Saturday, August 29, 2015

S'more Desserts in Little Jars

A few weeks ago on vacation we had an awesome s'more dessert in jar. So a few weeks ago I made some little s'more jars for a pool party and the boys loved them! 

The jars had 4 layers:

1. graham craver crumbs mixed with a little butter

2. chocolate pudding

3. marshmallow fluff

4. mini chocolate chips and broken pieces of graham crackers

The layers look really pretty from the side. 

I added a little label on the top of each jar!

Extra tip - when I was filling the jars I set them on a dish towel so that the crumbs and pudding didn't get all over my counter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

School Bus Made with Popsicle Sticks For Meals on Wheels

 I made 50 school buses for a Meals on Wheels September party favor. These would be cute to make for a back-to-school party! I also think they would make fun decorations for teacher appreciation week.

Supply List:

jumbo popsicle sticks

small popsicle sticks

yellow paint

foam paint brush

glue gun

glue sticks

large rhinestone


thick black scrapbook paper

circle cutter

Exacto knife

black Sharpie pen


Paint all of the popsicle sticks that you will be using. Each school bus needs 4 jumbo popsicle sticks and 4 small popsicle sticks.

I found the jumbo sticks and small sticks at Michael's. 

Since I was making 50 buses - I had to paint a ton of popsicle sticks.

I paint while I watch my favorite television shows.

While the popsicle sticks were drying - I used a circle cutter and cut out all of the wheels. Using an Exacto knife make a small hole in the center of the circle and add the brad.

The first step is to hot glue 3 jumbo sticks together. 

Turn the jumbo sticks over and glue the four small sticks - yellow side facing down.

Once the four sticks have set turn the popsicle sticks back over.

The final steps are to add the large rhinestone to the middle jumbo popsicle stick. Glue on a jumbo popsicle stick to the top of the small popsicle sticks. Using a black Sharpie pen write school bus or the name of your school. And finally glue the wheels on the bottom jumbo popsicle stick.

Once I made 50 of these buses - over a three day period. I needed to take a little break.

I am going to label and package these buses next week. Hopefully I will remember to take photos of the packaging!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Backyard BBQ Photos

Okay - last week we had some friends over for a Backyard BBQ! Unfortunately the only pictures I took were of the table with candles and flowers and a few appetizers.  I get caught up in conversations and giving my husband the kabobs to grill.

I love eating dinner outside.

I have been making olive tapenade all summer - my husband loves olives! 

I serve the olive tapenade with toasted baguette slices.

The other appetizer I always serve is hummus with celery and warm naan. My husband also loves hummus. 

I wish I had additional photos! Maybe next time!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Backyard BBQ Menu

Tomorrow we have some friends coming over for a backyard BBQ.  So here is my easy and make ahead menu! I will try to remember to take some photos tomorrow!


olive tapenade (made a few hours ago)

hummus (store bought)


spinach strawberry salad (will make dressing in the morning)

chicken and vegetable kabobs (chicken is marinating in fridge)

twice baked potatoes (did the first step a few hours ago)


key lime pie (will make in the morning)

watermelon cake (if I have time)


beer, wine, ice tea, soda

We are going out in a little bit - but if we get home early enough I might even make the salad dressing and key lime pie later on tonight.

Fingers crossed that I can post some pics!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ugly Sweater Christmas Ornaments

I felt like crafting! So I started making Christmas ornaments. Christmas in July is the official name for this!

Supply List:


fabric pen


embroidery thread

embroidery needle


fabric glue


wire tweezers

wire cutters


Make a little shirt pattern and start tracing the shirt pattern on to felt.

Start cutting out the shirts with sharp scissors. 

Each ornament needs 2 felt shirts and a wire hanger.

Using a piece of wire - twist into a hanger shape that fits the shape of your shirt. I only had red wire - but silver or black wire would have looked better. 

The hangers were really simple to make.  It might help to make a hanger template on a pice of paper and use that to make all of teenagers the same size.

