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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Food and Treats

If you read my blog you know that I love to eat, and when it comes to holidays themed food is right up my alley.  With Halloween being just a few days away I wanted to share with you some of my favorite food ideas and recipes from around blogland.

links to recipes are in red
















What are some of your favorite Halloween themed foods and treats?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WFMW - Thanksgiving Blessing Tree


Join us for Works-for-Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

With November right around the corner I wanted to share a family tradition that we started with our kids a few years ago, it's a Thanksgiving Blessing Tree and I first blogged about it back in November of 2009 (you can read that post here).

I wanted a way to help my kids understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving and had seen several versions of Thanksgiving Blessing Trees online.  To make ours I made 21 pockets from felt to count down the twenty days until Thanksgiving, and the last one for Thankgsiving Day itself.  The pockets were sewn rough, they aren't pretty but to me Thanksgiving has a pretty rustic feel to it.  I free hand drew the numbers on felt and cut them out to sew onto the pockets.  For the pocket for Thanksgiving Day I found a Turkey foam sticker at Hobby Lobby to put on it.



After I made the pockets I used a clothespin to clip them onto the ribbon.  I then cut out leaves from construciton paper and placed one leaf for each family member into each pocket, plus one leaf with a Bible verse written on it.  I used several verses that were about Thankgsiving, and being thankful.  For Thanksgiving Day I added extras since we would be having family over for dinner.  I used leaf shaped cookie cutters as stencils for my leaves, and cut them out with scissors. 



After I did all that I drew a picture of a tree onto a piece of poster board (I am not an artist by the way so it's very basic).   I also added a Bible verse about Thanksgiving. 

Each night at the dinner table we would read the Bible verse for the day, then we would each get a leaf and write what we are thankful for on it.  We then share our answers with each other, and let the kids glue the leaves onto the tree, which explains why there is no order to how they are glued on. 



At the end of Thankgiving I roll the poster board up, put a rubber band around it, write the year on the back of it, and store it.  It's been fun to go back and look at our trees from the last two years.  It really gets the kids thinking about Thanksgiving and all the things we have to be thankful for. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recipe Review: Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes

Pinterest has turned into a total addiction for me and I am finding a ton of great new recipes on their site.  One of those recipes was the Chocolate Caramel Doughnut Holes from The Way To His Heart.  I tried these last Wednesday and I am pretty undecided on how I feel about this recipe.

On one hand the doughnut holes were amazingly delicious on the other hand they are a lot of work.  The dough for them was really sticky when I followed the instructions, and I ended up having to add alot of flour to make the dough workable.  When I tried to roll the holes with the caramel inside they didn't want to hold together very well.

The recipe as written did make a HUGE amount of doughnut holes, and they were large. 

I think for a special occassion this is a great recipe, but for just a nightly snack it's too much.

I am linking this post up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace.



A Late Weekend Roundup

I know it's Tuesday and I am a little late getting my weekend roundup posted but as I said yesterday I am kind of in a funk but today has really gotten me out of it.  I think it was a combination of the cold and rainy weather with stress.  I am not proud of it but the weather really plays a lot in my moods.  Anyhow, it's warmed up and the sun is shining now!

The kids were on Fall Break on Thursday and Friday of last week.  We had planned on Thursday to drive down to visit my grandmother, mom, brothers, and cousins on Thursday but Bubbles broke her glasses Tuesday night.  So we made an appointment for her to see the eye doctor early Thursday morning, which we did before heading out on our two hour drive.  We spent the entire day at my grandmother's the kids getting to play with cousins, and their uncles who aren't too much older than them.  We played cards, laughed, and joked.  It was a great day.  We left on Thursday night and didn't get home until late. 

On Friday it was still rainy and cold so we spent the day at home.  The kids playing and just enjoying a non-structured day.  Friday was the Friday night sew-in but I spent pretty much the entire day curled up on the couch, crocheting, and watching shows on DVR.  I got quite a bit done and was able to make some great items for my Etsy shop. You can view the results of my night here.

