Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Green with Excitement!

Hello, all my green chickadees! I just entered a design contest for reusable shopping bags at and would reeeeeeeeelly appreciate it if you would take a look and vote for me. Most of the bags are made with clip art, but mine is from scratch!  If I win, you just may see my bag at a Kroger near you.  Annnnnnd, I could get some free groceries!

To vote for my design, click on the bag above--that's mine. Cute, right?  You can vote every day from now through May 21. Thank you kindly!

If you like my design, you can buy it on a bag, an apron, a mug or a water bottle by clicking on the Cafe Press logo above. Their bags are made of 100% cotton canvas and machine washable.  Plus, they don't have the Kroger logo on them, so you can carry them around everywhere and not look like a walking billboard! Cafe Press is giving $1 to the National Parks Conservation Assoc. for every item sold. I think that's pretty decent!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Clara/Melissa Project

Grandma Clara taught me how to bake. She was patient enough to give me free lessons in her kitchen during the summer. It was one of my favorite places to be. I would sit at her kitchenette on my knees like a little sous baker and hand her baking tools just like a nurse does for a surgeon. She was my Julia. She taught me how to sift, measure and pour every last drop of batter into a cake pan.

Grandma was a career woman. She baked for the Victoria School District for 30 years. Her banana bread was to die for and everybody coveted Clara's spice bars! Every time we visited, she had a batch waiting along with a pecan pie for Dad and a lemon meringue pie without-the-meringue for my sister.

She always had friends and family drop in and aside from her lovable personality, I think her sweets had a bit to do with it. I would watch her "drop ins" light up when she offered them a piece of fruit cake and I quickly learned how thrilling it could be when someone oohed and ahhed over homemade desserts. What awesome affirmation! I was hooked.

Some time ago, I was somewhere when a man somehow related to my Grandma came up to me and told me that he loved my Grandma's spice bars. Whoever he was, wherever we were and whenever it was I don't even remember. All that mattered to me was that he remembered my grandma's baking. I was so proud.

Looking back, I think what an amazing legacy Grandma left! So, in honor of Grandma Clara, I decided to challenge myself Julie & Julia style and bake my way through the dessert section of the Victoria Schools cookbook and I'm going to start with spice bars!

P.S. Julia Child learned to cook at the same age that I am today. Coincidence?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Drop In & Decorate!

Hey, chickadees!  I came across this awesome nonprofit organization that you just have to check out! It's called Drop In & Decorate and it was created by a fabulous gal named Lydia of The Perfect Pantry.

They host cookie decorating parties in Rhode Island and donate the cookies to area nonprofits. They also support cookie parties around the country by offering tips and tricks for holding a successful event. You can host your own official "cookies for donation" party and Drop In & Decorate will give you all the help you need to plan your party and YOU get to choose which organization you donate the cookies to.  This would be a great project for youth groups, scouts and sports teams.  Ooo!  Have a cookies n' milk slumber party and give all the decorators their own little aprons and chef hats!

When you sign up, you'll find a bunch of tools on their website including a how-to guide, tools list, recipes and decorating ideas. Click on their logo above to learn more about it.

Right now, Drop In & Decorate is encouraging groups to host parties for Mother's Day and to sweeten the deal, they're giving Pillsbury coupons and packets of Dunkin' Donuts coffee to the first 150 groups that sign up. I already got mine!  So, check out their website, sign up, bake some cookies, invite some friends and get to decoratin'! 

Of course, you can do this all on your own, but I like the idea of being a part of a larger community of cookie monsters who want to do good just like me!  I'm planning a Drop In & Decorate party in May, so check back to see how it went!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tea Party Peek!

Saturday we had a super cute tea party for bride-to-be, Candy.  This is the tiniest peek into our Alice in Wonderland themed soiree.  Menu, invitation, decor and a tutorial or two to come!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Licorice Day!

I luuuuv licorice! Especially the real stuff! My favorite is dark Australian licorice. Delish! It's my "must-purchase" at Dylan's Candy Bar. I also love little licorice pastels. They have juuuuust enough crunch to make your mouth happy!

As far as Twizzlers, it's just rubber sugar. Fruit flavored licorice? Puleeeez! Now, if you need some good licorice and can't get to Dylan's, the best grocery store licorice ropes are Red Vines by far! Plus they're fat free! If you're a fan of Red Vines, they're having a rad sweepstakes to celebrate National Licorice Day. Head over to their site now to register for the chance to win all kinds of awesome Red Vines gear!  They are also having a drawing contest for their package and canister labels.  Go to their website to check it out!

Friday, April 9, 2010

She's Simply Creative!

Simply Creative Insanity

I'd like to introduce a very cute and clever chickadee named Brandy who loves to plan parties. She's the blondie behind Simply Creative Insanity. Brandy's in the Dallas area, so if you are in need of party planning help, give her a ring!

Last fall I won one of her fabulous feather wine toppers. It's so over-the-top Halloween glam! I love it. She sells those on her online shop, Pink Fox Designs.

P.S. See her cute button up there? I designed it. If you need to jazz up your blog with a button or banner header, leave me a comment and we'll work it out!

Have a great weekend, chickadees!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Cake Wrecktastic!

Old School Bunny Cake

Imagine my surprise when my girl Christy texted me on Easter to tell me that my bunny cake made Cake Wrecks! 

First, I was like, "cool!" 

Then, I was like, "Oh noooooo, Cake Wrecks!" 

Then, I remembered it was Sweet Sunday and I was like, "whew!" 

Then, about an hour later, my cousin texted me about it and I was like, "I know! Crazy right?" 

Holy buttercream! I still can't believe it. I didn't even submit it or anything. Jen The Cake Wrecks Gal searched for cute Easter cakes online, found mine and posted it right alongside Bakerella's chick cake pops. Plus, she said my cake is "quite possibly the sweetest bunny cake" she's ever seen!

Check out my wrecktastic debut, including a bunch of sweet comments about my cake, by clicking on the Cake Wrecks logo.

If you've never visited Cake Wrecks, you have been missing out on some slap-your-knee funny business.  But, beware.  Don't go jumping on their site during a meeting, or you may get in big trouble for shooting water out of your nostrils.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

For the love of antskedi!

So, you know how some blogs make you type in those crazy wiggly words when you add a comment to make sure you aren't a spambot (whatever that is)?  I've been getting some pretty coocoo banana ones lately that actually sound like real words.  But, what do they mean?

Let's play Merriam Webster today and make up some definitions!  Here are the latest goodies I've come across:  ingly, surroo, mussion and antskedi.  I love saying antskedi--give me a good definition so I can use it often!

Ready, set, define!