Owl cupcakes

By now you may have noticed I haven't been able to do more than short little posts here and there this year. Here's another one ...

Aren't these cute?! My neighbor Christine made them for her daughter's recent birthday. I think she found the idea on Pinterest because Christine loves the site as much as I do. I'm posting the picture here so 1. I remember how Christine did it when I go to make some and 2. So I can pin this image on my little birdies board. 

We've got a pair of Barred Owls that like the woods at the end of our street. I love hearing them call back and forth at dusk and then a little later before midnight. Joseph did NOT like hearing them at first but now it's all cool and he can step out of the house when it's dark. I would have thrown Joseph an owl birthday party but the idea didn't fly with the boys.*

*Go ahead and groan ツ


(Free) Thanksgiving activities for the kiddos

Activity Place Mat

Turkey Feathers Game

Sticker Activity Book

Roll a Turkey Game (two versions)

Turkey Leg Placecard (fill with goodies)

Decorate the Whole Table


Friday find — Southern Love written in cement

Adrienne Applegate

This is not my picture, nor is it my story BUT I love the poem so I asked to share both the picture and the story. On a recent trip to Wisconsin with her parents, Joseph's friend Odetta found a poem in a Madison sidewalk and being a toddler, stopped to read the letters. The author of the poem, Fabu, happened to drive by, saw an adorable red-head lying on the sidewalk and pulled over. How cool is that?! Fabu hails from down South and was Madison's poet laureate from 2008-2011.

Southern Love

I want love
to be like a good pot of greens
pick the tenderest parts
separate from the hard stem
wash gently and thoroughly 
removing every bit of dirt and grime
rinsing over and over and over 
with the clear, clean water of forgiveness 
season with savory meat, herbs and spices 
and then simmer, simmer, simmer.

I think it's a great description of what has to happen in a long, successful relationship — finding the good in each other, putting in the time and effort necessary to form a lasting bond. 

I'm a fan of poetry and have put several books on the boys' bookshelves. Our favorites include "The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders" by Jack Prelutsky and "Dirt on My Shirt" by Jeff Foxworthy. Then there are the classics, "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Sevenson and anything by Aileen Fisher. 

Favorite poems? poet? for adults? for children? Please share.


B is for building blocks

When Will was still a wee lad, one of our fabulous neighbors handed down a rather well-loved and rather big block set their boy had outgrown. By big I mean when one of those blocks lands on a toe, you know it! I was worried about such injuries at first but not many have occurred. What has occurred is many, many hours of creative play. Forts and towers and roads and castles ... learning about balance, cause and effect and a whole bunch of other skills along the way. I now love the big size of the blocks. I think they are easier (sturdier?) for building. I tried pricing a set like ours and they are not cheap. If you are handy with a saw and sander, make your own

But really, this post is just an excuse to share a cute picture of Joseph. Look at that concentration!


More acorns — clay and candles

Chris and I marked our 8th anniversary in October. I like the traditional gift list so up this year was pottery. I love pottery. I've collected a good bit — yard sales and thrift stores are great places to start a collection — but I'll admit, I'm not always sure how to decorate with it. But that doesn't keep me from admiring the craftsmanship of my friends Julie in North Carolina and Wade right down the street. Chris got together with Wade to create a one-of-a-kind piece for our anniversary. I know my No. 1 fan (Hi Mom!) wanted to see pictures ...

Wow! It's gorgeous! And what makes it even more special, Chris wrote a sweet message on the bottom. Once again I am very impressed with how much talent lives on my street (musicians, actors, sculptors and more). If you want your own pretty piece, Wade exhibits at various annual shows — Moss Rock, Magic City Art Connection, Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival to name a few. 

Now, what to do with it? Right now it is filled with finds from a nature walk — acorns, nuts, pinecones. I've been wanting to make floating acorn candles forever. At least since I saw the idea on Pinterest. But I told myself I had to wait until after the craft show. I decided yesterday I had waited long enough and my new bowl was a perfect vessel for the candles.

Didn't really follow any directions, very much winged it. I basically did it the same way as Tonia at The Gunny Sack if you want to make your own. I found it easier to light a taper and then let the wax drip into the acorn cap. My second batch I melted an old beeswax candle in a double boiler which took forever and was not easy to pour into the caps. 

Sure they don't burn for long but aren't they pretty?!

Do not leave these beauties unattended! We found that as the flame got closer to the acorn caps, they did have a tendency to catch fire. Made for an exciting dinner!

(Linked to the Creative Me party at The Southern Institute)