Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toddler Time: Penguin Week

January is a cold and dreary month. The fog has hit here hard and everything is wet. . . and cold. It makes it so hard to go out and have some fun (especially when my little guy just wants to play outside and get dirty). But, we have been making due spending time this month in the arctic. Last week (which was incredibly busy), we spent the week doing penguin activities. This one was our favorite.

Construction Paper Penguin

Blue, orange, white, and black construction paper
wiggly eyes


Prep-time - draw out the pieces ahead of time and cut out. You will need a round black head, an oval white circle, arms, and orange pieces for a beak and feet. Cut them out, if you don't feel comfortable with your kiddo cutting themselves (I cut Ethan's out for him).

Talk about the parts of the penguin and put glue on paper where you want your child to glue.

Thats basically it. . . super easy.

Have fun!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random thoughts colored {pink and green}

I've got ten minutes until my husband comes home from work. I've got my toddler sitting in his high chair coloring Toy Story 3 pages, and I am sitting here. . . blogging. Kipper is going on in the background and cornbread is baking in the oven to go with our leftover soup. Today was one of those days when it was going to be a busy day and ended up surprising us with peace and quiet. . . my favorite kind of day!

I have come to the realization that my son (and most likely myself, too) cannot thrive on an incredibly busy schedule. We just do better if we have days where we are at home with minimal driving around. So, I am coming to appreciate those nice, quiet days even more than I used too. I have felt so busy lately that I have lost all motivation to finish organizing and nesting. . . man, I need to get some work done! So, tonight. . . I may just make myself a date with White Collar and spend some time organizing the office. . . I am sure that my husband will want the pile of papers out of the middle of the floor, right?

Last week, my husband needed a baby shower gift for a fellow co-worker who is expecting her first next month. At first, he was all for me making something, but I think he was slightly embarrassed to give a homemade gift to a co-worker. Probably, the cute bag and the fact that it was handmade . . . and being given by a man. I hope that's the reason anyway and not because he is actually embarrassed of the gift. . . if that's the case, please do tell me. . . and I will stop.

This is the gift bag I made. I used a white gift bag and cut a scalloped square with my Cricut and then stamped the same stamp using Green Galore and Positively Pink (Stampin' Up colors). I used my small corner punch on both the white and the Gable Green paper sandwiched between them.
This is a close up. . . I was very happy with the way it came out!
Inside the bag, were two burpies and a matching rattle. I used scraps that I had left over from previous projects to make these. I am love the color combinations and how the rattle turned out.
While I am on the subject of babies, I have some project that I am planning on working on. Any ideas of what I could make for baby #2. . . let me know. I think I have plenty of burpies and bibs from Ethan but what do you think I should make for baby boy #2?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Happy Birthday" card

I think today is just one of those nap times (Ethan's asleep. . . not me) where I am just glued to the computer. I was very blessed to have my MIL come and hang out with Ethan this morning so I could run some errands. . . including a little trip to our local quilt shop. I couldn't find what I was looking for so now I am stuck shopping online (poor me). I am also highly distracted because Stampin' Up's Sale-a-bration started today and I am so ready to start shopping for some stamps. . . I am in need of inspiration! Plus, I am planning on earning some free sets, too! Even better, if you ask me! So in honor of Sale-a-bration starting today, I am posting this card. . . I had fun putting it together thanks to some inspiration from a google image search.

I also used my Cricut to make the flower. . . have I mentioned that I am having a lot of fun with my birthday present (thanks guys. . . AGAIN!).

I am planning on putting an order in this month to stampin up. . . I know an awesome demonstrator . . . so if you are interested, let me know. . . if you spend 5o dollars you get a free set of stamps (spending 50 dollars is way too easy for me!).

Monday, January 24, 2011

More notebooks

Today is the one day that I am NOT going anywhere. The past two weeks have been ridiculously busy and this week is no different. I will admit it was incredibly tempting to make a mad dash to Chick-Fil-A to get my free breakfast (it was my favorite so far!). I restrained myself and stayed home and it has been incredibly relaxing.
I am continuing my quest to get organized (or nest. . . ) this week in between all the running around. I finally finished my very own notebook cover. I have made several of these for others and just hadn't gotten around to making my own. I needed to make one for a birthday present, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make myself one.

