Monday, May 28, 2012

3 kids + 250 water balloons = 1 sore pinky

Gus and Bea both had colds over the holiday weekend. So, to keep them out of the swimming pool and spreading germs, I suggested a water balloon fight with our neighbor, Jay.

250 balloons later, my pinky was screaming, "Enough!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Funny Money

I hate giving money as a gift. It's so impersonal. But then again, it's so appreciated. So, if I'm going to give money, I always try to think of a fun way to fold it, wrap it or present it. 

This year, our niece Emma is getting cash in the shape of a fortune cookie. There are lots of online tutorials and YouTube videos for origami folding. Just do a Google search for: Origami Fortune Cookie folding, and you'll find some instructions. Most of them start with a square piece of paper, so you'll need to fold your dollar bill in half to begin.

It all spends the same, but I hope it was more fun to open.

Monday, May 21, 2012

MBA Dessert

What do you bake for someone celebrating their MBA degree? How about a Mocha Brownie Accolade? (Not one of my best puns, I know. But I challenge you to come up with something better.)

My friend, Barbara, got her MBA last weekend and I wanted to surprise her at work with another dessert - brownies cut into the shape of MBA. Just two short years ago, she got her bachelor's degree and we celebrated with these graduation cap brownie lollipops. If she decides to go for her doctorate degree, I might have to start brainstorming dessert ideas now.

How do you make MBA-shaped brownies? Easy. You just bake your brownies. Print out the letters in a size that will fit inside your pan. Cut them out. Lay them on top of the baked brownies. And then trim, trim, trim around the letters with a serrated knife. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Save Room For Cake

She's 9 weeks old now, our kitten named Cake. 

And not so itty bitty. She's grown. A lot. Mostly her teeth and claws. Ouch!

She's stolen our hearts. And the new living room chair.

We're so glad we saved room for Cake.
Here are a few of my favorite "first" photos:
First bath. Not lovin' it.

First time outside. Not sure about the itchy grass.

First introduction to the lawn mower. Not happy at all.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Mailable Mum for Mom

Forty years later, and I'm still hand-making gifts for my mom on Mother's Day. (I bet she wishes I'd quit already. Ha.)

A few weeks ago I saw a tutorial for these awesome, felt, flower brooches, and I thought to myself "I bet you could just make those really big and mail them like a postcard."

Sure enough. You can. And it only took five stamps to mail it. 

I made two of them - one for my mom and one for my mother-in-law. Originally, I was just going to write a message on the postcard side. But then I decided I wanted to send them both a gift card for flowers too. So I attached these tiny envelopes to the back and put my message and gift card inside for safe delivery.

I'd like to get something like this in the mail, wouldn't you?

Moms like flowers - even mailable ones. 
I cut the petals slightly different on the pink one. They're rounder. More like a dahlia. The blue one looks kinda like a sunflower, I think.

I found some cool scrapbook papers for the back/postcard side.

I attached a small envelope to the back so I could send my mom a gift card.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom + Mimosa = Momosa

A toast, to marvelous moms everywhere! 

I created this "Momosa" tutorial for, and it featured on their website this week. Check it out .... lots of helpful step-by-step photos

Surprise mom (and the whole family) by making these this mimosa-flavored cupcake desserts, playfully displayed in Champagne glasses and garnished with an orange-peel "M-O-M."


A momma and her baby girl. Awwwww.....
Should I be worried that my daughter wanted to "pose" with my desserts?

Bea loved every bite of her Momosa.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

Thanks to somebody's random Facebook post Sunday night, I was reminded that this is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Yikes!!! I totally forgot. What should I do? I always try to do something special or fun for my son's teacher.

A quick trip to Target & World Market, and I was able to find 5 silly items for Gus to take to Ms. McNeil  - one for every day of the week. (My favorite is the little llama toy.)
"For all you do, this Duds for you!"

"Llama just say, we think you're wooly great."

"You're grrrrrrrreat!"

"Thanks for taking the time to make this year so fine!"

"We're so fortunate to have you for a teacher!"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Betty Crocker on Acid

Many years ago, when I was an art director at Sullivan Higdon & Sink, my creative director called me "Betty Crocker on Acid." I can't remember what it was that I'd baked to make him say that, but there were plenty of occasions for it. I was always bringing in crazy desserts for birthdays or celebrations at the office.

Anyway...... much to my surprise, Betty Crocker contacted me this week. They wanted to feature my pinata cookie on their website.

Gasp! Of course! I'd be honored and thrilled.

Now that Cinco de Mayo is here & gone, my 15-minutes-of-internet-fame are probably over. It certainly was fun. I even got a little local press coverage from Carrie Rengers at the Wichita Eagle. She did a fantastic job of explaining how this craziness all came about. I loved every word. Even my goofy quotes.

Last I checked, the pinata cookies had been pinned 201,000+ 222,000+ times on Pinterest. I'm going to keep creating in my kitchen and see if I can't top myself. Something tells me I may have set the baking bar a little high, but I love a good challenge.

P.S. When I told Joe, my former creative director at SHS, that Betty Crocker had come calling this week he replied: "Excellent. But the truth is, you could totally kick Betty's ass. She bakes with her hands. You bake with your brain."

Thanks Joe....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guy Art

For the last year, I've been helping my brother decorate the interior of his new house with some fun, funky and masculine art. Last weekend, I finally got this giant, sepia-tone, skier photo hung up on his bedroom wall. I had a photo of a skier printed on twenty-four, 11"x11" squares and spray mounted them to some styrofoam insulation board that I bought at Home Depot. They're so lightweight, we were able to hang them with some 3M Command Strips. (I was trying to avoid putting 24 holes in my brother's wall.) Worked like a charm. And the sepia tone image goes perfect with his leather headboard and espresso-finish wood furniture.

Cool. Inexpensive. And easy to install. Love it. (I sooooo want to live in his house.)