Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crayons Are the Devil

If you have a 3 year old or 2 year old or probably 4 year old (I just haven't gotten there yet), you have probably had this thought too, "crayons are the devil". Seriously, they do NOT come off of things easily and if your darling child is anything like mine, she will mark on everything possible. I have had this thought, "crayons are the devil", for quite some time but I assumed my kid would listen at some point to my non-stop harping, that you "only color on paper". I have now realized that my kid will color on anything and everything and under no circumstances listen to me ALL the time or even some of the time for that matter. So yesterday I had to take matters into my own hands immediately after my darling colored ALL over her new baby she got for Christmas in purple crayon. Thank goodness I didn't splurge on the American Girl doll.  I did it, yes I was a little upset when I did but I will have to say that even now, over 24 hours later, I have no regrets. I threw every crayon I could possibly find (and believe me I looked everywhere) in the TRASH. Ahhhhh, (sigh of relief inserted here). Don't judge, I am a good Mama, I just couldn't take the crayons anymore. I will have to say it was exhilarating. I can deal with markers, I can deal with paint, I can deal with play dough (sort of) but I couldn't handle the crayons. Crayons just don't come out of the couch, carpet, walls, dolls, more walls, toys, clothes like washable markers and paint. I am glad they are not in my life anymore for the time being, like I said it has been a mere 24 hours.....

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that someone actually wrote a book on things their kids have destroyed.  Sh*t My Kids Ruined is a real book plus they have a site where you can submit things your little darlings have ruined too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Super Mommy Tip #7

This week's Super Mommy Tip: Keep 2 bags in the kid's closet at all times, one for keeping out grown clothes and one for donating. I don't know about you but the daunting task of going through all the girls clothes at once can be overwhelming therefore I put it off for as long as possible. Now I just keep a bag or box in their closet and just toss things in as they outgrow them, one to keep and one to donate. Once the box gets full I store it or take it to the thrift store. Now I no longer have that task at all, eliminated!!

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! I know I did. Now I just need to get all these sweets that I can't stop eating out of my house! I wonder if the thrift store will take a bag of treats?? HEHE

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Chrstmas to Me!

I have been wanting to get new throw pillows for our couch, well since we bought it a mere 3 years ago. We just used the ones that came with the couch. They weren't the worse things but they were exactly the same as the couch, so they just blended in. Last time I was browsing for fabric, I found some I liked so I make the pillows or rather pillow covers. With my crazy busy, messy kids I need to be able to wash the covers. I actually took the old pillows apart because they had piping around the edge and I thought it would make the cover look weird over it. So  I took the pillows apart, removed the piping, re-sewed the pillows, then made the covers. Whattcha think?...3 years in the making..not too shabby!

This is the back where I made the slit to remove the covers. I think it is called a french pillow case.

If you have been thinking about doing the same thing, just sit down and do it already! I thought about it for so long but it only took me 2 hours to make all of them!!

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fun Christmas Craft!

Every year when I was growing up we made Christmas ornaments. Simple ones out of flour and water. I remember them so vividly and it was something I loved doing. So this year now I have been wanting to make them with Alea. She is very into the ornaments this year. I finally got around to remembering to ask my Mom for the recipe. She loved making them. While they baked, I let her play with the extra dough and the cookie cutters, you would have thought she was on Top Chef. She did make a big mess but it kept her occupied for a several hours which was super nice.

Mix 2 cups of flour & 3/4 cup of salt. Make a well in the middle and add a cup of warm water. Knead, roll out and make the shapes you want. I then took the end of a pen, took the end off and put holes at the top so I could attach with ribbon to hang.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until hard. Once they have cooled, paint, color, decorate. I used simple ribbon and made a circle to hang from the tree! Super fun! Remember to write their name and the year on the back. My Mom said the oldest on she has now is 1981! How cool!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fudge, Fudge, Fudge & Easy Last Minute Gift

Another one of my favorite things to make for the holidays is FUDGE! Love it! The recipe I use is

Rachel Ray's 5 Minute Fudge.

