About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in glorious western Massachusetts.

Belle Oreo Cookies and Weekend Update

So what comes first – the chicken or the egg? The recipe or the weekend update?

Today, we have some of this:


And some of this!

Family Activities

Maybe you’re here for both? I’m TOTALLY here for both. I try, probably too hard, to appeal to everyone and to make everyone like me. I realize how unrealistic that is, but it’s super funny that someone too sensitive for criticism has become a mother, a photographer, and a blogger. The joke’s on me! The funny thing also, is that I just came here to share a recipe, but then decided I’d come here to share a weekend update (after my third fantastic, Monday-morning-missing-it weekend in a row), and I just started talking. Some things will never change. Some things shall never change. And Happy Monday morning to you.

Scarlet took this, right before the Dalek in the background came for me.

Let’s talk weekend, ok? Yes! On Friday night, I took Scarlet to see Beauty and the Beast with her best friend’s family. It was so crowded that we sat in the third row, and I could swear I was going to get motion sick from all the sweeping and swirling views, but I was fine! To be fair, I don’t get motion sick – or never have, unless it’s the wrong car at the wrong time in the wrong mood, OR, if it’s simulation stuff. Orlando is full of that stuff on rides. It makes my ears and head feel kinda funny.

The movie, though? I gasped and loved my way through it. It’s magic and insight. I recommend it!

We're celebrating the release of #BeautyandTheBeast and will be for ages to come. These Belle Oreo cookies are a hit #craft and #recipe for the #family #DIY

On Friday, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day the way we do in the US! Which means I have no idea if it bears even a slight resemblance to how it’s done in Ireland. Cassidy and I turned the toilet water green and hid chocolate coins, chocolate shamrocks, and green M&Ms in fun places throughout the house. By now the kids have discovered all of them – in their shoes, in coat pockets, on sinks, in the cups in the cupboard, under chairs, in their backpacks, and even in Des’ underwear!

family activities

On Saturday morning, we went to a sugar shack just in the next town. For those of you not in New England or Canada – or wherever else they pop up – a sugar shack is where sap is boiled down to maple syrup. In March, during sugaring season, some sugar shacks open up as breakfast restaurants just for 4-6 weeks or so. It’s all about the syrup, but there’s more on the menu than just pancakes. I’m pretty sure I’m taking them to a buffet-style sugar shack next weekend. Won’t you join us?

sugar shack

Des wants you to know he got new light-up shoes over the weekend:

light up shoes

On Saturday afternoon, I took both kids to Scarlet’s best friend’s bowling birthday party and was able to sneak out and meet Cassidy for errands. Scarlet can finally bowl without the ball slide. AND she got a strike! She had a sleepover on Saturday night and when I came back from dropping her off, I found out that Athena had cut her leg on a fence. She was so sad and when she cried out in pain, it made Des cry. Cassidy and I made the fast decision to call the vet’s answering service and then take her to a 24/7 vet hospital. They sedated and stitched her, and she was back home by 10pm. I was so sad I couldn’t eat.

She’s feeling better now and her bandage is off.

Sunday was the big day. We got an all-day sitter, who even took the kids to Friendly’s! Cassidy and I went on a day date to Boston to attend a reception featuring the works of illustrator Ed Sorel. They are being featured at the Boston University Archival Center. Jules Feiffer gave a beautiful speech, without using notes. If you don’t know these names, Google them! Chances are that you have seen their beautiful works. Ed Sorel is Cassidy’s mom’s cousin. Seeing family warmed the heart.

Ed Sorel, Jules Feiffer

Since we had an all-day sitter, we dressed up and left early. We shopped and had lunch at Beat Brasserie – easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had. And the service was fantastic too.

And that brings me to my next point:


We're celebrating the release of #BeautyandTheBeast and will be for ages to come. These Belle Oreo cookies are a hit #craft and #recipe for the #family #DIY

This is a recipe, a craft and a family activity all in one. You really can’t beat that! As usual, it looks harder than it is, and if you want your kids to help, they’ll have a ball eating all the icing. Ok, maybe just my kids. I provided a list of Amazon resources below – they are not affiliate links. They are just there to help! Let me know how yours turn out! Take pictures!

Eat icing too! Everyone wins.

