Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sourdough Summer-Will You Join Me?

This summer, I'm going to attempt to capture my very own sourdough culture for the first time-and I'd like you to join me! You can start anytime, but I thought the beginning of a new month-June-would be the perfect time to start. I'll post about capturing your own wild sourdough culture, caring for your sourdough starter, maybe host a sourdough starter swap if there's any interest (wild yeast strains vary from place to place, so if you live far away from me, your sourdough starter might taste very different!), and of course, lots of delicious sourdough recipes!

If you want to play along, here is what we'll need:
  • A 2qt glass or plastic container (I used an 8 cup glass measuring cup)
  • flour (unbleached)
  • water (tap will probably work, but if your local water has a lot of chlorine, that could prevent you from capturing your wild yeast well)
  • cheesecloth, mesh, or something else similar to keep bugs out while still letting yeast in (I used resuable produce bags from Natural Home Products!

So head out to the store for any of those items you might be out of and check back tomorrow for instructions on what to do to get busy catching wild yeast!!

Happy Sourdough Summer!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I'm attempting to bake bread 50ish times in 2012 and I'm posting lots of recipes, pictures and tips of my progress-I hope they inspire you to bake too!

Today I baked cinnamon raisin bread, which always makes me think of my little brother-the two of us could eat a whole loaf of the cinnamon raisin bread from the grocery store (I forget which brand, but the it was the kind in the red bag)-in one sitting...although we usually tried to make it last a couple of days so we could have raisiny deliciousness more than once! I adapted the recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, one of the absolute best bread cookbooks I've found yet. Anyway, I think my brother would definitely enjoy a loaf of this just as much as I did-and I hope you will too!

What you need:
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, at least half of which should be bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • a pinch or two of salt
  • 2 tsp or one packet of instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or 4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted or mostly melted butter
  • 1/2 buttermilk or whole milk at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup room temperature or warm water (but not hot)
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
What you do:
  • Mix all the dry ingredients (through cinnamon, and including granulated sugar if you used it but not agave)
  • Add wet ingredients, but not yet raisins
  • Mix
  • Knead 5ish minutes by machine or 9ish minutes by hand
  • Add raisins and knead 1 more minute
  • Let rise in lightly oiled, covered, bowl for 1-2 hours or until doubled
  • Punch down and form into two loaves
  • Place each loaf in a greased 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise another hour or so
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then rotate pans and bake 20-30 more minutes or until goldeny brown
  • Cool for an hour before eating (if you have more self-restraint!)
My tips:
  • I use the same bowl for the dough to rise too-I just push the whole ball of dough off to the side, then pour the oil in the bottom, then roll the dough to lightly coat all sides with oil, then I cover it with a clean dishcloth

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cure for the Mondays-Turtle Edition!!

On Mondays I post things I've seen in the last week or so that made me laugh, smile, and want to create. I hope they brighten your day, especially if you've got a "case of the Mondays". I had a busier week than anticipated and didn't get much posting in, but last Wednesday was National Turtle Day. In honor of that, here are some of my favorite turtle-y ideas, perfect for all summer-or all year round!

I love these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle nails, and they actualy don't look too crazy hard!
Source: via HaiBaby on Pinterest

How cool is this lunchbox that looks like a TMNT????

And another fun option for people more artistic than me: watermelon carving!

Although I'm more likely to do something like this easy cucumber turtle:

Or this turtle made of an apple and some grapes:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cure for the Mondays May 21st, 2012

On Mondays I post stuff I've seen in the last week or so that made me laugh, smile, and want to create. I hope they brighten your day too, especially if you've got a "case of the Mondays!"

Today is "Giveaway Day" on Sew, Mama Sew which means that hundreds of bloggers are linking up with giveaways of cool crafty prizes, all open until Friday. I'm giving away this fun book:

these whole wheat chocolate peanut butter brownies totally made my mouth water:

Glow-in-the-dark frosting = amazing (actually, it glows under a blacklight, not in the dark):

I think it'd be cute to make these out of terry cloth to be bath/pool toys:

I can't believe I didn't know this existed, and my heels, cute-but-painful shoes and I are totally on a mission to find some in the store and try it now-supposedly it keeps your feel from sliding around and developing blisters:

I wanna try this too: clean pesticides, dirt etc off veggies with vinegar and water!

