Ice cream cone cupcake carrier

I ran into a conundrum tonight…I made some pretty awesome snacks for my 6-year-old’s class, but couldn’t think of a way to have them make the one-hour-plus bus ride to town safely. And I really wasn’t keen on making a 30-mile round-trip jaunt to town just to deliver cupcakes. (But I would have.)

These ice cream cone cupcakes were super simple, just cake mix in a cone!

These ice cream cone cupcakes were super simple, just cake mix in a cone!

I made a shout-out to my pals on Facebook, to see what ideas I could come up with…and with their help, and some fine tuning from my hubby, I ended up with an idea that was just short of brilliant!

First, I found tall shoe boxes that were big enough to fit a cereal box in. Athletic shoe boxes are frequently on the bigger side, and would probably work great.

I had 20 cupcakes, so I needed to use two shoe boxes. In the first box, I used the ice cream cone boxes, and in the second box, I simply used an empty cereal box. Here’s how it worked out:

I cut an "X" in the box with a knife, then pushed it down in the middle, so the ice cream cones didn't break. I wanted pressure on them, but not tight.

I cut an “X” in the box with a knife, then pushed it down in the middle, so the ice cream cones didn’t break. I wanted pressure on them, but not tight.

The ice cream cone fit perfectly!

The ice cream cone fit perfectly!

I placed the cones around the box, close enough that they gave each other support, but not rubbing frosting...well, at least I tried.

I placed the cones around the box, close enough that they gave each other support, but not rubbing frosting…well, at least I tried.

The best part about it? These heavy-duty shoe boxes have great lids, making it easier for my son to travel with his treats! YAY!

And thank you, to everyone who shot me an idea or two…it takes a village.


Private school or a glass of milk?

Some days I hate Facebook. I would be living in my own little world, not involved in much of anything, taking it easy, enjoying life…if not for Facebook. (Well, at least I feel like I would.)

What has me in such a tizzy tonight? I came across a news article that someone shared, and it made me mad. Really mad.

To sum it up, the House Education Committee passed a bill out of committee with a Do Not Pass recommendation. Here is how HB 1421 reads:

SECTION 1. APPROPRIATION. There is appropriated out of any moneys in the general fund in the state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $1,239,300, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, to the superintendent of public instruction for the purpose of reimbursing school districts for one snack beverage of either milk or juice each day for students qualifying for the free or reduced school lunch program, for the biennium beginning July 1,
2013, and ending June 30, 2015.

The purpose of the bill? To simply provide a snack beverage (milk or juice) for those kids that cannot afford it.

Now, I’m not upset just because of the mean-spiritedness of voting against this type of legislation. I understand that some people firmly believe that government has no place in humanitarian efforts, and that civilization and communities should be able to take care of their own. And if any one of the representatives that voted against this bill would have stated that specifically as their case, I would be a little more lenient in my disgust.

The 10-3 Do Not Pass vote came down to party lines. And the possible loser in the end? Children who cannot afford an afternoon snack.

Do you want to know what really set me off? Three of the representatives that voted against providing milk to underprivileged children have sponsored a bill that will provide state funding (approx. $10,500 per student, at a total of $32 million per biennium) to those students who choose to attend private school. (HB 1466)

Let me clarify. We cannot provide milk to children who can’t afford it, but we will give assistance to families that choose to use private education.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The only logical explanation I can come up with is the party line vote for the school milk issue. It cannot be a concern on funding, or else three members of the House of Representatives just publicly became the biggest hypocrites I’ve seen this year (although, to be fair, it’s only February, so I’m sure I’ll see more).

Last week at meetings I attended, I heard the phrase “It’s politics” thrown around a lot. And I do understand…to a point. But I think it’s about time we expect a little better from those that are elected to represent us, especially at the state level.

Things to remember at the next election.

Update: I just watched the live video feed from the North Dakota House of Representatives. The bill was voted down, by a very large margin. As soon as I have more details, I’ll pass them on. Thank you, to all who have shared this post.

Banana Sushi

Banana what??? That’s right – banana sushi. And it was super simple and the kids thought it was delicious! All it took was to peruse a little Pinterest, come up with a few ideas, adjust it to what we needed and voila! A new treat for EJ’s kindergarten class.

I paired it up with sliced strawberries, sliced apples and sliced summer sausage, making it a healthy, hefty snack for a room full of little ones. Take that, new school food rules!

