Admitting Defeat…

Sometimes you win.

Sometimes the day wins.

The day won this week.

I have trouble admitting that to myself sometimes. As you may have noticed there has been no follow-up to the Guest Room Remodel Project. Because honestly the day won. The hard truth is the work I have done in the room, emptying the closest, has made the room look worse than it did before. I am not proud of that and it keeps me up at night.

The whole mission of the blog is in the name, to make the most out of your 24 useable hours. Admitting that you can’t do it all sometimes is the hardest thing to swallow. So I sit down tonight and make a new plan of attack. A new list and that always makes me smile.

So here is to next week and the potential of its 24 useable hours.

Train Birthday Party

I love a party.

I love to plan them.

I love to make lists for them.

I love throwing them.

So when the opportunity came to help plan my nephew’s 2nd birthday I jumped at the chance. A party, time with my sister, and a trip to Texas, yes please. What does every two year old boy want for a party? Choo-Choo Trains.

Things you will need:

  1. Fantastic Invitations
  2. Festive Decorations
  3. Yummy Food
  4. Treats, Treats, Treats!
These invitations are done by Nickel Design. The are easily customizable and really set the tone for the party.

Nickel Design also designed these sets of labels. They add a lot of WOW and personalization to the party without a lot of extra work.

We used the color pallet of red, blue and white that was used for the invitations throughout the party. We also tried to keep the decorations simple and clean with lots of balloons.

We set up train sets all over the house for the kids to play with. We also had several ride on trains for entertainment because lets be honest it is hot in Texas.

For the food I always find it best to go with things that are bite size, fun and you do well. Party day is not the day to try new things.

I always like to do a dish two ways. These are pigs in a blanket two ways: one with a simple hot dog and one with a gourmet sausage. I wrap them in puff pastry to ‘class’ them up a bit.

I also made pizza balls. These were a HUGE hit with the kids at the party. There were a take on a recipe I found from Industrious Justice. I did find that the clean up was much easier if you baked them on a cookie sheet instead of the muffin tins.

Spring Rolls. They are beautiful when plated and best of all can be made in advance. I have made no less than a thousand of these for baby showers, birthday parties and dinners. Trust me, when I tell you they will never disappoint. You can add almost any combinations of veggies and/or seafood (grilled shrimp are my favorite).


  • Rice Paper Wrappers
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Julienned Bell Peppers
  • Julienned English Cucumber
  • Thin sliced Red Onion
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Julienned Mint
  • Grated Ginger (I use a microplane so it is more like a paste)
  1. Place the wrappers in warm water to make them pliable
  2. Place Cilantro leaves down first (this will make for a nice first layer as you will see it when wrapped up)
  3. I spread a small amount of the ginger on the wrapper
  4. Then layer the carrots, bell pepper, cucumber and mint
  5. Wrap them up like a burrito
  6. If not serving immediately place them under a damp paper towel in the fridge.
  7. Cut on the diagonal and plate.
You serve with a dipping sauce. I did a  Peanut Sauce and a Thai Chile Sauce.

Sweets, Sweets, Sweets.

I love favors that are small and edible. These cake pops fit the bill perfectly. They were done by a amazing friend who owns Bite of Cake. The cake pops were loved by parents and kids alike.

We also made sugar cookies with my mom’s never fail, always turns out just right sugar cookie recipe. Per usual they were amazing. To frost them this time we used something new, Wilton’s Color Flow Mix. We simply outlined the cookies and then used the color flow to flood the cookies. It worked great and after a few minute they all settled to a nice even coat.

What party would be complete without the world’s most perfect food, the cupcake. I did a simple swirl and topped them with another personalized touch.

And a good time was had by all.

The Guest Room/Office – Project Two

Even with 24 useable hours in every day there is bound to be something that falls through the cracks. My dirty little secret is my guest room/office. It has become the room in the house I ignore as I walk down the hall. I had good intentions. As my mother always told me “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”. Guess where I arrived?

Over the years my ‘good intentions’ have turned into a room full of unfinished craft projects, clutter, and unrecognized vision. I have the ubiquitous “junk room”.This is where it stops. I am embarking to take back the room and make it into a useable space for crafts, an office, and a guest room I can be proud of.

Here is what I am starting with:

  • A Desk
  • A Bed
  • A Closet
  • Bookshelves

A desk that has no workable space and shelves cluttered with memories and mismatched things.

A closet so full of things, ‘tetrised’ in there. Removing one scrap of paper the whole thing would collapse.

My bookshelf complete with the remnants of college curriculum. Books never read. The complete Harry Potter and Twilight series, more dirty secrets. It is important to note the craft projects spilling from the bin on the floor. Yet another failed attempt to organize the room. Also I will finally have to find a better place for the front part of my daughter’s crib and the long since used baby gate. How did I let it get this bad?

Finally, the bed, that is too big for this space. It did fit years ago…..

Let’s start making some lists.

Rainbow Popsicles

The longer warmer days heralding the spring can only mean one thing in my house …..rainbow popsicles. I started making these with my daughter last year and for her they are just short of magic. This is a simple project which is very kid friendly and always a big hit.

You will need:

Vanilla Pudding


Food Coloring


Popsicle Forms or small plastic cups and popsicle sticks


  1. Mix the pudding according to the directions. For the sake of my sanity and my daughters need for instant results, we typically use the instant boxed pudding. Although a homemade vanilla pudding would work as well.
  2. Once the pudding has set up to a loose conistency, select the colors you would like to use and divide the pudding equally into smaller bowls. Mix a few drops of food coloring, I used 4 drops per bowl.
  3. Once the colors are completely mixed in you can then start to layer them into your chosen popsicle form. I used these monster popsicle forms but we have also used small disposable plastic cups and popsicle sticks, which worked just as well.
  4. Then put them into the freezer to set. For best results leave them in overnight, even when after dinner your child insists that they are “really ready to eat”.
  5. Run them under a hot tap for a few seconds to release them from their form.
  6. Take time to enjoy the small moments in life that go by so fast.