Unicorn Cake/Rainbow Unicorn Roller Skating Party

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Unicorns are all the trend this year!  They are EVERYWHERE now, but they were pretty hard to find the past few years that my daughter has been obsessed with them.  In fact, this is the third year that my daughter requested a Rainbow Unicorn Roller Skating party.  I am not arguing, of course, because as a child of the 80s, rainbows, unicorns, and roller skates were my thing at this age as well!  I decided to try something new for the cake and was inspired by the unicorn head cakes that I have seen on Pinterest and a pinata cake that I had seen on Facebook.  It is not necessarily hard to make, but it is time consuming and there are many steps.  I try to simplify them for you here.  I did not include any recipes because really, any cake and frosting recipe should work.  I do suggest making a white or yellow cake so the colors show in the tie dye and a white frosting if you are using white fondant.  Enjoy!

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Step 1: Make Tie Dye Cake – I used four 6 inch cake pans so it is would be small but tall.  I divided the batter into 4 bowls and then poured a little of each into each cake pan.  I took a toothpick to make a tie dye swirl design and then baked the cakes *be sure not to blend the colors too much or let the batter sit out too long or else the colors will blend into a brown.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Step 2: Make the Pinata Filling – Once baked and cooled, I cut out a circle in the center of 3 of the 4 cakes with a 3″ circle cookie cutter.  I stacked them onto the cake plate with frosting in between each layer.  I filled the cake with candy (I used sixlets and sprinkles) and topped it off with the solid cake.  I frosted the whole cake with a thin crumb layer.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Step 3: Decorate Cake – I made the ears and horn the night before with fondant and gum paste so it would stiffen.  I covered the cake with fondant and then added the ears and horn.  I used a 3 part piping tip for the mane, then added sprinkles.  *Please note that the 3 part tip was very hard to use and burst before I could finish.  I drew the eyes on to the fondant with a food coloring marker pen.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Step 4: Cut and serve!  The girls were already thrilled with the unicorn cake, but the inside reveal was the best part!

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

So fun!  Needless to say, the Rainbow Unicorn Roller Skating party was a huge success!

More party details:

Invitation: I designed the invitation on PicMonkey.com, printed onto cardstock, adhered to glitter paper and rainbow swirl paper for the back.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Banner: I cut triangles out of glitter paper, printed letters in the font I wanted, and printed the same gold unicorn from the invitation for the banner.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Unicorn Drink: This is just rainbow sherbert with Sprite and cotton candy on the top.  Add a few sprinkles to make it extra sparkly!

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Partyware: Good thing I grabbed these rainbow unicorn plates, napkins, and straws when I saw them on clearance at Target last year!  I kind of figured this theme would be back…

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Party Favors: I ordered knee high rainbow socks off of Amazon, found rainbow unicorn horn lollipops at Marshall’s, and the rainbow roller skate coin purse at Claire’s.

Unicorn Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Do you love unicorns?  Do you have a favorite unicorn cake you have seen?

Find more party ideas here.

Find more cake ideas here.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Things I Learned From My “First” Trip To Universal Studios Hollywood

Disclaimer: I am no expert!  And, this was actually my first trip there in 21 years (ouch!)….  I am calling it the first time because it is NOTHING like it used to be and is practically a whole new park!  I have received a LOT of questions about our quick, spontaneous trip to Universal Studios Hollywood so I thought I would share my thoughts while they are fresh on my mind.

We were supposed to go camping over Spring Break, but, since we are a family of total wimps and feared the cold, we cancelled the trip on Friday, purchased Universal Studios Hollywood annual passes on Saturday, surprised the kids on Sunday morning and drove down to LA for a quick trip.  I did my research on the way down by searching “Universal Studios Hollywood tips” on Pinterest.  This was very helpful because I knew what to expect and I was warned that it is a relatively small park.  I read that most of the rides were virtual, 3D, dark, and scary so we previewed the big rides on YouTube (this was helpful as it determined that some rides, like The Mummy and Transformers, were a little too much for my 8 and 10 year old kids, and other rides that I was worried about, like Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey, were not so bad when the kids knew what to expect).  The park was crowded but manageable.  The park hours were 9am-7pm, so it seems that this was not a common Spring Break week.

What I learned:

Universal Studios Hollywood The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  1. BUTTERBEER TRULY IS MAGICAL. Yes, this is the number one thing I learned on this “first” trip to Universal Studios Hollywood and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  We started with the frozen butterbeer and we were not willing to try anything else because it was so, so good.  It is $7.50 good, actually.  The girls went with the non frozen option on Day 2 and loved it as well.  It is kind of like a butterscotch rootbeer float and it is insanely delicious.

    Universal Studios Hollywood Harry Potter Butterbeer

                     Delicious Frozen Butterbeer!

