Cake Balls 2

Keeping Austin Weird with Cake Balls

Cake Pops

In honor of SXSW, the annual music, film and interactive conference in Austin, I’m gonna treat everyone to some balls. Okay, that sounds bad. I’m talking about the newest trend in baked goodness – Cake Balls and/or Cake Pops. It seems the cupcake may be tossed from its tiny throne and a sassy, smaller, chewier champion will be crowned.  Behold, the Cake Ball.

Even Starbucks is getting on the Cake Ball action as they recently introduced Cake Pops. They brag that this little chewy pop of yummy is under 200 calories too. Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth who just wants a nosh.  So if you live in Austin, Texas, or you’re in town for SXSW, I urge you to stop by one of many hip trailers for a “Keeping it Weird” experience. And if you want a little cake orb, visit Holy Cacao.

My hubby surprised me with Cake Balls from this bakery for my B-Day. I must say, they were totally adorable. You’ve gotta keep ’em refrigerated, so plan ahead. I don’t suggest eating one cold. And don’t expect a cake consistency when you bite into them. They’re much chewier like brownies. I was impressed with ‘s circular goodies and they’d be a HUGE hit at a kid’s party too. My boys went wacky for them. Cake on stick? Come on.

Cake Balls

is a gourmet dessert trailer offering unusual items such as Cake Balls, as well as providing a true Austin experience.  The Cake Balls are available by the dozen and easily customized for special occasions.  Get a load of the names: Velvet Cake Balls (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting), Brass Cake Balls (peanut butter cookies mixed with chunky peanut butter, then dipped in chocolate and topped with crushed peanuts), and my fave, Rabbit Cake Balls (carrot cake mixed with cream cheese, dipped in white chocolate and coated with crushed walnuts).

The Holy Cacao trailer is located at the iconic South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery, alongside Torchy’s Tacos (gourmet tacos) and Man Bites Dog (gourmet hot dogs). Eat on, SXSW friends. Eat on.

Images: Holy Cacao


Valentine’s Day Project: A Card Box MacGyver-Style

Valentine's Day card box

What happens when it’s 23 degrees outside and my son needs a homemade Valentine’s Day card box? MommyQ resorts to doing a craft project with her MacGyver skills. That’s right, folks! I made this card box with random stuff I found in the house, because I refuse to go out in this ridiculously frigid weather. It’s not perfect, but I’m nice & warm and didn’t have to spend a dime. It took me about 15 to make it and it was so easy!


– Wooden puzzle box
– Wrapping paper
– Decorative tape
– Scotch tape
– Red ribbon
– Yellow craft paint
– Coupon book

I used an old puzzle box that was already painted yellow and blue. I covered the removable sliding  lid with black & white, polka dot wrapping paper. I used tape to adhere the paper to the lid, making sure to pull the tape tight at the ends. I don’t want to paper to start ripping when my son slides the lid open and closed. I found an old red ribbon, which I cut down to fit the box. I remembered my ultra-awesome role of Damask decorative tape from TapeSwell and used that to decorate the box. Wow, decorative tape is the BEST for stuff like this.

DIY Valentine Day Craft for Kids

Keep in mind, this box is for a little boy to take to school, so I didn’t want it to be too girlie. However; I wanted to add something with hearts. My true Richard Dean moment occurred when I saw a coupon book sitting in our pile of mail. I flipped through it and just loved the Dunkin’ Donuts ad for heart-shaped donuts, so I cut out the pictures and used them as my hearts. Nothing says love like donuts, right?

Tell me about your ‘MacGyver’ moments as a mommy!

Lollipop Flowers: Simple Valentine’s Day Craft for Kids

Valentine's Day Crafts

Looking for something fun to do with the kids for Valentine’s Day? I found this adorable craft project on Craft Gossip and just had to share it. The idea, plus a fully detailed tutorial, comes from Crafts by Amanda, which is a wonderfully craftastic blog. I love this project because it’s easy, yet gives your kids the chance the chance to be artistic. The mess factor is minimal and the items are probably in your house at this very moment.

These are Egg Carton Lollipop Flowers! You just need items like cardboard egg cups, acrylic paint, mini muffin pan liners (2-4 per flower), lollipops and tape.