Using a contrasting embroidery thread sew the two shirts together with the hanger included. 

Using some Christmas themed stickers and little rhinestones. Add some fabric glue and embellish the felt sweaters.

The more little embellishments added make the sweater look "uglier." These are so fun to make! I am thinking packaging up 3 or 5 sweaters about giving them for hostess gifts. I also like to bring everyone an ornament - whenever I go to holiday lunches.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Watermelon, Feta and Fig Salad

Today after some humid tennis - I mean I was sweating profusely after about 5 minutes of play. I decided to make my favorite refreshing salad.

This salad is so simple to make and can be made in less then 10 minutes.



olive oil

salt and pepper

watermelon cut into cubes

feta cheese cut into cubes

figs sliced in half

balsamic vinegar


Toss a few handfuls of arugula with a small drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scatter the dressed arugula onto a rectangle shaped plate.

On top of the arugula - add the watermelon and feta in a checkerboard type pattern. Add the figs along the outside of the pattern. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.

This salad is so delicious and light. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Farmer's Market Chopped Veggie Salad

I am obsessed with chopped salads. I have been making chopped veggie salads every week since mid June!  I can add them to a pasta or an orzo salad. But my favorite way to serve them is over a bed of lightly dressed arugula.

There is no recipe for this salad - I often just chop what ever veggies I have. This veggie salad has green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrots, radish, cucumber, green onion and some chives.

I actually had some celery and red onion and I didn't have enough room in my serving bowl! 

Since I have been making so many chopped salads - I invested in a chopper. I bought the Sharper Image chopper from Bed Bath and Beyond (with a coupon!). 

Everything tastes better in the summer and even better if you can eat outdoor! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shark Week Sugar Cookies

Every year during Shark Week I make Shark cookies.

The shark cookie cutter is from Sur la Table.

My sugar cookie recipe made so many sharks!

I frosted each shark with a little melted white chocolate and coated it with blue sanding sugar. So easy! I actually ran out of blue sugar and white chocolate and I still have 50 more sharks to decorate!

Shark week cookies = who ha ha!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Red, White and Blue Bracelet

I crafted today while I watched Wimbledon, I made these cute little bracelets to celebrate the 4th of July. Each bracelet took about 45 minutes to make.

Supply List:

waxed linen cord

jewelry glue

beads in red, white and blue

large jewelry clasps




Cut the waxed linen into 9 inch pieces.

The waxed linen cord is in the beading section.

I bought both the waxed linen and jewelry clasps at Michael's. 

Using your jewelry glue - add a glob into the larger end of the clasp and put about 7 to 9 pieces of the waxed linen cord into the clasp.

Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry - then spread the linen out like an octopus and start randomly beading.

The wax will hold the beads in place. I happened to have some red, white and blue beads - left over from when I made the Flag pins for Meals on Wheels. But I also bought some crystal beads in two different shapes at Hobby Lobby.

Once each strand has 15 to 20 beads in any random pattern - cut the wax cord into a 7 or 7 1/2 inch length. Then add a glob of glue to the other side of the clasp and add all of the beaded cords into the glue.

Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry and your bracelet is complete. 

 The waxed linen cord also comes in black and I was thinking with orange and black beads for a Halloween bracelet.

Happy 4th of July! God Bless America.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Olive Tapenade - Napa Inspired

My husband loves olives! So today I made him some homemade Olive Tapenade. This is so simple to make - it invokes a little minimal chopping and pulsing in a food processor.  And he loved it!


1/2 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red vine vinegar

 6 ounce can green olives, well drained

6 ounce can black olives, well drained

1/4 cup fresh basil, lightly packed

salt and pepper to taste


Place shallots, sundered tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar into a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped and well combined. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper. Pulse again until everything is well combined and finely chopped.

Place the tapenade into a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for a least 1 hour or overnight.

Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. The perfect summer appetizer to serve at your next BBQ.