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!