And I can't wait to whip some of these up (possibly with a few ingredient subs like whole wheat flour and real butter)-they are basically baked donut holes!

What inspired you this week?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Beautiful Fair Trade Purse & Bags from Rising Tide-w/ 20% coupon code!

Check out my new tote bag from Rising Tide Fair Trade:

It's gorgeous. It has a ridiculously large capacity. And it supports a good cause. What more could you ask for in a bag?!?

My tote today (we ate the popcorn & lettuce already)
My new bag is the "Beach & Market Tote" in Akila. And the name is a good indication of its size-shortly after getting it, I took it to the farmer's market with my son and it easily fit half a dozen pull-ups, extra jeans t-shirt, jacket, and hat for my toddler, sunscreen, my wallet, keys, cell phone, calendar, some lip gloss and pens, a bag of white chocolate popcorn I bought for my husband, half a dozen honey straws, a head of lettuce, and a kids' workbook from the art center. Seriously, it still snapped closed with all that in there and nothing was bulging out anywhere. I love this tote.

And on top of that, they support a good cause. Rising Tide fair trade bags are handmade in Africa from locally sourced fabric. The company makes sure the African women who sew the bags are being paid fair wages.
closeup of the amazing fabric w/ running stitch detail on my tote!
One of the other things I think is great about this bag is the pockets. A lot of bags this big don't have any pockets. Not this tote! There are two open pockets on one side plus a zipper pocket that takes up most of the other side (perfect for keys!). I love having secure places for my stuff that I know it won't tumble out of the top of the bag (it does have one snap in the middle, but is otherwise open topped.)
pockets w/ my phone & calendar for size reference
Zipper pouch on other side

And the Beach and Market Tote is far from the only awesome bag from Rising Tide Fair Trade. They have a wide range of purses and totes, from these cute envelope clutches (big enough for iPads!):

Safi Envelope Clutch (picture from Rising Tide website)
to these amazing shoulder totes:
Kumba Shoulder Tote (pic from Rising Tide website)

Besides the fact that Rising Tide Fair Trade bags are gorgeous, I also absolutely love that the women who started Rising Tide aren't just talking about helping struggling families in Africa- they are hiring them and selling the goods they produce.

I went on a mission trip to Mozambique about 10 years ago and at the time, $3/year was the cost of attending school-a price most families couldn't afford. So you can trust that the profits the women sewing these fabulous purses and totes are making really can make a huge impact for their families and possibly their entire communities. Definitely much more so than buying a purse from the mall by some European designer. We in America tend not to realize the value of a dollar in impoverished third world nations, but even a few dollars can help. The price of a purse? Can help a lot.

And speaking of the generous ladies behind Rising Tide Fair Trade, they've given us an exclusive coupon code to use! Put the code "Crunchy20" in the promo box and you'll get 20% off your entire order from Rising Tide Fair Trade between now and the end of the day on Sunday. So hurry-go buy some fabulous bags!

I received a free tote bag for review purposes. I received no other compensation and my opinions are honest!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

30 Minute Half Whole Wheat Bread

I'm attempting to bake bread 50ish times in 2012. I hope the recipe, pics, and tips I post inspire you to do some baking too!

Today I got another fun baking book from the library, Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. Overall it is pretty good, except that Mr. Clayton is overly fond of dried milk powder, which to me seems like an uncessary avoidance of a perfectly good real ingredient, milk, and I'm not sure how much milk to substitute-maybe something I need to investigate at some point! Anyway, today I tried his "Thirty-Minute White Bread", but couldn't resist adding some whole wheat flour. It doesn't take 30 minutes of actual work-it is called that because it only needs to rise 30 minutes before baking. Perfect for last-minute dinner plans! So here's how to make it the way I did today.