For mine, I used some of my stash of Denise Schmidt's Hope Valley fabric that my sister sent for my birthday last year. I have wanted to use it for myself and I finally had an excuse. I love how the orange and purples look together! It was so much fun! It also works great for holding my grocery list, my to list, a notebook, pen, and coupons (or whatever).
I made another one (as mentioned earlier), for a friend. I found some of my favorite fabric that I had on hand and am so excited how it came out. I love the blues, greens, and turquoises in this fabric line.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blackberry Scones

This morning started out incredibly foggy. . . both weather wise and physically. Today marks the one month count down until my scheduled c-section. 90 percent of me is incredibly excited and the other 10 percent (maybe more?) is incredibly scared of the whole c-section procedure. Plus, I think I may be on the verge of coming down with a cold (NOOOO!!!!). I slept a lot yesterday. . . I mean a lot. . . more than my normal cat naps during Curious George and Sesame Street. I also woke up this morning feeling slightly congested. . . no fun. But my husband made me feel so much better when he surprised us and treated us out to In & Out for lunch (He must be a mind reader!) which was complimented with a nice cold, fizzy Coke. . . made me feel so much better. So, this afternoon while the the kiddo is sleeping and my husband is out helping his dad with some painting work, I am at home enjoying peace and quiet. . . clean dishes (I did those first), and baking some yummy treats that will soon be blogged about.

Costco has had some incredibly great deals on their fresh fruits. Even better you get a lot for your buck! Some of those fruits have been delicious blackberries. . . which are just so scrumptious to eat from the container. Ethan devours them like crazy, but oftentimes we just can't finish them up in time (mostly because after a few days we forget about them). This time, I had just enough to do some scones. . . and don't blackberry scones sound delicious? Well, these were absolutely incredible! Let me say, they didn't last long in this house.
I found this recipe after a slightly extensive Google search. . . I have mentioned that the world wide web is the greatest recipe book ever, right? This recipe was titled. . . THE BEST Blackberry Scones. . . so I couldn't resist making the best (plus, the reviews were great!).

The Best Blackberry Scones

3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter
1 pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blackberries

:: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
:: Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
:: Cut in butter. Then add buttermilk and berries.
:: Knead to form dough.
:: I don't make the traditional triangles. I patted my dough out onto a floured surface and cut out circles with my biscuit cutter and placed them on my cookie sheet.
:: I also brushed them with a wash of whole milk and sprinkled sugar sprinkles over the top.

I will definitely be making this again! They were awesome!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Toddler Time: Snowman

It's January and we've been enjoying our California winter, by making some fun snowmen crafts. My two year old has had so much fun. We even read some snowman books that I had collected as a teacher (anytime you can add literacy to an activity is AWESOME!).

This is a fun activity that we did a few weeks ago, and Ethan is quite proud. He still comes up and points and says "noman" (his word for snowman).


Egg carton (I used the cardboard kind, but if yours is white already, why paint it?)
white paint (If yours isn't white)
black, blue, yellow, and orange construction paper scraps
glue gun and stick
pipe cleaner or 6 inch fabric scrap
googly eyes


Day 1:
Have your child paint your snowman white. . . I had him finger paint it because he still hasn't quite got the hang of a paint brush.

Day 2:
Prep -
Glue it to your full sheet of construction paper with your glue gun.
Cut or draw out all the pieces your toddler will need to glue on. If your child is successful with scissors, go ahead and let them cut it out. I cut out all of the pieces for my 2 year old.

Craft Time -
Have your child glue on all the parts (see picture).
For the scarf, I just wrapped the pipe cleaner around the neck and tied it.

That's really all you have to do. Have fun!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stamps for Sale. . .

I've been purging some of my stamps, partly to eliminate some clutter, and partly to hopefully make some money, so I can buy some new stamp sets to play with (I am in need of inspiration). Here are some that I am selling. . . Let me know if you are interested. . .

Prices for each one are underneath their picture.





$4 (never been used or put together!)




What a week!

