Peep, Peep! Happy Easter Goes the Bunny!

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Peeps are so cute, it’s kind of hard just to eat them. Making a Peep wreath is the perfect way to showcase their cuteness on your front door.

The only materials I used to make this wreath were a Styrofoam wreath ring, some ribbon, a variety of bunny Peeps, glue gun, and miniature Styrofoam glitter eggs.

Peep Wreath

I wrapped the ring with two types of ribbon.

Peep Wreath

Then I just made a pattern with the Peeps and eggs and glue gunned directly onto the ribbon. If you like looking at Peeps as much as eating them, then this one’s for you!

Peep Wreath

The Best Kind of Cake… No Calories!

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Everyone can use some extra cash, right?! There are many examples of “money cakes” out there, but for whatever reason, I find all the green color kind of unappealing. I wanted to make a more colorful cake, but with the same amount of cash!

Most of the items can be found at the dollar store, and being that I did not want just money, I decided to include nail polish, nail stickers, a nail file, and a necklace with the Birthday girl’s initial.

Money Cake Supplies

First, take the dollars you’ll be including in your cake and roll them. It doesn’t really matter how tight you roll them as long as the elastics fit over them. Once you put the elastics around them, the dollars will expand to fit, making it the perfect tube to work with. I also took some scrapbook paper (pink chevron) and made some rolls to give a break to the harsh green color of the dollar bills. These are used as spacers between the rolled money (one scrapbook roll, two dollar rolls, etc.).

Elastics & Money Roll em up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a styrofoam plate or a paper plate, cover with a poster board of your choice. This will be the base of the cake. I went with black and glue gunned some white ribbon to make some icing.

Money Cake Base

Taking two of the large circular floral foam, I cut them in half and remade them into oval shapes using floral wire. I knew I wanted a different shaped cake to hold the nail polishes. On the second one, I attached another piece of the poster board so that there were layers.

Cake Layers

Taking the third and final large circular floral foam, I hacked it into a smaller circle. Yes, I said hacked. Have you seen my previous problems with cutting?! It’s okay though, because this project is very, very forgiving when it comes to mistakes. I also added two packages of smaller styrofoam (white) circles that I left in the plastic packaging. They came in twos, so four total.

Cake Layers Going on Up

This is where the fun part really starts. I covered the layers with plain pink scrapbook paper to go with the chevron pink striped dollar rolls and started to wrap the layers with ribbon (a purple and a shimmery white).

Ribbon Time

Ribbon Time 2

See? The hack job is totally disappearing.

…Which leads me to the edges. They too, are all messed up looking, but I took some black beading strands and glue gunned them to make some pretty trim! I also added some fake purple flowers to go with the theme.

Cleaning up Ugly Edges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that my cake was all set, I just had to add all the details. I randomly placed the nail polishes and I actually put a dot of hot glue on the bottoms to make sure they didn’t fall off. The bottom layer which had the majority of all the bills were secured with a white ribbon. To make sure that stayed, I glue gunned a small dot on the chevron rolls to the ribbon as I went. This made it super easy! I made a small cluster of bills on the top of the cake, which I also secured a white ribbon around, only I attached it to the surrounding nail polishes with some of the glue. This is where I also built a little pole that included the nail stickers, nail file, and necklace. As a final touch, I stuck a “Birthday Girl” pin into the side (from Amazon) and took a long bamboo skewer that I attached some Pop Rocks to with a little sign I made that said, “Sweet 16 Rocks”.

Finishing Touches

This was a big hit, and spent most of the night as the centerpiece for the table of gifts. This money cake takes very little time to bake and is very easy to make adjustments to any imperfections. If you know someone that would appreciate a cake without the calories, then this one’s for you!

Final Money Cake

Congratulations to the Class of…

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I needed to come up with a grad gift for a young man graduating from high school. I didn’t even know what guys liked when I was in high school, and not much has change from then! Ha. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of the two-liter pop bottles people transform into gifts floating around. In particular, I got some inspiration from visiting Nancy’s Craft Spot.

I took a green two-liter bottle as I thought it gave it a cooler look than the clear ones.

Green Bottle

Here are the goods I stuffed it with: 100 Grand candy bars, Payday candy bars, Grad glasses (from the dollar store), and $30 dollars in one-dollar bills (not pictured).

The Goods

You have to cut a “trap door” as I like to call it, in the bottle. Some suggest making a sideways “u”, so basically a “c”. Others, however, choose to cut saloon style doors. I made the sideways “u”. You can kind of see the opening above the “r” and the “a” of the glasses.

Trap Door

Once the bottle was stuffed, I did put a little piece of tape to the trap door just to make it a bit sturdier.

