Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mmmm Cheesecake Puddin

Happy Wednesday!!  While at the store this week I was in the baking aisle and saw this:

Hmmm, cheesecake pudding.  Now that sounds tasty!  (As usual, I may have said this out the store...I really need to work on that)  Since this delightful instant pudding only takes 2 minutes to whisk up, I tried it out today.  Oooh it's yummy.  Not what I would call traditional cheesecake, and I wouldn't use it as a stand in for the real thing, but it is yummy.  Especially when one adds some black raspberries and crushed graham crackers parfait-style.  Or so I've heard.  I would never make such a tasty dessert for just me.  No...not me...  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to hide the evidence clean up the kitchen :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homemade Bread

Happy Tuesday!!  Have you heard of the book 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day'?  I read about it in a magazine years ago, but it wasn't until last week that I finally checked it out of my local library.  It sounds simple enough - mix everything up...let it rise...stick it in the fridge...cut off a hunk and bake it.  I've tried my hand at a little bread making with mixed results.  But this recipe, this recipe is AMAZING.  I seriously had my doubts that dough I stuck in the fridge would bake up so delicious.  But, in the words of the hubs, "This is the BEST bread that I have ever eaten.  Period."  And the hubs knows bread (and was not just flattering me - when it comes to food, the hubs pulls no punches).  Here's my first loaf in all it's delicious, crusty glory...

I can't wait to try all the variations!  I may never buy bread at the farmer's market again......I might fill my fridge with bread dough and start a bakery out of my kitchen... Or I might just bake some yummy bread every so often :) 

My only regret is that I didn't check this book out sooner or I could have gifted an amazing loaf of bread along with the freezer jam a few weeks ago.  If you like bread and haven't checked out this book, I highly recommend it.  If you've tried some of the varieties, I'd love to hear what you liked (and any that you didn't).  And here's another shot of the bread (I couldn't help was just so photogenetic!)

hubba hubba

Monday, June 28, 2010

Patriotic Fun

Happy Monday!!  Wow, I can't believe that the 4th of July is this coming weekend!  To introduce Munchkin to the fun of Independence Day, this week's Munchkin Theme is Fourth of July.  I was surprised to find several books about the Fourth of July.  He's still too young to understand the true significance of the day, but not to have some patriotic fun!  Here's our line up for this week...

Letter of the Week: F
Creative, Crafty, Sensory Fun:

Extra Fun:
Our city's annual Regetta is the Fourth of July weekend, so we'll be headed down to that for some afternoon fun.  Then back to the suburbs for evening festivites and fireworks :) 

Friday, June 25, 2010

White Chocolate Brown Sugar Cookies

Happy Friday!!  These cookies are one of my all time favorites!  They're yummy as is and take well to dried fruits (apricots - yum!) or a switch up of the chocolate.

White Chocolate Brown Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/2 cup ground pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars
  3. Add in eggs and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
  5. Combine the dry and wet ingredients
  6. Stir in white chocolate and nuts until just combined
  7. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet
  8. Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tea Towel Shower Cake

Happy Thursday!!  Today's craft is a tea towel cake that I made for my sister's shower.  My inspiration was this beautiful version from Aly & Ash.  I started with four coordinating tea towels and two cardboard boxes (one from crackers and the other from cereal)

I cut the front and back out of the cracker box and taped the edges together to form a round shape.  Then it was as simple as folding two of the towels around the shape and pinning in place

Once the bottom layer was folded and pinned, I placed it on a decorative plate and folded the third tea towel to fit in the bottom and add a bit of stability

For the second layer, I used the front and back of a cereal box, again taped to form a round shape.  And again, fold and pin the fourth tea towel around the shape.  To assemble, just put the second layer inside of the first layer, on top of the folded tea towel.  Then came the fun embellishment - I used a few whisks, spatula, wedding bell cookie cutter and some ribbon for decorations.  For the topper I used a mini colander and a pretty honey pot.  Here she is all ready to be wrapped up:

I think this might be my new go-to shower gift.  It packages up so pretty and it can be customized to the bride's taste or kitchen colors. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mixed Media Rainbow Collage

Happy Wednesday!!  This past weekend was my (soon-to-be mrs) sister's bridal shower :)  It was a whirlwind weekend, but it turned out perfect.  The weather was nice, the food was yummy (most important!), and she got tons of gorgeous gifts.  We (the bridesmaids) went together on a big gift from her registry, but I couldn't help making a few special gifties.  K's wedding theme is rainbow - each of the bridesmaids have a different color dress (mine is peach, in case you were wondering) - so I wanted to make a little something rainbow.  I saw this awesome idea over at i heart and decided that a mixed media collage would be perfect for that little something rainbow. 