Saturday was another lazy day around the house, and on Sunday we visited a new church that is closer to home.  We love our church where we are at now, but it's an hour drive.  We have tried several churches close to home, and just haven't found the one that works for us but the kids really enjoyed the new church.  We are going to give it another try next week. 

It was nice to have a lazy weekend after the last few busy weekends, and the busy weekend we have coming up next week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 24th to 30th


Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

I've been in a funk the last few days, it's been a functioning funk, one of those where I can get up and do stuff but one where I just feel "off".  My kids haven't been in a very good mood, fighting constantly, keeping my nerves up, and I think that has a lot to do with my mood.  I also think the weather change has a lot to do with my mood.  Anyhow, I hope that I can kick it pretty soon.  I haven't really felt in the mood to make out a menu plan but am forcing myself to do it because I know that without it I would be lost.

Here's what I have planned for this week:
links to recipes are in red

Monday:   White Bean and Ham Soup (left over from last week)

Tuesday:   Semi-homemade pizzas - the grocery store had their Deli cheese pizzas marked down yesterday and I bought a couple planning to add on some toppings to make them great


Thursday:  Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (left over from last week)


Saturday:  Eating Out - Boy Scout activity

Sunday:  Eating Out - Fall Festival at Church

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October's Friday Night Sew-In Results



Handmade by Heidi
 
Last night was the Friday Night Sew-In that is hosted by Handmade by Heidi and Crafty Vegas Mom.  I participated and accomplished quite a bit.  I was able to finish five, yes five, infant crochet hats.  Granted the red and black striped munchkin hat was already crocheted it just needed a pom-pom made and put on it but still I must say I did get quite a bit done. 
 







Honestly, yesterday was one of those cold, rainy nasty days where curling up on the couch with some yarn and catching up on some DVR'd shows was wonderful.  Plus, I must admit this was not really crocheting just for fun, it was for work, although for me all crocheting is fun. 

Back in August during the Friday Night Sew-In I crocheted a couple of baby hat's for my neice (post is here).  After crocheting them I decided to try a few more baby hat patterns, and several people suggested that I could sell my hats.  So that is what I am doing now.  I have just started an Etsy shop (see it here) that I am slowly adding items to and am planning on doing a couple of craft/holiday shows over the next couple of months.  In addition to my hats, I am going to make a few aprons, and other handmade gift ideas.  Once I have a pretty good selection of items I plan to do a "Grand Opening".

Since I love to crochet and sew it's not really like work, it's fun and that's what last night was for me, fun.  The combination of crocheting items to add to the shop and participating in the Friday Night Sew-In gave me the perfect excuse to crochet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Flash Sale at Flirty Aprons - 50% Off Select Aprons

Flirty Aprons, my fave apron compnay, is at it again with one of their flash sales.  This weekend only they are holding a Flash Sale with 50% off of select aprons.

You can choose from the Ocean Masquerade



The Pink Masquerade


or the Floral Pizazz


To get this discount head on over to Flirty Aprons by using this link, and enter the code "flashweekend" at checkout!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Spooktacular Photo Contest - Win $100 worth of Mamasource Credits


Halloween Photo contest

Want to win $100 worth of credits from Mamasource?  Does your little one have an absolutely adorable Halloween costume? 

If so just head on over to Mamasource, upload a picture of your little on in their Halloween costume, and then start campaigning for votes.  The top 10 photos will get $100 worth of Mamasource credits.  But hurry because pictures have to be uploaded by October 21st, and voting starts on October 22nd.

WFMW - Keeping Up With The Kids TV Remotes



Join us for Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

So I am one of those bad mommies who allow their kids to have TV's in their rooms but it's not as bad as it sounds.  Even with TV's in their rooms there are still regulations, scheduled TV times, only approved TV shows, you get the idea.  That being said, my kids have a hard time keeping up with their remotes for the TV.  So how did we fix it?  I broke out the velcro, and cut a small piece off the roll.  I then attached one side of the velcro to the back of the remote and the other piece to the TV.  Now the TV remote is velcroed to the TV.  We did the same thing with their DVD remotes.  We haven't had any problems with the kids losing their remotes since we did this, now if I could just get them to keep their rooms clean we would be golden....


