Cake Pops, No-Sew Masks and Apple Sweet Potatoes

I love giving gifts. I like giving gifts to anyone, but especially people who really really deserve it. Ya know, my mom, Cenone, Danny, and (of course) the kids’ teachers.

And I would prefer the gifts be really thoughtful and homemade. This doesn’t always happen, but when I have the time, it’s what I do. For Thanksgiving, Ms. Megan, Ms Dani and Mrs. Gossage got cupcake pops with little notes attached, telling them why the kids were thankful for them. It sounds cute already, doesn’t it?

Nov22-1

Cake pops are super easy to make. I started a couple years ago when I stumbled upon Bakerella’s website. She is fantastic.

Now, when I say these are homemade gifts, that doesn’t mean every single piece was homemade. I mean that I didn’t go to the store and buy the finished product.

Start by baking a cake. Totally can be from a box. I baked a yellow cake.

let it cool completely and then crumble it up in a bowl.

Nov22-3

Then choose a frosting. Totally can be from a can. I chose this:

Nov22-2

See that little label in the upper right corner of the can? The “Box Tops” label? I try and always buy those. It’s one of those things I’m kinda obsessed with. Each one is worth $.10 to your school. I collect these puppies like you wouldn’t believe.

So anyway, scoop out about 3/4 of the frosting and mix it with the cake crumbles.

Nov22-4

Make sure your hands are super clean — like washed twice in hot water with soap. Because you are going to get dirty and you don’t wanna pass on any gross-ness to your kids’ teachers. Gross. Mix it all up. (I think I may have added too much frosting because mine were really chocolate-y)

Roll ’em into balls like this:

Nov22-5

Put them in a deep freezer (or any freezer I guess) for a couple hours. Because I finished these at night, I don’t have pictures of the next steps and the final product. Boo. But once they are frozen, put them on wooden lollipop sticks. Buy the candy melts chocolates from JoAnns or Walmart and melt them up. Or down. Just melt ’em. Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with cute sprinkles. Put them in a bag and attach a tag like this:

“I am thankful for Ms. Megan because she let’s us play outside. She teaches me lessons. She is a good teacher.”

Something like that.

Next up: Superhero masks.

Party favors are like gifts. People are nice enough to come to your party and usually bring you a gift, so I think it’s important to really thank them! And one way we like to do that is think of really fun and unique party favors for our friends. For Jamie’s superhero party, the kids are getting homemade capes and superhero masks. Can I hear a “SUUHHHH-WEEEEET!!!!”??? I heard it, thank you.

You will need:
felt squares
scissors (good ones)
hot glue
lined paper
marker
sequins
elastic

Nov22-6

First, snag a model. Any model will do, but it’s best if you have a super adorable model like I do. One with chocolate or something covering his entire face. Yes, perfect.

Nov22-8

Trace around the eyes on a piece of lined paper so you have a general idea of the size you’ll need. Cut that out and cut out eye holes, too. Try it on the little model for size.

Trace that on to a piece of felt. This will be your stencil.

Nov22-9

You’ll probably get marker on this one, so you won’t actually use it as a final product. That’s okay, though, because the felt pieces are only $.34 each and you can get 3 to a square. You’re only really out $.10 or so.

Okay, so then lay that piece on top of a coordinating color. Cut around the original mask, but leave a nice border so it’s a 2-color mask. It looks way better this way, I promise.

Nov22-11

Use a marker to trace the eye holes. Cut it all out — it looks good, huh?

Nov22-13

Make lots and lots of these masks and spend an episode of Weeds or Nurse Jackie cutting them out.

Nov22-12

Okay, now it’s time to glue them together.

Nov22-14

Glue around the edges, but leave spots on either side by where the corners of the eyes would be…you’ll need to attach your elastic.

Nov22-15

Nov22-16

Glue down both the top and the bottom of the elastic so it’s really secure. Done.

Nov22-17

Wait, not quite.

My little superhero loves sparkles. So, for his favors, our masks will sparkle.

Nov22-20

Try it on the model.

Nov22-21

Nice squishy nose, huh? I forgot about that. Now go and cut a triangle where the nose will be. NOW it is perfect.

Nov22-23

I’ll go and clean up the edges, making them round and stuff. Pretty adorable and really cheap.

Now for the baby….yes, baby Charlotte.

According to Alice, “Baby loves to eat!” OH, Alice.

Nov22-29

Nov22-30

Nov22-31
[ah, those eyes.]

Nov22-34

Clean.

And the big kids? They drew. Princesses and Robots.

Nov22-38

Nov22-41

And mama? I Christmas’d up our place just a bit.

Nov22-48

Nov22-49

We host Thanksgiving in 2 days — and yes, there will be a post on events leading up to it.

Happy Thanksgiving week and 3 wonderful days off of school!

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