Monday, September 22, 2014

The Party Wish List


This weekend I was looking around on Amazon and came across some really cool items, that would I would love to own.   Some items I found  would be a lot of fun to have for a party, others would make a great gift for either yourself or someone you love.  Since we have only three months until Christmas (where did the time go?!), I thought I would put all of these great finds together in an aStore called The Wish List.  As we get closer to the holidays check the page for time to time for fun find, gift ideas, or great deals.  I do need to disclose that items on this page and in the astore are affiliate links.

 

I was very excited about this find.  How much fun would it be to have a life size Elsa and Anna cardboard cutout for your Frozen fanatic. They could be used as a great back drop or photo booth at a Frozen party, and for your child to pretend they are part of the Frozen movie.  
I recently saw this in my feed on Facebook.  I love  ice cream, and to have my own Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker is definitely on my wish list.  If you have a lot of parties this could be an investment to have on hand for future parties.  It would also make a great gift for ice cream lovers everywhere. 


I have an older version of the Cricut that I love, so I am including this Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine to the wish list.  There are so many things that you can make with the Cricut. Cut out shapes to use at your themed party or in your scrapbooks. You can even cut vinyl and make your own gifts. 



I have a few Wilton tips that I sometimes use on projects. I bet I would use them a lot more if I had a Wilton 2104-0240 Master Decorating Tip Set.  They would all be in a nice kit, and not always getting lost in my decorating supplies. 


I actually have this Babycakes Cake Pop Maker. It really does make making cake pops super quick and easy.  I plan on bringing it back out this week to work on some Halloween cake pops 

I will be adding several more finds like these in the aStore in the tab under my header.. Stay tuned..  



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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dare to Share #129


Here it is Friday once again
and that can only mean one thing.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

I don't know about you, but I am very glad that it is Friday.  This was a rough week.  On Sunday afternoon my son started not to feel good, and went to bed in the afternoon.  When I woke him up on Monday, he was too sick to go to school. Tuesday he felt better, and it looked like everything would be back to normal.  On Wednesday, I started to get that dreaded feeling.  My nose started to run, I couldn't breathe, and I felt like I just wanted to take a nap.  I knew I was coming down with what my son had.  On Thursday, both of my daughters said they did not feel well as well.  While we are all starting to feel better now, we really need to the weekend to rest and get back to 100%. 



Because I was not feeling well, I did not finish two of my projects I had planned. Hopefully they will be completed this weekend.    I did have the chance to share my first attempt at Homemade Tomato Sauce.  While it is not as thick as the usual jar sauce we use, the family all give a thumbs up.  


It is apple season here, and I am planning all of the recipes I want to try once I go apple picking this month.   I would like to try this Apple Sugar Cookie Crumble Cobbler by the The Crafty Lumberjacks


A craft that I would also really like to try are these DIY Fall Cork Coasters by A Time for Seasons. They can be customized to any holiday, and would make a great gift. 


This week over at Kandy Kreations, my co-host Kim shared how to make your own Football Peanut Butter Cup Tailgate Food  Yum! 

Now it is time for this week's party.  You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day your post will be promoted on the blog, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and G+. (since I was sick this week, I will still be promoting this week's features over the next few days)  

Now link up and HAVE FUN! 

   

   



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Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY Fall Cork Coasters - Feature of the Day


Looking for a fun fall craft or gift idea?  Steph from A Time for Seasons shared how she made  fall shaped cork coasters.  What is great about this craft is you can customize them for any season, and older kids can make them too. They could make a good teacher or hostess gifts.  Thank you so much Steph for linking up your great idea to Dare to Share!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apple Sugar Cookie Crumb Cobbler - Feature of the Day


Do you go apple picking in the fall?  We hope to go sometime in the next week. It is a lot of fun, and we get to make our favorite apple recipes.   A great  recipe to try with those apples will be this Apple Sugar Cookie Crumb Cobbler by  The Crafty Lumberjacks.  It is rather easy to make, but has all those fall favorites we enjoy.  Be sure to stop over to their page to get the recipe.  Thank you guys for linking up to Dare to Share!
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce

How to make tomato sauce with garden tomatoes

I took this picture a few weeks ago after I had checked my garden.   In the weeks since, I picked at least 10 more tomatoes.   I wanted to use my tomatoes before they went bad, so I decided to try and make my own homemade tomato sauce for the first time.    



Since I had not tried to make my own sauce before, I looked around for a good recipe.  I found a few that I thought would be okay, but for one reason or another, I could not do the full recipe. I was missing ingredients, and I did not have a food grinder.   I decided to just wing it, and come up with my own recipe.