Mamasource

Recipe Review: Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

My husband has been begging me and begging me to make him a pumpkin pie, so I made two for the kids birthday party on Saturday.  On Sunday he was begging for another one.  Why?  He only got two pieces of the ones I made on Saturday.  Fine but I was out of sweetened condensed milk, which is what my recipe calls for.  So I set out looking for a pumpkin pie recipe that doesn't require sweetened condensed milk and found this Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie recipe from All Recipes. 

It was amazing! 


The pie was very easy to make, although I did make some changes.

I had a 29 ounce can of pumpkin instead of a 15 ounce can so I decided to double the rest of the recipe to make two pies instead of just one.  I figured one ounce of pumpkin wouldn't hurt. 

I didn't have lemon zest so I just left it out.

With the doubled recipe I needed one cup of half-and-half, which I didn't have.  So I used a half-and-half substitue using whole milk and butter.  To do this I melted 4 1/2 teaspoons of butter in a measuring cup and added in enough milk to make a cup. 

I didn't have whole pecans at home, so I used pecan pieces and halves for the pecans.

This recipe has a definite fall appeal to it, and will be on my Thanksgiving Day menu for sure!

I am linking this post up to



Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace.



Real Writing Jobs

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 17th to 23rd


Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Last week was a great week, and I actually got to do some cooking for once which is nice.  For me cooking is not just getting a meal on the table, it's the fun of making a recipe or two completely from scratch.  Since school has started many of our meals have been what I consider "quick fixes" and not cooking.  This week is going to be a little crazy so there won't be too much cooking going on around here.

Here's what I have on the menu for this week:
links to recipes are in red

Monday - Eating Out due To Soccer Game at Dinner Time

Tuesday - Beef Stir Fry (recipe later this week)


Thursday - eating at my grandmothers

Friday - White Bean and Ham Soup, Corn Bread

Saturday - Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes

Sunday - Steaks, My Grandmother's Green Beans, Macaroni and Cheese

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Inspired Silver Ring - Good Deal Follow Up

Remember back in August when I talked about the $25 gift certificate you could get for $2 to Inspired Silver through Save More?  If not the post is here.

I ordered the gift certificate and used it to buy Bubbles two rings.  One for her birthday and one for Christmas. 

Here is the one she got yesterday for her birthday


It wasn't a good picture so here is a better one

And here is the one that she is getting for Christmas


Not bad for $2 is it?

Weekend Wrap Up 10/16

It's been another busy weekend around here.  As I had mentioned earlier in the week we had Bubbles and Skateboarder's birthday party this weekend.  Which meant Friday night was spent doing last minute cleaning, cooking, and decorating.  Since I had been gone shopping all day Friday this meant that everything had to get done in just a few hours.  It was crazy and I was exhausted when I hit the bed.  I was only able to get 4 hours of sleep before I had to get back up on Saturday morning to get everything ready for the party. 

The party was a blast.  We are big University of Louisville fans around here so we had a party centered around our beloved Cardinals.




I was soo tired Saturday night and was able to get some rest after everyone left.

Sunday was an equally busy day.  We woke up early and went to the flea market.  After we left the flea market we drove by a Rehab Center that I have a job interview at tommorow just so that I knew exactly where I had to go. 


When we got home tonight I ended up making an amazing Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie.



Look for the recipe this week!

And I also managed to sew myself a shell tank to wear on my interview tommorow!

What more can you expect out of a weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saving Money On Cell Phones

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have always heard that one of the biggest ways to cut down on your monthly bills is to get rid of your monthly contract cell phone and go with a pre-paid plan instead.  This is something that I tucked away in my mind but hadn't really acted on.  Well, now our cell phones are out of contract and this is something that I am definitely considering. 

I currently have an Android phone that I love, so I really don't want to give it up so finding a pre-paid cell phone provider that offers Android phones is important to me.  The power of Android has a spell over me that I just can't break.  I don't think I could ever go back to using a normal cell phone now.  

Want to know something that sounds silly?  I Feel Richer with Android phones.  Sort of like this lady.


