Category Archives: Kiddos

Plungers Make The Perfect Cast Gifts

Plungers Make The Perfect Cast Gifts

Plungers make for great cast gifts. What? A plunger as a gift? Why would someone do such a thing? We did! 

My older boy was in his school production of Urinetown. He gave each of his cast mates plungers at the cast party. The plungers were a huge hit. 

We went to three dollar stores to purchase a total of 32 plungers. Check out the back of the car after the first stop. 

Check out the check out clerk. She smiled but said nothing about what has got to be the oddest sale of her career. 

We used a black sharpie to hand write on the each plungers handle.  We alternated sayings: 

“See you when Urinetown”

“It’s been a privilege to pee with you”

Easy, inexpensive, uniquely themed, fun to create, thrilling to give and awesome and odd to receive.  The perfect cast gift. 

Sometimes We Need Rainbow Cake

Sometimes We Need Rainbow Cake

Sometimes we need cake! This is a tasty cake made by Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Why bake on a hot summer day?

My clever boy added a rainbow of color using candy melts and food coloring.  As you can see he did a marvelous job adding color to an otherwise very tasty cake.

Sometimes…things don’t have to be difficult to be creative.



Throwback Thursday: A Golden Easter Egg

Throwback Thursday: A Golden Easter Egg

Happy Throwback Thursday!  I have a blog about the Golden Easter Egg.  When the boys were little we read a lovely pop-up book about Easter eggs and all of these lovely springtime animals were on the egg hunt. The golden Easter egg was the prized egg.  Long lovely story short we created a golden Easter egg tradition in our home. At the time we created the tradition there were no ready made golden Easter eggs on the market.  Now they are everywhere but back then not so much.  This is an easy craft with elegant results.  Better than the plastic golden eggs of now.

The egg in the images is actually a porcelain egg that I spray painted with metallic gold paint.  My girlfriend told me she picked up a dozen of plastic craftable eggs in a carton  at Walmart for like $2.00.  These would be perfect to work with as they are created to take paint and you won’t have to worry about breaking the golden egg.

Because the egg is so special I also created a golden egg cup for it to stand in for Easter brunch.  I spray painted the egg cup with the same metallic paint and added some metallic ribbon and a little felt embellishment.  So sweet.


So, the golden egg was painted and laid in the grass or a more difficult hiding spot as the boys got older.  Whomever found the golden egg won the coveted golden egg.




P.S.  Every year I touch up the Golden Easter egg and egg cup as necessary

April Fool’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

April Fool’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

April Fool's Spaghetti meetballs cupcakes web small

Yup!  Here is a great April Fool’s.  When my oldest was playing spring baseball during his kindergarten year it was my turn to bring the post game snack.  It is supposed to be a healthy snack but since I am me and it was April Fool’s Day I decided to bring a snack that looked healthy but was actually not.

That plate of spaghetti covered in meatballs is really cupcakes smothered in piped frosting, strawberry jam, Ferraror Roche chocolates and white chocolate shavings.  The idea (and in this case I darn near followed the instructions verbatim) was from Hello! Cupcake.  Great idea!  I am glad I was lucky enough to have the perfect excuse to have a little fun!  Copy my copy of Hello Cupcake or check out the book for the exact recipe and directions.

Now get cracking April Fool’s is only a few days away.



Creme de Menthe Brownies

Creme de Menthe Brownies

From a Blog Post March 2009.  This is a Kriksciun family classic recipe.  I have made it many many times in the last 20 or so years.  They are great whenever you make and eat them. Of course the green makes for excellent St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas holiday treats (use clear crème de menthe and the green isn’t a factor).

Here Goes:

Here at Royal Tart we are beginning to wind down on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and gear up for the next round of holiday parties, not to mention the birthday celebration of a cranky 12-year old cat on April 3. That being said, I am including one last St. Pat’s Recipe.


st pats man and fiddle

Creme de Menthe Brownies

If you aren’t familiar with this fun chocolate mint brownie recipe you are in for a real treat. This dessert works really well for everyday or on St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Easter–any holiday that green or white is part of the color scheme.

Bake your favorite from scratch or box brownies using a sheet pan instead of your standard brownie pan OR if you are like me and resist serving bar treats at parties bake brownie bites or purchase them already made. I think mini round bites look so pretty on a serving tray.

Mint Icing:
You can use either green or white Creme de Menthe. For this holiday we suggest using green as March 17 is all about the green.
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted or creamed depending on whether you are serving brownie bars or bites)
4 tablespoons Creme de Menthe

Mix the above Icing ingredients together and spread on your cooled brownies. If you are using brownie bites you will want the Icing to be a bit thicker so instead of melting the butter, cream it with the sugar and Creme de Menthe. Add a little more sugar in small increments until a loose spreadable icing is made. When I ice my brownie bites I like the green icing to drip down the sides a little so that the green looks a little like the icing on a bundt cake.

Once the Creme de Menthe has set you will want to layer on the chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache:
Melt 6 ounces premium dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips with 6 Tablespoons of butter. Carefully poor warm ganache over brownies and chill for a few minutes until firm. Or if you are making brownie bites cool the ganache for a bit so that it gets a little thick. Poor a teaspoon or so over the top of a brownie bite allowing the ganache to drip down the sides ever so slightly. Enjoy!

Here at Royal Tart we are all about yummy, fabulous food and stylish and fun parties…and we always give credit where credit is due. This recipe was provided by Jessica about 16 years ago. Royal Tart has altered only the presentation by adding the brownie bite concept. Either way you serve ’em you are bound to get a “SMILE” as the original recipe card suggests.



Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14


What the heck is Pi Day?

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π in decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.[2]

Pi Day has been observed in many ways, including eating pie, throwing pies and discussing the significance of the number π.[1] In our home, we celebrate Pi Day by eating pie (really, it’s a perfect reason to eat pie if you need justification), both savory and sweet.  Since, there really are no “rules” or traditions in my home except to eat pie I thought this year I would make a throwback to my childhood, homemade tamale pie in a cast iron skillet and individual skillet cherry pies–we will talk about pi in our geeky family banter during dinner and since 3/14 is also Einstein’s birthday anniversary we will toast him as well (we love us some geeky).  Nothing fancy just a fun opportunity to add a dash of celebration into your everyday life.


St Patrick’s Day Graphic Shamrock Skull Wall Art

St Patrick’s Day Graphic Shamrock Skull Wall Art

It’s funny…now that I have some free time and I fancy myself at least on occasion an artist, I find that I often try to complicate simple visual impactful pieces with all the layers and creative stuff and techniques I know. The truth is sometimes I get all Rube Goldberg on my pieces.  I make easy stuff hard just for the sake of it or because I can. This piece is an example of exactly that.

But sometimes what makes for the best art is seemingly simple. Impactful. Graphic. Like Kenny says, ” you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold ’em, no when to walk away, no when to run.” This was one of those “hold ’em” and “walk away” times.

” Hold ’em” because the graphic skull medallion was cut from a t-shirt that one the boys have outgrown.  It’s been a while now but I just really liked the image.  I put it away for a couple years until haha inspiration struck.  That’s holding em fur sur.

Once I decided I wanted to make a piece of wall art I knew I wanted to use a canvas or board with deep sides so that I wouldn’t have to frame it.  Then I started gunking things up.  I was going to layer it.  Add stuff over the image, etc.  Luckily I hadn’t started to adhere anything as I sometimes do.  Not sure how I managed to forestall my impatience but I did.  That’s when I realized this was going to be one of those quick and simple but oh so impactual pieces.

I went through my scrap of paper and chose a piece that I liked best … Dots too cute? not really but I wanted something with a little green; thin stripe not the right scale; fat stripe– like it a lot but again where is the green?




Mitch’s (remember he is the artist child) watercolor with pencils was tempting. I like the idea that it was a piece of mommy and Mitch art. But I decided his watercolor pencil piece was just too sweet of a piece to adhere a St. Patrick’s Day skull too most of it.

Shamrock Skull on rainbow watercolor

When I finally decided on the paper (they were all good but I did find the “perfect” one for this time–green but still a little dark), I adhered the scrapbook paper to a 12 x 12 deep sided board. I fussy cut my skeleton and attached him him to the board . Adhered some scrap paper to the sides of the deep sided board.   It took me a very short amount of time once I finally decided what I was going to do.

Tada! Simple, fun, a little edgy (would you call the fellow lucky? maybe) and maybe a little holiday. A fun piece that I can hang even when the boys are teenagers.





Throwback Thursday Lucky Charms Rice Krispie Treats

Throwback Thursday Lucky Charms Rice Krispie Treats

This is a post from St. Patrick’s celebration time in 2010.

The boys are so into St. Patrick’s Day this year. Everyday this month they have come home with new stories of Leprechauns, rainbows, and four leaf clovers and green, green, green.  A leprechaun even visited their classrooms. Apparently he was a very mischievous little guy–he trashed the place; threw all the erasers on the ground; broke the chalk; turned the pictures upside down; changed the desks around.  Pretty crazy sounding stuff.

So to honor all the fun this weekend for the boys (and me too), I am making Rice Krispy Treats with both Rice Krispies and Lucky Charms…because they are magically delicious and it is a St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day Rice Krispy & Lucky Charm Treat Recipe


3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
– OR –
4 cups miniature marshmallows
3 cups Rice Krispies
3 cups Lucky Charms


In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add both cereals. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.


For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Next time you plan to celebrate or host a party please feel free to use this recipe or change it up with Trix or Froot loops, Sugar Corn Pops–any cereal that might match the celebration or party theme. I can’t wait to serve the boys their dessert on one of RoyalTart’s pretty green plates as seen in last Thursdays Throwback post.

Maybe for Easter I will make the treats egg-shaped or use Trix or Froot Loops…so many holidays to celebrate, party favors to make and parties to host…so little time.


Throwback Thursday-Art ToolBox Kit

Throwback Thursday-Art ToolBox Kit

I am trying out this Throwback Thursday idea…not sure I can make it fly.  I am struggling with my various tech archives to share some blog postings from 2008-2011.  We shall see.

In any case, when I was running Royal Tart, the boys were really interested in all the designs I created as well as all the neat arts and crafts I was making so I made them their own “tool” box kits .

Inside each toolbox: A glue stick, tacky glue, tape, markers, pencils, water colors, stamps, dimensional glue dots, scissors, stickers, embellishments, letters and other typography, rub-ons, etc.  I also included an art journal that would’t fit in the very full, should I admit to overfull, tool boxes.

I managed to come across a bunch of “old” scrapbook stuff at a garage sale that had never been used.  It was new but wasn’t what was currently on trend.  The boys didn’t know and wouldn’t have cared had they known.  I managed to fill each of their tool boxes to the very tippy top for only $10 each including the art journal.  That was 5 years ago.  They still have their toolboxes and still use them.  I should probably get to refilling them with some new-old crafting stuff–they would love it!




Creative Art Tool Kit