I cut all of the tomatoes I had on the counter, which was about 10.  I had a few different kinds, and I threw them all in the pot.  I had regular red, heirloom, and several yellow/orange.   Once the tomatoes were in the pot, I added a cup of water and set the heat to medium for a few minutes.  I kept a close eye on them.  Once they began boiling, I turned the heat down. 



After about 20 minutes or so, the tomatoes were softening, and the skin and seeds were starting to separate.  Several recipes had said to put the tomatoes in a grinder at this point. I did not have one.   I took out my potato masher, and began to mash the tomatoes. After a few minutes, the pulp became juice, and the skins began to sit on top of the masher so they were easy to remove.  I put everything I removed from the pot in a bowl, and sat it aside.




Kara wanted to help me with this step.  I first strained all of the liquid in the pot to remove any remaining skins and seeds.  We then strained what was in the bowl that  I had sat aside. We wanted to make sure to get  all of the liquid, and mash the pulp a little bit more.


What we had left was a big bowl of tomato liquid.  At this step it would be easy to make tomato soup.  Just add some chicken broth or cream, and heat a little longer.  We had considered making soup, but I did not have broth or cream on hand.   


While the liquid was in the bowl, I cleaned out the pot before doing the next step.  I finely chopped 3 garlic cloves. You could use more or less depending on your preference. I did not have onion, so I added in some dry onion, some Italian seasoning, and salt a pepper. Once the garlic looked done, I added the tomato liquid back to the post to simmer. 


I simmered the sauce for about 2 hours. I would probably have done it longer, but I started late in the afternoon and it was getting late.  


The sauce was thinner than the jar sauce that we were used to. It could be made thicker had I added some tomato puree from a grinder, or had more time to simmer. It did not matter though, the kids LOVED it, and that is what counts.  I only had enough left to fill 1 1/2 pint jars. I will definitely make this sauce again. 





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Friday, September 12, 2014

Dare to Share #128


We made to another Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share. 

This week our activities started back up.  Dance two nights a week, Robotics on another. Throw in an open house meet the teacher night at the high school, and you have something going on every single night of the week.   


This week I had a new posts, and will be working on a few more this weekend.  On Monday, I was part of the Tour Through Blogland. I shared more about me and why I blog, and introduced you two of my blogger friends.     


This week Kara and I made Cherry Chocolate Cake using her favorite cherry soda.  I am till waiting for Kyle to make the dessert he promised to make me about six weeks ago. 



I could have used this Pepperoni Pizza Frittata that was shared by Life with Garnish on Dare to Share this week.  We had a few nights when we were scrambling for dinner later than normal.  

Since I just went through a redesign,  I know this tutorial on How to Customize Social Media Follow Buttons by Wonderfully Messy Mom is a good one for those who want to update their blog.  


My Co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has football fever this week. Be sure to check out this free football favor printable and many other football party ideas.  


Now it is time for this week's party. You can link up anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be promoted on the blog, Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and G+.  

Now link up and HAVE FUN! 


   

   









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Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Customize Social Media Buttons - Feature of the Day


It's been a little while since I have shared a blogging tip as the Dare to Share Feature of the Day.  Brandy from Wonderfully Messy Mom has a great tutorial with pictures on How to Customize Social Media Follow Buttons.  If you are relatively new to blogging, or not sure how to update your blog, you will want to check out this post. Thank you very much Brandy for linking up to Dare to Share!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Cake

How to make cherry chocolate cake

Recently my daughter saw a recipe for making Cherry Chocolate cake using one of her favorite sodas.   While that recipe looked really good, there were a lot of extra ingredients needed to make the cake. We decided to try to make our own version with only a few ingredients.  We were very happy with the results.  

Ingredients for cherry chocolate cake


We used: 
a box of Devil's Food mix 
eggs
vegetable oil 
water,  
Black Cherry Faygo
Chocolate Chips
a jar of Black Cherry topping 



We followed the directions on the back of the cake mix.  The amount of eggs, oil and watedr you use will vary depending on the brand you use.  For our brand we used 3 eggs. 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/3 cups water.  After mixing well we added in 1/2 cup of the Black Cherry Faygo, and 2/3 cup chocolate chips. (we would have added a cup, but we only had 2/3 cup, which still worked out well.   We then baked the cake according to the box, which for our brand was about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. 


We used 9" pans and sprayed them with nonstick cooking spray.  We realized after we baked the cakes that we should have floured them too. We did have some issues with sticking.  Once the cakes had cooled,  we used some of the Black Cherry filling between the two layers. We then covered the top layer with the rest of the jar. 

How to make Chocolate Cherry Cake

We loved the results!   The cake was the perfect mix of cherry and chocolate. 



