Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dress Up Aprons...Part 1

Bean and Buggy LOVE to dress up, I love to encourage their imaginations and play but at the same time putting dress up after dress up on and off drives me crazy! I saw ideas for dress up aprons on pinterest, there are a lot out there! So I do what I do best, show daddy my idea, tell him I want them for the girls, and I put him to work! That's right Daddy does the sewing in this house! I'm all for making blankets and quilts but daddy does everything else! We came up with a list of all the Disney princesses and then added other people the girls know, we came up with 25+ ideas. We are hoping to have them all done for the girls for Christmas.

I thought I would post the first few that we have done so far and will post the others as they get done. Keep in mind these are Daddy's original ideas of what each princess/character's apron should look like. He did use a basic apron pattern for the general shape and size but has created each unique one himself...I know he is talented, much more than me in this aspect, hence he does the sewing projects! Enjoy!
 Snow White
Princess Sofia (Sofia the First)
 Minnie Mouse
 Strawberry Shortcake
 These are the ones we have done so far, stay tuned for more fun dress up aprons to come, some include: Doc McStuffins, Sally (from nightmare before Christmas), Tinkerbell, Silvermist, Jasmin, Ariel... and many more!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chocolate Mint Sandwiches

Christmas is by far my all time favorite holiday! I love everything about it, the decorations, giving gifts, the reason why we celebrate, and of course all of the baking and candy making! I grew up making candy with my grandma and mom for every Christmas for as long as I can remember! I have so many memories of that and love that my girls get to enjoy it as well. It's now four generations making candy not three and I love that my girls get to make the same memories as i have of this beautiful holiday season! We only made two kinds of candy when I was growing up but now I have created more recipes and fun candy recipes. This one was created especially for my dad, he absolutely loves mint and his favorites are mint sandwiches so I came up with a super simple way to make them at home! Hope you can use this easy recipe to create many memories of candy making with your family!
6 cups milk chocolate wafers, divided
3 cups green mint wafers

Melt 3 cups chocolate wafers in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Pour melted chocolate onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Spread evenly across entire pan. Let set until barely tacky. Melt the mint wafers in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Pour over first layer of chocolate, spread evenly. Let set until barely tacky. Melt remaining chocolate the same way. Pour over the mint layer, spreading evenly. Let set until hard. Remove from pan by lifting out the parchment paper. Cut candy into squares. ENJOY!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Countdown

I know this is a last minute post but hopefully you can use some ideas for your own fun!

This year I decided to do a count down calendar for my girls where we will do some sort of Christmas activity everyday rather than getting treats or toys! So here is my idea!
First I did the containers, it took me a while to come up with how I wanted to do them. I finally decided to use Crystal Light containers. We go through a lot of Crystal Light at my house so I started saving the containers. Next I went through all my scrapbook paper for Christmas print and also red and greens. You could also use wrapping paper to cover the containers. I glued the paper down with Mod Podge. Cut out circles with my Cricut and printed the numbers on my computer. I used fancy edge scissors to cut out the number circles. I used mini glue dots to stick them all together and onto the containers.
Next I came up with a list of activities to do. Typed up a list. I printed them on red and green cardstock paper. cut up the strips and put them into the right numbers. Make sure to print a list for yourself so you know what days are what so you can be prepared with the materials you will need. Here is the list that I came up with.

1: Put up window clings (I bought a couple sheets at the dollar store)
2: Write letter to Santa
3: Make snowflake craft(Use coffee filters, fold in a triangle, paint with water colors. Let dry then cut out little designs, unfold and hang up)

4: Make Christmas cards and take them to the post office
5: Make Christmas wreath craft (trace kids hands on green cardstock or construction paper cut out and glue together in a circle. Use finger tips in red paint to make berries. Hang up)

6: Christmas shape Pancake dinner 
7: Christmas tree craft (

8: Read Christmas stories
9: Play Christmas Don’t Eat Pete (Print and Laminate)
Instructions: place a small treat (m&ms, skittles, smarties, cheerios...) on each square. Send someone out of the room and decide who "pete" will be. have them come back into the room, they choose one treat at a time and get to eat it. When they choose the designated "pete" everyone else yells "Don't Eat Pete" that person puts back that treat and their turn is over.

10: Go look at Christmas lights
11. Decorate a gingerbread house
12: Make snowman craft
13: Grow a candy cane (instructions and printables here

14: Color wrapping paper/wrap presents (we bought white wrapping paper to have the girls color on)
15: Color a Christmas picture and hang it up on the wall
(a great website:

16: Decorate Daddy like a tree (Daddy holds his hands out, wrap him up in green crepe paper and tape shapes cut out of paper onto him)
17: Make Christmas ornaments (I bought a kit for foam ornaments)
18: Have a Christmas dance (dress up the girls in their Christmas dresses and let them dance to Christmas music)

19: Make Santa face craft (make a face on a paper plate, glue on cotton balls for his beard)
20: Christmas action card game (original idea came from here but we made our own
 (Print and Laminate)

 21: Tell the Christmas story with nativity set
22: Make cookies
23: Go caroling and deliver goodies to older neighbors
24: Open a present early

Next step is to have the kids open one a day and see what fun lies ahead. I hope you enjoy these ideas and have as much fun with them as we will!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Citrus Herb Turkey

Here is a great recipe for a Thanksgiving turkey! I love to cook with citrus, especially when roasting whole birds, like turkeys or chickens.  I seriously don't recommend stuffing turkeys with stuffing, they take longer to cook and it dries out the meat! The crock-pot is the best place to create a yummy stuffing! Harvest Crock-Pot Stuffing. So change up your turkey this year with this tasty bird!

