Friday, December 31, 2010

Brass Polish - Quick Tip #7

Use ketchup to polish brass. It works ... I tried it once.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Food Quick Tip - #6

I keep a marker handy in my kitchen. Once I open something I try to put a date on the lid so I know when it was opened. It takes the mystery out of things when cleaning the fridge.

Like quick tips? Do you have any to share? Let me know and Ill post yours.

Whoopie Pies in a Jar

Whoopie pies in a jar! That was one of the things that I had included in the gift bag hubby and I had given to his sister, mom and grandma. These were just absolutely delishish! I had gotten the recipe for the cake part from my friend Kelly. (Last year she had done a cookie a week.) I had gotten the filling recipe from here. I had added about 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract to mine - it was Christmas after all :)

Whoopie Pies

2 cups flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 T or 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. If you do not have parchement paper spray them with non-stick.
Wisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in a third of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk. Add another third of flour mixture. Add last half of buttermilk and end with the remainder of the flour mixture.
Scoop batter (about 1/4c) onto prepared cookie sheet spacing them about 2" apart. Bake cakes for 15-18 minutes or until they spring back when pressed. Let cool on the cookie sheet before removing.

Whippy Whoopie Pie Fillling

adapted from the Fannie Farmer cookbook
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and shortening until soft and fluffy. Add the coolked milk mixture, then slowly beat in the granulated sugar until very light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract, beat an additional minute or so to fully combine. Spoon into the center of cooled whoopie pies. Enjoy.

Linking up with


Coffee Cup Quick Tip

Nothing like staring down into your coffee cup and seeing the stains of drinks past. Rinse the cup and leave a small dab of water in it. Put a little Baking Soda in it. With a paper towel wipe it out. You will see the stains disapper and have a like new cup again!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hot Cereal Quick Tip

My two year old gets impatient. She gets impatient when it comes to food most of the time. When I make oatmeal for her it is often too hot for her to eat right away. I add some frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries) to help cool it down. She loves it. Ok, so fishing out the blueberries may be a bit of a mess, but worth it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

21 Days To Getting Organized

New Years Resolutions are not my thing. I say that if a change needs to be done its going to be any time of year. However, this happens to coincide with New Year's. Organizing! A few reasons I have had a strong urge to crack down on all this stuff. One - our occasional chat about moving. We will need to stage the house once we do decide that we are going to put it up for sale and I don't want to wait until last minute. Two - two little girls. Since having gotten married our family has quickly grown and the house has not. Not to mention all the goodies we are having to make space for that were acquired over Christmas.

Did you know that January is national organization month? I did not. A Bowl Full of Lemons is hosting a 21 day challenge to get more organized. I love her ideas! When I was younger my closet was super organized. Those were days where I had the time...remember those?? My shoes were in the boxes I bought them in and I knew exactly where to find each pair. My clothes were rotated seasonally. Now my clothes are rotated according to maternity and non maternity. I will be posting occasionally some of the things I do to help keep things some what organized or the things I am improving in my home. Join me in my mission to organize and share any tips you may have.

Soapy Quick Tip

When I refill the liquid hand soap in my bathroom or kitchen I dilute it with some water. It works just as well and saves money.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baking Quick Tip

Did you know the cap that is on the bottle of immitation flavors equals 1 teaspoon? Pretty cool huh!! When I bake I use the cap for measuring.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Well, we left yesterday early evening to go to my in-laws house that is about 2 1/2 hours away. We arrived home in time to do our traditional Christmas eve dinner at our favorite chinese resturant. Unfortunately the girls were very very tired, therefore there was alot of crying. But, we managed to sail through it in the spirit of Christmas. They are tucked away in their beds. Anxiously we await morning! Tomorrow is my sister's house to spend time with my family (fingers crossed that all goes smoothly there).

Happy holidays to all! Hope it is everything and more for you tomorrow as you share it with your families. Remember the reason for the season as little baby Jesus was welcomed to the world with such joy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Freebie Calender and shopping list

There is a free website available called Cozi.  It is a great organization tool to help keep everything in one place. No more looking for paper when you need it. Hunting for a pen is gone. Simply type in your grocery list and print it to take with you on your shopping trip.

Another one of their handy features is the calender.Track Dr appointments, dentist appointments, school stuff, ect. And you can print it if you need. Let's not forget you can journal too. Special occasions like (heavy sigh) first baby steps with the assistance of the ottoman.

My mission to get organized is not because of the new year, but because my family has been expanding. My youngest is becoming more mobile, while my oldest is testing me. The job of a stay at home mom is not the easiest (I never thought it would be), but being highly organized sure makes things run smoother. I truely love what I do and know this is what I was meant to do - be a mommy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hung Up

Is it just me? That perpetual feeling of disorganization?! Last week I was ready to just start pitching things. I am working toward organizing things more. I have three new binders. One is for the household, one is a new one for recipes and the third is undetermined as of yet.

Here are a couple of quick fixes for wardrobes. My maternity clothes (that are not in use for the time being) are on colored hangers. My non-materinity clothes are one white hangers. A tip I had read to weed out clothes that you have not worn in a while: hang the hanger so the opening is facing toward you and when you wash and rehang your clothes hang it with the closed side toward you. When the next season comes you will then know what you have worn and what you should get rid of/donate.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Urns Christmas-fied

My most adorable model! Not sure what she was doing, but how cute.
The only Christmas decorating we have done so far has been outside. I guess part of my hesitation of decorating inside are the two little ones. My 9 month old is very hands on along with my 2 year old. In a small space that is not a a good combination. My stepson had asked if we were going to put up a tree. I told hubby we should put it up in his room. Imagine his shock once he returned from his mom's house to find a tree in his room! Anyways, moving along to my urns. Hubby had gotten them a few years ago for my birthday. I have not used them to their fullest potential ... until now.

