Cheesecake Spring Eggs with Chocolate Shells

I think I’ve said it before, Easter is my favorite.  It’s spring – warmer, brighter, springier.  What’s not to love?  Especially when there’s chocolate egg cheesecake tastiness!



I found these hollow milk chocolate eggs on Amazon and I’ve seen them at Costco this year, they’re delicious all on their own.  If you order a bag, hope for a couple broken ones!

Use a serrated knife to cut top 1/3 off each egg. Eat, top portion or use later for another project.  I think the rough edges add to their charm.

Prep a no-cook cheesecake recipe and add to piping bag w a large round tip.

Squeeze cheesecake batter in to hollow eggs.

In another bowl, spoon several tablespoons of lemon curd and stir to soften.  Add to a piping bag with small round tip.  Squeeze lemon curd “yolk” on to filled eggs.

Chill to set, ready to serve in a couple hours!

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Mini Photo Mosaics, Nutmeg Collective Style

At a recent Nutmeg Collective Social Media Meet Up, a few members mentioned they’d like to make the mini mosaics that several of our users have been making for a while.  It looks like there are a lot of steps, but I promise I’m just being uber-specific.  Once you get the hang of it, making mini mosaics doesn’t take much time at all!

1)  Chose 4 items you’d like to use.  If you don’t have specific users or items in mind, this is a trick I use so I don’t re-create the wheel – Look at etsy treasuries.  Someone took time to sort through and find a theme, chose coordinating items and all the information you’ll need is 80% right there.  In the search box on the treasury page, search NUTMEGCOLLECTIVE.  Evelyn Pelati, DiGiJewels, and Designer Dwellings LLC have current treasuries that have some Nutmeg Collective items in them that I have used.  Note:  They’re not ALL member items in team treasuries, so you do need to select who is a member to use this method.

2)  Once you’ve picked your items, save the picture to your computer or device.  Since I usually do this task while my family is relaxing at night, I mostly make these mini mosaics on my laptop, but I can do this from my phone just as quickly.  Make note of the people who made the items and what they have named them, this will help when you add a caption.  On my laptop, I just leave allllll the tabs open, or put their name as the file.

3)  Using the design app of your choice, arrange photos in a square mosaic format. I use  When our group was polled, other use Picstitch (for phone),  fotor (for computer), Aviary, PicCollage, PictureCollageMakerLite.  What it comes down to is that there are plenty out there, you can pick the one you like the most.

4)  Once you have the layout you like, save the photo mosaic. If I’ve  done these steps on my computer, I now email the mosaic to myself so you can access it from my phone.  If you use a cloud or link your devices, move to the one where you can upload to Instagram.

5)  Upload to Instagram. List the items shown with the maker’s IG username.  If they’re not on IG, I use their etsy shop or web address.  Note:  I started making these mosaics to share IG user’s items, and people are more likely to click and follow your team members on IG if the links work.  I try not to use too many items that are for people NOT using IG.

6)  Tag the users on the photo as well as in the description.

7)  Hashtag #nutmegcollective so team leaders and your teammates can see it!

8)  I also hashtag #madeinct #ctmade #connecticut and maybe one or 2 other relevant tags.

That’s about all there is!  Some nights I’ll make 3 or 4 and space out posting them to prolong the fun.  Please ask if something isn’t clear here, I do love to chat!

Photos and items in this sample mosaic are by:

Treefort Naturals



and SprinklesOfColor

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Homemade Conversation Hearts, Revisted

We made these a few years ago and we have fond memories of how fun they were to make, we may try again soon!

We’ll need:

  • 1 packet (1/4 oz, or 2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
  • Assorted flavoring extracts of your choice
  • Assorted food colors of your choice
  • Heart-shaped cutters
  • Food coloring markers

Put the corn syrup, gelatin, and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the gelatin is well-distributed. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds, so the gelatin dissolves, and stir well.

Pour the gelatin mixture into mixer bowl (mixer prepared with paddle attachment).  Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and turn the mixer to low, mixing until the sugar is incorporated.

Once the sugar is mixed in, add another cup of sugar, again mixing on low until it incorporates. Continue to add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, pausing in between additions to allow the sugar to mix in, until the full two pounds of powdered sugar is added. Periodically, stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. The candy will progress from a thin, watery liquid to a very stiff dough.

Once all of the sugar is incorporated, dust a work surface (counter or large cutting board) with powdered sugar and scrape the candy out onto the work surface. The candy will be very sticky and stiff. Generously dust the top of the ball of candy with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the candy like bread dough: fold the ball of dough over onto itself, then use the heel of your hand to push it down. Give the candy a quarter-turn, and repeat the process, dusting it with more powdered sugar as often as necessary to prevent it from sticking to the board or your hands. Knead until the candy is satiny and not sticky.


Decide how many colors/flavors of conversation hearts you want to make, and divide the candy dough into that many portions. To flavor and color the candy, take one of the balls and flatten it into a palm-sized disc. Add a few drops of food coloring and flavoring extract to the center of the disc, and fold it over on itself.  Your hands will look and smell lovely.  Probably for days.

clockwise from top – pink=vanilla, purple=rootbeer, green=spearmint, orange=tangerine

Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out one of the candy balls to your desired thickness.  Ours were about 1/4″

Use heart-shaped cutters to cut hearts out of the rolled candy, and transfer the hearts to a baking sheet. Once you have cut out your hearts, you can re-roll the scraps to get more shapes out of the dough. We were able to get 2 runs out of each color with some extra.  Repeat with remaining candy balls.

