5 Ways to Make Mother’s Day Special

Bake mom muffins in bed! Mother’s Day is fast approaching! You might want to send this post to your husband. Today I am sharing 5 simple ways to make the mom in your life feel a little more special on Mother’s Day.

1. Bake muffins :: A fancy schmancy breakfast is ok too but making muffins (even from a box) is awesome. Not only will she get a nice warm muffin for breakfast, but chances are there are leftovers which means the kid’s breakfast is taken care of for the next few days. It’s the gift that keeps giving. Be sure to serve them with a cute napkin!

Serve mom fruit with an orchid or other pretty flower for Mother's Day brunch! 2. A pretty fruit bowl :: Grab her favorite fruits, make sure it is colorful and tuck a gorgeous bloom (like the stunning orchid above) in to the bowl. It’s silly to say the flower makes fruit better but look at it. Who wouldn’t want to have this in front of them!

Buy her a new coffee cup for her Mother's Day coffee. 3. A new coffee mug :: You know she is going to drink coffee so why not surprise her with a special mug. Make sure it is something that she might pick for herself or plan ahead and order one with a special message or photo on it. It will be a nice touch that she is sure to appreciate.

Leave gummy candy messages around the house. 4. Sweet messages :: Have the kids leave candy messages around for mom to find. Ask them to write out words that describe what they think of their mom. What mom wouldn’t love finding affirming words that she can eat?! You can order Gummy Alphabet Letters here.

Relaxation station for Mother's Day or any other special day for mom. 5.  Relaxation station :: Mother’s Day doesn’t end after brunch. Set up a place for her to hang out the rest of the day. Set out mimosas, some spa water and a comfy place for her to catch up on her reading, pinning on Pinterest or even just sitting in quiet for a few minutes.

These are super simple tips for giving Mom a great Mother’s Day. But of course, these can be used on her birthday, or any other regular old day that you want to show your Mom you care.

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Panoramic Sugar Eggs for Easter

Fun Easter craft: Panoramic sugar eggs.Have you ever made Panoramic Sugar Easter Eggs? My mom and I had so much fun posting about the candy bar trains we used to make at Christmas that we thought we would share these super fun Panoramic Sugar Eggs too.  They are a bit time-consuming, and pretty fragile, but the end result is so sweet, it makes the work worth it. Make sure you read through before you decide to make them as you really need to make them a day or two ahead of time to make sure they set up and harden as much as possible. Or you can pull a Sharon and read through the post halfway and then try to make them and not give yourself enough time…that’s how most of the new recipes I try work out…

Fun Easter craft idea: sugar eggs with a mini scene inside! Long story short, you make the sugar eggs ahead of time and then decorate them later.

Panoramic Sugar Eggs for EasterThese do take a few special items so you will want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time. You need the sugar egg mold like this one here. I bought mine on Amazon and since I have prime it showed up really quickly. My mom picked some larger ones up from the local cake supply store.  You will also need some miniatures to create your little scene with inside the egg. I am super lucky that I have my mom’s vintage miniatures to use. I’ve looked at my local craft stores and also online and they are really hard to come by. I pick them up whenever I see any that might work for the candy bar trains or these sugar eggs. And yes, some people make these panoramic eggs standing up and cutting out the center. That is crazy hard and we didn’t want to attempt that.

How to make sugar Easter Eggs. My mom did not keep her sugar egg instructions so she searched around online to refresh her memory of how to make the sugar. She used this post as a guide. First you make the sugar by mixing 6 cups super fine sugar (or put regular sugar in a food processor for a minute), 3 tablespoons of water and we used a touch of food coloring because I thought it would be really cute. As you may notice, the finished eggs are white sugar. That’s because my mom made the larger white eggs a few days prior so they would be ready when I needed to take the pictures. But I think I kind of adore the pink sugar and would love to make some like that as well! Once you get the sugar mixture ready, you press it in to your egg mold. And you really press it making sure it is packed really tight. After you are done compacting the sugar, use a butter knife to level the egg. It is best to do one half of the egg at a time because they are really fragile at this point and if you flop the other side out and don’t catch it correctly it will crumble.

DIY Panoramic sugar Easter Eggs craft.Hurry! Quick! While it is still soft, you want to cut the flat edge off that will be the front window to the panoramic egg. And dig out a little section which will help you  get started scooping out the middle later. And then you wait. For about 2 hours.

