Monday, May 9, 2011

Turning Two


I have been busy preparing for Drew's second birthday party.  There are so many neat ideas for firetruck birthday themes.  I can't wait to share some of the fun things I am working on to make Drew's birthday extra special!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Strawberry Season


Strawberries are in season here in the South and we have been enjoying fresh berries.  We eat them with yogurt, in smoothies, and just plain for a snack.


I try to purchase them in a large quantity to save a few dollars.  I keep some in the refrigerator to eat fresh and flash freeze the rest for smoothies and milk shakes!  Yum!!


I also love to add a couple frozen strawberries to a cold glass of water.






We Love Strawberry Season!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Bow Tie


I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  

We had a great day at church Sunday morning and a fun time easter egg hunting at our neighbor's house afterwards.  But by late afternoon, Drew had a high fever and was moping around the house.
He still has a fever today, but I think it's related to the two new teeth that are poking through his swollen gums.  Poor guy...it looks so painful. 


Anyway, for Easter I wanted to make Drew a bow tie to go with the suspenders I found here.  I followed the tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home found HERE.  I made a few alterations to make it fit a little better. 

I scaled the pattern pieces from 3"x10" down to 2.5"x9.5" to make an overall smaller bow tie.  
The original pattern was a little too big for a toddler.  
I also narrowed the center piece from 2.5"x4" to 2"x4".  I believe I made the neck piece slightly more narrow, but I don't have the exact measurements.

This was a super easy tutorial to follow and the bow tie turned out really cute!!

{He's wearing the fire hat because it was the easiest way to convince him to wear suspenders.  "Firemen always wear suspenders!"}



Have any leftover Easter ham?


We had this yummy soup tonight and used up our ham and even threw in a few leftover mashed potatoes to make it extra creamy.

Hope You Have A Fabulous Week!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Candids

Always a character!

My little niece...sweet sleep.

Cooling off on a hot afternoon.  Summer is here.  So much for spring...

Birthday present from my wonderful husband!  A perfect cup of coffee every morning.


Wonderful husband who helps wash the dishes and has the patience to let an almost two year old help.


A few seconds of snuggling.  It makes long days so much sweeter.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pizza Sauce

We love homemade pizza at our house.  
It's a staple on our menu! 
I usually make whole wheat pizza dough and use a variety of toppings from what we have on hand. 

Here is my simple tried and true pizza sauce recipe that I use on all our pizzas. 
 {I also use it for calzones and as dipping sauce for homemade breadsticks.}  


Here's the recipe...


(printable version)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon marjoram
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sugar

Mix all ingredients and let sit for at least one hour.

This makes the perfect amount for one large pizza!


I'm Linking Up Here

Monday, April 4, 2011

Funnel Cakes




Since we are already experiencing beautiful summer weather here in the South, I've been trying out some warm weather recipes.  Funnel cakes always remind me of a summertime fair and are a great treat on hot summer nights.  

Here's the recipe...



(printable version)

Ingredients:

1 egg
¾ cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Oil for frying
Powdered Sugar
Directions:

Heat oil in fryer to 350 degrees.  Combine egg and milk in a mixing bowl.  In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.  Pour ¼ cup batter into a funnel and swirl in a circular motion into the hot oil.  Fry for 1 minute and flip.  Continue to fry until golden brown.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot.






Friday, April 1, 2011

22 Months: What am I Learning


I can't believe Drew will be turning two in a little over a month!

  He has become so observant and is learning new words everyday.  He loves to help and has learned how to put his hat and shoes away and to put his dirty clothes in the laundry room basket.  He is always running into the kitchen to get the kitchen towel to "wash" something -- usually the rims of his toy truck or his motorcycle.  He likes things clean!  
{He is his daddy's son!} 


Since he is learning so quickly at this age, I have been trying to spend a few concentrated minutes each day teaching him basic pre-school skills -- colors, numbers, letters.  Sometimes we spend 10-15 minutes, other times it's about 2.  It is usually very simple and unstructured and quite often it involves a game.  There are so many ways to make learning fun, and it is so important to instill a love for learning at a young age.

Here's what we did this week...

I found these little stainless steel condiment cups at the grocery store and put them to good use teaching Drew the "sorting game". 


I mixed up a few different snack foods and then taught him how to put each one in the right container.


It took quite a bit of patience for him to pick up one at a time - instead of a whole handful - and to put each piece carefully into the right cup.  


After a few turns he was really enjoying the little game and was so proud of himself!



I love watching him discover new things and I am trying to enjoy every single minute of this wonderful and crazy age!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Frugal Foaming Dish Soap


I really like the foaming hand soap from Bath and Body Works.  I love how the soap comes out all sudsy with no need to lather!  

Well, I wanted to find a way to have that same convenience in my kitchen.  I decided to recycle an empty foaming bottle and make my own foaming dish soap.  
Really there's not much to it...



Reusing an empty foaming hand soap bottle I rinsed out any leftover soap and peeled off the label.

{You can use goo-gone or nail polish remover to get the glue off.}

I added a small amount of liquid dish soap and then filled the rest of the bottle with water.  



Give it a little shake and try it out. 

My ratio was approximately 1 part soap to 6 parts water.  
Of course, if it seems too thick try less soap and more water.

{I had to add a little vinyl to make it more fun!}


I love that it is so easy to use and also stretches my liquid soap a little further.

It is of course not as concentrated as the full strength liquid soap, but it works great for the pre-dishwasher cleaning that I do on most of my dishes and really for all of my general dishwashing.  

{If I have an extremely greasy plastic dish then I can still pull out the liquid soap from under my sink if I need to.}  

It's nice to use a lot less soap for the same sink full of dishes and not even notice the difference!  


Foaming Dish Soap Works For Me!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Twoo Wuv


My little brother...
the one that used to be shorter than me...the one who I thought was such a pest just a few short years ago... my little brother who is all grown up now, is getting married this summer.  


We are so excited for them as they start their new life together!





I'm Linking to Finer Things Friday

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dipping Spice Recipe


This is one of our family's staple recipes and is a healthier alternative to our favorite buttery garlic bread.


I serve this with warm french bread as a side dish for soup and pasta.  




(printable version)
Ingredients:

*1 Tablespoon of Each:
Crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
Dried oregano
Dried rosemary
Dried basil
Dried parsley
Garlic powder
Dried minced/chopped garlic
*1 teaspoon salt
*Extra virgin olive oil

Using a spice grinder or coffee grinder, grind together all dry ingredients.  Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of herb mixture on a plate and drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top.  Serve with warm bread.  Store mixture in an air-tight container.





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