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Bluebird, Bluebird Sees Snow

by Pam McCoy on January 10, 2013

blue bird in snow - new mexico

Bluebird, bluebird what do you see?
I see snow flakes landing on me!

I spent hours watching a group of six blue birds on a cold day in New Mexico. The snowflakes were falling heavily and laying a nice blanket of white on the ranch ground. You could tell these bluebirds were caught in a storm looking for shelter. They fluttered their wings and flew from wire to fence. They would land and puff up their chest which I could only assume to help keep them warm.

I only wish that I could find shelter for them. The snow shower lasted for a few hours and then in New Mexico fashion, the sun came out and the birds flew away.



With the right tools, these shell place cards are very easy to make.
You will need a Dremel tool, shells, and place cards.

If you don’t have a Dremel tool, you can buy an inexpensive one at Harbor Freight. Or I would suggest asking a neighbor if they have one you can borrow. I found mine in my dad’s garage!

Dremel tool cuts slice in top of shell for place card.

Hold the shell carefully away from the Dremel’s disc.
Begin slicing on the top of the shell.

Dremel tool cuts slice in top of shell for place card.

You only need to go deep enough to hold the place card. When you do your first slice, just go a little ways then test how it does holding your place card. You can always cut in deeper if you need to.

Simple! Easy! Cute! Your guests will be impressed that you did these all on your own!

Other uses of shells:

  • Use for a wedding. Use a rectangle table covered with burlap.  Add a layer of sand on top of burlap. Put place cards in shells in alphabetical order so guests will know what table they will be sitting at. (Put the guest’s name on the front and the table number on the back of each card.) Use larger shells to hold numbers for tables.
  • Use shell place cards at buffet table to label the different foods.

Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple.




I use different sizes of glass containers quite often for decorations. Here I put some burlap fabric down on the table and then included three different sizes of containers for depth. Although each container contained different items, I tied them all with the same striped ribbon which tied the centerpieces together. I scattered some shell leis on top of the burlap.

The first container held an assortment of shells that I picked up at Michael’s. The center container held a blue candle. The third container held blue mesh to add color.

Simple and easy to put together!


This large container held various sizes of candles surrounded by different shapes and sizes and shells.


Shells are inexpensive and easy to use for your Hawaiian or Beach themed party.


Three glass containers holding shells and floating candles sat on a blue mesh fabric at the corner of the bar. Additional shell leis were placed around the containers.

Other ideas for glass containers at a Beach or Hawaiian themed party:

  • Fill container with water and put goldfish in. Top with floating candle.
  • Put one large candle in container and put shells in around candle up to the brim of the candle.
  • Put large candle in container. Fill with sand half way up.
  • Buy bird-of-paradise stems to put into tall vases.
  • Plant tropical plant in container. Tie container with wide ribbon.

Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple!


Milk Chocolate Shells and Sugar Sand

by Pam McCoy on July 14, 2011

Milk Chocolate Sea Shells

Milk chocolate shells are easy to make. Can you tell which shell is the real one?


Melt a few butterscotch candies in the microwave. Microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Stir until blended well.

white milk chocolate

In melted white milk chocolate, drop lines of butterscotch.

milk chocolate with butterscotch swirls

Continue to place butterscotch on top of white milk chocolate. Try to not get any big clumps.

milk chocolate with butterscotch swirls


milk chocolate with butterscotch swirls

Take a different spoon to swirl the butterscotch throughout the white milk chocolate.  Do not swirl too much or you will just have brown white chocolate!

milk chocolate into molds

Place chocolate into shell molds. Put molds in refrigerator to set for about 5-10 minutes. To remove from mold, tip upside down over a paper towel.

a variety of sugars for the sand.

Different colors of sugar make up sand.

To make the sand, combine several different colors of sugar: gold, black, crystal, organic, raw. This is something you will just want to play with to get the right color. Hint: Do not add too much of the decorative sugars.

I displayed the sugar sand and white chocolate shells on silver trays.

Other ideas for the sand and shells:

  • Put in small tin buckets at each place setting. Tie handle of tin bucket with rafia.
  • Put into candy dishes.
  • Put in small cellophane bags and tie closed with rafia as party favors.
  • Sprinkle the sugar on top of the icing of a cupcake and then top with a milk chocolate shell.


Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple!


Beach pails filled with candy and pinwheels.

Candy filled beach pails with homemade pinwheels.

Beach pails are a perfect container to use for any Hawaiian or Beach themed party. Not only are they inexpensive, they also add color!

You can pick up beach pails for around a dollar from Michael’s, Walmart or a Dollar Store. When selecting the colors, keep the theme of your party in mind.

