Dinosaur Rawr Four Cake

This post is legitimately one year late.  It was 323 days ago, in fact, that I made a dinosaur cake for Ike’s fourth birthday.  But, in the spirit of trying to getting my blog caught up with my life, I’m sharing it now…just six short weeks away from the kid’s fifth birthday.

(Please, everyone, join me in saying “how could it have been five years!?”)

Sure, I could start by updating all of you on our move, the sale of two houses and all that jazz, but let’s start with cake.  There is that whole thing about eating dessert first, no?


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Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think we should rename the fall season and just call it “pumpkin season.”  I, for one, can only take this.much of the pumpkin flavored everything.  I love pumpkin bread or a good pumpkin whoopie pie (you know, with cream cheese frosting) but that’s my limit.


But, based on the pumpkin-everything-beginning-September-1 that I’m seeing, I know I’m quite alone in my pumpkin meh-ness.  That was underscored by a recent request from our childcare providers for some pumpkin brownies.  (I offered to make something delicious after they had to clean up some pretty offensive messes from my children.)  And, so, pumpkin swirl brownies were on the baking list for this weekend.

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Homemade Gift Idea: Caramel Whiskey Sauce

It’s kind of a long story, but a few months ago I was introduced to the idea of a whiskey sauce. It may or may not have involved me sorely loosing a cooking competition.

I’m not bitter.

On the up side, my world was opened to the concept of bread pudding with Tennessee whiskey sauce. Those are two things, either separate or together, that I would not have imagined eating. Now? Call me a convert.

Fast forward a few weeks later when I had some of my female co-workers over for a small gathering. I decided that we’d top off our meal with warm gingerbread (I’m not quite ready to serve my so-so bread pudding to a crowd) with whipped cream and…you guessed it…this caramel whiskey sauce.

The saddest part of all of this was that I had to Google Tennessee whiskey to know what kind to buy. I’m more for wine than whiskey—what can I say?

After one taste I knew I’d be saving this post for the Homemade Gifts portion of the Dare to DIY party. This could be the perfect gift for neighbors, co-workers, friends or family members. It was great on top of gingerbread, but I could also see it on ice cream, the infamous bread pudding, brownies…the list is endless.

This recipe makes about one pint, which is more than enough for one family. It might be wise to break this into even smaller jars to get more gifting for your effort—a little of this does go a long way.

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Christmas buffet centerpiece

It’s Dare to DIY week number two and I’m doing my best to keep the pace.  This week’s challenge was to make something for your holiday table with entertaining in mind.  We generally entertain at least once during the Christmas season and, when we do, it rarely involves a seated dinner.  Due to the layout of our house and the size of the group, we generally set the food out in more of a buffet style.

So, I pulled together a centerpiece that could work for a proper table setting or a buffet.  And since I’m working a bit last minute on this challenge, I used only supplies that I already had on hand.

As I perused my house for inspiration, I spotted my glass hurricane candle holder that has only ever been used with a candle inside and decided to turn in into a cloche of sorts for a mini winter scene.

Inside you’ll find a couple of bottle brush trees, pinecones, blue glass ornaments and some pillow stuffing.

Yes, I remove stuffing from pillows for my craft projects.  You’ll understand why my pillows are a bit flat the next time you come over, right?

I was really wishing I had some mini woodland animals to insert into my display, or a snowman. I couldn’t come up with anything with what I had on hand, but you can imagine that the possibilities are endless.

So, there you have it—a quick, easy and inexpensive way to change up your holiday table decor.  If you’re entertaining this holiday season, be sure to check out the other inspiring Dare to DIY projects (hosted this week by Decor and the Dog)!  And feel free to check out my full buffet vignette  from 2012.

Happy holiday decorating!


Thoughts on Year Six and Tiny Turkey Art

I miss blogging.  More than that, I miss the “back in the old days” blogging when the email notifications about new comments on my latest post energized me and I could count on two hands the number of blogs I followed—and commented on—religiously.  Now that email notification in my inbox is most likely a spam comment and the number of blogs I can follow is endless.  Pair that with two kids under age four and a busier-than-ever job and, well, I’ve simply lost touch with current-day blogging.

I’ve been blogging since 2009—before business pages for Facebook, before smartphones, before Pinterest. (Gosh, I suddenly feel old.) So much has changed in blogging and I haven’t quite kept pace, which, for a competitive person like me, is hard to swallow. I’ve yet to reconcile the two bloggers in me.  On one hand, I want to blog like it’s 2009 with little regard for stats, pins or likes.  On the other hand, I want to be in the blogging game.  

While I’m still trying to figure out how blogging fits into my life today, I’ve decided the sixth annual Dare to DIY Challenge (sixth!) is the perfect reason to come out of hiding.  After all, it was Kim at NewlyWoodwards’s original Dare to DIY party in 2009 that drew me into the blogging community and created lasting friendships.  I’ve managed to participate in each of the first five years and I’m looking forward to more of the same this year.

And that, my friends, would explain why I was making tiny paper turkeys this weekend.

How about that segue?

Chris wanted to know why I was “making Origami.”  I told him that small paper fans didn’t exactly qualify as Origami, but I was folding paper so he kind of wins.

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Milk and Cookies Toddler Halloween Costume

I am certain I threw my mom a few curve balls when it came to Halloween costumes when I was growing up.  For example: one year I asked to be Humpty Dumpty.

An egg.

That falls off a wall.

So that’s why I wasn’t surprised by Ike’s initial request to be an octopus for his fourth Halloween.  I was ready.  I was up for the challenge.  Then, out of no where, Ike had a nightmare that included a T-Rex taking away his little brother.  That’s when most things, including an octopus, were “too mean looking” for him.  Poor thing—he’s still recovering.

That’s how we landed fair and square on a nice wholesome set of cookies and milk.

Given that my darling three-year-old thinks everything in the world belongs to him, including the sun and the moon (literally), I was delighted when Ike wanted to share his costume with his little brother.  Of course, Lincoln got downgraded from sprinkles to chocolate chip, but he’s not complaining and neither am I.

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