With all the baking I do, I am always on the lookout for great ways to show off my creations. I absolutely love cake stands, they are beautiful ways to display just about everything. But, they are so darned expensive and I just can't justify spending a lot of money on them. Luckily, my fantastic friends post the most amazing things on Pinterest and I have seen some beautiful cake stand that people have made using inexpensive items. LOVE IT!

So, after dropping Boy #1 off at preschool, Boy #2 and I hit up Dollar Tree to see what sort of treasures we could find. Boy #2 mostly enjoyed the peanut butter crackers I gave him but I found some fantastic plates and candle sticks! And really, for $1 each, how can you go wrong?! A quick run to Wal-Mart for spray paint and we (me, actually, don't give you 20 month old epoxy glue, glass, or spray paint, pretty sure that will end badly) were ready to get started!
Plates and candle holders just waiting to be made into something great!
After sorting out which plates would work best with which candle holders I used my trusty E6000 glue to attach the candle sticks to the plates. Then, I set some of our heaviest tomes on top to hold things in place and waited a few hours for them to dry.
Waiting for glue to dry
Next, take your dry plates and candle holders outside and get ready to spray paint. No, I did not do a good job covering the table I used to paint on. Don't worry though, it was a table we found on the side of the road right after we bought our house and had no money left to buy furniture for the deck. We have since upgraded and this is a multi-purpose gardening, and now, spray painting table.
Spray paint
I decided to do all of mine white, but there are a lot of great colors that you could use. I like white because it can be used in just about any setting and doesn't detract from the beauty of your cookies or cupcakes. I would LOVE to start doing dessert tables, and I think these would be perfect for that. They look great but if, heaven forbid, something happens to them I am not out $40.

Once these have a few coats of paint on them and a little time to dry, you are finished! So easy, right?! The only caveat to these is that the spray paint on the plates means they are no longer food safe. So, if you want to put cookies or a cake directly on them, don't. Put a piece of parchment paper, wax paper or a pretty doily down first. I think cupcakes are ok since they already have a wrapper on them.
Apple Pie cupcakes on a $2 cake stand
We are not what you would call 'sports fans' in the Bell House. Don't get me wrong, Hubby and I both played sports growing up and I would still love to have the time to play tennis a few days a week. Basically, we don't like to sit and watch sports, we want to be outside playing them. So, this year we (I) were excited to sign Boy #1 up for soccer!  Yay, let the transformation to suburban soccer mom with a mini-van reach it's completion!

I was up bright and early this morning to down a cup of coffee and get everyone else up and ready to leave the house at 7:15am for his first game. Here's how things went:
7:40-arrive at field
7:45-get upset bc his shoes were getting wet in the grass
7:50-get upset bc he doesn't want to warm up and his ball is dirty from the grass and dew
8:00-still upset and crying, doesn't want to play in the game
8:15-decides to play, promptly gets bonked in the head, dissolves into tears

...and on, and on, and on until it was time to leave. Luckily his coach is super sweet and understanding. Poor kid, sometimes I forget that it must be hard to be 3.

Anyway, all this got me thinking about sports, then cookies and how nice it is that a lot of sports use balls, which are usually (looking at you rugby and football!) round, and easy to make into cookies. My mind always comes back to cookies, y'all.

These are great for team parties. Especially if each player and coach gets one with his or her name on a cookies. These were for an end of season party for a friend's son's team.
Soccer ball
These soccer balls were actually for a friend that loves soccer and had recently had a baby. But, again, would be fun for an end of the season party.
Volleyballs with mascot
Or, if you have an actual team or school mascot (instead of a random name chosen by a group of 3 year olds), it can be incorporated in the cookie design as well.

If you have a kid in sports keep me in mind for the end of season party! And in the mean time, say a little prayer than next week's soccer game has a few less tears and a little more fun.

As many of you know, I live in a house of boys. Other than our insane cat, Maggie (and she's so crazy I'm not sure she counts for much), I am the only girl. Hubby, Boy #1, Boy #2, dog and (slightly less crazy) cat keep my life interesting. Boy #1 is 3 1/2 and Boy #2 is 20 months and they LOVE dinosaurs. They (and consequently, I) spend a lot of time roaring and stomping, playing with dinosaur toys and watching Dinosaur Train. That show is pure genius, dinosaurs AND trains, what boy wouldn't love it?! So, when a sweet friend with boys of her own asked me to make dinosaur cookies I was super excited! And, did I mention, she placed two orders for them? Yes, she totally rocks.
Dinosaurs round 1
Here is the first set I made (see above). I did some browsing around and like the dinosaurs Sugarbelle made, the black outline kind of made them pop. I had my paleontological fact checker (Boy #1) assure me that these were accurate representations of a T. rex and Triceratops, then he promptly bit the head off an extra triceratops and declared he was a very hungry T. rex.   
Dinosaurs, round 2
In the meantime my work-wife (from my time in research) and a fellow Dr. Bell was planning a Dinosaur Train themed birthday party for her soon to be 3 year old. Now, character cookies are tricky and we were going to do trains from the show but after the first round of dino cookies we decided to make the dinosaurs in the same colors as those on the show. I even threw in some hatching eggs. As these were my birthday present to her son, I carefully packaged them and entrusted them to the ever vigilant and cautious care of USPS. BAD MOVE. Each and every cookies broke :( I'm pretty sure they think "fragile" means "put this box under the biggest, heaviest one on your truck and then drive over speed bumps at 50mph. Sigh...

Dinosaurs round 3
Then it was time for the second set of dino cookies for friend who first ordered them. These were fun because I was able to take the design and colors I liked best and combine them.

Of course, with each order I had to make a few extra for my own little dinosaurs to munch on. These are really fun to make and I can't wait for my next dino order!
It's officially fall in Texas!! Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration...but we are supposed to reach a low of 65 tonight, that counts for something, right?

In case you can't tell, I am really looking forward to the weather cooling down here. Summer are fun in some ways but I get tired of the blazing heat pretty quickly. So, in order to help usher in fall I decided to get cracking on a new line of fall cookies.
Fall sugar cookies
These designs were inspired by some cards at Tiny Prints, their designs are just wonderful, you should check them out! I love the acorns, they are simple but the sanding sugar adds a little sparkle to them.

The centerpiece cookie is, well, the centerpiece of this group. Writing on cookies is not nearly as easy as it might seem, getting the right script can be a challenge. But the work pays off in the end.

Centerpiece cookie with quote
I hope everyone gets to enjoy some cool fall weather soon!