Make Edible Flowers With Jelly Beans

Jelly beans are one of my favorite candies so I really love this time of year. I buy a bag of them almost every time I go grocery shopping.

Our cabinet was started to overflow with jelly beans so I wanted to do something with them.

These little flowers are the sugary version of Edible Arrangements.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

To make flowers on a stick, you will need jelly beans, toothpicks and cookie/cake pop sticks.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Cut a few toothpicks into smaller bits by cutting at an angle so both ends are sharp.
Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Poke a cake pop stick into a jelly bean. That will be your center. Then just poke one end of your toothpick piece into a jelly bean and the other into your center jelly bean.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Do that all the way around the jelly bean until it looks like a flower.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

You can also just do a flower that is not on a stick by just adding the jelly bean petals the entire way around.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

The flowers without a stick can be used as a cupcake topper or cake decoration. I made brownie cups since it kind of looked like dirt 🙂

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Because there are small sharp pieces of toothpick involved, it’s best to use this just as decoration or make sure to take the flower apart and remove the stick pieces before giving to kids.

Then enjoy. These guys finished these flowers in about thirty seconds.

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Make edible flowers with jelly beans

Happy Easter Week!

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Sprinkle Milkshake (Kid Version of a Birthday Cake Martini)

I’ve been seeing these beautiful birthday cake martinis around and thought they looked so festive.

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Photo courtesy of pizzazzerie

While I think a martini would do wonders for my kids (and me) at bedtime, I figured I would try to make something a little more kid-friendly.

This version is basically a vanilla milkshake with sprinkles.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

To make, you will need:

-1 cup milk
-1 cup vanilla ice cream
-A couple ice cubes
-Colorful nonpareils or whatever sprinkles you have on hand
-1 Frozen banana (not necessary but i put it in to thicken it up and add a few nutrients)
-Plastic wine, champagne or other fun glasses

Ingredients amount will vary depending on the consistency you prefer.

Place items in a blender and blend until it is how you like it.

Meanwhile, pour some sprinkles in a shallow bowl.  Coat the rim of your glass with a little bit of ice cream or honey and dip into the bowl of sprinkles until the rim is covered.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

Pour your milkshake into the glass and you are ready to serve.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

I recommend not filling the milkshake all the way to the top or only putting the sprinkles on the outside rim. Otherwise, you instantly get this dripping effect.

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

Although, it won’t matter either way. It’s colorful and fun and your kids will love it!

kids milkshake with sprinkles- cake martini

Cheers!

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sprinkle milkshake

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Cupcake Cones

If you’re looking for a fun idea for a kid’s birthday (or for any day), these cupcake cones are great. They are a nice alternative to regular cupcakes.

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To begin, just prepare your cake mix as you normally would. Line up your cones (the cake cones with a flat bottom) on a cookie sheet or place them inside a cupcake pan. Scoop your batter directly into the cone. Fill a little more than halfway.

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Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

While those are baking, you can prepare your frosting. If you use store-bought icing, you’re all set.

My favorite homemade icing recipe is super easy, though. Using a hand-held blender, blend 1 stick of softened butter with 4.5 cups powdered sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract. You can add 5-6 tablespoons of milk to get the desired consistency.

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Once your cake is cooled, ice it like you would a cupcake.

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If you have a pastry bag, great. Or you can scoop your icing into a ziplock bag and cut the tip off to make your own.

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Then just squeeze on your icing. You can add food coloring to your icing if you want specific colors. I used colored cones so I stayed with white icing.

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Top with sprinkles or whatever topping your want and you’re all set!

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Kids love them, of course.

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It’s always fun when they discover the cake on the inside.

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You can also just top the cones with ice cream instead of icing for a regular ice cream cone with a surprise at the end!

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One warning is that the cones don’t really keep well (the cone gets soft) so it’s best to serve them the same day you make them.

