“I ruff you” Card

If you know me at all, you know that I make mostly “girly” gifts, packages, tea parties, cards, etc. I LOVE all things ribbon and lace, pink and curly. So when it comes to making more “manly” things, I have challenges!

My nephew had a birthday recently (he just turned 8), and he came down for a visit. I knew this was my opportunity to make something that he would like. I know that he loves dogs and so I got the most adorable doggie stamp set from Lawn Fawn to try out! Here’s the card I made for Porter:


and here’s the inside:


I tried some “masking” by cutting out a cloud from white paper and sticking it temporarily on the card front, then I used some distress ink on a cotton ball to rub on the sky color around those clouds. When I removed the cloud masks, I was left with a beautifully calm sky with the clouds left white!

I think this card turned out adorable (and not too girly). What do you think?

So guess who’s going to be using this set to make a nice Father’s Day card?! I think my Dad will smile.
Linking up to the Simon Says Stamp Challenge.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — I can Do All Things Through Christ

Happy Monday! I can’t believe it’s Monday already again. I have had the BEST weekend with my nephews who are down visiting from Utah. We had a birthday party for my 8-year-old nephew whose birthday is just a week before mine.

This Dose of Sunshine comes directly from my watercolor practice book. It’s a favorite scripture of mine and it applies to everyday life. If you are feeling weak or overwhelmed or sad, or you just need a reminder that there’s always help…this is for you.


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Easy Paper Cones

Easy Paper Cones

I love to make these paper cones as a container for small gifts and treats. Last Christmas, I made them in green and red and filled them with homemade caramels. For my daughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday party I made them in black and white and filled them with popcorn. And more recently I made them in a sunshine yellow color to deliver Lemon Shortbread Cookies and Hugs.


They are simple to make and you only need 12 x 12 paper (I used paper from Michaels), red sticky tape (also from Michaels), ribbon of your choice, and a hole punch. (I also sometimes fill the bottom of the cones with shredded paper)

At first when I began making these, I couldn’t get them to look right. They were a little skewed and a little off-center. But when I took a class on piping chocolate (I know, strange)…the LIGHT WENT ON!! We made a little triangle out of parchment paper to fill with chocolate and pipe onto a plate. And that’s when I figured out I could apply the same technique to these paper cones!

First, cut the 12 x 12 paper in half Diagonally. Then tape and roll up, matching up the corners. I made a quick video to explain better:

So just take a few minutes to watch the video and you’ll be whipping up perfect paper cones in no time!

The great thing about these cones is that you can HANG them from a door knob if the recipient is not home. What fun to come home to a little treat hanging on your door! (If it’s hot outside, don’t put in anything that would melt)

And if you are the recipient of a pretty paper cone, why not enjoy the contents, re-fill with a treat of your choice and pass it on to another friend? The great Paper Cone Pass-It-On Project. That’s what we’ll call it. :)

Here’s some ideas of what to fill your paper cone with:

Hugs & Kisses
Hershey’s Miniatures
Small wrapped candies
Miniature Lotion or Hand Sanitizer
Nail Polishes, Nail Files
Gift Cards and Treats
Movie Passes
Notes of Appreciation or Encouragement

The list goes on…What would you put in your paper cone?


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Lemon Shortbread Cookies and Yellow Gift Cones

This past weekend was my birthday. It was a big deal because it marked a new decade for me! So I wanted to do something special…something that I could share with people who have made an impact in my life.

I decided to combine two of my most favorite things: Baking and Gifting. I started by making some of these cones in a happy yellow color. The idea was to give out as many goodies as I was old.

I gifted these throughout the week; however, I delivered the majority of these little gifts ON my birthday. Some fun reactions: “You are giving me a treat on YOUR birthday? Best. Friend. Ever.” :)

Since I had a bunch of lemons from my mom, I decided to perfect a recipe I have been working on! These little Lemon Shortbread Cookies are buttery and citrus-y with a little bit of a crunch. Perfect!


I found that I love to add lemon juice AND zest to both the cookie and the glaze. Delicious Lemon desserts are among my very favorites and this cookie did not disappoint! They are simple to make and bake…you roll the dough and cut the chilled dough before baking. (so much easier than rolling out and using a cookie cutter!)


