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31 January 2011

Valentine's Day Link up!

Because I need HELP! 2 years now that I have barely done any Valentine's day stuff, last year we had surgery coming up and I was stressing! This year I am still in full Birthday mode!
So feel free to link up YOUR favorite Valentine's Day Projects, craft, food.. whatever! I just need a little kick to get me started!



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30 January 2011

Seriously Cute Sandal Find!

I have had an addiction to Gymboree for a few years now, slowly breaking the habit, very slowly. But one thing I LOVED about their stuff was that they had matching stuff for every outfit, from hair clips to underwear, shoes and purses. Shoes are so hard for me to splurge on because they just don't last and are usually $30! I have been buying plain white sandals for our daughter every summer, this year my usual places have NONE! They all have flowers, or color on them, it is just too hard to match everything she wears unless they are plain white.



These sandals have changed everything!
The cute little bow, see it? It is changeable, which means all those outfits that would really be perfect with matching shoes can finally have matching shoes and we won't be blowing our budget! I already buy matching hair bows (usually on etsy or ebay) so I am not spending much more than I would anyway! These are also squeaky (but don't have to be) and the last summer I think they will fit here. Found these on ebay, searched add a bow white sandal! They also make these in Mary Jane's!


The ones I got are on sale for another 12 hours or so, under 16 shipped! Target can barely beat that!

Been working on making sure the kids summer wardrobes are all ready so I can grab what I need on sale!




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28 January 2011

Valentines

Finally had a few extra nap time minutes to work on our kindergartners valentines!
I actually BOUGHT a pack just in case I didn't get to these, that is how busy it has been here!
There are less than 20 kids in his class so it isn't TOO much work, and I know he is excited to help with them!  Here are a few






Yeah, they don't look too special do they?!
Well they aren't, you have to add a CUTE kid to make them fun!


SEE, much better once you add the kid!

I am making the lips for the girls and some muscratches (what our older kids call mustache) for the boys! Just need to find the brown paper around here somewhere, maybe nap time on Monday I can get those done!

They are really easy to do too!
I drew half of these then traced it and flipped it over so they were symmetrical (well more symmetrical than I can draw)  then I cut the whole lips out, traced it as many times as I could on my paper and cut them out, cut a little x in the middle where the sucker needed to go and put the sucker through!


Linking up here
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27 January 2011

Ric Rac LOVE!

Aesthetic Nest shared these today!! SO cute!
These are ADORABLE! And look pretty easy!




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Winter Hot Chocolate

The kids have been having hot chocolate here a couple times lately
Hearts and Melted Snowmen





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26 January 2011

Muffin Top Cookies~Banana Nut




Everyone knows the best part of the muffin is the top, some company was even smart enough to make a pan that JUST makes muffin tops. I don't have one of those, so I made some changes to my regular Banana Nut Bread recipe to try it out cookie style! Turned out amazing, the kids LOVE them!

Ingredients
1/2 C softened butter
1C Sugar
1/4C Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
3 ripe bananas
1 1/4 C AP flour
1 C Oat Flour (or whole wheat, whatever you have I am sure will work)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or you can do clove and nutmeg, whatever you have)
1C (or more if you like) Chopped Walnuts

~Directions~

Preheat Oven to 350*
Line Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper (if you have it, I did mine without and they turned out just fine)

Combine butter and sugars well, until fluffy.
Mix in egg and white to mixture, and vanilla

In a seperate bowl
Mash bananas
Sprinkle baking soda over them
let sit while you mix dry ingredients

In another bowl
Combine Flours, salt and spices.

Combine bananas with sugar and butter mixture until well combined.
Then add flour mixture.
Once combined fold in nuts.

 I used a cookie scoop to drop them on the cookie sheet in little circles, I did 8 at a time because I wasn't sure how much they would spread.
bake for about 14 minutes, let cool before transfering.


They are SO good! The kids love them and they ARE just like the muffin tops!  Hoping there will be some left after our visitors today so I can freeze them! If they freeze well, I'll let y'all know!


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1 More Sneak!


I wasn't planning on decorating the front door for the birthday party but then I hadn't put any Valentine's Day stuff on it either, and I had some extra stuff around. So here it is! I just hope all the stuff makes it.. the kids are just a *little* excited and wanting to wear all this stuff!




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22 January 2011

Birthday Party Sneak!

Our oldest 2 are 2 years and 1 day apart so they share a party (this might be the last year of that) Its a little tricky sometimes to find themes AND stuff that works for both of them. This year we they wanted a cowboy and cowgirl party. There are lots of blue and green and pink stuff around but I have never been a fan of the "sets" and really none of those colors work for us. Red is Ramsey's favorite color and Carsyn likes aqua enough that it would work for her..So decided on those 2 colors with some brown too!
Although I feel about 4 months behind on this party, not sure how that happened, I am slowly getting stuff ready and finding exactly what I am looking for about half the time! 2 weeks is coming SO SOON!!
So far I have made some cupcake pics
And got Carsyn's dress ordered, she will get it as her birthday present (a few days before the party) and she can wear it to her party. I LOVE this dress. I have about 15 pages of favorites on ETSY and was waiting until the last minute to order because I didn't LOVE any of them, I went to order one and decided to search 1 more time.. and there it was, PERFECT and within my budget, newly listed on etsy!