Here’s the simple recipe, along with photo instructions…fool proof, I promise you!

Banana Sushi


  • bananas
  • bread (I used honey wheat…a whole grain, you know)
  • honey

To start with, take two slices of bread and cut off the crust.

Remove the crust from the bread and lay them side by side.

Flatten together with a rolling pin, to make one big, flat slice of bread.

One giant squished piece of bread.

Add a healthy dose of honey…or just a little, whatever your taste.

Add honey to your bread.

Peel a banana. If it’s too curved, you can always just use your hands to “straighten” it a bit. In fact, I found the bananas very easy to manipulate into a straight shape…it was just a tad messy.

Next, just roll your bread around the banana, pat the ends together to seal, and cut into slices. It’ll look a little “sushi”-ish. And taste yummy! (If you like bananas and honey.)

Finished product…and yummy!




It’s Football Time!!!

Tonight is Scooter’s first football game…and I cannot wait! I wasn’t extremely active in sports during my high school days. We lived 16 miles from town and we had to pick and choose the activities we were involved in wisely, so that we weren’t wasting trips to town, working around schedules, etc.

I played basketball until a knee injury sidelined me, and then I became a cheerleader. I quickly found that my calling was supporting others, cheering them on, trying to infuse energy and excitement into situations…I guess I’m still kind of in that mindset.

But tonight I get to cheer on my favorite athlete of all time, my son.

Scooter and his older/younger brothers. He’s the one in the football gear.

With his size and appetite (he’s 8 years old, and he’s 5’1″ and weighs 105 pounds…he’s my NFL hopeful! 😉 Just kidding, of course…kinda), I knew that I would have to bulk it up a bit today. He gets up at 6:40 in the morning, gets on the bus by 7:20 and arrives at school around 8:30. This morning he had a poptart (because breakfast wasn’t ready fast enough) and an egg sandwich. Then when he gets to school he eats breakfast there. His lunch is at 11:20 or so and I won’t see him to feed him until almost 6 tonight. So I packed snacks.

That’s the plan behind the new school lunch guidelines – for parents to take over and provide more nutrition for those kids that need it. And I’m willing to do my part, but there’s a catch. You see, the snacks have to make it to the desired time period. I have to remind my son that he can’t eat them on the way to school. That he needs to save them for in the afternoon. And I have to make sure that the teacher is on board with this.

Normally the snack rule in our school has always been that if one person has a snack, they must bring enough for all…but that has to change with the new rules. And the snacks are supposed to change as well.

Yet, when I pack a snack at 6:30 in the morning, knowing they won’t be ate (hopefully) until 2 in the afternoon, and without the benefits of a refrigerator or a microwave, I’m a tad limited in my options. Grapes, granola bars, fruit snacks…some are healthy, some are not within the new guidelines. But more importantly, they’ll give my son the energy needed to get through the day.

My biggest concern is making sure he has enough energy to be physically active and not get hurt. Because an athlete that can’t focus or is lethargic on the field is a disaster (and an injury) waiting to happen.

I want my son fed AND safe…is that too much to ask?


A Trick for Treats

Our 4-year-old, EJ, is in preschool this year, four days a week. Last year I didn’t have the chance to really get involved with snacks and things like that. (George was having problems and EJ only went to school two days a week.) Well, I’m going to do a better job this year!

Now, I didn’t say it was going to take a lot more time…I’m just going to take a few minutes here and there and try to be a more involved parent. Which is why EJ and I sat down and made these last night:

Witches’ Hats

Witches' hats...all ready for school.

Cute little things, aren’t they?

I got the idea from Pinterest, and it’s easy as could be!

Step 1: Buy fudge striped cookies, a bag of Hershey Kisses and orange frosting.

Cookie, check. Kiss, check.

Step 2: Place cookie striped-side down, circle hole with orange frosting.

Circle of orange frosting, used for "glue."

Step 3: Place Hershey Kiss on top of frosting.

EJ spent more time on placing the kiss than anything!

Step 4: Sit back, relax and enjoy the praises rained upon you by your 4-year-old that you’re the best cook ever. Because you are. Really.

Aren't they just adorable?

Yeah, not every one made it on a cookie...but that's to be expected.

What is your go-to school snack for the masses? Do you go season-themed? Or just general snacks?

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