What you need:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 package/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
What you do:
  • Warm up the milk, butter, and water in a saucepan or in a microwave-safe container
  • Pour the milk mixture into the bowl you'll be using and add the salt, yeast, and sugar
  • Add 1/2 cup of each type of flour and stir well
  • Add remaining flour and mix well
  • Knead by hand or with your dough hook for about 8 minutes
  • Cover with cloth and let rest while you prepare pan
  • Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" loaf pan
  • Gently form the loaf into an oval about the size of the bottom of the loaf pan
  • In Mr. Clayton's words: "Place the pan in the oven and turn the heat up to 400 degrees for 60 seconds-1 minute only. No more-turn it off!"
  • Leave the bread in the oven to rise for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 45 minutes.
My tips:
  • If you don't have bread flour, use equal parts all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to make sure it rises nicely.
  • The crust gets pretty dark, but don't worry-it's not burnt!
  • Overall I was very happy with the loaf this produced in such a short time-soft and yummy on the inside, and crusty but not burnt on the outside. Delicious!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cure for the Mondays 5/13/2012

On Mondays I post ideas & tutorials I've seen that made me want to laugh, smile, & want to create in the past week. I hope they brighten your day too, especially if you've got a case of "the Mondays"!

I think this is brilliant: use cookies with a hole in the center as "lids" for drinks and put a straw through the hole!

This made me want to run out and buy 2 2L bottles of something just so I could use the bottles to make a jetpack for my son:

How adorable-and delicious looking-are these individual sized blackberry pies in glass jars?!?

Source: via Debbie on Pinterest

These make me drool and are made with whole wheat flour (although I'll probably try to use agave nectar instead of white sugar since the recipe calls for an entire cup of it! I hope it works!)

And I'm totally psyched that braids are back in because a style like this is something that I can do, look cute in, and do crafts, bake, and chase a toddler with ease without destroying.

PS Once Upon a Time on ABC is supposedly renewed for another season, so hurray for that! Except I kinda want it to have a real fairytale resolution at some point, so I hope they do have a real ending planned for sometime in the future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Real Food and Almost Food

I've been thinking about real food a lot lately. I've been reading a great old book called "Eating in America" that I found at the library, all about the history of food in America. It was written in the 70's, so the last sections are very out-of-date. But the rest of the history is really interesting, and their recommendations are spot-on. It's a little amazing to me that food writers were making these observations already in the 70's, yet mainstream American society still hasn't really adopted them. Directly from the book, here are the recommendations of the authors from 1976:

  • "Fresh food is preferable to grown not too far from the place of consumption is best, even if it is only available in season"
  • "Variety in ingredients and in ways of preparation of dishes makes eating more enjoyable and probably more healthful"
  • "Most industry-created foods, such as sugared breakfast foods, 'potato chips' from powdered dessicated potatoes, synthetic fruit drinks notably shy on fruit...are...properly called junk and should be so regarded"
  • "The authors admire quality and diversity of food, they deplore its conspicous waste as evidenced in over-large servings. The steak house which greatly overcharges its clients for more than they can eat does not atone by offering a 'doggie bag' for the uneaten portion. Restraint is appropriate in home cooking too, unless the cook is a genius at using leftovers"
It made me wonder how much healthier Americans-and my family and I in particular-would be if we all followed their guidelines. Probably a lot!

Also, on the topic of real food, this sketch made me laugh last night on SNL (it does contain some minor swearing, so you probably won't want to watch it with little kids in the room):

All quotations were taken from pages 446 & 447 of  the 1976 edition of Eating in America by Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont, which I checked out from the the library.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tips for Moms & Daughters to Discuss Parenting Styles without Fighting

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
This post was written for the May 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With or Without Extended Family which I foolishly thought was next week, so I didn't get submitted in time to be part of the official link-up. I still encourage you to check out all the great posts that did realize that May started on a Tuesday, making today carnival day, lol.

