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Vintage Cookie Jar Centerpiece

Vintage Cookie Jar Centerpiece

Easter has always been a big to-do in my family. I can remember when my brother and I were young, my great grandmother would buy us real live rabbits each Easter. We kept them in an outside hutch next to a well house, but I don’t think they ever lasted through the summer.

My mom goes crazy on our baskets every year, stuffing them with a very unhealthy amount chocolate and Christmas-time-worthy-gifts and wrapping each one with an insane amount cellophane – topping them off with professional, florist-looking bows. She still uses the same baskets my brother and I have had since we were born! She even made us hunt eggs into our college years! Mom would hide large bills in the eggs to ensure our participation, but most of the time it looked like a gory rugby match instead of the idyllic Easter hunt she was envisioning. My brother and I finally get a break now that I have kids.

This year instead of giving mom a basket full of candy she won’t eat, I came up with the idea of doing a centerpiece for the table using a vintage piece of china in the Metlox Poppytrail Sculptured Daisy pattern she uses to set the Easter Table. This reasonably priced cookie jar I found on Ebay made the perfect base for a centerpiece. The arrangement was made by filling the base with wet floral foam and adding in flowers and fillers from our local grocery store. A few egg picks were added to finish it off, and voila! A pretty little centerpiece that doubles as an Easter gift.

Easter Centerpiece

Free Printable Frog Valentine

Free Printable Frog Valentine

Need a super-cute Valentine’s Day favor idea?! Check out our Free Printable Frog Valentine. Click here to download the free printable frog valentine.

Free Frog Valentine Printable

Here’s the basic supplies you’ll need for the project:

  • Candy Box 2 inches wide x 2.5 inches high – mine is a Hershey’s Kisses box (net wt 1.45 oz). I found these at our local grocery store for $1.25 each. You can find them on Amazon HERE.
  • Scissors – the small scrapbook kind work best on the details of the crown
  • Tape
  • Print outs – mine were printed at our local UPS store on cardstock. I have a decent office printer, but they look so much better when done professionally.

frog valentine supplies

Cut out the whole thing except the white area where the box will be. Cut only the sides of the white box, leaving the top horizontal area attached to form a flap we can use to secure the frog to the box.

frog valentine cut

Position the frog on the box where you want him.

frog valentine fit

Trim the excess “flappage”.

frog valentine back

Tape the “flappage” to the box. If they are going to get tossed around a bit, I would even put a little tape on the back of the legs and secure to the box as well.

frog valentine tape

And DONE!

frog valentine finish

These little froggies cost around $2 a piece to make ($1.25 for the candy and $.75 for each print). They would make great grandparent or teacher gifts the kids could help with.

I had the bright idea that I would take these to my son’s Valentine party and use them as table decorations. The kids could enjoy their very own cute little frog while they munched on their nutritious party lunch and then tuck their new frog friend in their backpacks to enjoy at home…..yeah right. Those little suckers had the poor little frog’s heads ripped off and the giant kiss in their mouths before I had even finished passing them out. The kids were covered in chocolate and refused to touch their lunch. Mom fail? Youuuu betcha.

Tuxedo Cake

Tuxedo Cake

This is the best cake EVER. My husband accuses me of throwing that word around too often. He complains, “Ever? Do you really mean ever?!”

Well, this IS THE BEST CAKE EVER – as in E-V-E-flippin’-R!

Please excuse the lame chocolate glaze job and the lame photos.  Those sort of things happen when you get up at 5:30 am to finish up a birthday cake so the kids could sing Happy Birthday to dad before he ventures off on yet another camping/hunting trip.  The cake isn’t terribly difficult to make, but requires enough effort that I only make on special occasions.  All the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find except the Lyle’s Golden Syrup that’s called for in the chocolate glaze.  Our grocery store stopped carrying the stuff, so I got mine from Amazon.  The frosting is made with just whipping cream and powdered sugar (mine got slightly over-whipped).   The cake needs to be refrigerated, so keep that in mind when you decide what sort of cake plate you’ll be using – you’ll need a substantial piece of fridge real estate to house the monster.  My cake is only two layers but still managed to be a good 5 inches tall.

The recipe is from Rebecca Rather’s cookbook The Pastry Queen.  She has written three cookbooks, but the only recipes I’ve managed to make, so far, have come from her first one.  I can also highly recommend The Pastry Queen’s King Ranch Casserole and Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes.  TO DIE FOR.

You can find an online version of the tuxedo cake recipe here at Annie’s Eats.

Happy Friday!

 

Day of the Dead Birthday Logo

Day of the Dead Birthday Logo

Having a friend who dabbles in graphic design has its perks. Like this fun Day of the Dead Birthday Logo I did for a friend whose husband was turning the big 4-0.  His awesome Day of the Dead mariachi costume last Halloween inspired the design. My spanish is not so bueno, but the “Es Muy Viejo” is supposed to mean “is very old”. Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in Mexico as a time to honor deceased loved ones.

I definitely didn’t have my special “koozie designer” hat on when I made the logo. The design was too detailed to fit on one side of a koozie and had to be split in half – below is the one color version in teal on a black koozie.

Day of Dead Birthday Logo Koozie

The big font has a fun carnival/western feel – it came from here – it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap. The smaller font is free and can be found here.

Day of Dead Birthday Logo

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