Thursday, March 17, 2011

Welcome Home Adoption Party

Just a few scenes from the Welcome Home Adoption Party for our friends and their daughter Isabella.


It was such a lovely day. I feel so honored to have been there. Welcome Home Isabella. We're so glad you're here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cake Pop Display

Cake pops, cookies and more...

Elena was so pleased with the design that she came up with for the pretzel sticks and cookies.
P.S. The purple and pink pretzels are sprinkled with purple and pink nerds.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cake Pop Tip

I forgot to mention this in my previous post about cake pops.

My super crafty friend, Liz introduced me to this amazing product that saved the day when we were making cake pops. It's called "Paramount Crystals" and it was essential when the almond bark or cake melts were getting kinda lumpy. I just sprinkled a few flakes in, stirred it up, let them set a few minutes and the cake melts were smooth and creamy. They truly saved the day. And the almond bark and cake melts.

I saw another suggestion for the same problem - add a few drops of vegetable oil to the almond bark/cake melts. And of course, don't add water or milk, it will cause them to seize up.

Here's a link to the product at I think you can get them much cheaper at a specialty cake and candy supply store, but this will give you an idea of what they look like.

Just thought I'd share the tip that saved the day... and the cake pops!

Party Prep

Here are a few pictures from the day before the party...
My friend Liz (she's way in the back corner) and I (and our daughters) met at the church the afternoon before the party and put up the decorations.
We set up a little dessert table.
And we hung up all of the pom poms.
The Church Fellowship Hall will look bright and cheery for awhile, we plan to leave the pom poms up for our Community Easter Celebration.
Here's proof that I was there. Pay no attention to the fact that I'm in pajamas... :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pom Poms

I've been seeing these pom poms all over the entertaining blogs I follow. I think they look so cool and add so much drama and happiness. I was super anxious to figure out how to make them, so of course, I turned to Martha. I found it interesting to know that this is Martha Stewart's most searched for craft on her website. Click here to see her instructions.

Truth is, I probably made them or something very similar, as a child in elementary school, that's how easy they are.
If you want to make them, pick up a pack of tissue paper (8-9) sheets, fold the whole stack accordion style. Twist some floral wire around the middle to make a handle. Trim off the edges of the tissue paper. Separate the tissue paper and fluff it up. Hang with fishing line. And that's it, you end up with a beautiful pom pom!

I love these! And I love that I have another "entertaining skill", (if I can call it a skill) up my sleeve. Oh just wait til you see the photos from the party, it was so fun to have a bright punch of color in that old church fellowship hall. I'm waiting with you, I haven't even glanced at the photos yet, I know they'll be cool, there's a gazillion of them... there's bound to be a few that turned out.

Oh, I could plan parties all day long, day after day... except someone would need to come clean my house, feed my kids, feed the pets, take out the garbage, make sure my kids got to school, remind me that nights are for sleeping, never mind taking care of me or my husband. So, instead of hiring someone else to do everything else I (somewhat) do... I'll keep on living my glamorous life of home keeping and start dreaming about the next party...

Speaking of my husband, he's bringing cake pops to work for his co-workers, I love when he thinks I do something cool!

So, I'm dreaming of tea parties... and I'm pretty sure cake pops and pom poms will be included...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cake Pops

I got to make cake pops! Yay! This made me so happy! I've been wanting to figure these out for a long time and I was so happy that I finally had an excuse to make them. A couple of my friends came over and helped me make them, it was a great way to spend an afternoon, cake pops and good friends, what more could I ask for?

The "excuse" to make them was for a Welcome Home Party for little Isabella who came home from Ethiopia a couple of months ago and now she lives just down the road from me. I am so blessed.

Oh my goodness, the cake pops were a huge hit at the party, the funnest part about the cake pops was watching people eat them, one bite and you usually heard some sort of moaning or exclamation of how good they were, questions of how did we make them, etc.... oh, it was the best! These are a new item to us country folk and the reviews were off the charts!

Anyways, here are a few photos taken before the party...
White cake, cake pops, waiting for the sticks to become secure.
Chocolate cake pops, almost ready for dipping. We dipped some in almond bark and some in candy melts.
And then drizzled some candy melts on top.
A "cake pop" is cake+frosting+dipping in almond bark (or candy melts) = the most amazing, cake-like-truffle you can imagine! They are that good!

Here's the start of a "cake pop stand", just styrofoam covered in wrapping paper. Click here to see the final result.

If you want proper instructions on how to make them, here are a couple of sites that explain it really well.
Recipe Rhapsody
Little Miss Momma Blog
Bakerella - and of course, Bakerella, she's the queen of cake pops, she has some amazingly beautiful creations!

A couple of key things that my friends and I discovered:
*a smaller size pop is easier to dip and won't fall off the stick as easy as a big pop when dipping it.
*use a small mini-scoop to make them all the same size.
*3/4 of a tub of frosting is the perfect amount for a 9x13 pan of cake, less is too dry and they fall apart.
*you can store the "dough" (cake+frosting) in the fridge for about 3 days.
* 4 inch lollipop sticks are the right size and not easy to find when you live in the sticks like we do, so pick them up at Michaels or your local candy supply store when you're in town.
* wrap your styrofoam with plastic wrap so you can take off the splattered plastic wrap and then re-use the styrofoam again.
** Paramount Crystals, click here more info.

The gazillion photos that I took at the party are still on the camera and I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, however, I'm getting anxious to "relive" the party again... after I sort through the "before party photos", that is... It was such a fun day, it was so fun to celebrate the little princess who has joined our community. Welcome home Isabella.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby and Dolly Quilt

Here's a baby quilt that myself and some other ladies have been working on.

This quilt was touched by many hands. I got to do the sewing of the quilt top, but other hands helped with picking out the fabric, other hands help cut the fabric, another hand got it quilted, and some other hands prepped it for binding and some other hands sewed the binding on. It was a team effort and I'm grateful to have been a part of it.

With the extra squares I sewed up a matching quilt for her doll. Oh, I think it's so cute! I can already picture her with a doll in one hand and the other hand with the little quilt dragging on the floor. Oh, I really hope it gets loved a lot.

I've been wanting to make a quilt like this for awhile. I love how simple and classic it is. And I love that I got to learn a new, basic quilt-making technique! I also had an inside tip that the mommy who's receiving the baby quilt really likes quilts with small squares. Oh, I think she's going to love it!