While I was pregnant and when my son was brand-new, my mom and I had a pretty rocky time. Without getting into a ton of details, we were having trouble communicating effectively. She didn’t understand why I didn’t seem to value her parenting advice, and I didn’t understand why she wasn’t just letting me do my thing and being supportive (which is what she does for everything I do in life!) Now we are all patched up and talk on the phone pretty much everyday and e-mail each other and repin stuff from each other’s Pinterest boards and stuff like that. Anyway, I am hoping that some of what I learned the hard way can help you avoid similar conflicts so I asked my mom to help me write a very special post: I’ll share my top tips for daughters to discuss different parenting styles with their moms without fighting and she’ll offer her top tips for Grandmas to do the same*.
My mom and son when he was about 6 months old

Tips for Daughters

Realize it’s a sensitive issue

I naively didn’t realize anyone would care how I chose to parent. As with most things in life, when I wanted to research parenting styles and decisions, I turned to the internet and a few library books. I didn’t even think about the fact that for most of human existence the primary-and often only-source of parenting advice and wisdom was friends and relatives, especially your own mother. Unless you have siblings significantly younger than you, you may not actually know much about what parenting decisions your mom made and why.  And she will appreciate you showing an interest and knowing that her input was at least one that you considered when you made your choices.

Make it about you

This seems a bit counterintuitive (normally it’s better to think of others, right??), but make sure it’s clear that you aren’t thinking of anyone but yourself and your kids when you make your parenting decisions.  That your decisions aren’t reactionary or a judgment on the choices your Mom or Grandma or sister-in-law made or didn’t make. That they are simply what you deem best based on the info you have and the specific situation and temperaments of you and your spouse and kids. Even if it is a completely unfounded assumption, your mom will (understandably) be heartbroken if she thinks you are rejecting or judging harshly the way she parented.  Let her know you think there is more than one “good” way to parent, and you choosing a different one doesn’t make hers bad. And compliment her on how well she raised you!


Ask lots of questions

Some of the best conversations my mom and I had when my son was little were the ones where I asked lots of questions about what things were like when I was born-what advice was given, what parenting styles were popular where she lived and amongst her relatives. It was really interesting to find out that information, and definitely seemed like it helped me understand where she was coming from. For example, my mom breastfed me much longer than advised-even though that wasn’t nearly as long as I nursed my son and she also supplemented with formula. But discussing the advice and research she’d encountered when pregnant with me helped me realize our choices were more similar than they seem at first glance: we both bucked common trends to nurse our babies longer than advised because we felt in our hearts and minds that was what was best for them.

Answer as many questions as you feel comfortable answering

Our moms have been worrying about us for several decades now, and they still want to know that we are making good decisions and not just jumping into fads we haven’t researched. Sharing new research and other info that has led you to the decisions you’ve made can help your mom understand why you have made different decisions. For example, the research of Dr. James McKenna at Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Sleep Lab is new since I was a baby and telling my mom about it made her realize that some of the anti-co-sleeping schpeels from the media are pretty inaccurate.

Do what feels right

Ultimately you are responsible for your kids and have to do what you think is best even if it ticks off your extended family. Use the previous steps to try to avoid starting a fight and to help you and your mom understand each other and why you’ve chosen different parenting practices. But when it comes down to it, do what feels right. In the end, you are the one who has to answer for your parenting choices, and you don’t want to end up blaming your mom for you choosing something you didn’t think was best. Most Grandmas will respect your devotion to your kids, even if they disagree with some of your specific choices.

Tips for Mothers

Realize it is a sensitive issue

Just because you have not talked about parenting with your daughter previously doesn't mean she hasn't already formed some very strong opinions about things. It may not occur to her that you have valuable information to share. Offer to help, but let her come to you. She may see you as not approving of her choices if you try to share too much. It's a tricky balance, making yourself available for your daughter, while listening to her potentially discard some of the very methods that raised this intelligent, independent young mom-to-be. It was a balance that would take us awhile to perfect.  


Remember it's about your daughter

Your daughter and her husband have started a new life together. It's not a competition between the way your family did things and the way her new husband’s family did things. It's about a new family finding the way they will do things. There will be plenty of times you can offer your input and your daughter will come to you when she needs you. There is a lot of difference between the information you read and the practical application of that information. My grandson continues to delight and amaze me as he finds new ways to be a kid that my daughter and I aren’t prepared for. Maybe there is something to this new electronic source of collective parenting information. . .

