Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Laker Basketball Gift Wrap

I wrapped a Laker themed baby gift in Laker themed wrapping paper. Using yellow wrapping paper with some yellow and purple ribbon - screams "Lakers." But I also added some basketball beads on the ends of the thin ribbon and added some foam basketballs that I had left over from other craft projects.

Here is a photo of the Laker themed baby gift inside. What Laker fan wouldn't love this baby gift?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baseball Treats - Sunflower Seed Tubes

I made these tubes from the wedding aisle party favor section at Michael's. Yes, I did use a coupon! However, the tubes needed to be assembled - so that took about half an hour!

This is what the box looked like. I saved the bows to use on another project. Instead I put baseball themed stickers on the top of my sunflower seed tubes. The stickers also came from Michael's.

The party favor kit made twenty tubes and I bought two big bags of sunflower seeds at Ralph's and they filled all twenty tubes perfectly. We have twelve boys on the team - so I will pass out the other tubes to coaches and siblings.

This was a really easy treat to make! I was thinking about going back to Michael's and getting another box of these tubes to use for Easter candy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tag Your It! Handbag Gift Tags!

I made some gift tags out of extra scrapbook paper. FYI - I do not scrapbook.! I buy scrapbook paper for various craft projects and I always end up buying extra paper! I also love stickers, ribbon, rhinestones, beads and buttons.

On the back of the tag there is plenty of room to write the to/from and "Happy Birthday" or "Thank You." To get the silver beaded ribbon to stick neatly on the back of the tag - I just used two small beads of glue from my hot glue gun.

I just made two simple patterns out of triangles and started cutting out coordinating papers. I used double stick tape to tape the small triangle to the large triangle, But you could make your purses in a rectangle or oval shape. Use your imagination!

I used some adhesive rhinestones to decorate the front of each purse.  To make the handles I used a silver beaded ribbon. You can also buy this ribbon in gold beads or pearls.

On the above purses I glue gunned a little decorative button.  These tags will look adorable on your wrapped gifts or you can make a batch to give to a friend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cross Cookies

Last night we did the Stations of the Cross in our sixth grade Bible study class. What treat to make? I made Cross cookies. Although it took me a while to find my Cross cookie cutter. I found it with my Easter cookie cutters. Why didn't I look there first?

I used Martha Stewart's sugar cookie recipe. I used her recipe in my Pink Swirl Cookie post. I rolled out the dough and cut out the Crosses. Then I pressed a long lollipop stick under the Cross and pressed the dough lightly around the lollipop stick.

I used melted chocolate and colorful sprinkles to decorate the cookies.  Lately I have been using melted chocolate the frost the cookies - melted chocolate dries really fast. The cookies must be gently removed from the cookie sheet so that they stay on the lollipop stick.

Once everything was dry - I packaged them in little bags and tied with ribbon. And placed them in a basket!

The kids loved the treats! And they did a great job with that Stations of the Cross!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Strawberry Carrots or Carrot Strawberries

These are so easy to make and scream "Spring."

And today is the first day of "Spring!" Happy Springtime!

Wash and dry your strawberries. Choose strawberries that have a generous green stem.

Now place a toothpick in the center of the stem and using basic kitchen twine tie the stem to the toothpick.

Now dip the strawberries into some melted orange chocolate. Place the strawberries on parchment paper to dry. Once they are completely dry you can remove the toothpicks and fluff out the stems.

These would also be fun to serve after Easter dinner. Serve these strawberries within twenty-four hours.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pink Swirl Cookies

I am going to make these again. I was so frustrated rolling the two colors of dough together. And my dough did not roll easily in the sprinkles. I ended up pressing the sprinkles in by flatting the dough into the sprinkles - then making it into a roll shape again.  At one point I was going to throw the whole thing away and start over.

I used Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookie Recipe - I have been talking/writing about trying her sugar cookie recipe for months. Perhaps I should have used another sugar cookie recipe. I don't know....


2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pink gel food coloring
1 cup pastel colored sprinkles


Whisk flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy. With mixer running add the egg, milk and vanilla until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until well combined.

Take the dough out of the bowl and divide in half. Add 1/2 of the dough back into the bowl and mix with a few drops of Wilton pink gel food coloring.

Now I rolled each color out and placed between parchment paper on a cookie sheet in the fridge for about and hour. Now I am thinking that I should have made two disks. And rolled out afterward. Live and learn.

After an hour I tried to get the two colors off of the parchment paper. The dough was too hard by that time.

I placed the two colors of dough on top of each other and cut the excess away with a sharp knife. Then I slowly started to roll the colors together.