1 bag of morsels (that word makes me laugh and I'm not sure why), I prefer milk chocolate but you can use dark, semi-sweet or whatever you like.
1 can of Sweetened condensed milk
nuts or anything else you want to add in or you don't have to add anything

In a double broiler (I just use a bowl on top of a pot) melt the morsels (!) and the add the can of milk. Once everything is melted add in your extras if you have any. FYI you don't want to continue to heat the mixture once you add nuts or whatever because that will make soft and not crunchy. Get a pan (I like to use my toaster pan), spray with cooking spray. Pour mix into pan. I refrigerate for an hour but it sets almost immediately so you don't have to. Just wait a few minutes and cut and eat!

Great to put in small bags and give to teachers, neighbors, friends....

Do you have a kid on your list but don't really know what they are into? My back-up plan for all kids gifts is ART SUPPLIES! You can't really go wrong, pretty much all kids boys and girls love to draw and color. I keep a box stocked with markers, crayons, paint, construction paper, etc... Whenever I need a kid's gift at the last minute, I just fill a bag up from my box!  Also a great idea when your kids are driving you crazy and you really need to finish something. Let them pick from the box. Alea actually has a big bag with tons of supplies and I let her have at it. FYI washable paint and markers are 100x easier to clean up or get out of things than crayons! So if your kid get carried away and likes to mark on the floor, walls, couch...give them markers and paint, NO CRAYONS :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

So Much to Say!

Since I have been a little MIA the past couple of weeks trying to get all my Christmas orders out, I am now bursting at the seams! I have so much to talk about, here is what I can get out today and I have the best kept secret...Super Mommy Tip!

So because I have been so busy, I haven't really gotten my hub anything for Christmas, just a couple of small things. We don't do big presents for each other anymore but I like to give him nice but practical gifts. I have definitely making him a silhouette of the girls. For those of you that don't know, I am a thrift store addict, almost...I love the thrift store. It might have something to do with where I live, you can find things at the Aspen Thrift store that you won't find at any other thrift store but that works for me. A few weeks ago I found a pair of croc shoes, brand new with tags similar to this for $10. They are regularly $50 shoes. He has gone on and on about how comfy they are, so I wanted to check out their other styles and get him shoes for Christmas. So just this morning I got around to and realized that they have many different shoe styles. Right now they are offering FREE express shipping on all orders over $100, plus many of the shoes are buy one get a second for 50% off. Perfect! I got him 2 pairs and realized that my total wasn't $100, so I just added a cute pair of boots for myself (how could I not they are the Claire boots for goodness sakes). They will be here by Christmas too!

I know there are several men that read my blog, so I wanted to give you a couple of tips. If you want to do something to make your wife REALLY happy...hire a cleaning lady, don't tell her, you have to arrange everything on your own and just let her come home to a sparkling clean house. If she is a stay at home Mom you will have a little more work to get her out of the house but I promise her happiness will be worth it. Remember this and this is very important, this is not a present for your wife. Let me repeat, this is in no way considered a present for her.  It is your home too and although she probably does the majority of the cleaning it is not her job to clean the house. This is something that will make you both happy. i.e. She will be glad the house is clean and you will be glad she is not pestering you to help out.

Okay Ladies, this is for you. Are you ready? This is one of the best kept Super Mommy Tips EVER.
So I have always pretty much thought I had a fat back. Yep, a fat back. Many areas of my body I am pretty happy about but I have always been self conscious about my back. A couple of months ago, I have no idea what I was watching or reading but I remember that it was talking about buying a bra that fit correctly and yada, yada, until I heard the words....Your bra should be lower in the back than in the front... hummm....check your bra, yep sure enough mine was even too, I also recall sometimes it even crept up in the back! Go now and look in the mirror, do you see back fat? Okay now pull the back of your bra down about an inch or 2. Viola! It is gone!. I have no idea why no one ever told me this either. I guess just naturally I assumed that your bra should be even in front and back, nope, remember lower in the back. I could have saved myself years of agony over the fact that my back was fat, actually I had come to terms with the fact that it was something I could not change. But I could and I did and I no longer have a fat back!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh the Holidays....

I love all my little side businesses...they keep me going. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have all these hobbies turned businesses. Then the holidays arrive and all my fabulous side jobs make my head spin...I can barely keep up...I am exhausted...I am not complaining...I love my life...I am glad I have work.....I love everything that I create....even my children make my head spin.  Ohmmmmm...Deep Breath

Just to give you an idea. Yesterday I edited photos from a shoot, made candles, made lotion, made shea butter, tutus, baby hats, onezees all while being a Mom. I am grateful my friend Sarajane watched Alea in the morning, so that I could try and catch up. Today I have made lotion, candles, and bread. If I can make it through this week on my feet I will be grateful.

