Race Car Birthday Party


I’m so excited to be participating in the Ultimate Recipe Swap this Thursday over at Life As Mom. It’s all about birthday cakes. If you read my printable birthday party planner post, you know I’m in the middle of planning my daughter’s princess party right now.

Obviously, I don’t have her castle cake made yet, so I can’t share that one with you for a couple of weeks, but I do have a cake I did for my son’s race car party when he turned five.

Since I did this cake before I started blogging, I didn’t think to take step by step photos of this one. However, I can tell you it’s a fairly easy cake to decorate, even if you’ve never decorated anything before.

Here’s how I made the race car cake.

  1. I baked two 9 inch round cakes using this chocolate cake recipe. (I love this moist delicious cake recipe.)
  2. Then I cut a crescent shape out of one of the cakes, so that I could slide the other one right into the first cake’s side, creating the shape of the track.
  3. Next I frosted the whole cake in chocolate frosting.
  4. Using a grass tip I piped this frosting, tinted green, into the center and around the sides of the cake.
  5. Then, I used a small round tip to make the dashes on the road.
  6. Lastly, I printed off the computer checkered flags I made using a spreadsheet, glued them to toothpicks and stuck them in the grass on one side of the track. Of course, the finishing touch was the toy cars.

Tip: If you’ve never done decorating before, or piped frosting before, make up a batch of frosting and practice on a cutting board or the back of a baking sheet.

I always practice new techniques this way. I make sure I am pretty confident with the results I get on the cutting board, before piping it onto the actual cake.

Getting the frosting consistency correct is essential when decorating. Once you get the consistency right for the type decorating you’re doing, you are at least halfway to a good end result. It may take some practice getting this right also.

What’s a race car party without fun decorations?

My sewing machine got to work over-time for this party. I found an idea somewhere for doing traffic lights with flags coming out of the top as centerpieces for the tables. In a effort to save money, I bought some fabric I found at Walmart on clearance that was the color scheme for the party.

Then I proceeded to make about 20 little flags. I used skewers as the flag poles and made the traffic lights out of cardboard and construction paper.

To get the flags to stand up, I used little individual sized cookie cups with lids (like you can find sometimes by the registers at Walmart) and poked the skewers down into the lids to get them to stand up.


I also used some of the fabric to make bean bags for a tire bean bag toss and a banner for the back wall.

Here is a picture of the room once I got it all decorated.


It was sure a lot of work, but so worth it. David loved it, and that’s what counts.

For more cake decorating inspiration, be sure to check out the Birthday Cake Round-up at Life As Mom.

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Posted on June 16th, 2010 in Kids and Family | 12 Comments

Menu Plan Monday (6/14 – 6/20)


We’re all back in town this week and ready to resume our normal schedule. Well, at least I am. The kids had a blast last week spending time with their grandparents.

They got to do a little swimming.


Then we visited a local petting zoo.


(Sorry about the terrible photo quality. I took the pictures with my cell phone. Obviously, I didn’t have sense enough to pull my good camera out of my purse and take pictures with it. 😳 )

Nevertheless, we had fun, but we’re back and ready for a new week to begin.

As far as my meal plan goes this week, I’ve got several new recipes I’m excited about trying.

~Here’s what’s cooking this week~

  • Monday:

BreakfastCinnamon Raisin Granola with Yogurt
Dinner – Spaghetti w/ Pasta Sauce, Salad

  • Tuesday:

BreakfastWhole Wheat Banana Pancakes w/ Maple Syrup
DinnerGrilled Salmon, Roasted Asparagus, Brown Rice Pilaf

  • Wednesday:

Breakfast Oatmeal, Fruit
Dinner –  Pinto Bean Casserole, Salad

  • Thursday:

Breakfast – Eggs, Veggie Sausage Links
Dinner –  Chicken Tetrazzini, Cucumber Salad

  • Friday:

BreakfastMini Apple Pies
Dinner – Pizza, Simple Summer Fruit Salad

  • Saturday:

Breakfast – ????
Dinner – Hamburgers, Garden Pasta Salad

  • Sunday:

Breakfast – Cereal
DinnerSanta Fe Soup

Hope you have a great week!

For more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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Posted on June 14th, 2010 in Food and Entertaining | 6 Comments

Shabby Apple Dress Review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Shabby Apple, an online dress boutique, about possibly reviewing a dress. To be honest, I had not heard of them before, so I immediately went to their website to check it out.

I quickly fell in love with several of their dresses. They have a nice selection of both trendy and reasonably priced dresses.

In the initial email, I was not told which dress I would be sent to try. However, there was a particular dress that drew my attention right off the bat – the Tuxedo III dress.


I showed it to my husband and told him I just might order it, unless I got lucky and they wanted to send it to me to review. I mean, what are the chances that the one I love is the one they’re going to want to send me to review?

Well, I guess pretty good, huh?

You can imagine my excitement when I got the email with two dress choices, and this was one of them.

A little about Shabby Apple

Shabby Apple is all about providing stylish clothing that you’ll also feel comfortable wearing. This quote is taken straight from their website.

After years of not being able to find stylish dresses that covered enough skin to make you really feel comfortable (without wearing a tank top, cardigan or long slip), owners Emily and CK decided to do something about it.

In addition, most of these dresses are priced very reasonably in comparison to department store prices.

Another impressive aspect of Shabby Apple is that they donate 5% of their net dress sales to charity. Here is a snipet from the Shabby Apple website about their donations.

…we are supporting the fight against global poverty by partnering with Unitus-a non-profit organization that accelerates access to life-changing financial services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Shabby Apple donates 5% of its net dress sales to support work in India…

How many dress companies do you know that do that?

Shabby Apple doesn’t just sell ladies dresses though. They sell shoes, accessories and girl’s dresses also.


Review of the Tuxedo III Dress

Initial Assessment

Obviously, you already know I loved the look of the dress right from the start. When I put it on, I knew I had to have a wide belt to go with it. Additionally the fabric seemed a little stiff and itchy.

As you can see in the picture, there is a wide belt on the model; however, the belt does not come with the dress. I purchased a $20 belt at a local department store and I was set. It was an easy fix and made the dress look fabulous. (I’m sure you could find a belt for less, but I was too anxious to try the dress to shop around.)

Regarding the fabric, once I washed the dress, it made a huge difference. I wore it to church and the fabric did not bother me at all. The dress was actually very comfortable.

Final Assessment

I honestly LOVE the dress! When I wore it to church, I got several compliments as well. It appears to be well made and out of good quality fabric, and I feel very comfortable wearing it. My plan is to wear it to my brother’s wedding next month.

Be sure to go over to Shabby Apple and look around, I bet you’ll find something you love too. Oh, and if you’re concerned about sizing, a convenient sizing chart is available to help make sure you order just the right size. 🙂

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Posted on June 9th, 2010 in Product Reviews | 3 Comments