Belle Oreo Cookies

Yield: 1 dozen

Belle Oreo Cookies


  • Cookie mold (found on Amazon by Cybrtrayd)
  • 12 regular Oreo cookies
  • 12 oz. Wilton yellow candy melts
  • 12 Wilton sugared red roses
  • Wilton white icing gel
  • White sugar pearls


  1. Warm the yellow candy melts in a double boiler over medium heat
  2. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth
  3. Transfer to a small microwave-safe bowl for easier handling
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of the melted yellow candy into each of the molds (12 total)
  5. Place an Oreo cookie on top of the melted yellow chocolate
  6. Spoon additional melted chocolate on top of each Oreo, up to the fill line
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to completely harden
  8. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper
  9. Gently pop the Oreos out of their molds and place on the lined cookie sheet
  10. With the white icing gel tube, pipe the icing in a scalloped pattern around the diameter of each Oreo
  11. Place a sugared pearl where each scalloped line meets
  12. Apply icing to the middle of each Oreo and place a sugared rose on top
  13. ENJOY!

craft, DIY

family activities



family recipe

party recipe

We're celebrating the release of #BeautyandTheBeast and will be for ages to come. These Belle Oreo cookies are a hit #craft and #recipe for the #family #DIY

Amazon Resources:

Cybrtrayd AO138 Plain Cookie Chocolate Candy Mold with Exclusive Cybrtrayd Copyrighted Chocolate Molding Instructions

Wilton Yellow Candy Melts, 12-Ounce

Wilton 710-1491 8-Pack Rose Icing Decorations, Medium, Red

Wilton White Gel Tube

Wilton Sugar Pearls, White, 5 Oz


We're celebrating the release of #BeautyandTheBeast and will be for ages to come. These Belle Oreo cookies are a hit #craft and #recipe for the #family #DIY

I’m Going To Disney World, Part 6: When I was 11..

When I was 11, I was in sixth grade.

You are getting a picture. Oh, how you are getting a dang picture.

When I was 11, all of the elementary schools were spit together into one school and it was like everyone was tossed up in the air and then landed on a different side. Sixth grade was the year I faked sick so much that by November, I had hit the allotted number of days you’re allowed to take off for the entire year. I’m pretty sure I was not really sick even one of those days.

When I was 11, and in sixth grade, I once flushed the toilet with the door open and then ran to drag my mom back to the bathroom to show her (the lack of) evidence that I had just thrown up. When anyone who knew me, and very much my mom, knew that I don’t throw up. It was also the year I prayed to the gods and goddesses that I could just break my ankle or my wrist or something drastic but not too drastic. Nothing as bad as throwing up but something that could make me miss school.

When I was 11, I decided that sixth grade could really kill you, but I didn’t die. I didn’t die.

When I was 11, I knew for sure I had lost my childhood best friend, but..

When I was 11 I made new odd duck friends like me – floaters and free spirits.

When I was 11, I had the most awful perm, and the chemicals were in my top three worst smells of all time (don’t ask what the other two were because I don’t want to remember). Also, the perm didn’t grow out for THREE LONG YEARS.

When I was 11, the hit song on the radio was “Tears in Heaven” and while I knew it was about the loss of Clapton’s son, that was a pain I couldn’t wrap my head around. (still can’t) I thought it was about my father. Would he know my name?

Would he help me stand, if I saw him in heaven?

When I was 11, my grandfather took three of us (mom, older sister, me) to Disney World and it was my first time staying at the resort there. It was my first time staying past dark – to see the electrical parade and the fireworks. It was my first time having tear-inducing rides fears, and it has stayed with me for a long time. You may say that I broke that curse recently.

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

I LOOOOOOVE breaking curses.


When I was 36, I didn’t understand how on earth anyone survives being 11, or survives parenting an 11-year-old, because my kids are so young and seemingly unruffled, and dear God, if you thought I was bad then at fighting injustice, inequality, intolerance, and bullying. (and I was BAD. I have stories that come out in therapy..) Well. You didn’t yet meet the Mama Bear version of all of that. 11. I’m glad I’m not there anymore/yet. I’ll work my way there, slowly and surely, if you don’t mind.

When I was 11


Now, where were we? This day. THIS day.

I know it’s been awhile since Part 5. We had a really terrific time at Hollywood Studios – getting autographs, watching the light show and fireworks, and falling asleep in an exhausted heap at our “Lightning McQueen Hotel.” It rocked! The big prize for most of us is Magic Kingdom, though. We slept through the night and woke up to another beautiful day in Orlando. We had a decent breakfast at our resort and headed to the park! We were early and it was delightful! The train was under construction, so after we passed through friendly security (somehow) we could stand near the castle until the gates opened.

There was a good morning show, and we switched cameras with other families to get complete family pictures.

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

Then we were IN! We had a few things for FastPASS, but all scheduled in the afternoon. This was by design. We got to the park before the gates opened, and we’re fairly fast (most of us), so we had a goal in mind after our walk through Main Street.

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

..all to make it to our destination! Who is Scarlet admiring?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not this one, although there was mutual admiration there too:

When I was 11.. is the Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF) prompt on this wonderful #StPatricksDay. Link up and read about our annual trip to #WaltDisneyWorld

Next up, I’ll give you a hint. Actually, I’ll just tell you because I’m good like that. It’s Elena of Avalor! Next up – princess meetings, clamshell bras, admiration, a first roller coaster for at least two of us, and TONS of MAGIC.

Link up!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When I was 11 years old…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.