Academy Award Time!

February 23
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I can’t believe how fast the time is flying…February is almost over already and the Academy Awards will be presented this Sunday night! It seems like yesterday I was taking down Christmas decor and counting the hours until the Valentine decorations could go up!   But here we are approaching the eve of the Oscars and I’m so excited to pull together a little fun for the festive evening!  I don’t normally have an Academy Award “party” but a fun find prompted me to go ahead this year and create a treat table for my family and maybe a friend or two!  It’s not too late to think about hosting a little soiree…there’s still plenty of time to grab some easy goodies for a special night!  I’d like to share with you some simple steps to create an award winning treat table…

and the Oscar goes to…

Springtime Snack

February 20

After a long day of yard work on what might have been the most beautiful February afternoon I can remember, I whipped together an easy snack for grab and go munching.  It really wasn’t much, some sparkling waters and mini cookies & marshmallows.  It kind of reminded me of a s’more minus the chocolate!  But what that simple snack really did was inspire me to make an even better one the next day!  This incredible warm spell in the dead of winter is making me believe it’s already April, and even though I know Easter is a long way away and it most likely WILL snow again before the springtime holiday arrives…I’m going to go ahead and enjoy some sneak peeks of the new season to come!  So today I’d like to share this sweet and EASY snack that you can serve in the days leading up to Easter…or whenever you want a little treat!  Get hoppin’ and whip up some…

bunny s’mores mix

Favorite Things

February 16
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Happy Thursday!  I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day doing something that made you feel special!  It was a busy week around my house with several gatherings, celebrations, and events all falling within a couple days time!  And for me, that’s not the norm!  I’m so content to hang at home that when I don’t have those opportunities it can make my week feel a little frazzled!  But frazzled or not, it was an lovely holiday week and BONUS, we now get a 4 day weekend due to a teacher work day and Presidents’ Day…and I’m so thrilled to have that extra time with my family!  So today I’d like to share some favorite things…some festive goodies for those “everyday” celebrations & upcoming holidays, AND a fun and EASY treat from the oven!  I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!  Take a peek…

celebrate simple moments!

Cakes for Cupid!

February 13

We have a fun Valentine tradition…in stead of going crazy on lots of holiday candy, I serve up one of my family’s favorite cakes instead!  It might surprise you to hear that this cake, that’s an anticipated treat in my household of boys, is a Lavender Poundcake!  I know it sounds a little dainty and sweet, and I have served it to my gal pals and at baby & wedding showers…but this mini cake sure packs a punch of buttery goodness and density that will satisfy any guy in a big way!   And because it’s such a rich dessert I usually save it for special occasions…like Valentine’s Day!  So each holiday I try to come up with a new look for our miniature cake…which for me is almost as enjoyable as eating it!  Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for this fun and unique poundcake…plus another recipe for an equally festive dessert that’s more semi-homemade but still perfect for Cupid!  So find your apron and get the kitchen ready for some baking joy and…

share some Valentine sugar!

Easy Valentine Treats

February 9

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away!  But it’s not too late to still think about preparing special snacks…there’s plenty of simple fixes to make a treat table pretty even if it’s last minute!  Making food look festive can be so simple and create a holiday display that’s Cupid worthy in a matter of minutes!  I love simple snacks for any time of the year.  And as much fun as fancy desserts can be, using traditional favorites can be equally tasty and often times nostalgic too!  So keeping it short today, let me share with you some favorite supplies that can transform the ordinary into something pretty sweet!

spread the love…

Dreaming of Spring

February 6
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It’s only February, and I really do enjoy the winter months snuggled up by the fire in a fuzzy throw, but I also have to admit that I’ve been doing a bit of spring dreaming these days!  Maybe it’s because we’ve been teased with some warmer temperatures every now and again, or it could be I’ve been thinking ahead for springtime crafts and projects…but no matter the reason I’m getting a bit anxious for the signs of a new season to come!  I’ve also been fortunate to have some projects on my horizon that have springtime written all over them…so my desk & craft table are beginning to look a lot like the season is already here!  I’m so excited to be working on these new ventures which also brings me to announce that I will be changing up my blogging schedule starting this week.  Usually I wait until school is out to change to my summertime post schedule but I’m switching it up early this year to make room for these new & exciting adventures!  Beginning today I will publish regularly on Mondays and Thursdays.  You may still see an occasional “Friday Favorite Things” or a “Friday DIY Day” popping up here and there, but my new consistent days will be moved around a bit!   I’ve also been dragging my feet on reopening my Esty shop but it’s time to get that baby up and running too!  Since I handcraft all the Giggle goodies from mostly found items, managing an additional Esty inventory separate from Alice-Louise Press was daunting to me.  But with lots of encouragement I’m getting geared up to work out the kinks of overseeing both and FINALLY reopen this spring!  So, I have springtime on the brain for several reasons!  And today I’d like to share a sneak peek at one of the projects you’ll see next month…the fresh look of a new season with the added fun of some inspiring collaborations!  I’m really excited to share it all…but for now you’ll have to settle for a little tease!