  2. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD IS VERY SMALL. They have several different “lands” but a each “land” consists of maybe 3 or 4 buildings – a ride, a store, and a restaurant.  Some had games and some had multiple food options, but they are all quite small.  Having that said, I was truly impressed with how well they used such a small space.  Almost all of the rides are indoor and virtual, so it used a very small amount of space.  You sit in theater like seats with a large screen and usually 3D glasses (think California Soarin’ in California Adventure).  The entire park is on a hill, over Universal’s actual studio lots where people really are filming.  There are huge, long, steep escalators that separate the upper lot from the lower lot.  It takes about 10 minutes to get from one to another.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is bigger than the rest and it is absolutely amazing, but it is also very small.  There are 2 rides (Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff), 1 experience (Ollivander’s Wands), 1 main restaurant (The 3 Broomsticks – Hog’s Head Pub is in there as well), and maybe 5 stores.  There are several Butterbeer carts.
    Universal Studios Hollywood The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                              The Three Broomsticks

    Universal Studios Hollywood Despicable Me

                                Despicable Me Land

  3. THE TARGET AUDIENCE APPEARS TO BE A 14-17 YEAR OLD MALE. As in, this park is not for the little ones.  Rides are dark and scary.  And they have a LOT of action.  Some of the action may be inappropriate for little viewers.  Even the Studio Lot has some very intense scenes.  They still have the old Jaws and Bates Motel mildly scary bits but now they have full on 3D 360 experiences where you drive into a lot and are surrounded by screens while your tram is moving around all over the place, making you feel that you are right in the middle of a huge battle.  You have to be at least 48″ to get on most rides, so it would be very smart to check out the height requirements for all of the rides before you go.  Having that said, my 8 and 10 year old girls LOVED it and had a blast.  They can’t wait to go back.  I can’t imagine what they would do all day if they were younger though.

    Universal Studios Hollywood The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

       The Sorting Hat Inside Hogwarts Castle in the                             Forbidden Journey Queue

  4. EVERYONE DOES THE SAME THING AT THE SAME TIME. There seems to be a very predictable pattern at the park.  Everyone gets there around 10:30-11 (they probably left at 8am but hit LA traffic…), and they all head to Harry Potter World.  The first thing they do is Harry Potter’s Forbidden Forest, we got there before it opened both days and the line was already 45 minutes by the time we got to it (at least that’s what it said – we believe it was under 30 minutes because it went very quickly).  They then do the rest of Harry Potter World (The Flight of the Hippogriff – cute, small, fast little roller coaster) and Ollivander’s Wands (very long line for a very short wand presentation to ONE selected person in a group of about 20).  They then do the rest of the Upper Lot (Despicable Me Land and Simpson’s Land) and head down to the Lower Lot just after lunch.  They all then come back up to the Upper Lot to do everything again about an hour or two before closing.  The key is to work around this predictable behavior and work around the wait times (you can’t miss them, they are posted everywhere, including their website and app).  We got there just before it opened, went on Forbidden Forest and Hippogriff before 10, and then went on Despicable Me.  We had little to no lines for all 3 rides.  If I had older kids, I would then go to the Lower Lot and walk right on to The Mummy, Transformers, and Jurassic Park.  Since my kids and I did not plan on going on The Mummy and Transformers, my husband did these on his own in the Single Rider line in the afternoon of Day 2.  We all waited in the long line for Jurassic Park because it was hot and that is when we were there (it was about 45 minutes).  I would then go back up to the Upper Lot just after lunch while everyone is in the Lower Lot and repeat all of our favorites, before everyone heads back (lines were about 15-20 minutes long at this time).  You can squeeze in the Studio Tour at anytime based on the wait time.  There was NO line during lunch, around 12:30.  There is no line for The Walking Dead Experience (because it is TERRIFYING – I saw a young adult girl crying and crying when she got out), so you can do that at anytime.  If all of the rides are long, then grab a live show – Animal Actors and Special Effects play around 4 times a day.

    Universal Studios Hollywood The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

                      The Entrance to Hogsmeade

  5. YOU CAN DO IT ALL IN ONE DAY.  The entire park is doable in one day.  You would have to get there before it opens, stay on top of the wait lines, and leave when it closes, but it is completely possible.  There really isn’t enough to do there for 2 days, but it was nice to take our time and repeat all of our favorites.  We were there for 2 days, during a fairly crowded week, and managed to go on the Forbidden Journey a total of 5 times, The Flight of the Hippogriff 6 times, Despicable Me 3 times, and the Studio Tour and Animal Actors show 2 times.