Crafts Egg Carton

By painting the egg cartons, creating petals and then poking a lollipop through the papers, you can make these cute, colorful favors for teachers, friends, classmates and family members. Plus, your kids will have a blast. Tuck this idea away in your mommy brain when you’re trying to think of party favors too.

Egg Carton Crafts

Now go check out Crafts by Amanda (@amandascookin), make a bunch of scrambled eggs to empty those egg cartons and get to it!

Images: CraftsByAmanada

My List of 10 Super-Duper Toys for Boys

Kung Zhu Ninja Warrior

Wondering what to get the little guys in your life this Christmas? Well, here’s my list of super-duper gifts for boys from toddler up to kindergartner. (I’m not being paid to tout these items, nor were any of these items freebies.) I’m compiling this list based on three criteria. First, these are toys my boys play with all of the time. Second, they are built to last and worth every penny. Third, I like these toys too. And that matters because they’re usually scattered all over the house, so I get to see them a lot.  I like to think of toys as home decor, don’t you? Anyway, let’s get to it!

LeapFrog Leapster2

Leapster2 from LeapFrog

Oh, how I love the Leapster2.  It was certainly created with little kids in mind. The colorful educational gaming device is chunky enough for small hands and it can withstand some serious bumps and bruises. Both of my boys have taught themselves how to play all of the games. The instructions are very easy to follow, even for toddlers. Both boys operate the controls with ease and the wand, which is needed for certain games,  is attached securely – yay!  The graphics are fantastic and if you take the time to download everything, you can see a summary of how long they’ve played (hours) and how well they are scoring in different academic areas. I love Leapster!

Kung Zhu Ninja Warriors

Kung Zhu Pets

If these toys had been around when I was little, I would’ve begged borrowed and begged some more for them. I think these animated hamsters are hilarious! (And they don’t stink or poop.) I got my boys the Kung Zhu Pets because those are the rugged (boy) version of the girlie Zhu Zhu Pets. These guys are ninja warriors. In fact, you can buy them armor! See pic at top of posts for fierceness. See, I told you they were cool. They make the funniest little noises and bounce around at will. We often race the Zhu Zhu Pets on the Shake ‘N Go track I mention below. Now that’s entertaining! Besides, this is the closest my boys will ever get to owning hamsters.

Razor Rip Rider Tricycle

Razor Rip Rider Castor Trike

This is the modern day version of the bulky Big Wheels we all had as kids. This Razor trike is the coolest toy we’ve ever purchased. It is lightning fast. I mean, this baby moves. It’s easy to control thanks to the Razor wheels and castors on the back. My son picks up serious speed on it, but he can easily maintain control. It’s so smooth and maneuverable, he can ride it around inside the house too. Much to his dismay, a helmet is required either way.

Twlight Turtle at BabyEarth

Twlight Turtle

Another super toy/gift for toddlers! Both of my boys have their own Twlight Turtle (my older son has Twlight Sea Turtle) and we turn them on every single night. Twilight Turtle is one of the few toys that travels with us anytime an overnight stay is required. We’ve never used nightlights and I think it’s because of this innovative toy. The turtle illuminates the ceiling with tiny stars and a moon. You can choose blue, green or yellow stars, so it never gets boring. Plus, there is a self-timer so it automatically shuts off after 20 minutes. Love, love, love it.

Large Wheely Bug Cow

Wheely Bug

I’m sure you’re like, “Come on, MommyQ, please stop talking about your love affair with Wheely Bugs.” No can do, folks. This is still one of my all-time favorite gifts for kids. I’ll go out on a limb and say a 2-year-old or 3-year-old might never stop playing with this ride-on toy. Everything about it perfection. The look, the design, the mobility.  If you click here, you can read all of my posts about this speedy little critter.

Toy Story Race Track Toy

Toy Story 3 Shake ‘n Go Track

Omg! What a super-terrific toy for little boys who love cars. This is definitely the most sturdy, functional and fun race track I’ve seen. Period. It comes with two shaker cars, but any shaker car fits. The cars require some solid shakes (we think 7 is the magic number), but they race around the track a lot faster than you might imagine. My boys also race their ‘Cars’ cars, HotWheels, NASCAR cars and even Zhu Zhu Pets around the track. We’ve decorated with our own stickers to make it perfect. This gift is great for toddlers and my kindergartner loves it too.

