Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentines Day : Tiny Fortune Cookie Erasers

Valentine's Day Tiny Fortune Cookie Erasers! My co-worker found these cuties in the the Target Dollar store area. I was all set for my Valentine's this year, but these tiny guys will be PERFECT for next year. I figure I can cut out a few paper take-out boxes here and there. It won't be a mad dash next February. The best part, is the erasers have a little cut out space to add a paper fortune. ADORABLE.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentines : tiny bakery erasers


When I was a kid, my favorite holiday at elementary school was Valentine's day. I loved decorating my Grandmother's Hush Puppy Shoe box from the Dayton's store. My Grandmother always thoughtfully pulled aside paper doilies, vintage cards and wrapping paper for my sister and I.

The day of the celebration at school was sugar filled with that crazy kid orange drink and frosted cupcakes. Back then, no one in my class was Gluten Free, allergic to Red Dye 4 or Peanuts/Treenuts. School is different now. Kids cannot bring food treats to school (too many allergies). I make sure to create something adorable to ensure Valentine's Day is still magical.

This year, we found these adorable tiny bakery erasers at Target. They were only $1.50 for six. To spice them up, I constructed a tiny box for each one. I found heavy weight paper at Michael's Arts and Crafts and 3M washi tape at Target. I layered in some cut up tissue paper for a pop of color. Then tossed in a funny paper fortune "You will be hungry in one hour. Lucky Numbers: 02, 14, 20, 15". I had the kids sign their names on the back of the paper fortune.


 




Of course, we only had to make 48! The boys did help cut out the boxes. The six year old had better fine motor skills. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cakeball Truffles

Yum! Salted Caramel Chocolate Cakeball Truffles. My eldest, loved them and she is miss picky pants. I make the caramel sauce from regular caramels (the ones that are individually wrapped) in the baking aisle. I toss the caramels in a pot and melt them slowly on low heat with a bit of heavy cream. The salt is best as freshly ground Sea Salt.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

BOOM, and 10 it is

My middle kiddo is officially 10 years old. He is nearly 5' 2" and wears the same size shoe as me (woman's size 10). This year we had a sleepover at the WaterPark of America. They have an awesome little set up. One hotel room has a bigger room and then a smaller little alcove with two sets of bunk beds. The boys romped around the Waterpark till around 9pm, then back to the room for pizza and a movie (Earth to Echo). They went to bed like fine gentlemen. Usually the girl sleepovers are filled with squealing, slamming doors, giggling, wrestling, fart noises, snorts and more. The boys were perfect, so easy! In the morning, hotel guests get access to the water park at 9am. So the boys were up by 7am ready to go.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Valentine's Day Cakeball Truffles

My daughter had two friends over for a sleepover. I thought it was time to let them take over on the cakeball truffle business. They can do it! Sure, they are not perfect-perfect but they still taste great. This time we made strawberry with dark chocolate. Every treat is better with sprinkles.

And then we took turns coloring on the Cuties with permanent markers.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Record Play

I love to stop at Goodwill or any other Thrift store and play with the record sleeves. My kids are finally hopping abroad this entertaining train. 
We had spent the weekend up in St Michael, MN for swim meets. My daughter won her heat twice and two free blizzards at the local Dairy Queen. Only in Minnesota, do you each Dairy Queen Blizzards while the wind whips across the fields and the windchill is below zero.


Monday, January 12, 2015

tea towel pillow

 
Winter clearance at the local Anthropologie store. I picked up this sweet little towel for around $7. Then I popped over to Goodwill to find a Target patio pillow for $3.99. I removed the existing fabric from the Target pillow, then placed the batting into the Anthropologie towel. I sewed up the sides by hand. I could have used a sewing machine but I wanted to binge watch "Homeland" on my couch.

Monday, January 5, 2015

show me, don't tell me

Keep me safe and I will keep you wild. My Great Aunt Grace is on the far left and Great Aunt Mae is on the right. This photo was taken in the 1920s yet has the vibe of a candid Instagram shot from today.
A passionate woman is worth the chaos. Again, the wild and free Great Aunt Grace causing a ruckus with the boys.

Life has no remote. Get up and change it!
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change. This is my Great Aunt Grace. She was a wild card all her life.
It's not enough for a man to know how to ride, he must also know how to fall.
A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.
Good parties create temporary youthfulness. My sister and I back in the early 1980s, partying during New Year's Eve. Fake Christmas tree, pink sweatsuit with thrift-store fancy PJs. Work it girls.

Want to know where this all started, click here

Monday, December 29, 2014

show me, don't tell me

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion! I love the expression on my sister's face. I am the one with the crazy hair. Our dad always affectionately called us "brats". Even when I was older, living in my very own home and paying all my own bills... he would still call the house and ask "Is the brat around?" with a smirk (you could hear it in his voice).
My Grandma Winnie passed away this year. I didn't go home for the holidays. It was too hard to be there without her. So I stayed in Minnesota and pretended that she wasn't really gone. I know she is gone, I just can't deal with it. She was my last Grandparent and honestly the most entertaining one. I remember how much she loved to wrap gifts just to piss you off. She would wrap a super tiny gift inside a small box, inside another slightly bigger box, inside another bigger box, on and on. You get the idea. She would sit on her floral print couch, sipping her large glass of ice water while laughing at you. When it was her turn to open gifts she would allow all the kids put bows and ribbons on her face and on top of her head.
 
