Something to Celebrate

Archive for October 2012

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just started doing the Pinterest thing a few months ago yet my 4 year old daughter has already caught on to the trend and now has her very own board.

This all started when our nightly “snuggle time” turned into “let’s look at stuff on pinterest” because my pinterest page was open one evening and Hannah was very curious about all the images she saw (our computer sits on a little desk near the spot where we snuggle on the couch).  Well, last night it went a step further when the hubby suggested Hannah have her own board so she could pin all her special finds there.  Of course Hannah LOVED this idea and she had such funny things to say about each of her pins that I put those thoughts in quotations below each pin.  So, when you need a good laugh you can view her board here.

I posted this on facebook and got quite the response–her board has more followers than any of mine do I’m pretty sure.  So, if you want to keep tabs on H’s nightly Pinterest finds, follow her board and the laughs shall continue.

I leave you with a recent photo of Pinterest’s newest 4 year old pinner:

Hannah and her trophy at her first Blastball Awards Presentation last Saturday

Let be noted that I never ask Hannah to pose for these pictures…this is just her own “fabulousness” that comes out during photo time 🙂

Linked up at:
*Women Living Well
*New Nostalgia

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Today I made two “pinterest projects”.  One is edible and one is not but both are equally cool.

1.  Moose Munch–Have you ever had this stuff from Harry & David?  I can polish off an entire huge bag by myself.  It is THAT good but this version I made is even better!  It is so easy to make and would be perfect for holiday gifts.  I put some in a cute jar to be given as a door prize at my family reunion this weekend.

On the baking sheet just out of the oven..I sprinkled some chocolate chips on top.

Gifted up for my family reunion

2.  Halloween Soap–I saw this pin and knew this would be the perfect gift for Hannah’s teachers at preschool. It would be a great gift for anyone though!  I made the tag using a template I found here.  I bought a 4 pack of nice soap from Sam’s Club for $6.98 so this makes an affordable gift as well.  The soap looks just like what you’d get from Bath and Body Works only a lot cheaper!  Here is my final product:

Confession: Tonight I had a glass of pinot grigio and a bowl of Moose Munch.  Yep, it has been that kind of week 🙂

*Linked up at New Nostalgia*

Well, Hannah got a plain (gasp!) sandwich on Tuesday because we’ve been having issues with her behaving at dinner time and Monday night was the final straw.  I wanted to find some way to get through to her and let her know I was serious about her attitude/behavior.  So, I decided to take away something that she REALLY likes, the “creative lunch” as she calls it.  It worked.

Since then she has done much better at mealtimes and with her attitude at home so tomorrow, fun lunch is back.  They are studying the letter “E” this week so in honor of that:

As a parent of a very “spirited” 4 year old, you have to get creative not just with lunch but with discipline too sometimes.  Between Hannah and my 6 month old not sleeping well this week, I am worn out.  They are only young once (thank God).  Goodnight!

We were in the cookie mood today and I came across this recipe for Double Chocolate Cookies.  We’re all chocolate fans around here plus I had all the ingredients on hand so Hannah and I whipped some up.

As I started to read the recipe, I noticed it called for an entire cup (2 sticks) of butter.  I happened to have some Greek Yogurt in my fridge and I read an article on-line about how you can sub Greek Yogurt for fat in recipes.  So I cut out HALF the fat in the original recipe by using just a 1/4 cup of yogurt plus 1 Tablespoon corn starch!  No one could tell I had cut half the fat out of the cookies–they were still chewy, moist and delicious.  So here is my recipe with the yogurt exchange:

Double Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Beat butter and sugar together then add eggs (one at a time), vanilla and yogurt.  Stir in flour, cocoa, soda, corn starch and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes (mine took 10 minutes).

You have to try these cookies (especially warm out of the oven)!

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Semi-sweet chocolate chips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We made a Boo Pumpkin.  My cousin, Candace ,would be so proud.  After all, she is the one who introduced me to this addiction website.  I’ve determined that it is perfect for people like me who want to look crafty without having to put too much thought into it.  I mean, what we’re really doing here is ripping off other people’s ideas and making them look like we simply came up with it in between zillions of loads of laundry, nursing a baby, taking the other kid to and from school and making dinner.

