which you wonder why you ever try to do anything in the first place? A day when you feel less than, not good enough and never gonna be good enough so WHY am I even bothering?

Although I am quite confident in myself a times, I do also have moments when my own version of self doubt rears her impeccable self and starts up with her incessant chitter chatter in my head. Through the years I have been able to keep her at bay and learned to ignore that part of my negative self, but unfortunate sometime she comes out at the most random of times flipping her perfectly coiffed hair about out and is just a snarky  b*tch.

I haven't been feeling to well as of late. This winter has reeked havoc in our household in regards to us all passing one illness along to the next like a game of toss.  And one thing I know is that when I feel off either, mentally, emotionally, physically or even spiritually; an opening always presents itself and a darker version of myself walks through.

The voice of self doubt.



I have been going over old photos and old projects that I did when I first started writing this blog a little over three years ago. It's funny that sometimes all you need is a little space and time in between where you once were to where you are to see how much you've grown and that is tangible evidence that has the capacity to shove that self doubt back into the darkness. I have improved in so many areas and I just wanted to show you all what happens when you keep doing something you enjoy!

This was one of my first Royal Icing ventures it was a set of Darth Vader cupcake toppers I made for a friend. I really didn't understand consistency at that time and they came out really bobby with no real definition......can you tell??? The photo is a real gem too ;) I didn't understand photo composition so much then, an just took photos to record what I had done.


Fast forward a few years and with a few projects under my belt and this is what I was able to do. This is one of my all time favorite sets. Notice the correct lighting, no flash photography here! And no head on shots, everything is set o a bit off centered and angled about, which in my humble opinion is much more interesting to the eye.


Here is another newer cookie done with Royal Icing. I was able to use a stencil in this as well, something I would have never been able to do when I first started!!



Since I am already mentioning my less than stellar photography skills, which have gotten much better, I though I would include a few "Then" and 'Now" pictures. As you will see my photography skills have  definitely improved as time has gone on. This is a picture of some cupcakes I made a long, long time ago. I didn't know much a bout anything, not that I do now, but I am also pretty sure that flash (shudder) was on. No background , boring old plain counter top. nothing to entice the eye.


Now these are photos of more recent cupcakes I have made. I'm thinking that these look about a million and four times better than the above photos. The foreground is interesting and keeps the eyes focused on the subject matter, so the eye circles the picture rather than floating off to the next interesting thing it finds.


Here are my character cupcakes.....again terrible photo, with a flash, the colors are wrong and the photo is blurry.


This is another photo done later on....still not the best, but getting much better. Color is corrected and no flash.


Getting better, at least I am adding in more visual interest.


Then...


A bit closer to now...


Here is one of my "first" cakes All piping, my hand was killing me!! An I'm sure you can notice that awesome flash photography again!!


This is one of my more updated cakes. I was able to pick up a few new techniques in the past few years!!


Sine I am mentioning all of the other counterparts of my creative side, I want to share the newest part of my journey. On this baking journey of mine I discovered a passion for creating fun printables. This was one of my first digital printable I ever made. Very simple, to the point and perfect for where I was at that time creative wise. It was also what the above Snow white cupcake was based on.


But, because I kept at it and didn't stop because I thought everyone was so much talented then me, I was able to push past my own personal barriers and create this.


and this....


and this.....


and  I can't forget this one :)


Just a few of my favorites <3


As I wrote and re-read this post that voice of self doubt has withered away into the darkness it belongs in.This post is now a reminder to myself myself that the joy is in the journey and oftentimes so is the discovery. If anyone told me a few years back what I would be capable of creating. I don't think I would have believed it.

So if you have a passion for something...keep at it as what I have learned is sometimes the passion is so great that it overshadows the initial talent, but in time they join forces and begin to collaborate in order for wonderful things to come forth!

Tell me please, where are you on your own creative journey?????






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