Sunday, February 01, 2015

Valentines Day Cake


IMG_8303

Cute and very simple way to decorate a cake for Valentines Day.

First  make your cake and frost it. Your frosting doesn’t  have to perfect because you are just going to cover it with conversation hearts.

Second start on the bottom of the cake placing one heart at a time going a round the cake. You will go  layer by layer up. This took me about 15 minutes to put all the hearts on, 
I didn’t to a pattern though.

My cake was a two layer 8 inch round cake and I used one bag of conversation hearts.   
Sunday, December 21, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Week 5 Link up

Last week was a super busy week for us. With the boys finishing up their last week before winter break and me trying to get my Christmas shopping.  I just never had time to sit to do our Elf on the Shelf post so this week there is extra. Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season. 


Marshmallow snowmen getting ready to attack Cindy. I used toothpicks to hold the snowmen together and for the arms.



Cindy playing with the pig with the Christmas lightsabers that play music.


Cindy painted the kids pictures and brought painting stuff for the kids. 


Beyblade battles, the kids were over the top with this. Loved the idea of Pokemon battling a Carebear


The kids have been wanting to unwrap presents so Cindy wrapped up lunches. 


The army has captured Cindy.


Cindy brought Christmas PJs and put the train up. 


Hangout in the stoking having a lazy night. 


Cindy brought supplies for decorating Christmas trees. 


Small gifts from Cindy under the mini tree. 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reindeer Food With Free Printable Label



Do you leave cookies for Santa? What do you leave for the reindeer? Carrots are what we have left for the reindeers every year but last year we added to our normal Christmas tradition of just leaving carrots and cookies. A family from my sons school gave all the kids reindeer food to sprinkle in the yard for the reindeer. What a cute idea...right? This year we decided to make a bunch of reindeer food  for friends, kids at school and ourselves. Recently I picked up a book called Santa's Coming to Boise (they have Santa's Coming to for most states) it talked about delivering all the packages and the reindeer being very hungry because Santa forgot to give them the carrots. So the kids and I sat down to make the reindeer food.  They said Santa's reindeer won't get hungry if Santa forgets to give them their carrots because reindeer food will be out. This is such a simple and fun activity to do with the kids and it adds to the excitement of the season.


Supplies:

1 cup of Lucky Charms or off brand cereal (on one batch I removed the marshmallows).
1 cup of Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Glitter (Christmas colors)
5 broken candy canes optional
24 small bags (snack zip-locks work)
24 labels FREE PRINTABLE IMAGE for Reindeer Food Label

How to:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except for the bags of coarse.
2. Make sure to stir everything together well.
3. Add the reindeer food to the bags using a large spoon or a tablespoon.
4. Fold the labels in half.
5. Now fold the top on the bag over, placing the label over the folded bag and staple the label on. 


If you chose to make your own label the saying I used is below.

Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn,
and you'll wake up to Santa's gifts next morning on Christmas Day! 



Find more holiday fun at Whisicle's Coutdown to Christmas! You can also follow along on Instangram, Twitter or Facebook and join in with the hashtag #Countdown2xmas


Monday, December 15, 2014

Lauren’s Amaretto Chuck Cookies Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap


This season I signed up for the 4th Annual Great Food Cookie Blogger.  The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat. If your interested in signing up for the next one here is the info Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

Yes I did receive 3 packages of cookies; Lemon Ginger Shortbread from This Tasty Life, Cherry Chocolate Almond Cookies from Like Mother Like Daughter and Chocolate Dipped Sugar cookies from Layla of Brunch Time Baker cookies and they were all so yummy. I have to say the Cherry Chocolate Almond Cookies were my favorite, I have actually bought all the ingredients to make them today.  I  decided to make Lauren’s Amaretto Chuck Cookies which is a recipe I got from my Nana. These cookies are for yummy and always a hit. I hope the 3 bloggers that received them enjoyed them. 


Lauren’s Amaretto Chuck Cookies 

Preheat oven to 375

2 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour (do not sift)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Butter Softened
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
½ cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Tbsp. Amaretto Liqueur
2 tsp. Almond Extract
2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 ½ Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
1 Cup Sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then set a side.

In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs, amaretto and extract. Reduce speed to low: beat in the flour mixture just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips, coconut and almonds.


Drop dough by heaping measuring tablespoon, 2 inches apart, on greased cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Store cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week or in freezer up to 3 months.


    


Monday, December 15, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Ideas Week 4 Link up


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Traditions



Thanksgiving went by so fast and now Christmas will be here before we know it. With all the hustle and bustle its hard to remember to make sure to keep up on our Christmas traditions. When I was a kid the holidays were always so much fun. Its a big part of my memories growing up and my dad probably stands out to me the most with Christmas. When I look back I remember him being just  as happy and excited as my sisters and I were. My parents worked a lot so that's probably why the holidays stand out so much in my memories. I even remember my sisters and I sneaking out to get a quick peak before everyone got up. When we lived in Pinetop AZ I remember always going to my grandparents house on Christmas day. On Christmas eve we would get to open one gift. Did you have that tradition? Do you remember the traditions you had when you were a kid and are you still keeping those traditions alive.


