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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Treats

I had to make something ultra cute for my daughter to take in to her Fall party at school, but I wanted it to be something she could be involved in. The trick now is when sending food in to school for public consumption you cannot send in anything homemade. Too many allergies and other issues to consider. This makes it difficult for a child to "help" make treats. So, I found a cute idea while surfing the internet and we gave it a go. I was very pleased with the results! I cut out the treat boxes with my Cricut using the Batman cartridge. Then I designed and printed the "Spooky S'mores" label and directions on my computer. Makenna then used various pre-made die-cuts to decorate the boxes. Then we placed pre-wrapped bags of Halloween marshmallow and small size, individually wrapped Hershey bars into the boxes. The only tricky part of this treat was the graham crackers. They don't come individually wrapped. We wrapped four squares of grahams into plastic wrap, then copied the ingredients label off the box and printed them out on computer labels and used them to seal the crackers. These got carefully placed into the boxes as well. Makenna took great pride in the fact that she had "made" s'mores for her friends. I love it that she will have these fun memories of making projects with her mama.

Pumpkin Carving

My daughters and I are the pumpkin carvers in the family. The men are just too wimpy to handle the slimy, stinky pumpkin guts. Really, when it comes down to it women are just altogether tougher. Don't you agree? I mean, it HAS to be done. Pumpkins MUST be carved. How could anyone fathom the idea of a Halloween without plunging a knife into a large orange gourd? Anyway, my 5 year old got her pumpkin when her class visited the local pumpkin patch. Upon bringing it home, she immediately "decorated" it with a huge purple sharpie. It looked, well, bad. Really bad. And she knew it. So we had to think of some way to salvage the pumpkin, because using a different one was out of the question-that was THE ONE she had selected. We decided to paint over the mess. The only thing that would cover it was three coats of metallic black acrylic paint- and it looked totally cool. Then she decided she wanted a Batman themed pumpkin. My older daughter did an awesome job of tracing and cutting out the Batman logo for the pumpkin. I have never used pumpkin stencils before, but after seeing the end result of my haunted house stencil I am completely hooked. And my girls and I had a wonderful time together. A stinky, slimy, totally gross and fabulous time together. :)

Big Fat Bacon Sliders

My sweet husband was gone for a week on a business trip and had to eat out for every meal. I wanted to try something new and fun for his first dinner home. I am currently on a huge Pioneer Woman kick, and when I saw these on her blog I knew they were definitely something a man would be happy to come home to. My 19 year old daughter and I made them along with her fried onion straws. They were SO fabulous! Delicious-full of flavor, juicy, filling. COMFORT food. I am having SO much fun getting out of my cooking rut. I swear, for about 5 years I just got in the habit of cooking only a few meals over and over and over again. I was bored and so was my family. I visited the Pioneer Woman's website after seeing an article about her in a magazine. I am completely hooked on her. Not just for the cooking and recipes, but she is so very, very real. She talks about her family, her expanding waistline, her insecurities, her faith. The good, the bad and the ugly. She is not trying to be something she's not. And I think I can learn a lot from someone like that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Weekend

Things have been a little stressful around here lately. Just normal, everyday life stress that everyone experiences from time to time. We just seemed to have more than our fair share packed into one week. We thought we had  sold a vehicle that we badly needed to sell and the people backed out at the last minute, another car broke down, I ended up in the ER with an Angina attack (my first one ever-that really hurt!),and our basement flooded due to a record breaking rainfall Wednesday night. It was crazy! So, my sweet, sweet husband took me to the Cheesecake Factory on Saturday. Such a nice escape. Even though it was only for a few hours, it was so wonderful to remove ourselves from the everyday environment and just "hang out" together. We ate our yummy lunch, our even yummier dessert, and walked around the beautiful Park Meadows Mall. It is an upscale mall. No purchases, only looking, but it was fun. And  do you know what I came home to? A clean house. My ultra-awesome older daughter had babysat for us AND cleaned my house. What a treat! Then Sunday, while hubby was on his last big motorcycle ride of the season, I went grocery shopping for some new menu items I wanted to try. My son came over and hung out with me all afternoon while I cooked. He helped put away groceries, did dishes, and entertained the little one. At the end of the night we had tried two new recipes-both from the Pioneer Woman's website. We had the Marlboro Man sandwich, which was DIVINE. And for dessert, her version of Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce. AMAZING! We were stuffed and happy and all the stress of this past week was gone. Amazing what a little good company and good food can do to your attitude. It helped me get my perspective back-even though there are circumstances beyond my control, I have a lot to be thankful for, and things could certainly always be worse. As long as I have my family and food in my belly, life is good. Bliss!
Check out the Pioneer Woman's website!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autumn Mini Album

I got to do a little crafting! Woot, Woot! This is the video of a simple Autumn Mini Album that I did. Have I told you Autumn is my favorite season? LOL I Loooooooooooovvvvveeeee it! Can you hear me singing?
Anyhoo.....enjoy! TFW!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Autumn Decor

I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted. This last year has seemed so hectic! How can it be Autumn time again? My baby started Kindergarten a few weeks ago-definitely bittersweet. It's so sad to think, she is already five years old and does not need her mama 24/7. But on the other hand, Praise the Lord, she is five years old and does not need her mama 24/7!! Ha! I have three precious hours every afternoon to myself. For the first week, I confess, I was lost! I had no idea what to do with actual blocks of time dedicated to myself. There is only so much house to clean and laundry to do. Shopping is not really an option since our budget is fairly limited. Ah, then I remembered. What were those things I really used to enjoy? Oh yes! Hobbies! Like, decorating and scrapbooking. Could it be that I could actually do those things again? So, I started by digging out decorations for my favorite season-Fall. I did a little bargain shopping at HomeGoods (my absolute favorite store for home decor) and Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Gotta love those internet coupons! I also got my new Scentsy order in, so my house smells divine-like pumpkin marshmallow. I did a little baking. And I did an Autumn mini-album which I will be posting in the next few days. So, nothing super-spectacular here, but I am sharing pics of my feeble attempts at getting the house ready to welcome Autumn. It felt so good getting my decorating mojo going again. Thanks for looking!