Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Hope your holiday is filled with sweet surprises!

A peek through my kitchen's been very bright and sunny and warm this Christmas.  It is usually cold and damp and foggy.
We are busy baking in the kitchen this morning in preparation for our holiday at my sister's house.

Cooling right now is a Chocolate Peppermint Schnapps Cake
currently baking away is a Pumpkin Brûlée Pie in a Chocolate Crust.

Oh my....that pie filling is divine!  It's from Bon Appetit magazine and I heard about it on NPR (love me my NPR) from a pair of bloggers....

I searched high and low for a kitchen torch but couldn't find one, so Wood Bee is loaning me his vintage blowtorch that was my grandpa's.
Here's the vintage box it came in - sold it on etsy.
We are looking forward to spending time with my family and chatting with Worker Bee's family over the phone.

For unto you a Son is born....

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Here's a Cast Picture....

Well, you asked, and this is all I've managed to find....
Here is the entire cast of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever!
(Including Worker Bee, Baby Bee, and me!!!)

I played Mrs. McCarthy (although one night on stage I accidentally called myself Mrs. McCartney).  She is one of the church ladies.  If you've ever seen the play, she is the one who thinks Imogene Herdman's cigar smoke in the ladies room is actually a fire.  So every night I got to walk on stage sniffing the air, then walk right up front and yell, "Fire!  There's a fire!"  And then all kinds of chaos breaks out.  (I was almost knocked down one night when some running children decided it would be more fun to somersault their way off stage.)  

Worker Bee played Bob Bradley, the father of the narrator, Beth, and the husband of the pageant director, Grace.  He had the best line, said over and over, "Do I have to go?"  My friends all said he was just playing himself!  Well....sort of.....

And Baby Bee was in the angel choir.  She didn't have any lines, but she sang beautifully.  Although, the girl who played Maxine - the narrator of the church production of the pageant in the play - hmmmm.....that gets a bit complicated - had to go to a couple of basketball tournaments.  The director asked Kiley to step in and play her part!  That was quite exciting for us and her.  

So, I highly recommend that if you have ever had the slightest desire to appear on stage in a play, that you go for it!  It was a wonderful experience and I would love to do it again!  And, I even eventually got all my lines memorized!  Thanks Worker Bee for helping me with that.  (And thanks Baby Bee for keeping it under your hat that you heard me practicing them every morning in the shower!)

The next show is South Pacific....
am I brave enough to audition???
(And am I crazy enough to do this again during the school year?)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

And Here's the Post About What My Third Graders Made This Year

I'm not sure where the idea got into my head.  I know it's not an original idea.  Probably spotted it on Pinterest or something.  This year it was getting down to the wire on what my students were going to make as gifts for their parents this year.    In fact, there was a very good chance they might not have made anything, but luckily inspiration struck just in time and we baked up a little something sweet for our families.

We made cupcake ornaments!  
If I do say so myself, they turned out pretty stinkin' cute!

Here's what you need to make these:
•a selection of glass ornaments (we bought brown/chocolate and red/red velvet ones)
•acrylic craft paint in colors of your choice (we had ivory, candy pink, and ruby red)
•assorted glitter (we used silver and crystal clear)
•foil cupcake liners (used the Wilton since they are papery on the inside)
•a bunch or two of faux berries (found these at Michaels for about $1 a bunch)
•a low temp glue gun
•and, of course, a venti latte from Starbucks in my new venti sized travel mug (I've waited a loooooong time to get one of those.....a very looooooong time.)

1.  Start off by painting a first coat around the top of the ornament and let dry.

2.  Paint a second coat and while it is still wet, sprinkle with the glitter.
3.  After it is dry, hot glue the cupcake wrapper to the ornament (we only glued the bottom of the liner to the ornament).
4.  Snip off one of the berries from the faux bunch and hot glue it to the ornament to resemble a cherry resting on top.

5.  Last step, thread some baker's twine through the ornament hook and tie a knot!

A Christmas cupcake ornament!

Seriously, this is one of the easiest AND cutest projects we've ever done for Christmas.

Oh and I also glued a picture of each student to the bottom of the cupcake liner to make them a bit more personal.

It's not too late for you to pull off this project!  

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Little Christmas Treat

Hello???  Have you given up on me?  I sure hope not, but boy I have just not had time to buzz by for a visit or even hardly think of a post.

However, a wee bit of inspiration struck when I was packaging up some treats that Baby Bee and I conspired on to sell at her Winter Program bake sale for middle school band.

Seriously, I always think a little bit of pretty packaging always makes something look more appealing and shows how much you care.

Baby Bee baked some delicious Peppermint Chocolate Miniature Bundt Cakes – I think they might be called Bundt-lette cakes – and I just had to do my best to make them sell for top dollar.
I  made some sweet little tags using digital scrapbook paper and a fun font.  
Then, I put each cake in a little clear treat bag, 
 threw in some peppermint candies, and tied them up with baker's twine – red and white, of course.

And then I cute would it be to make these little cakes with different flavors, like maybe Kahlua or cinnamon and then toss in some coffee beans or cinnamon candies?'s an idea, right?  Is it a good one?
 Would you buy these at a bake sale?
 What would you pay?  (Not sure what they ended up selling for.)
Well, the play has now closed - looking for pictures - I never had a chance to take any myself - to share with you.  

And I can't wait to show you what my students made for Christmas gifts this year!  They turned out so cute.

Thanks for still buzzing along with me!  Only one more day of school and then it's Winter Break!!!!  Can't wait!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Time for the Big Reveal of What I've Been Up To!

