Making a Fairy Tale Book Cake

I was assigned to make a cake for a dear friend’s daughter’s 5th birthday. Since my ideas are greater than my ability I came up with a cake that looked like a book with a castle on top. I thought that would be perfect for this little fairy tale princess. I forgot the most important thing. My idea was greater than my ability. Yet, once I mentioned the idea and everyone in earshot gushed so I was left with figuring out how to achieve this lofty goal. I have never taken a cake decorating class but I have watched Cake … Continue reading

Bumper Stickers and Personalized License Plates—-Crack Ups and Controversies

“My cat is smarter than your honor student.” “Stable relationships are for horses.” “I thought I was indecisive; now I’m not so sure.” “Without geometry, life is pointless.” “I’m schizophrenic and so am I.” And, my personal favorite: “WWJD (Who Wants Jelly Donuts?)” Those are just some of the many hilarious bumper stickers I saw adorning vehicles this summer as my family traveled across the Midwest. Honestly, I’m still smiling as I write this. I don’t know where people come up with the material that eventually appears on bumper stickers, but I have to say, I am glad someone’s coming … Continue reading

Simple Spring Fun Projects for the Kids

Now that we have sprung ahead an hour, I’m hoping Mother Nature will get the hint and adjust the weather accordingly.  We’re still buried under several feet of snow and the high temperatures are frozen in the 20s. If the weather outside is frightening in your neck of the woods too, then make the most of your indoor time by springing into spring with these simple, affordable and kid-friendly seasonal projects: Candy Lei:  You don’t have to travel to Hawaii to enjoy the beauty and fun of wearing colorful lei.  The eye-popping garland, traditionally worn around the neck, can be … Continue reading

Horsing Around

My daughter recently attended a horse-themed birthday party for her friend Kira. Kira’s dad is a veterinarian and the family owns two horses that they board at a farm just outside of town. To celebrate Kira’s eighth birthday, her parents invited eight girls, including my daughter, to go horseback riding at the farm. Needless to say, my child is now hooked on horses. In fact, following the party, I finagled a way to get her enrolled in “sample” riding lessons without committing to the entire three-month, $400 program. My daughter’s lessons are limited, so I’ve been taking as many photos … Continue reading

Taking Aim on Spring Break

Where are you headed for spring break? Whether you are jetting off to the slopes or are planning a beach vacation, you don’t want to miss capturing all of the action with your camera. Make the most of your picture-taking device even if you are sticking close to home this Easter. While the price of gas has put a dent in many people’s wallets, it doesn’t mean you have to put the brakes on making and documenting fun spring memories. For example, if you are planning to visit a hometown amusement park while your kids are on spring break, aim … Continue reading

Short and Sweet

When it comes to scrapbook layout titles, I like ‘em short and sweet. I don’t care for long, languishing titles that sprawl across two pages, snake around corners and trail down the sides of page designs. But that’s just me. I get a certain satisfaction from coming up with cute quips that double as bold titles. What’s more, when you have a short title you have more flexibility in your layout. For starters, you don’t have to worry about squeezing all of the words on a single page. Moreover, you save money by not having to use as many embellishments … Continue reading

Alternatives to Traditional Veterinary Surgery

Real old school veterinary medicine Deciding what to do for pets that have serious medical problems is often difficult. Surgeries we wouldn’t think for a moment about getting for human family members often give us pause when they’re for our furry companions. If we don’t have pet insurance, sometimes these procedures can be too costly. They also come with a health cost to our pets. Maybe we don’t mind spending the money, but the surgery is riskier on our animals’ fragile bodies than it would be on ours. I know I dread the day I might have to make such … Continue reading

Scrapping the Scouts

My 6-year-old daughter wants to join the Boy Scouts, just like her cousin. You can bet I would scrap that historical moment if it ever came to fruition. However, for now she will have to be content with helping me put the finishing touches on the mini scouting scrapbook I am making for my nephew. This is by far one of the fastest books I have assembled thanks in large part to the abundance of Boy Scout-themed scrapbooking supplies available on the market. Frankly, I was surprised to see how many embellishments were out there, though my biggest shock was … Continue reading

Scrapping Puppy Love

Most pet owners love their fur babies as much (and at times, more) than their human offspring. Consequently, it stand to reason that the four-legged members of the family get equal time when comes to scrapbook space. One of my best friend’s is a huge animal lover. She has three dogs, two cats, a horse, a gerbil, chickens and a bunny. Oh, and she has four children too. Given the size of her brood, it’s no surprise that most of her scrapbooks contain an equal mix of pets and kids. What makes her layouts so special is the way she … Continue reading

Handy Winter Projects for Kids

My 5-year-old is obsessed with handprint art. Ever since her kindergarten teacher showed her how to make a painted heart from two upside-down handprints, she’s gone ga-ga for metacarpus-inspired art projects. She’s already ripped through a mountain of construction paper and about a gallon of (not cheap) washable Crayola fingerpaint. Now our living room walls are covered with handprint everything from hedgehogs to horses. Currently, I’m trying to channel her enthusiasm for handprint paintings into something a bit more festive for the holiday season. After all, as long as she is motivated, we might as well knock out a few … Continue reading