Ask lots of questions

Parenting techniques seem to change as fast as babies are being born. Your daughter and her doctor will probably use many new unfamiliar terms and there may even be advice that directly contradicts what you learned. We pulled out the information my doctor gave me when I was a new mom and realized that it advised me to never let my baby sleep on its back without supervision. Now they advise to never place the baby on its stomach without supervision. Who can keep up? So, when your daughter is doing something you may not understand, ask questions! You may not agree with the answer, but at least it will help you understand why your daughter is doing things so differently. My daughter and I have been amazed at the number of things the medical community has flip flopped on over the years as we compare what we have been told by our doctors.


Trust your Daughter

Babies have survived Dr. Spock, powdered formula, a variety of bottle and nipple styles, sleeping on their stomach, sleeping on their back, and many other innovations and trends that I probably never heard of. But the thing that remains the same is that moms are always trying to do better.  And, they no longer have to rely on using just the information that their mom may have. Moms have united on the Internet and can now help each other almost instantaneously. Allow your daughter to do the things she finds that will make her a better parent. Sometimes that will be things she learned from you. Sometimes it won't. It's ok! You taught her to do her very best and she listened!

 *My post is based on the assumption that you have a loving, kind mother who would like to have a friendly relationship with you and who wasn’t abusive. If your mother was abusive, you will probably want to seek the advice of a counselor or psychologist to help you figure out the best way to talk about (or not talk about) parenting decisions you're choosing to make.

Real Simple Pet Products at Target

Real Simple has teamed up with Target to create a new line of sophisticated pet products-at a reasonable price for all pet owners, and Clover, my parents' goldendoodle, was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try some of them out. My mom kindly translated the assorted sniffs, barks, and woofs, into English for us.
Here is Clover's big score for her first ever blog review:
Real Simple pet toy box, light up coller charms, and pet organizer book
The pet toy box was a big hit with Clover. She liked the way it contained her toys while also fitting in stylishly with my parents' existing room decor and color scheme. Clover was also pleased with its large capacity and how easy it was to get in and get her own toys out without help.

The light-up collar charms were clearly Clover's favorite. She thought they'd be perfect for twilight walks with my Dad. They provide enough light to be easily seen by passing motorists and pesky cats, and even have an online registration option for safety if Clover ever got seperated from my parents.
Clover was sad my mom wouldn't let her chew the pet info organizer, but was happy my mom now had one easy place to write down information about Clover's shots, vet records, licensing info and even exercise, food, and "Love & Affection". Clover didn't like the sound of this much, but my mom mentioned it might be particularly useful if you were leaving your dog with someone for a few days to have them fill out the exercise, food, and love sections so you had a good idea of what your dog spent their day doing while you were gone.

To get your own stylish Real Simple pet products, check the pet aisles of your local Target store!

Thank you to Real Simple for providing samples of some of their super chic pet products for Clover to test and provide her honest opinion of.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cure for the Mondays May 5th, 2012

On Mondays I post fun ideas and pictures I've seen in the last week that made me laugh, smile, and want to create! I hope they brighten your day too, especially if you've got a case of "the Mondays"!

There's still time to make these super cute cards with your little one(s) to mail to Grandma for Mother's Day this weekend:

This is pure genius: cut a sticker in half and put one half in each shoe to help your preschoolers learn which shoe goes on which foot (if they line them up correctly, the stickers will match up)

And I love this idea for dying your own toothpicks or skewers. I think it'd be a super cute touch on its own, or with custom printed banners on the toothpicks!

These adorable embroidered napkins are inspired by a simple French poem, which makes them even more fun-and the pattern is free!

This made me hungry:

What made you laugh, smile, and want to create this week?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

This morning my son and I were craving pancakes, but I wanted to make them with a twist. So I modified the pancake recipe I usually use in a few ways and came up with these yummy appley treats that taste a lot less healthy than they are.

