Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome to Seussville


Are you loving all things Dr. Seuss too?  So many of us grew up on Dr. Seuss books, and are excited to now share them with our own children.  My kids learned to read on Dr. Seuss books, and all 3 of them are looking forward to watching the new Lorax movie.  My 15 year old even wants to go see it.  While I did not make anything special for Dr. Seuss's birthday or the opening of the movie (yet!), I did want to share a fun discovery.   Did you know that Dr. Seuss has an official website called Seussville?  It has games, activities, printables, and all of our favorite characters from the books.   Check out the fun at http://www.seussville.com/#/home
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shamrock Pretzels

After making my Leprechaun Pops, I had some leftover green chocolate.  I have noticed recently that pretzel tiny twists was similar in shape to a petal on a clover.   I thought why not try and make a clover treat with my leftover chocolate and some pretzel twists.

I dipped the pretzels a couple at a time into the chocolate

Using a toothpick, I laid them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, and arranged them into a clover.  I tried  both 3 leaf and 4 leaf shapes.   I filled in the holes with more chocolate and allowed it to harden.  


The family seemed to like them.  They disappeared as quickly as I had made them.


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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Leprechaun Marshmallow Pops



                   I caught some leprechauns, does this mean I can keep the pot of gold?



Last year, I came up with the idea to make some Leprechaun Pops.  You can see my old tutorial here

This year I decided to try and give him a little upgrade.  I really like how they turned out.  It was hard to keep the kids away.  They were asking to eat some before I was done.

Using the 30 second method, I melted some green Wilton candy melts.  I applied it with a brush so the green chocolate did not drip all over the stick.


I then twirled the marshmallow against the back of a spoon, to give the chocolate a smooth look





I allowed them to dry in my homemade pop holder and added another marshmallow on the side for the head.   Some of the marshmallows started to slide because of gravity, so I went back and coated the bottoms with more green chocolate.

I dipped 12 mini marshmallows using toothpicks for the hats.  I placed them to dry in one of the styrofoam circles I bought at the dollar store.

I drew on green eyes and a nose with edible markers.  I added a very light coat of pink glitter gel with a toothpick to make the cheeks.  

To make the hair and beard,  I used a tube of Wilton Decorating Icing and the "hair" tip.  It worked well for the first 6-8 pops.  After that the Icing was low in the tube and hard to squeeze out.  I then took off the tip and place it in the microwave for a few seconds and was able to use the rest. If you make more than 12 pops, you will need more than one tube.  

Using small tubes of gel, I added the mouths, buttons and whites of the eyes.  Some of the pops have icing eyebrows, a few have drawn on eyebrows.  I drew them on when the icing was running low.  I also added some green gel after added the mini marshmallow hat to make it look like it had a rim. 



The Pot of Gold  makes a perfect display 

I will be linking up my Leprechaun Marshmallow Pops up at these parties here



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St. Patrick's Day Pot of Gold

A fun craft for St. Patrick's Day is to make your own  Pot of Gold. I pulled out a small cauldron we had used for Halloween, found some yellow/gold paint from my craft stash, and picked up  few supplies at the dollar store. 

St. Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Craft



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Why I LOVE Kohls!



If you have a Kohls nearby,  I recommend you stop by this week.  Right now they are having their final clearance sale all over the store.  I found rack after rack of items that were up to 90% when you took an additional 25% off the clearance price.  I also had a 15% off my entire purchase coupon AND a $10 Kohls cash to spend.   I was hoping to find a winter coat for me to wear next year, but the only ones left were not my size.  I decided to look in the women's and juniors dept, and found quite a  bit I liked well enough to try on.

Sonoma Gray Cords ticket price $44.00, clearance price $8.80,  final price $6.60
Apt 9 jeans, ticket price $50.00, clearance price $10.00,  final price $7.50
Gray Sonoma pants, ticket price  $48.00, clearance price $14.40, final price $10.80
Gold Apt 9 Sweater, ticket price $60.00,  clearance price $6.00, final price $4.50
Brown AB Studio top, ticket price $48.00, clearance price $9.60, final price $7.20
Purple SO thermal, ticket price $20.90, clearance price $6.00, final price $4.50
Blue Sonoma Thermal, ticket price $24.00, clearance price $7.20, final price $4.50

The subtotal came to $46.50.  That price would have been amazing as it was, . but I  was able to make it even better.
They subtracted the $10 in Kohls cash, and then  another $5.48 with a 15% off coupon.

Final price for all 7 items was only $32.88.   I saved $262.98  or 89%!!!
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Mission Organization- My Baking Supplies


Having a party blog, I guess it makes sense that  have a lot of baking supplies.  I love to bake and create.  In my kitchen, I have two lazy Susan type storage areas.  While they are convenient where you can see everything, the space is not ideal for storage.  

My baking supplies are all kind of jammed into the space, and I was having trouble finding things 

I took everything out, and realized I had more than I thought I did. 

I combined like items, and removed the extra packaging 

I then organized by like items into smaller bins

I placed all of my sprinkles, toppings and icings in this cute pink bin from the Dollar Tree.  This bin is going to go in my project for this upcoming week.  



While the lazy Susan is still not the ideal space for my supplies, I can now see everything at a glance.  

