Feb 17, 2012

Taking a Break

Hey Gang!

Thanks so much for stopping by tonight, I appreciate it.  If you're swinging by to link up to the weekly party, thank you for making the effort.  I know there are tons of other parties to participate in, and I'm so thankful for each and every link that's shared.

There are a few too many things going on right now, so I'm going to step back from blogging a take a little break.  

Please know that I genuinely have enjoyed blogging over the past year, and the world wide connections I've made have been fantastic.  I'm sure I'll be checking back in here and there, but I'm not going to stress out about my blogging "schedule" for the next while.

Thanks for your encouragement and support!

Be blessed,


Feb 16, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Popcorn

The other night I was cleaning up supper, bathing the kids, winding the house down for the evening....when I remembered that Boden was supposed to bring snack to school the next morning.  Ugh.  Of course.

So I started brain storming.  The snack needed to be made from what I had on hand, I certainly didn't want to go uptown with freshly pajama'd kids.  The snack also needed to be easy to package in little bags for each child, and at least a little bit healthy.

Then it hit me: popcorn!  I could make a light and tasty snack out of popcorn!

I started searching the internet for light popcorn recipes...and it was harder to find than I thought.  Many of the recipes had reviews saying how it was too sticky and chewy, not what I wanted to send to a class full of five year olds.  

But then I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com, and it was just what I had in mind!  Only a few ingredients, the delicious combination of sugar and cinnamon, and quick, too?  Perfect.


I tweaked the original recipe, just a little bit.  I eliminated the salt completely, since I was using salted butter and I didn't want the saltiness to overwhelm the sweetness. 

I used about a cup and a half of unpopped kernels for the whole recipe, and there was just enough of the butter mixture to pour over all of the popped corn so it was nicely seasoned without being too sugary.  

I also spread the popcorn evenly over two parchment lined baking sheets.  That way I could skip the cooking spray, and have really easy clean up.  


Yum!  I'll definitely be making this easy snack again!  And, at 62 calories per 1 cup serving, I don't feel guilty about sending it to a pack of energetic kindergarteners!

Be blessed,

I'm linking up!

Feb 13, 2012

Head to Head Showdown Winner #3

Hey All!  So???  What were your thoughts on the voting poll?

I liked it.  I think it would be even more fun with...ahem...a few more votes!  But all in time, right?  So, are you curious to hear who the big winner was?  Yeah?  Then I won't put it off any longer!

Drum roll please!

Taking the top spot for our third round of the final Showdown is.............
............The fabulous Kitchen Dresser from Meg and Mum's!   


Oh. My. Goodness.  If you haven't been by Meg and Mum's, you've just got to put it at the top of your list.  Megan, the gal behind the blog, has an unbelievable eye for refinishing furniture.

Just take a look at this table before Megan got her hands on it:

There's nothing really wrong with the table, it's just so very heavy and traditional.  And after?  Just check it out:


Oh, the gorgeousness!

Megan's attention to detail and finish for each piece she completes leaves me slack-jawed.  Here's a well worn coffee table before:


And after, you'll find this stunning ottoman.  Ugh, I'm drooling right now!

And then, there's just the vast array of other marvelous projects Meg has taken on and completed with gorgeous style!



 A-mazing!

Be sure to stop by Meg and Mum's and check out here inspiring gallery!

And Meg, I proudly present you with the winner button for the Head to Head Showdown!  Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful projects with us!





Be blessed,


Feb 10, 2012

Head-to-Head Showdown #13

***Did you put your vote in for the winner of round 2 in the Head to Head Showdown monthly feature?  No?  Check out the options here and click on your fave, it'll only take a second!***

Once again, last weeks party did not disappoint!  Blogland is chalk full of gorgeous Valentine's themed crafts and projects, and it's been so fun to watch all the romantic links added to the party.

A handful of my very favorite posts were:

This little Recycled Sweater Baby Doll from Ode To Inspiration had me smiling!  What a perfectly cute baby doll any little gal would love!


Are you looking to bake a tasty treat for a special someone this Valentine's Day?  These King Bars from Country Momma Cooks look awfully tempting to me!  Then again, anything with Nutella starts me swooning!