    Universal Studios Hollywood

                         Honeydukes in Hogsmeade

Other tips:

FOOD: There are a TON of food options, possibly more than other theme parks.  The food is expensive, but they seem to serve a lot.  They do not allow outside food, but they did not stop us from bringing water bottles and snacks in.  I saw people with home-made sandwiches too.  I did not care for my pizza or salad at Luigi’s in Simpson Land, but the sandwiches and fries at Krusty’s Burgers were not bad (just pricey) and the food at The 3 Broomsticks was very good.  We ate dinner in the City Walk (shopping/restaurant area at the park entrance).

OVERALL IMPRESSION: The park was very, very clean.  It is well managed, the lines are smooth and there is entertainment while waiting in most (the Hogwarts castle is nearly as interesting as the ride itself for the Forbidden Forest).

ANNUAL PASSES: We bought the Annual Passes from Costco (currently $129).  A one day pass varies from $105-120 depending on the date, so we figured we could go 2 days this first trip and then stop by for a one day visit the next couple of times that we are in SoCal.  The Annual Passes have a LOT of black out dates so you will need to double check the dates if you are going this route.  You can go on any date, even a black out date, for your first initial visit, but you will not be able to return on a black out date after that.  You can also purchase the California Neighbor Pass on the Universal Studios website.  This pass is also $129 and it gets you an early entry (one hour), but is also have a lot of black out dates and is only valid for 9 months.

WAYS TO SAVE: Bring in your own food.  Bring in your own water.  Do not spend $3.50 on sodas and $10 on beer – save it for the $7.50 butterbeer!  Purchase HP merchandise before you go (Target, Hot Topic, and Kohls usually have several things to choose from).  We did not buy the $50 interactive wand.  It just didn’t seem worth it.  All of the wands are PLASTIC, btw, which was quite disappointing, considering they start at around $45.  We told the girls we would buy a couple souvenirs.  One wanted a robe and the other wanted a house tie.  After learning that the robe was $109.95 and the tie was $31.95, I looked on Amazon while still in the store and showed them that we could get each for $8-$20 online.  They both chose a chocolate frog from Honeydukes instead.  I balked at the $10.95 price tag, but, I have to say, the frogs are HUGE, SOLID, and the girls LOVE the character cards inside so I do think it was worth it in the end.

Hogwarts Express Train Ticket & Acceptance Letter

   Hogwarts Express Tickets & Acceptance Letter

IF IT’S A SURPRISE: I recommend downloading these awesome Hogwarts Express train tickets and Hogwarts Acceptance Letter from Get Away Today here.  We placed them on top of the girls suitcases along with brand new Harry Potter shirts and socks so they would see them as soon as they woke up the morning we left.

RIDES & ATTRACTIONS: *SPOILERS* There are 14 main attractions at the park.  As I mentioned before, almost all of the rides are virtual and will require 3D glasses (think Star Tours at Disneyland).  Your seat moves around A LOT (much more than Star Tours), so these rides are not for anyone that gets motion sickness, dizziness, or vertigo, or has any sort of back or neck issues.  The rides are also very dark and scary.  I have ranked the rides in order of what I believe is mildest/not scary, to the scariest (Water World was closed for refurbishment so it is not included, so I included the Ollivander’s Wands Presentation instead).