I am not complaining, I am happy. I think I forgot that I have one more kid than I did last holiday season. I will keep singing Jingle Bells and hope that my kids decide to take naps.

I will leave you with my favorite gift idea this year. Of course it is do-it-yourself. Make it for your hubby, your parents, in-laws, yourself, anyone, I am pretty sure they will love it!

Scroll down to the bottom of this page and watch the video.,book-info/store,books/products_id,8942/title,Silhouette-Art/

Same thing basically as above.

I am going to do mine on canvas and frame it. What do you think?

Friday, December 10, 2010

White Chocolate & Peppermint

What a concept, white chocolate and peppermint! For years I have seen peppermint bark and I am not even sure I have ever tasted it....not sure why, I just never had any. Since I am always looking for new recipes, in particular easy, new recipes, I decided to look up the recipe for peppermint bark. It is hardly a recipe! It is the easiest, best, yummy thing to make! It is perfect for the holidays! I just made 2 batches (only because for some unknown reason I only bought enough white chocolate for 2, believe me if I had more I would make more, I will make more as soon as I get back to the store) and it made enough for me to make 8 small treat bags as gifts and a double small treat bag for...well, me...oh yea and I might share with the hubby.

1 bag of white chocolate chips (I used Nestle)
4 candy canes, crushed (just put them in a Ziploc, cover with a cloth and pound out all your frustration from your 3 year old)
Wax or parchment paper
cookie sheet (I used the pan from my toaster and it was the perfect size)

I used a bowl on top of a sauce pan to make a double broiler since I don't have a fancy one. Put about an inch or so of water in the pan. You don't want the water to touch the bowl because when it starts to boil the water will rise. Turn the burner on medium and dump the chips into the boil. Don't turn it up too high because the chips will burn, you want them nice and creamy. Once the chips have melted.
Remove from heat. Test chocolate to make sure you didn't get a bad bag. Add your crushed peppermint.
And stir. Test again to make sure the peppermint and chocolate are loving each other. Next cover your pan with the wax paper and dump the goodness onto the paper.
Put it in the for about 2 hours. Once it comes out just break it apart into chunks.

Pick the biggest chunk and test to make sure everything is just as delicious as it was when it was melted.

Great for a sweet desert after your holiday party with a big cup of coffee, mocha, latte...
Put a couple bowls out if you have guests over, just make sure to leave some for your guests.
Put in treat size bags and give to your friends, neighbors, teachers for the holidays.
Bribe your 3 year old into taking a nap by giving her a small taste beforehand.
Have a couple of chunks so you are plenty wired to write your Christmas cards.

Seriously, I don't know why I didn't make this years ago.  Enjoy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Little Chunk of Heaven

I LOVE caramel. Love it. A couple of years ago when I went home to visit my Mom and family and friends, my Mom made this incredible cake. I don't remember what we were celebrating but I remember this incredibly delicious cake. White cake with caramel icing. I am going to share this chunk of heaven with you, you will wonder why you ever made any other cake.

First secret, I use box cake almost all the time. I make homemade icing ALL the time. To me the most important part is the icing, I mean I love the cake but when you make a killer icing nobody can tell you cake is from a box. Shhh, don't tell anyone.

Caramel Icing, I like it best on white cake but I am sure it will be great on anything. It is also pretty damn good straight off the spoon too.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar (you can sift this but not completely necessary)

Melt butter and brown sugar in sauce pan over medium heat, stir constantly until it just starts to boil. Add milk and bring back to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and slowly add powdered sugar. Pour over cake. If it starts to harden before you finish icing, just return to heat for another minute or 2. Lick your fingers, lick the spoon and then cut a chunk of cake. Yes you are in heaven.

When you show love, you receive love.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What happened to my child?

Seriously, she turned 3, barely 3 weeks ago and my sweet little girl has vanished. I now have a 3 year old that acts like she is 15. She is something to be reckoned with. I think I am going to lose my mind. Terrible twos were nothing compared to the last 3 weeks.

Deep breaths, ohmmmm

Thank you, I just had to get that out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Best Sweet Potatoes EVER, I swear

I can promise you this is seriously the best sweet potato recipe EVER. If you are like me I don't like the traditional sweet potato casserole, you know the one with marshmallows on top but I love sweet potatoes. We have sweet potatoes at least once a week, the regular baked, I also like to peel them and cut into about 2" squares, sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little Ms. Dash (the garlic one), cut them into fries and bake, yum, yum. But for the holidays when healthy pretty much can go out the door, I make this "to die for" sweet potato casserole.

