Monday, March 29, 2010

You've Been Egged!

We all loved to “Boo” our neighbors at Halloween. Why not “egg” them at Easter too? To "egg" your neighbor you will need to purchase some plastic Easter eggs and fill them with candy and goodies. This is a perfect activity for the little ones to do!

The gals at eighteen25 created this sign to egg their neighbors and it is a FREE download. Yippee!

Executive Homemaker also has a cute free download that you can easily print, "You've been egged!”
You can jazz it up a bit and leave this cute poem in a basket filled with goodies. (Don’t forget to include extra copies, so they can easily pass it on to the next neighbor.)

A secret bunny has dropped this by
because they know how hard you try!
So as a reward, here’s a treat.
because everyone knows, we love things sweet.
Hang this Egg upon your door
as part of your Easter décor.
Now it’s up to you to spread the joy
so that everyone else can enjoy.
Pass it on by next morning’s light,
and smile, as you imagine their delight!

Now that your supplies are ready, here's the fun part. Head over to a friend or neighbors house, “hide” the eggs around their porch, flower beds, and on the lawn. Don't really hide them, you want them in plain site so they can find them easily. Post the sign by their door, knock or ring the doorbell and take off. This is great fun for the kids to do!

This would be really cute for all my colleagues too. Be sure to remember that once you've been egged it's important to pass it along!

Bird's Nest Desserts

As we all know, I am a sucker for dessert and these two recipes are heavenly! Plus, they will look adorable for your Easter celebrations. Who doesn’t love a pretty dessert?
Bird’s Nest Mini Cheesecakes-Adapted from

Prep Time: 20 min.
Bake Time: 25 min.
Yield: Makes 24 mini cheesecakes.
24 chocolate or vanilla reduced fat wafer cookies
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, reduced fat
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup sour cream, fat free
1 1/2 cups chopped SNICKERS® Bars
½ cup flaked coconut
Green food coloring
2 cups M&M’S® Brand Speckled Chocolate Eggs
Mini muffin tin
Mini muffin paper liners
1. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Place one wafer cookie in the bottom of each cup, set aside.
2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Slowly add eggs and sour cream, mix until creamy. Stir in chopped SNICKERS® Bars.
3. Spoon mixture into muffin cups and bake in a preheated 375ºF oven until set, about 25 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve:
4a. Combine coconut with a few drops of food coloring to desired shade of green.
4b. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut on non-greased cookie sheet. Toast in oven, stirring every five minutes, until it turns light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove coconut from cookie sheet and set aside.
5. Arrange on top of cheesecakes to resemble a nest. Fill nests with M&M’S® Brand Speckled Chocolate Eggs. Serve at room temperature.

Bird's Nest Cookies-Adapted from M&M's Recipes

1 bag M&M'S® Brand Milk Candies for Easter

2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

green Betty Crocker cupcake icing
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut on non-greased cookie sheet. Toast in oven, stirring every five minutes, until it turns light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove coconut from cookie sheet and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. In large bowl, add butter and sugar and whip until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Blend into creamed mixture. Form dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Roll heavily into toasted coconut. Place coconut cookies 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make indentation with thumb in center of each cookie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies and cool completely (if your indentation is no longer visible, just use the back of a spoon to recreate it while the cookies are still warm). Coat indentations with some of the green icing (this will secure the M&M's and it looks like grass) and fill with M&M's.

I also have an addiction to cupcakes. The same toppings could be added to your favorite cupcakes to make bird's nest cupcakes. Carrot cake is always a crowd pleaser at our house. :) Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pluff Mudd Studio Blog Button

Thanks to Ashley at Ashley's Blog Layout Pluff Mudd Studio now has a blog button! Use the code and grab the button for your own blog.

You can also show your love and follow updates on Facebook. Become a fan! See you there!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Favorite Peeps

Thanks to the girls at eighteen25 for this wonderful idea and printable! One row of your favorite colored peeps chicks fits perfectly in a snack-size ziploc bag. Simply print the file onto white cardstock, and cut out the 6 3/4" x 4 1/2" pieces. Fold them in half and staple, tape, or glue your peeps topper on. Finally, deliver to your favorite Peeps! Check eighteen25 for this free download. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shrimp Shooters

Now that we are all seafood savvy.... Let me introduce you to shrimp shooters. I am super picky and stubbornly gave this recipe a try. (Thanks Jill) Now I am obsessed with this quick and easy appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser.

Here's the recipe:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 pounds peeled, large cooked shrimp
capers (optional)
Romaine lettuce heart leaves

1. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Place cooked shrimp and vinaigrette mixture in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
3. Arrange lettuce leaves in 8 (6- to 8-oz.) glasses. I use a collection of mint julep cups to jazz up the presentation. Spoon shrimp mixture evenly into glasses.

Note: Vinaigrette may be prepared ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Let vinaigrette come to room temperature, and whisk before adding cooked shrimp

Bon appetit!

Recipe adapted from Southern Living 2007

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fish for the Future

The Sustainable Seafood Initiative, based in Charleston, SC, is just one of many organizations devoted to lessening the impact we have on the oceans by making wise seafood choices and encouraging improvement of fishing and fish-farming methods. However, if you are like me, it is hard to know which seafood to buy and which ones to avoid. There are so many questions… Why limit what fish you can eat? How do we decide what fish? What is Sustainable Seafood?

