Monday, April 29, 2013

Pretty Pink Piñata's

I made some Pretty Pink Piñata's to send to Noelle - she can pass them out to her friends on Cinco de Mayo. I made them out of snow cone holders. But you could use Dixie Cups! I might use Dixie Cups if I make them for Christian's basketball team. I think they are playing on Cinco de Mayo. I will have to check with him - to see if he thinks it would be okay. I don't want to be embarrassing!

To make these Pretty Pinata's you will need:

Snow cone holders

Scrapbook paper





Glue gun

Crepe paper in coordinating color

Thin ribbon in coordinating color

Rhinestone sticker


Trace a pattern with  paper to cover the snow cone holder.

Using the pattern trace onto your scrapbook paper. Cut out the pattern and using transparent tape attach the scrapbook paper to the snow cone holder.  They now look like pretty little party hats.

Fill one party hat with candy and tape the top party hat onto the candy filled party hat

Cut a a yard of crepe paper and fold it into a three inch piece and make little cuts about 3/4 of the way up with sharp scissors.

Unravel the crepe paper and heat up your glue gun.

Glue the crepe paper over the area where the snow cone holders meet.

Glue a piece of ribbon on the top of the crepe paper and add a little rhinestone sticker.

These can be customized to fit any party or sports theme. I find so many beautiful  sheets of scrapbook paper. And scrapbook paper often is on sale.

Crepe paper comes in every color of the rainbow and is super inexpensive. It would also be fun to use two different colors of crepe paper for this project.

These Pinatas can be made for the classroom, sports team or a party favor or your Cinco de Mayo party! They take awhile to make - so start making them this week - if you plan on making a large amount.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Basketball Treats for the Team

I made some basketball treats for Christian's basketball team. We love basketball at our house. Christian loves the Lakers. Unfortunately they lost last night by 31 points. Ouch! However, I wanted to tell you that these treats would also make cute party favors if you are going to host an NBA playoff party.

For this project you will need:

Large bag of cheese balls

3 x 5 " bags

Scrapbook paper



Individually packaged "Wet Wipes"



Fill the cheese balls 2/3 of the way to the top of the plastic bag. I bought a huge tub of cheddar cheese balls at Target. Don't they look like little basketballs? Then cut a little piece of scrapbook paper and fold it in half. Staple the scrapbook paper onto the top of the plastic bag.

Then make a little label. I decided to write "swoosh" on my labels.

I just quickly wrote the labels because - we were going out and I didn't have enough time to reset the printer. It just took a minute to handwrite 10 labels.

On the back of each cheese ball bag - I taped an individually packaged wash and dry. Cheese balls coat your fingers with orange powder!

In addition to the cheese ball bags - I bought each of the boys a tube of Gatorade Energy Chews.

I hope these treats ideas inspire you to make some fun treats for your child's team! Leave me a comment if you have any questions. And I will love you forever if you sign up to be a follower.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dining Room Redo

A few years ago after a tennis match Sandee and I toured a home for sale. They used the best colors to decorate this home. The dining room was white and navy blue and we both loved it

My dining room has a chair rail and underneath the chair rail it was painted red. My painter used a grey primer and painted three coats of red.  Since my dining room is open to the living room and my living room is open to my family room and my family room is open to the kitchen - I have little red accents in each room for the past ten years.

The red looks great with so many holiday themes. Christmas, Valentine's Day and of course 4th of July! I still love the red and if I ever have a home with a library - I am going to paint the walls red and have the shelves painted white.

The red looks wonderful with the white dining in room table - but like I said earlier - it has been TEN years.

Lately I have grown tired of the red. So I decided to have underneath the chair rail painted navy blue. I love it so much! Now I needed to fix up the chairs by removing the red and white polka dot fabric. Underneath the red and white polka dot fabric was the red and cream toile fabric. And now I have a blue and white gingham. My fingers are a mess after removing hundreds of upholstery staples.

What do you think of my new navy blue dining room? I absolutely love it! I have been spending an unbelievable amount of time looking for blue accessories. It is fun to freshen up for spring.

Blue and white is a classic combination - it will never really go out of style.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Yesterday I was watching the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and Ina made A Blueberry Crumble Cake. It looked fantastic. So today I made it! When I looked the recipe up on her website - it noted what cookbook each recipe was from. I have all of her cookbooks!

The recipe was from the "Barefoot Contessa At Home ." I found the recipe on page 230. Her cookbooks are really wonderful.


For the Streusel - 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 stick of butter, melted

1 1/3 cups flour

For the Cake -

6 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

3/4 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan. I did not have a 9-inch baking pan. I do however, have at least 4 pans that are 8-inch. So I used a 9-inch springform pan.

In a small bowl combine the Streusel ingredients. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the melted butter and then add the flour. Mix well until it forms a crumbly mixture - set aside.

Now start making the cake! Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. I seriously couldn't live without it. And it is so easy to clean. I despise cleaning my food processor.

Reduce the speed and add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream.

In another bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the flour mixture to the batter until the batter is just combined.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Then sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve by cutting into wedges.

I really love a streusel topping!

My husband doesn't like blueberries and he even liked this cake. He told me it tasted store-bought. Really? That was the best compliment you could give?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sombrero Cookies - perfect for Cinco de Mayo

I am actually going to make homemade Churro's for Cinco de Mayo - but I am having a hard time finding the large star tip that I need to make the ridges. So meanwhile I decided to make some Sombrero cookies.