  1. Universal’s Animal Actors – Live show with animals that act.  Upper Lot.  Very cute, very mild, nothing scary.
  2. Ollivander’s Wands – Live presentation of a wand choosing a wizard.  Upper Lot.  That’s one wand choosing one wand in your group of about 15-20 people.  I suggest warning your child that not everyone gets a wand (and the wands are very expensive).  It is very cute and they really get into the presentation of it all, but not worth standing in line for more than 20 minutes.  The wait time is not posted, so just keep checking throughout the day.
  3. Silly Swirly Fun Ride – Cute ride in Despicable Me (Super Silly Fun) Land.  Upper Lot.  Very cute, goes high, similar to Dumbo in Disneyland.
  4. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – Virtual ride in theater with moving seats and 3D glasses.  Upper Lot.  Very cute and very fun.  This is the mildest of all of the virtual 3D rides.
  5. Special Effects Show – Live show with demonstrations of stunts and special effects.  Upper Lot.  Shows some graphic/scary images from famous horror/suspense films.  Demonstrations include how to make it look like you are chopping off an arm with a volunteer from the audience and they light a stuntman on fire.
  6. Shrek 4D – Virtual show with 3D glasses along with scents and air blowing on legs and neck from chair.  Upper Lot.  It is as dark as the Shrek movies – not bad, but it starts in a torture chamber, continues into a cemetery and there are ghosts and dragons.  The air blowing on your legs during a spider scene caused many people to scream and jump out of their seats.  Overall cute and fun show.  Might scare little ones.
  7. Studio Tour – Tram drives through the actual Universal Studios Backlot.  Access from Upper Lot.  Ride is about 60 minutes.  It combines the old original tour with Jaws (a shark jumps out at the tram while driving by a lake) and Norman Bates from Psycho (actor places a body in his car trunk and then comes towards the tram with a large knife) with new 3D 360 Experiences (King Kong and a T-Rex battle all around you and then there is an intense chase and battle with the Fast & Furious characters).  There is also an earthquake and flash flood that seems, very very real.  Small kids can go on this ride but I would suggest warning them of what is to come so they can be prepared.
  8. The Simpsons – Virtual ride with 3D glasses.  Upper Lot.  The girls and I skipped this one.  We previewed it online and while it did not look too scary and they totally could have handled it, they did not like the images in Krustyland where evil Panda robots lose their heads…  My husband said it was fun and not that intense.
  9. Flight of the Hippogriff – Small outdoor roller coaster.  Upper Lot.  Really fun, really fast, very short roller coaster ride (like less than 30 seconds).  A lot of people complain that it is too short and not interesting but we loved it.  Hagrid’s Hut and Buckbeak are only seen from the queue.
  10. Jurassic Park – Water ride with large drop and scary dinosaurs.  Lower Lot.  Fun water ride (think Splash Mountain at Disneyland).  Like the movie, everything starts nice and peaceful and soon turns dark and scary with dinosaurs jumping out at you.  Very large T-Rex directly over drop at the end of the ride.
  11. The Transformers – Virtual ride with 3D glasses.  Lower Lot.  The girls and I skipped this one as well.  We previewed it online and they just didn’t seem interested in Transformers.  There are a lot of battles and fighting.  My husband thought it was great.
  12. The Revenge of the Mummy – Indoor dark roller coaster.  Lower Lot.  Large, fast indoor roller coaster (think Space Mountain) that goes backwards at the end.  The girls and I skipped this one.  Husband thought it was fun, especially the backwards part.
  13. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Indoor dark part virtual part roller coaster.  Upper Lot.  This ride was fascinating.  I still haven’t fully figured out how they made it.  You move in and out of rooms, some with screens, some with animotronics, all while moving around all over the place, sometimes even almost upside down.  Very very dark with super scary scenes.  We previewed the ride on YouTube first and prepared the girls.  They have read the first few books and seen those few movies so they knew what to expect (big fire breathing dragon, Aragog and his family of giant spiders, and the Dementors).  I am a wimp and covered my eyes through at least 75% of the ride.  All 5 times that we rode it….
  14. The Walking Dead – Indoor interactive haunted house.  Upper Lot.  Walk through pitch black rooms with scary things and people jumping out at you the whole time.  People were screaming and crying through and after it.  Takes about 8-10 minutes to walk through.  You couldn’t pay the girls and I to do it, but husband is a fan of the show and loved it.

Have you been to Universal Studios Hollywood?  What did I miss?  Do you have any tips of your own?

 

Themed Easter Baskets

Last year I accidentally started an Easter Basket business when I posted this blog post about Easy, Last Minute Easter Baskets.  Several friends and co-workers read the post and asked if I could put together some baskets for them.  I ended up with themed Easter Baskets that ranged from $25-$50 each and shared them in this blog post about Quick and Easy Easter Baskets.

This year I thought I would start early and see if anyone was interested in a themed Easter Baskets.  My baskets begin at $25 and go up based on contents ($50 is suggested – you can get much more useful items with a little more money).  Here are some themes that I have been playing around with (photos do not include basket, grass, and candy-filled plastic eggs):

Golden Books Theme

Contents: pinball game, paddle ball, bucket, books

Ideas to add: more books, plush puppy, plush lion, plush elephant

Golden Books Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Little Artist Theme

Contents: drawing instruction book, doodling/coloring book, colored pencils

Ideas to add: sketch pad, paints, paintbrushes, canvas, art book

Little Artist Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Minnie Mouse Theme

Contents: hat, backpack purse, coin purse

Ideas to add: t-shirt, socks, jewelry, notebook and pen

Minnie Mouse Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Tinkerbell Theme

Contents: notebook set, pen, backpack purse, coin purse

Ideas to add: t-shirt, socks, jewelry

Tinkerbell Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Rainbows & Unicorns Theme

Contents: notebook, zipper pouch, stationary set, sticky pads, pen

Ideas to add: plush unicorn, rainbow room projector, rainbow gel pens

Rainbows & Unicorns Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Robot Theme

Contents: game-in-a-bag, pocket coloring book, shrink art kit

Ideas to add: book about robots, robot toy, build a robot kit, pajamas, t-shirt

Robot Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Sweet Treats Theme

Contents: stationary set, pencils, notebook, sticky pads

Ideas to add: plush donut, jewelry, water bottle

Sweet Treats Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Star Wars Collectibles Theme

Contents: watch, stickers, erasers

Ideas to add: t-shirt, plush tsum tsum, Pop Funko figurine

Star Wars Collectibles Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Tsum Tsum Theme

Contents: stationary set, painting kit, stamp set, pen, socks, cup

Ideas to add: t-shirt, pajamas, plush tsum tsums

Tsum Tsum Themed Easter Baskets - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

I can’t wait to do more!  I love the hunt of finding items that go with a theme.  Do you do themed Easter Baskets?  Any more suggestions for themes?  I would love to hear your ideas!