Treats for your Hawaiian themed party:

  • Shortbread cookies cut out in pineapple shapes and dipped in milk chocolate.
  • Potatoe chips dipped half in milk chocolate.
  • Bing cherries with stems.
  • Assorted berries.
  • Bright colored Jelly Bellys.
  • Bright colored candy.
Beach pails filled with candy on wood crates

Beach pails filled with candy.

I staggered the beach pails on various size crates. I then placed snorkels, fins, straw hats, and leis around the pails to add to the Hawaiian party mood.

I made pinwheels out of scrapbook paper to add depth to the display. The dowels for the pinwheels can be purchased at Home Depot.

If you don’t want to fill the pails all the way to the top, add a wad of aluminum foil to the bottom and then cover with shredded paper, tissue paper, or mesh fabric before filling bucket with treats.


Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple!


Enjoy Each Moment

by Pam McCoy on July 12, 2011

Enjoy each moment. Easy to say but hard to do at times. We need to be sure to appreciate each moment because we never know what tomorrow will bring.


“The time that gets wasted is the time you don’t spend in each moment, experiencing and appreciating it for what it is.”
–Barbara de Angelis

Photo taken at the Alburquerque International Airport in New Mexico.


Blue Candy Bar for Beach Themed Party

by Pam McCoy on July 12, 2011

candy dishes with blue gummy sharks and blue wrapped candy

This is a simple way to add color to your dessert table.

Everyone loves candy!

Include a cluster of candy dishes at one end of your dessert table or have a special table set aside just for a candy bar.

  • Select several sizes of candy dishes.
  • Find candy wrapped in the color of your party theme.
  • Tie a ribbon around some of the lids. If you have five candy dishes, only tie ribbon around two or three of the lids.

Encourage your guests to put together a bag of candy to take home. In a basket close by, have small cellophane bags available and stickers to close bags.

For this beach themed party, I used Hershey’s chocolate bars wrapped in blue paper, blue gummy sharks (include a utensil for candies that are opened so people don’t touch the candy), and Royals wrapped in blue paper. I found all this candy at Winco Foods. Winco sells candy by bulk which gave me the opportunity to pick out the blue wrapped paper.

The table had a white table cloth on it. I added a blue mesh fabric for color and texture.

I placed few shell leis on the table for additional decoration.

Other candies you may have used for this party:

  • Goldfish crackers.
  • White Milk Chocolate shells.
  • Blue Jelly Belly’s
  • Homemade Shortbread Cookies dipped in white milk chocolate and drizzled with blue milk chocolate

I suggest you just go to the store and walk up and down the candy and cookie aisle to look for ideas around your color. You will be surprised at what you didn’t think about!


Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple!



Purple Heart Themed Bridal Party

by Pam McCoy on July 11, 2011


I had a great time coming up with the decorations for Marj’s special Bridal Shower. Her wedding invitations include a heart with their new last name starting in an “M” so I carried that theme through for this party.

The party was held at the Long Beach Marriott where we received exquisite customer service and delicious food including omelettes, waffles and a wonderful breakfast buffet.


To add color to the white napkins, I added a cut-out heart from scrap booking paper, a metal heart that said “Love” tied with a purple ribbon, and hooked in on a lime green ribbon with a clothes pin that I had spray painted purple.

The white wood hearts you see here were purchased at Michael’s craft store. I made bases for the hearts and then painted them white.

Each person received three favors:

  • a purple pen with Marj and Scott’s name and wedding date on it
  • a Bailey’s cupcake that I decorated with purple frosting and a purple chocolate heart
  • a glass heart that I had filled with purple M & M’s or green Jelly Belly jelly beans that I then tied a purple or green heart at the top

 Bailey cupcake decorated with purple frosting and purple milk chocolate heart


I purchased the wood “M” at Michael’s craft store then made a base that included two hearts which I then spray painted white.

I put a purple mesh runner down the length of the table to add color and break up the white tableclothes.



I painted these crates white which I had purchased at Joanne’s craft store. I filled the two glass containers with water, limes and purple flowers. The crates worked well at giving the table depth.





The paper mache “M” from Joanne’s craft store I spray painted purple.


Marjorie’s nephew was at the shower so I put together some toys in the brown paper bag to help entertain him during the shower.


It was a lovely party celebrating Marjorie’s upcoming wedding.

Enjoy being creative. Keep it simple.


Simple Centerpiece with Limes and Flowers

July 10, 2011

I like to keep things simple. Simple means less stress. Simple means easy to do. Simple means I don’t get burned out which means I will soon be ready for another party. This centerpiece is so easy to put together. I have several glass containers that I have purchased at various locations: HomeGoods, Michael’s, etc. […]

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Display Drinks in Longaberger Baskets

July 10, 2011

I love to keep things simple but still decorative. That is why my Longaberger Baskets get a lot of use! I have linings for all my baskets which not only keep the baskets clean but are waterproof. They make the perfect display for cold drinks. Other uses for these large lined Longaberger Baskets: Cut up […]

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