Back to School With Pete the Cat

Children’s author and musician, Mr. Eric., has been a favorite around our house since we first saw him in a tiny venue that held about 15 children.  If you don’t know Mr. Eric yet, you will be glad to meet him!  He is funny and creative and makes your children happy to be learning, singing, and dancing! 

His first book, Pete the Cat (I Love My White Shoes) is a New York Times Best Seller and is a huge hit in preschool and kindergarten classes!  The story is about a cat with new white shoes who steps in a few messes along the way “…but keeps walking along and singing his song~because it’s ALL GOOD.”.

So many children will be so happy to know that there is a NEW Pete the Cat book now!  I am often asked for ideas for gifts for teachers, and I think this would make a great teacher gift for the children to enjoy in their classrooms!  Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes

If your children haven’t discovered Pete the Cat yet, I highly recommend introducing them to the first book and watch them light up with excitement!  Be sure to download the song that goes with it!  You will all enjoy the fun!  Of course, add the new book to their collection and let the fun continue!

 Mr. Eric has several CDs that are fantastic finds for your children.  Our two favorites are~

The Big Silly With Mr. Eric and Smile at Your Neighbor

I also happened upon some gummy sneakers by Fiona’s Sweetshoppe in San Francisco…

These will make the gift complete!  I found these at Williams Sonoma.

The Pete the Cat books engage children through repetition and with engaging pictures drawn by artist James Dean. 

Eric Litwin is a fantastic entertainer and travels the country performing shows in schools and libraries.  We were lucky enough to have him perform at my children’s school and their birthday parties.  “Mr. Eric” brings out the happiness in all of his shows…

For those of you in the Atlanta area, Mr. Eric has developed The Learning Groove as a means of teaching children all about music and offering a morning of entertainment with your children!  Classes are taught throughout the year!

Thanks, Mr. Eric and James Dean, for sharing your enthusiasm and creativity with us!  It is always a pleasure to find a book that your children love to read again and again!  And, the catchy tunes bring a smile to us all!

It’s all good…

Mr Eric can be found here…


I was so happy to be introduced to Amanda from Happy Go Lucky Sweets, and I am happy to share her with you!  She and her husband, Nathan, live in Birmingham, Alabama and make up the Happy Go Lucky team!  Enjoy their sweet treats…they also ship!

It is always fun to find a company that is getting started and has such great treats to offer!  I love the Happy Treats from Happy Go Lucky Sweets!

Find them here~

Become a fan on Facebook~




Nothing says summer like blackberries, and I love bringing a flower pot full of berries to a Fourth of July celebration.  This hostess gift is yummy, unexpected, easy, and affordable!  Blackberries are only in season for a short time and so they are a real treat.

They aren’t just for the Fourth of July- change the ribbon and liner and use it for any summer party.

AND, if you are the hostess…serve them in these adorable little pots for the children big and small.  Everyone loves their tiny size~ and they look so cute on THE PASTRY PEDESTAL.

The tiny terra cotta pots already have a hole in the bottom and so they fit perfectly onto the pedestals.

The cute paper circles on the bottom of the pedestals are from LAUREN MCKINSEY DESIGNS.

All of these pots of berries are easy to assemble.  I found the terra cotta pots at Michael’s.  The waxed paper liner for the pots are from Michael’s in the baking section.  Regular tissue paper and regular waxed paper will work too!  Ribbon is also from Michae’s~

Super easy, super fun, super affordable! 

The Pastry Pedestal is available at this site~

Paper printables available from Lauren McKinsey Designs

More Independence Day ideas coming soon~

A Garden of Gift Ideas

I loved getting to spend some time with Luci Furlow of Seasonal Color Greenhouses, Inc. to come up with some gift ideas!  Luci has planted beautiful pots for me for teacher gifts, and I wanted to share a few ideas with you!I love how beautiful this pink geranium is- and how perfect it looks planted and tied with a bow!  A great gift to last through the summer and to brighten anyone’s day!

If you have several teachers to buy for, these adorable little buckets filled with a flowering plant or an herb make a great gift idea!  Here, we used basil and mint.  I love how the herbs can be planted and used forever!

A sweet note to the teacher that says, “We were “mint” to be together!  I will miss you!”  would be a cute addition.  Or, “You were “mint” to be my teacher!  I love you!”  You could also add your favorite recipe that includes mint (or any herb of your choice). 

I also love how Luci shows how easily you can create a thoughtful gift for a teacher or hostess (or birthday, or housewarming, etc.) using a geranium, a container of your choice, and ribbon…


Luci emphasizes how easy it is to create a great gift in a short amount of time by using plants and simple containers. 

Seasonal Color Greenhouses is a wholesale distributor throughout the southeast that is owned by Luci and Mack Furlow.  In addition to their wholesale distribution, they offer a unique service that you can enjoy at home.  Luci will plant your garden containers and/or porch containers and you can, literally, enjoy seasonal colors year round.  Luci offers on-site container plantings or will pick up, plant, and deliver!

She even does front doors!!


Find Seasonal Color Greenhouses, Inc. on the web at

On Facebook!/pages/Seasonal-Color-Greenhouses-Inc/63971791896?sk=info

On Twitter!/SeasonalColorGH


Rebecca Lang Cooks Up the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift (and More)!
I can’t wait to share with you Rebecca Lang’s latest cookbook, QUICK FIX SOUTHERN!  Rebecca is a very busy mom herself, and this cookbook is geared toward delicious, quick meals.  As Rebecca says, “…homemade hospitality in 30 minutes or less.”  What mom doesn’t want that??  It is at the top of my list for gift-giving this Mother’s Day!

