Playtime!

Crazy weather over the center of the country.  Be safe and let’s have playtime for as long as our computers stay on!  Musica included.  Because I just made the cutest thing. And the glory of blogging means I can show you!  Look 

I told Kellee at the studio that I was making cupcakes and she said, “You should have your own toppers . . . I’m going to send you the dancing chickens!”  Of course, I thought, why didn’t I think of that!  The Dancing Chickens!

So she made me this little cupcake kit, complete with polka dot cupcake liners, and sent it to me in the mail. 

All these little dancing chickens, in a do-it-yourself cupcake topper kit!

I loved it!  Playtime!  So I pulled up to the kitchen table, got my scissors and some glue, and followed Kellee’s directions.  I cut these things out on the little lines she put on them, folded them in half — so the chicken is on both sides . . .

I cut around each dancing chicken with my scissors, leaving about 1/8″ of white space around them.  I separated the two pieces; dotted one side with a little glue, added a toothpick, and glued the two sides together.  And, you know what I’m going to say . . .

Look what I made!  Now I love them so much I want to poke them into everything!

One thing leads to another, so I baked my favorite springtime bunny food, carrot cupcakes!

Poked in my chickens, and they started dancing all over the kitchen!

Then they danced into the living room!  Cupcakes are getting very fancy these days in case you haven’t noticed; these aren’t the fanciest I’ve seen, not by a looong way, but must they be cuter than this?  Isn’t this cute enough?  OK, how about this?

Ridiculously cute!

Whenever I get anything new, I have to run it around the house to see how cute it looks in all the different places.

And you know what else?  These Carrot Cupcakes actually taste better than they look! They’re good enough for any wonderful tea party, for any quilting group or book club, for any church meeting; they’re especially charming for Easter Egg Hunts . . . they’re chockfull of fruit and nuts; there’s pineapple in there!  Light, moist, not too sweet, with a smooth cream-cheese frosting.

So I danced right over to the phone, called Kellee, and asked her to make more dancing chickens for our web store.  Because I could not show them to you without giving you a way to do it yourself!  And, as you can see, I had to show them to you!

I asked her to include the Cupcake recipe in the package with the toppers, so she’s doing that too!  Yes, I took about two hundred pictures of them!  Joe walked through the kitchen on his way to the barn, looked at me with my camera about three inches from the cupcakes, rolled his eyes in the best possible way — the twinkle in them said, “I love you anyway.”

In about a week and a half, I’ll show you how I made these Carrot Cupcakes right here on the blog.  Which taste just as good with or without toppers by the way!  You might also enjoy seeing some of the fancier toppers we found for our web store!  We have a Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kit; we have ←adorable Pansies with a Picket Fence; we have a set of British cupcake toppers!  Something for everyone! It’s a whim-whimsy world in the springtime! 

Yes, thank you, I hear you saying, for the recipe you’re not giving us.  Is there anything we can make NOW?  Oh, yes there is.

For the last couple of years, I’ve written a column for a sweet little newspaper called The Country Register (mostly because of the hardworking people who work there: *Hi Barbara*Hi Merle!*Hi everyone!*). In the March/April Springtime issue, which just came out, I promised their readers I would put my recipe for Banana Fritters on my blog . . . so here it is!  It’s a perfect weekend breakfast or tea-time snack, easy, homey, delicious, festive, and even make-ahead. 

OK, so here goes: to make Banana Fritters, first get out a medium-sized mixing bowl . . .

Put in a half cup of self-rising flour.

Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar . . .

. . . then, a quarter cup of milk;

. . . break an egg into the bowl and add two teaspoons of melted butter

♣     ♣      ♣

Whisk it all together.  Put the batter in the fridge until ready to use (or use immediately).

♣      ♣      ♣

Depending on how many fritters you want; cut as many as three ripe bananas into 1/2 inch pieces. One banana will serve two easily.  The batter keeps for a couple of days in the fridge.

Dip the banana pieces and thickly coat them in the batter.

Heat two cups of canola oil; test it with a spoonful of batter . . . if it doesn’t brown, wait until it gets hotter; if it browns too fast, reduce the heat.

The oil should bubble up.  Hey!  It looks like a lobster!

I think I should put it on Ebay!

You want your oil to be hot enough to cook quickly, but not so quickly that you can’t keep up with it.  You don’t want to be like Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory!

Using a slotted spoon, turn the fritters to brown them evenly and remove to paper towels to drain.