 For years I have seen these Sombrero cookies in magazines and all over the internet. So today while I was cutting sugar dough into circles to make basketballs - I also decided to make some Sombreros.

To make these Sombrero's you will need -

Round sugar cookies - homemade or store-bought

1 cup of white frosting - homemade or store-bought

rainbow colored sprinkles

white gumdrops


Spread the sugar cookie with a thin layer of white frosting. Using a small spoon sprinkle the outside edge with the rainbow sprinkles.

Dip the gumdrop into the frosting and then into the sprinkles. Place the gumdrop into the center of the cookie.

Tip: pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl.

These would be fun to serve for dessert on Taco night! They don't just have to be for Cinco de Mayo! And they are so simple to make - your kids can make them!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Homemade Baked Banana Chips

I love Banana Chips! I noticed several recipes for Banana Chips on Pinterest. However, since these are baked instead of fried they have a chewy texture instead of a crunchy texture.  Your kids will probably like the texture - it will remind them of a fruit roll up.

You only need two ingredients - bananas and lemon juice. I used two bananas and one lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Thinly slice your bananas and spread them out on a baking sheet.

Make sure that none of the bananas are touching.  Then using a pastry brush - gently coat each banana slice with the lemon juice. Bake for 2 to 3 hours. After they have baked - let them sit out and hardened for a few hours.

I never stored these! They were gone before I could find a jar or tupperware container. They would be a fun addition to a trail mix or to decorate the top of a banana bread.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Living Room Redo - I was Feeling a Little Blue

Yes, I am in love with the color Blue! I just changed a few accessories in my Living Room and it has created a fresh new look!

Here are the before pictures -

They say that paint is an inexpensive way to update a room.  I think that by changing a a pillow, plant pot and a few other small items is another way to change the look of a room.   I also think that a clean and uncluttered room is a comfortable room.

And here are the after pictures -

As you can see - I don't like clutter.  You can really make a room look fresh by clearing out the clutter. I am always making Goodwill bags.

The living room is directly across from the dining room. I will post the dining room redecorating pictures this week. The dining redecorating project sparked the living room, family room and kitchen redecorating projects. Actually they are just little color tweaks.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Special Lemon Bars

A few days ago I posted Paula Deen's Lemon Bar recipe - on 4/3/13. These were perfect - not sugar cavity sweet - but also not to sour! But what I loved the most about them was how perfect I cut them without any messy edges.  I despise messy edges. So today I decided to cut the lemon bars with a round cookie cutter and guess what? They cut perfect!

I simply used my round cookie cutter, and cut some long strips of lemon zest and some thin lemon rounds for decorations.

 These would be wonderful to make for a special dessert.  They could also be cut into hearts or triangles.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


This recipe is so easy. I change it up a little each time I make it! You can use any type of tomato (roma, cherry, heirloom etc.) I often use white onion but if I only have red onion I use that! Substitutions are so easy with a bruschetta recipe.


2 cups finely chopped tomato

1 cloves of garlic, minced 

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup roughly chopped basil

salt and pepper to taste


1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup goat cheese


Combine the tomato, garlic, onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and salt an pepper in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut he baguette into 1/2 inch slices and lay place the slices on a cookie sheet.  Brush each slice with a little olive oil. Bake for 4 minutes.

Remove from the oven.

Sprinkle each baguette with goat cheese. Bake another 4 minutes.

Remove from the oven and spread the goat cheese. over the baguette.

Now you can top each baguette with the bruschetta mixture and place them on a serving platter. Or put the bruschetta mixture in a bowl with a spoon and place the toasted baguettes around the bowl.

Such a fresh Springtime recipe!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Bucket List

1.  Work on Serve and Volley (Tennis)

2.  Host a Springtime Dinner Party

3.  Make French Onion Soup in Honor of the French Open (Done 5/26/13)

4.  Visit Farmers Market

5.  Make Strawberry Shortcake

6.  Go to an Angel Game (Done 4/13/13)

7.  Plant Hydrangeas in the backyard

8. Plant a Herb garden

9. Redecorate Christian's room (Done)

10. Make Spring Rolls

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Made Paula Deen's Lemon Bars - Fantastic Recipe!

I loved this recipe it was easy and delicious! I will make this recipe again and again.

Before I start the recipe - I must share one of my pet peeves- and that is when lasagna and brownies do not cut into perfect squares. These lemon bars cut easily into perfect squares! When you serve  these at your own home or bring them to a party - you want them to look nice without messy jagged edges. Do you see how straight and perfect the edges are in the above picture? Perfection!



2 cups flour

1 cup confectioner's sugar

pinch of  salt

2 sticks of butter, at room temperature


4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

6 tablespoons of flour

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon zest


1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan - I use the butter wrappers to grease the pan. Make the crust by combining flour, confectioner's sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and combine until the mixture resembles a crumbly mixture.

Press the crumbly mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking - you can start making the filling. Mix the eggs, granulated sugar,  flour, lemon juice and zest in a medium sized bowl.

Pour the lemon mixture over the baked crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and let the lemon bars set for a few hours before cutting into squares.

I love Paula Deen! And her recipes are awesome! Try this lemon bar recipe you won't be disappointed.