Big Foot Monster Toy

Big Foot the Monster by Imaginext

This guys is patiently waiting in the closet for X-Mas morning. You may have seen this tumbling monster on The Ellen Show, because he’s gotten a lot of attention this year. Much like a Kardashian, he’s always headed for trouble, so it’s fun to watch. He roars and pounds his fists, and then he takes off rolling around and walking. He walks forward and backwards and the six buttons are happy, angry, sleep, fun, ball, and exercise. He even throws a ball. A+ for amusing.

Bat Cave for Boys

Imaginext Bat Cave

This is another toy we’ve had for over a year and the boys still love it. The Bat Cave has all sorts of trap doors and secret entries, but non of it operated with batteries. It’s all run on imagination and that’s why I love Imaginext. You can buy extra figurines and accessories to make it even bigger. (I highly recommend the helicopter.) There are a few small pieces, so if you’re giving it to a toddler keep that in mind. The Bat Cave folds into itself and closes, so your kids can pack it up and take it to different rooms with no major toy spillage. It’s very cool!

Melissa & Doug Cardboard Blocks at BabyEarth

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Cardboard Blocks

Jumbo cardboard blocks are a must-have for any child’s playroom. My boys absolutely love these blocks. We stack them, build tunnels, play games and more. The blocks are very easy to put together initially because they fold into themselves, so you don’t have to use tape. They can also withstand some serious abuse. I’ve seen a tower knocked across the room and the blocks survived without a scratch. Storing them can be a slight issue, because they take up a lot of room.

Nurf Ball Gun

Nurf Reactor

Well, I guess it just isn’t a post about toys for boys with something potentially dangerous, right? I have to admit, this Nurf gun is lots of fun. We have to make sure nobody gets hit in the face, of course, but it is a riot. My 3-year-old has a little bit of trouble getting it loaded, because it requires a pretty strong pump. My kindergartner has no trouble with it and is getting to be a good shot. Not as steady as a Sarah Palin hunting caribou, but he’s decent. 😉

25 Ways to Countdown Christmas: Babble Advent List

The Babble Best Holiday Advent List is live for 2010! You can see 25 different amazing Advents for the holidays, divided into five categories. I was the lucky one who helped pull this list together and let me tell you, it is AWESOME!

Feeling splurgy? Check out the $1 million Advent from Porsche. Looking for an eco-friendly Advent this year? Take a look at all of the beautifully crafted Advents from the most creative Etsy sellers ever! The categories are Luxury, Traditional, Modern, Candy and DIY. You’d better get started because these cute Advents gotta be ready to go on December 1st! Here’s a little taste:

Rejoice in Fabric-Covered Buttons!

I came across these buttons on Etsy and they are just so amazing! I love the colors and the uniqueness and especially the price. $6 for a set! Any crafty mom will lose her mind over these. I don’t scrapbook, but I hear you can incorporate these kinds of cute goodies into it. (Not sure how that works. Someone wanna explain?) If you like to sew, I bet you can do great things with them. I don’t really sew either….

Anyway, take a look at all of them over on Droolicious where you can see the full post.

Because Mommy Needs a Paperie

Yes, a paperie. And if you don’t know what a paperie is you might also need a dictionary. Ouch. Snap! Sorry, MommyQ hasn’t had enough coffee today. Anyway…

If you don’t have a paperie like Polka Dot Design – that makes your mouth water and your heart skip a beat, you’re totally missing out on party-throwing fun. From adorably tiny cupcake toppers to swoon-worthy invitations to knock-your-stilettos-off party favors, a reliable paperie is one of life’s perfect pleasures.

I think every mom needs a one-stop-shop for baby shower and birthday party inspiration. This fact is especially true if you’re like me, up to your knees in diapers, sippy cups, Goldfish crackers and a ponytail is your standard hairdo. Trying to be the creative party hostess can be as tricky as making my spirited 2-year-old get a haircut or trying to convince my 5-year-old that cauliflower doesn’t smell bad.

This is why I love Polka Dot Design. Struggling with a great teacher gift? Not sure what to do for a party favor? Need a dinosaur centerpiece? Of course you do. And you’ll find all of this and much more that will get your creative juices flowing.