So.....I've been teasing you long enough.  You see there has been a reason why I haven't been around much, why I haven't left many comments with my dear bloggy friends, why I've hardly posted much....

And it's time to tell you why!

Well, first off, for those of you who don't know this....I am a HUGE ham! 

 Give me a microphone (or honestly, I probably don't even need a microphone - I have one of those voices that just carries) and I am in hog heaven!  Now in person, I'm a bit on the shy side (unless you've known me a long time) but I love to play a character.

So, our small town just built a state of the art theater and the entire Sweet Bee Cottage family (yes, all 3 of us) are all appearing in the Raisin Cane Players production of

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Are you familiar with the story?  If not, I highly recommend reading the book 

by Barbara Robinson or seeing a production of the play in your area.  
It has the sweetest Christmas message all wrapped up in a hilarious package.  

Well I am playing Mrs. McCarthy who is one of the church ladies.  If you've seen a production, she's the one who yells "Fire!" which leads to all kind of havoc during the dress rehearsal of the Christmas pageant.  I probably have the biggest small part.
Spent today painting the church set.  Love that mauve floor - looks very 80s/90s!

My dear Worker Bee is playing Bob Bradley, the father of the narrator and the husband of Grace who is the mom who now has to run the pageant since Mrs. Armstrong who normally runs EVERYTHING is laid up with a broken leg.  He is absolutely hilarious in the part!  I have other members of the crew and cast telling me how perfect he is as that character.  He says he's basically playing himself - supportive, but slightly exasperated with his wife who takes on too much.  And as he says, he has the smallest big part in the play.
It's a huge set - it spans the whole width of the stage, but we need that because there are at least 18 kids in the cast.  
And Baby Bee is also a singer in the angel choir.  The little choir sounds wonderful!  She does have one line, "I have to go to the bathroom," which she is not that enthusiastic about giving since she is a 12 year old and 12 year olds don't publicly admit that they have to go to the bathroom.  
In small town community theater everybody does a little of everything....this is our lead (Grace Bradley) touching up the stage floor. 

So the entire Sweet Bee Cottage family has been busy going to rehearsals, learning lines, thinking about costumes, and still trying to keep up with all the normal things such as homework, housework, and yard work so I haven't had much time for hanging out in blog land.

Opening night is Thursday and we run for two weekends!  

Can't wait to tell you more about it!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Have You Heard About These?

I'm afraid I have a new obsession.  Just a week or so ago our local Big City newspaper ran a feature on these and the seeds of the obsession were sown. 

Then, there was an article in Parade magazine this weekend and that just enough to make the obsession bloom.

(And no, for those of you who still get a daily newspaper and read Parade magazine, my obsession is not Pioneer Woman, although I do like her a lot.)

I began to stalk them. 

And pin them.

And try to figure out how to convince my brother to build one for me.

Or try to figure out why I marred a guy who doesn't really know how to build things.

Or even learn how to build one myself.  After all, I am me build.

Okay,  I usual.

I want one of these................

Right in my front yard.

And I even have a good excuse to build it since one of my picket fence posts rotted out and needs to be replaced.  

Wouldn't one of these be just the spiffiest fence post cap? 

I know you're with me people. I must plot and plod along. And dream. And start a book collection to put in this when I get it.

Do you think I'm crazy to even consider this?  
After all, we live right across the street from an elementary school.  What better group to serve could we have?

Or do you wish your neighbor would build one too?  
And think of the conversations you might strike up with your neighbors about books.

Or do YOU want to build one for yourself?
This last one is my personal favorite...

there's just something about a stone wall that grabs my heart!

And as for that big announcement?  
Well, it's still coming.....but I think I will wait until things are "set" up a bit more.  
And it is the biggest reason I haven't been able to write the best post ever in long time.
I am SUCH a tease!

P.S. Do you want to find out more about the Little Free Library movement?  Why you can go here and find out tons of information, get plans, or even buy pre made book houses.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Favorite Idea from the Bridal Shower

This is it.  My last post on the bridal shower.  Really.  

(Uh oh - did you see my crossed fingers? I might be done with the shower, but I've still got to tell you about the wedding!)

So one of my favorite things we did at the shower was to come up with date ideas for K and B.  

I started off by writing instructions (it's that teacher in me - so hard to let go of that) and putting them in a white frame.  (I always have plenty of white frames because I borrow them from my gallery wall in the hallway - I don't think I've ever shown you that - I will have to do that someday)

 Baby Bee and her buddy used a punch to make all the tags out of wood printed scrapbook paper.
 Everything was set up on a sofa table I have stored in the garage and it gave the guests something to do when they first arrived.  
 I had been trying to come up with a way to string them together and on my way out the door on Friday before the party I remember my teaching buddy had a plethora of binder rings so I got a couple from her and painted them the same navy blue I painted so many things for this shower.

 I knew some people might not be able to come up with an idea right away so I printed off a bunch of ideas I found on the internet.  (Plus I figured it wouldn't hurt if it gave them a date night idea too!)
 Here is some of what they came up with.....

Don't let Hallmark see that one!

One of the reasons I really like this adaptation of this idea is that it doesn't take up a lot of room and my friend, K, can just toss it in her purse for instant inspiration.

Okay.....I haven't had too many guesses as to what my big news I'm just going to tell you....on a different post! (Can you hear my evil laugh? Bah ha ha ha ha!) question for you is....
what would you do on a date night???


P.S.  I forgot to show the original inspiration.....