Sift over a little powdered sugar; they taste best lightly dusted.  That one in the middle is getting too much!

Yes, that one right there has too much sugar on it for me; powdered sugar just came flying out of the sifter and I wasn’t ready!  The trick is the mix of flavors, a delicious balance between the cooked banana, the crisp batter and the sugar. Mmmmm.  Yes.

The miracle of the lobster, goes to Joe!  I’ll put the recipe at the bottom of this post, but you can see how easy these are to make!  If you have the batter in the fridge and someone pops in, you can make a little miracle yourself!

Have a wonderful weekend girls.  Go outside and play if you can; take deep breaths of springtime air (if it’s there); go check out antique stores or flea markets; look for daffodils or cherry blossoms, or walk in the snow and be cozy inside with Banana Fritters and a good book.  Bye for now!

Here’s the recipe!

B A N A N A    F R I T T E R S

  • 1/2 c. self-rising flour
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. melted butter
  • up to 3 large bananas
  • 2 c. canola oil
  • powdered sugar

Whisk together first five ingredients. Cut bananas into 1/2 ” chunks.  Heat oil; put in a drop or two of batter to check for correct temperature; batter should brown not so fast you can’t keep up with them.  Dip bananas in batter, drop into oil, don’t crowd the pan.  Cook, turning once; with slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Sift over powdered sugar to taste.  Serve warm.  Also nice with maple syrup for breakfast.

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311 Responses to Playtime!

  1. Maire Dhu Lemley says:

    Ah glorious laughter on a quiet Friday night! Dancing chickens with party hats, mouthwatering carrot cupcakes, a lobster for the hubby and yummy banana fritters to share! Thanks for the giggling “girl” time Susan! Have a great weekend! Love, Maire Dhu

  2. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Susan! I am so in love with the cutest dancing little chicks ever!! I do just like you do –with anything new! It has to ‘ tour the house’ to see where it will look the best, Ha! Love this blog today, just what I needed! Can’t wait to make some banana fritters too.
    Have you ever made ’74′s’? Mumma used to make them when we were out of sweets in the house. Some sort of quick dough cut into 74 pieces and fried. Then we’d sit around the table and dip them into warm maple syrup right away while they were very warm. Delish! However, I don’t have that recipe… Thanks for the sweetest note today. Happy weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      My mom would gather up the scraps for pie crust, roll them out, cut them in strips, twist them, sugar them and bake them for us. But we never got 74 pieces!!

      • Patricia says:

        My mother used to take pie crust scraps, roll them out, sprinkle inside with cinnamon and sugar, roll them up and then cut them into pieces and bake. YUM.

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Now, my Mom (so..of course did I) just rolled it out put a little butter, sugar and cinnamon on it, baked it and broke it in pieces to eat! Yummm…see more memories…smile..

      • Tracy says:

        My Mom, too, Susan. She called them rolly pollys – but they were always flat so I’m not sure why they were rolly! My sister and I liked them better than the actual pie. What a treat!

      • EsSuzy (from South Carolina) says:

        Yes, those are “Stickies”! That’s what my mom called em!
        Playing Zippity doo dah now, cause that’s what the chickens seem to be dancing to when I heard em ;)

      • My mom did that, too. And now so do I. I love those.

  3. Dorothy Ann says:

    Hi Susan…Playtime..Cupcakes…Fritters…OhMy!
    Loved your new Blog today with lots of colorful photos and a delicious new recipe for the Banana Fritters! Yummy.

    Speaking of recipes…one of our girlfriends wrote and asked for your applesauce recipe. You replied it would be in your new “Breakfast Book”. Now, my question is…will the crispy-crunchy Blueberry Corn Cakes, one of the many treats that you prepared for your Anniversary Party, be in there too? I would love that one!
    Susan and Girlfriends. Take care…Stay warm and safe!
    I noticed the tiny “reply” at the end of each of our posts. So, I shall reply to a few of the girlfriends’ posts. I especially want to send good thoughts to everyone who might be in the paths of the dangerous storms…and especially to Branda, Carol C. and Lori from Maine, who are facing and have faced challenges in thier lives. You are brave and strong and beautiful and you will be in my thoughts too. Love to you and yours, Susan and to all of our Girlfriends from:
    Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain.

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks Dorothy, and yes the crispy crunchy blueberry corn cakes are in the new book!

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        Hi Susan on Saturday evening…March 3…

        Just a note to wish you and Joe a very happy weekend.

