Have a Slice of Watermelon Cake

It’s Nicole’s Birthday and she and her girlfriend Marie drove a good 7 hours to spend her birthday weekend with us! Nicole is a big fan of watermelon so I thought I’d make her a watermelon cake! Michael was all about helping and I was all about letting him. I love when he helps me in the kitchen!

It turned out better than I expected and here is how we dazzled up a box cake mix!

It was the face of the sun here that day so the icing is a little melty!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 2 store-bought containers of white icing
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Red food color
  • Green food color

Prepare the cake batter as directed on the box (keeping out 1 teaspoon of dry mix – set aside).  Add as many drops of red food coloring you need to in order  to make it a watermelon red/pink color.    Add 3/4 cups of MINI chocolate chips and fold those into the batter by hand (To prevent all the chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking, dust the chips with the teaspoon of dry cake batter you set aside before folding them into the wet batter.  This will help the chips to stay suspended)  Bake according to the box directions in (2) 8″ round pans.  (I baked for 27 minutes)

Separate 1/2 of one can of frosting  in a small bowl and set aside.  Put the remaining half of the container and entire second container of frosting in another bowl.   I like to make sure we have frosting on our cakes in this house!!

Add red food color to the first bowl with only half a can in it.  Make it as close to the batter color you can.  This will be the frosting between the 2 cakes.  You want it pink because when you slice a piece you want it to represent the flesh of the watermelon.

Add green food coloring to the remaining icing to a rich green for the rind color.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, trim the top of  one of your cakes with a bread knife so it has a flat top.   Slap on the red/pink icing, leaving 1/4 inch gap around the edge of the cake.  When you stack the second layer, the cake will squish the icing to the edges.  Be sure not to get the icing on the sides of the cake, just the top of the first slab.Next stack the second cake.  Finish frosting with the green icing for the rind.  You can be messy with it as to provide a bit of texture to represent the lines in the rind of a watermelon!   I took my icing spatula and made “ridges” in the cake to make the rind texture.

Cut a pie piece of the cake and serve on it’s side as a watermelon slice!

The cake was a hit!  Happy Birthday Nicole!


Linking Up at: Today’s Creative Blog

Month by Month

For a bit of added decoration for the party and to show how the wee one’s head has stayed quite large since birth…I decided to do a Month by Month of his cuteness! 

I am a die-hard Shutterfly fan! I have been using them since Michael was born in 2006 and have never looked back.  18 photo books, 12 calendars, 2 sheets of stickers, 26 cards, 1 share site and a bazillion prints later I still turn back to them for help with my decoration! 

Using the “Edit” tab in my Shutterfly photo Album, I added a simple white border to each of Ryan’s month photos I took and added text to show which month it was.  I then had these printed and shipped right to my door!

I secured each photo onto some gingham craft paper to look like picnic blankets and also used some left over tree pattern paper from the Birthday Banner.  I then strung up some craft twine and used the same itsy bitsy clothes pins from the banner to hang the photos!   Any decoration with a baby’s face plastered all over it is a sure hit!  And it was nice for all my family to see how he changed since we live away and many of them rarely get to see the chunky monkey.

If you care to see all of Ryan’s Month to Month photos up close and personal click here

And also while I whipped up my month pictures, I also whipped up some Father’s Day cards for Freddy, his dad and my dad!   How cute is this? (check out below)  This one is Freddy’s!  For the same price as a Hallmark card you get a personalized card with your own words and your OWN cute little faces plastered all over it!  What a deal.  Comes with an envelope!  Flutter right on over to Shutterfly and sign up for their emails and they will send you  great deals!   They also have the fabulous option that you can choose during check out to have Shutterfly address and mail your cards straight to your recipient!  Even better if you are pressed for time or just despise addressing cards and finding stamps and running to the post office! 

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.


Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday Party

Happy First Birthday to my sweet baby boy!  

For Ryan’s First Birthday I decided to go with a “Teddy Bear Picnic” theme.  We decided to have his party in St. Louis at my parents house on  his actual first birthday.  It worked out really nicely because my whole family still lives in St. Louis.  Here’s a recap of his party.

Here is the birthday boy himself decked out in his First Birthday Onesie I made for him.    He is just as adorable on day 365 as he was on day 1!  

Everyone was asked to bring along their favorite teddy bear for our picnic.  The kiddie guests were able to decorate a party hat for their bear.  I originally was thinking of party hats for the kids themselves but since neither of my children would keep it on for longer than 1 minute I opted for hats for the bears!  Jazz them up a bit and make them birthday bears versus every day teddy bears!  I made the hats ahead of time and let the kids decorate with stickers!


Let’s talk decorations!  We used gingham/checkered picnic table cloths that my mom found at the dollar store for all the table cloths.  I made a “Ryan is One” banner that we hung from the fireplace above all his presents.  I chose the tree pattern craft paper because it was woodsy and just plain cute!

 I added a Month by Month decoration of pictures of Ryan at each of his month milestones.  I made giant tissue paper pom poms that we hung above the island counter where we had all the food.

Speaking of food:  We had picnic themed food.   Sub sandwiches, my apple cole slaw, pasta salad, watermelon and of course…ants on a log!  For the kids attending the party I made each of them their own picnic pail. 

