Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Breakfast Dessert Recipe

A friend of mine recently shared a delicious summer breakfast idea: Honey Nut Cheerios with vanilla ice cream in place of the milk. Yummy! I told Elaine how excited I was to try it and she joked that she thinks she gained 3 pounds that week!

Not wanting to join her in fictional weight gain, I "healthified" her idea, using banana soft serve (click for recipe) instead of ice cream. I just used plain banana this time though, and, as the photo shows, I had no Honey Nut Cheerios.

It was a good dessert I felt guilt-free about eating!

Truth be told though, I'm still going to try it her way once I get some vanilla ice cream! The kids are going to flip!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Swagbucks Extravaganza Today!

Keep an eye on the Swagbucks Swidget as today is a day there should be a lot of codes for free "bucks!"  The Swagbucks Swidget is on the right hand side of this blog! If you aren't familiar with Swagbucks, it is a search engine that rewards you with Swagbucks for using it.  You can then trade the bucks for "Swag" like Amazon Gift Cards.  I've earned over $200 in amazon giftcards since I've joined! Click here to sign up!

Search & Win

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream from Bananas Recipe

Yes, this is just bananas, cocoa powder and peanut butter
I am so excited about this.  Let me repeat: SO EXCITED! Last year I noticed a product that made "ice cream" from bananas.  Of course, it contains no dairy, so not really ice cream.  I wanted that product.  I imagined myself losing 50 pounds instantly, but it was a little pricey and had mixed reviews.  I didn't get one.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon a blog post where the writer (Sorry I forget where) just used a food processor.  Duh!  Why did I think I needed a special machine for this?  I can't believe I fell for that!

Last night I cut up 3 whole bananas into slices about half an inch thick.  I stuck them in a freezer bag overnight.  This morning I dumped the bananas into the food processor with a dollop (probably about 2 tbsp) natural peanut butter and 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  Then, I turned on the food processor.  It was loud.  I let it run a minute or so, and then shut it off.  I repeated this a few times, scraping the top occasionally.  Then it happened... instead of chopped bananas, the concoction turned creamy and looked JUST LIKE ICE CREAM!  I excitedly dished out some for my 2 kids and myself.  We had ice cream for breakfast! And it was healthy!!!  I honestly didn't really detect much of the banana flavor.  My husband, who I insisted try a bite, said it tasted just like bananas.  I'm thinking of all the possibilities: banana and cherry, banana and pineapple, chocolate banana, coconut banana, banana walnut... lots of ideas.  You need to try this!  I couldn't believe how well it worked!  The grocer is going to wonder why I'm suddenly buying so many more bananas.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe

Want a quick and easy way to spice up your hot chocolate? Try a candy cane. My daughter begs me to buy her mint hot chocolate from the coffee shop, but I didn't want to spend $3 for it. I had this idea and it worked!

We make our hot chocolate with Ovaltine and milk. To add mint, simply use a candy cane to stir and it'll add the mint flavor. Yum!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Time Saver: Sock Sorting

"I've revolutionized the whole sock-sorting industry!" I excitedly told a friend last month, "This is totally the best idea ever!"

I'm pretty sure there isn't really an industry devoted to sock-sorting, but this is a time saver that is really working!

Before we had a family sock basket. When laundry was put away, the socks were thrown in the basket to hopefully be matched. Hopefully. What actually happened was most of the family took to wearing mismatched socks. We were trendy.

This way everyone has a basket or box on the dryer. When socks come out of the dryer, they are immediately sorted by person. Then, the socks with matches are put away. It works!

Another friend bags socks by person and washes the bag. What ideas do you have for this task?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's a Turtle!

This was a quick breakfast my mom made for my youngest daughter this morning as we are in town visiting.  Super fast and creative!

It's made from a strawberry head, blueberry detail, waffle body, and sausage legs.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gift Idea: Homemade Rice Bags

The last of the homemade gifts: a rice bag. My 6 year old can use a sewing machine (with supervision!) so this was easy. It's basically making a pillow (cut squares, front to front, sew 3 sides, turn right-side out) and filling with rice instead of stuffing. (Then sew closed).