Have fun!

cupcake cones

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Balloon Entertainment

We went to a birthday party recently that had a lot of fun games and activities that the kids were enjoying. My kids, on the other hand, chose to only play with the balloon decorations the entire time.

So, this weekend, when we heard another wave of snow and ice was coming (a.k.a. we were going to be stuck inside), I thought I’d get some balloons and see if they would bring us a little sanity.

Let’s just say that was the best dollar I’ve spent in a while. They had a blast and actually got some exercise. So, if you all are stuck inside as well, give this a try!

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Of course, the ultimate goal of any kids’ activity is to wear them out.

kids activity using balloonskids activity using balloons

And…Success!

kids activity using balloons

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kids activity using balloons

Fun With Pancakes

Does it feel like you are in a breakfast rut?

With very little effort, you can serve up a big plate of alphabet fun.

Alphabet pancakes

All you need is your favorite pancake mix and one of these little condiment containers. They are really cheap and will be in the kitchen gadget section.

Alphabet pancakes

Prepare your pancake mix as directed and pour the batter into your container.

Alphabet pancakes

Heat your pan and squeeze your design onto the pan and prepare as you would regular pancakes.

Alphabet pancakes

You can get as creative as you want…

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The narrow tip makes for good precision in your artwork.

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The alphabet and numbers are fun for young learners…

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Alphabet pancakes

Alphabet pancakes

Bon appétit!

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Alphabet pancakes

You Are Special Today Plate

Does this plate look familiar to anyone?

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When we were little, we were allowed to use this plate on our birthdays and on a big occasion like graduation. It wasn’t an option to use it other times (at least, I don’t remember asking to). It was truly for special occasions.

For that reason, it really did make you feel special sitting there, usually beaming, with the bright red plate at the dinner table.

I know they still make these plates, but I thought I would experiment to see if I could make my own.

There are many tutorials out there regarding this and many of them suggest different things. Some say a regular Sharpie works fine while some say you have to use a porcelain paint pen. Since I already owned colored Sharpie markers, I decided to experiment with those first before buying anything new.

My assistants and I did a test run on a couple old pieces.

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To get started, you will need some Sharpies or porcelain pen markers and a plain porcelain plate. I bought mine at the dollar store.

Draw on the surface with your markers and let dry completely. You can use a stencil template or just draw free hand.

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Place in oven and THEN turn oven on to 350 degrees. These pieces can be delicate and you don’t want to shock the piece. This allows it to slowly heat with the oven.

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Let bake for 30-45 minutes.

Leave in oven to cool completely. Don’t take out to cool. They will be HOT.

Wash well with soap and water. Dry. Enjoy.

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Here are my findings.

Sharpie will work just fine but if you hand wash the items, you cannot use an abrasive sponge. It scratches off the marker. Hand washing with a regular soft sponge is fine. I tested mine in the dishwasher and it started to fade. I recommend hand washing only.

I’m conflicted on the toxicity factor. On one hand, it is permanent and doesn’t wash off without abrasive scrubbing so I am not worried about it rubbing off onto food. And since this plate will only be used a couple times a year, the exposure level would be low.

Ideally, you could do this project with a mug and only draw on the outside of the mug. Problem solved.

But for this project, I just played it safe and mainly drew on the outside of the plate, leaving the food area clean.

This would be a fun project for the holidays. Buy some cheap mugs or plates at the dollar store and let each of your guests have their own personalized place setting.

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Have Fun.

Sparkle Twig Headboard

I found this twig decoration at a yard sale for $1.00.

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I’ve had this piece for about a year waiting to use it to decorate my daughter’s bed when she got out of a crib. We knew her first bed was going to be a toddler bed that was passed down through my husband’s family. It is a great bed but it doesn’t allow for a headboard so I knew it would need something. This piece was perfect.

I wanted to make it a little girly but also kind of fun so I went with a pale pink spray paint and sparkles!

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First I spray painted the twig piece and then immediatley sprinkled different shades of glitter all over it while the paint was still wet. By doing this, the glitter dried right into the paint preventing a mess every time you touched it.