This is the sellers picture since we don't have it yet, but I am SO excited about how cute this is, Carsyn will LOVE it!
She still has this dress available HERE!

I have a whole lot of treats to plan for and make, order and HOPE stuff gets here in time!
I love party favors but I try to keep candy and the regular toys to a minimum. I have a couple CUTE ideas for this party and really hope all the supplies get here in time!

I might have 1 more little sneak peak to share in a few days!


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19 January 2011

Ready for a little Spring already!

And birds and nests just seem very Springy to me!
I thought this was a little crazy last year, but I loved them! She doesn't really wear this style of clip right now because she got a pretty short hair cut so pig tails aren't happening.


Picture by Michelle @ Casual Camera Photography
And please don't mind the cupcake crumbs in her hair :)

 I missed these SO much that I had to do SOMETHING!
Headbands ARE working right now.. so I made this one!




Wish I could get her to wear it everyday. Guessing she didn't want to wear it today.. since I found this


~He doesn't seem to mind~
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18 January 2011

Groundhog Day Sweetness

Ive never really done anything for Groundhog Day.. and I still probably won't because it is our oldest's Birthday!!  But I saw this and thought I would share because it is for sure something I would do!!
These almost too cute to eat Groundhog Pudding Cups!! Found HERE. So easy! Pudding cup, oreo's, nilla wafer, almonds and a little chocolate for his face!


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CSN.. and some awesome Duvet Covers!

Ive learned a lesson about bedding.. buying the same size bedding as you have bed just doesn't work for me.. I need to size up! I love our bedding now, sure I can't get it again but CSN has SO many Modern Duvet Covers that I have already spied a few I could use without having to repaint!
This is my fave!
And if you haven't used CSN before.. let me tell you they have AMAZING shipping compared to the other places online I used to check first to shop, it seems like a 1-2 week delivery.. I got our toaster in less than 2 full days from CSN!  And they have SO much stuff, I found some Pediped toddler shoes, and some adorable sheets with cupcakes on them! They have a little of everything!


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Valentine's Day Graham Crackers.. more like a cookie!

These Graham Crackers  Cookies, are a favorite here, and SO easy to make!


Here is the recipe

Preheat oven to 350*
Chill a foil lined cookie sheet in the freezer while you work

Ingredients
1 C. whole wheat or graham flour 
1/2 C. Oat flour 
1/3 C. + 1 T sugar 
1/2t. Baking soda  
1/3 C. Butter or margarine 
1 t. honey 
1 T. milk

Directions
Sift flours, sugar, and soda in bowl together
Heat butter, honey, and milk until melted together.
Pour into dry ingredients
Stir until smooth
Pat into pan.. the thinner they are the more cracker like they are
bake for 15-20 minutes
Prick with fork as soon as you take them out of the oven
Let cool for a 1/2 hour (NEVER happens here)


Now if you want to add sprinkles, I do that before we bake them! And I especially like the tiny sprinkles!

So cute with the sprinkles!!


I think I could convince my kids these are a better treat than cupcakes!




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15 January 2011

~Big Love Season Premier~

Sunday is the season premier of BIG LOVE!!! We are so excited for the new season, and bummed at the same time since it's the last season. We have plans to watch it at home since it is on late on Sunday's, but this weekend we will probably watch the last few episodes from last season before it starts.. And I decided I would try some new recipes!


I kept hearing about something called Funeral Potatoes.. asked my mom for her recipe and there are a few different recipes online too. I am mixing a little of my mom's recipe with some other recipe's to what sounds best and what I know hubby will eat.

I think this site had the closest to my moms and they look yummy!!


And I am also going to try another new recipe.. it sounds a little scary, but I think it's just the name!

Frog Eye Salad

Found a simple and super yummy looking recipe here



Think we will try this instead of Jell-O salad for dessert.. and if I can't find the pasta, I'll swap it for tapioca.

Who else watches Big Love?
Love Margene's wardrobe?


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12 January 2011

Home Management Binder Section 3: Groceries and Meal Planning


The next section I am working on is groceries and meal planning! One of the first pages in my HMB (it's not even in a section) is our Menu for the week (or 2 weeks)  I just printed this off and it is in a page protector so I can write on it with the dry erase markers and wipe it off if I need to adjust it or every other week when it's old news! The reason I have it in the front (right after my calendar) is because one of the first things I need to do every morning is make sure something doesn't need to be thawed for dinner, so having that right in front of me is just easy!