She gave these as gifts to relatives. If you are 2, like her sister, these are great for playing catch inside. Everyone else appreciates that you can microwave them about 30 seconds and have a nice hot pack to put on ailments.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gift Idea: Personalized Hat

This idea came from an old issue of Family Fun magazine and my 6 year old made it for one of her BFFs. You take a store bought hat $1, use embroidery floss for one eye and attach felt and a button for another eye. The teeth are fleece glued onto the rim. Important note: Do not use iron set glue!!! (As you can see, it messes up the knit).

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Made This! Matching Skirts

This was another of the girls' Christmas presents: matching skirts. I always dreamed of being one of those moms who sees matching pajamas for their kids Christmas Eve, but my skill level just isn't there. I decided to go with skirts. I found this wonderful lightweight corduroy on sale and followed a tutorial on (simple skirt). I loved that it had no pattern! I also found it interesting girls 4 years apart have the same exact waist size. The only suggestion I would make, is to do a zigzag stitch instead of ironing down the edges (substitute for surging since I don't have one). I ironed down, and it didn't work so well, but a more experienced seamstress friend of mine said I should've zigzagged.
These two skirts probably took about 1.5 hours and cost about $6 total.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Preschool Project Idea: Snowman

G making her snowman
"Mom, can we do a project?" I love hearing those words, and it's even cuter from my toddler. We have a bunch of art project kits that we've collected so I quickly scanned them for one appropriate for her skill level. Not seeing one we already hadn't used recently, I gave our art supplies a quick glance. We have a lot of art supplies. Then I had the idea: the snowman. Everyone has probably made this in art class sometime. You paint a paper with glue, pull apart cotton balls for snow and stick. We used beads for eyes and construction paper for a hat. Buttons and felt would also be good additions.

My six-year-old's completed snowman

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Make an Angry Birds Cake

Large Angry Bird made with a Wilton Sports Ball pan
My youngest somehow fell in love with Angry Birds (or as she said, "Ah Boo") during her second year.  So, when it came time to choose a cake for her birthday, we decided that Angry Birds was the thing to do. We had about 18 family members attending her party, so we opted to make two cakes.  The first, the large red one, was made with a Wilton Ball pan. The box has pictures of a soccer or basketball on it.  We simple baked the ball in the two pan halves, leveled the top so they would meet up and assembled them.  We used the extra cake pieces to make the raised top of his head.  My husband then star-tipped the entire red area, and used pink for the belly. The orange nose is made with Starburst candy.  Simply melt the candy in the microwave for a couple seconds so its pliable.

The other cake was made with a simple sheet cake and 3 of Wilton's Mini Ball pans.  Smaller amounts of Starburst candy was used for these noses, too.  The black tips of these birds are licorice pieces.

Do you think she liked her 2nd Birthday cake?

The cake recipes used for these cakes was a Butter Cake from all recipes for the balls and this healthy chocolate cake recipe for the sheet. As a rule, we make all our own frosting, but we still buy black and red as its so difficult to make with coloring.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Make a Bow Board

Whew, I had to take a little breather from blogging after Christmas and find my groove again.  But, today is a good day and things are getting accomplished!  I have so much to tell you, but we'll take it one day at a time. First, a gift I made for my girls for Christmas: a bow board.  They have many bows and flowers.  Most of them from a cool boutique called Baby Boutique Etc (which happens to be the same bows the Duggar girls wear often on 19 kids and Counting!)  I needed something to hold them on better than the basket they were currently I had an idea to make one myself.

 I didn't follow any plan and just totally made it up as I went.  First, I knew I wanted it to be "squishy" so I planned on using quilt batting, but this clearance skateboard print fleece was much cheaper. I got a 2X2 board, got it cut in half, and wrapped it in the fleece.

Then,  I wrapped the pretty purple sparkly material around it, and secured it in the back with a staple gun.  This was the first time I used one of these neat inventions!  Finally I wrapped ribbon around it with which to clip the bows and flowers onto. I stapled a the ribbon as well in a few spots.
The bow board is now fully covered in bows and flowers, and I wonder why I bothered to cut my 2 foot by 2 foot piece in half!  I also had planned to hang in on the wall by attaching strong ribbon (twine-like) to the back, but decided with a toddler in the house leaning against the wall is best for now.