Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Candy Cake for the Kids


It's so pretty.

My 9 year old walks past it and takes a big sniff about 5 times a day. 

This is my version of the Candy Bar Cake...or whatever they are called on pinterest! I searched images and pinterest pages looking for directions or even amounts of candy to buy. Let me tell ya...there is not a lot out there. Sure, there are tons of pictures...some great, some eh...but not a lot of how to! So, I thought I'd contribute to the how to and hopefully help someone out!

I made this little beauty for Belvedere Elementary School's BoxTops collection contest: Classroom Prize. I think it will go over well...hopefully. I mean, my kids and even my husband drooled when they all saw it- so that is a plus in my eyes.

Let me start by saying I just winged the construction. I went to the dollar store because they have lots of floral supplies. I was hoping I would find some sort of foam- and what a great suprise when I found floral wreaths and squares! Score!!!


I got two of the wreaths and one square. So that's about 4 inches tall in the circle cake, and another 4 inches with the square on top. I left the wrapping on the foam- just less messy. I also found some pretty duct tape at the dollar store. Woohoo!!!


I thought the glue would stick to the duct tape and the duct tape would stick better to the plastic wrap rather than the foam itself. Years of experience working in a flower shop lead me to believe that nothing sticks to floral foam but water and flowers!

So I wrapped up all three pieces in the duct tape. The two circles I went ahead and taped all together- just to make it sturdy. The square at the top- I left a small space so I could poke lollipops through the top without having to fight with the duct tape again. Pretty smart, right? Yes, I thought so too!




I arranged all the candy I bought, also at the dollar store! Oh and let me say now that I spent about $15 total on this cake. I think that is a really great price for making this super looking prize! So a big fat thank you goes out to the Dollar Store! * 8 little bags of candy,  3 foam,  2 duct tape*


I did pick up one small bag of the mixed mini chocolates to fill in some holes...but I only used half of the bag- the others will be donated to my husband's mental well being fund...he might share with the kids...maybe.

Oops...forgot about the bottom. I just made my own cake plate out of cardboard and wrapping paper...but if you happen to have one of those golden shiny cake plates, that would be alright too :)


Now for the fun part...assembly!!!

I hot glued all the foam pieces together, then onto the cake plate.



I used a low heat glue gun..and just did a dot on each piece of candy. I was pleasantly surprised that everything stuck so well to the duct tape! Yay me!!!






Sorry some of these pics are fuzzy. I was battling with a puppy to stay away from the hot glue area while taking pics. No animals were harmed during this photo shoot! Wheeewww!

So I just kind of placed candy around to see what fit where...and when I got a sort of placement down I began gluing. It went really quickly and was actually fun! I just moved the cake around until all of the candy was used up.

The lollipops poked through just great.  They look so cute up there as the topper!



I finished it off by tying party ribbons around to give it a little extra sturdiness. There will be kids manhandling this, so, of course- sturdier is better!

I also made a little BoxTops Superstar sign for the top. Like I said before- this is for the winning classroom who brings in the most BoxTops this month...so it should say BoxTops on it somewhere, right? 





Look how cute..it matches the teacher's turn in box!

Oh- so you see those little holes on the cake...that's what I bought those little mini chocolates for...to fill in those gaps. Plus I wanted it to look so stuffed with candy the kids would go nuts! BTW...there is no candy on this cake that has nuts in it. I stuck to nut free candy to be safe for allergic kids!


That's it. My Candy Cake instructions. It was easy to make and didn't break the bank! Good on both counts!!! Hope the kiddos love it! Happy BoxTopping everyone!

~Casey













Friday, September 12, 2014

Halloween is coming!


 The epic question...it comes around every year...What are you going to be for Halloween?

With two young boys in our home, we have had the usual...Ninjas, Mario and Luigi, Dragons and various Star Wars favorites. This year is no exception! The oldest, Dain (9), has been reading the Harry Potter series- I believe he is on book 4. He is hooked- which I love :0) How could you not love that your kid thinks Harry is the most awesome kid on earth! So, of course, he wants to be Harry this year. Tage, our 6 year old loves Ron...which I think is adorable because he is very much like Ron!

So here is the look they want to dress as: 


The school robes! Now, we live in south Florida. Robes and hot, humid weather does not mesh well!!! But really, what costume does mesh well with ubber hot? They don't seem to mind though- so Harry Potter it will be!

We will find the robes, I'm sure they are everywhere still. If not- I will head to my favorite place to make costumes...Goodwill!!! I plan on looking for ties there anyway :)

We will need some cute little round glasses...no problem...and wands. Now, a few years ago the boys got the Harry Potter lego Wii game and lego Hogwarts castle- so we had a brief love of Harry then too. I found this really cool shop on Etsy that made wands, so we ordered the boys one each. Needless to say, Dain's is no more. He had the Dumbledore wand- but it ended in little pieces :( Tage still has his Ron wand- and all it needs is a little paint touch up. Dain still needs a wand though. 