#GYST DEBBIE 2017

GYSTDEBBIE - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Well, it should surprise NO ONE that not only did I NOT get my sh*t together in 2016, I actually added more sh*t then completely lost track of it all and am essentially starting over.  Again.  Sooooo, here we go again, for the 8th time now….  Get Your Sh*t Together Debbie!!!

The first indicator here that I lost my sh*t instead of getting it together, is probably the fact that it is mid-February and I am JUST NOW getting to my first blog post of 2017.  Not to mention that I only posted EIGHT TIMES in 2016.  WHAT?!?!?!  Wait, so why am I doing this?  Well, we all know that I am not a Doer.  Or a Finisher.  It’s amazing that I even Started any of this, so, I am going to take it still as a win….

2016 Review

GYSTDEBBIE - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Goal #1: GYST in 2016

Nope.  Didn’t happen.  I didn’t get my sh*t together.  I made ZERO progress in KonMari-ing my house and am still stuck in the middle of Paper.  I definitely lost about 100 pounds throughout the year, but I also gained about 100 pounds so I am totally back to where I started.  I not only did not stop splurge spending on things like Starbucks, I increased my visits from weekly to daily AND increased my drink order from Grande to Venti.  So, if my goal was to Make My Sh*t Worse, than I totally succeeded.

GYSTDEBBIE2017 - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Goal #2: Find Myself in Blogging

Oops.  Did you hear that I only blogged 8 times in 2016?  Compared to 45 posts in 2015.  And it is my 2 year blog anniversary this week!  I am still a little lost in my blogging.  I feel like I haven’t found my niche yet.  Am I a craft blog?  A party blog?  A baking blog?  A home/decor/organizing blog?  A Disney blog?  Is it a journal blog?  Who knows!  Well, I do know that I am a Pinterest-based blog, based on my many many pins and interests.  So I guess that is a start!

DEBBIEGOTTABLOG - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Finish What I Started: Wait, what was I suppose to finish?  Did I even start?
  2. Stop Complaining: I think I actually made some progress here!  I at least made an effort!  Well, unless you consider this post complaining since I didn’t accomplish any of my goals or resolutions, sooooooo….  Back to square one!

2016 Accomplishments

Well, despite my lack of blogging and pinning, I somehow still gained views and am close to 16,000 total views on the blog.  I increased my number of Facebook page followers as well as Pinterest followers.  Oh, and I met one of my favorite bloggers, Jillian Leslie, over at Catch My Party!

DebbieGottaBlog met http://catchmyparty.com/

2017 Goals and Resolutions

While I will continue my never-ending quest to get my sh*t together, 2017 will also be the Year of Taking Responsibility.  I am responsible for my actions, my decisions, my life and circumstances.

GYSTDEBBIE2017 - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Goal #1: GYST 2017 (same old, same old)

Goal #2: Blog More

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Take Better Care of Myself: Physically.  Emotionally.  All Around.
  2. Take Responsibility for My Life: Own it.

GYSTDEBBIE2017 - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

If I break it all down, I need to eat less, exercise more, sleep more, buy less, put things away, finish what I start, enjoy life, appreciate what I have, acknowledge that I create my own world, accept the world I have created, and move on.  Okay, easy to say, easy to type, super hard to do.  So, here we go!

How was your 2016?  What are your New Year’s Resolutions?  Here’s to an awesome 2017!!! 

This entry was posted in GYST and tagged .

Super Easy (But Still Tasty) Sugar Cookie Recipe

Easy Sugar Cookies - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from a friend, who got it from Who-Knows-Where.  I think it is a pretty basic recipe, similar to most sugar cookie recipes.  Not all sugar cookies are created equal – sometimes they look beautiful but taste awful.  I like this recipe because it is not only easy, but the cookies are super yummy.   I will disclose that this recipe was titled, “NO FAIL SUGAR COOKIES”.  I can tell you that I have, in fact, failed with these cookies, but only out of User Error (like forgetting an ingredient).

This recipe makes about 60 medium-sized cookies.

