Friday, May 24, 2013

Make Your Own Soccer Ball Cake (or Tennis Ball Cake.. or Baseball Cake... or...)

So, now you know how to make the best ever chocolate cake recipe (from a mix).  It's time to decorate it, with no Martha Stewart skills or tools required!

To make a soccer ball, tennis ball, baseball, volleyball (you get the point!) cake, you have two choices... You can purchase a ball-shaped cake pan from somewhere like Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I used this Wilton Soccer Ball 3D Cake Pan.  Don't forget to google for a Jo-Ann coupon (at least 40% off). Plus, they frequently offer $0.97 flat shipping.   They also sell baseball cake pans, volleyball cake pans, etc., but any of them will do...  You're just going to cover it with frosting anyway, so the little details from the pan won't be visible.

Don't feel like ordering a cake pan?  I've heard that you can use glass bowls to bake a round cake.  Disclaimer:  I've never tried this, so proceed at your own risk!  Interested? Here's a tutorial from

Okay, now that we've covered the pan part, let's get to the fun, sweet stuff!!

Make Your Own Easy Soccer Ball Cake
(or Tennis Ball Cake or Baseball Cake or Basketball Cake or Volleyball Cake)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Three Songs to Get You Pumped on a Monday Morning!

It's Monday morning.  If you're in the North East, it's been a gloomy weekend.  We are waiting for that strange yellow ball called the "sun" to grace our presence.

It's time to turn to YouTube to get me pumped up....   But what are my songs of choice?

First up, Can't Hold Us by Macklemore -

If this song by the Thrift Shop guy doesn't get your head moving, I'm not sure what will!  This video has had 45 MILLION views, and I think 1,000,000 of them might be mine!

Then, try a little "Keep Your Head Up", by Andy Grammer....

This song is just plain positive and has a great beat.

And, last....  "Troublemaker" by Olly Murs

I think Olly Murs was a British X Factor winner.  I'm not saying this song is going to change the world or has a special message, but it's crazy catchy!

What gets you going on a Monday morning?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upcycled Glass Jelly Jar - From Trash to Treasure in 15 Minutes

Sometimes, I clean and save empty glass jars.  I'm not sure why.  There's something inherently crafty about them.  However, there's nothing crafty about them if you let them sit on a counter, collecting dust (as is usually the case in my house!).

Sometimes, inspiration strikes.  I was looking for a container to hold Q-tips on my bathroom counter.  Using an old jelly jar (with a name like Smuckers, it has to be good), a scrap of fabric and glue, an upcycled apothecary jar was born!

Here's how to make yours...  This whole project took about 15 minutes, total. 

Upcycled Glass Jelly Jar - From Trash to Treasure

Friday, May 10, 2013

Great Mother's Day (or any day!) Plant for Beginners - Try a Hosta!

Over the past few years, I've developed a love of plants.  Now, that doesn't mean that I know what I'm doing, but I like to try!  After much trial and error, I've found a few tough plants that can withstand the beginner (but look nice enough to be from an expert gardener!).

The First Member of Our Backyard Family

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Best Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe - From a Mix!

In another life, I would be an ace cake decorator.  I would effortlessly take a regular cake and turn into a work of art.  In real life, I have not been as successful.  There was the time where I dropped an unfrosted cake on the floor (true story).  There was another time where we ran out of frosting at 10:00 PM the night before my son's birthday (thank goodness for Genaurdi's!).  But, I still keep trying, and I love it!

This past year, I tried something a little different.  I ordered a cake pan from JoAnn Fabrics (sometimes they have free shipping, which is awesome) and decided to make a soccer ball cake.  There are also ways to bake a cake in a glass bowl, to simulate the round shape.  I haven't tried that, but I'll include links to that in part two of this post.

Before I share with you how to make the easiest soccer ball (or baseball or basketball or volleyball) cake ever (using no special tools), I'm going to give you the BEST chocolate cake recipe on the planet (using chocolate cake mix as a base, no less!).  THIS is the recipe that I use year after year, and every year, it does not disappoint.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake Recipe (from a mix!)
(Source:  The Cake Mix Doctor - I cannot recommend books from the Cake Mix Doctor highly enough!  Man - that's my kind of doctor!  Nurse, get me the frosting, STAT!)