Since using coupons better this year is one of my goals I have to find a way to fit a easy way to use them in this folder. I went to office depot looking for something and spotted these page protector things that are for baseball cards (I think) but I am using them for COUPONS. Each page has 9 pockets, I can break each page into isles or grocery sections. Health. Dairy, Paper, Meat, Produce, Breakfast, Canned, Frozen and everything else!  I set this up a few days ago and was able to use it already on Sunday! So far so good, and I got a whole pack of these for just a couple dollars so if I get more than 1 page can handle I can use another.
   

Then I have a chart of most of the groceries we buy, the regular price at the 2 grocery stores we go to and sale price that comes up at other stores (to price match). Sometimes you have to buy something even if it is not on sale, but I wanted to have an idea of the lowest price it goes down to so I know when to stock up (and hope I have coupons for it then). I am always adding to this list and adjusting the prices as they go up and down, it is not fun or easy, but I do think it is worth it to really know how much stuff is, it helps me plan our grocery budget. It really is a LOT of work but I have been able to plan a week worth of the most inexpensive meals when needed because I had the handy little chart. It really isn't something that I enjoy AT ALL and you can't really do it from home whenever you want. I think the easiest way for me to keep track of it is to just make a quick note on the price from my receipt and do major updates when I can. 


This part is new for me, a record of what we have stocked up! Some things I can guarantee we will use before it expires so I am trying to keep a couple months worth of our usual groceries, buying them on sale so we can wait if they don't go on sale again for a while. I don't want to just go out and buy it all at once and not get the best deal, so I am slowly buying when stuff is on sale. What we have so far I was able to get most for about 50% off the regular price! Still have a long way to go but I figure if something is on a GREAT sale I can spend $20 out of our grocery budget each pay period and stock up a little. It shouldn't take that long to stock up completely I hope.


I also keep the weekly circulars and my grocery list in the folder pocket.. I make my grocery list on Mondays usually, but then add to it all week as we run out of stuff. I use the circulars to see if anything I need is on sale and take them with me to the store since they price match! I am not a fan of dragging the kids in and out of more than 1 store, especially in this rainy cruddy weather!  I also keep another paper with what I needed from each circular and the coupons they match (if any) and what page they are on.. Nothing is worse than a grumpy checker waiting while you browse the ad's again looking for something :)

I used to have a section for recipe's but honestly I rarely cook from a recipe and when I do it is from a cook book or online.. if it's online I just print it out or bring the laptop over. I have a BIG box of recipes to try someday.. they are organized but I don't need to see them everyday so my HMB is just not the place for them.

The next section is kid stuff! 



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10 January 2011

Football Goodies!


Hubby is a Ducks fan and since the game is tonight I thought I would make some more of the peanut butter pretzel truffles. 3 easy steps with chilling in between each one. So easy!  Crunch up pretzels and mix with PB, chill, shape into little footballs, chill, cover with chocolate (and sprinkles) chill. That is it!  Got one kiddo to help me sort sprinkles (had to have yellow and green and white)
These would be cute for fathers day too if you have a hubby or Dad that is really into football!

already shaped into footballs 
 sprinkles and chocolate chips used
 covered in chocolate and used a few sprinkles for stitches
all done.. but they do melt fast so you might want to keep them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them


Go Ducks!

Last year I made these mini PB Chocolate Cupcakes.. 


I am sure next year will be something else with PB and Chocolate since it's hubby's favorite!

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07 January 2011

Organizing Friday!! The kids dishes.. there are SO many!

I swear they breed!!
We used to keep ALL the kids stuff in the upper cabinets but as the older 2 could reach the bathroom faucet letting them get their own water was fun for them so we moved the cups to a drawer they could reach. 
And our oldest really likes to help with the dishes and setting the table so I decided to move everything where he can reach. 

There was NO room! So many sippy cups and random containers in the drawer that there was no room for anything else! I swear at one point it was really organized but now the baby realllly likes to play in that drawer. (so much that I found a sock, a few lego's and half a package of wipes!)
I went through all the bowls and plates and decided to keep about half of them (the other half are now in the play kitchen, well they are supposed to be, but I have a feeling they will be all over for a few days until the novelty wears off!
Here is the before


During naptime I emptied the drawer and decided we don't really need 12 sippy cups or chopstick helpers!
Our oldest helped me put everything back in, he is SUCH a good helper!
After


All done, and the other cabinets look SO much better now too!
Here is the before

After

Let's hope I can keep Finnley out of the drawer now, his big brother will want to re-organize it everyday if he has the chance!

Next thing I need to organize is..
Birthday stuff! The biggins birthdays are in less than a month and I am not nearly as prepared as I wish I was!



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04 January 2011

I DID remember to take pictures!

first I just crushed the pretzels and mixed with some PB
I didn't use the recipe cause I wasn't making that much.
Actually I filled these halfway first.. just melted white chocolate

Then I filled them up and smooshed them down as much as I could
Let them sit in the fridge a while 
the covered the back with more white chocolate, let that set then popped em out!

Finished




Hope the kids and hubby like them!

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