Then, drizzle the glaze over the top, let them “dry” for a few hours and then they are ready to wrap up!


I wrapped them up in a little glassine bag and closed them with a sticker. Then I filled as many cones as I could with cookies and Hershey’s Hugs (I love those)! I had them hanging everywhere…all over the kitchen cabinets and even some door knobs.


I think everyone loved these little cookies. I got some nice texts, notes, and cards back (thanks for the love!) And my favorite reaction: “Oh WOW! These cookies are amazing!! Need the recipe ASAP.”

I love these little shortbread cookies. My last birthday gift is to share the recipe with YOU. So here you go:

Kari's Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Kari's Lemon Shortbread Cookies


  • 3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 t. salt


  1. Mix the butter and sugar until just combined.
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Put one part on a large piece of saran wrap and roll up into a log. Do the same with the other part.
  5. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the shortbread log and slice into appx. 1/4 inch rounds and place onto cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake about 8-10 minutes (or until slightly golden brown).
  8. Mix together 1 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. lemon juice, and 1 T. lemon zest. Add more lemon juice if needed to make a nice drizzling consistency.
  9. Drizzle over the cooled cookies using a spoon (or put into a ziploc bag and snip off a small corner, then drizzle).

And if you’re interested in how to make an EASY cone out of 12 x 12 paper, I’m sharing a quick tutorial here! Go ahead, make a few and see how many smiles you can inspire when you give them away filled with treats. :)


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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“Hugs” Card for Maddy (who is fighting cancer)

I created this card especially for a little girl named Maddy who has cancer. She lives in Tennessee and has requested lots of good energy and smiles in the form of homemade cards! So, Maddy, this one’s for you! I mailed this out today. Hope she likes it!


I had fun choosing different colors of ink pads to compliment each other for the hearts. I sure hope Maddy likes pink because pink became the  dominating color! I embossed the word “hugs” with pink embossing powder and outlined it with a thin black pen to pull it all together. Sending “hugs” to Maddy across the miles!

If you’d like to send a card of encouragement, too, get more information here.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — Each day is filled with opportunity

Happy Monday once again! This week is brimming full of blessings, I can feel it. And sometimes those blessings come by way of opportunity. And sometimes there are so many opportunities available to us that we simply cannot hold onto them all!

This thought inspired me to create the following:


What opportunities are available to you this week?

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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“You are Loved” card

I just learned on Wednesday that a dear friend and neighbor is moving! :( I know that moving is chaotic and overwhelming sometimes and so I was inspired to make the following cards in her honor:


I am just enthralled with “Sunshine” cards (yes, it goes with the name of my blog!) and this one surprised me because it turned out in shades of blue, rather than yellow! I tinted the embossed sentiment with Distress Ink in Peacock and added some glitter to the “sunburst.” I will re-visit this idea later, because I think it looks more like a quilt or sky than a sunburst. Funny how things turn out sometimes.

(to be continued: see the next card in the next post…)

So, dear friend who is moving (you know who you are)…these are for you! Everything IS going to be alright. And you are loved.

Linking up with Simon Says Stamp challenge.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Everything’s Going to be Alright, you’ll see

Everything’s Going to be Alright, you’ll see


This one is perhaps my favorite of the two. I glittered up the clouds a bit and added a yellow ribbon. Then I used some liquid pearls in pink to add dimension on the sentiment stripe. Fun!

I love this saying. LOVE. I have my husband trained to tell me “Everything’s going to be ok!” when I ask him to tell me “something.” I know that I might worry too much, and this really calms me down. So this card is so endearing to me. :) And I love the sky when it is filled with clouds. It is so peaceful. This paper with clouds is adorable!

So, dear friend who is moving (you know who you are)…these are for you! Everything IS going to be alright. And you are loved.

Linking up with Simon Says Stamp challenge.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe (versus Mini Chocolate Souffles)


This Taste Test Tuesday was very exciting and quite close! In fact, both of these recipes are SO delicious, that I would recommend trying them both out for yourself! Last week, I posted the Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce recipe. And today, I will review both contestants for you and share the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake recipe. Does this sound delicious or what?!