So, last night I got creative! I made a wand out of chop sticks, rubber bands, hot glue and paint!

Here are the old and new wands:



Can you tell which is which?

I made the bottom...the bumpy gnarled wand. The Etsy bought wand is the smooth top one. 
Dain loves it- I mean LOVES it!  So if you are looking for a cool wand this year for Halloween...try to make your own! 

We are on a hunt for the rest of the costumes for now...but at least we have the most important part- the wands!


Because how can you do magic without one?????

Cheers
~Casey



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Sweets



Daddy and Tage this summer in Oma's pool
Yes...it's that time of year again.

Summer ends and school starts.

I have really enjoyed having my boys home all summer this year. They are 6 and 9- and we have had a great few months! But reality of school starting is close..as we have meet the teacher this Friday! Yay! 1st and 4th grade begins a new adventure for us all :)

So with the start of school fast approaching- and me being a cheerful Mommy, always wanting the first of school to be exciting for my boys: I wanted share a post about a very talented friend who has found a great use of her already super artistic abilities. She is Erin Watson, of Erinlo Sew and So.



She and I met back in college and have remained in touch all these years.  Recently she started her own cake business. She also does murals, hooded towels and other items. She loves working with people to design one of a kind, creative products! But for now- let's focus on the cakes!

She makes fabulously decorated cakes ...lots of which I am about to show you.

wow- right


so sweet


I know oodles of little girls that would love this cake

Monster Awesome

one of my favorites

look at all of those green squares



simply stunning cakes

She rocks! Right??? She is based out of Orlando, Florida- so if you ever need a fantastic cake- please look her up: Erinlo Sew and So

So now to brag a bit about stuff she made for us :) Erin also makes cookies...the cutest ever...and she makes them for back to school! Perfect timing right!!!

variety of back to school cookies
So when she posted on Facebook that she was making a new batch for next week I jumped on it! Here are our cookies we had made for the boys, and a sweet little friend starting Kindergarten!


So cute - I can't stand it!
These will be going in the kids lunch boxes as a surprise on their first day. They will be so happy. Who doesn't love a special, giant cookie??? Thanks Erin!

She does other events too...

graduation



birthdays


favorite characters

teacher appreciation


I am constantly amazed at what lovely things she creates! So go check her out- and give her a like on Facebook! She is amazing- and if nothing else, you can be inspired by her designs and creativity!

It's bitter sweet starting school this year for me....but these cookies will certainly make it a little sweeter! 


Happy Back to School everyone!!! 

~Casey


Erin can also be found on Pinterest




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Adopting a pet

It has been a little under a year since we lost our kitty, Jaffe. She was 21 years old...a fabulous ripe old age for a cat! She had a good life. She was my very first baby.

She was adopted in Tallahassee, my first year away in college. My roommates and I had talked about looking for a kitty and decided to peek in the paper. We found an ad, free to a good home, 6 month old kitten, and a phone number. Turned out she was from Miami, her person moving to a cat free apartment. The girl had left the kitten with her folks, and they didn't want a cat. So we took a drive and met this sweet little kitten! There was no doubt, this cat was mine from the start.

I loved Rolling Stone magazine back then...read them from cover to cover repeatedly. We had no name for our new little kitten yet- just calling her kitty. I remember reading down the contents page in one Rolling Stone, looking at the authors of the articles...and saw the name Jaffe. It was someone's last name- but it fit this little cat. So- Jaffe she was dubbed!

Roommates come and go. New apartments, new relationships...through it all, Jaffe stayed with me.
She was before the husband and kids. She was my best friend and confidant supporting me through art school and boyfriend debacles. She was the best!

I remember the very first time my now husband (back then, guy I was dating) had kitty crawl up on his lap and curl up in a ball. He was so excited kitty liked him. It was very sweet!

My kids knew kitty later in her life. She was older, calmer...no longer jumping up the walls, or playing hide and seek around the house with us. But my boys were so very good with her. They scrubbed her and cared for her just the same. We were all very sad when she passed.

One thing I have learned to accept about life is that it doesn't last forever.  After loosing grandparents, uncles and aunts, even my father...I have made peace with death. It's inevitable- and we should all enjoy every day we have together with people we love!

So even though we were sad to have kitty leave us...we new that it was time to love someone new.  A family isn't complete without a small furry friend to share life with. We thought, maybe a dog this time.