Allow your hearts to air-dry for at least 24 hours before you write on them. This step is VERY important, because any extra moisture in the hearts will cause the ink to run later if you do not let them dry properly.

Once completely dry, decorate as you like with edible/food coloring markers.  This is a great part of the project for just about any age.

Package them up and they are a sweet gift for friends, neighbors, family and teachers!

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Out with the 2015, In with the 2016…

I’m still at it.

New year, new(ish) goals.  The main one being this:  I will have enough merchandise made that I can do as many shows as I like in November and December and not wanna die by new years.

I went full-on for the last quarter of last year.  It was GREAT.  I was on the cover of CT Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide.

I did a spot on Better Connecticut – Better Connecticut is a lifestyle show on WFSB Channel 3 to help you to have a Better Home, Better Family and Better Life right here in Connecticut.  We talked about my advent calendars and a few other things.  It was SO fun, and SO MUCH STRESS.

I did too many craft shows and markets.  Most were successful, some were more successful that I thought they’d be.

It was great, but I am tired.  And I want to be prepared for next time.

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Lots of Personalized Goodies for Teachers and Kids

I’ve been busy at my crafty table making lots of personalized gifts lately!

Some for teachers we appreciate:

Some girl party favors:

Some boy party favors:

Some for all the girls and boys!

Safe and snug, off they go!


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Handmade Drink Coasters using Sesame Place Maps

I make and sell tile drink coasters at area craft shows, they’re a big hit!  They can have any design I can find – from floral to parachuting sock monkeys, and hundreds of printsx and colors in between.  They’re made from tiles (it’s in the name!), and I use felt pads on the bottom to protect tables and use a generous about of acrylic spray so the prints are water proof.

Since we have “graduated” from Sesame Place this year (*sniffle*), I made myself some of my own coasters from the park maps we have collected over time.

Just a little way to have a happy memory and a cold beverage….

I made some for the winter, too – This map is from their Very Furry Christmas, my favorite time there!

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Hoppin Down the Bunny Trail

Easter is my favorite, I think because it’s finally supposed to be spring…  And we love bunnies.  This year I helped the Easter bunny out and made a bunch of these for kids near and far!

It seemed like every time I thought I’d finish, someone else would ask for some more!

Last weekend, I went to a one-day craft/crop/workshop where it was all-Easter all the time for me!

Hope the Easter bunny remembers to leave some at our house!

It’s actually ok if he doesn’t, I made a few ahead of time and I’ve been tucking them in the girls’ lunchboxes already this week…  filled with cheddar bunnies or bunny grahams.

Some bunny loves them!

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Personalized Sidewalk Chalk Holders – New designs!

At long last… sidewalk chalk holders are back in stock with new designs!

Red with multicolored polka dots – great for any summer party… or circus theme, or art theme…  very versatile!  Comes with blue chalk.

Purple and green polka dots – what girl doesn’t love purple?  Comes with white chalk.

Also super-cute for Easter baskets, end of the year gifts, VBS or just as a simple treat for someone small.

Visit the shop for details and other fun party favors!

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You may or may not know this about me – in a past life I was in the circus, I’m sure of it.  I was an acrobat, or the girl in the middle of the motorcycles racing in the cage of DOOM (or something similarly named)!  If you don’t hear from me after next week, it’s because I ran away to join Big Apple Circus cuz we. are. going!

I’ve got my outfit all picked out.

AND we’re having a quiz/giveaway!  Prize is 2 tickets to Big Apple Circus – METAMORPHOSIS! opening week performance on Thursday, March 26th 6:30pm show at City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA

Answer any of the questions, all in one comment and for every right one, I’ll put your name in my circus top hat and select a winner on  Sunday March 22, announced at approximately 1p eastern time.  (Be sure you include your email, I promise I won’t share it!)

It’s a great day/long weekend trip, so close and yet far enough away to be an adventure.  You ready?  Let’s go!

(Hint: you can find the answers by going to the Big Apple Circus website, click the links in the questions.  Shhhh….)

1) What’s the height of the Big Top?

2) Big Apple Circus is a non-profit organization, name one of the community programs

3) Name one of the performers and/or acts from this year’s METAMORPHOSIS cast.  (Double points if you tell me who the ringmaster is, that should SO be my job!!)

If you don’t win and still want to go, use promo APPLE to save 20% off tickets (that’s not just off one ticket, but the whole purchase).* (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.) WHAT A DEAL!

Don’t miss it!

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Time Flies

Remember this little girl?

She’s turning 10.  The little bean who made me a mommy, who changed my life so immensely in too many ways to count.  She’s been here a whole decade and filled our hearts with love and joy and left us with several stray blond (and gray!) hairs.

She is independent and smart, she’s thoughtful and such an easy kid.  Love of my life. Happy birthday, Big Girl!

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