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Ice Cream Flowerpots

The crème de la crème of my daughter’s American Girl Tea Party Birthday were these Ice Cream Flowerpots. They were all she talked about after visiting the American Girl Bistro for a friend’s birthday a year ago, so I knew they absolutely had to make it to the tea-table when we had our own American Girl party. They took a little time, but the delight on the girl’s faces when I brought them to the table made the energy put forth totally worth it!

American Girl Tea Party Molly’s Victory Garden Ice Cream Flowerpot

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American Girl Tea Party Birthday

After begging for an American Girl doll the past three years, my daughter’s greatest desire was granted her last birthday with the gift of a green-eyed, curly blonde haired mini-me. She promptly named her doll “Maddie” and they’ve been inseparable ever since. The gratification of at last owning an American Girl doll all of her own could only be topped by celebrating her birthday this year with a themed American Girl tea party extravaganza. She wanted all her friends to come over and play dolls with her, while enjoying a delightful (and very grown up) tea. So here’s my great big American Girl Tea Party Birthday post, complete with free printable invitations, menus, name tags and all the food and craft ideas you could hope for!

American Girl Tea Party Ideas and Printables - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Gaining Perspective on Gifts – Operation Christmas Child

Before all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ramps up to full absurdity roar, we’ve taken a few moments as a family to put some perspective on gifts for our kids. This week, you can do the same, and bless a child in need at the same time. With the simple gift of a shoebox. Operation Christmas Child has been sending shoeboxes full of joy to kids all over the world for over 20 years. Samaritan’s Purse delivers shoebox gifts to over 100 countries. Over 113 million shoeboxes have been collected and delivered to more than 150 countries and territories since 1993. [Read more…]

Get On The Veggie Train With Your Lollipop

My kids love walking to the mailbox for one reason. It comes in the form of a brightly colored magazine called Clubhouse Jr. Within the pages are stories, life lessons, jokes and activities. They pour over every amazing detail together on the couch and then inevitably have some craft request from within. I am decidedly un-crafty. This month, the “craft” they were interested in was a fun food activity. Whew. Food crafty-ness I can handle. If you are looking to make vegetables incredibly delightful for your kids, or simply enjoy throwing some fun into lunchtime, try out these veggie train and lunchtime lollipop recipes, courtesy of Clubhouse Jr.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

I went with the hummus version for the trains and added an olive for my smokestack on the engine. You can fill those little celery cars with peanut butter, cream cheese or whatever your kids love instead. And I’m sure there are much more creative veggie toppers than I used. Let your (or your kid’s) imagination run wild! My kids have officially reached the “awkward-never-a-good-picture” age. Notice my son’s olive engine is already gone. He loves olives with the passion of a thousand suns.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops

Veggie Train
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

Celery stalks, washed
Cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter
Carrots
Toothpicks
Olives or cherry tomatoes
Bits of veggies, fruit or nuts (optional)

Directions

Cut celery into 2 1/2 inch stalks.
Spread one teaspoon of cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter in each stalk.
Cut a carrot into circles about 1/4 inch thick to make the wheels.
Push a toothpick into the center of a carrot wheel. Add a wheel to the other end. Repeat to make 2 sets of wheels.
On a plate, arrange the wheels 1 1/2 inches apart.
Place the filled celery between the wheels to rest on the toothpicks.
Repeat as neccessary for more train cars.
Place an olive (or cherry tomato) with a piece of green pepper (or broccoli) in the top on the front of on of the cars for an engine stack.
Add a piece of carrot (or a baby carrot) for the engine body.
If desired, load your train cars with raisins, craisins, peas, broccoli or nuts.

Lunchtime Lollipops
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

cream cheese, softened
tortillas
lunch meat, sliced
lettuce
toothpicks

Directions

1. Spread thin layer of cream cheese on tortilla.
2. Cover tortilla with lunch meat.
3. Add lettuce, if desired.
4. Roll up tortilla tightly.
5. Poke in toothpicks, 1 inch apart.
6. Cut between toothpicks to make 1-inch pieces.

If desired, slip a 2-inch piece of straw over the toothpick. Wrap each lollipop in a 5-inch square of plastic wrap. Tie with curling ribbon at the top of the toothpick stick.

Gobble-Berry Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, cranberry sauce and sliced turkey.

