Monday, March 22, 2010

Go Fly A Kite!

I mean that in the nicest way!

My little one's preschool teacher asked if I would come in one day to do a Spring art project with the class. Well, guess what?!? Today was the day!

I had been thinking for a while now about what would be a good Spring art project that would keep 3 and 4 year olds interested and would appeal to both boys and girls. I was racking my brain when it hit me this Saturday. My family, along with my mom and my sister's family all went on a picnic in a park in Sleepy Hollow. I'll elaborate more on that tomorrow but in the meantime this is what inspired me....


my brother-in-law trying to fly a kite!

Ding ding ding!! A kite would be a great project. We could decorate and assemble the kites in class and then all the kids can go outside and run around and watch them fly.

I found an incredibly easy kite project online. I made a sample yesterday just to test it out first.


Pretty simple to make and the weather was perfect yesterday so it even flew! Mind you, that was yesterday.

The template and instructions for this easy kite are located here, but this is what we used:

I cut out the kite shape from the template using regular printer paper. I brought in Spring themed stamps so the kids could decorate both sides of the kite. They also used crayons to make their own designs.



I had them choose what color they wanted for the tail from the curling ribbons I brought in.


I also used embroidery floss (but you can use any string) to assemble the rest of it.


The kids were excited when they saw their completed kite.

I was excited too until I looked out the window and saw the rain coming down!!

Note to self: check the weather forecast before doing art projects with preschoolers!

Or at least come equipped with candy. It's always a quick diversion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

After The Storm

This weekend in NYC, there was a big rain and wind storm. I didn't even leave my apartment all day Saturday. Our apartment even sprung a leak in my girls' room. It was crazy!!

Yesterday, I went with my little one's preschool class on their first field trip. It was an exciting adventure to the post office. Woo Hoo!! Each kid wrote (more like scribbled) a letter so they would each have something to mail. On the walk over, we saw lots of trees that were knocked down from the storm. The kids were amazed! I was also! Didn't realize just how strong those winds were.

On my drive back to my apartment after the field trip, I couldn't find a parking spot, but I did find this...


I had to get out of my car and take some pics. This is right near one of the playgrounds my girls like to play in.


So crazy!!


So glad no one was hurt.

When I lived in Florida, we were always worried about trees coming through our house during all of those hurricanes.

Do you live in a stormy area? What have you seen in your neighborhood?

By the way, I never did find a spot. Ended up going to Target instead!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sweet Treat For St. Patty's Day

In case you haven't checked your calendar lately, this coming Wednesday, March 17th is St. Patrick's Day. Why do I like this holiday? Not for the drinking (not big on alcohol - especially beer), not for the corned beef and cabbage (eeew!), but for the green. I love seeing eveyone dressed up in green! All shades of it. Well almost all. I don't even know what the offical shade is called - maybe pastel green, but it's that green shade that comes in a pack of pastel printer paper. I could definitely live without that one! Otherwise, it's my favorite color.

Another reason I like it is beacause of these personalized chocolate bars.


Chocolate pretty much goes with any holiday. I'm an authorized consultant for Cherubs-n-Chocolate. They have hundreds of preprinted wrapper designs just waiting for a personalized message to be printed on them. Just like this one...


These little guys are so popular because they can be given as party favors (I use them all the time for my girls' parties), thank you's, birth announcements, giveaways at trade shows, weddings and more. I'll do a whole separate post on this another time but today I just want to focus on the green ones.

If you are having a party or need something fun to give out at your office or school, I can definitely help you out. Or if you own or manage a bar or restaurant, this would be a great handout for your customers. You can even have a coupon printed on the back for their next visit. See, always thinking ahead! While I am working on setting up a new shopping cart, feel free to just e-mail me at for orders or more info. There's a minimum order of 12 bars and they are $2.25 each. Such a deal!

Do you have anything special you do to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Barbie!

Today is Barbie's birthday. 51 never looked so good!

I made this cake back in September for my daughter's 6th birthday party. It was all about Barbie!

Barbie Cake

I wonder if Barbie would like it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Curl Talk - Fear of The Fuzz


There are so many issues that go along with having curly hair, but one of the biggest is the fear of the fuzz. We try endless ways to keep the fuzz to a minimum - using different products, trying different styling methods, and most important...avoiding the outside world at all costs when the humidity goes past 50%.

This weekend, I had a few things going for me - extra time and perfect weather. I am always on the hunt for that perfect product. I don't know if this one is perfect yet, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. I've been using a product by Bed Head called Control Freak. Besides loving the name, the gel seems to actually be working with my hair!!

After I wash and condition my hair, I try to keep it as wet as possible and then load on the gel. You've got to work fast because as it's drying, the fuzz is already starting to build up. Once the gel is on, I separate my hair into small sections and start twisting. Normally I do a single twist but I noticed it was looking way too boppy/Shirley Temple-esque. Not quite the look I am going for - especially since my last crazy haircut. Don't want it to appear shorter than it actually is! This time I did the double twist. I took 2 small sections and twisted them together. This worked much better. I let it air dry (didn't leave the house that day) and it didn't bop up. Once it was all dry, I took all the twists out. It was soft, looked longer, and most importantly, FUZZ FREE!!

This is what it looked like hours later...


Still pretty decent.

Later that day I was looking through an H&M Magazine. I stopped by the store last week when I was in the city. I always like to check in and see if I can get something cute for my girls. You can imagine the horror I felt when I came across this page...


My worst nightmare!! This is exactly what my hair looked like before I had it cut and if I let it dry naturally without putting any product in it. Why in the world would they style their models like this??

