easy as pie!

i’m always on the lookout for some simple desserts i can make that would allow me to be inclusive of my allergy sensitive (dairy, egg, nuts) boy.  i tried making some vegan cupcakes, and while my twinsies did enjoy eating them, i wasn’t sure that other guests of ours would.

when it came time to throw a little party for their 4th birthday, i kept it simple and very basic.  i traveled back in time to my childhood where my aunt used to make these simple ice cream pies.

IMG_2677

all you need to do is buy an oreo cookie pie crust at your local supermarket (i get mine at safeway, you could also find at target!), and a container of your favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet.

you need to let the ice cream container sit out on the counter to soften before you scoop it out into your pie crust.  then, spread the ice cream with a spatula and pop the plastic lid from the pie crust back on top and back it goes into your freezer overnight.

$(KGrHqJ,!rQFH,QPcsDbBR8-1csTT!--60_35

here is the pie crust above – you could also do a graham cracker crust depending on what combination of flavors you’re going for.

that’s it!  kiddos love it because it involves their favorite ice cream or sorbet flavor and the cookie crust is that little extra something sweet.

IMG_2680

next time you are in a pinch for an easy dessert that will go over well, try these easy ice cream pies!  no frills, and no fuss!

now i’m dreaming of some of my favorite ice cream pies involving mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream, and coffee….yum yum yum!

cuddle + kind handmade dolls!

i came across these super adorable cuddle + kind handmade dolls and loved what they are doing. for every doll purchased, they provide 10 meals to hungry children through their partner organizations, world food program + children’s hunger fund.

third-wide

i mean, don’t you want to collect each and every one of them?? they’re so cute!

12370886_1688565804721913_3295195308196053430_o

12279027_1682706155307878_408102701213459311_n

i am ordering pearl the mermaid for my daughter.  she has her birthday after all and has a special love for mermaids and braids!

12289723_1681259608785866_4367083437594730511_n

i heart all of them.

Cuddle + Kind mermaids print

now, i typically don’t buy stuffed animals for my kiddos (they’ve gotten plenty as gifts!).  but, if i can help contribute meals to children in need while doing so, then i’m totally on board (while purging their stuffed animal collection).

Cuddle + Kind Chloe + cupcake print

a delightful bunny having cupcakes and leaving a little sparkle wherever she goes!

for more info on how to support cuddle + kind and purchase a doll or two, check out their indiegogo site here.  it looks like if you order now, it will arrive by the end of february.

i can’t wait to see my daughter’s reaction when she meets pearl.  i’m guessing it will be something like this precious girl below.

12190923_1675252279386599_8856111012261270112_n

puzzle frame gift idea

homemade gifts are the best.  they allow you to personalize your present just as you’d like and there’s nothing else better than knowing someone spent time creating this special gift for you.

this simple picture frame idea was inspired because 1) my kids like puzzles, and 2) my mom aka grammy always tells them “i love you to pieces”.

the simple picture frame of her favorite twinsies.

IMG_9508

what you’ll need:

jumbo craft sticks

puzzle pieces

string or ribbon (i used hemp)

paint

glue

wooden heart (from craft store)

 

IMG_9507

my little guy helped me paint the pieces.  i wrote on the message, glued on the pieces and heart, and then attached the hemp on the back with masking tape.

voila…an easy project for loved ones for birthdays, mother’s day, grandparent’s day…any special day!

fall decor ~ easy fabric pumpkins

every holiday, i usually choose a little something to add to my holiday decor.  this year, it is my boo! pillow which i love.

i wanted to get a little creative, so i went to joann’s fabrics and bought some fabric with fun fall-ish patterns.

if you’re looking for a very simple yet fun piece of fall / halloween decor, you should try this one out!

