Game on!

This year Raleigh has really been into video games. I don’t mean just the new stuff, although he does love Pokemon. I am talking the old stand up arcade games. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, Space Invaders, etc. Since it was … Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a white sandy beach for Christmas

seashell tree

We live only a few hours from the beach so we go frequently and every time we go we come home with a load of new seashells. We have them in bowls, mason jars and on shelves through out the house. Last year we actually decided to celebrate Christmas at the beach and I instantly thought a beach/seashell tree would be fantastic. The kids and I sat down one day and painted them all with blue, blue glitter and white glitter. Then I cut all the jute for the loops and just hot glued them on the inside. The kids were able to hang them all their selves and even remembered picking some of them. I used a mini tree we already had with a fishing net as the tree skirt and just some blue mesh ribbon from the craft store for decoration. It was very easy, cheap and yet so meaningful.

Do you want to build a snowman?

If you clicked on this post then chances are your house is Frozen obsessed too! We love Frozen, all things Frozen. My daughter’s birthday isn’t ’til August but I have been planning for a while. Recently she has wanted a Un-Birthday party so what better excuse to try out a cake? (That and a neighbor wanted a cake for her daughter. I agreed as long as she shared it with my daughter for her un-birthday.) We decided to make Olaf since he is a favorite of ours.

You will need:
13×9 rectangle cake pan
9″ round cake pan (2 would be great but you can make do with 1)
2 boxes of cake mix and ingredients
Icing of your choice (We used cream cheese. If star tipping do not use cream cheese.)
Carrot with a wide bottom
Cake board (I used 2 of these taped together with a board underneath for stability.
Royal icing with bags and tips to use for eyes, arms, hair and buttons
Brown and black coloring

I started off by baking my 2 9″ cakes first. Once they were done and cooling I put in the 13×9 cake. Once they are cooled off a bit I put them in the freezer on a piece of cardboard so they harden. After a few hours I started with the round pans again. Take one and using the cake pan cut of small chunk. Like a small semi circle for the bottom base. Take the other cake and cut a smaller circle for the middle part. I used a top from a sauce pan. Then the middle will fit in the semi circle to make up the body.
olaf For the head I printed out this image. I enlarged it using Microsoft Word to make it the size of the page basically. Once printed I cut it out and traced it onto a piece of cardboard. Then cut out the cardboard. Next get the 13×9 cake and place the cardboard on top. Using a sharp knife cut around the cardboard to get desired shape. (Keep the scraps to cut out nubs for his feet) Now put back in the freezer.
To start icing remove one piece at a time and dirty ice them. Basically just lightly ice and catch all the crumbs. Then put them back in the freezer and do the rest. After a couple of hours, get your cake board and put the body together as desired. (I used a grill spatula to place the dirty iced pieces) I placed mine similar to image above so his body is a little catawampus. Plus you need to turn them a bit to fit on the board. I used cream cheese icing to spread but if you want to star tip then use regular icing. I iced the 2 body pieces and then got the head and feet from the freezer and did those also. 036
Now that the base is done we move on to the arms and hair. I used royal icing from here on out. I took some and mixed it with cocoa powder to make a great brown. Using a Wilton #10 tip I piped out the arms, hands and hair.
037 Next I lightly traced out the eyebrows using a toothpick and filled those in with black royal icing using a Wilton #5 tip for all outlines. For round eyes I actually used my salt shaker and gently pressed it on the cake. It made a circle indention and then I piped the edge. Same with inner circle. I used the top to my toothpick holder and piped out the edge and filled it in. (Once the black is dry I went back in and filled the middle in with white icing.) Then also with a toothpick I moved down and traced out the mouth. Trace out a section for his teeth as well. Fill in the other part with black icing and let harden then finish his teeth with white. Move down to his buttons and just have fun. They are meant to be misshapen so it’s hard to mess them up. All that is left is his nose. I used a carrot and iced it. Bad Idea! Learn from my mistake and just use a carrot. All the icing fell off and made a mess. Looked fine with no icing. Just get a slightly bulbous carrot and carve down as needed. I added that right before serving and here is the finished product.


It turned out great and everyone loved him. I made the cakes on Thursday and dirty iced, Friday I did the rest. We served on Saturday at noon. If you want to do the same make sure you have enough room in your fridge to keep him until serving. “Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle, But put me in summer and I’ll be a — happy snowman!”