Now that my husband and I have our own family, we are creating our own traditions. We are combining my husbands traditions and my own to make our own traditions, making it really work for our household. When we first got together we would go around all day to everyone's home trying to celebrate with both of our family's.  It was great to spend time with everyone, but extremely exhausting. Once we had kids we really started limiting the places we would go on Christmas. Then once we had 3 kids we decided no more. We decided to stay at our own house on Christmas. If family would like to see the kids and us they are more than welcome to join us at our home, but we decided it was best for us to stay put. The kids never wanted to leave our house on Christmas anyhow, so we were able to avoid that fight all together and enjoy a relaxing environment.  Plus all that unloading kids, food, packages etc was so nice not to have to do. Since we stopped driving all over the place, we had to think about what we would do at home. We needed to start our own family traditions.  

The first part of our Christmas day traditions start on Christmas Eve. The kids help make cookies for Santa, then get in their Christmas PJs to we watch a Christmas movie. After the movie we gather around the tree each child gets to open one gift of their choice and we snap a shot in front of the tree. We always leave cookies hot chocolate for Santa last year we started throw Reindeer food out on the grass for the reindeers.  After throwing reindeer food the kids head to bed to enjoy a Christmas story.


Now every Christmas morning I wake up early to get some homemade cinnamon rolls going so we can eat them while we sit around in our pjs in front of the tree and open gifts. When the kids wake up they have to wait for everyone to go downstairs together. I  always go first to snap a photo of their faces when they come down the stairs. The excitement on their faces is pure joy it warms my heart.


 Remember when you were a kid, being so excited the night before Christmas that you couldn't sleep?  That moment you woke up and the instant smile on your face running from room to room.  As you get older this excitement changes, but I feel the real excitement begins when you are a parent and you get to wittiness this excitement on your child's face. To me it makes all the hustle and bustle and prep work worth it, making smiles bring that energy alive and topping it off with the fact that your kids know the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. This is the moment I live for on Christmas, the pure joy in a families heart shining through their bodies.





 It doesn't stop there as our family all gathers around the tree we watch the kids tear through their gifts watching smile after smile it amazes me. After we have finished with the gifts, the kids are usually checking out their new stuff and watching the Macy's parade.



Then the warmth moves into the kitchen where the adults come together to make eggs Benedict. Once the breakfast is ready everyone gathers around the table to snap a photo together and enjoy the yummy food. During the day we relax, play with the kids, watch a Christmas movie and talk about Jesus. 





For dinner we always have fresh tamales that I make. I try to do all the prep work the day before so on Christmas they just need to be cooked. The hubby, kids and I always love the warm feeling of being at home and having a fun day together.






At the end of the night when the kids are down the hubby and I look around at the storm that has hit our house then curl up on the sofa to relax and leave the mess for another day. We talk about the day the highlights and the things that the kids might have said and every year I feel like the day went by way to fast. Christmas is such a miracle its the birth of Jesus and with that it brings a great day of reflection to everyone which is much needed.  At the end of the day its not about about the gifts its about bring everyone together on a day of celebration for Jesus we are so lucky that we can celebrate in the manner we do.



Before Christmas comes we do some traditions like Elf on the Shelf, Advent calendar, baking cookies, gingerbread houses, Christmas movie nights, driving around to look at Christmas lights and decorations, and a couple other activities they had back in Orange County. Now with us being in Boise we will have to find new holiday activities to turn into traditions. 

How do you feel about holiday traditions? What traditions do you have with your family? Are you planning to start new family traditions this year?

On this Christmas day remember to take a moment to thank the Lord for  the many blessings that you have received.


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Christmas Wreath with Ornaments


During this time of year I love to brighten up my front door with a beautiful wreath. Who doesn't love to display a beautiful holiday wreath on their front door? But yet they can be so pricey. Its crazy! I was  recently at Mom2mom which is similar to MOPS and one of my friends was making a wreath like this, she said she made it for $6. My jaw dropped. I talked with her to find out all the info to make a wreath. Its was seriously prefect timing because I had a Pinterest Party that night. We had to make and bring 3 identical items all for $5 each, so this was a prefect fit. Since the wreath costed more I just decided to make the wreath smaller to stay on budget.  When I finished I was so excited with the way the wreath turned out it was absolutely beautiful. 


Supplies:
4  small tubes of plastic Christmas bulbs from the Dollar Tree.
2 medium tubes of plastic Christmas bulbs from the Dollar Tree.
1 wire hanger (I found this in my closet from the dry cleaners).
Gorilla Glue or similar.

1. Take all the bulbs out of the plastic tubes then glue the top on them, put them in a bowl to dry. This helps so they don't pop off the hanger.  

2. While the glue is drying grab your hanger and form it into a circle. If you have a bowl you can use it as a guide. Once you have a circle and it doesn't have to be prefect.  Unthread your hanger at this point as well. 

3. Now you will start to weave the bulbs on to the wire hanger on the side of the hanger that doesn't have the hook. I didn't do any specific pattern, I just put the bulbs on in any order.  The bulbs will start to gather.

4. Once your hanger is full you will thread your hanger back together and give a little extra twist.

5. Add a ribbon for the bow, tying it to the top of your hanger. This step is totally optional.

This craft is so easy, cheap and fast. You will have a amazing holiday wreath in no time at all.  


I made 3 wreaths; 2 with ribbons and 1 without. The ribbon was at the the Dollar Tree too. 


Here are some of the crafts from the Pinterest Party. Not one person made the same thing. We had to get up and talk about our craft then draw 3 peoples names from a bowl and those are the 3 that got that craft. I left with Moon Shine and bath salts, chalk board candle holder and kids entertainment box for the car.  

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