IMAG2774 Stuffed Bottle

I cut off the plastic ring that’s by the cap and I actually spray painted the cap white just so it gave a cleaner feel to it. I bought a 2013 tassel (from the dollar store) and attached it under the cap. I then covered the hole by wrapping a construction paper border around the bottle. The congratulations emblem on an elastic band was from a gift card box I found at the dollar store (it fit perfect!).

Bottle

The grad and his family loved it! They didn’t know at first how I managed to get everything into the bottle. I just said it was magic, but that didn’t last long! 😉

Grad Bottle

When Grandma Gives you Lemons… you Make Really Cool Stuff!

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My grandparents have an amazing lemon tree that has been going strong for years and years. They range in all shapes and sizes and I am so thankful that I don’t have to pay 79 cents per lemon at the local grocery store.

My grandma recently gave me three bags of lemons, more than I knew what to do with them. But alas, this “problem” didn’t last long. Here is what I did with my endless (seemingly) amount of lemons!

Lemons

Lemon Pepper

Basically I took ¾ cup of rainbow peppercorn (waaaay too much!), crunched it up a tad and added it to a small bowl. I then zested and zested…and zested until there was enough lemon mixed among the peppercorn.

Pepper & Zest

I put the mixture on a baking sheet and baked on the lowest setting until the lemon zest was dry.

Pepper & Zest oven

I pulsed the mixture in my Magic Bullet until it was fine.

Magic Bullet

I bought some small jars from World Market for $1.99 and stuck a chalkboard label sticker to them. I used a liquid chalk marker for the writing. The chalk markers are awesome!

Lemon Pepper

Lemonade

As I was zesting lemons for the lemon pepper, I juiced those same lemons to make lemonade.

Zest & Juice

Juice those lemons until you have 1 ½ cups. I took ½ a cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and put it in the microwave until the sugar dissolved. You’ll definitely want to add more sugar if you want a sweeter lemonade. Once that mixture cools, add it to a pitcher with the lemon juice and add water until the pitcher is full. It took me about 5 ½ to 6 cups of water. Add some ice cubes and a lemon slice for garnish and you have a cool refreshing drink on your hands!

Lemonade

Light Lemon Cheesecake

I don’t know where I originally got this recipe, but I have been using it for years and it’s delicious hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge! It’s not overly sweet and tastes great with strawberries or raspberries on top.

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tbsp. light margarine or butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs and margarine/butter and press into bottom of an ungreased 9 inch spring form pan. I don’t use a spring pan anymore unless I’m making a fancy version for an event or guests. I just use a plain ol’ cake pan! I don’t measure out the butter or cracker crumbs either as I just eyeball it as I go along.

IMAG2290 Graham Cracker Crust

Filling:

3 (8 ounce) packages low fat cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¾ cup egg substitute

1 (8 ounce) carton sugar-free, fat free lemon yogurt

Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar until light and fluffy (I beat for at least 20 minutes). Gradually add lemon juice and egg substitute. Beat well. Fold in yogurt. Pour into crust. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set.

IMAG2297 Cook and Uncooked

YUM!

Lemon Cheesecake

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I made these from a recipe I found on Thibeault’s Table. I followed the recipe accordingly except I didn’t bother making the sugar glaze for them. They tasted pretty good albeit missing some poppy seeds as I didn’t have much to add to the recipe!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Summertime Lemon Wreath

This wreath turned out great, but it was driving me bonkers trying to dry out the slices! I took some lemons and cut them into thin slices. I put them in the oven on racks on the lowest setting. I rotated them, but when they started to brown I took them out and put them in the sun. I even returned them back to a toaster oven trying to get them to dry out. Eventually they did, but it took many hours to do so, at least 6-8 hours.

IMAG2321 IMAG2322 Dry Slices

I took a 17 mm x 63 mm x 298 mm styrofoam wreath and attached the lemon slices with straight pins. It really starts to come together when you have a few attached and start layering them. For the inner circle, I used the tiny slices of lemon and some that I cut in half so they would fit nicely. When I was done, I glue gunned a ribbon loop on the back (but I would suggest doing that first), and three feather butterflies on the front of the wreath.

Summertime Lemon Wreath

Yellow is my new favorite color. 😉

Spring has Sprung… in a Jar!

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Are the birds singing? Can you smell the flowers? It must be spring (in this region anyway)! I created some spring/Easter jars that turned out better than I expected.

You’re going to need jars (I went with the budget friendly mason jars and a random jar I already had).

Mason Jars

You’ll also need some spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum ® Painter’s ® Touch) for the lids of the mason jars. I also went with a primer to make sure that the color would coat nicely.

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I found these beauties at the dollar store. At the time, I had no idea what I would use them for, but they came in handy!

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The most difficult items to find were the plastic rabbits for the top of the lids. I searched the toy sections, dollar stores, and party store for them. I finally found exactly what I was looking for on Etsy.