        LOL Dorothy and Ron on Cougar Mountain, Washington

    • Lori from Maine says:

      Hi Dorothy Ann: Remember I said I was going to check out Cougar Mtn. on the internet? I did it today – it’s SO beautiful, lucky you for living in a place like that. I live near Acadia National Park, so I’m very fortunate too – I have paradise in my backyard! Lucky us!! xoxoxox from SW Hbr.

      p.s. thank you for the sweet comment.

      • Lori from Maine says:

        Hi! I just went back to the “older comments” page and read your note to me there. Our snow was beautiful – briefly – today it is pouring rain and we have piles of dirty snow, muddy driveway, yuk. But…we’re safe from the weather unlike a lot of folks in the country right now (love and prayers to them).
        This is the ONLY blog I follow – I’ve always liked Susan’s work (hi Sue), checked out her web page quite often, and when I saw the blog I thought – “why not.” Actually, I don’t think I’d have time for other blogs. I’m too involved in what everyone is up to on this one. If I didn’t control myself, I’d probably respond to every other post :( !!!! Time to put some wood in the stove….bye!! xoxo from SW Hbr.

        • sbranch says:

          I understand the need for “control!” :-)

        • Dorothy Ann says:

          Hi Lori from Maine… on March 3…Saturday Evening…

          Just a little note to let you know I happily received and enjoyed reading your two replies.
          I can’t wait to see what sweet Susan has planned for us all in her next blog.
          But how can she top those “dancing chickens”?
          Have a happy weekend…Lori on SW Hbr.
          Dorothy Ann

  4. Patricia says:

    It was fun to read all about spring when we have a ton of snow outside (our first major storm: March 1!) I’m really looking forward to spring time and Easter this year. It’s been a very strange winter. I really look forward to your recipe for the carrot cake cupcakes- it’s my mother’s birthday on March 12 and she loves carrot cake. I’d love to make them for her. Those dancing chicks may have to make an appearance here very soon! (Can I also add I love your kitchen counters. I bet your house is very happy that you didn’t move in and rip everything out to “modernize”. If I bought a house like yours I’d keep it exactly like that as well.)
    Love,
    Patricia (Alice is still in the Land of Nod) in upstate NY xx

    • sbranch says:

      In our bathroom, we have two faucets in the sink, one is for hot and one is for cold and never the twain shall meet. Considered very modern in its time!

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Ours are the same way…one hot! One cold and I love it that way!

        • Lori from Maine says:

          Ours are the same way too…only the cold one doesn’t work! Don’t ya love old houses ;) )

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Duh, don’t get it. Do you mean the faucet handles? There aren’t two separate places the water comes out, are there? Quit laughing! I’m trying to picture this and wondering however you get warm water. Surely one hand doesn’t get cold water and the other hot water??? Am I being dense…? :-)

          • sbranch says:

            No, you have completely figured it out Pat! One hot, one cold, you don’t get warm water; you just fill your hands with cold water and then add just enough hot, to make warm. It really doesn’t work!

  5. Vicki says:

    Hi Susan
    Once again your blog has filled me with hope and joy. I’ve been having a rough time at work and reading your blog brings me right back to where I want to be. Happiness and homey love, it IS the little things in life that make it so joyful. Last weekend I was inspired (by you!) to take some pictures of everyday stuff in my kitchen, trying to capture the happiness that room brings me. It was very satisfying! peaceful and happy captured for prosperity LOL. Thank you and much love!!!

    • Maureen Dunn says:

      This “is” a nice place to hide from the world, isn’t it!!! Don’t let them or it get you down, keep Smiling!! Hugs!

  6. Miss Pat in Indiana says:

    We are fine in Noblesville in spite of the storm. It did keep the kids in school an extra 30 minutes, better safe than sorry. Kids, bus drivers, teachers et. al., waited out the storm in the hall ways.
    Your cheerful chickens in party hats are delightful. How lovely to giggle with you on this dreary Saturday morning. As always, you make my heart smile.

    • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

      Miss Pat -
      Love Noblesville! We used to go to the Amish Country Market at the fairground sponsored by the Julian Center in Indianapolis. Don’t know if they still hold it. Wonderful crafts people and terrific atmosphere!
      Glad to hear that the storms didn’t strike you! Hope the folks in Carmel are also ok!