Sugar Cookies

  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste) or desired flavoring (I use LorAnn’s Almond Emulsion)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees for at least a half hour before baking cookies.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla/extract.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture.
  6. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
  7. Divide dough into about 6 balls.  Roll each ball in between 2 sheets of parchment paper.  Roll it out to the desired thickness (I usually do a quarter inch) and then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet (I stack them all on a cutting board) and leave it in the refrigerator.  Continue rolling out the rest of the dough balls between sheets of paper until you have rolled them all.  By the time you are finished, the first batch should be chilled enough to cut.  Re-roll leftover dough and repeat the process.  I usually do this the day before and let the dough chill over night.
  8. CHILL dough for at least an hour.  The key to the cookie not spreading is that the dough needs to be chilled and stay chilled when you pop it in the oven.   
  9. Cut into desired shape.
  10. Bake on un-greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  I use one of the parchment paper sheets to line the cookie sheet so it is an easy clean up and I can keep using the same cookie sheets if I have a large batch to make.  Thick cookies (about a half inch thick) look very nice and professional but take a little longer to bake.  

Easy Sugar Cookies - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Royal Icing

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • ½ tsp almond extract (I use LorAnn’s Almond Emulsion)
  • ½ cup warm water (don’t add it all at once so you can control the consistency of the icing)
  1. Combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and extract.  It is important to measure these ingredients accurately because if you use too much water or too little meringue powder, then the icing will not harden.  
  2. Add about half of the water and mix.
  3. Add a little water at a time until it is the right consistency.  I make a thick icing for the outline and then a thinner icing of the same color for the filling/inside the shape.  The trick to the thickness is scooping up a spoonful of icing and then plopping it back into the bowl.  Count until the icing is completely flush/re-settled into the bowl.  You should count to 8-10 for the thick icing for the outline before it smooths out with the rest of the icing.  The thinner icing should take 5-8 seconds.  If it is too thick just add a VERY little amount of water at a time and if it is too thin just add a little powdered sugar.  (I usually cheat and make a medium consistency (about 7 seconds) that I use for the outline and the inside of the shape.) 
  4. Dye icing if you want a specific color (I use Americolor Soft Gel Paste).
  5. Transfer icing to a piping bag or mini squeeze bottle.  Wilton’s sells ketchup bottle type containers that are nice and easy to use, or you can use piping bags.  I use a Wilton’s 3 tip for the outline and a Wilton’s 5 for the filling.  Royal Icing will harden quickly so ALWAYS keep your icing covered, including your piping bags.  I place a wet paper towel at the bottom of a tall glass so the tip of the piping bag stays wet.  
  6. To get that 3D/layered effect, wait until the bottom coat is dry before adding details. 
  7. Do not refrigerate unused icing, just keep it in a tightly sealed container.

Easy Sugar Cookies - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

My girlfriends and I get together a few times a year to decorate cookies.  We bring our own cookies and then each bring a batch or two of icing in an assigned color to share with the group.  I make my cookies ahead of time and then freeze them.  I let them dry COMPLETELY (at least 24 hours), stack a couple, wrap them in seran wrap, then aluminum foil, and place them in a sealed container in the freezer.  I take them out to defrost the day before I need them. 

Easy Sugar Cookies - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

 

Easy Sugar Cookies - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Don’t be afraid to decorate sugar cookies.  Be creative and try different techniques.  People go crazy over sugar cookies.

You are the only one that will notice any little flaws (and just eat the big mistakes!).  Enjoy!

For more ideas, go to my DebbiePinsALot Decorated Sugar Cookies Board on Pinterest.

 

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

It’s that time of year again!  Every October I donate 100 dragonfly cookies to the Unravel Pediatric Cancer Mama’s Night Out.  Unravel is an organization focused on raising awareness about the lack of funding for pediatric cancer research.  Their Mama’s Night Out events are held at multiple cities throughout the year.  It is a wonderful event with lots of food, prizes, vendors, and speeches.  I highly recommend attending one if you ever have the opportunity to attend.

Last year I tried out a metallic gold technique that I found on Pinterest.  It was easy to do and turned out great!  I have a favorite sugar cookie recipe (easy and yummy) that I will share in a future post.  Unravel’s theme is dragonflies and their colors are hot pink, orange, and gold.  I used vanilla extract with gold luster dust to create the metallic gold dragonlfy body.

Before gold:

 

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

 

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

After gold:

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

 

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

 

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

Final product:

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

The event was a huge success!

Unravel Pediatric Cancer Mama's Night Out

Here is a peek at the previous year’s cookies:

Dragonfly Sugar Cookies

 

Find out more about Unravel Pediatric Cancer here.  Find more sugar cookie decorating ideas here.

Quick & Easy Easter Basket Ideas

Quick & Easy Easter Baskets

Well, Guys, my Crazy was definitely showing this week!  After posting my “Easy, Last Minute Easter Basket” blog post last week, I accidentally may have started a basket making business….  I received 14 orders this week (12 of them on Thursday, due Friday!) and had a lot of fun putting together these baskets!