Today I am wiped out, but it's the perfect opportunity to take a break and get some blogging done. I think that the nesting phase of this pregnancy has taken over. Either that, or I was hit by the organizing bug last week at MOPS (the speaker was all about organization). Regardless, my house is slowly becoming incredibly organized and clean! Yeah! But, in between all that fun of cleaning and organizing, I have been baking, sewing, and stamping. I am just so motivated! I have lots of things to share with you, so I am going to try to make room for blogging in between all my organizing and creating. . . plus, it gives me some downtime.

Last night, I made this card to send to my grandma with her incredibly LATE Christmas gift (A Shutterfly book of Ethan from the last year). But, I already sent her Christmas card and I wanted to just have a quick note in there. So, I found an idea similar to this, and quickly got to work. It came together so nicely, I may have to make some more just to have on hand.

Card details: Most of the products are Stampin up. . . . bliss blue paper, bashful blue and chocolate chip inks, and Fun Filled Stamp Set. I also used some white and brown cardstock that I had just lying around in my scrap pile.

I hope you all are having a wonderful January!

Happy crafting!

Friday, January 07, 2011

my jibberish and a quick foodie gift

All remnants of Christmas 2010 have been packed away until next year. And although I LOVE having Christmas stuff up year round, I must admit, I am super excited to get this year started. This year holds some incredible new adventures. . . one being a new baby born in less than 7 weeks! Crazy, how quickly that has come. Now, honestly, I have waited until after Christmas to start getting baby stuff ready, and now it is down, and I am excited to go through all of those super small baby boy clothes that we we were so sad to see Ethan grow out of. Now, we get to use them again. Yesterday was a big day. . . I preregistered for my stay at the hospital and we ordered our double stroller. I am so excited, but at the same time, super nervous. I think I am more nervous knowing that I am having another c-section and surgeries kind of freak me out.

I should be mopping my kitchen floor or folding the large pile of clean laundry that currently resides on our bed, but all I feel like doing is vegging. I think it's because it has been foggy and cold, lately, and that kind of weather (which I love), makes me just want to sit down with something warm (hot water is brewing) and read a good magazine. I do have some projects that I need to get finished within the next week, so that will keep me focused (I hope!).

I have been keeping Ethan very busy by doing lots of art projects, so stay posted for some updated toddler time.

I am also going to be posting some stamp sets that I am selling, so I can buy some new ones next month (I am in dire need if new inspiration). If you are interested, let me know. . .

Okay, so for some Christmas presents, I found this recipe on this blog, I recently started reading. The blondies just looked amazing. I haven't actually made them yet, because there has just been too much junk food in the house. (Next, week though, it will be a whole different story!). I really like the way she even took the time to make printable recipe cards. . . so I totally copied her. I went and bought some bakers twine (mine was Martha Stewart at Michael's with a 40 percent off coupon). I love the way they came out. . . I can't wait to bake them. . . they just sound so yummy!

You can find everything you need to make them here, including the recipe. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Christmas baking

This year, I really aimed to not over-do it on Christmas stuff. I didn't want to get stressed out and I really just wanted to savor and enjoy every minute of the Christmas season. So, the week leading up to Christmas, I picked out 4 of my favorite recipes (some new, some old) and only baked those. It was so nice to not have to stress over getting everything done, that I think that's what I am going to do from now on. Who needs stress at Christmas?
Recees Peanut Butter Cups are a big favorite among the boys in my family. . . well. . . maybe me, too. And this recipe just looked like fun to make. Jon actually mentioned that he liked them better than the real thing.

Peanut Butter Cups

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 tsp salt. . . to taste (be careful, here. . . you don't want it too salty)
2 bags of milk chocolate chips (I used chocolate bark)

::Beat together the peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until creamy and well combined. Set aside.
::Melt the two bags of chocolate chips in the microwave by microwaving for 30 second intervals and stirring between each heating. Do not over heat!
:: Spoon a small spoonful of the melted chocolate into the bottom of a foil cupcake wrapper. Roll a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into a ball and flatten into a small disc. Place on top of the melted chocolate. Spoon more melted chocolate over the top and spread a bit to cover the peanut butter. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and peanut butter and allow to harden at room temperature. Remove from the wrappers and enjoy! the directions also mentioned not to put them in the fridge to speed things up. I found that they didn't take too long to set.