Plastic Rabbits

I took some random Easter candy and distributed it in layers with Easter basket grass in the random jar. I took the multi-colored eggs and put them in the smallest mason jar.

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Now I had the idea to put a milk chocolate Lindt Gold Bunny into the large mason jar. There was a problem, it didn’t fit into the jar…but that didn’t stop me! I put that little guy in the sun for about a minute to soften it a bit. I gently pressed his toe-sies until he could fit into the jar. I put some tape on the bottom of him to secure him to the jar. Once he was in there, I added some Easter grass around him and a piece of the colored branches that I found at the dollar store. I chose the branch color based on the color I was going to paint the lid (oo la la… color coordination!).

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Once the spray paint dried on the lids and the plastic rabbits (I had to do multiple coats), I glue gunned the rabbits to the top of the lid. For the random jar, I glue gunned a glittery styrofoam egg.

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I had a bird ornament that I found at Michaels for $1.99. Just like the Lindt Gold Bunny, I put it into one of the big mason jars. I changed the ribbon on it to a sheer pink one and I glue gunned the ribbon to a button that I attached to the bottom of the lid (so it would hang in the jar).

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These were a lot of fun to put together and I was happy with the way they turned out. If you’re looking for a gift for someone or just want to spruce up your digs, then this one’s for you!

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Would the Easter Bunny Approve?!

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I originally saw this craft featured on a blog called Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Upon doing some research on the web, I found that some people find crafts that use paint chips controversial because they see it as a form of stealing. My take? Well, you only have a certain amount of energy to invest into ideas, opinions, causes, life, etc. and you have to choose what battles are worth fighting. If you asked me where I would put my energy if it was between something like the clubbing of seals for their fur, or the use of free paint chips, I’m going to put forth my energy towards the banning of commercial seal hunts. With that said, here’s how the craft turned out!

First, I took the paint chips that come in rows of four.

Paint Chip 1

I cut them in half so there was the single white line between two colors so it makes it look like an Easter egg.

Paint Chip 2

Then I traced an egg shape and cut them out.

Paint Chip 3

On a side note, this craft was a pain in the bum for me! When it came to the cutting of the eggs, I was too much of a perfectionist that I didn’t like how I cut them the first time, so I kept cutting them and cutting them to try and make them better. Ugh, see below. They didn’t even come close to any kind of uniformity. Me trying to cut straight with scissors? FAIL!

Paint Chip 3

Lastly, I took a ¼ hole punch and made two holes on each egg. I took a sheer pink ribbon and thread it through each one creating a garland/banner.

IMAG2037 Paint Chip 4

This garland is totally customizable. You can mix the colors up, write on them, throw some glitter on them, go crazy!

Paint Chip 5

Basically, this took me about 2 hours since I kept re-cutting my eggs. If you have patience and you have great cutting skills where making a decent egg shape is no problem, then this one’s for you!

Do it Yourself…wait, what?!

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I made a list of things to accomplish/try/make/do (you get the drift) before my 30th Birthday. I’ll post it at a later date, but one of the “things” is to make some of those crazy simple cool DIY crafts! I don’t have any kids, but it might be a good way to be ahead of the game with what crafts/experiments are the best. When and if ever I have those rug rats, I’ll be that “cool” mom.

So for my first craft, I took crayons and melted them into heart molds. Seemed simple enough to complete without completely butchering it. On a side note, I have no idea what I’m going to do with these completed crafts, but I already warned my mom that she might get some packages mailed to her containing my master pieces! Right off the bat, I didn’t really think the molds looked like the traditional pointed heart, but that’s not the craft’s fault.

Step 1 Crayon Heart Mold

I saw some versions that said to cut the crayons once you took the paper off of them. I didn’t waste my time getting a knife all colored up. I was able to easily snap each crayon into four pieces. I used about half the box of a 24 pack of crayons and only filled the molds about half way. You can add more or less depending on how thick you want your hearts to be.

Step 2 Crayon Heart Mold

I baked these suckers in the oven for about 15 minutes at about 230 degrees. The liquid looked so pretty when I took them out! Oh yeah, I also put the mold on a cookie sheet.

Step 3 Crayon Heart Molds

If you’re going to make these, make sure to let them cool completely. I can be a pretty impatient person sometimes and I didn’t wait until they cooled down and one of them snapped in half. Oops. You can’t really tell in the picture because I smashed it back together (I used that one to scribble with and it reminded me of those rainbow pencils with the multi-colored tips I had back in middle school).

Step 4 Crayon Heart Mold

Overall this craft was simple; including the bake time (but clearly not the cool down time, ha), it took me about 20 minutes. If you like hearts and crayons, this one’s for you!