The New Jones’

Your kids just need YOU. There could not be a statement more true. They don’t need fancy, they don’t need anything elaborate/complicated. They don’t need anything special, really. They just need you. Their wonderful, loving, warm-bodied, crazy-eyed, frazzled, mom.

I recently skimmed an article that was posted on Facebook regarding this topic (Your Children Want YOU!). With the explosion of sites like Etsy, Pinterest, and several knock-offs, there has been an ongoing struggle to keep up with the new Jones’ – the DIY-ers and the craftsters. OMG indeed.

Take for example birthday parties. Now, these aren’t your traditional, simple, parties with just family and cake anymore. These are serious events. We are talking major spreads with themes and coordinating everything. Not to mention the DIY factor. There is DIY everything nowadays, from party edibles to hand-sewn decorations. Thanks to the original DIY-queen, Martha, there are a million and one ways to personalize your party. My daughter’s second birthday party was an ice cream social complete with coordinating invites, tablecloths, and every topping you could imagine. Sheesh.

But seriously. My kid doesn’t care about this stuff. (Of course not – she’s two.) Ella Mae’s idea of a perfect party would be some fun music to dance to with mom (preferably in her princess nightgown), a giant chocolate cake, and, well, that’s about it. She doesn’t need much. She just needs me.

I am so very guilty of trying to emulate the craftsters. I admit it. I have a serious addiction to Pinterest and I love it.

I bake for fun (Sweetie Cheeks shameless self-promotion!) and craft to relax. But. And there is a huge BUT. I can get carried away. Homemade soap. Homemade play-dough. Pretzels from scratch. Don’t even get me started on my baking business. There are dishes for miles in my kitchen and my husband is left to clean them, scratching his head wondering how he got into this mess. Literally!

But, I have started to take a step back and make sure with each new project I take on that I am doing it for the right reason. Is it fun? Am I smiling? Am I completely ignoring my kid just so that she can have a perfectly coordinated/creative/ room/party/etc.? Am I trying to too hard to make something perfect and look just like the picture when it doesn’t need to be? If something is more frustrating than enjoyable, or if Ella Mae is crawling up my leg because I have been immersed in a project for the past 12 hours (a gross exaggeration), I admit I have to let it go. It’s hard because I love to create, but there is a limit and my toddler’s desire for me trumps all things Jones.

No recipe (gonna read a book with missy instead), but the promised salted caramel cupcake tutorial is to come next time! Thanks for reading.


Oh. My. Pinterest.

Oh my Pinterest.

Yes.  You all have seen me.  I met a new friend Pinterest this year and I cannot get enough of her.  I pin.  I comment.  I post.  It’s wonderful.

Pinterest has become my source of creative inspiration for all things baking, cooking and crafting.  [Insert sigh of happiness.]  I have even learned a few organizational tips that have been very useful in keeping my darling but (very) cozy 1,100 square foot home well-kept.

I’d like to spread the Pinterest love this weekend and share a few of my favorite links.  All have been tried, tested, and husband/Madame President-approved (and I even managed to post pictures this time).  These are pins where if you make what they tell you, it looks like the picture.  And who doesn’t love that.

Mama’s Top 5 Pins:

 (1)  Blackberry Pie Bars (to make your family and co-workers swoon)  – courtesy of the Pink Parsley.

(2)  Buttermilk Roast Chicken (the best chicken you will ever eat) – courtesy of the Smitten Kitchen.

(3)  Homemade Liquid Soap (to finally get rid of all those bars of random soap you get for gifts during the holidays) – courtesy of the Burlap Bag.

(4)  Chicken Pot Pie (so good your husband will offer to do the dishes) – courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything.

(5)  Pink black-bottomed cupcakes with icing – courtesy of iheart2stamp by Jen Muro.

Next time . . . . . Salted Caramel cupcake tutorial.  After the caramel started behaving and turned into a gooey glob of heaven, I somehow managed to not eat all of them.

Sneak peak (pictured with their Classic American cupcake counterpart) . . . . .