Saturday, September 29, 2012

Colored Sprinkles for a lot LESS....

One of our special birthday “traditions”.....  I make each member of our family a unique themed cake for their day.  This has been a fun, yet challenging.  Each cake is a SURPRISE which does not allow for me to practice the design before their birthday.  There have been many birthday-eve nights that I wonder WHY I dreamed up this tradition….HOWEVER…it has also been a wonderful opportunity for creativity—not just the design of the cake, but coming up with ways to re-do the design elements in a frugal way instead of expensively.

This year’s themed cake for my daughter came from a book called, “What’s New, Cupcake?”.  
Yes...these are the actual ones I is NOT a picture from the book! 
They were remarkably simple to make--just time consuming!
  I termed my daughter’s cake as a “bouquet of flowers”. 
In this design, it required using many colored sugars to coat the “petals” (made of sliced marshmallows).  Those Cake-Mate colored sugar sprinkles are expensive!!  (But they are even more expensive when considering a project like this!!)  Soooo….for this cake I learned HOW to color my own sugar!  (Holy Cow!!  The Cake Mate company is making a fortune on  those little bottles of colored sugar!!)
HOW to make your own colored sprinkles:
1) Put some white sugar in a plastic baggie.
2) Add a couple drops of food coloring
3) Mix it up.  You will need to knead it a little with your finger tips.  Initially, the drop of food coloring dissolves the sugar it lands in making a wet, grainy clump of sugar.  BUT as you knead it, the color spreads out and the sugar returns to its “dry” state.
Make as many colors as you like....I used yellow, pink, purple, blue and white to color the "petals" of my daughter's bouquet!

Happy Stretching Pennies...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Birthday Candles Can Be Reused...without anyone noticing!!

While I’ve been dealing with what life throws at me this summer and into the new school year, I have fallen farther and farther behind.  Sometimes, it is just hard to keep up with the punches!!  Soooo….Here’s to being more caught up…and catching up on a few blog entries I’ve taken pictures of but never written!!

My daughter’s birthday was this weekend.   I learned a new money saving trick and took pictures for a new blog entry.  However, as I review the pictures I have stored on my computer,  I see that I still have pictures from her LAST birthday to write about.  I can’t believe it has taken me over a full year to get around to it.
Did you know that those candles you put on birthday cakes do NOT have to be thrown out after ONE use?? 
How much of the candle do you use after one use? 
Each candle COULD be used 2-3 times, depending on how much wax you burn through!!
Once you pull them out of the cake.... just rinse them off, dry them and put them back in the box and use them for another birthday moment!! 
In case you were worried about looking "cheap"...this is what they look like BEFORE they were lit!
Once the candles are lit, NO ONE can tell that they were reused!!
These are the REUSED candles on my daughter's "PURSE" themed birthday cake.
I know that is just saving a few “pennies”…but my favorite quote by Benjamin Franklin is “a little leak can sink a great ship”.  For me, this is an epitome of the application of this philosophy!!
 Happy Stretching Pennies...

P.S.  In the 14 years we have been married, we have only purchased 2 boxes of birthday I guess this "saving candles" has more than paid off over the years to be more than  a few "pennies", huh?