Monday, February 27, 2012

Time to get back into the swing of things!

We were on vacation last week.  We spent two fabulous days at the beach (I know, twice in less than 2 weeks. . . I am so spoiled!) and the rest at home.  Having the husband at home was completely fabulous.  He was on vacation. . . so was I.  I didn't get very much done.  We just spent some good quality time together and I did some weeding (one of those things that is really hard to do with the kids) and made a cake (a special vacation cake for the super amazing husband!).  

Today.  I am here. My house is in the process of getting back to normal.  Reality.  The husband back at work. Learning time with Ethan back in session.  My many To-do lists are being made (and items checked off!).  I even got up and went for a run this morning (boy, did that feel good!).  I am still waiting for the forecasted scattered showers to begin. . . we'll see!

Last week, I was flipping through the pictures on my phone and realized that I never blogged about this amazing treat.  I made this Gingerbread Trifle for Christmas Eve and it was delicious!  I can't wait to make it again . . . maybe next year for Christmas?  It combines two of my favorite winter flavors: gingerbread and pumpkin.  
taken with instagram

I love my trifle bowl.  It has been a great addition to the many baking and cooking gizmos and gadgets that sit on my shelves.  I got this at Cost Plus World Market for only $15.  Pampered Chef sells one for 40, but it has a lid and breaks down into two pieces. . . super nice.  Right now, mine is full of lemons and is sitting looking pretty on my kitchen table.  

When I made this trifle, I made the top picture at home and waited to finish it at Jon's brother's house.  I didn't want to take any risks since it was already pretty full.  

Isn't the finished product pretty?  Admit it. . . you want to stick a spoon in there and eat some, right?  But wait. . . it's just a picture on your computer screen.  So, before you dig a hole in your computer screen, why don't you keep scrolling and read the recipe and make some. . . just a thought.  I know it's almost spring and we're in the process of making lots of lemony goodness, but take a break. . . go pumpkin.  Your taste buds will thank me. 

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
Source: Taste of Home

Gingerbread cake (2 boxes if you go the easy route, 1 13x9 if you make it from scratch.  I made mine from scratch and can't honestly remember what recipe I used. It might be on my Pinterest board.  
1 pkg. cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk (the recipe calls for 2%, I used whole)
1 (29 oz) can solid packed pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 container of whipped topping. 

:: Prepare Gingerbread.  Cool completely. 
:: Meanwhile, for pudding, in a large saucepan, combine pudding mix and milk; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Combine pumpkin and brown sugar; stir into pudding.
:: In a trifle bowl, crumble gingerbread and press down.  Layer with pumpkin mixture, cool whip and repeat.  At the top, crumble some more gingerbread to make it look pretty.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy valentines day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my fabulous readers out there (I know you are out there. . . somewhere).  
I hope that you were spoiled rotten sometime this week by somebody special.  I was blessed to be able to get away to the Sycamore Mineral Springs with my husband for a kid-free night (thanks to my wonderful parents).  It wasn't meant to be a Valentine's treat, it just ended up being the weekend we could go.  It had been a year and a half since we had gone away (that was our wonderful trip to SF on our 5th wedding anniversary. . . and the weekend we found out Weston would be joining our family).  It was definitely a much needed weekend away.  Valentine's Day actually brought a letter via snail mail sent from my husband reminiscing on our very first date. . . 8 years ago Valentine's Day.  It's the anniversary of the day he said he was "Interested" in me.  It was the sweetest, most simplest gift he could have done.  I will cherish it forever.   

I made these sugar cookies for our Valentine's Day.  But because our day was filled with Weston's 1 year well baby visit (which included a couple of shots) and Bible Study, I was so tired during nap time that I sat on my butt, watched castle on Hulu and folded clothes.  So, these were baked on Valentine's Day and iced on the day after.  Don't get too impressed.  The cookies are the small sized Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix and the icing is this recipe.  Super easy!  

Then, I treated myself to this coffee.  Seriously, I love Pinterest. . . it is a great source for yummy latte recipes.  I had thought I posted it already, but I can't find it, so here it is again:

Caramel Macchiato
Adapted from here

2 tbs vanilla syrup
1/2 cup fresh espresso
1 cup milk, steamed and frothy (I used vanilla soy)
3-4 tbs caramel sauce

Add ingredients, in order, in a nice big coffee cup of your choice.  Drizzle caramel sauce over the frothy milk and go sit down for a wonderful warm, drink.  

And now for a little Valentine treat. . .

I made these for the ladies on my MOPS steering team.  I love that part of my job is to encourage them in their jobs.  I really enjoy blessing these mom's who are working hard to bless other mom's each month.  

So, these are Hershey's Nuggets (the toffee almond kind. . . my choice, because i think it is better than plain old milk chocolate).  I wrapped them in a wrapper stamped with a stamp from Stampin' Up (I can't think of the stamp name right now, and I am typing this in bed and don't want to get up. . . sorry for my laziness).  

I then put them in a cello bag and put a little folded topper.  The paper is some random scraps I had in my scrapbooking stash and the heart stamp and punch are both SU.  