BLT Lollipops: Fill tortillas with herb cream cheese, bacon bits, thinly sliced tomato and lettuce. Eat right away—tomatoes can make the lollipops soggy.

Rainbow Fruit Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese and fruit leather or jam. Make several lollipops, using a rainbow of colors.

Pizza Pops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, pepperoni, mozzarella and sliced black olives (optional). Dip in tomato sauce.

Sunny Hawaiian Lollipops: Mix 2 tablespoons of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of well-drained, crushed pineapple. Fill tortilla with cream cheese mixture, shredded carrot and a thin layer of ham.

Captain Hook’s Favorite Breakfast

My kids discovered a new joke this week. I’ve heard it about 100 times in the past few days. It goes like this:

Just in case you didn’t catch that, here’s the dialogue.
Madison: What is Captain Hook’s favorite kind of breakfast?
Donovan: I dunno.
Madison: Peter Pan-cakes!
<insert hilarious laughter here>

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Valentine’s Day Butter Mints

I think of butter mints alongside turkey and stuffing, not hearts and flowers. Thanksgiving always meant butter mints when I was a kid. My Nanny (English grandmother, not baby-sitter) would have a bowl of them sitting on top of her giant TV, temptingly out of reach. It was the best turkey day ever when I was tall enough to reach up and help myself to sweet buttery goodness that dissolved on my tongue. I’m not sure what made it pop into my head to make my own mints, but when I realized how EASY it is, I couldn’t wait until next fall. I decided to make some for Valentine’s Day (season). Which, as you may or may not know, runs from the second week of January until mid-February. It’s true. Just ask Hallmark.
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Homemade Mini-Corndogs

My kids LOVE corndogs. They would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them. Seriously. If I ever make the mistake of asking what they want to eat, the unanimous enthusiastic response is CORNDOGS!! Here’s the problem-o though. My kids are still young enough that I’m paranoid about them choking on a hot dog. I still cut them in half lengthwise and then into small little bites for them. So, aside from not being that healthy, corndogs are kind of a pain. The kids can’t just dip them and eat them, it’s a big production for me before they can even touch their food. Annoying! I’ve found a great solution in these adorable mini corndogs made in my tart pan.
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Crushed Cookies

Note to self. A three-year-old plus a platter of cookies = temptation beyond measure. Every single cookie — about 20 of them. Mangled. A little finger print right thru the top. Actually, it kind of looks like what my sister’s boxes of chocolates look like after they’ve tested them to see which ones are cremes/caramels and which are just yucky nut filled things. Maybe Donovan was just checking to see what was inside. Good thing they were wrapped in plastic I suppose. Otherwise, he probably would have eaten them instead of only playing with them.

Memory Verse

So, I just have to share this because my daughter is too cute.

Madison has been learning memory verses at a program called Cubbies at our church. She was super excited to finally nail down her final verse this week. She gets to advance to the “big book” of memory verses after she says this one for her teachers tonight.


It’s a beautiful thing for me to see my 4 year old keeping God’s word in her heart. And being totally psyched about it. Her simple little verse was a reminder to me today that God didn’t wait until I’d done a bunch of good things, or fixed all my failings before He saved me. While I was still a sinner, He died for me. How awesome. Also, Madison is the cutest little Dorothy in the world.

Cream Cheese Mints

I had big plans for today. I had shopping to do – places to be. In the midst of making my grocery lists, my little boy got sick. So, I was stranded in the house all day with limited ingredients. The pumpkin pie poppers I’d planned to make will have to wait until I can get out to the store – which is fine since now I’ll be able to make and take them to my Grandma’s birthday party tomorrow.  I had everything on hand for these mints though, and they made a fun project for me and my daughter to make while the little man recuperated on the couch. The dough is a little sticky and you’ll probably make a mess with it and the sugar, but these little mints are totally addictive! Which I only know because I’ve eaten at least a dozen – and they aren’t even fully set up yet. Oh well.

Cream Cheese Mints

Cream Cheese Mints

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
any color food coloring paste (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Color as desired with food coloring gel, or leave white. Mix in peppermint extract. Add confectioner’s sugar until mixture forms a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Using a measuring 1/4 tsp, drop onto waxed paper sprinkled with granulated sugar (you can also roll them in sugar first if desired). Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Let dry for 3-4 hours on waxed paper (depending on how big your mints are, this could take longer – up to overnight), then freeze or refrigerate.
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