Monday, August 31, 2009

Messes, Messes And More Messes

Bare with me today for just a bit of mommy rambling. I love this little sweetie girl. Really, she's very loving, always giving hugs and kisses. She's my helper throughout the day, as well. Ivy is great at showing love to her siblings, too. But this girl can make one mean mess. I know that this pic doesn't look like much of a mess. This is one of the lighter ones. ( I had my camera out and decided to snap this)However, this was about the fifth mess of the day I'd cleaned up or tried to have her clean up. It seems like I'm always cleaning up messes lately. I guess this is the life of an almost two year old. She has been, by far, my messiest child at this age. Just look at that mischievous grin on her face. It's hard to be get upset at that little face. I complain about it, but at the same time I'm trying to enjoy this stage of her life because it really does go by so quickly. That was my word for the year, "enjoy." I'll keep reminding myself to enjoy the journey.

I just couldn't leave this one out. Here she is eating the pretzels off the floor. A little dirt won't hurt ya, right.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Celebrate Magazine

Last week I picked up the fall issue of Celebrate magazine from Phyllis Hoffman.(Sorry no pic.) She is also the publisher of Southern Lady magazine and entertaining guru. If you read my blog at all, you know I am a sucker for magazines. I usually get mounds of them from my sister. After seeing this mag previewed in Paula Deen's magazine, I knew I wanted it. It features some great tailgating recipes for the upcoming football season, great entertaining ideas and my favorite, fun recipes and fun touches for Halloween. She has some of the cutest ideas.Who knows, maybe this year I'll actually have a Halloween party. If you like getting new recipes and fun ideas to "dress up" everyday things, grab this magazine while you can.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mommy

Yep! That's me. Ivy, our soon to be two year old, has officially dubbed me "The Mommy." She will run to her dad and say,"I want the mommy." Wow! I sound like a super hero. It makes me want to throw on my mommy cape... more like apron and conquer the world. Okay, maybe just those mommy things, like kissing those boo boos, helping hurt feelings, making a mean pb&j, and tucking kids in the bed like only a mommy can do. I'm sure dishes, laundry, cooking, etc. will be no problem for "The Mommy" either.( The mommy sure is glad she gets help from the daddy.) I'm sure "The Mommy" title will wear off soon, but that's okay. I'm happy just being plain old mommy to all of my kids!

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Fuss Thank You Post Cards

Friends and family have been so generous with gifts for Trent's b'day, which he is very thankful for. But sometimes thank you cards don't get sent out because, well, it's like pulling teeth to get him to write in a card most of the time. I decided I didn't want to have this battle, so I came up with some fuss free thank you post cards.All Trent has to do is fill in the blanks. I know it's not as personal, but I think it's better than nothing at all. You might have seen these in some stores before, but I thought I would go really cheap and make my own on the computer. Hopefully, as he gets a bit older he won't mind writing in cards. We'll see!

I looked up post card measurements on and then printed and cut the cards accordingly.
The card says:"Dear__________________, I'm glad you came to my party. I hope you had fun. Thank you for the ____________________________. I really like it!
Your friend____________________."

I also stamped them with my SU! smiley face stamp in some bright primary colors to make them stand out a little more. These would be easy to customize for any theme or occasion using different stamps or stickers. Give 'em a try.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birthday Wishes & A Simple Name Board

First up, Happy Birthday to the other man in my life. That would be my son, Trent. He's ten today! Wow! Time really does go by so fast. It's hard to believe that our handsome, smart, funny little boy is already ten. If you've been reading my blog, you know he celebrated last Sat. with a Lego party and a slew of friends. He also got to pick a restaurant to eat out at, which is one of our b'day traditions. He chose a Chinese buffet. I've got to say, this boy does like a good sweet and sour chicken. I chose this picture of him because this is Trent. He likes to have fun! I hope today will be a great day for him!

This is a name board that I made for each of the girls to hang on the wall above their beds. I really liked the way it turned out, however I started with a dilemma. The only wooden board I could find to fit these large letters was way too heavy. (These are letters they previously had hanging by ribbon.) I just didn't want to chance it falling off and hurting somebody. So I called my crafty friend Renee and she suggested I use foam board. You know the stuff like poster board, but thicker. I tried it and it worked great. It's really light and easy to work with. Gotta love having those super crafty friends!

For my board, I cut the foam board with an xacto to fit my letters. I wanted a little puffiness to it, but not like a pillow puffy, so I cut a thin piece of batting to the size of the board, as well. Then I wrapped my board and batting in a piece of brown and pink polka dot fabric and stapled it to the back of the board. The letters were hot glued on. I added a couple sawtooth hangers and I was finished. This whole project came together quick and was pretty simple. I'm still thinking of adding some embellishments to the letters, but that will have to wait til' later. The boards go great with their bedding and other decor in the room. Yay! Another project marked off the girls' room list. I'll get it all done someday, right.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Party Fun

For the last installment of Trent's Lego party, I thought I'd share some of the fun things we did. I gathered all the kids in the floor and dumped out a tub of Mega Blocks(another brand, like Lego) in the floor and they built their own creations which I took pictures of. Ivy was right in the middle of all of them building away. I discovered she really likes Lego's and didn't even put them in her mouth. Anyway, everyone loved building so we built for quite a while.