Then I rolled the dough in sprinkles. Helpful hint - put the sprinkles in a shallow pan so that they don't get all over your kitchen. We have all had the sprinkle everywhere problem at least once! Right?

Roll the sprinkled dough into a piece of plastic wrap and place back into the refrigerator for at least one hour.

After an hour you can slice and bake!  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and slice the cookies into 1/4 inch slices. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

The swirl did not come out perfect because I flattened the roll during my sprinkle frustration. I am going to Google swirl cookie recipes and read each one for hints and tips!

These would be a wonderful spring/Easter cookie. Check back next week for a perfect swirl cookie recipe.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Rainbow Treats

This is a really easy treat to make - especially on the last minute!

This is so easy - you just need a few store bought items.

I bought the pretzel bags and ribbon at Michael's and the rainbow colored Airhead Extremes and gold chocolate coins at Walgreens. However, you could use Rainbow Twizzlers or individually packaged Rolo's. Be creative!

These make cute  Saint Patrick's Day party favors, treats for the team or neighbors. And I must end this post with another Irish Blessing. Because who doesn't love an Irish Blessing?

May God be with you and bless you. May you see your children's children. May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings. May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.  - Irish Wedding Blessing

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rainbow Oreo Lollipops

I made some rainbow Oreo lollipops because Saturday is my day to bring treats for the baseball team and that is Saint Patrick's Day! I made the treats even though they predict rain.

Melt some white chocolate and dip the very top of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate and carefully wedge it into a Double-Stuff Oreo.

Once the lollipop sticks have set (about five minutes) you can dip the Oreo's into melted white chocolate and lay them on parchment paper to dry.

Once the white chocolate  is completely dry - start piping the rainbow lines. 

I started with some red lines. You can use red icing, or melted chocolate tinted red. I used red chocolate - I melted a few tablespoons in the microwave and put it in a plastic zipper bag and twisted the chocolate to the bottom and cut a small hole. This is how I piped each color.

I wish I had a steadier hand when piping small and intricate designs.

Once I piped all of my rainbow colors - I put a small glob of white chocolate at the end of the rainbow so that I could add the gold sprinkles.  Once everything was dry I packaged in a plastic bag and tied with a green ribbon.

Now comes the fun part! The display! I put a piece of Styrofoam at the bottom of my green basket and covered it with green Easter grass and placed my lollipops in the grass.

I use this green basket every year for St. Patrick's Day!

Although I am making these for St. Patrick's Day - they could also be made for a Religion class to reinforce a Noah's Ark lesson.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pi Day is Delicious

I offered to make pies for my son's math class to celebrate Pi Day - March 14th. I was going to make bite size chocolate pies. But his teacher emailed me that the treats cannot be homemade - they must be store bought and individually packaged.  Huh? This is not his teacher's rule - it is the school policy. So I made some mini Hershey bars with a Pi joke.  Get it? "Pi(e) is Delicious."

I just used some yellow wrapping paper and white sticker labels to make these "Pi" themed candy bars.

It didn't take very long to make these - I cut the yellow papers to size, and wrote out the labels while I was watching the tennis matches from Indian Wells on television.  Maria Sharapova is my favorite tennis player.

And I am buying 40 hot apple pies  from McDonald's - they are individually boxed. I could not find a bakery that would individually package 40 mini pies on such short notice. After calling several bakeries, I woke up this morning with my McDonald's idea! I get my best ideas while asleep.

The hot apple pie is only .50 a box! I am sure that I would be paying more then that from a bakery. Not that I mind - because I offered and I was going to follow the rules.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A.R.K. Acts of Random Kindness

My girlfriend and I went to the laundrymat today. No not to do laundry - we both have laundry rooms in our homes. We went to leave quarters on all of the machines. It was one of our Lenten projects.

I will post a few more Random Acts of Kindness ideas in the next few weeks - so keep checking back. And if you have an idea that you would like to share - please leave a comment!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Decorations

I thought you might like to see some of my St. Patrick's Day decorations! I love small holidays where no one expects much! Notice the gold chocolate coins - the leprechauns sprinkled them around my house. Apparently they don't know that I gave up chocolate for Lent.

This is my special shamrock platter. It looks like the leprechauns have also decorated my platter and dining room table.

I am going to make some fun rainbow treats this week - so keep checking back and tell the room mom in your classroom or the team mom about this blog if you think they would enjoy the crafts and recipes.

I would also love it if you would leave a comment!

Lucky stars above you, sunshine on your way. Many friends to love you, joy in work and play. Laughter to outweigh each care. In your heart a song and gladness waiting everywhere, all your whole life long.

Irish Blessing