With that said, I shall give credit to my pinspiration…yes I just did that.  I must find numerous ways to make you groan with pinterest terms 🙂  Our idea was from this pin.  I say “our” here because I thought this would be a fun project for Hannah and I.  Hannah helped me purchase the supplies from Michael’s first and then she helped pick out and place the buttons on the pumpkin.

So step one was buying supplies–this was not an expensive project, especially with the 40% off coupon from the Michael’s site.  We bought:

  • 1 medium sized fake pumpkin (currently 50% off at Michael’s)
  • 1 package of assorted sizes of black and white buttons (used our 40% off coupon on this item)
  • Black and white polka dot wired ribbon (on clearance)

You’ll also need a hot glue gun, a paper stencil (optional) and a pencil.

Step 2: I printed out a “Boo” template on cardstock using Bodoni MT Bold font (I just used  Microsoft Publisher).  I cut out the inside of the letters to make a stencil.
Step 3: Trace the letters on the pumpkin.  A pencil works well for this since the pumpkin is fake and made out of some type of hard foam.  Here is a picture after I traced:

Step 4: Use the different sizes of buttons to fill in the letters and glue them on.  This is where you can tell your 4 year old, “Find me a small button” and “What size button do you think we need right here?”  Ah, learning.  Pintereducation.
Step 5: Tie your ribbon into a bow on the pumpkin’s stem.

Here is our finished product:
We did a black and white theme.  Our pinspiration used all black buttons which I also think is very cute.

I think this is a fun Halloween project you can do with your kiddo (much more fun that getting your hands into pumpkin guts) AND you don’t have to throw the pumpkin away!  Just stick it into your Halloween box when you put your other decor stuff away and enjoy again next year.

Yay Pinterest!

This week I made Hannah Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh lunches.  She wasn’t as impressed with Pooh and I admit he does look like he is dieting but you can only make a slice of American Cheese so wide.  I think the preschooler is starting to be a bit of a lunch critic–maybe I should make something REALLY bad so that she appreciates my work more 🙂

I used Nutella to make Minnie’s ears and top part of her head.  I used a pink lady apple for the bow and a red bell pepper for the mouth (trying to work a veggie in here).

For the “Skinny Pooh” I used American Cheese, Nori (eyebrows and mouth), half a red grape, strawberries and raisins (eyes).  The face is sitting on top of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I almost always need bread in my lunchbox creations so I have been keeping a loaf of homemade whole grain bread on hand.  My recipe is adapted from Marathon Mom’s Amish White Bread recipe.

The only change I made to her recipe is subbing white whole wheat flour for half the amount of flour the recipe calls for.  Another tip is I never use the entire 6 cups of flour or the bread is too dense and therefore tough.  I first put in the 3 cups of white whole wheat flour and then add in cups of all purpose flour until the dough is just a little sticky but able to be kneaded without making a huge mess.  I usually end up using about 5 1/2 cups of flour total.

This recipe is super easy, fast and I love that it makes two loaves of bread.  I wrap one loaf in saran wrap then put it in a freezer ziplock and stash it in the freezer until I’m ready for it.  Here is a picture of my fresh-baked bread:

Happy Baking & lunch making!

I love banana bread and when I came across this recipe I found here, I knew I had to try it.  It was delicious!  The only change I made to the original recipe was halving the amount of sugar in the actual bread (I kept the sugar amounts used in the swirl and glaze the same).  Even with using half the amount of sugar, I thought the bread tasted sweet enough.  Probably because of the cinnamon sugar swirl in the middle and glaze on the top.  The recipe says you’ll need about 3 bananas.  I think the 3 bananas I used were on the small  side so if I made it again I’d use 4 bananas–the bread could have used a little more moisture.

Here is my version of the recipe:

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used the Kroger Brand)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas if they large)
  • 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Simple Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with a stand or handheld mixer on medium speed until well blended – about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix.  Batter will be thick.

Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar swirl ingredients.  Top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-45  minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

While the bread is cooling, make the glaze in a small bowl by combining the powdered sugar and heavy cream.  Add more powdered sugar until you reached desired thickness.  Drizzle over banana bread.

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