What you need:
  • 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk or sour milk
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-2  apples

What you do:
  • mix wet ingredients
  • add dry ingredients and mix
  • peel apple and grate it into the batter
  • fry on a skillet like normal pancakes

My tips:
  • If you don't have buttermilk on hand, add a teaspoon or two of vinegar to the milk to sour it. Let it sit at least 5 minutes before adding anything else.
  • If you want to, feel free to mix the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl before mixing them into the wet ingredients.
  • For maximum apple flavor, I recommend two Granny Smith apples. If you only use one and/or use a milder flavored apple, you will hardly be able to taste the apple at all!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chic on a Shoestring Book Review & Giveaway! (now closed)

Congratulations to "Cloud 9": you won the book!

What it is:
Chic on a Shoestring is a craft book with more than 40 fun projects. It was released in the US yesterday, May 1st and in honor of its release, I get to give a free copy of the book to one lucky reader! (see bottom of the post for entry instructions)

Who wrote it:
Mary Jane Baxter, a BBC correspondent turned milliner who blogs here.

First impressions:
Chic on a Shoestring is the type of book I'd intentionally leave out to impress friends when they come over-it has pretty pictures, clear instructions, and fun ideas. I liked it right away.

Overall impressions:
There are so many great ideas in this book that I'm pretty sure pretty much any woman could find a project she was capable of making and would enjoy wearing. My favorite projects from this book are the pom-pom-less earrings and the slouchy top. I made a pair of the earrings, but I'm still on the look-out for a pair of pretty scarves to use to make the slouchy top! Her instructions were easy to follow and the pictures were cute. The only downside I saw was that some of the projects were definitely too trendy to wear around here-although I can think of a few artsy friends who live in a bigger city who'd probably wear them in public and rock them. There were also several projects that I thought would be awesome girl scout projects (or any group of pre-teen or older girls-they would be fun hall functions for college girls too!), like the flip-flops adorned with flowers made from plastic shopping bags. Some of the projects require sewing.

The Bottom Line:
Chic on a Shoestring is a creative DIY book I definitely recommend for anyone who loves vintagey accessories.

Buy it:
You can buy Chic on a Shoestring directly from Penguin or at any major bookseller (and many local ones!)

Win it:
To win your own copy, leave a comment telling me what your favorite accessory is. For me, it'd probably be a super cool pair of white gold earrings my husband got me.  Leave your comment by midnight on May 25th. I'll use to pick a winner, e-mail them, and if I don't hear back in 48 hrs, I'll pick a new winner.

For extra entries, do any of the following and leave a seperate comment for each you do:
  • Subscribe to Mary Jane's blog
  • Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (there should be a box on the sidebar to the right of this post)
  • Follow Mary Jane on Twitter as @MaryJaneBaxter
  • Follow me on Twitter as @CrunchyConMom
  • Like Chic on a Shoestring on Facebook
Thank you to Berkley books (part of the Penguin group) for providing me and the lucky winner with copies of this book. I received no compensation for writing this post other than a free copy of the book to provide my honest opinion of.

Check out Sew Mama, Sew for hundreds of other amazing sewing related giveaways going on from May 21st-25th!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Baskets 2012

We made May Baskets for some of our relatives who live in the same town as us and here is how they turned out:

I tried to make them close to what my husband remembered from his own childhood, but with a few fun twists of my own. So I ended up using plastic cups my pre-schooler covered in flower & butterfly stickers and I added tags I cut out of scrapbook paper to each cup (turns out my punch that makes two slits for ribbons works on plastic cups and not just paper!) On the inside, each has a Bing candy bar to weigh them down, unbuttered popcorn, and two big pretzels I made with a cute candy mold that looks like flowers that I bought recently at Michael's. I like to think they looked kinda like the chocolate flowers were growing out of the popcorn. I put each in a plastic bag and tied with a ribbon, because I didn't want them to spill when we delivered wagon:
Miraculously, none fell over during the delivery process. One thing that helped is that I put 4 of them in a little basket I normally keep my cell phone and keys in so they were upright. One of those drink holders from fast food restaurants would've been handy-I'm definitely going to hang on to any we get next April so I have them for May Day!

Happy May Day!!