We were getting some serious snow, then rain, then snow, hence the salt.

Here is what I used. A 12" cardboard round (found in the cake section), floral wire, three sizes of balls (the largest I would guess is 10" diameter ~ HL was picked over so I didn't have much to choose from) and floral picks. On each urn I had 1 large, 3 medium and 6 small balls, three floral picks. I had added some pinecones that I found outside as well.
In the center of the cardboard round I used a pencin (sharp object) to poke a hole to feed the floral wire through. I attached the floral wire to the large ball first then stuck that through the hole. Next was the medium size balls that I strung on a second peice of floral wire and ran through the center hole. Same method was used for the smaller balls. Once that was done I looked to see where the picks could be placed for filler. Then using my pencil sharp object, I poked a hole through the cardboard from the underside (the top side would have been difficult to do this since it has all the balls on it at this point).

Once done place on urn. Nothing was secure on this, although you could do so with tape (duct, ect) or maybe hot glue. It can all be taken apart to be stored and used again next year.

Snowy day will add to it nicely. Oh ... salt for sidewalks as well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow day

 In northern Indiana we are proned to lake effect snow. The past week we have had snow with breaks of rain and more snow. Yesterday our school system closed schools as a result. My stepson was not with us, however the little girls I watch part-time was. My husband had told me at an ever so early 5:30 in the morning that school was canceled. (I am not a morning person by choice) While I was in the shower I had thought about what I would do with all her free time. Am I the only one that thinks best in the shower? She and my 2 year old watched Tinker Bell. Once that was done we made a snowman in honor of the snow day.

This is what I had came up with while in the shower. My 2 year old and I had done this one. We traced feet, glued, then added cotton balls. The ribbon is curly ribbon for wrapping. Once that was done I let them finish it. My darling toddler finished hers by pulling the cotton off along with the ribbon.

Once we completed that they watched some more cartoons, while I worked on lunches. (seriously I think I worked super hard yesterday. Not to say that I'm a slacker, but I was beat.)  I had made them both bento's for lunch. Snowman themed. When the 7 year old sat down she said "adorable".

Snowman is a peanut butter with honey sandwich. I used a snowman cookie cutter. His buttons are reeces peices stuck with a little honey. His arms are cracker snack sticks. Below him is sting cheese cut in half. Pretzel crisp, kiwi and a couple of orange slices.

Today's forcast - snow! And we aren't in the worst area of it. I do admit that it is very look at.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


He has been in the making for quite some time. I had brought in the peices (that were scrap) from the garage. It was just a matter of taking the time to do the project. With two little ones it can sometimes be a bit difficult to get everything squeezed in.

 I used puffy stickers to attach his scarf. The first part of the scarf I used one puffy sticker. When I attached the upper part of the scarf I stacked two puffy stickers on each other.

For the eyes I used brads. I cut the tabs off. (see pic below)

The nose I used a piece of orange fabric. Wrapped it around itself and hot glued it once I got it to where I liked it.
The mouth and buttons are black felt.

I haven't quite decided if I should leave him rustic or finish off the arms and hat.
 Think he might need a girlfriend.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Bento

This is today's lunch. Pretzel Crisp, hot ham and cheese cut into quarters. (I made it with my sandwich maker). Leftover roasted carrots. In the bottom left corner is peanut butter ritz crackers dipped in chocolate that my DD helped with. She ate that first. Thank you for OxiClean prewash stain treatment!

This is one an older one that I never posted.
Animal crackers, cheese cut into flowers, ritz crackers, ham rolled up on a toothpick and frozen strawberries.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Burner Covers Repurposed

Megan over at Brassy Apple has been coming up with multiple ways to repurpose burner covers. It got me thinking. She purposed one for her kids to use on the go. The backside of one had chalkboard paint. Ohhhh chalkboard paint. I used this many many moons ago. It didn't turn out too well, but maybe because I didn't do it right.

 Chalkboard paint meet burner cover. Ugly dollar store burner cover meet your fate.

 This is going to serve as a menu board. With the exception of night.

Here are two others I did as well with scrapbook paper. I plan on hanging all three of these on the end of my pantry. I couldn't wait to post this though, so they were propped up until they fell.

These are great! So many things you could do with these. I have been thinking about something to hold a recipe for me while I cook/bake. This would be a thing for that. Maybe a little cheap plate stand to hold the burner cover, magnet to hold the recipe on to the burner cover.

$50 Target Giveaway

Hop on over to Texas Monkey to check out her Target give away! Gotta love Target! We were just there the other day to pick up a few things.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Glittered Christmas Trees

I got up a few Christmas decorations. What better way to do so than to glitterfy?!

I had made a few Christmas trees using styrofoam, glitter and modge podge. Modge podge because I had it and didn't want to go get a ton of regular glue. 

I brushed the styrofoam with modge podge with a foam brush. When applying the modge podge I didn't brush it on, but pounced it on to make sure it would fill the creavces of the foam. I tried to roll them in the glitter - did not work. So I dumped sprinkled it on.

They are on a ledge that is next to the steps going to the basement. I have always had a hard time knowing what to do with this space. It is perfect for some Christmas decorations though.

They look like they were born to be there. The rest of the house should be covered with them, but I will resist.