Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cupcake Stand needed ASAP

For Olivia's 5th birthday (a whole year and a half ago) I was getting her Rapunzel birthday together.  I had the details down.  And was trying to make it cute and "theme-y", but not over the top. 

Anyhow, with all the little things planned, I completely forgot to get a cupcake stand to put our little cuppies on.  I really wanted one of those clear cupcake stands so that you can see the pretty cakes, but they were too expensive and only held 15 cupcakes!  I needed it to hold more.  So I ran to the dollar store to get table cloths, utensils, etc. and ran into this little plastic tray and a plastic champagne "glass".  I knew I had some spray paint at home to make the bottom tray look like grass (which the flower cupcakes would set nicely on).
 


I got super excited because I got to spray paint!  I painted the bottom tray and the cup.  I also had another clear tray that I was initially going to spray, but decided I wanted to be able to see the cakes on the bottom and left it clear. 
 


I simply glued the cup to the two trays and loaded on the cupcakes. 
**Because they were little cheapo plastic trays, I had to keep the top tray loaded in the center.  It would have toppled over...no fun at a party!**


I think it turned out pretty cute, and did the job for $3 and very little time.  Which is always nice when getting any kind of party together!

I hope everyone is having a great summer!
God bless.
Amy

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Library Events

Hi all!
Since my oldest was a tiny girl, she always LOVED going to the library.  We would go all the time.  For as long as I can remember, we would go at least twice a month.  Well Kindergarten came and all of a sudden I had to follow someone else's schedule.  It took a lot of getting used to, and even longer figuring out a schedule to try to accommodate this new life.  It's the end of the school year, and I think I've got this thing worked out...kind of.  You know the best part is that next year is going to have to be a whole new schedule for my giant first grader :o(


So we finally made a trip to the library fit into our schedule...YAY!!  And in our last trip I got to take some photos. 

 
I love the library because there are always different activities to keep the girls engaged.  After a few books, they usually want to try something else.  So they have puzzles, games, toy animals, and blocks to play with.


 
While we were there I also picked up a schedule of some events going on throughout the Fresno County Libraries in June & July.  Now I love this link, because it let's you customize what your looking for based on your location and the age of your kids.

The Fresno County Libraries also has a Summer Reading Program that is a lot of fun and for every reading log your child fills out, there is a chance to win great prizes...including a kindle fire! Crazy, where were these things when I was a kid?!?

For those of you who live in the valley, but outside of Fresno County, here are some other links to keep you connected to your local libraries and the events that they have set up:
Tulare County Libraries
Kings County Libraries
Kern County Libraries
Also, all of the above listed libraries are involved in some sort of summer reading program.

I hope you all can take advantage of the great programs the libraries have going this summer.  It's full of enrichment, it's air conditioned, and it's free!  What more could you want from a summer program?

Have a wonderful week & God bless!
Amy

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bleach Pen Tees

Once upon a time in Pinterest Land, I stumbled upon an interesting little picture.  It was cute, current, and a fairly simple idea.  I decided to give it a try...

It's Friday, and that means that I have attempted something I found on Pinterest to determine if it is really all it's cracked up to be.  Today's subject is bleach pens and t-shirts. 

I did this a while back, just haven't had the opportunity to post it yet.  My oldest had really fallen in love with the color green and all things Peter Pan.  I had been wanting to try this little method for a while now, and when I found this clearance shirt at Target I thought now was as good a time as any.

What I used was:
A green tee
A Clorox bleach pen
A plastic cutting board
A practice sheet, to make sure that it all fits

 
First put the cutting board inside the shirt to make sure it doesn't bleach all the way through (although it would be cute to have those front-to-back sayings).

Then rewrite what you have practiced on the shirt with the pen.  Here's a little tip that I wish I had received, shake the pen a lot, then start writing with the bleach pen on a scrap piece of paper.  It gets you used to the stream and helps minimize big glops.