I started out with a 5x7 canvas that I picked up at Michaels.  Then it was off to the Home Deport for a few paint chips and lots of rifling through old magazines to find some more color 'chips'.  I wanted to do a strip of pink, peach, yellow, green, blue and white to correspond with the wedding colors, and I used a mix of hues for visual interest.  Here are all of my supplies:

1 canvas
lots of paint chips and magazine pages
Modge Podge
tape measure & pen

Step 1 - rip all the paint chips and magazine pages into small pieces
Step 2 - very scientifically (hehehe) divide the length of the canvas by the number of colors and measure out the sections to keep the colors even.  (In this case I divided the 7 inch length by 6) 
Step 3 - Modge Podge all those little pieces onto the canvas, overlapping as you go

Step 4 - Let everything dry (about an hour or so)
Step 5 - Apply another full layer of Modge Podge over top of all the paper chips
Step 6 - More dry time
Step 7 - Stand back and admire your work of art

I added some paper flowers (tutorial to follow) in the colors of the wedding for a little extra dimension.  I really loved doing this project!  The gluing was so meditative and it really goes pretty quickly.  I hope it provides a fun reminder of this exciting time for my little sis!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Heart Netflix

Happy Tuesday!!  I'm sure everyone in the known universe, or at least everyone reading this blog post (same thing right?), knows about Netflix.  And I'm just saying upfront, I have absolutely no affiliation with Netflix nor am I compensated in any way for this  Ok then, now that that's out of the way...

Around the time that the little Munchkin started to crawl, the hubs and I stopped attempting a date night out.  It was a pain to schedule, and seriously, we missed the little guy halfway through dinner.  Much to the dismay of the grandparents, we decided to opt out of date night.  But, we still needed something that we did together...just bib or sippy cup required.  Hmmm, what to do, what to do?  We tried playing chess (yeah, we're weird like that), but Saturday night chess night is really just sad.  We tried agreeing on a few shows to DVR, but somehow Saturday night with the Food Network was again, sad.  Then a free trial for Netflix came in the mail one day.  Hmmm, we like movies...we could watch them after Snugglet went to bed...we could watch a different movie every weekend...we could schedule them in advance so that we didn't have to remember to hit up a Red Box.. ding ding ding we have a winner!  I signed us up and 6 months later we completely heart Netflix (ok, I'm sure the hubs would not say heart, but its my blog so heart it is).  Saturday night is date night again.  Hooray!!  We tuck in Count Von Snugglebear (yep, I'm going for an all time most nauseating nickname record), get some snacks and watch a movie.  And it is sooooo nice to just roll on up to bed after the movie :)  Monthly charge for Netflix...$10.  Having date night again...Priceless!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Sumertime!!

Happy Monday!!  This week mark's the 'official' start of summer.  We've got the little-bigger-than-a-baby-pool set up...the freezer is stocked with popsicles and ice cream...bring it on summer, we're ready!  Have you guessed this week's theme?  Yep, more summer fun!  Here's a list of our sum-sum-summer fun for this week:

Letter of the Week: P
Creative, Crafty, Sensory Fun:
  • P is for Picnic letter craft
  • Water & sand table play
  • Coffee grounds sensory tub
  • Rock painting
  • Chasing fireflies
  • Katie Discovers Summer by Liesbet Slegers
  • Are You Ready for Summer? by Sheila Anderson
  • Summer Is Here! by Jane Belk Moncure
  • Here Come the Tickle Bugs! by Uncle Sillyhead III
  • Summer (The Seasons) by Nuria Ro
  • Summer : The Four Seasons by Maria Rius
  • All Summer's Fun by Daniel Skalak
  • Picnic!: A Day in the Park (Ant Hill Series) by Joan Holub
Extra Summer Fun:
  • Backyard Picnic
  • Making Icecream

Thursday, June 17, 2010

20 Minute Placemat Pillow

Happy Thursday!!  This week I found myself in KMart (shock!) perusing the sale items.  What did my thrifty eyes spy but some lovely Country Living placements.