As each guest arrived, they got to guess how many Lego's were in this container. They really liked this and couldn't wait to find out who the winner would be. The winner got to take them home. These are the same Mega Blocks we used to build with. I scored these at our local thrift store. A big tub for $3. Hello!

I kept the party favors simple yet cute by using a green kraft sack with each child's name written on it. Inside was an assortment of candy, a glow bracelet and a baggie of Lego's. They all seemed to be happy with their favors.

Come back tomorrow for a name board craft I did for my girls' room!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Party Munchies

Today I want to share some recipes that we munched on for the party, but first the table. I knew I wanted to use primary colors because those are the classic Lego colors. A 12x12 sheet of green scrap book paper served as a place mat for red square plates topped with yellow circle plates. The plates were topped off with a sheet of fun Lego facts I found online. Our guests thought these were interesting as did I. A yellow Lego cake was the centerpiece. I have to say not one of my better cakes. Maybe the fact that I was decorating it at midnight had something to do with that. Trent loved it though, so I got over how it looked. It did taste good, too. For the cake, I stacked two 9x13 cakes on top of each other (a chocolate and a yellow) iced them with yellow butter cream and put four iced cupcakes that had the tops cut off on the top to make it look like a Lego brick.

Now for a fun way to dress up a simple bottle of water which some might think is totally unnecessary, but not for us crafty types. I thought these really stood out and went with the theme. Just peel off the label , measure and cut out of the scrapbook paper of your choice then wrap around the bottle. I used a piece of sticky tape to make sure my label didn't go anywhere. How fun!

Okay, finally the munchies! Trent and I picked things we thought kids and adults as well would like. The Candy Apple Dip with Granny Smith apples got excellent reviews as did the cheese dip. Oops! I thought I got a picture of the cheese dip, but I didn't. You'll have to trust me when I say this dip is SO GOOD! It is our favorite. I've made it for years for all sorts of functions. Hope you'll give these delicious recipes a try.

Candy Apple Dip
1 (8 oz. ) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c.-2/3c. toffee bits

Mix together with hand mixer. Chill. Serve with apple slices or assorted fruit. (Would also be good with graham crackers.) Yield: 12-15 servings

Cheese Dip
1 lb. sausage
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
16 oz. sour cream
16 oz. picante sauce or salsa

Put cream cheese and sour cream in crock pot. Brown sausage, drain. Add sausage to crock pot. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Add salsa the last hour of cooking. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trent's Lego Birthday Party

Although Trent's b'day is not until Thursday, we celebrated with a Lego party on Saturday. Lots of excited little boys and a couple girls joined us for some Lego fun for his 10th b'day. After his party, Trent told us that it was the best. He was so happy that so many of his friends were able to come. It made his day. He had a blast playing with his presents that his very generous friends gave him. He added quite a few more Lego's to his collection.

For the invitation, I took a picture of some of Trent's Lego creations that he picked out and copied the pictures at Wal-Mart for $.25 a piece and then glued them onto green card stock that had all the party info printed on the back. This was a great idea that I found on the site Like Merchant Ships. I thought it was simple, yet different. Trent thought it was "cool," too.

Tomorrow I'll share what we munched on at the party which includes two delicious dip recipes
and also a fun and easy way to dress up a bottle of water.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Cookie Turned Cupcake

My kids' first day of school was Monday and I wanted to make them a special after school snack. One that would surprise them and get the kid approval. I thought of my usual "go-to" treats, but I wanted something different. I started browsing my Taste of Home Fun Food magazine and these little babies caught my eye. Let me tell ya, they are oh so good!It's kinda like a chocolate chip cookie morphed into a cupcake. Chocolaty, nutty, cookie cupcake goodness! Quick and simple, too. Hello, that's what I need! And the kids. They thought they were "awesome" in Trent's words. Definitely a keeper!

Cookie Cupcakes
1/2 c. butter, softened
6 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 egg 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Fill paper lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until top of cupcake appears set.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the brown sugar, egg and salt just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop filling by rounded tablespoonfuls into the center of each cupcake. Bake 10 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 dozen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sweet Girl

I had to share these sweet pics of Ivy I snapped about a week ago as she was outside playing. It's just her and I again since the big kids have started school. She loved having her big brother and sister this summer to play with. When we picked them up from school yesterday she was so excited to see them. This does give us more time to do things together. We especially like to read books and take walks together. The fact that she is a great little helper with chores is nice, too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

School Days Are Here Again

(serious one)

After enjoying a fun and hot summer, the kids are back in school! Today was their first day .
I have to say I'm glad it's here. We had a fun summer together, but I know they are ready to get to school. I'm grateful that they both like it. They woke up this morning and got right back into our morning routine. Laci is so excited about being in first grade. Trent, well, excited isn't the right word, but he is happy about fifth grade, but wishes his class could have been in a different hall. His class is in the same hall as his fourth grade class last year.

(silly one)
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