Pink Chocolate Butterflies

When you're asked to make pink butterfly cupcakes, you make pink butterfly cupcakes because, well,  that's kind of your thing.

If I didn't enjoy the challenge, I wouldn't ask the kids what they wanted for their birthday cakes. And if I didn't have a daughter (with an equally willing sidekick of a BFF) to help with the baking, I wouldn't be quite so fortunate to pull off these little feats. An enormous debt of gratitude to Peanut and Totes Ameghan for their tasty chocolate cupcakes (and cake, for the actual factual birthday!) and delectable buttercream frosting. 

Chocolate butterflies.

The original source for these cupcakes came from a book, Hello, Cupcake!, which I have never read, but I have read the blog post at Annie's Eats that the book inspired, which also inspired me to create my own interpretation for our littlest person's birthday party this past weekend. It was the first time I'd done anything serious with chocolate, and it was actually pretty fun, once I worked out the kinks. And they were a big hit with the party goers! A++ would make again!

 

Clutch No 22 - Palmer And Sons Designs: Drool

 

Clutch No 22 - Palmer And Sons Designs

I used to have a separate blog called CalifmomFinds where I'd feature cool/unique/beautiful/quirky products I found while "widow" shopping online. Now that Pinterest exists, I'm retiring Finds and rolling those old posts into my main blog, so they won't be gone forever, and I might feature a few here as I am reminded of some of the beautiful things I found along the way. In the meantime, I was reminded of Palmer and Sons Designs when I archived this old post. As I popped over to update some links, I fell in love with this clutch they now offer and just had to share. Dangerous stuff, that window shopping. $235

Humpday Nails

I used to pay to get my nails done. Then, I'm not sure if I got lazy or creative, but suddenly I began taking an interest in doing them myself. First, pedicures, then my fingernails.

It's becoming an obsession, this nail thing. Santa even brought me brushes.

Initially, it looked like I'd had a triple latte before doing it. Then, I got a little better. Then, I decided to get really crazy and start painting fun designs on my nails and my daughter's. Then her friends' started asking for fun stuff. So, the trend began.

I made snowflakes! Sorta kinda.

I'm not great, but it's fun. We keep experimenting and coming up with new things to try. I got some special brushes for Christmas that make it a whole lot easier, and YouTube is full of great tutorials and ideas. It also helps that Sephora is a mile from my house. So handy. (See what I did there?)

Kermit nails.

 

Cookie monster fingernails.

Keep in mind, I'm an amateur with a certified hand-tremor. It isn't perfect, but it's fun. Plus, I swear it lasts longer than what I'd get done at the salon. Also, MUPPETS! And CUPCAKES!

Cupcake time!

I even made a Pinterest board to fill with ideas, cuz, you know IDEAS.

 

 

 

 

Tools Of The Trade: Painting Without Trashing The Table

Need to keep your child's paper from slipping while they paint or draw?

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An inexpensive roll of blue painter's tape works like a charm and doubles as a way to hang the artwork when it's finished.

There's another handy tip featured in the picture above. Q-tips make excellent disposable paint brushes. In this case, we were working with primary colors and used on cotton swab for each color, but kids like to mix (kind of the point when working with primary colors and learning to mix the colors, anyway). Instead of giving the children access to the entire pot of paint, I pour it onto plates in small amounts. This controls the quantity used and keeps the original containers a little neater for future painting sessions.

sponge

Make friends with sponges. You can run them through the dishwasher to keep them clean or even microwave them for a few seconds to really kill off the germs if that's a concern (be careful when you pull them out, they'll be HOT). A moistened sponge kept next to messy activities allows a child to be more independent in cleaning up. It also gives you a quick way to mop up spills if needed. I like to cut my sponges in half. They're still plenty big enough for the job.

I cannot tell you how much I love this next item, but trust me and get yourself a giant roll of paper. It's a must-have in my opinion. We grew up with a roll of unprinted newsprint that I don't think we ever used up, but were always using. It can be used for wrapping paper, art projects, just let your imagination go. Right now, I have a smaller version on a spool I got from IKEA that's super handy. The spool was $6.99 and the roll was $4.99. Worth every cent. As you can see, we keep it next to a supply of pencils, pens, specialty scissors, and colored pencils. It gets regular use.

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Happy creating! Go get your craft on, kids.