They had a teddy bear shaped PBJ sandwich, all natural applesauce, a capri sun and a butterfly treat filled with chocolate Teddy Grahams and gold fish!   For Ryan and Goober I filled their butterfly with Peach Yogurt Melts and Puffs!  The little ones also had a grilled cheese in place of the PBJ sandwich.  I also stuffed each pail with a pinwheel I had made. 


I also found a cute teddy bear silicone mold which my mom and sister painstakingly filled, froze and cracked to make teddy bear ice cubes for the lemonade and iced tea!  There were only 11 bears on the mold so they made 11 ice cubes at a time!  Talk about love for Ryan!  I planned on doing this myself but since we moved the party from our house to my parents I certainly could not travel 5 hours with ice cubes! 

For cake treats, I made ice cream cone cupcakes!  Ryan of course had his smash cake!  To spice up Ryan’s high chair, I sewed together 2 checkered napkins I found at a thrift store to form a slip cover of sorts to fit over his high chair so it looked like he was on a picnic blanket! 

For favors I made cookie pops and filled small bags with gummy bears.  I placed these in a basket on a small table by the front door.   I used a picture frame filled with some of the checkered craft paper I had as a dry erase board and wrote “Thanks ‘Beary’ Much for ‘Popping’ By My Picnic!  Love, Ryan”  Guests could take the gummy bears and cookie pops on their way out.    As an added treat for the kiddos, I made a CD of Birthday/Picnic/Teddy Bear songs and made a copy for each child to take!

I think his party was fantastic!  It was “beary” nice if you ask me 🙂  Here’s to celebrating a wonderful year with a wonderful, beautiful boy!  Happy Birthday Baby!


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Personalized “One” Onesie

I wanted Ryan to sport some sort of cute onesie at his First Birthday Party! I shopped around but really didn’t find anything in the stores that I loved. Target had a cute one in the “I’m One” end cap, but having seen this said onesie on about 16 of my friends one-year-olds this year I decided that I should just make him one! While searching etsy I found several cute onesies that gave baby a tie, that I loved! However, the cheap skate I am, I didn’t want to pay $25 bucks for a onesie that Ryan would only wear a few times and they also didn’t say anything about being ONE!  So I decided to combine the two ideas.  I had leftover material from Michael’s superhero cape so decided to put those scraps to good use! 

Items Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil/Marker
  • Wonder Under (any fabric/craft store in the fabric department)
  • Onesie
  • 2 separate colors or patterns of fabric
  • Iron
  • damp cloth

First I traced out a tie pattern and a number “1” pattern on some scrap paper.   To get the tie symmetrical I just folded the sheet of paper and drew one side and then cut and trimmed until it looked the way I wanted it to.  Then I traced out a number one. 

Following the instructions on the Wonder Under I adhered the rough side of the Wonder Under to the WRONG side of both of my fabrics using a hot DRY iron, pressing for about 5-10 seconds.  I cut out a size of wonder under that would cover my pattern

 Next I traced the patterns (backwards) on the paper side of the Wonder Under fused fabric and cut out. 

Next I peeled the paper backing (carefully) from the number 1 and placed it where I wanted it on the tie.  I then covered the cutouts with a damp cloth, and turned my iron to the wool setting and pressed for 10-15 seconds until the 1 was fused to the tie. 

 I then repeated.  Removing the paper backing from the tie cut out and pressing it onto the onesie. 

 Since I don’t anticipate much use out of this onesie since Ryan grows faster than a chia pet, I left it as is.  If you were doing this same idea on a bag or apron you can use puff paint to outline the fabric or stitch a zig-zag stitch to help hold the edges of the fabric in place.  The design with Wonder Under can be washed, dried, dry cleaned and ironed.  I LOVE THIS STUFF!   I will love a certain ONE year old wearing it even more!


Linked Up to {Get Your Craft On} at  Today’s Creative Blog and {Show and Tell Linking Party} at Blue Cricket Designs

Birthday Banner

I am a huge fan of these personalized birthday banners!  My banner would read “Ryan is one” I bought extra supplies and letters in order to be able to spell out his ages up to age ten.  

Items Needed:

  • Cardstock
  • Craft paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • glue
  • ribbon/string/twine
  • small clothespins or brads or paperclips or…some sort of fastening device! 🙂
  • Chipboard letters
  • coordinating paint (optional)

First I figured out my scheme.  Ryan was having a “Teddy Bear Picnic” however I was tired of the checkered blanket idea and wanted something that I could use again for his following birthdays.  I found this great tree pattern craft paper and decided on a brown cardstock background for it. 

I cut 9 pennants in each color.  The brown measured 1 inch larger than the patterned paper.  My dimensions coordinated with the size of chipboard letters I found.  You can adjust yours to fit what you can find or your size preferences.

 Note:  If you choose a patterned craft paper like I did, make sure you account for the direction of the pattern.  I thought I could use 12 x 12 size so I could get 2 pennants per sheet of craft paper, however then half of them would have an upside down pattern.  I had to make a trip back for more paper. 

I simply glued the tree patterned craft paper onto the brown cardstock making sure to get the points of the triangle sealed down.  I then painted the chipboard letters a shade of brown to match the card stock and when dry, glued onto the pennants.  I chose smaller sized letters for the word ‘is’ and put both letters on one flag.


I chose to hang the individual pennants on a length of brown ribbon that I picked up in the $1 bin, and to secure the pennants to the ribbon with these teensy little clothes pins that I found to be absolutely adorable in Hobby Lobby. 

I think it turned out great and I can’t wait to use it again next year! 

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