I can hardly wait! First, let me share with you this delicious little Molten Lava Cake recipe. I got it from my daughter, Amber, and she made it as one of her goals last summer. She was working on her recipe book (getting ready to leave the nest…which I was not happy about). But I WAS happy about her sharing her delicious recipes with me, including this gem of a chocolate dream recipe. :)


I call these the darlings of all mini cakes…I mean, just look at that cute little cake! It’s adorable with it’s crown of whipped cream and sprinkle of powdered sugar. I added a strawberry, too, since it was competing with those little Chocolate Souffles and needed to be on a “level” playing field.

If you were to compare the ease of whipping these Lava Cakes up versus making up the Mini Chocolate Souffles, I’d say the Lava Cakes win. All you have to do is melt a little butter with the chocolate (in the microwave!), add the powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour and Voila! You’ve got your batter all ready to put into the oven. Then you just cook them up for 12-13 minutes, pull them out and invert onto a little plate. Easy. (Note: I let them cool for about a minute before inverting them onto the plate)

If you add the whipped cream too early, it melts a little down the sides, but these Molten Lava Cakes are BEST when eaten warm and fresh out of the oven!


Doesn’t that still look so yummy!? I really don’t mind that dripping whipped cream. Just let me at it!


The insides of the cake are all gooey and molten. So smooth and chocolatey. Wow.


These little darlings are delicious with whipped cream and/or ice cream! Yep, you can put a scoop of ice cream right on the top and sort of let it melt down into the cake. So. Good.

But before you make these yourself, a little note of  WARNING: do not overbake these. Really. It is easy to do (not that I would know), and it RUINS these cakes! They become dense and spongy and not delicious. Seriously. It’s bad. The last batch I only cooked for just over 11 minutes to make sure the inside was still melted and yummy. You will know these are just about done when the sides of them look cooked (like cake) and the insides are still a little soft, but not jiggly. Every oven is a little different, so you’re gonna have to test this out for your oven.

Ok, so here’s the recipe. Are you going to try this one?


Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe


  • 4 pieces (squares) Semi-Sweet baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • whipped cream for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray 4 custard cups with cooking spray and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Place chocolate and butter in microwave safe glass bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, too.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar until well blended.
  5. Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Stir in flour and vanilla.
  6. Divide between 4 custard cups. Bake for 12-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
  7. Invert onto small plates and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Now, with all that delicious description done, I must now announce the winner of the taste test! I didn’t forget. But I must remind you that BOTH of these recipes are so good, and the winner only barely edged out over the other.

They both have a delicious chocolately flavor. They both have melty amazing centers. They both are just exactly the right size. They both are perfect for a special occasion dessert.

But the winner was the one with a little sugar coating on the outside, and an amazing ganache center. It won out a little bit because the cake part was delicious, but then pushed over the top with an addition of the melted chocolate to make it so smooth and so decadent…(my mouth waters a little). And the winner is still delicious the next day…it can be refrigerated and then warmed up again and it tastes just as good as the first day!


I guess the extra effort for the chocolate souffle really did shine in this competition! Congratulations to the Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce.  While I still love the Chocolate Molten Lava cakes, I love these more (and the other judges agree). Try the recipe here and see if YOU agree.


Until next time, enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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“Take a photo” Card Challenge

It’s a perfect day to send a card or two. Today I was up for the challenge from Simon Says Stamp. The theme for the challenge is: Take a Photo.

I was also a bit inspired by “Memorial Day” and the memories of loved ones. I love the idea of taking a picture and holding it in your heart…so you can always feel those good times and bring them to mind. See how I “framed” those good times in the card below?

So here’s my card:


Inside card:


I’ve been playing with a new technique that’s kind of fun: I embossed the arrows with white embossing powder and then watercolored over the top of them. The embossing resists the watercolor and the arrows remain white, but adding that color behind them makes them really pop!

I love the red glitter heart added to the frame, too. I used Stickles in Christmas red on that little heart.

Until next time, hold onto those good memories in your heart!


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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