Sweet Sixteen Birthday

The day I had been planning for months finally arrived!  And It wasn’t just any birthday party – I planned a surprise sweet sixteen party for my oldest daughter…

Our Candy Bar…

Cupcakes & Cake Balls – YUM!

Surprises are fun but boy are they a lot more work!  I forgot the fact that I would need to hide all of the decorations & such that I was buying…or that I would have to pretend like we were just doing something small for her birthday this year (wow, what a great Mom I am on her 16th birthday!), or that we couldn’t discuss any of the plans in front of her (thank the Lord for evite invitations!)…and basically lie to her the whole month before her birthday!!

These will have to do until she gets her license!

It worked out that she went to camp the week before the party so I waited to do most of the shopping, organizing, baking, etc., till then.  Then, she had a coaching class all weekend (poor thing was exhausted!) so she wasn’t home much while I was cleaning and getting things ready….

I couldn’t believe that we were actually able to pull it off without her catching on!  It helped that we had told her that we were having a small group of family and friends over so she knew to expect a small party.  She is not one to like change so I was a little worried that she might not handle the surprise of so many people coming over after such an exhausting week at camp and then the whole weekend spent in a coaching class…

But she handled it with grace and endurance and impressed me very much with her fun-loving attitude.  It was so fun to see her re-connect with her high school soccer buddies ~ some of whom she hasn’t seen since their season ended in the Spring…what a great group of girls!

And it’s always fun to be able to hang out with our crazy family :’)  Young and older, they provide some great entertainment and fun stories….

We can always count on our friends to keep us in stitches as well!

Thanks everyone for helping to make Kylee’s Sweet Sixteen Party a memorable one!  It was definitely worth all of the hours of preparation & mystery!

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Cake Pops

I Love Cake Pops!

They take a little bit of work, but the outcome is so worth it!

Here is how I  made mine (after getting tips from several fellow bloggers):

1. Buy a box cake mix and prepare according to the directions…

White cake worked best for me as chocolate is more difficult to frost

and takes more than one coat.

*Very Important!  Allow the cake to cool completely before going to the next step!

My first batch came out too gooey for my liking and it was because I wasn’t patient enough

to let the cake cool completely…

2. Tear the cake into pieces and put into your stand-up mixer or food processor – I’ve used both…crumble until it mixture resembles coarse crumbs…

3. Add 1/2 of a can of frosting (flavor of your choice) and mix well…

4. Roll the dough into quarter-size balls and place on a wax-paper covered cookie sheet…

5. Place the cookie sheet of cake balls into the freezer for about 10 minutes

6. Heat up about 1/4 cup of your choice of candy melts

7.  Dip a lollipop stick into the candy melts and push into the base of your candy balls…

8. Put the candy pops back into the freezer for at least an hour – do not skip this step or the candy melts will not adhere to the cake pops correctly….

9. Melt the rest of your candy melts, prepare any sprinkles you will be using and a piece of styrofoam or a box with holes punched into the top to hold your cake pops while they dry…

10. Swirl the cake pops into the candy melts and tap off any excess…

11. Be sure to dip your pops into the sprinkles right away as the candy melts dry quickly!  If the candy melts start to harden in the bowl, just pop them back into the microwave and reheat for a few seconds…

12. They will dry quickly and then you can arrange them in a flower pot or vase…be creative!

I have read that some prefer to store their cake pops in the fridge as they taste yummy cold,

but I’ve also read that if you store them in an air-tight container they will stay fresh for several days.

I am testing this theory right now with some pops I made this week and am storing until my

daughter’s party on Sunday…will post more photos of how those hold up!

Another variation of this recipe is to skip the lollipop stick step and,

after freezing for at least an hour, dip the cake balls into the candy melts…

and then sprinkle them with sprinkles…

I then placed them into mini cupcake cups to dry…

These are quite a bit easier to store than the cake pops!

4th of July Wrap Up

Printable Stamp Designed By: Kay Sibley  

             I found some really fun recipes to try out for our busy 4th of July/Birthday Weekend….

Cake Pops by Suburbs Mama

Here’s my version:

My Sis-In-Law had the great idea to turn some into Cake Balls

so that we could create and store many more!

Since my Hubby’s birthday was the day before, we celebrated with the Fam on the 4th as well…

Uh Honey, the candles are backwards!

In my next post I will show you simple directions for making Cake Pops!

Fourth of July Inspiration

With only five days till one of the biggest summer holiday’s, I thought I’d share some inspiring posts I’ve found on blogland…

Hoosier Homemade ~ 4th of July Best of the Grill & Firecracker Cupcakes    

Keeping the Kingdom First ~  4th of July Inspiration 

                                                           My Blessed Life ~ 10 4th of July Crafts      

 

                                                    

                                                 Momformation Blog ~ Kid-friendly 4th of July

                             It’s a Blog Party! ~ Fourth of July food & decorating ideas linky party      

Summertime Posts!

I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged!  I am in the midst of re-arranging some of my volunteering responsibilities and am so excited about the chance to have more time to devote to my blog and other things that I love to do!  I’ve once again bitten off more than I can chew and have been putting in full time hours volunteering, as well as homeschooling and attempting to keep my home in order and my hubby and kids happy :’)

I’ve realized that I’ve been putting in way too many hours (although at home, on my computer) away from my family and away from things that I love to do…I’ve spread myself too thin and it’s time to take control and reign in my time once again!

So, in an attempt to fit in some time for blogging, while I’m in this re-construction phase, I am going to concentrate on writing/sharing short posts more frequently…some of my favorite summertime recipes, ideas to keep the kids busy while not destroying your budget and of course, some do-it-yourself tips!

So let’s start with some great ways to keep the kiddos from saying “I’m bored!!!”

*Amy Clark (www.momadvice.com) shares ~ 100 Days of Summer: Inspiration for Your Summer Break
*Allison, over at House of Hepworth’s taught her kids how to sew…
*Kid Summer Water Games…with a 2-liter!
*Nothing says summertime like ice cream with the family! Enjoy it for less with this B1G1 FREE Baskin Robbins Scoop or Swirl printable.