We survived 100 days of school

My oldest came home with a project for his 100th day of school. This was new to me but I loved the idea. I love celebrations! We immediately came up with lots of ideas, of course his favorite was one already seen on Pinterest. I try to be original but it was his favorite so we went with it and improved it a bit. The shirt was just a plain white tee. I bought lots of different band aids and these markers.
fabric markers
Next I went to Microsoft Word and typed in the words “I survived 100 days of 1st grade and so did Mrs. McLawhorn.” I blew them up to a larger size and printed them out. Then I put them on a piece of cardboard and put them under the shirt. I used the fabric markers and traced the letters. The instructions say to let the paint dry for 24 hours but by the time I got to the last word the first word was dry. Give it 30 minutes and turn it over to work on the backside. Now is the time to get the kids to help. We counted 100 different band aids. Band aids these days are expensive, $4 for a box of 20. This shirt is only being worn for one day so I really didn’t want to invest that much into it. My husband had the idea of double sided tape and it was genius. We taped all the band aids on. They lasted the day but could be peeled back off and saved.
double sided tape
The shirt turned out great and he was very happy he got to help.

Lego Party Time

For a Birthday theme this year my son had a very hard time choosing between Duck Dynasty and Lego. Finally Lego won out. YES!!

Let’s start with invitations.


I made my own with cardstock using their template which was extremely easy.

In an effort to not be overwhelmed on party day I did as much as I could before hand. These can be made WEEKS ahead of time.

We looked at some of our mini-figurines and just free handed from there.
These were all hand drawn also.

Get your kids involved and let them take over this task.

We spray painted a propane tank yellow and I freehanded the face. It didn’t turn out as hoped but I was pushed for time and actually did this the day of. It was a bad idea. Do it a week or more before!

Again get the kids involved. Make a empty cube for a utensil holder and throw some smaller legos in a clear sanitizer bottle.

Juice boxes were a big hit!! (The lego ice cubes of course have to wait until the day of. They were made with a mold I bought from amazon. Ice Tea went into the container. Note: The soda was just for adults. I hate drinking from juice boxes.)

Now to the day BEFORE party time. I went ahead and made the lego pops. (They have a tutorial in a previous post


Also the day before were cookies and the cake.

I used a sugar cookie recipe and cut them into rectangles. Since I had so much leftover fondant from the cake I just used that for the top. You can use icing.

(See the cake in the left corner? Yep that’s the best one I have. Totally spaced out and didn’t get one. 😦 My little helper was helping me roll out fondant for the cookies)






We had lego fruit skewers. (Bamboo skewers with printed out lego heads attached.)

Cupcakes with chocolate lego men. (Mold also bought from Amazon. Made using colored candy melts. The men can be made days ahead of time too.)

Veggie shooters. (Every year there is so much waste. So in a effort to stop that I found these little containers so everyone could have just enough dip & veggies.)

Lego candy. (Bought in bulk from Amazon)

Fruit salad. (YUMMY YUMMY)

Chips. (We reused old lego boxes for the containers)

Lego Pizza. (Digornio has these cute little rectangle shaped pizza. I think it was called dippers? or something like that. I bought the cheese version and put my own mini pepperonis on it to make it lego.)

Lego Head Pops

I will start off by saying that I was really scared to try this one because quite frankly I have tried cake pops twice and they didn’t work real well for me. I just couldn’t quite get the chocolate melts to apply evenly. So I took to Google to find out why. (Thank God For Google.) Turns out there is this awesome product called Paramount Crystals. Basically it thins the candy melts out without changing the flavor or color. (I bought mine from Amazon)
I started off by melting one bag of Wilton yellow candy melts in a glass bowl. Once completely melted I added 1/4 cup off crystals and stirred. I wasn’t happy with it so I added a little bit more at a time until I was. (Probably about 1/3 cup.)
While your chocolate is melting in the microwave go ahead and take some regular size marshmallows and put them on the lollipop sticks, that way once your chocolate is ready you won’t waste time. (It hardens quickly) Now that your marshmallows take the tip of your spoon and put a drop of chocolate on the top, now add a yellow M&M. I make about 8 at a time and then stick them in the freezer so they can harden. They will look like this.
Once they are ready you can now dip them in the yellow chocolate again. Now comes the tricky part. After you have dipped it you need to swirl and tap it until you are happy with it. It will drip off easily and just keep tapping until it slowly drips. That’s usually when I stop. Then I put them on my cake pop holder to dry. If you don’t have a cake pop holder then turn a colander up side down and use those holes. (The metal ones work best but if you are worried then try a lollipop stick by itself for a test)
Once they are all dry you get to be creative. Make sure you have some edible markers. These are what I use and you can buy just the black if you want to. (Amazon)
I had lots of fun with these.