Pink sugar eggs for Easter. After two hours, the center will still be a bit soft but the outer shell will be harder. Using a spoon, you need to scoop out the middle, leaving enough around the outside so that it doesn’t collapse. Do a little at a time. Be extra careful near the front section, which you previously cut flat. It will be harder than the center and you may need to use a little pick or tooth pick to help get through it. A spoon might be a little too much force.

Pink sugar eggs for Easter. So the egg on the right is scooped out and the other side is not. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to scoop it out and then you will have a solid sugar egg which I think would still look pretty cool, especially if you didn’t cut off the flat edge on the front. Once it is all scooped out, let the eggs sit to harden for a day or more.

Sugar eggs for EasterOnce the eggs are hard, you can start getting really creative with them. You will need miniatures, royal icing in various colors and bright candies to decorate with. These chocolate covered sunflower seeds are super cute and look like little Easter eggs!

Sugar Easter Eggs with a miniature scene inside.My mom used to do a lot of cake decorating so she has a ton of decorative icing tips that I get to use for these fun food crafts. Here we made grass using green royal icing. The royal icing works as the glue to hold in the scene inside the eggs.

DIY sugar eggs for Easter. A great craft to do with kids. Once you scene is complete, you can then start to put your eggs together and decorate the outside.

Sugar Egg DIY for EasterOh hey there drunk bunny. I found this miniature wine bottle and glasses  at the craft store and knew I had to pick it up. I think it worked out pretty perfectly with this little guy.

Sugar Easter Eggs with panoramic scene.Next use royal icing to “glue” the two halves together.

Sugar Easter Eggs craft.Try to match it up as close as possible. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match exactly.

Easter craft idea for kids: Panoramic Sugar Eggs.You can use a nail file to file down the sugar and make the edges match up a little better. Just be careful!

Decorate sugar easter eggs. Super fun craft for kids to help with.And then the fun begins of decorating the outside. I don’t have any experience with cake decorating so I got really sweaty when my mom suggested that I do this part. Just practice a few times on a paper towel first and get the technique down. This little flower was super simple with the flower tip. The icing hides the seem in the sugar and makes it look cuter.

How to make Panoramic Sugar Easter Eggs for your brunch table.And then you finish decorating however you would like to. I piped icing all around the front and then added some pizzaz to the top in the way of sugar candies.

Sugar Easter Egg craft idea.When my kids got home from school and saw these they totally freaked out. Well, they immediately asked if they could eat them and then they told me how cool they thought these were. This project is not quite as kid friendly as the candy bar trains were but I can certainly see older kids wanting to help with these. And making funny little scenes to go inside.

Panoramic Sugar Eggs for EasterI wouldn’t suggest eating these as it is straight sugar and royal icing (which is pretty much sugar). These would be perfect for your Easter table or even as a spring centerpiece. Have you ever made these before? A BIG thank you to my mom for indulging me in this post and helping me to make the sugar eggs!

You can find a recipe for royal icing in my candy bar train post!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Craft

Easy St. Patrick's Day Yarn Bracelet DIYThere is not a lot of green in my wardrobe. So every year I roll my eyes at St. Patrick’s Day. I’m a grown up, so people should not pinch me. But I like to try to at least play along for my kid’s sake. I followed an old tutorial of mine and made a super easy St. Patrick’s Day craft. This green yarn bracelet means that I now comply with “the rules.” It didn’t take any time at all and I already had the yarn lying around so it was super inexpensive. It really is the perfect way to get green in your outfit without putting out a lot of energy. Save that energy for adding green food coloring to random foods and drinks. This would also make a great craft to do with friends at an afternoon playdate!

See Yarn Bracelet tutorial here.

 

Song Lyrics as Valentines

Song Lyrics as Valentine'sYou know I’m a fan of music. And I love song lyrics. So you should totally use some song lyrics as valentines for your sweety. Some of these are available for purchase or download. And some are ideas that you could create yourself. These work best for people who are also music lovers. For example, if the recipient isn’t a fan of The Smiths, they would maybe not get the sentiment from the image in the top left of this round-up. And while nobody has a tape player any more, the act of making someone a “mixed tape” (for me that is most likely a playlist over on Rdio) can be super romantic. And cheap. Yeah! The TV on the Radio and Jack White valentine’s are printables I shared a few years ago! Go download them now!