IMG_9681

i will need to switch out my summer tablecloth to my more festive fall table runner.

you’ll need:

toilet paper rolls

1/4 yard pieces of fabric

sticks and any twine / ribbon / embellishment you fancy

IMG_9666

i basically just tucked the fabric into the center of the roll.

almost there…just need some finishing touches.  i had my daughter help pick some sticks from our backyard.

IMG_9681

i just used some ribbon and twine i had on hand, but you could play around with all kinds of fun embellishments or just put in a stick and call it a day.

i have some sitting on my dining table as a centerpiece and the rest outside on my front porch with some scarecrows and my new pillow.

IMG_9688

there you have it.  create some cute little pumpkins for your home this fall, they’ll be some of the cutest little pumpkins around.

a few years ago, i made these simple candy corn garlands from paint chips.

IMG_9686

IMG_9685

last year’s purchased item was this cute little owl.

happy fall ya’ll!

simple nutella brownies

i’m back.  it was a longer hiatus than i anticipated, but i’ve realized my need for baking therapy!

today i discovered the oohey gooey goodness of these simple 3 ingredient nutella brownies.  my daughter loves them!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a 9 x9 baking pan and preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl with a large wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Pour into baking pan and smooth top with spatula.
2. Bake for about 15 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Careful not to bake too long otherwise brownies will dry out. Let brownies cool and set before cutting and serving.

photo

bon appe-sweet, friends!

 

mother’s day gift ideas: wreaths

my friend kim is a local small business owner at craft + amity and designs these beautiful handmade wreaths.

if you know your mom would love a new wreath for her door, this limited edition mother’s day wreath is available to order until april 20th!

11046288_1474747536118365_7652634928285177006_o

here are some of my other personal favorites below:

10987620_1466963603563425_1285753307548368466_n

10392404_1469018976691221_2545895513567965223_n

one of the most popular wreaths – kate middleton.

10991419_1466379846955134_4378415056654118012_n

there’s just so much love that goes into each and every wreath.  support local small businesses!

place an order here if interested!

here are some other wreath ideas:

Screen-Shot-2014-04-10-at-2.49.51-PM-e1397509864955

you could buy this pretty one here.

paper source has some wreath kits and i made this peony one last year.  the folding of the petals took some time but i knocked it out over a few nights of watching tv.

IMG_8812

here is my finished product.

this one really stuck out to me as a unique and pretty wreath.  all you have to use are old white bedsheets, and she switches out the flowers easily based on the season.

April 2011 077

so simple, yet elegant and fun.

Paper-Wreath-By-Blooming-Homestead3

another beautiful paper wreath idea here.  so vibrant and would brighten up any room for spring!

mother’s day gift ideas: mason jars

il_224xN.703742902_jmri

i’ve rounded up some sweet gift ideas for mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and wives for this upcoming mother’s day with something every household should have – a mason jar!

who couldn’t use some cute storage and office organization with these painted mason jars?  i love stripes and these spring colors are just plain fun!

Spring-Inspired-Striped-Jar-6

Spring-Inspired-Striped-Jar-9

love them…it’s time to go get some of this paint!

most women love flowers. but, what would make the flower giving even more special is a cute little vase with some sweet faces on it!

32dcf23332a13ac93e4cb71d1d7bd655

check out how to make this vase here.  i love the creativity that can happen with mason jars.

DIY-Distressed-Mason-Jar-Succulent-Pots-with-free-printable-gift-tags-600x900

these succulents are screaming cuteness in these painted mason jars with added straws and notes for mom.

IMG_5269

simple spray paint can do magic like this mason jar above.

know a special lady who loves to sew?  check out this sewing kit in a mason jar here.

Mason-Jar-Sewing-Kit.-Now-Ive-Got-Gifts-Figured-Out-For-Christmas-This-Year

Handmade-Gift-

here’s a way to personalize someone’s jar with some of their favorite beauty and skincare products.  you could throw in lotions, nail polishes, travel goodies, etc.