Read More


These cute little carrot bags have generated a lot of questions and comments this week, and so I wanted to share a little more about them…    


I wanted a cute way to serve Bunny Trail Mix and couldn’t find just what I was looking for.  In the past, I had used bags from Oriental Trading but they were no longer available.  So, I decided to experiment.  The  only thing is, I don’t sew.  I knew what I wanted to make but also knew I had to find someone to make it!  And so…loaded with bags of burlap, fabric, ribbon, and an idea, I went to visit Sallie Hahn at Andrew Downs in Athens, GA.  Sallie was so sweet and enthusiastically gave it a shot!  I love the finished product and wanted to share step-by-step instructions from Sallie- for all you crafty ones out there who know how to do- it- yourself!


Materials: Basic Sewing Supplies
               Assorted Orange and Green Cotton Fabrics
               1/4″ Grosgrain Ribbon
                Carrot Templates (templates at bottom of post)
Step 1: Print the templates and cut out. With a disappearing ink fabric pen trace two of each shape onto fabric and cut.


 Step 2: To create drawstring opening, fold bottom of leaf up 3/4″ into wrong side and place carrot wrong side up on top of leaf matching up raw edges. Stitch across using 1/8″ seam allowance. Repeat for other two pieces.


 Step 3: Line up 2 sides of carrots, right sides facing one another and matching up raw edges. Starting just below crease on leaf stitch both sides together using 1/4″ seam allowance, sewing only on body of carrot around the edges. Turn carrot bag right side out.




Step 4: To make drawstring ties, cut two 20″ pieces of grosgrain ribbon. Attach safety pin to end of one ribbon and thread through both sides of opening creating a U-shape. Repeat with other ribbon starting on opposite side of leaf top. When finished, ribbons will hang on either side of carrot. Pull to close bag.


And now you are ready to fill it with your favorite treat (remember to put edible treats in a cello bag first)!
And, if you are like I am and need a Sallie in your life, contact me on how to purchase pre-made carrot bags!  Just leave a comment or send a message!


Happy Sewing~ Happy Sunday!


 P.S.  Template coming soon…




What All the Bunnies Want for Easter

Everybody knows what bunnies love the most…

Take a look at this unique and FRESH idea for teacher gifts and hostess gifts this Easter!



CARROTS!!!  These are no ordinary carrots, I tell you!  These carrots are pickled and delicious and homegrown right here in Georgia.  A delightful little gourmet company, called PHICKLES PICKLES has taken pickles to a whole new level!  They make great gifts all year round, but I couldn’t resist getting a few jars fixed up for Easter!






And it has the Bunny’s “stamp of approval”!


There are so many other garden varieties from Phickles- Bunny Heaven!!  The “Sweeties” on the left are new and are pickled sweet peppers.  Phickles Pickles creator and owner, Angie Tillman,  suggests topping your deviled eggs with these little pepper rings to dress them for Easter.  Yum!


And there are more garden goodies…



Phickles Pickles is a small, family company that prides itself in its family recipe and the fact that everything is grown close to home and pickled with pride by its owners in their facility they call “The Pickle Parlor”.

The name “Phickles” comes from Angie’s husband’s name Phin.  It was Phin that first introduced Angie to his homemade pickles and Angie who developed the concept of the company.  Keep it fresh, homegrown, and (as Angie says) PHUN!


 Angie definitely keeps it fun!   She loves doing tastings and sharing her products with everyone. 

One of my favorite ways Angie and Phin share their pickles is the PICKLE PORCH!  They put pickles on the porch and you come pick them up and pay!  Locals in the Athens, GA area are big fans of the Pickle Porch!

Phickles Pickles can also be found in boutique stores in Atlanta, Athens, and several stores around the country.

Visit Phickles Pickles on the web, Facebook, or Twitter.

And if you can’t bear to give away the pickles as gifts, use them for your own Easter lunch… 



 To find PHICKLES PICKLES near you or order directly from the company, check out their blog and website.


FOR ATHENS PHICKLES PHRIENDS– Angie has a Pickle Porch Special today…

A pack of 4 jars of Phickles for $24!


And, if anyone wants a bunny “Stamp of Approval” to dress up your gift, send me a message!  I can make those for you!  (Limited Quantity)

Another cute idea to use to top the jars would be customized round stickers! 




When I was planning my children’s joint birthday party this year, I really wanted to find a cute tag to go on the goody bags.  I found so much more!!!  I found treat bag TOPPERS from SIMPLE TASTES on Etsy.  One of my favorite shops for all occasions!  See what Simple Tastes has made for Easter…






  These tiny little treasures are so cute and really make a small bag of treats pop!

And look at the lollipops!  How clever!



This one is my favorite…

 Simple Tastes has a big selection of designs~ and you can choose your own color scheme, if you like!

Take a look at some of the choices for different occasions…






Super Heroes!



Down on the farm…







 I just love all of the creative ideas and how Simple Tastes makes a sweet, little treat so special!  Angilyn is wonderful to work with, and I hope you find something for your next party at SIMPLE TASTES on Etsy!  Check it out!