Feb 13

Telling Time, a Valentine

by Hannah Holt »


Susanna Hill  is running a Valentine’s Day contest over at her blog. The challenge is to write a story of unlikely lovers in 200 words or less. I really debated on whether or not to include my own rather cheesy entry, but I wanted to join the fun. So against my better judgment, here you have it. Click the mouse for a coloring page.


A humble mouse stepped from his notch
and met a lovely pocket watch.
Her hands were clean; her face was bright.
Mouse felt his heart race with delight.
(Sometimes love is blind as night.)

But I’m a boring soul, thought he.
This shining star could not love me.
Still hoping he could take it slow,
said he, “Come watch a TV show?”
(Time, of course, did not say no.)

That night Time leaned against his shoulder.
Mouse grew bold and almost told her.
Tomorrow, I can make amends.
Tomorrow, we’ll be more than friends.
(Have you guessed how this tale ends?)

A nervous Mouse woke right at dawn
but turned to find that Time was gone.
Poor Mouse remains a lonely dweller.
He loved Time but couldn’t tell her.
(Do you know a good time teller?)

You can check out the rest of the entries here. It’s a fun collection of unlikely Valentines!

Feb 06

Homemade Valentines

by Hannah Holt »


Here are six simple Valentine’s Day cards you can make at home. Click the first image (twice) for a printable 8.5×11 jpeg or select the images below to enlarge each individually.

Click the thumbnails twice to enlarge:


Jan 31

Heart Melts

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Heart Melts

Tuna melts with cookie-cutter cheese shapes

What you’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Tuna salad
  • Cheese slices

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and top with tuna salad.

Step 3: Take a large (not necessarily thick) slice of cheese and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Arrange shapes on top of the tuna.

Step 4: Place the open face sandwiches under the broiler for about one minute or until the cheese melts. Watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Serve warm.

Other ideas: Use pepperoni and vegetables to make faces.

Jan 24

Cardboard Tube Beehive

by Hannah Holt »


A dollhouse for fuzzy, faux bees

What you’ll need:

  • one small yellow pom-pom
  • one black pipe-cleaner
  • two wiggly eyes
  • one long cardboard tube, cut into seven pieces or seven empty toilet paper rolls
  • seven pieces of yellow paper (about 7″x 5.5″). The paper should wrap around the roll and extend at least one inch on either side of the cut cardboard tubes.
  • glue

Step 1: Make the bee by wrapping a pipe-cleaner tightly around the center of a pom-pom. Use the excess pipe cleaner to form wings. Glue two wiggly eyes on and set aside to dry.

Step 2: Drizzle glue around the outside of a cardboard tube and place in the middle of a sheet of yellow paper. Wrap the paper around the cardboard tube and push the ends of the paper inside the tube. Repeat for all seven cardboard tubes.

Step 3: Make a stripe of glue down the edge of each card board tube. Press the tubes together in two sets of two and one set of three. Let the glue dry for an hour or so.

Step 4: Glue the stable sets one on top of another into the final beehive shape, like this…


Step 5: Make more bees. Consider cutting out a few paper flowers. Let the bee fun begin…

Optional activity: Make it in pink for Valentines day.

Jan 17

Hearts A-flame Cake

by Hannah Holt »


This cake makes a dazzling impression at any children’s party.

What you’ll need:

  • chocolate cake
  • white butter frosting
  • orange butter frosting
  • red butter frosting
  • two Ziplock sandwich bags
  • 4-6 egg shell halves (saved from cake baking)
  • 4-6 Brach’s candy conversation hearts
  • lemon extract (pure, not imitation)

Step 1: If you need a recipe for chocolate cake, this links to my favorite. Also here is the recipe I use for butter frosting. Of course, ready-made frosting, and cake mix works as well.

Step 2: Frost the entire cake white.

Step 3: Spoon the orange and red frosting into two different sandwich bags. Snip a small corner off each bag (about 1/4 inch) and use the bags to pipe flames around the cake.

Let the kids get involved, and have fun with it.

Step 4: Carefully rinse and dry the egg shells. Arrange them on the top of the cake, like this…

Step 5: Place one candy heart in each egg shell and pour 1/4 tsp of lemon extract over each heart. It must be lemon extract (not vanilla or any other flavoring) because of the high alcohol content in lemon extract. (You won’t want to eat the hearts afterwards. It’s only for the effect.)

Step 6: Turn out the lights and have an adult light the hearts on fire. They will burn for a while. Blow them out when you are ready to eat cake.


Other Ideas:

For a dinosaur, dragon, or volcano themed birthday party when candy hearts might not be available, just substitute sugar cubes for the candy hearts.