Nail-Polish-Holder

digging this nail polish holder and gift all in one.

diy-favors-granola-recipe-wedding-ideas-580x367

i’ve been wanting to make granola.  a yummy treat for those sweet ladies in your life.

i’ll be back on thursday with some cute wreath gift ideas!

spring brunch inspiration

b0f42d29b51721cb18624a33018a5f55

i had a wonderful time hosting an annual spring brunch with my childhood girlfriends and their moms and kids this past weekend.  i love the springtime!

for decor, i went pretty simple with a tablecloth, some daffodils as a centerpiece, and a chalkboard easel menu.

IMG_5315

for an added personal touch, i put out some fun old pictures from prom, graduation, middle school and high school.  they brought us some good laughs.

IMG_5309

we left thank you notes for our moms on their plates as a little surprise.

the menu was fun to put together on this chalkboard easel found at michaels. 

tablecloth was found at target.

i wanted to try out a new brunch item to make and came across this picture of these bacon egg cups.

bacon2Begg2Bcups2B1

so delicious!  recipe found here.

IMG_5369

yum. 🙂  planning on having a spring brunch?  it’s such a simple way to enjoy time with some of your favorite people.  i love a good brunch.

here are some other spring brunch decor and food ideas that may add some extra oohs and aahs at your next brunch!

a simple place setting idea with a tulip, love this.

Picture-27-e1394929442297

fd4f78784539b1c75e047c149116-547x660

simple and fun flowers made out of paper.

756200aab018ece5acc4a11d9a598204

how sweet to just add some lime at the bottom of the vase and burlap and ribbon around the daffodils.

Bunny Fruit Platter

a cute idea for doing a fruit platter with a visit from the easter bunny.

MiniQuiche-3

i want to try making these little mini puff pastry quiches sometime too!

i also like the idea of trying these scrambled egg muffins.  eggs + muffins + cute flower cups – how can i resist?

IMG_3421_edited-1

i might also need to try these easter egg haystacks for this weekend.

PicMonkey-Collage-edited2

happy spring!  i want to know what’s cookin’ in your kitchen!

 

playing with food

I was recently sent this photo of a very cute lion creation and knew that I would need to replicate this for my little guy at some point soon, because he is very into calling himself a lion lately.

unnamed

just. too. cute.

Lion

another twist on the lion but using pasta.

IMG_2733

Another fun breakfast idea is to make a teddy bear toast with nutella.  She looks forward to this special treat every time.

Here are some cute ideas i found that are simple enough yet interesting for a toddler.

IMG_6680

school bus always gets my kids’ attention.

0aa3eca9ff416c7f576a3431026c15e6

Kiwi and grape turtles! Absolutely adorbs.

379608 phmktzwe0w1

I spy three cute chickie eggs.  Love this idea for Easter.

d3ffe544e2e5808704c7b64792ae5cde

This one might make it into our breakfast rotation tomorrow.  I’m getting hungry!

mrs. field’s cookies at home

Are you a fan of Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookies?  My sis-in-law is, so for her birthday I thought I’d try out this recipe and make them at home!

There are a bunch of different recipes out there, but this one actually has the gal touring the bakery and interviewing a Mrs. Field’s baker to get the step-by-step process (and this recipe calls for cold butter + chilling the dough before baking!).

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup cold salted butter, cut into cubes
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

unnamed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk.

3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend the sugars at medium speed.

4. Add the cold butter, and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and mix at low to medium speed just until blended. Do not overmix.

5. Add the flour mix and chocolate chips, and blend at a low speed just until mixed. Do not overmix.

6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

7. Bake 20-22 minutes until golden. Transfer cookies immediately to a cool surface with a spatula. You can line sheets with parchment and transfer to a cold surface to do it faster. (I baked for 18 minutes and kept checking, I thought they were done and didn’t want to overbake them.)

unnamed-2

Slightly crispy on the outside but soft and gooey on the inside.

Yum! Grab a glass of milk and enjoy!