We started on the web...looking up breeds of dogs. What would be good for our little family, for our  two boys under 10. We decided the best route would be to adopt a rescue dog. No puppy mills for us!
We looked at the pages of rescue sites in our area...even the pound. We decided on A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue.  

They have a great site that shows pictures of animals, ages, any medical problems and even info about the breed. We loved this site! You could tell by the little snippets of information they wrote about the animals, that the foster homes and volunteers really cared about the animals.

Looking on the site one night, we saw a beautiful little spotty pup...a Catahoula Leopard Dog mix??? What???  We had no idea what that was...but read up about them and said- yes, this is the dog for us.


Isn't she a cutie! We fell in love immediately!
We filled out an application for adoption and the next week went to go meet her. She was nervous, and scared- and so were we...but we scrubbed her and new she was meant to be part of our family from the minute we saw her.


Jump to today...we have had her for only a month, but it feels like she has been with us always!

We loved our cat Jaffe for 21 wonderful years...and plan on doing the same with Bianca, our new pup. Adopting an animal in need of a family really comes down to discovering how much your family needs them too!

Go adopt a dog or a cat...it will make you happy, make them happy, and make life better all around!


~Casey

***If you are thinking of adding a pet to your home, please consider adopting a shelter or rescue animal. Second Chance is a fabulous example of people who care about all animals, and go through hoops to make sure all of their rescues find good homes. There are rescue groups in every city. Just google rescue dogs/cats in your area and find your perfect match***





Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sanibel Island


sunrise on Sanibel

Every year, since I was a little tiny child, our family- or a version of family- heads to Sanibel Island, FL. Why there you ask? Don't you already live IN Florida you say? The answer is yes, yes we do! We live in a beautiful place- West Palm Beach, FL. I actually really could only imagine living one other place, Friesland Netherlands...but that is a whole other story!!! (just look at the flag..how could you not want to live somewhere that has hearts on the flag?)

Friesland flag


So, why do we go to Sanibel? Is it for the great tourist attractions? The fabulous clubs and bars? Is it for golf or tennis or any other sporting thing? No, No and Nope. In fact, it's for the lack of all of those things that we make this trip.

We go to Sanibel because we love the beach. Just look at all that beach. It's on every side and corner of the island!

 We really love low-tide.At low tide there are miles of open beach that appear. The tide pulls back and hundreds of live shells, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers, sand dollars, horseshoe crabs and much more come out to play.
low tide- small people hunting for small critters






 We always have so much fun at low tide. The kids bring nets and try to catch small fish and crabs. We always take lots of pictures and look for pretty non-living shells. It's a beach rule...no live shells may be taken from the beach. We need to make sure there are lots of shells for the next generation who visits the island too!

Our family loves to eat. We always bring a bunch of fabulous eats to the island...and we grill, grill, grill. Margaritas, good beer, munchies and fabulous dinners! Who would not like that anyway???

There are many more reasons we love Sanibel...more that I will write about soon! Right now, I have to pick my kids up from school.

Cheers
~Casey



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to attach my tiles???

How to attach my tiles???

You just bought pretty new tiles for your home....NOW WHAT???
This a a great little post about all the ways to attach your address tiles. I wrote it on my luckiiarts.com site- but use the link above and you can read all about it!

Go on....go read it already!!!

Cheers
~Casey

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tile Mosaics by Me!

I have been working with a gal for a few months now on a wall piece for her new home. She is right here in super sunny Florida. She wanted something bright and fun to go on her newly painted sage green and apricot home. I wish I had a picture of the house...but since I do not...try closing your eyes and picturing a pretty bright green sage-y home..with sunny orange-y, yellow apricot accents....mmmm can you see it??? Great color right- especially for here in South Florida!


These are the tiles she decided to go with...a flowery burst of color! These are not her actual tiles. She had 2 sets of address' with letters A & B...as this is a duplex!  But you can get the picture...very bright and fun colors!

Now for the fun part...she is making a mosaic of sorts on the front facade of the duplex. So I have made a few groupings of tiles to be placed under windows...in the corner as accents, etc.  Here are a few pics of what I've made thus far:

This is one of the diagonal pieces...

 
 and another diagonal. Notice the flower colors change throughout!


There are a few of these singles on the diagonal too!

 
This is one of the bigger pieces...consists of 9 tiles.  She really likes the red flower center- so I have tried to tie that in...like on this border. 




Oh...found the address tiles. Not the best picture...but you can see the letters and how they all match with the bigger flower tiles.


I believe we have one more set and then the home will be complete! Check back in a month or so...hopefully I can get some installation pictures up! 

This is/was a big project...and I am so grateful to my client for having me take this remodel journey with her!!! Thanks :)

~Casey