Friday, December 14, 2012

Weekend Fun

If you are looking to get your kids involved in some holiday baking, or you need something fun for them to do while you do your holiday baking, give them this super easy and super cute baking project.  You can make your own sugar cookie dough and let the kids roll and cut their own circles, or you can cheat and buy the store bought sugar cookie roll of dough...just as yummy!
I used a royal icing recipe to ice the's the only recipe I keep under lock and key, but I am sure you can google one.  Pretzels as the antlers, chocolate chips as the eyes and a red m&m as the nose and a few extras to munch on while you decorate!
Merry Baking and may your Cookies go down in History!!



Rock Around the Christmas Tree

A group of friend's and I get together for each other's birthdays.  We go to lunch, get manicure's and pedicure's and have girls nights out.  Each birthday seems to be more fun to celebrate than the last.  I guess if you are gonna get older, you might as well live by the phrase, Rock On.
So since it is the holidays and my Christmas tree is up and decorated...I was on top of things this year :) ... I offered to host a Rock Around the Christmas Tree Birthday Party for our 2 December friend's birthdays.  They both love Mexican so the menu choice was easy.  And lucky for everyone, I didn't make the food!  I love cooking, but years ago I offered to have our neighbors over for dinner and decided to have a mexican night.  What was suppose to be simple turned out to be a kitchen disaster!  Although the food was good, we did not eat until 11pm and when the neighbors left, my husband and I turned to what was a white kitchen and said, "what happened to this place!"  I used every pot and pan and I think I dirtied every dish.  I have never made mexican again!  So, my friends housekeeper makes AMAZING mexican food and she offered to do the cooking.  The food was delicious and after eating her 3 homemade salsa's, I don't think I will ever buy another store bought jar of salsa again. 
Anyway, as the host, I was in charge of the "House Drink."  So I made Merry Margarita's.  A cranberry margarita made with a 100%Agave Tequila, Cointreau, Key West Lime Juice and Cranberry Juice, it was the perfect festive match for our Rockin Birthday Bash.  I like to make my drinks ahead of time and put them in ziploc freezer bags in my freezer and let them get nice and icy...a trick I learned from my Aunt in Florida.  Then, right before your company arrives, you can cut a slit in the bottom of the ziploc and pour the frozen drink into the glasses.  When your guests arrive, their drink will be just perfect. 
If tequila is not your liquor of choice, you can also make a Christmas Cosmo but substitute Vodka for Tequila. 
The evening was a night of great friends, fabulous food, delicious cocktails and a fun night of Rockin Around the Christmas Tree to celebrate 2 great friends birthdays!
Rock On and may all your Birthdays be Merry and Bright!

Friday, December 7, 2012

HO HO HOt Chocolate

Ho! Ho! Ho!  I hope everyone is doing well and getting into the holiday spirit.  I was looking for a little bit of a different idea than cookies for the neighbors and I saw this idea for Hot Chocolate on a stick.  I wanted to try it but I wanted to add my own twist.  So when I saw these adorable silicone gingerbread molds, I thought that would be the perfect way to change the idea up a bit.  So I used the Hot Chocolate on a stick recipe, (I did use milk chocolate chips in place of some of the semi-sweet chocolate chips) and poured it into the gingerbread molds.  After chilling over night, the gingerbread men popped right out.  I added a few peppermint marshmellows to the packaging and tied it up and there you have it...a fun & yummy treat to hand out to our friends and neighbors. is getting late, so I have not made my gift tags yet, but I will probably write Merry Christmas on the front of the tag and on the back write...just add hot milk.  I will try to post a picture tomorrow!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Elf is arriving soon

With 3 children, we are always going to birthday parties and I am always trying to think of a creative gift idea.  Kids love to paint and I love to give gifts that are keepsakes.  So, with the upcoming arrival of Elf on the Shelf, I decided to create the "Elf House."  I packaged a bird house with paint brushes and washable paint and I attached a note that says:

Elf is arriving soon and he needs a home 
So here is a house for you to make Elf's own
Get creative and have fun painting
When you are done let the paint dry
Then perch his new house high on a shelf 
So when Elf arrives he'll know just where to fly!
Best Wishes,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I offered to bring cupcakes tonight to our girls night out to celebrate a good friends birthday.  Stuck in Halloween mode, I decided to make these Bat-Attude cupcakes...a chocolate cupcake with a creamy peanut butter frosting.  Hope everyone is having a BAT-ty Good Wednesday!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Supper Club 2012

My husband and I have been part of a Supper Club for 7 or 8 years now.  We meet once a month with each couple hosting one month a year.  Some months are more formal dinners with fine china and good conversation amongst friends whereas some months we party into the wee hours of the morning.  We have done cookouts and tailgate themes and even game night.  Each year I try to give my guests a Dinner Experience.  It may be the main meal or the "House Drink" or it may be just the overall evening itself.  I  try to come up with a menu that is different...a menu that consists of food I may normally not coook or a recipe that pushes my cooking skills...(If I have any skills!)  I have cooked a Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham, Roasted pork chops with a bourbon-cider glaze, Pork Roast with sausage, fruit & nut stuffing, a Tenderloin of Beef and oh, yes there was the year I cooked a Standing Rib Roast for like 24 people and even with double ovens and an outdoor grill I think it was like 11 pm before we ate!!  Maybe its my crab cake appetizer that people really enjoy or the Cambert with Cranberries & Port.  Perhaps its the "House Drink" that people talk about or maybe the Chocolate Martini's that were appartently so good we slurped down one drink after another and we...well lets just leave it at that.  A signature I learned from my mom is party favors or a small gift at each person's place may be a box of cookies or a Christmas just depends on the time of year.  Sometimes I get my menu inspirations from the Food & Wine Magazine or a family recipe.  One year I was watching The Today Show and there was a chef who made several dishes but the soup recipe was not I spent 3 days tracking down the name of the Chef and where he worked and I got a hold of him at a Resort & Spa in Arizona and he happily had his assistant send me the recipe!  So here we are, and it's my turn to host supper club in November.  But my menu inspirtation has not hit me yet.  So, I thought I would reach out to the web and ask, "What should I cook for Supper Club?"  I am not sure how many readers I have...I think I have a few, maybe!?...hopefully!  But if you are reading this and you have a suggestion, I would love to hear from you!  Maybe it's a family recipe or a menu from our own Supper Club.  Food Trucks are all the rage...does anyone own a Food Truck they could pull up to my backyard?  Maybe you read a Food Blog and you saw an idea there.  Whatever or wherever, if you have a suggestion for my November Supper Club...please send it my way! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

I am excited to share another Halloween Creation with you.  We are heading to the Pumpkin Patch this week so I thought it was fitting to make some Sugar Cookie Pumpkins and sit them in the "Patch." 
I hope everyone is getting excited about Halloween!  Whether you are dressing up yourself or finding a costume for your child...or dog or cat...we want to hear what you are going to be for Halloween.  Having a party or going Trick-or-Treating...share your ideas with us.
Hope you are having a Spooktacular start to your week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's time to BOO!

I love Halloween...ok, I really love every holiday.  But what I love most is my children love to get just as excited as I do and get involved in the decorating, baking and crafting.  Although I do custom design and printing for invitations, I love that my kids enjoy making cards for their friends.  So when it came time to make our "BOO" signs for our "You've Been Booed" deliveries, I offered to design and print the BOO signs.  However, my children insisted that they make the signs and design them themselves.  So, here we are....the cookies are baked and the BOO bags are ready.  It's too hard to pick just one friend to BOO, so we try to be the first ones to "Boo" and we BOO several friends to help get the tradition started.  We decorated white paper bags and attached the "BOO" signs with a little peel and stick sticky dot so our friends could easily remove the BOO card from their bag and display on their front door.  Now I know that my childrens art might not be exactly what my friends want hanging on their front door, but I can't resist the beauty of children's art.  I love watching children be creative and so proud of their works of art...what's a mother to do other than tell them what a great job they did and keep encouraging their creativeness. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

BOO!!  It's me...I know it's been awhile since I posted, but it was a crazy busy summer.  But now it's fast approaching some of my favorite months of the year and I have some fun, simple and creative ideas too share!!  Here is a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and a candy pumpkin...a perfect fall treat!
Check back often for some more Halloween ideas!