Do you have a closet that just isn't functioning at it's full potential?  Check out how Northern Cottage redid their disorganized closet and made it a Lovely Little Closet!


I love family traditions, and the ladies over at {Junk in their Trunk} have got a great Valentine's Day tradition to share!  Check out their fabulous Trails of Love tradition, I know my kids would just love it!


Thanks for linking up everyone!  If your post was shared above, feel free to grab a featured button:



And now, let's get this party started!  
Here's the rundown:
Link up as many of your own posts as you like, try to keep them fairly recent.  You could post anything from recipes, crafts, and refinished furniture, to essays, photography, and fashion, whatever you do!  The party will be open until Tuesday evening.  At the end of the week, I'll pick a few of my faves and share them with you.  At the end of the month I'll set up a vote and you all will get to choose the winner of the Head to Head Showdown!
I only ask a few things:
1. Please only link up posts you have written, created, etc.
2. Please display my party button somewhere on the post you're linking or on the side bar of your blog.
3. It's a party, so hang out and visit a few other link ups as well!
4. I'd love for you to follow my blog!







Feb 9, 2012

In The Works: My Plan For Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is next week!  Yikes, February is screaming by!  I've wanted to share what I'm doing with my family for Valentine's Day for awhile now. but I don't want to make the meal and all that before the actual day.  So instead, I'll share with you my plan now, and I'll show you the reality later...we'll see how close I can come to achieving my plan!

After the kids are in bed on the 13th, I plan on decorating the house with all kinds of Valentine's-y goodness, so when they wake up in the morning it will be a fun surprise.

For the table:  I'd like to do some fun crafts with Boden and Addie, like these sweet heart-covered candle holders below.  I think we'll make a bunch of these to use as our centerpiece for our dinner together.


Dinner:  We'll be doing a dinner of hearts...if I can make it in a heart shape, or add hearts to it, I will!


I'm also thinking we'll do some fresh veggies on the side, hopefully also cut into hearts.

Drinks:  I had the presence of mind to buy a bottle of that fancy sparkling fruit juice that comes in a champagne bottle last time I went grocery shopping.  The kids will love that!  If I'd have really planned ahead, I would have planned on doing this fun looking drink from Delia Creates:
 
   
Dessert: There are a million gorgeous Valentine's themed desserts out there...and my plan is to combine a few of my favorite ideas.  Here's my inspiration:
 

And that's the basic plan for our Valentine's Day together as a family!  I think it'll be really fun to get all dressed up for a special dinner with a few of my favorite people!  I'm already looking forward to sharing all the highlights with you all! 

Thanks for stopping in!

Be blessed,


Feb 6, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Knee Patches

Have you cast your vote for the winner of the Head to Head Showdown?  Click here to see the poll and pick your favorite!

If you've got little ones, then you'll know the frustration of thread bare jeans and holey knees.  It's inevitable!  Boden has a whole stack of pants that I just got rid of, all getting too short, and all worn right through at the knee.  Addie recently wore through a pair of her jeans and I thought they were worth patching, since they still fit her pretty nicely.


After a little creative patchwork, Addie's ragged jeans have a new, extra-cute, lease on life!  I was inspired by this adorable post over at Mollie's Mom. 


Her stacked heart shaped scoops were too cute to pass by, and I figured I'd put my spin on the idea.

Here's how I did it:



I got started by measuring the width of the hole on the knee of Addie's jeans.

Next, I cut an ice cream scoop shaped template out of paper.  I used the template to cut out three scoops of "ice cream" as well as some "hot fudge" to top it all off.   I also cut out a cone and a little heart ice cream topper.  Then I played around with all the little pieces to see how I wanted the final cone to look.



Following the package directions, I applied Heat n' Bond to all the individual pieces.  Then I arranged them over the hole in Addie's jeans and ironed it all in place.  While I was at it, I patched the other knee as well.  It wasn't worn through just yet, but it was getting there.  For that knee I did a jumbo scoop of ice cream with hot fudge topping and a little heart too.



Once everything was ironed in place and cooled, I quickly stitched around the edges for extra strength and to prevent peeling.
 


Pretty cute, eh?  Addie loves her new "ice cream pants", and I have a feeling they'll be getting a lot more wear!