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Pepperoni Pizza Frittata- Feature of the Day

Pepperoni Pizza frittata that is great for dinner or breakfast

Now that school has started, and dance, scouts and robotics have too.  My family have quite a few busy nights during the week where we do not have a lot of time to plan out big meals. This Pepperoni Pizza Frittata byAdrian of  Life with Garnish would make a great meal for those busy nights or rushed mornings.  The meal can be ready and on the table in only 30 minutes! Be sure to stop over to Life with Garnish to get this recipe the whole family will love.  Thanks so much Adrian for linking up to Dare to Share.!


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Monday, September 8, 2014

A Tour Through Blogland

Today I am going to have a post that is a little bit different than I normally share.  I am part of something called A Tour Through Blogland.  Hopefully you will learn a little bit more about me and my blog, and meet a few other bloggers along the way. 

Pams Party and Practical Tips Party Ideas










Before I get started with my part of the tour, I want to take time to thank Cathy of Vintage Paint and More for her very nice post sharing about my blog. If you have not met Cathy she is a retired nurse who is being creative in her retirement.  She loves to paint, sew, craft, garden, cook, thrift, travel and play with her 8 grandchildren.  She has shared some beautiful wreaths and other home crafts, so be sure to go check out her blog or Facebook.


Now a little bit about me and why I blog. I have always enjoyed creating things for my kids.  I would throw them themed birthday parties, make their Halloween costumes, and create fun dishes with them in the kitchen.  As they have grown older, I wanted a place where I could share all of my creative ideas, while being able to stay home with them as well.  I have not worked outside the home since 1995, and with our schedule logistics working 8-5 would be difficult, so blogging seemed like a really good option.  I have been blogging for five years now, and I have to say I still love it. 




1) What I am working on..  

I am actually working on several things right now.  This time of year is very busy for a party/craft/recipe blogger.  I am working on two recipes with my kids.  Yesterday Kara and I were making a yummy dessert, but it go to be late and way too dark to take good pictures, so we are finishing up and taking them today. I hope to have that post up in the next day or two. Kyle is promising to share another recipe post that he has been promising for weeks. Hopefully that will be shared this week as well.   I will also be sharing a new member of the pumpkin gang very soon. I am very excited about him, and I think you will be too.  Also in the works are four party themed ebooks. They are still in the very early stages, but I have the concepts and all of the themes selected. Now I just need to find the time to write them, and put some of the projects together.  





2) How does my work differ from others from its genre?   

There are some big time party bloggers that share gorgeous high end parties that are styled and come with a big price tag.  While they are a lot of fun to look at, most people can not afford to throw parties to that degree.  I like to give ideas and tips that everyone can use to throw a nice party, including those who are on a very tight budget.  The recipes that Kyle (Cooking with Kyle) and I share are family friendly, and are always served to our own family. Kara's crafts are truly crafts for kids that are made by a kid. 



3) Why I create what I do?

I have been making things my whole life.  I even got a degree in college that specialized in costume design.  I am in my element when I am creating things.  I also have a very hard time spending a lot of money on something that I can make myself.  Creating things from nothing makes me very happy, and if I was not able to do that I would be very bored. 




4) How does your writing/creative process work? 

I don't think that it will come to a surprise to you that creative people are not very organized. They say that creative people tend to have messy work spaces.  This would be very true for me.  My craft room has not been fully organized and clean in the 11 years I have had it. The rest of the house is not the cleanest either. I am usually too busy creating to clean.  I have a lot of my ideas in notebooks, and work on projects when I can. Some days my children have to come first, and the creating second. When I do have a deadline I always finish on time, but I may be working on it until the last minute.  I know my way of doing things is not for everyone, but it works for me.  



Now I am going to introduce you to a couple of bloggers who I have met through blogging groups who I think you will enjoy meeting.


I met my friend Kim from Kandy Kreations at least three years ago.  We hit it off, probably because we are so similar.  She has teenagers, I have teenagers, and we both love to make our own parties.  One of my very favorite of her parties is her Alice in Wonderland party where she made this Tea Pot Chandelier that incredibly awesome. 


With a name like Kandy Kreations you would think that she specializes in candy, and you would be right.   I just love these Angry Bird Candy Cones that can be filled with candy.  She sells chocolate covered Oreos, candy bar wrappers, printables, and a lot more in her shop.
In addition to her blog, you can also find her on Facebook.




Another blogger I want to introduce you to is Aleshea  from Glitz N Grits. While I have not know her as long as I have known Kim, I really like her.  She is a southern girl who has lived in Texas her whole life.  She loves her southern food and shares yummy recipes from her southern favorites on her blog.  This recipe for smothered porkchops caught my eye. 

  


She also has recipes for yummy desserts like this one for Caramel Cupcakes. Yum!! So if you are looking for some delicious recipes be sure to stop by Glitz N Grits on the blog and on Facebook.

Next week Kim and Aleshea will be sharing their own posts with more about them and their favorite bloggers. I hope you enjoyed this Tour Through Blogland! 







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