BOO!!  Don't be scared...come back soon! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Pedestrian Friendly Road

During my 40 years of life, there are a lot of events that have shaped who I am and how I think.  One of those events happened when I was in grammer school when I was about 10 years old.  We had a snow storm and had off from school.  When we returned to school, we learned that one of the boys in our school, who was about a year or 2 older than me, had died.  He was sleigh-riding down his neighborhood sidewalk and a car did not see him.  He was hit & killed.  I don't go to church that often, but when I do go, to this day, he is still on my list of people in heaven to say hello to and wish a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter. 
30 years later, that incident still sits in my head.  When I drive my gigantic SUV, I try to take extra caution to look around at my surroundings, especially when I have to back out of my longer than average driveway.  I try to be extra observant when driving thru the neighborhood.  And I will always protect my children, and the neighborhood children, from speedy drivers on neighborhood streets.  I have made a few enemies in the neighborhood voicing my opinion about their unsafe driving.  I am not proud of the enemies I have made, but I believe in the safety of a pedestrian, most especially children.
An avid runner and a mother of 3, I have been pushing a jog stroller for 9 years now.  I can not tell you how many times a driver appears to have no idea that there is a pedestrian close to their vehicle.  Drivers speed.  They don't look.  I do not like when a driver approaches a stop sign, wanting to turn right.  Instead of stopping and looking left, right, left, right and then left again, they simply roll thru the stop sign only looking left as they turn right...then suddenly they jerk the steering wheel because they are startled to see that there is a pedestrian on their right.  If you would LOOK, you would see me, and my child(ren) in the jog stroller.  I believe that pedestrians should have the right of way.
So the other day, I was out running around a lake front neighborhood.  No jog stroller, aahhh, just me.  As I can around a bend, I could see up ahead a family of ducks waddling in a single file line across the road.  Two BIG ducks and 4 or 5 baby ducks.  Having been bit twice by dogs and chased a few times, I instantly went into my "Panic-Think" mode.  How do I get past these ducks?  Do I stop and wait for them to cross the road?  Will they chase after me?  I am not even sure if these ducks can fly.  I mean, I have seen ducks flap their wings enough to skim across water, but I haven't personally seen this type of duck flying high thru the sky.  Do I run in front of them or in between them?  Who has the right of or the ducks?
Well, much to my surprise, the ducks saw me coming and they stopped.  I slowed, not sure what to do.  The ducks continued to stay still and look at me.  So, I proceeded to run past them.  They never moved.  They just watched.  The 2 big ducks, the baby ducks...all of them patiently waited for me to run past them and then they quacked and continued their waddling journey across the road.
So, drivers take note....learn from the ducks...remember to help make your neighborhood a Pedestrian Friendly Road.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A good laugh