Did you make your Easter Baskets yet?  Easter is tomorrow and the stores will have slim pickings in the Easter section today and even less if you can’t go until tonight.  But you actually don’t have to shop in the Easter section for Easter Baskets.  I prefer to find fun items and gifts that the kids will actually use all year round.  (I would rather buy a few real things than a bunch of random useless junk.)  Here are some quick samples of easy themed Easter Baskets:

BABY EASTER BASKET

Baby Easter Basket

Baby Easter Basket

$25 Basket idea for baby: sippy cups, clothes, Gerber yogurt melt filled plastic eggs, Gerber banana cereal puff filled plastic eggs.

>$25: Add a book, a stuffed animal, and a toy (open up a pack of Fisher Price Little People and place around basket with eggs).  Bath toys are also fun.

SCHOOL AGE EASTER BASKET

The key here is to choose whatever theme your kid is into (Legos, Star Wars, Disney Tsum Tsums, Fairies, etc).

Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle Easter Basket

$25 Basket idea for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan: TMNT action figure, TMNT water bottle, TMNT coloring book, TMNT sticker book, TMNT fruit snacks, Annie’s bunny shaped cheese cracker filled plastic eggs, jelly bean filled plastic eggs, and chocolate bunny (those cool camo eggs are from Walmart).

>$25: Add a book, TMNT t-shirt or sweatshirt, and a big TMNT toy.

Shopkins Easter Basket

$25 Basket idea for Shopkins-loving kids: Shopkins 5 pack, Shopkins water bottle, Shopkins nail set, Shopkins playing cards, chocolate bunny, Annie’s bunny shaped cheese cracker filled eggs, and Annie’s bunny shaped fruit snack filled eggs (those awesome emoji plastic eggs are from Walmart).

>$25: Add a book, Shopkins t-shirt or sunglasses, fill plastic eggs with additional Shopkins (buy the bigger 12 or 20 pack).

TWEEN EASTER BASKET

Crafty Easter Basket

$40 Basket idea for crafty girl: journal, smelly gel pens, water bottle, bunny shaped erasers, Annie’s bunny shaped cheese cracker filled plastic eggs, jelly bean filled eggs, Fun Dip, and chocolate bunny.

>$40: Add a doodle or intricate coloring book and art supplies (blank canvas, paints, and brushes).

Warriors/Basketball Easter Basket

Warriors/Basketball Easter Basket

$25 Basket idea for Warriors fan: Warriors t-shirt, blue water bottle, stress ball/squeeze basketball, Fun Dip, chocolate bunny, jelly bean filled plastic eggs

>$25: Add a book or sports magazine, flip flops or slippers, and a mini basketball.

TEEN EASTER BASKET

Teen Girl Easter Basket

$40 Basket idea for teenage girl: flip flops, make-up bag, eyeshadow, lip balm, water bottle, candy filled plastic eggs (mint and gold color theme here).

>$40:Add a book or journal, more make-up (lip gloss or lip stick, blush, foundation, etc), and sunglasses.

$40 Basket idea for teenage boy (no photo): iTunes gift card, headphones, water bottle, candy filled plastic eggs.

>$40: Add video games and get fancier headphones.

For more ideas, see my previous post.

I hope you like these ideas!  What do you put in your Easter Baskets?  Any other great ideas?

Easy, Last Minute Easter Baskets

Easter Baskets do not need to be complicated or extravagant.  A basic basket can be completed in one trip to Target.  You definitely should have an idea of how much you want to spend before you go to the store.  Whether you want to spend $10 or $100 per basket, there are some basic items that together will make the perfect Easter Basket.  Here are some ideas to get you through the store quickly with quick basket assembly.

Easy, Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas

My basic formula for the perfect Easter Basket starts with 5 simple categories:

  1. Something to EAT.
  2. Something to READ.
  3. Something to PLAY WITH.
  4. Something to USE.
  5. Something DECORATIVE.

The first category is Something to Eat.  This can be as healthy or as unhealthy as you want.  Ideally, the food would fit into plastic eggs.  Ideas: fresh fruits, freeze dried fruits, yogurt raisins, fruit snacks, crackers, cereal, and candy.

Easter Baskets - Something to EAT

The second category is Something to Read.  I like to put some sort of book in the basket, whether it is a board book, comic book, picture book, or a chapter book.  Mad Libs are great too.

Easter Basket - Something to Read

The third category is Something to Play With.  Obviously, there are a million toys to choose from and they will vary by age.  Some ideas are sports equipment, outdoor toys, Legos, figurines, and games.  Small items can fit into plastic eggs as well.

Easter Basket - Something to Play With

The fourth category is Something to Use.  This can be any useful item that is actually needed – shoes, clothes, beach towels, and make-up are some basic ideas.

Easter Basket - Something to Use

And the last category is Something Decorative.  This can be any Easter related item.  Ideas: bunny stuffed animal, decorative eggs, cross, chicks, and flowers.