I've got plans for a pair of Boden's too-worn jeans as well, I'll share his new knees soon!

Be blessed,

I'm linking up!





Feb 5, 2012

Head-to-Head Voting Poll!

Are you looking to enter the Head to Head Showdown link party?  You're not too late!  Click here!

Alrighty, folks!  Are you ready to cast your vote for your fave feature from the last cycle of Head-To Head Showdown link parties?  I'm so excited to see who you choose!

Here's how it's going to work:

The poll will be open for voting until midnight on Sunday, February 12th.
I will announce the winner the following Monday.
You are allowed one vote, so make your choice and click!

Happy voting!





Feb 3, 2012

Head-to-Head Showdown #12

People, you astound me!  Last weeks' party was a-mazing!
Every week I look forward to kicking off another great party and seeing what kind
of genius gets linked up, it's such a highlight for me!

I'll be setting up a voting poll for you all to vote for your favorite feature of the month,
keep a look out and be sure to vote!

A few standouts from party #11 were:

A Thrifty "Before and After" from Simply Simplisticated

The transformation of this $2.00 lamp is actually jaw-dropping.  The before shot is absolutely shudder-worthy!



Katie over at Creatively Living shared her Bedroom Reveal with blogland, and my goodness, is her master suite ever stunning!  I don't think she overlooked one detail, her new room is a lovely oasis.


Hungry for a tasty, yet healthy(ish) snack?  Give these delicious looking Zucchini Boats from Suburbs Mama.  I think I'll be trying these out for the next girls night in with my girlfriends.


I love the solution Tricia from Making It Feel Like Home came up with for adding some privacy to their front door.  Her "Frosted" Privacy Window not only adds the privacy that she was looking for, but a huge pop of personality for their front entrance.


If your link was featured above, feel free to grab a featured button:



And now, let's get this party started!  
Here's the rundown:
Link up as many of your own posts as you like, try to keep them fairly recent.  You could post anything from recipes, crafts, and refinished furniture, to essays, photography, and fashion, whatever you do!  The party will be open until Tuesday evening.  At the end of the week, I'll pick a few of my faves and share them with you.  At the end of the month I'll set up a vote and you all will get to choose the winner of the Head to Head Showdown!
I only ask a few things:
1. Please only link up posts you have written, created, etc.
2. Please display my party button somewhere on the post you're linking or on the side bar of your blog.
3. It's a party, so hang out and visit a few other link ups as well!
4. I'd love for you to follow my blog!






Feb 1, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Snowflake Fun!

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Snowflake Fun.....phew!  
Try saying that five times fast!  

While it may be a little bit of a mouthful to say, these crispy-sweet snowflakes are not hard to make, and oh so deliciously fun to eat too!  The kids were thrilled with this playful snack!


You'll need:

Flour tortillas, as many as you'd like to make
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Cinnamon sugar
(I just mixed about 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
Kitchen shears
If you don't have kitchen sheers, you can easily just use cookie cutters to punch
snowflake-like designs into the tortillas.

To make the snowflakes, I gently folded one tortilla into quarters, and used a pair of kitchen shears to carefully cut designs. 


Don't get too intricate design wise, the tortilla won't be able to hold the shape well enough.  Bigger, chunky shapes and designs work better.



Once you're pleased with your trimmed tortillas, lay them and all the little cut outs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Spray the tortillas lightly with vegetable oil cooking spray, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 



Bake the tortillas in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, until the tortillas are just starting to brown and are nice and crisp.  Careful not to over bake, these sweet treats will burn easily.

Next up comes a simple tasty dip to serve with the tortilla snowflakes.

Step 1: Whip up some whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
Step 2: Add in a tablespoon or two of your favorite jam, we added strawberry.
Step 3: Eat up!  It doesn't get a whole lot easier than that!


Yes, my tortilla broke!  These snowflakes are pretty fragile!  Thankfully the kids weren't too concerned and dove right in, snapping yummy pieces off the snowflakes, dipping them into the light and delicious dip, and munching away! 

I hope you'll try this simple wintery treat, I think it would be fun no matter what age you are!

Be blessed,

I'll be sharing this post at a few of these fine link parties: