Peppermint Marshmallows

I have always wanted to try making homemade marshmallows.  So this year, as a gift for all the teachers at my kids' preschool, I decided to pack up some peppermint marshmallows with cocoa.

I used this recipe.

They are very easy to make and are really yummy in a cup of cocoa.

I swirled in some red food coloring just after pouring the mix into the pan.

I may have gone a little overboard on my packaging, but it was so fun!

Fluffy, minty, yumminess.  These chocolate marshmallows are next. 


Nutcracker Dress

Every year daughter's great aunt takes us to our local ballet company's performance of the Nutcracker.  And every year, I make my daughter a dress of her choice for the show.

She's not so into dresses, so I let her pick the fabrics and the style. 

Here's her dress from last year.  
A year later, she looks so much older (to me at least). 
She chose all the fabrics, and though I wouldn't have put these colors together, I think they look beautiful.  

She looked beautiful. 
A beautiful dress for a beautiful girl and a beautiful tradition.   


Ruffled Trees

I don't usually get too into decorating for holidays. I figure, no sooner do you put the decorations out but then it's time to put them away and get out new ones. But this year, I was feeling festive and decided we needed a few extra. I've seen a couple of variations on this cute ruffled tree here and here.

Both tutorials use a foam cone. I didn't have one and didn't feel like going to the store, so I dug into my plentiful stash of file folders. I work at a university and the ladies in the office call me whenever they have a box of file folders they're getting rid of. It's pretty amusing since I'm a research biologist to have the secretaries call me when they want to get rid of folders!

Anyway, I just rolled up a folder, ruffled my fabric and got out my glue gun. It was so easy and fun, I made 3.


A gift for a dog

Yesterday we went to visit a good friend's new dog, and of course, we had to bring a gift. I found this cute tutorial over at Laura Griffin Designs showing how to make a doggie bone.
Instead of ties on the ends, I braided some clothes-line rope and added it to each side. It was really tough to sew over the braids, so I'm sure it's not the sturdiest dog toy ever made.

Paddy grabbed it right away....

And by the time we left, she'd already chewed through the rope, and made it her own. What a cutie!