Source credits, row by row, from left to right:

The Smiths // Roxy Music

Prince // Dave  // TV on the Radio

Jack White  // Mixtape

 

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam

New Year's Eve Kids Treat. Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis post is brought to you in partnership with Netflix. All opinions are my own. I’m part of their #StreamTeam and it’s awesome.

My kids love Christmas, of course. But they LOVE New Year’s Eve. As they’ve gotten older, my husband and I have been enjoying spending New Year’s Eve with them too. Getting to stay up and “rage” until midnight is one of the coolest things ever to them. And for some reason, they are really well-behaved and super fun to be around (if you are a parent, you know how those days go where you just can’t wait for them to get to bed…). This holiday is no longer about being out on the town in sparkly clothes and drinking too much. For us, we stay at home, spend time together, enjoy the TV broadcasts where they are freezing their buns off in New York, and indulge in several treats throughout the night. This year we’ll be having these Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamYou only need a few things to make these and they take just a second. The basics for any Italian soda are the same, milk (or cream), syrup and club soda. But you can change-up the flavors to make them in a ton of flavors. This year, my kids are super in to peppermint so I decided to create one last treat for the holiday season with it. I know you can use peppermint in January but it just feels so wrong!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamMix them up, top with club soda, spray on a little whipped cream and top with some crushed candy cane. Done.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis may look like a lot but it is mostly club soda. My ratio may have been off a little bit in this size jar. I would say to add some soda, give a little stir and do a taste test to see if you need more. And since this is the blogging world, I needed this to be all the way to the top so the whipped cream could be seen better…

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamFor sure use a straw. Straws are festive.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas. A fun New Year's Eve treat for kids.  #spon #StreamTeamThe rest of our New Year’s celebrating is pretty low-key. Of course there will be party hats, some balloons (because I don’t know about you but my kids can be entertained for HOURS with balloons!) and special candy. These chocolate peppermint italian sodas are perfect for the whole family. I don’t even drink at all on New Year’s Eve any more. It makes me too tired. I don’t want to be the party pooper! But if you wanted something a little more “festive” you could absolutely add vodka.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamNew Year’s Eve is the perfect time to try a new treat. But not all of our night is based around food…We do these countdown bags every year as well. It is a really great way to keep the kids entertained and looking forward to the next hour. There is nothing worse than a bored, tired kid, am I right? Pick up little activities while you are out finishing up your stocking stuffers and you will be all set!

Thank you for supporting the brands that let me create and share with you, like Netflix!

Viewing party for #KingJulien the new show on Netflix #StreamTeamOn December 19th, Netflix is debuting a new, original series called, All Hail King Julien, of Madagascar fame (watch the trailer!). We got the chance to preview a few episodes this past weekend and brought the cousins along for some extra fun. The show is really funny! I heard the adults and kids laughing through out. Your kids will love this!

Craft time at #KingJulien. #StreamTeamThe Netflix team put on a really fun event with all kinds of activities that enhanced the King Julien experience. The kids learned a dance to the theme song of the show which was super amazing to watch (and my kids have continued to perform it at home for me). And there was a craft table to create your own crown or hat similar to the one King Julien wears.

Netflix will probably be part of our New Year’s Eve festivities. We’ll probably watch more King Julien episodes, especially since a really fun New Year’s Eve party kit just arrived – thank you Netflix! But as I was browsing around looking for a few shows to recommend, my youngest son and I became enthralled with this series called The Adventures of Figaro Pho. It’s about an odd little boy who has tons of phobias. This is definitely boy’s club stuff. Lots of farts. No talking, but great music to enhance the moods. And the subtitles are of the funny noises the characters make. So if you have little boys, check it out. And if you are still in the market for holiday movies, check out the top 20 movies to stream on Netflix this holiday season. And tonight we will be watching the original Annie. My boys want to see the updated version on the big screen so we decided we should watch the original so we can compare and contrast. I can’t wait to sing all the songs! Bet your bottom dollar it will annoy the kids!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam
 
These yummy chocolate peppermint sodas are the perfect treat during the holiday season. These are made for my kids but you can make these more "fun" by adding some vodka (to yours...)!
Recipe type: Beverage
Ingredients
  • 3 TBSP chocolate syrup
  • ⅛ tsp peppermint extract (it is VERY strong - I'd start with a few drops and get to the flavor you prefer)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Club Soda
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • crushed candy cane (optional but super cute)
Instructions
  1. In a glass, mix together the chocolate syrup, peppermint and milk.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Top with Club Soda to taste
  4. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.