I am now going to go to bed. . . my pillow is calling my name. . . need to get a few hours in before the little guy wakes up for some middle of the night cuddle time.  Goodnight all!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

It's just one of those days

Happy Wednesday.  Today is a chocolate covered cinnamon bear kind of day.  Yep. . . you heard me, it's one of those days.  A day, that if I didn't have kids, I would crawl back into bed, sleep until noon, take a long, hot bath (with Lush bath bomb, of course!), and then go treat myself to a yummy lunch at Panera Bread.  Unfortunately reality is go through the day and try not to strangle your kids.  Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my kids. . . but today is just one of those days where everything seems to go wrong.  I mean, I have a cranky, cold stricken 3 year old and a teething, milk striking 1 year old that doesn't want to sleep at night.  So, this tired (and also cranky?) mommy made herself this coffee and watched my kids play with this awesome ball.  

Isn't it cool?  It's a bopple ball.  My friend Stephanie found this pattern a few months back and shared it with me.  It was supposed to be Weston's Christmas presents, but it was done a little late and therefore, became his birthday present (thanks, Steph!).   You can find the pattern here.  It was a super easy pattern to follow and it was definitely written in normal language.  It was great!  I love patterns like that.  

I used some of my Heather Ross stash (now retired and you can't find anywhere.  . . sorry guys!) to make it.  I made one little mistake and wasn't about to take it apart to fix it.  So, if you do plan on making it and choose to  use coordinating fabrics, make sure you alternate them or your ball will look like the picture below and not the picture above.  
And, Weston loves it!  It is so much fun!  

Friday, February 03, 2012

Find my page on Facebook

Out of the Right Brain has a facebook page.  Find me and like me so you can hear updates other cool things.  

Woodland Forest Party: printables

I was super excited when I got my Give a Hoot Cricut cartridge for Christmas.  But, as the party got closer, I was thinking, "do I really want to do that many things with it?" That's a lot of work!.  I was so excited when  I found a free woodland forest printable set that was in the exact color scheme I was looking for.  
 These bags were full of trail mix that I bought in the bulk section at WinCo.  

 I loved our printable bunting banner.  It's still hanging up!

And then our Happy Birthday cones that just happen to match the bunting.  

We also printed the animal headbands.  This is my nephew sporting the fox ears.  We also had bunny rabbit and teddy bear ears.  Super fun!  

So much fun!  You can find these printables here

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Woodland Forest Table in orange, brown, and green

Taking a break from a screaming, crying, child (he's teething. . . 4 top teeth at once. . . poor guy) to get my blog post in for today.  

I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest and tried to recreate it to the best of my abilities.  So, here's the rundown . . . 
:: Trees: For each tree, you need a pencil, brown crepe paper, and 4 5 1/2 inch scalloped circle (I used my cricut).  I wrapped each pencil with crepe paper which gave it a very cool wood like appearance.  Then at the top, of each tree trunk (the pencil), I wrapped double stick tape around it.  Then, I folded each circle in half, making sure all the scallops lined up with each other on all four pieces of paper.  Then, I slowly stick each folded side together with double stick tape until it looked like this with the pencil in the middle.  I cut a Styrofoam ball in half and stuck one in each of my orange Anthropologie bowls.  From there, I stuck each tree in and covered it with some moss.

:: Treehouses:  I found wooden tree houses at JoAnn's for $1.  I bought enough for the kids to each paint one.  The kid versions were very colorful and were painted with Crayola washable paint (of course!).  I painted three of them with acrylic paints to match the party.  Then, I scattered moss, pine cones, and rocks in between everything.

::  Table Top:  The table I did this on was a rectangular table and instead of using a plastic table cloth, I used green wrapping paper (from Target).  I love this, because it creates a kind of table runner effect, while still protecting the table.

Where I found everything:  bowls - anthropologie, pine cones - potterybarn, moss - pottery barn, rocks - back yard.

Now, I am going to go back to tending to my beautiful boys, one of which is currently tugging on my arm to help him put together an alphabet train puzzle (not that he needs help, he just wants me. . . .i love feeling wanted by my boys!).  Weston is still asleep and I don't know how much that is going to mess up my day, but maybe the tylenol will help him sleep better.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn with pecans. . . can I just say yummmy!

One year ago today, I was in my very own hospital room enjoying my very precious baby boy (one month earlier than anticipated. . . no complaints here!).  Today he is the happiest little boy, with a joyful screech that can break the sound barrier.  I wouldn't trade him for anything. . . not even a full night's sleep (which would be nice, Weston. . . in case your daddy reads this to you).  
I found these amazing cones that were printable in the exact color scheme I wanted on Pinterest link.  The best thing ever was that they were completely free, as long as they were for my own personal use.  Awesome. . . especially since I was throwing a party on a budget.  You can find the printables here.

I had tasted some yummy popcorn at Costco the week before his birthday, but Jon and I wisely decided not to spend 12 dollars on popcorn when I could (most likely) make it for way cheaper.  And as much as I would have loved to purchase that ever so yummy popcorn, it was definitely cheaper, just as tastey, and not all that time consuming.  Completely worth it to make my own.  You can find the recipe over at Our Best Bites.  I'm not going to write down the recipe for you, because just jumping over there to read it is entertainment enough.  She's hillarious!

I filled each cone with a handful of popcorn and set each cone in a basket filled with fiberfill.  NOTE: If trying to do this at your party. . . please make sure you have something squishy to fill your container with so the cones sit upright.  If not, you will have popcorn all over the place, a frustrated mom, and minutes until a party is going to start.   I promise. . . just planning on having something like fiberfill or moss to fill it up ahead of time will save you so much!  Take my word.

Happy Wednesday!


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