I have to stop looking at it. I may have nightmare tonight.

Do you have any magical de-fuzzing techniques? Would love to hear about them!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cupcakes For Dinner?!?

Meatloaf & Mashed Potato Cupcakes - 4

When I told my girls we were going to have cupcakes for dinner, they just looked at me like I was crazy. Is this really our mom? When they were finally convinced that aliens hadn't come down and switched me for a new mom, and that we were indeed going to have cupcakes for dinner, they were soooo excited! My rank quickly rose to "best mom". That rarely happens.

Little did they know I had a trick up my sleeve. Yes, we were going to have cupcakes - meatloaf and mashed potato cupcakes!!

Besides making your kids happy, I think these would work great at a dinner party as an appetizer. Can you imagine the reaction you'll get from your friends? This Sunday would be a perfect time to try it out if you're planning on having an Oscar Party.

Start out with your favorite meatloaf recipe. If you don't have one, feel free to use mine.

Combine ground beef, eggs, grated onion and carrots, bread pieces soaked in water, ketchup, dijon mustard, salt & pepper.


Mix it all up and scoop it into cupcake cups. I used gold foil - perfect for an Oscar party!!


To make the glaze on top, I mixed ketchup, dijon mustard, worcester sauce and brown sugar.


Spoon on top of each cupcake and cook in the oven until done.


While you are waiting for your cupcakes to cook, you can start on the icing - the mashed potatoes. Normally I'm pretty lazy when it comes to mashed potatoes and just use a potato masher to mash them up. This time though I wanted them extra smooth without any lumps. For this I had to bring out the potato ricer - the key to getting super smooth potatoes.


Once everything is done, It's time to put the icing on the cupcakes. If you have cake decorating supplies on hand (doesn't eveybody??), this would be the time to take out your pastry bags and a large tip. I used the 1M tip but if you don't have any of this, just use a ziploc bag. You'll just need to cut one of the corners.

Pipe the potatoes onto your cupcakes, and there you have it - meatloaf and mashed potato cupcakes!!

Meatloaf & Mashed Potato Cupcakes - 3

Dig in...

Meatloaf & Mashed Potato Cupcakes - 2

Let me know how it goes if you end up trying it this weekend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Springtime In The Flower District NYC

Yesterday when I was in the city for a B&H event, I somehow ended up in the flower district. I love going down there! I especially love this one store in particular on the corner of 28th and 6th called B&J Florist Supply. This is my favorite ribbon store! I have some new Spring designs in mind for headbands and other hair accessories so I wanted to stop by and pick up some new ribbon. You know - you can never have enough ribbon!!

Besides all the great ribbon, they had the whole place decorated for Spring. It was so inspiring!

I love these buckets..

Spring buckets

and they had all of these things hanging from the ceiling. It was like a magical hanging garden!

I hope this will inspire you for some Springtime creativity!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Shower Part II - Behind The Scenes

I recently told you about some baking I did for a baby shower. When I left off, I was finally finished with my baking and my friend Karen told me she was coming over so we can work on the party favors and centerpieces. Even though I was exhausted, I couldn't say no. Back in the days of my gift basket business, she was there to rescue me on many occasions - especially during the crazy holiday season. How could I possibly say no?!?

Before we get started I just want to go on record to say that the photos in this post ARE NOT MINE. They come from Karen's phone. I'll gladly let her take ALL the credit for these bad boys.

It's times like this - the night before an event, that it comes in handy to have a friend that's a complete Michael's addict. We had all the crafty supplies we needed to bang these babies out.

Both projects were pretty easy. She got clear plastic baby blocks to use as the party favors and bought an assortment of jelly beans from Economy Candy to fill them with. We tried to make them like sand art - layering each color to come up with a pretty design.

The blocks were going to be stacks of 3 so we tied ribbons to the ones that were going to be on the top of the stack.

For the centerpieces, Karen was adament about getting wheat grass. When we went to the NY Gift Show last month, we were on the hunt for wheat grass ideas. She ended up getting it in the flower district and also got some plain wood boxes to use as the base for the wheat grass. They looked nice, just a bit naked. Just needed to be dressed up a bit.

We took 2 coordinating shades of ribbon in different widths and wrapped it around the center of the box. Since the baby's last name will begin with an R, we had the idea to make monograms to use in the center of the boxes. Wouldn't you know, I was recently at Michael's and just so happened to buy an R stamp in just the right size that we needed. See, sometimes addictions pay off . We punched out white textured cardstock using a scalloped edge square punch and stamped the R right in the middle. (or rather middle-ish)

Once Karen started stamping, she just couldn't stop herself. She was gettin' stamp happy!! This is what happens when your close to delirium! The centerpieces really turned out nicely.

We were finally done for the evening!

My part was done. Now the next morning, Karen and her crew went over to the venue to set up.

She found some fabric that she wanted to use for the dessert table. I think it was a perfect fit for both theme and color scheme.

Besides the cake and cake blocks, she also had a tray of chocolate covered almonds on the dessert table.

The tray was mine. I don't mean "was" in a "it was mine and I let her borrow it for the party" kind of way. That's true, but in this case I mean it as "that was my tray until I got a text message saying that it crashed to the ground and broke to pieces" kind of way.

Bye Bye tray. I'll miss you!

Well, the shower turned out to be a success. The mom and dad to-be were very happy!

Uh! The things you have to do to show your appreciation! Wouldn't thank you cards be enough?

Guess not, after this load. I think they needed to rent a U-Haul to get this stash home.

They'd still be at home opening gifts and writing thank you cards but they got a little sidetracked.

2 weeks early!!
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