You can start to see the bleach changing the green.

Here's another little tip: don't allow the bleach to stay on too long.  It starts to spread wider than the print (notice the asterisk over the "I") and also makes the material thin...almost see through.

This is the final result.  It's not awful...my sweet girl seemed to love it (she's blurry because she's jumping).  I think I'm going to have to give it another try, now that I've worked some of the kinks out.
 
Have a wonderful weekend!  See you Monday & God bless!
Amy
 

 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Olivia's Lovely Locks

 
Good afternoon all!
If you haven't noticed in many of the pictures that I have posted recently, my oldest is rocking a new hairstyle.  Well there's a little story behind that SHORT haircut.  It starts during spring break and our trip to the library. 

We found a little book called Sophie's Lovely Locks.  My oldest was immediately drawn to it because "Sophie is beautiful!"  **Spoiler alert** Sophie loves her hair, but decides it too much.  She cuts it and donates it.  At the end, you see a little bald girl putting on a golden wig from Sophie.

sophie's lovely locks
 
So it's a super cute book.  My big-hearted, sweet girl decided that she wanted to give a little girl some of her hair too.  Since Easter, she has been growing out her hair in hopes that I would finally live up to my end of the deal and take her to get it cut off. 
 
I measured it the other day and decided that it was long enough, and secretly started making phone calls to get it cut.  This is where the story gets very interesting...while looking up online for less-expensive places for kids cuts, we called JCPenney.  They said they charge $11 for a kids cut.  Then just chatting, I told them that she finally had enough hair to donate.  The girl then informed me that if we were donating the hair, the cut was free!  Yes you read right...FREE!  Way to go JCP! 
(Sorry for the blurry picture.  Once she found out what was happening, it was hard for her to keep still).
 
The next day, I surprised Olivia and took her to get her hair cut off.  She was so excited, I was SUPER nervous.   And they did it right.  We're not talking a cheapy haircut.  They washed, conditioned, braided, then styled her hair.  When she started making the cut, my stomach jumped into my throat. 
 
 
I think the little one and I were thinking the same thing!
 
 
When it was all said and done, she looked at least a whole year older



But I tell you what, she was beaming!  And really hasn't stopped since.

Here are the organizations that our family is familiar with, when it comes to hair donation:
I hope you all have a very blessed day!
Amy

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oreo Cupcakes

How is everyone today?  I'm feeling great, tired, but great! 

Since my big girl has started school, I have been attending a mom's prayer group (or trying to) and today was our end of the year get together.  Almost every Monday morning we have been praying for all of our kids.  (I love it, it is one of the best parts about this school!)  Well today was our opportunity to get together and actually see these kids that we pray for.  Knowing this, I wanted to bring a little treat for all the kiddos.  I have been trying to find excuses to try out new ideas for cupcake concoctions, so I decided to do some mini cookies 'n cream cupcakes. 

As I was making these little ones up, I realized that I needed to get my giveaway winner her cupcakes before summer started to get crazy.  So I rounded up a couple of batches of these sweet treats.  Winner, winner, chicken cupcake dinner!


Now after this little get together I had people wanting the recipe, and was embarrassed to tell them how simple it is. 

I think they look like little cupcake soldiers waiting for battle...can't you just see it in Sugar Rush on "Wreck-it-Ralph"?

First make your favorite plain, vanilla cake.  Now this is where I will do it differently next time, mix up your batter, then fold in your cookie crumbs.  I was distracted by my little one, wasn't thinking, and just started adding ingredients.  The results didn't taste bad, it just made the cupcakes a strange color.  Almost gingerbread looking.
The icing is a simple vanilla frosting, whatever your go to frosting is, and beat in a few cookie crumbs.  But before you stir those crumbs in, make sure you pulverize those cookies.  I had a bit of trouble with some of the larger chunks of cookie getting caught in the decorating tip and giving me fits! 

