Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

No time to cook Easter

I had so many plans for the Easter table: cakes, cupcakes, cake pops... but after a 12 hour shift the day before, sick husband today, and busy with kids all week, who wants to bake, cook, or clean? I even made an effort to drive to buy the baked goods this morning, but the stores were closed for Easter.
So I gathered whatever I found in the house. I placed a colorful tablecloth on the table, which was a dog curtain I had in storage. Then I grabbed all bunny toys, flowers and decorations around the house to place in the table.
Then I printed everything I could find for free in the Internet: Easter labels, chick flags, bunny signs.
I used a skewer to make flags, and the chicks were placed in apples.
I found this printable bunny cupcake decoration. I had no cupcakes, so I filled it with chocolate covered cranberries.
Earlier I made this bunny with a piece of fondant, something I always have in my house (I usually buy at Michaels when they are on sale, or if there is a coupon). Luckily my husband bought this cake roll yesterday, he brings it every week from BJ's. And I put strawberries around the cake to make it prettier..
Earlier in the week I had made some chocolate with the kids. I placed them inside these candy bags, and on top I put the printed tags attached with these Easter clips I had from last year.
And the Easter table is done. The kids woke up in the middle of my project, so they helped me finish, until they noticed the eggs the Easter Bunny left in the backyard.
Another holiday saved! Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No School Part Two

Today we were going to the movies with our little friend Kevin, but when his mom said he's been sick all week with the flu, our plans changed to something better. There is always an opportunity to teach our kids valuable lessons, and today was the chance to show how we care about friends, how important is to be healthy, and also that we can give a gift we can make. Not necessarily they will listen to these valuable lessons, but you might as well give it a try.
So we decided to make a basket with small gifts for him to entertain himself at home, since he was missing fun activities out. We used a box and wrapped with colorful papers.
Then we wrote a "Get Well" sign with stickers in the front.
Inside the box was filled with shredded paper. And on top we put a little notebook, super hero markers, robot stickers, a book, Angry Birds gummies, and a Rice Krispie Treat (this one came with a blank part on the front label, so you can write a message in the front).
Then everything was wrapped and tied with a bow. We put a finger puppet in the tie and a note for him.
Hopefully my kids got some of the lesson, appreciate health, and show concern to friends when they need. If not, at least I had fun making the box and delivering. Kevin was still sick, but he looked happy.

Monday, March 25, 2013

School is out. What to do?

We all wonder what to during school vacation, especially when is cold out. So I gathered things I had at home to come out with an activity. Since Easter is close, I decided to show them how to make chocolate for gifts.
But first we needed chef aprons. There was a roll of paper present from last year, so I cut in apron shapes, used strings to tie, and had them decorate with stickers. That kept them busy for a while.
I also made a sign that said "Chocolate Factory", and had them paint and decorate.
While they painted, I used another wrapping paper and made chef hats. I first cut a rectangle long enough to go around the head. After measured around the head, I applied tape to make a tube shape. Then with a big square piece, I "crunched" the sides, stapled them, and kept folding the edges until it looked like a mushroom. Then I taped to the tube with scotch tape from the inside of the tube.
While they were busy running around with the aprons and the hats, I melted a small amount o orange an black chocolate and applied with a paintbush to the details in the chocolate mold.
Then I melted the chocolate they were going to use. After showing how to melt, I put it in this easy to pour funnel (I got it from It makes a tiny less messy for kids to work. Then they took it to refrigerate and see how it is done.
It is messy and requires a little patience. But I think is cheaper than paying for movie tickets and popcorn, and better than sitting in the computer all day. And in the process, they can learn they can start making things in the kitchen, and also to wash their hands before and not to sneeze in food.
But reminding myself, today is only Monday, and there is still a whole week to stay home. Let's see if I can come up with something else.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hairball Bunny

After brushing my long hair cat, I looked at that hairball and wondered if I could make something with that. Then I remembered looking at a needle felting tutorial, and decided to follow the same steps.
First I washed the hair well with soap and water. After dried, I shaped the head, ears and body, following these technique (in a smaller scale).
My kids thought it was strange, but my cat approved it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Good Morning Sunshine!

Today is Sunday and a happy day, so it calls for a happy breakfast. I saw these cute ideas on different blogs, and recently I bought a few items that would help me to make a little nice plate for the kids.
The animal shapes bread cutter called Cutezcute I got it from, and they are easy to cut, easy to clean, and not very expensive. And don't worry about the leftover bread on the parts you don't use. They make very good croutons for salad or soup. The egg I placed on top of a base I made out of fondant. And then I made the bear face and paws using a black food coloring marker.
Then I also had these little vegetable cutters, and I cut some pieces of bananas and apples.
It is sooo good to be home on Sunday. And sure the kids appreciate it too.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's!!

We don't celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in Brazil, and only now I am beginning feel all the excitement about this day. So this year I decided to make something to celebrate at home.
I decided to make cake pops for the kids, but I had no eggs or cake mix at home. So I found this great recipe for vegan red velvet. I got surprised that they came out fluffy in the baby cake machine.
Next I used fondant to make some details (a leprechaun beard, a rainbow and a "belt" for the hat)to be added to the pops, and painted with a paintbrush with food coloring.
To make the pot of golds, I first made the pot with black chocolate. Next I "glued" the fondant rainbow with melted chocolate, that had to harden laying down in a plate in the refrigerator.
Last I used Rice Kispies painted with golden spray to look like gold, and "glued" with melted chocolate.
For the hat I cut a muffin, made out from the same cake recipe, and cut a cylinder shape with a round cookie cutter. After the piece was frozen, I dipped in melted chocolate. After harden in the refrigerator, I made the base of the hat, with melted chocolate made into a circle shape. After refrigerated to harden the chocolate, I put the pieces of fondant o make the details.
For the leprechaun face, I used white chocolate, and made the beard and hair with fondant.
And that is another excuse for us to eat chocolate.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Fever!

I can't take this cold anymore, and when I saw the Easter decoration around, I had to take at trip to Michael's. I even got inspired to make a wreath for the door, recycling the one it was used for Halloween. The little colorful eggs I had from last year, at the dollar store. Most of the loose decorations where on 30% off sale today at Michael's, and I also used a 40% discount coupon from the paper. The pink flowers were cupcake decorations on sale.
A little money spent, to make the home feel more like spring, and maybe forget about the few more weeks of cold.