Monthly Archives: December 2013

Castle Cake

January is cake time in our family. My youngest has a birthday and we have fun making elaborate cakes. For his 4th birthday he asked for a castle cake with a princess coming out of it. Thought you’d like to … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Cakes and Costumes, Celebrating Holidays | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Castle Cake

  1. Holy Toledo – that’s FANTASTIC!

    Ahoy Matey, I’m looking forward to photos of the pirate ship!

    May 2014 be filled with simple, slow moments that nourish your soul.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thank you, Laurie. I’ll let you know what the pirate ship looks like. Maybe we could use tootsie rolls for cannons.

  2. You’re one cool mom, Heather! If my mom had made a cake for me like that when I was four, I might have keeled over from excitement right then and there.

    No tips for a pirate ship other than don’t try to make tall masts or yardarms from cake.(duh) I’d use colored straws or thin wooden dowels.

    Happy New Year.


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      I was thinking of pretzel rods for the masts and bowsprit and maybe yards as well. Still debating about the sails…

  3. Katie says:

    Funny that I read this post today, because I just got cleaning out some old picture albums and found a picture of a hamburger shaped cake that I made for my brother’s birthday when I was taking a Wilton cake decorating course. I made two 8″ round yellow cakes for the buns, then frosted them. I made a 8″ chocolate for the “burger” and edged the top of that with some red and green for the “lettuce” and “ketchup”. It looked pretty good!

  4. jenifer says:

    Great cake! When my princess-obsessed daughter turns 4 in September, I’ll have to pull it out. Then again, maybe I can wow her with a minimized version when her sister turns 1 in February. 🙂

    Could you use wontons for sails? Maybe brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar?

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Have fun with your birthday castles! Ooh – and thanks for the sail idea. Never would have thought of that.

  5. Angela says:

    Could you please send me the recipe for the cake?
    That would be great!

New Discoveries and Read Along

Last week my writing group met for a joint book signing at a local bookstore.  We call ourselves the Powerfingers.  And indeed we lived up to the name this month – between us we signed two book deals and a … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, Parenting with Renegade Rules, Good Reads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

10 Responses to New Discoveries and Read Along

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    Wow, Heather, thanks bunches. You are so right; we can’t do it alone. The writing may start in the attic, but in short order, we (and most writers) are at that communal table, turning to a few key people for those essential perceptions of the all-important Reader. Plus it’s fun. Thanks for doing this.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yes, life is indeed a dance between solitude and community. So glad you’re part of my writing community.

  2. Cari Noga says:

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. It occurred to me recently how there are five of us, and five fingers on a hand, which curls up into a fist. Nice metaphor for the smashing impact we have on each other’s work, and hopefully on readers, too.

  3. Heather – Oh what a fun introduction to your PowerFinger cohorts and for sharing their books as well. Write on!

  4. I have your book – got it just a few days ago. It’s a book I want to give to family, friends, and schools. And I’m only half way through it. Thank you for writing it!

  5. Julie says:

    Hi Heather,

    Is there a way to find preschools following your renegade rules in Massachusetts?


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Julie – Hmm…I will have to put that question out to readers. Thanks to readers, I now know of some fantastic play-based preschools in Iowa, Connecticut, California, Ohio, etc. Let’s see what we can find out.

Let Kids Change your Mind

I’ve never been a fan of coloring books. As a child I don’t remember liking them, and as an adult they always seemed to me to stifle imagination. Boy, I was wrong. I can tell I was wrong because a … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Let Kids Change your Mind

  1. Heather – You’ve hit the nail on the head in this post:
    Not much is written in stone. Most everything has flexibility — wiggle room.

    I resonate with your wise observation: “Healthy parents change their minds all along the way.” And the attached caveat: “The key is to change your mind for good reasons.”

  2. Jan Waters says:

    Heather, I forbid coloring books in my house because Janet and Lee forbid them! However my kids at least once saved their allowance to buy a coloring book. I too learned from my kids and now I say moderation in all things! Jan

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Ah, wise woman. Coloring books do exist for a reason, we just need to keep making sure it’s a child’s reason. Good for you!

  3. Katie says:

    I have heard from another person about the anti-coloring book philosophy and personally I don’t get it. I LOVED coloring in coloring books growing up and I was the kind of girl who outlined everything perfectly and then colored it in “the way it was supposed to be” (probably the start of my controlling, neat freak nature). I’m all for creativity, but sometimes coloring is just fun coloring.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Just plain fun – you said it. Thanks for sharing your story and standing up for coloring books!

  4. My son loved the Dover coloring books that had good information as well as great pics to color. I also love the Susan Stryker Anti-coloring books, which allows the kids to fill in most of the drawing and gives them tons of creative ideas about things to draw.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Emily, thanks for writing. Yes, the Dover books are great and now we have a small stack of them. Thanks for sharing the “anti-coloring books.” Those are new to me!

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