Depending on how many people you are cooking for...I would use about 6 medium to large sweet potatoes.
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

For the Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into about 2-3" pieces. Put in a large pot and cover with water. I put about 2" of water over the potatoes. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until a fork easily goes into one of the larger pieces of potato. Drain the water and mash the potatoes. Next combine all ingredients (except for the topping of course) Transfer to casserole dish. In a saucepan melt butter, then add remaining ingredients. Pour/Sprinkle on top of potatoes. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is slightly brown.

Have these at your holiday meal or take them to a party. Everyone will love them and remember you are eating sweet potatoes and they are healthy! Forget all other ingredients while getting seconds!

Don't forget to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Even if you know they know how you feel, it is always nice to hear.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Super Mommy Tip #6

Super Mommy Tip #6, the quickest way to make your bathroom sparkle when you don't have time to clean it. Is your holiday party just minutes away and you've spent all your time on everything else but your bathroom didn't make the list? First clean the mirror, use at least 3 or 4 paper towels. Then wipe around the sink with those same paper towels, wipe around the toilet and check the floor. Re-wet the paper towels if necessary and last light a candle. Viola, your bathroom is sparkling in 2 minutes!

Hope this helps with the stress of your holidays.

For those of you wondering about my weekly sewing/craft challenge. Unfortunately I have to put it on hold as I get all the holiday orders out. I do have a couple of great things in the works but unless I miraculously get extra time, it will probably be after the holidays until I can post again. Don't worry or fret I have many other great, fun things to post about, so stay tuned.

***Remember 20% off all orders until the end of the month plus FREE shipping! You must order by December 15 to receive your order by Christmas.

One more thing, please keep George Aldrich and his family in your prayers.  He went missing in Aspen last Saturday night. It just started snowing today and is suppose to snow 4-6 feet in the next couple of days. If they don't find him immediately, I am afraid it will be a long time before they do.....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yum, Yummy Pot Roast

I will have to say, I love a good Pot Roast. Not only is it tasty but it is so easy to make and the left overs are so delicious. One of the times my Mom was in town and I made a pot roast the next night she turned it into a stew and well since then I make and like pot roast about 10 times more. Remember when buying a beef roast the more fat that is on the meat the more tasty. I have tried getting a lean roast and let me just say it was disappointing to say the least. I aim for a medium amount of fat. I don't want to pack on the calories but I also don't want to compromise taste and goodness. If you are using a lean roast you might also want to add about 1/2 cup of water. I cook my potatoes and carrots with my roast.

-I use a crock pot, generously cover the meat in salt and pepper. I do use a good amount of salt but the salt helps make the meat tender.
-I also cut up one onion usually a white or yellow, I cut it into large pieces because I don't eat the onion I just want the flavor.
-I also add a few garlic cloves, which I typically leave whole or cut in half because I do not eat those either.
-If you work out of the house you can put this on first thing in the morning on low and add the potatoes, I would leave the potatoes whole. Then I buy the pre-cut and peeled carrots and add those when you get home from work and turn the crock pot on high when you add those. It should take about an hour to an hour and a half. If you don't have that long I would just steam the carrots. You can add some of the juice from the meat in your water for steaming to add flavor.
-If you work in the house I typically start mine around 11 am on high and I do not add the potatoes. Then about 2 hours before I want to serve I add the carrots and cut potatoes in about 2" squares. It is important that your potatoes are all about the same size so they will cook at the same speed. Many times I will put the carrots and potatoes on the bottom and cover them with the meat.
-Everything is done when you can put a fork in it and they easily break apart. The meat should literally fall apart. If it doesn't turn it up and cook it longer until it does.

Now the 2nd best part, the leftovers. I chop everything up into bite size pieces, the meat, potato and carrots (garlic and onion too if you like). Add a can of diced tomatoes and one big can or two small cans of tomato sauce. Add extra veggies if you gobbled up too many with the roast. Here I added peas but didn't have the diced tomatoes), green beans are good too.
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Enjoy! Soooo delicious!

Be the person you want to attract. If you want happy, positive friends then be a happy, positive friend.