Here are a few tools to answer all those questions and make a trip to the grocery store or a restaurant much easier!

1. Seafood Watch is a web-site that tells you which seafood is safe to purchase.
2. You can download a free pocket guide for any area in The United States. (I am printing and laminating some of these to add to some adult Easter baskets.)
3. Download the FREE iPhone application to know what to do when you are at a restaurant or buying fish at the store.

Lots of aquariums (Monterey Bay Aquarium, South Carolina Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, etc.) sponsor organizations that support sustainable seafood practices. Check your local aquarium for more information. In addition, these organizations offer recommendations for restaurants that support sustainable seafood efforts. Being informed as chefs and consumers, we can choose seafood from better managed fisheries to minimize our impact on the environment. When you buy locally-captured seafood that is caught responsibly, you are supporting the local economy and sustainable seafood. Let’s all become seafood savvy!!

photos from Kim Vallee and Seafood Watch

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hoppy Easter Party Circles

Hop on over to Pluff Mudd Studio and check out the new Easter Party Circles. They are perfect for adding decoration to your cupcakes or a personalized favor tag.

We are giving these goodie bags to some of Cate's friends at our Easter Egg hunt and of course I volunteered to bring the cupcakes!

Check-in tomorrow because I can not wait to share the adorable treats Cate is bringing for her spring/Easter celebration at "school".

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cutey Booty

I am always on the hunt for that perfect precious baby shower gift and I LOVE this idea. Cutey Booty is a local Charleston, SC company that is gaining lots of popularity. They offer 2 fabric options (bamboo and moda bella cotton) for Patootys (girls) and Dudeys (boys). I can not wait to pick up a pair for an upcoming baby shower and of course Cate could use a pair too! Locally, you can find the "booty bins" at Southern Belles, From Here to Maternity, Pink Crocodile, Sprout, and Baby Bloomers. Otherwise visit Cutey Booty to order.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Party Circles!!

Party Circles are my new obsession! I am using them for everything! I have added them on top of cupcakes for a birthday party, printed them on label paper for favor tags, punched them for gift bag tags, and placed them in a gift for an enclosure card. The possibilities are endless!

Even if you are not crafty and creative you can make these! Just choose your design and pick up a scallop or circle punch from any store that sells craft supplies! (I bought mine from AC Moore and used one of their famous 40% off coupons. You can print these weekly from their web-site.) It is that simple!

I can't wait to share the Pink Flamingo invitations and party circles that I am designing for a super sassy girlfriend's daughter's first birthday. Thanks for the inspiration Becki! Strut on by to see pics soon!

Check out all my new designs on Etsy (Fun in the Sun, Monkey Around, Hoppy Easter, Flip Flop Fun)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Easter Chicks!!

Check out this adorable idea for Easter party favors! These colorful roosters are from Gifts Define and of course they are handmade Etsy products! Adding some chocolate eggs or candy filled plastic eggs will make these really yummy! I wish the Easter bunny would bring these to me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Easter Fashion


I am obsessed with holidays and all the fun accessories and decorating that go along with each special event. Having a daughter just adds to this excitement. These are some of my favorite bows by Lexi Lou Designs and of course they are from Etsy!

COMING SOON!! New pictures of the Easter Party Circles and the theme for Cate's first birthday party.

Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Fun!

The Counts family is ready for St. Patrick's Day! I LOVED these adorable outfits for the little ones. Cate is wearing the smocked shamrock dress to her "school" party!

Sandra Lee, the queen of semi-homemade, is one of my idols. Cate's goodies for her party are definitely semi-homemade (sometimes out-sourcing is key). The cookies and cupcakes are from an adorable local bakery, Amelia Claire's. The green shamrock shaped cookies and cupcakes coordinated with the St. Patrick's Day party circles perfectly! Go grab the party circles from my Etsy store and turn an ordinary treat to extraordinary!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

YUMMY! Mexican Lasagna is one of our favorite Rachel Ray Recipes! A friend sent it to us when Cate was born and it has been our go to for quick week night meals. Surprise your family with a new recipe, invite some friends over for dinner, or add it to your recipe box for an easy meal to deliver to a friend! Bon appetit!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lucky You!

These cupcake toppers are magically delicious! One of my idols is Kim over at The Tomkat Studio. (Do you see her influence on me yet???) Hop over to her blog and pick up these precious designs for St. Patrick's Day.

These also make great favor tags! I made Cate a personalized set to attach to her green shamrock cookies for her friends at "school". Look for pictures soon!

Shrimp and Grits Spring Trunk Show

For my first post I thought I would share something very cute and sassy for the little ones. This weekend I hosted the most adorable Shrimp and Grits Trunk Show! It was fabulous to see all our friends and even more exciting to see all the new babies! I absolutely LOVE the designs that fit in perfectly with all the summer festivities. The sailboats will be perfect for 4th of July! Can't wait for the orders to arrive!!

I also can't wait to share recipes, Cate's party favors and snacks for St. Patrick's Day and Easter, plus many more pretty things! Sign-up to be a follower and stay tuned!
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