Favorite Things: Spooky Cake

What’s there not to like about Spooky Cake?


We call it Spooky Cake but I found my original recipe (from 1996!), and it apparently was called “Ghosts in the Graveyard.” It was fun to make together when my children were young.  Once they  went away to college, I continued the tradition and sent the ingredients so they could make it with friends. I substituted the box of pudding with already made pudding cups and used Peeps instead of cool whip (sorry original recipe!)

Our cakes don’t turn out as nice as the professionals but they sure taste great!


 Our first Spooky Cake. I’m not sure why we put lollipops on it…


Spooky Cake: The College Version


We got a little more sophisticated.


Variations on a Theme: Doors


I am noticing that themes exist within the towns I have visited. Some are organized, like the Miles of Mules project, and others seem to be more of a neighborhood “thing,” like the mailboxes on a Key Largo street that were all fantastic!

After we left the Corning Museum of Glass, my husband and I decided to check out the town of Corning and maybe get an early dinner. As we walked up and down the downtown street I kept stopping to admire the front doors.

This is what I saw.


Orange Door


Green Door


Blue Door (with cool MAIL door)


Wood Door


Skinny Door


Wide Door


Avocado Door!


I’ll drink to that- where is that coaster of mine?

Destination Inspiration: Corning Museum of Glass

I’m not sure but I think I may be a genius.

(Well, that may be an overstatement but for a moment I allowed myself to think that. It may just be that I am topical! )

Let me explain.

We went to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York this past weekend, and I experienced a moment when I was wonderstruck, astonished and, yes, reverential.


Contemporary Art + Design Wing Entrance


My pictures couldn’t fully convey the experience. When I  turned the corner to enter the Contemporary Art +Design Wing,  it took my breath away. As Kristy Wenz described, “with its stark white walls and abundance of natural light, the glass art stuns and radiates.”

I was stunned. (Well said, Ms. Wenz.)

When I came home from our trip, this was waiting for me.

CM Parade Awe Cover.jpg

And that’s when I wondered if I might just be a genius, because  I haven’t stopped telling people, including total strangers on our trip, to go to this museum and see it for themselves. Turns out, I wasn’t just giving them travel advice, I was enriching their lives. Go figure!

My visit reinforced how sometimes small things bring about grand feelings. The miracle of people throughout history taking liquid sand and using it to create beautiful, purposeful objects was inspiring and heartwarming.  Taking the time and effort to beautify everyday objects elevates us all.


Ancient glasswork


As I wandered through the exhibits, I wanted to go out and make things. I loved the patterns, colors, and the care that went into the pieces and the museum itself.



Of course, I found a bench!



Glass blowing

I plan to respond to the call and continue to be awed!

In Production: Beta Testing Results In!




Turns out beta testing is very fun.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Test Subject: Avocado Delight

CM coasters Fotor

Brand Spanking New


“Tequini” from See, Mix, Drink by Brian D. Murphy– Delicious!


“Poolside Bar”






Drying out

Check out this slideshow to see the places we beta tested our coasters. Secondary results indicate that all restraurants were terrific! We highly recommend each of them if you visit Northern Michigan!

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It was fun to see the reaction of our servers when they brought out our drinks- They universally noticed them and liked them!


In summary, the coasters were up for the thorough testing we gave them. They traveled well, supported our drinks well, got the right kind of attention and even survived a dip in a lake!

Test Subject 2: Alter Ego

 I saw these icons on my brother and sister-in-law’s  Netflix opening screen. Each person in the household had their own Netflix profile picture that they chose. I thought it would be fun for each person to be represented on a coaster so I made these as a birthday present for my wonderful sister-in-law.



Testers reported that the coasters were being used and holding up to the rigors of heavy drinking…no, I don’t think that is what was said. They work well.

Final results: Success!  

(Also, testing indicates that I tend to order wine and my husband orders beer.)

If you would like to do your own “product testing” check out our Etsy Store!