That's it.  Not a real complicated recipe, but they really did taste good.  If you like Oreos, as I do, you will like the taste of these little lovelies.


I hope you all have a great day!  God bless.
Amy

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fresno's "Cool" Summer Spots & Giveaway Winner

I know everyone has been checking anxiously and waiting with bated breath for the results of my very first giveaway (is the sarcasm coming through in the text?), so here it is.

The winner of their choice of cupcakes is...
 I'm a little amateur...I didn't have time this weekend to figure out the random number generator.  Maybe next time. ;o)


I will be sending you a follow-up email with further details.  Thank you everyone who submitted a comment.  I am very excited about this new endeavor and value you thoughts, opinions, and insight.



Now on to new business. 
As summer has come with a vengeance here in the valley, the best way to beat the heat is at the pool.  Now we are EXTREMELY fortunate that my parents have a ginormous pool to entertain my children and I throughout the summer.  It is a great way to spend many hours a day getting plenty of exercise, and enjoying the outdoors (away from the television).  All you need is a suit, a towel, and a LOT of sunscreen...a nice hat is good too!

 
 

Now if you don't have a pool yourself or a close friend/relative there are always other places to get a nice cool down in the Fresno area.
  • Community pools are available all around town.  They are open from 1-5pm.  Children up to 17 are $1 and ages 18 and over are $2.  For more information about these parks check the link here.
  • Wild Water Adventure Park is another great way to keep cool this summer.  They have season passes starting at $49.99, and offer a day of water and shade!
  • Island Water Park was voted Fresno's best water park last year.  It has a wide variety of activities for the whole family.  Their season passes start at $59.99.

  • There are also plenty of splash parks throughout town.  Open from 9am-9pm May 1-Oct. 31
Do you have any personal insight on any of the above listed places?  What are your plans this summer to keep from melting in the valley heat?  Please share your thoughts below.

Have a wonderful day, keep cool, and God bless!
Amy

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dress Up Time

My oldest LOVES to play dress up.  I don't know what it is about dressing up in strange clothes that is so much fun, but she tells me it is.  She even has the little one joining in the fun.  I don't remember thinking that changing clothes over and OVER again was much fun.  But then again, I never had the imagination that my oldest does. 

If you've never experienced dress up play with a little girl, let me tell you, it gets messy!  And once the word gets out that you have a daughter that likes to play dress up, the clothes start rolling in.  We ended up with so many clothes, and nowhere to put them.  It became a chore for me and I wasn't the one that was having all the fun.  So I needed a solution that would be simple for the girls. 

One day, I decided to try my hand at thrifting.  I never seem to have good luck when I go out.  It seems that friends of mine find wonderful things when they go out, and I don't know if I just don't look hard enough or what...but that is usually not the story for me.  Anyway, when I went out I found these old, hard, Samsonite suitcases.  Do you remember the ones?  My grandparents had these cases.  Theirs were mustard yellow! I opened them up and they were pristine inside!!  I don't think they had ever been used.  And if they did, I'm sure it was by people like my grandparents, who kept everything as nice as the day they bought it.


I saw them and immediately found a solution to my dress up problem.  I've seen many Pinterest post about little dress up closets and such, but that's just more for the girls to do in order to clean up their mess.  A suitcase is like a mobile toy box.  It can all be thrown in with no thought, and little skill!  Sounds like something a 6 and 2 year old could do and momma could keep her sanity.

So the first thing I did was SPRAY PAINT!!  (I'm typing this in my biggest, excited "Oprah" voice)  I used this color because I found it at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for $1.50 or something ridiculously cheap.  ;o)

It's a nice pretty lavender color.  I really like it!  Then all I did was write with a paint pen...

added a few embellishments...

then filled with clothes!

I have one happy little girl, with very red eyes...my program wasn't working too well (actually I have two happy girls, but the little one decided not take a picture).


I hope you all have a wonderful day!  God bless.

Amy