So our 5 year old is terrified of Mascots.  Whether it is a mascot dressed head to toe in a costume or a mascot with a "real face,"  (like a Disney Princess) she is terrified.  She will ask me to call ahead to Chick-Fil-A and ask if the Cow is there and if he is, she would like me to ask if he could leave and go out for awhile so she can come eat there.  Last year while we where at Disney, we had reservations to have Breakfast with The Princesses.  Well, she took one look at them and she screamed and cried so hard she turned purple and went running out of the restaurant and never came back in to eat.  So this year in anticipation of our annual trip to Disney, she asked if we were eating with the Princesses.  I told her no because I know she is scared of them.  A few hours later, she came to me and asked, "Mommy, I really want to eat with The Princesses, but I am so scared of them.  Do you think you could dress up as a mascot and we could practice having a tea party and then maybe I won't be so scared?"  I said, "Oh Ella, I am not sure mommy can find a costume to dress up in before we leave for our trip."  She said, yes you can, all you have to do is ask Daddy to bring one of our mascot costumes home from his baseball teams and you can dress up as Slugger or Tommy and we can practice having a tea party...and then I won't be so scared.  I was speechless....can you just see me sitting there dressed as Slugger sipping tea?  Not sure what Slugger or Tommy look like?....check out or so see Slugger and Tommy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Irish girl that I am, I love St. Patrick's Day.  I really love all holidays to be honest, but I am Irish and I do love St. Patrick's Day.  Having 3 girls, however, there is always some pink somewhere to be found...even for a holiday that is dedicated to being Green!  So, my girls and I created these Preppy Leprechaun Cupcakes.  Made with a brownie cupcake, we topped them with pink icing and some cute little Leprechaun decorations from Meri Meri that my mom sent to us.  I have this thing against red food coloring because once upon a time I told the Dr. that the Benadryl that he clearly said would cause drowsiness in my 2 year old caused my child to be more energetic than a bouncy ball.  When I brought this to his attention, he told me that sometimes the red dye in medicines has that effect on children so I needed to only buy grape flavor medicine from now on.  I have no idea if there is any truth to that, but I do know that I only buy dye free, completely colorless medicine to this day...7 years later.  So when it comes to baking, I steer clear of red dye because I have decided that anything with red dye causes craziness in children.  So, to make our icing pink, we pureed strawberries and then put the puree thru a seive.  We then added the now seedless smooth strawberry puree to our icing and whala....The Preppy Leprechaun Cupcakes are ready for St. Patrick's Day!  My poor husband who is a complete baseball guy just sort of shakes his head as once again, even on a day when he might have a chance to exchange his pink desserts for something green, we serve him some Pink!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

For those of you looking for a fun and festive dessert idea for St. Patrick's Day, here is a simple idea that can even be made ahead....St. Patty's Dessert.  I used a mint stuffed Oreo Cookie, topped it with an ice-cream scoop of vanilla ice-cream topped with some lucky green sprinkles, a sprig of mint and a green m&m.  When I am having a party, I like to do as much of the work ahead of time as possible, so what I would recommend is that you line a container or tray with cupcake wrappers and pre-scoop your ice-cream balls putting one rounded ball into each cupcake liner.  Store in freezer.  That way the day of the party all you have to do is put the Oreo's on individual dessert plates and top with the pre-scooped ice-cream and add the m&m and mint sprig.  These also make great desserts for children.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fun-dae