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I love the way the light reflects off the sparkles. Unfortunately my photos don’t do it justice.

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Then we just hung it right over her bed and it added the perfect sparkly touch.

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Advent Calendar of The Christmas Story

As we are about to enter the season of Advent, I thought this would be a good year to start using an Advent calendar to prepare for Christmas.

One of the traditions I’d like to ensure in our home is to incorporate the Christmas story throughout the holidays. I realized I probably knew T’was the Night Before Christmas better than I knew the actual Christmas story and I wanted to change that.

For this Christmas Story Advent Calendar, we are going to reveal a bit of the story each day until Christmas Eve when we will read the whole story together.

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This version is really easy. All you need is:

  • Green and red card stock cut into 3 x 5 pieces
  • Decorative paper clips (see previous post here for tutorial on them) or clothespins
  • Ribbon
  • Removable hooks or nails
  • Glue
  • Christmas story and number print outs (included for you below)

DSC04604I used several sources to write out the Christmas story in 24 small chunks. I even sent it to my pastor to make sure I  told the story correctly and biblically 🙂 I attached it below, so the hard part is done for you. I also attached the numbers typed out to make it even easier. Just print and cut.

The Christmas Story-printable

Advent Calendar Printable Numbers

Cut out the numbers and the portions of the story and glue them onto your cardboard pieces. The number on one side and the corresponding story part on the back.

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Next, put two hooks or nails on both sides of your fireplace (or wherever you like, especially if you use your fireplace a lot).

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Attach a strip of ribbon to each hook and hot glue a bow onto the hooks for decoration.

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Then using your decorative paper clips or clothespins,

DSC04610hang your story cards along the ribbon with the numbers facing outward.

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Then, beginning December 1, simply turn one card over each day to reveal a portion of the Christmas story.

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On December 24, your whole story is revealed and you can all read it together as a family.

I hope you have fun with this idea. We can’t control how society is commercializing all of our holidays, so it’s up to us to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive.

xo

Trick for removing pen from surfaces

Even though they are young, I try to tell my kids that the world is their oyster and they can do and be whatever they set their minds to. Normally, messages like these are great, except when they get lost in translation.

For example, my daughter misunderstood, “The world is your oyster” to be, “The world is your canvas.”

Or more specifically, “Your chair and your walls are your canvas.”

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When you are used to washable markers, dealing with a ballpoint pen (or Sharpee) can be a little disheartening. I remembered hearing about rubbing alcohol for pen and decided to try it.

Here is the chair before.

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I just soaked a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rubbed it on the pen marks in a circular motion.

The drawing immediately came out but then it looked like the ink was smearing lightly around the spot leaving a purplish hue. This worried me.

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I was too far gone to stop at that point so I finished rubbing it out. When all the pen was gone, I went over the entire area again with a soaked cotton ball to erase any of the leftover traces of ink.

I had a wet spot for a short time (alcohol evaporates quickly) and then when I went back in to check on it….

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It looked better than new. Since no water was involved, there were no water marks left. There wasn’t a trace of pen or discoloration. I was amazed.

I took this excitement over to the walls hoping for the same miracle.

Dealing with paint is a little different. No matter what you use, you risk stripping the paint. I started out with the same method with the alcohol and it worked but it was painfully tedious. Her artwork was more of a mural than a picture. She covered a lot of territory.

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I looked into it and found some other suggestions and hopefully tried them all. None were magical. I tried hair spray but the fumes were awful and not worth it. A magic eraser worked just as well as alcohol but wears down quickly making it a more expensive route.

The end result is that if it were in a small area, alcohol or a magic eraser would have worked. Since her artistic vision was more grandiose, it was just too much territory.

I ended up painting over it in the end. But not before I gave my daughter a rag with water (for effect) and had her wipe the walls until she was miserable.

I’m praying she learned a lesson because I’ve decided if anyone draws on the walls again, we are just going to move.

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pen removal collage