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Strawberry Banana Muffins


Last night  we made some strawberry banana muffins using our favorite banana bread recipe.  Our family loves this particular recipe, which also works well with bonus ingredients.   Some of our other versions have been blueberry banana bread, and chocolate chip banana muffins which are also posted on the blog



Basic Banana Bread Recipe

First mix the dry ingredients

1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Then add the wet ingredients

2-3 ripe banaas (I cut into to small chunks and mash slightly. We like the chunks of the banana in the bread)
1/2 cup softened margarine
2 Tbsp milk
2 eggs

If adding a bonus ingredient, add it at this stage. We added about 8 large strawberries, cut into small pieces

Mix ingredients well

I was able to fill 12 regular size muffins and 8 mini muffin cups

Bake at 400 degrees
The mini muffins took only 15 minutes, and the regular size muffins 20 minutes.


Let cool, and enjoy.  These muffins disappear quickly!
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Cooking with Kyle


I am so excited to share this post.   This is our first day posting  "Cooking with Kyle".  Recently Kyle has acquired at new nickname in our house.  He is taking a  health class  in school, and has turned into  the food police almost overnight.  I wrote about our grocery store adventure in  my shopping with the food police post  last week.   Since he wants everyone to eat healthier, I came up with the idea that he could share a healthy kid friendly recipe each week. Today we had a snow day, so he decided to make us lunch. This is his own recipe....   Chicken Salad Surprise.

The ingredients

Chicken.. We used a can of 97% fat free Hormel chicken breast
Miracle Whip.. I did not have the lower fat version, and was not going out in the snow to get it
Green grapes
Carrots
Minced onion... you might be able to use real onion, we did not have any on hand
Garlic Salt


For the sandwich bread, we used a Crusty French Baguette that was on sale this week for only .99.  I followed the directions and cooked it at 400 degrees for 20 mins.  It cooled, while he made the chicken salad.


He opened the can of chicken and drained out the liquid.  He then placed the chicken in a mixing bowl

He added 3 tablespoons of Miracle Whip.  He did not measure it, just eyeballed it to make sure he had enough to cover the meat.

He than added a 1/2 teaspoon of minced onion and a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, and mixed well

He cut up about  10 grapes into small pieces. He felt the smaller the better so picky eaters might not realize what they are eating.

I then shredded a little bit of carrot for him.  He added it to the chicken mixture, and mixed well again.

I offered to cut the bread for him, but he wanted to do it himself.  He was using a sharp knife so I was a bit nervous, but he did a great job!

He cut the baguette into sandwich size pieces.  He then placed the "secret ingredient" on each roll. Shhh, don't tell, it is a piece of spinach.  When the chicken salad is on roll, the spinach is completely hidden.

I helped him scoop out the rest of the chicken salad onto the rolls


Doesn't it look good! We added the toothpicks only for picture purposes.


The sandwiches were served with a side salad made with all the veggies I bought on sale at the Meijer Dollar Sale.


This chicken salad was delicious.  It had the right mixture of sweet and tangy. I knew that the spinach was in the sandwich, and I didn't even see it or taste it, so the surprise spinach idea  worked.   Kyle was  proud that he made something that tasted so good all by himself.    

He also had these words of wisdom, that he wanted me to share. "Busy moms can make chicken salad surprise quickly, and also get their children to eat some fruits and vegetables at the same time."

Because of the success of his first recipe, he is really looking forward to sharing another next week, on the next "Cooking with Kyle'. 



We will be linking this recipe up on these linky parties


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Snow Day and Shout Out



We have our first snow day of the year today. It really isn't that bad at the moment, and we got less snow than expected.   I think the powers that be decided it was better to err on the side of caution especially since we have not used any of our snow days yet.   I can not remember another year like this with the one and only snow day at the end of February.  We live in Michigan,  we normally have 3 or 4 at this point.  I am  not complaining though, the day off is allowing us to do some fun projects today.

Kyle will be cooking us lunch in his "Cooking with Kyle"  post today.  I will also be working on something really fun for St. Patrick's Day.   Look for those posts later today.


I also want to give a SHOUT OUT to Vicky at PaintspotsnSplinters.  She was the sponsor the week I won the Crafterbowl at Pinkapotamus.    I was very excited when I opened the box this morning.  I also  thought the bunny card was such a nice touch.    

My prize was a gift certificate to her Etsy shop.   She has so many cute things for many different occasions, so it was hard for me to choose.  I then saw these spring bunnies,  and made my decision.  They are adorable and very nicely painted.  They will be perfect to display in the next few months as we go into the Easter and spring season.  Her prices are very reasonable, and she was wonderful to work with.  Be sure to check out her Etsy store and blog at Vicky-myart.blogspot.com.  Thanks so much Vicky!
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Canvas People Offer is Back!



Canvas People are once again offering special deals on their picture canvas.   One of their best deals is the 16 x 20 for only $37 shipped.  They also have a free 8 x 10, or $35 off a larger canvas, , and a 11x 14 canvas for $27 shipped ,    These would make a great gift, or to keep in  your own home.
I have bought two in recent months, and I LOVE them.

I bought this 11 x 14 last Halloween.
and this one for my mom last Christmas.   I think it is time for me to make another order.
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