These babies started off at $6.99 - not a bad deal, but they were reduced to $2.99 - even better!!  They're a nice quality having a front, back and lace overlay.  Aaaaah lace doilies.  Don't they just whisper country chic? 

Since they would last about 5 seconds on my dining room table, I decided that they would make a fantastic addition to my summer pillow collection.  Placemats are the perfect size to cover travel-size pillows.  Travel pillows seem to make an appearance in the 'mart' stores around mid spring and promptly sell out in two weeks (maybe it's just my stores, but they fly off the shelves!)  I bought a bunch this year at $3 a piece.  For the money, they're my favorite decorative pillow inserts!

This is my favorite kind of project - fun, easy, and instantly gratifying (and at $6, pretty thrifty too).  All I did was rip out the seam of one long edge...Stuff with my travel pillow (it's a tight fit)...Pin the edge back together...And hand sew the seam back up. 

Easy peasy and such a pretty addition to my pillow addiction collection!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lovliness from The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy

Happy Wednesday!  Today's whateva is a gorgeous print from The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy.  I first saw one of her beautiful designs over at Whatever.  And so I wandered over to Katie's Etsy shop.  I am oh-so-glad that I did.  It took me a full day to decide what to order - there are so many pretty things to choose from!  I ordered The Land of Ampersand and I am in LOVE with it!!  I added the print to a crisp white frame and it makes me smile every time I walk into my living room. 

I swear I would order everything if I had enough wall space.  At there very least there are at least two more spots in my house that are just begging for something pretty & whimsical :) 

What one thing makes you smile every time you see it (other than your kiddies)??

And, I was in no way compensated for this post.  I just really love this print, and the shop!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jamilicious Update

Happy Tuesday.  Just a quick update on my first attempt at freezer jam - it is AWESOME.  Fresh strawberry taste (it is quite sweet) and a nice thick spreadablity.  The hubbers loves it.  I love it.  The Snugglepuss loves it.  Score!  I plan on trying the process out with other fruit as soon as they're in season.  I'm thinking white peach would be delish (on a scone...or waffles...or french toast)

And for anyone who was interested in the recipe - here it is.  I made zero changes to the recipe included in the Sure Jell box (I was terrified to screw up the gel set).

how cute are theses tiny little jars!

Strawberry Freezer Jam

1 pt fresh strawberries
4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package Sure Jell pectin

  1. Core and mash berries with a potato masher (or the beaters to your hand mixer...I'm just sayin).  For anyone who hasn't seen the straw hulling tip - check out Amy from New Nostalgia's tute here.  It is genius.
  2. Add the tons o sugar to your crushed berries and stir it up
  3. Let the sugar-berry mixture sit for 10 minutes
  4. After about 8 minutes into the berry sitting process, add the water and pectin to a saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring constantly
  5. Boil pectin water for a full minute, stirring constantly
  6. Remove pectin water and add to the berry mixture
  7. Stir it all up and ladle into clean jars - I used 13 tiny 4 oz jars.  The recipe says that it fills 5 regular 8 oz jars
  8. Let your jam sit for 24 hours - then they're ready for the freezer
The jam lasts (so the recipe says) 3 weeks in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer.  We've already gone through 3 of the tiny jars.  I'm pretty sure those freezer jars aren't going to be around for 6 months let alone a year :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm Trying out a Blog Hop

Well hello again!  I'm trying out a Blog Hop from It's So Very Cheri today.  Won't you join us?

All You Need Is Love

Happy Monday!!  This week we're starting a learning series on feelings.  They'll be intersperced with other fun themes in the weeks to come.  The idea is just to give Snugglepuss a basic introduction to a variety of feelings like Happy, Sad, Angry, Frustrated, etc with a slight emphasis on one particular feeling per week.  This week's Munchkin theme is Love :)  And since Father's Day is Sunday, we'll be throwing in a few Daddy love activities/books - because we all love Daddy :)

Letter of the Week: H
Creative Crafty Sensory Activities:
  • H is for Hugs letter craft
  • Nick Loves... collage
  • Father's Day project
  • Music Drawing


  • Love is a Circle
    • Love is a circle round and round
    • Love goes up and love goes down
    • Love is on the inside trying to get out
    • Love is whirling all about
  • If Your Happy and You Know It