springtime soiree in the making…

Game Day Fun

February 1

So I think it’s fair to say that everyone knows what’s happening on Sunday evening…even those of us who don’t really follow the NFL know that this Sunday is the big daddy of football!  I may not know much about the game itself, but living in a house full of boys I have learned to love watching football games…once in a while!  And when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around we plan some family time centered around the TV and food!  We bake up a BIG tray of buffalo wings for game night…and it’s most likely the only day of the year my husband and I splurge on the messy goodness!   It’s such a special game but always falls on a school night which keeps us from hosting big parties…so I often serve some game day snacks that are extra festive for our family celebration!  But this year, besides the wings which are now a must-have tradition, I’m trying to keep it a little lighter, healthier, but still decked out in football style!  It’s only a few days until the big game…let’s get ready to party!

super-duper Super Bowl snacking…

Year of the Rooster!

January 30

We have a lot of family celebrations that have now become much anticipated traditions…Chinese New year is one of our favorites!  Even when our boys were little, they were pretty adventurous eaters so it was always easy to introduce new cuisines and celebrate with food!  I love all the opportunities to have meals around the table together…whether it’s big celebrations like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter…right down to our corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day,  a Mexican feast on Cinco DeMayo, or all the Asian choices for Chinese New Year!  Over the past several years we’ve invited friends over to enjoy the Chinese New Year with us.  It’s a fun celebration to get a little creative and since the theme changes with the zodiac calendar, each year is something new until the cycle repeats itself!  But this holiday we kept it simple and decided to celebrate with just the four of us and place a take-out order from one of our favorite Chinese restaurants!  And since I didn’t have to prepare any food…I had a little fun making our table just as festive as if we were having guests!  By recycling my supplies I saved a lot of time and money creating a simple but fun table!  If you think you missed out on the Chinese New Year celebrations, not to worry!  They’re not over for 15 days into the new year so you’ve got plenty of time to break out the chopsticks and still have some fun!

Celebrating the Chinese New Year!

Sending Sunshine!

January 27

Each winter we receive a package on our doorstep…it’s a fun little box of sunshine!  My parents spend the winters in sunny Florida…wonderful for them and not so bad for us either since we always have a place to stay!  But while we wait for spring break to arrive we get that special treat in the mail…a little early taste of the sunshine state!  The special treat I’m talking about is some tiny loaves of carambola bread.  What’s carambola you might ask?  Well you might recognize it by its more familiar name “starfruit”.  That funny little yellow fruit that when sliced looks like tiny stars!  Not only is it wonderful to receive the sweet treat but the story behind its special delivery is equally as fun!  A friend of my parents has a carambola tree in her back yard.  For the last several years it was becoming too much for her to keep up with the prolific production of fruit it would bear!  So my parents stepped in, picked it until it was clean…then baked up a storm!  There have been so many loaves baked that my parents, their friend, and all the other neighbors just couldn’t eat it all…this is when the special deliveries began!  Sometimes, depending on how much fruit was produced, we would also receive more than we could eat…so I gave a couple away.  Now I have some friends hooked on the stuff!  The best part is that I too get to be a deliverer of some much anticipated “sunshine”!  Let me share with you the recipe and a fun & easy way to dress it up as a gift!

special delivery…

Love & Conversation!

January 25
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In addition to my love of celebrations, I also love to have simple conversations with my boys.  That seems easy enough but as kids get older it gets increasingly more difficult to have heart-to-hearts on a regular basis!  But fortunately, in my house, there’s a pretty simple solution…food!  It’s true that the best conversations happen around the dinner table…so why not the snack table as well!  It’s now paczki time, and if you’re not familiar to this Lenten season sweet treat…you should discover it–soon!  Pronounced pawnch-ki, or punch-key, they’re similar to a jelly or custard filled doughnuts and are only served up until the first day of Lent then vanish until next year.  So when we see them in the bakeries and grocery stores for the first time…it’s pretty exciting!  I decided to create a Valentine table filled with goodies for a family treat and an opportunity to savor some sugary favorites and open the door to some good conversation!  And since “conversation” was the intended goal, I used plenty of those sweet little candies to inspire the theme!  Let me share some easy ways to create something special that just might get the conversations flowing!

be mine    xoxo   let’s chat…