Every year, it is tradition to make peanut butter balls. They are just so yummy, that we can't go a Christmas without them. I also made super marshmallowy rice Krispy treats, as requested by my husband. They were so yummy!

I had found this recipe awhile back and thought, it looks so yummy, easy. . . and I had all the ingredients just lying around the house. I was able to make this one a few weeks before, which made things all the more easier.

Pistachio-Cranberry Bark

White Chocolate almond bark
handful of dried cranberries
handful of pistachios

Melt chocolate in microwave at 30 second intervals. Spread over cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle cranberries and pistachios over the top of bark. Press down carefully. Let stand until firm. Break apart.

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

One of my biggest cravings lately has been baklava. I made Baklava last January in honor of the olympics and it turned out great (super easy, but LOTS of work). I just didn't want to spend hours on a dessert, so I turned to a more simpler recipe.

Baklava Cups

  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 boxes mini filo shells, 15 shells each
  • 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup honey

  • Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Arrange the pistachios, walnuts, and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Letnuts cool slightly and add to a food processor along with the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and pulse to combine.

    Place mini fillo shells in wells of 2 mini cupcake pans. Add 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture into each shell. Bake until filling is hot, about 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat add the water, 1/4 cup sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to asimmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour 1 teaspoon syrup into each cup and allow it to soak in, then repeat with another teaspoon. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.

    Source: Sunny Anderson

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christmas week muffins

The week leading up to Christmas, I found a new cranberry muffin recipe that was well worth trying. They used chopped fresh cranberries and had a hint of nutmeg mixed in as well as sprinkled over the top. These muffins were absolutely delicious . . . I highly recommend trying them . . . before next Christmas. In our house cranberries are a year round thing. . . I just love them!
You can go here to find the recipe.

I would type it all out for you, but my wonderful hubby is in the process of frosting a cake that he and Ethan made tonight and I am looking forward to a piece of it. I hope you had a fantastic weekend. . . I sure did!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!!

Happy 2011!!!!

2010 is over and done with. It went by so quickly. . . I honestly can't believe all that happened within the past 365 days. But, we get to start a new year with so many amazing things already planned for this new year, including a new baby in less than 2 months.

2010 was filled with lots of happiness, some sadness, frustrations, and craziness, but here are some of my favorite memories of the year:
:: January - hanging out with my niece and Ethan while my husband and dad fixed our fence.
:: February - hosting dinner for our Sunday School class Progressive Dinner
:: March - Celebrating Jon's 30th birthday by going to San Francisco and having a fun party for him
:: April - Daughtry and Lifehouse in concert . . . so much fun!
:: May - Spending a week at the beach. . . i just can't get enough of it!
:: June - Celebrating my 5th anniversary in San Francisco with my love (this trip including Wicked and dinner at the Tonga Room!).
:: July - Vacation Bible School - both serving and watching my 22 month old have the time of his life!
:: August - spending time with good friends in the pool!
:: September - Celebrating Ethan's 2nd birthday, welcoming my our new nephew into the world, and watching the hot air balloons at 7am!
:: October - Hanging out in Sacramento on a rainy weekend with my parents. . . trains and apples!
:: November - Celebrating Thanksgiving as a small family and following it with decorating the Christmas tree with Ethan. . . so much fun!
:: December - Gingerbread week. . . baking and crafting with my family!

Favorite recipes of 2010:
:: July - Raspberry Dark Chocolate Scones (I can't believe I never posted these. . . don't worry, it will come!)
:: August - Blueberry Muffins (I apparently didn't post this one either. . . ack. . . But, I think I will blame the first trimester on this one!
:: September - Bistro Chicken Salad
:: December - Baklava cups . . . recipe to be posted soon!

Goals for this brand new year:
:: Stay more consistent with my times with God.
:: Enjoy having 2 little boys keeping me busy
:: Make Ethan a quilt
:: Catch up on scrapbooking
:: Plan fun themes for Ethan to explore, enjoy, and learn.
:: Finish the fabric letters I started 2 years ago.

Now, the picture. . . Marshmallow snowman. . . you can find out how to do this here. What was your favorite part of the past year? What do you look forward to the most?

Have a fantastic 2011!


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