Easter Basket - Something Decorative

I personally love to stick with a theme.  This year my girls are really into Disney Tsum Tsums, so I have a variety of plush and vinyl Tsum Tsum collectibles along with some Tsum Tsum t-shirts that I found.  Shopkins, Legos, Thomas the Train, American Girl Doll, and Star Wars are more themes that are very easy to find.  Think of something your kid just loves (sports, character, movie, game, dolls) and find what you can within that theme and within your budget.

Easter Basket Themes

Easter Baskets do not have to be fancy or expensive.  They can contain 5 items or 50 items – you have total control over it.  The important thing is to have fun, spend what you can afford, and think about what your child is interested in and would like.

Do you have a basic formula for your Easter Baskets?  What are your go-to items?

Is My Crazy Showing’s One Year Anniversary!

Hello Friends,

Today I am writing you a letter of thanks for being there during my first year of blogging.  I really appreciate the support and kind words.  I still have so much to learn, but it really has been a fun year on the blog.  I hope you enjoy the next year of blogging as I continue to Get My Sh*t Together, finish KonMari-ing, and share all my Crazy!

Sincerely,

Debbie

First Year Accomplishments:

I am just shy of 10,000 views!!!  I don’t have a huge list of followers, but I do have pins all over Pinterest that are repinned daily.

Someone recognized me from my blog on the Red Carpet at the Emmys!

Several of my favorite blogs now follow me on Pinterest!

Favorite Posts & Milestones:

First post: Is My Crazy Showing?

your crazy is showing - is my crazy showing?

Introduction post: Get Your Sh*t Together, Debbie!

GYST Debbie! Is My Crazy Showing?

Most viewed post on release date: The Top 5 Most Common Mistakes Made at Disneyland

Disneyland Mistakes - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Most popular party post: Monsters Inc. Boo Party (For a Girl)

Monsters Inc Boo Party (for a girl) - Is My Crazy Showing?

Most pinned cake: Welcome to the World Baby Shower Cake under My Cakes

Welcome to the World Suitcase Cake - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Most popular series: The KonMari Method

The KonMari Method Applied to Kids Clothes - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Followed by: Me on the Emmys Red Carpet

Emmys Red Carpet Event - Bleacher Fan

What a fun year!  I can’t wait to learn more about blogging and share more!  Thank you!!!

Follow me on Pinterest and Facebook!

Visit Is My Crazy Showing?’s profile on Pinterest.

Tsum Tsum Crazy – Star Wars Release

*Tsum Tsum 101: In case you haven’t heard of them, Tsum Tsums are a stackable plush toy that comes in different characters and sizes.  The craze started in Japan and has made it’s way to the US via Disney.  You can find Disney Tsum Tsums at Disney Store and Target.  They came out with plastic Tsum Tsums in December 2015.  

Tsum Tsum Crazy - Star Wars - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Is anyone else fighting a crazy Tsum Tsum addiction?  Disney released the original Star Wars Trilogy Tsum Tsum characters today, so, naturally, I took the day off, got up at 4:00AM, and stood in line for 5 hours….  (And by “line”, I mean, my friend and I sat there freezing for 2 and a half hours before our 3rd friend arrived and then waited around until more people started lining up just before the store opened at 10:00AM.)

Best conversation of the day:   

My 7 Year Old: What time did you get to the store?

Me: 5:00

Her: You shopped for 5 hours?

Me: No, I stood in line for 5 hours waiting for the store to open.

Her: (Long pause…) What?

In my defense, we are redecorating the girls’ room to a “Star Wars” and “Tsum Tsum” theme (they each chose one), so, OBVIOUSLY we need to invest in all of the STAR WARS TSUM TSUMS….

But back to the Tsums!  There are 12 characters in this series: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda, R2D2, C3PO, Storm Trooper, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, and Wicket the Ewok.  The next series will be the Prequel Trilogy characters, followed by The Force Awakens characters (release dates have not been announced).

I bought all 12 for us thinking we would return some of the extra ones, but….  They are too darn cute!!!  I mean, even JABBA THE HUTT is cute!  How did they do that???  C3PO seemed to sell out first online, but now they are sold out of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Wicket.  They each have super cute details and features (like Luke is packing a light saber, Wicket has a spear, and there is super soft white fur on Yoda’s ears, under his hood).  Most are soft and fluffy while C3PO and R2D2 are more of a smooth satin.  Wicket is definitely the cutest, followed by Princess Leia and Chewie.  They are just too adorable to return.  Looks like we will keep the entire collection!

Tsum Tsum Crazy - Star Wars - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Tsum Tsum Crazy - Star Wars - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

 

Tsum Tsum Crazy - Star Wars - www.ismycrazyshowing.com

Do you (I mean, your kids) collect Tsum Tsums?

What are your thoughts on the Star Wars series?

Follow Is My Crazy Showing?’s board Tsum Tsum Everything on Pinterest.