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We Be Jammin

Here's what we were up to today:

Yep - freezer jam.  I've never jammed before (oh yes, I did make it a verb) and I LOVED it!  So easy :)  I used the Sure Jell recipe (the one right in the box of pectin) and it certainly tastes yummy (and really sweet).  We'll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see if it sets up alright.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Happy Friday!!  I know, I know, I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas.  Here is one of my favorite decadent cookies - chocolate cookie with a marachino cherry center and rich icing seals the deal.  I heart chocolate covered cherries and all of their oozy goodness :)

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries (drained, juice reserved)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat well
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and stir until smooth
  5. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls
  6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press the center of each ball with your thumb (to create a well for the cherry goodness)
  7. Place a cherry in indentation of each cookie ball
  8. In a saucepan, heat condensed milk and chocolate chips until chocolate is melted
  9. Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice
  10. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry (thin with additional cherry juice as needed)
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Skirt Refashion

Happy Thursday!!  A few weeks ago we were in Walmart buying pull-ups (I swear there is some diaper eating monster in our house - we are ALWAYS at the store buying more!), and back by the kids stuff there were a few racks of random clearance items.  So of course I stopped...and spied this:

Um, yeah that is polyester.  And no, that style would NEVER look good on me - I am neither 5'9" nor am I 110 lbs. was $3.  I've seen some awesome refashions out there in bloggyland and I thought, "Hey, I could do something with this - its $3!" (I might have said this out loud - sorry to anyone who witnessed my crazy-lady ramblings).  Well, I finally took the plunge into the refashioning pool, and decided to turn this shirt into a cute skirt.  

Luckily for me the side seams were almost perfect as is.  So I used another skirt as a pattern and cut the shirt right at the armpits - straight across.  Then I took a old lyrca halter top (um, yeah...pre-baby...I'm never wearing that thing again) and cut off the bottom 7 inches. 

Then it was just a matter of pinning the two pieces together (gathering the shirt a little as I went) and then sewing the pieces together.  Viola a new skirt for Mama:

And in case you're wondering.  I did buy another will be joining it's sister as a new skirt soon. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Fishin Mama

Happy Wednesday!!  Oh how I love the funny things that Munchkin does!  Yesterday I walked around the corner to see this:

Me: Whatcha doin bud?
Munckin: I'm fishin Mama
Me: Oooh, that sounds like fun.  Whatcha fishin for?
Munckin: (gives me an exasperated look) Cars!

Oh right, CARS.  Silly, silly Mama!  The fishing pole has a magnet on the end of it.  It's a tiny little thing, but apparently strong enough to hold a Matchbox car for a few seconds.  My little guy spent most of the evening alternating between fishing for cars and driving them around.  Oh Snugglepuss you make me laugh!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mmmmm Coconut

Happy Tuesday!  I don't know what happened - somewhere between yesterday and right now I realized that I didn't write a post for today.  Cold sweat, rapid heartbeat ensued (ok, maybe I'm a little dramatic).  So today's random tip is something that I just discovered:

I've never actually made Coconut Cream filling from scratch, but I heart all things coconut.  "Why not give it a try?", I said to myself (yeah...I might have said it out loud)  I made it according to the directions...2 cups milk...whisk for 2 minutes.  Then I dumped in about 1/4 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut (if a little is good, more must be better) and let it sit for the 5 minutes.  Oh.My.Goodness.  It is sooo good.  And again, since I'm all about gilding lillies, I added some mandarin oranges to a big scoop o pudding.  Heaven.  Sunshine in a dessert cup.  All things delicious and tropcial.  Seriously dangerous stuff.

I'm sorry thighs, the treadmill is no match for this yumminess.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Happy Monday!!  Well it certaintly seems like summer is here (even if technically its still a few weeks away).  We've been spending lots of time out in the yard and have even taken a few trips for ice cream cones (my favorite part of summertime).  To celebrate the (okay, slightly premature) arrival of Summer, the season is our Munchkin Theme for this week.  Here's a list of our funtivities:

Letter of the Week: S
Creative Crafty Sensory Fun:
  • S is for Summer alphabet craft
  • Making homemade popsicles
  • Water & Sand table play
  • Sandpaper Sun (idea found here at No Time for Flashcards)
  • Lots of outdoor play



Related Posts with Thumbnails