1 turkey, thawed
1 stick butter, softened
1 lemon
1 orange
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
10-12 fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pull out the giblets and neck of the turkey. Using cool water, rinse out the cavity and outside of the turkey, pat dry with paper towels. Rub the butter around the whole turkey, covering all the skin. Quarter the lemon and the orange. Place the rosemary and sage leaves inside the cavity of the bird. Squirt ¼ of the lemon and ¼ of the orange over the turkey. Place all pieces of the citrus inside the cavity. Generously sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Cover turkey loosely with foil; remove foil 30-40 minutes before it’s done to brown. Cook according to the packaging directions, depending on size of bird, takes anywhere from 3-5 hours. To test for done-ness insert a meat thermometer into the thigh, not touching any bones, a turkey is done once it reaches 180 degrees f. (or just rely on the trusty pop-up one most turkeys come with) Once the turkey is fully cooked remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and carve. ENJOY!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A New Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving is filled with fun family traditions. Some old and some new. Each year we go around the dinner table and share with the family what we are most grateful for. It is nice to take a moment away from the endless amounts of food to reflect on what this meal is all about. This year for Thanksgiving we wanted to add another fun thing to our list of traditions: Blessing Mix. This is just a small gift bag of goodies to share with family and friends but it helps to remind us of the symbols of the holiday.

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix Recipe:
4 cups bugles
2 cups waffle pretzels
1 cup rye chips
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds (or nuts)
1 cup pumpkin seeds (or nuts)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1 cup candy corns
1 cup skittles (or M&Ms)
Hershey Kisses

Combine everything except the Hershey Kisses in a large bowl, scoop about 1 cup into small cellophane bags. Add a few Kisses (I did three in each) to each bag, tie up with twine or Ribbon. Makes enough for 12 bags. 

The Symbols of the Blessing Mix:

A Horn of Plenty, a symbol of all that our country has been blessed with

Waffle pretzels: 
The windows of heaven from where our blessings flow

Rye Chips:
For the bread that was broke at the first Thanksgiving

Seeds & Nuts: 
Promise for a future harvest

Dried Fruit: 
Representing our bountiful harvest.

Candy Corn:
 The Pilgrims survived their first winter by eating only a few kernels of corn a day

The colors of the rainbow to remind us that God keeps his promises

Hershey Kiss: 
The love we share with family and friends

We hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We also hope you can add this fun mix to your Thanksgiving traditions. Get the print out here:

 I got the original idea here:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Harvest Crock-Pot Stuffing

I came up with this recipe last year for Thanksgiving. My oven was over run with other foods and I wanted everything hot at the same time... so enter crock-pot! I am not a huge stuffing fan, never have been, Daddy and Bean on the other hand love love love it! So here is what I created for them! I posted this on my recipe blog last year, but thought it deserved a second post here...Enjoy!

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup dried cranberries
12 1/2 cups dry bread cubes
2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3-4 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook onions, celery, and mushrooms, in butter, stirring frequently. Once almost cooked add the chopped apples and dried cranberries, cook for a couple more minutes. Spoon cooked vegetables and remaining butter over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten well, and mix in eggs. Stir in chopped pecans. Transfer mixture to crock-pot, and cover. Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 6 hours. ENJOY!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daddy's Children's Books

So the first stories I have to post about that we love are the ones written and illustrated by Daddy! Of course Bean's favorite book is one written for and about her. She has imaginary friend dragons that are all over our house and follow us where ever we go. Her favorite one is Danny, the big green one who is always with her, Dora the purple dragon is always being mean, whenever Bean gets hurt its always Dora's fault either tripping her or biting her or countless other things she has come up with.  

Bean's Dragons is about Bean and her dragons who always get her into trouble!  

 ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures is a fascinating tale of Professor Vontriponmybottom and the magical Creatures he encounters through the alphabet. A new installment of ABC Adventures will be coming out in spring 2014, ABC Adventures: Cooking with Kids, featuring Daddy's art and my recipes! More on this one to come later!  

 Trouble With Bernie is about an imaginary friend Daddy had when he was a little boy and of course the trouble he got him into. What good are imaginary friends if you can't blame things on them right?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Reward Good Behavior

I don't think I have met a parent that hasn't had a hard time getting their little ones to help around the house. We tried everything from silly threats about taking toys away to time out. This always resulted in the girls breaking down into fits and Mommy and Daddy ended up cleaning up the house by oursleves. We had to come up with something. That's when we instituted the "Good Girl Jar". 
It sits front and center on the kitchen counter. Next to it, is another jar filled to the brim with fuzzy-feel-goods (basically colorful pom-poms). Whenever the girls do something nice, like say pick up their toys, they get to pick a fuzzy-feel-good out of the jar to put in the "Good Girl Jar". When all the fuzzy-feel-goods are in the "Good Girl Jar" they get a special reward like being taken out for pizza, a new toy, or a fun family activity. Incentives work great with kids. They are willing to show you how hard they will work to earn that special prize. It becomes a game, and it helps Mommy and Daddy not have to resort to threats.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Beginning...

Life is beautiful and we want to share the treasures we have created with the world. We plan to share some of our favorite recipes, crafts, games, photos, and anything else family related. Check back soon...