  7. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan~these cupcake toppers are adoreable! And look so easy to make!! I can’t wait to find them on your store along with that recipe, it sounds so yummy! You always stir up memories for me in your writings…smile. We use to visit some older friends and ‘she’ always had fresh carrot cake bars on the table, (that she made for her husband!) And her husband would always say WE baked these this morning….which she would reply…what’s this WE stuff? lol

    You do such an amazing job with your camera..so professional! smile… Your Joe reminds me of my Tom…as I take pictures of “everything”….isn’t the digital world amazing?

    Blessings,
    Gert

  8. Oh, Susan, these dancing chickens are the cutest ever! I giggled throughout this post — I have chickens myself, and their version of a dance is a waddling run. They are named after “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” characters: Lucy, Ricky, Carolyn Appleby, Mr. Littlefield, Ralph Ramsey, Fred Mertz, Helen Crump, and Thelma Lou. (You will note that their names are NOT Fried, Broiled, or Baked!) There used to be an Ethel and a Mrs. Littlefield, but they were taken by predators awhile back. So sad. But these chickens are lots of fun! They’re great little egg-layers. Each one has a distinctly different personality. Your post today has given me inspiration- I’m going to design some dancing chickens myself! Have a blessed and bountiful day!

  9. Rosinda says:

    Hello dear Susan!

    Thank you for this adorable play time post! I just love your little dancing chick picks. The carrot cupcakes look darling anywhere you put them and the banana fritters…oh my! You always inspire me. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! xoxo

    Rosinda from Ontario, Canada

  10. Sandra says:

    tres chic chicks.

    sorry, couldn’t resist (now ducking and running for cover!)

    • Dorothy Ann says:

      Hi Sandra! O.K. Now we all know who the “Cute & Funny” Girlfriend is in our group of girlfriends! You! with your clever comments…”tres chic chicks…ducking and running for cover” Indeed!

      Loved your reply and I just had to “peep in here” to tell you that!
      Have a wonderful weekend…
      * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  11. Sheila Brazzell says:

    Susan,
    The first thing I thought of when I saw the dancing chickens was Willard. I ran to my desk and sure enough there they were dancing around the last Willard. I may ahave to make cupcakes for Easter! Thank you for the banana fritter recipe. Bananas are my favorite.
    Sheila from South Carolina

  12. Roseann Davis-Yurasits says:

    Hi Susan!
    First, of course, a big thank you for the tour around via a chicken’s back, such a perch to peek into all your rooms! Now here’s something to share with you and all the girlfriends too! Use the little chick sticks and poke them in a wreath, plant them in a pot of oxtail clovers too, sweetness and smiles for all! Baskets Full of Joy to Share, Roseann

  13. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Susan~these chicks are beyond adorable! May you, and the Girlfriends, be safe with this unusual weather pattern swirling around the country. Rainy and cloudy, today and tomorrow, in Williamsburg. The perfect day to be in comfy house clothes and write in my new Address Book (Susan, it arrived yesterday, and I love it!) with a pot of tea sitting close by. Ahhhh, I’m in my glory! I’m only going to break for lunch for a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomatoe basil soup. I wish you all a cozy weekend.

    Susan, thanks for always sharing your special goodies wtih us.

    Bliss!
    Marie xo

    • Cathy McC. says:

      Hello Marie — I have found a kindred spirit in Williamsburg — grilled cheese and tomato basil soup are right up there on my list of ultimate comfort foods. Pleased to meet you!! My weekend has been cozy as I’m loving up my precious granddaughter in central Indiana. Hope you are just as cozy!

  14. Tracy says:

    Good morning from Tracy in Central Illinois – the chickens are just too cute! They made me smile. And I LOVE the SPRING banner … is that available for purchase? Have a great weekend – don’t blow away! <3

  15. Audrey Patterson says:

    Wow!!!What a great idea and a wonderful way to dress up a party table the options are unlimited. My friend Bonnie made me”THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED CHICk- IN- CHARGE- OF- FUN ” but after following your blog for some months, I now believe that you should be officially named
    THE ALL AMERICAN CHICK-IN-CHARGE-OF FUN.
    You Go Girl!!!!

  16. Susan, if I may and I don’t want to be a downer about life in IN right now because I am such a positive, happy person except today is very difficult for me. It is very dreary here today and I think that might be appropriate to mourn all the loss that Hoosiers are sharing with each other today. I also want to tell you that the love and compassion that the Girlfriends have is so touching and truly touched my heart this morning. I wasn’t going to read the comments earlier and then decided to and some made me actually laugh, you were on the top with your comment about wishing you hadn’t let Joe eat the lobster for a trade with VA, and the one where the husband asked if it was lightning outside because she was taking pictures inside….I wish I could do something for the thousands who are suffering right now to bring some light and happiness into their lives and the only thing I can do is Pray for all of them. It is so hard at times like this to try and understand the “Why” and being a Believer I have to avoid going there. Thank you for this wonderful Blog and to all the Girlfriends suffering with their own issues especially those of you who have had or are going through Cancer…..may the Lord show you Grace and Mercy and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel….be strong and know that you are not alone….we are here for you!!! Love all of You.

  17. ♥Pam♥Michigan says:

    How adorable! I loveeee it! I love the dancing chick toppers; you are amazingly creative. I also like the picture of the little girl holding the bunny in the background sitting on your shelf. May I ask where you got this picture from, or did you draw and paint it yourself?

  18. Tiina says:

    I loved the pictures. It always puts me in a great mood!

  19. Pam - Mtn Home, Idaho says:

    Susan – The fritters look delicious! As a child growing up in Toledo, Ohio my Mom used to make apple fritters. I married in ’69 & Mom passed in ’73. She died way too soon for me to ask all the questions I needed to ask. One of them was how to make apple fritters. This batter for the banana fritters sounds like it would work well with apples, too. I’ll have to try it. I love your blog posts. And I really Do feel like a ‘girlfriend’!!

  20. Nancy says:

    I just wonder if you know just how much happiness you bring to so many people with your thoughtfulness with sharing so many wonderful delights. I want to thank you for sharing the Orange and Chocolate Chip Tea Biscuit recipe. I have made it several times already, sharing them with friends and family. Last weekend the recipe became the first “Bake with Grandma” recipe with my almost-two-year old grandson, Henry. We had a blast! I shall always remember our first baking day together. And he really “got” it. He had fun adding the ingredients and mixing and the totally satisfied look on his face as he tasted what he had helped grandma bake. It was a magical afternoon. Thanks, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Love hearing that story! xoxo

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Nancy~ Hi! I just loved reading this! I cannot WAIT to have that experience with my new grandbaby, Izzy!

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks Debbie! You and Izzy will be baking up a storm in no time. It was honestly one of the highlights of my life with the light of my life, Henry. Have lots of fun with sweet Izzy!

  21. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Just wanted to tell Brenda that I will keep you in my prayers and that you regain your strength really soon! Take care.

  22. Susan, you are hilarious!! What a joyful post about bananas and lobsters, and dancing chickens! That’s why I enjoy coming to visit you so much!!

  23. Jacquelyn Wirthlin .... Las Vegas, Nevada says:

    Those chickens … LOL … I’ve been humming the “Chicken Dance” song for two days and am thinking maybe making and eating cupcakes might be the only way to remove the music from my mind … ( :>) Heartfelt condolences for all those suffering from the terrible storms. Hopefully things will get better soon. Also for the ladies suffering from cancer. Have several very close friends waging battle with it right now. A great weekend to Sue and the Girlfriends.
    Jackie

  24. Terri J says:

    Adorable! And that pansy cupcake with the picket fence is too cute for words.
    I can hardly wait to try the fritter recipe. Should the bananas optimally be a little less than ripe, so they hold up better in frying? (Just wondering, ’cause the ones I have right now, should probably be used RIGHT NOW, if you know what I mean). Happy Saturday!

  25. Frances Fowler says:

    I LOVE your gas stove (and the plateful of yummies on the table in front of it). Spring is made for cupcakes adorned with baby chicks and bunnies!

  26. Alyssa says:

    Yummy!! Love those chickens! What fun! What is the brand of your stove? Does it come in an electric version? Alyssa of Boston Bee

    • sbranch says:

      It’s an old refurbished stove from the 1950′s — the brand is O’Keefe and Merritt — I don’t think it comes in an electric version.

  27. {oc cottage} says:

    get out of here!! how sassy & jaunty are
    those little guys! what a riot! ;}

    m ^..^

  28. Betty says:

    Hi Susan!
    There are so many joyous things on your blog and the joy is catching:)
    Thanks for the recipe. They look so yummy, along with everything else!
    Happy almost spring:)
    Betty

  29. Kirsten Anne Wichert of So. Calif. says:

    After reading all the posts, I wanted to come back to say: I make these fritters with apples alot! Instead of powdered sugar I use granulated sugar with cinnamon. Yummy!!!! I chop the apples into small (dice) pieces. They are a favorite.

  30. Kelly J. says:

    Oh Susan, those cupcakes are adorable! I live in Chicken Dance country here in Eastern PA…they’ll be a hit at any party! Thanks for sharing. Of course that song will be stuck in my head all day long…da da da, dadada da, dadada, da da da da!

  31. Sheri says:

    Those dancing chickens are a SCREAM!!!!! Just can’t get any cuter than that! those Banana Fritters are making my mouth water and would be just the thing for a nice cozy breakfast on a cold morning….sadly down here in South Texas we have had the “Winter that never was!” All the trees are budding out and the flowers in their snug little beds are bursting with blooms. Praying we don’t have a surprise last minute freeze to kill all these lovelies. Spent two winters in Minnesota winters and long for those snuggie fires and the big picture window to watch the snow silently and gently falling….perfect time for those fritters! Love your blog and your recipes…give Girl Kitty and Jack a little tickle from me. Lots of HUGS sent your way!!!

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Well, Sheri–we in Minnesota have sort of had The Winter That Never Was, either. We’ve had one 6″ snowfall in St. Paul and that is about it. And temps in 40′s and 50′s now. I’ve noticed buds swelling in the trees in our yard, too, and the chickadees and cardinals are singing their spring songs. I hope this isn’t a permanent change in Winter now but can’t complain about anything when I see the pictures on the news and in the newspapers about Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana, etc. with the tornado activity the past couple of days…I’m praying for strength for all trying to recover something near normalacy there…

  32. Chris Wells says:

    Okay, so I am late to the blog………very late. But I have ordered “the chickens” and everyone at work will be the happy recipients of delicious, and very cute cupcakes….they just don’t know it yet! And they have Susan Branch to thank for it!

  33. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    Its so hard for women to lose their homes and towns. I am sure many people will be praying for all our sisters who are sorrowing.

    I hope that the cheery chics will lighten some woman’s heart, like the wee ones did for me today. I plan to order the toppers/pics and make the cupcakes for Mother’s Day weekend sleepover with my sisters and mom.

    Love and prayers to all.

  34. oh yum!! I can’t wait to try these with the kids! thanks so much, Susan :) I think I have something Rilla will like! yay!

    those cup cake doo-hickey’s are soooo cute!! great for a springtime pick me up :)

    thanks for all you do :)
    love,
    denise of ingleside, pei

  35. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Good Morning Susan! * Just as I typed that…my computer clock clicked to midnight…so it is a new day…Monday…and I hope it will be a wonderful day for you…one where you’ll get to do all the things you want to do today and not the things you should do. (Sounds like fun and a plan for me today too!)

    I just remembered a quote, not sure who wrote it, but here it is:
    “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”.

    I wanted to see if you had a weekend Blog…no…but I did so enjoy re-reading your “Playtime” blog and check on the girlfriends comments too.

    Those darling dancing chickens with their party hats are so cute. I am planning to order the cupcake toppers kit, plus check out any new items you have added to your “web shop”. Oh! I wanted to tell you, I just love the lovely designed gift certificates you offer online too. Sometimes, I don’t know exactly what gift to buy and they are perfect to tuck in a birthday, thinking of you or a get well card for someone to choose for themselves.

    Enjoy your morning cup of tea, Susan
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  36. Sara says:

    Holiday, FL

    After a unexpected cross country trip, where we played in snow one day and battled tornadoes the next, this musica and dancing chickens is a great way to start the day!

    As always well done!

  37. Margot says:

    Thank you for that recipe! I have wondered since 5th grade about banana fritters (and apple fritters too). The kids in my class would come back on Monday talking about the fritters their moms made. What some call fritters looks to me like donut holes with fruit bits. Not good. I like your carrot muffins too.
    Thanks for sharing your party diary. Nice memories. I am glad the weather is crummy, as I am getting ready for company.
    My husband was teasing me yesterday that he bought me an “Island”. I got a butcher block island for my kitchen. Finally, more space!
    Margot from VA by way of WI and NH.

    • sbranch says:

      Something new to decorate!

    • Dorothy Ann says:

      * Hi Margot from VA…by way of WI and NH *
      Dorothy, Girlfriend from Cougar Mountain, Washington signing on…to thank you for telling me who wrote that quote in my note to Susan.
      “Don’t put off’til tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”.

      That quote is indeed from Mark Twain. You are correct!

      I enjoyed reading your reply to Susan…also a 3/5 post…”Susan’s Playtime Blog”). You wrote of the “Island” that your husband bought for you. A new butcher block island! How wonderful…And, just think, you won’t need a boat to go around it! Enjoy!
      * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washingtom *

  38. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Mornin’! I introduced you to another watercolor artist yesterday! We had a “Paint In” at our Camellia Show, & they all painted camellias! Jeannine’s beautiful style reminded me of you & yours! Have a great week! ♥&xo

  39. What is the best way to promote, coax and otherwise delight my pals into reading your blog? (from my own blog) I tried to write about your latest posts and all I wanted was to throw some of your art work up. How do you want us to do this? I have a pretty decent following… but want to present you how you’d like to be presented. Ideas?

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you Amanda . . . I think by just saying what you think and then giving a link to my website that they can click on. You can use something from my blog for this if you would like! Very sweet of you to want to bring your friends over! They will be very welcome!

  40. I am a first grade teacher and the students that are coming to me from kindergarten are no longer learning handwriting in kindergarten. We are not given time to teach handwriting in first grade. You should see the messy writing that I am getting. For someone who attended catholic school where good handwriting was expected, it has nearly driven me crazy. I have a center for just handwriting. I put colorful pencils, markers, paper and cards in the center to draw the students to that center. It also helps that they are required to go to that center twice a week! I must say the writing is getting better. I understand from my upper grade teachers that they will not be teaching cursive handwriting. How sad is that?

  41. Cheryle Perry says:

    Hi Susan,
    You once again have sparked lots of memories (since we’re about the same age helps) and given me new things to ponder. You are an !amazing! person-artist-friend, etc, etc

  42. gerri michaels says:

    Your blogs are so colorful, charming and inspiring. Your recipes look wonderful. I especially love the blogs that show Girl Kitty and Jack. Thanks Susan for taking the time to inspire others. Your fan, Gerri

  43. Leslie Gammelgaard says:

    I have my Girl Scout badges too…some some still ready to sew on. Wonder how that happens…little girls grow up when their mother’s backs are turned? I lived in Reseda until I was almost 7 then we moved to Sacramento where my mom was the Brownie leader and later the Girl Scout leader. BTW…My parents bought their first house in Reseda in 1950 for $6000!!!

  44. Maureen Dunn says:

    Oh recipes, picket fences, kittens and the same tea set—wait the same tea set wow!!! That blew me away—whoosh– such a great way to relax and leave reality!!
    Thank you Susan—and Thanks to all the kind girls on here—Best Club “ever”!!!
    Smiles!!!
    Maureen

  45. Maureen Dunn says:

    Ohh duh—Happy St Patricks Day!!! May the Road Rise to Meet Y’all–ok I’m from NC–lol

  46. Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! Have a blessed day! I am making Irish bread to celebrate today. Never made it before so hope the luck of the Irish is with me!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Good luck! Lowely, my girlfriend from two doors over, just came for tea and brought delicious Soda Bread which we toasted and buttered and had with our tea!

  47. Natalie from Washington DC says:

    Hi Susan, Guess what my birthday is April 12th also! I was excited to know we share a birthday. I will be 50 this year and decided that I needed something special to top my cupcakes and popped over to order the dancing chicken cupcake kit…then I saw the Brit cupcake kit! Arghhh, can’t decide which cupcake kit to order! Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a British Drinks Birthday Party? For appetizers, I could serve mini fish & chips, mini beef wellingtons and other Brit favorites (including Baby Cham)! Like you, I love, love England and would go every chance I got when I was in my 20s (way back in the 1980s). I would stay with my childhood pen pal friend from Brighton and then just go all over the place from there—BritRail was amazing in those days. I was able to go back to England in 2008 with my sister in law. We had a blast! We would get up when the sun came up and didn’t stop until evening when we would stop by the Waitrose across the street from our hotel and picked up a bottle of bubbly and canapés for dinner every night. We also got to see all of the Queen’s ball gowns that were on display at Buckingham Palace—so beautiful! You can view the dresses here if you are interested: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/microsites/dressfortheoccasion/default.asp So happy you are getting to go back to England. Your trip sounds heavenly. I have always wanted to go to England via a large ocean liner. What a fabulous hubby you have to suggest going as a birthday present! Happy Happy Early Birthday to You. Cheers, Natalie

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