The Straight Talk Image... by LittleBard95

or this one

Straight Talk offers monthly pre-paid cell phone plans that include Android phones that come with all of the apps and games you need for just $45 a month which includes unlimited calls, text, picture messaging, and web service.  Straight Talk also includes 411 calls at no extra charge, plus there are no activation, reactivation or termination fees. 

I currently pay $59.95 a month for my basic phone plan which includes 2,000 minutes each month, I have to pay an additional $9.95 for unlimited texts, and $25 a month for unlimited Data.  That means my total monthly bill is $94.90 each month and I don't even receive unlimited calls.  By switching to Straight Talk I would save right at $50 a month, which means I could pay for two Straight Talk phones what I pay for my one each month. 

There are so many phones to choose from it's unbelievable.  You can even get reconditioned phones with a camera, MP3 player, web access, and blue tooth capability for just $10.  Isn't that crazy?

So how much money do you think you would save if you switched to Straight Talk?  Staggering isn't it? 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday - Keeping Noodles From Sticking


Join us for Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

Several months ago I was watching a Pam Cooking Spray commercial (which is suprising since I don't watch many commercials since we got a DVR) and I noticed them spraying Pam into boiling water before they added their spaghetti noodles.  I was kind of suprised and wondered why they would do that, I figured it had to be to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan, which I tend to have trouble with when I cook macaroni and cheese.  So, of course I had to give it a try.  The next time I was boiling water for macaroni and cheese I sprayed a little Pam into the water before adding the noodles, and guess what???  The noodles didn't stick!  So this has become my go-to trick when cooking noodles, I spray in a little cooking spray before adding noodles.  So now my question is did everyone but me already know this?  Or are you all as shocked by it as me? 

BetterWorldBooks.com Bargain Bin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Still looking

I am still looking for a comforter set for Bubble's bedroom, as I have yet to find the one that just knocks my socks off. It is so hard to find the perfect one for a fourteen year old girl, trying to find the one that isn't too grown up looking or doesn't look too babyish. Today I visited Brylane Home and was pleased with the amount of bedspreads and comforters that they have to choose from.

I actually found two that I really like.


I like this one but I am not sure if she will.  It will go well with her current curtains, and the current color scheme of her room. 


This one is my favorite, and I think it is going to be the winner.  It looks like a teenager's bedroom set.  It doesn't look too babyish or too old for a fourteen year old.  Bubble's is not a girly girl so the pink in her current room isn't really her, so the purple and brown would be perfect.  However the downside is that I will have to change the current color scheme of the room, and will have to buy new curtains, but they do sell curtains that match the set.  Convenient, huh?

Let me show you though what really captured my heart today...






You know how I feel about holidays - LOVE them!  I have been wanting to get everyone Christmas bed sets for a while now and this might just be the year that I get to buy them! 

What about you, do you have special sheets that you just use at Christmas time?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

I had such an amazingly awesome weekend, it was one of those weekends that you really just don't want to end.

On Friday night we drove about an hour and a half to my grandmother's house to stay for the weekend.  We lived with her for a short time, and her house feels like home to us.  It's a nice feeling.

On Saturday Little Man had a council wide scouting event that my husband and I took him to. 

He had a blast participating in the days activities and was able to earn a few belt loop awards.




While Little Man, my husband and I were at the scouting event my grandmother took the girls to a block party and then to church.  After they got out of church, we met them along with a couple of other people for dinner.  Followed by a trip to the local German American club that had a live band playing.  I remember going to the German American club with my grandparents as a little girl, and this was the first time for my husband or kids.  We all had a blast.



My husband and Sunshine dancing.


Bubbles and Little Man dancing.  This one melted my heart.

My grandmother suprised Bubbles by telling the band that today was Bubble's birthday.  They called Bubbles out onto the dance floor and had everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to her.  The moment was priceless!

We got back to my grandmother's late Saturday night and the kids were all so exhausted that they fell asleep within minutes.  We woke up on Sunday, fixed a large breakfast, and then headed home.  It was late afternoon on Sunday when we got home, so as soon as we all got baths and ate a quick fix supper we all went to bed early.  I have to admit, I slept for twelve hours last night and boy did I need that!  I hope everyone had as great a weekend as I did!



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