Happy Friday!  With the unseasonably warm weather and my preschooler home because of a teacher workday, we couldn't help but make these Friday Fun-dae's
So super simple and supper yummy, you can build off this idea to create your very own.  I used store bought ice-cream sandwiches and we cut them in half simply because I like a square shape better than a rectangle shape.  Then my 5 year old dipped the sides of the sandwiches in a bowl of sprinkles.  You could also use mini chocolate chips, coconut, crushed candy, diced strawberries or whatever your favorite ice-cream topping is.  The we topped the sandwiches with a cherry and stuck a pinwheel in it.  I stocked up on these pinwheels from Pier One Imports last summer...I have found Pier One Imports to have fun little drink decorations that I find to be multi-purposeful at a very reasonable cost.  In place of the cherry, you could use a sliced strawberry or a blue berry...the possiblities are in the hands of your imagination!  Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi!  For those of you who don't know me, I just recently turned 40!  And for those of you who follow my posts on Facebook, you know that it was this sort of dreaded anticipation of the big day.  What would the 27th square on my January calendar have in store for me?  People look at me and ask, "How did you get to be 40?"  Or they say, "40 is the new 30."  Then there were those that would say, "You don't look 40."  7 days before my 40th birthday, I was carded at the liquor store!  Ha!  As I approached the big 40, I had this sense of unsettlement.  Where am I with my life at 40?  I struggled alot with that question.  I mean afterall, when my mom and dad were 40, I was in high school.  I even inherited my mother's brand new Cadillac when I went to college with the license plate that said, 39 4evr.  Here I am at 39, my husband 42, and we have a 1 year old, a 5 year old and a 9 year old.  I mean, really, our youngest hasn't even started a matter of fact, she is wait listed.  When my parents were 40, I was wait listed at college, not preschool!  Anyway, I was very frazzled about the big 4o.  My parents started off the month by throwing me a surprise party with my family.  It was a big surprise and very special.  Later in the month, my friends threw me a super fun party.  But still, I just couldn't get excited about my birthday.  How would I feel when I woke up and was 40?  As many of you know, I am a planner...I color code my calendar, I color code hangers, I color code files...I don't like there ever to be a question of what the plan is....I am not good at rolling with the punches or going with the flow.  And so I became increasingly more unsettled when no details of how I would ring in this big day were being inked on the 27th square of the January calendar.  I just wanted the birthday to go away.  But as we all know, we can't make time stand still...(although I am hoping all these expensive facial creams will make the aging process stand still)...time marches on.  And so the big 40 arrived.
Much to my surprise, it was a day full of many surprises and so much excitment that it was actually one of the best days of my life!  My children know that real balloons scare me so they made paper balloons and hung them around the kitchen.  My mom and dad, and brothers and Hope and Aunt showing up in town to help celebrate the big day.  My husband gave me a cruise leaving 6 am the next day.  He arranged for everyone to go to dinner.  All these surprises and all this thought...It was at this moment that I was reminded, I am lucky.  So many people care about me and so many people wanted to make sure I had the best birthday.  I felt rich with love.  Rich with happiness.  Rich with laughter.  Rich with family and friends.  I felt lucky.  I felt very happy and I felt complete. 
So, here I am...the big 40.  What would I do in the next chapter of my life?  So I started to think.  I decided today to start a blog.  I thought that it was ironic that I decided to start this blog today and realized it was the 21st square on the calendar...lucky 21!  But what would I call my blog?  What would I blog?  So I started to think some more...I am married, I have 3 children and I work with my husband...yikes!  :)  But my passion is planning parties, Dinner parties, Birthday parties, Playdates...I like to plan my children's and my husband's lunch boxes.  I love to cook and bake and create crafty projects.  I like to make people feel happy.  When I plan a dinner or a birthday party or a playdate, I want people to walk away with a fun memory...a memory of a special detail or a memory of dresing up like princesses and having tea or a memory of making a keepsake craft project.  So I decided that is what my blog will be...I will share my little ideas, my party planning tips, my favorite recipes...except my cookie icing recipe...I will share my creative ideas in hopes of helping people create those same happy memories.  I will also share some of my everyday life...another fear of mine is being alone...I don't like to be alone and I don't ever want anyone to feel sometimes I feel that if I share some story from my day, I will make someone else realize that they are not alone when their child throws a terrible tantrum right in the middle of the store.  I will share stories like when my 5 year old said to the worker at the house...excuse me, I think we have a are making the rug just a little dirty, I think you are going to need to clean that up.  Or when I drove into my garage for the 7th time in 5 months...did I really insist that I get this gigantic SUV?! 
But what would I call my blog?  I thought of a few names, but they were taken.  I started to think about some of my favorite things, my favorite, blue,, green.  I began to think about green and what I love about green.  I thought about how I love the herb mint.  And then I got side tracked by this little voice inside of me saying, that was a mint of an idea.  I thought about the mint in my mom and dads garden and how it grows and grows and just prospers throughout the rich in color and fragrent in smell.  The smell of mint makes me happy.  I thought about how I aspire every year to grow mint in my garden just like my parents.  And there it was...The Minted Idea.  I hope to aspire people.  I hope to help you grow your ideas.  I hope you will help me grow and prosper as a planner.  I hope that you will follow along in the next chapter of my life and together we will continue to create, prosper and grow a Mint of an Idea.

Happy Planning!