Christmas is a time when you get homesick even when you are home. This is so true. Holidays make me miss my younger years, when everything was truly magical. Sneaking downstairs before the sun is up to see the presents under the tree. Then romping back to your room before you were caught by the parental units. My sister and I would eat Christmas Eve dinner till our tummies hurt. Our Grandma Marvel made the best stuffing with roasted chestnuts. Then we would lollygag near the twinkling Christmas tree and listen to the adults chattering while they sipped Buttered Rum.

Now it is my turn to create the magic for my kids. I am cool with that. We are creating our own traditions with pom pom garland, toilet paper owl ornaments, frosted sugar cookies, cake pops, candy cane shaped pizzas and tiny gingerbread houses.

Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood. I love how happy we both look. You can see that my sister is doing her best to control herself for the photo. She really just wants to tear open that gift.
This photo is from the 1920's taken at the Lake of Isle in Minneapolis. My Grandmother Marvel is on the right. The ice-skater on the left is my Great-aunt Grace.
Be humble for you are made from the earth. Be noble for you are made of the stars. The fancy lady is my Great-aunt Pearl. She was a wild card. She ran away from home when she was around 18 years old, got married soon after and then moved to China.
Family is our link to the past and bridge to the future. This photo is from the 1950s. My mom and her cousin Larry. Larry is now the family history expert. I am doing my best to gather more photos and add to Larry's history documents.

Wonder where this all started from? click here

gingerbread houses + dinosaurs

At our house we made about 12 tiny gingerbread houses. I found this awesome new cookie cutter at Target over the holidays. I cannot find the Sweet Creations Cookie Cutter at Target.com. But I did find it here.

Back to the houses. I had the kids assemble them on paper plates. We decorated the freshly frosted houses with with Smarties, licorice, gumdrops, Holiday candy corn, candy melts, reindeer graham crackers, shredded coconut and mini M&Ms. After the houses were dry, we trimmed the plates close to the edge of the frosting. Then I snapped this photo with shredded coconut and dinosaurs (for a sense of scale). This cookie cutter would work for any seasonal celebration, Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July or Halloween.

Next, I would like to offer the houses to the neighborhood squirrels and wild turkeys. The hubby is not a fan of this said "plan".

Here is the cookie cutter. The photo is from goodcook.com

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Melting Snowmen

So adorable, right? Yes! The snowman head is an Oreo Truffle or a Cakeball Truffle coated with Bright White Candy melts. I made the heads first, allowed them to set. Then I made the melting puddle of white candy melt, place the snowman head in the melted puddle. Be sure to add the buttons before the chocolate puddle sets. The carrot nose is a Candy Coated Sunflower seed (from Trader Joe's). I drew the faces with Wilton's Edible Markers.
The hat is a mini Oreo cookie (just one side) with a Rolo. I used Candy Melts to secure the Rolo to the cookie. Be sure to attach the hat to the snowman head before the Candy Melts set. I also added a tiny slice of Twizzler to be a flower.
I also tried to make the snowmen faces with mini chocolate chips. I found it to be really tricky. I like the edible markers better. Just use your 40% coupon at Michaels or JoAnns to purchase the edible markers.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Santa drop

Naughty or Nice sign is from the Target Dollar store. The white deer head is also from Target Holiday 2013. The La-Z-Boy chairs have a Todd Oldham houndstooth pattern. My Mother-in-law ordered up these hand-crafted stockings from a friend in Iowa.

This year our little one confessed that he was sure he was on the naughty list but somehow, last minute Santa must have placed him on the good list. A giant sized HexBug Strandbeast and Zoomer Dino are parading through our home.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cookie Business



This holiday I just went for it, I made 10 batches of my Great Grandma Marie's Famous Frosted Sugar cookies. No I did not count how many cookies 10 batches renders. I am sure my chiropractor would tell you that I should take a break. The cookies really are the BOMB. They are so smooth and I sneak a bit of lemon extract in the frosting for something different. Lemon extract was never in the original recipe. It's my own addition. My Aunt Betsy also makes these famous cookies. She would NEVER stray from the original recipe. I enjoy a little shake up. I have never been one to conform.

Orange Cranberry Pinwheels

Orange Cranberry Pinwheels are delicious! My hubby was bummed that they were "fancy" ones. He was hoping for the standard Mexi pinwheels. I do not care. I wanted to make something new.

Recipe:
4 flour tortillas
2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup of dried cranberries (you could use any sort of flavor)
2 bunches diced green onions
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 orange for the juice and zest

Directions:
Mix the cream cheese and garlic salt together until well blended. I used my KitchenAid mixer. I zested one entire orange and added the zest to the cream cheese mixture. Then add in 1 tsp of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Spread this mixture evenly over the tortillas.

In a small bowl, mix the cranberries and green onions. Sprinkle this mixture over the cream cheese spread. Lightly press the cranberry/onions into the cream cheese.

Roll up the individual tortillas, trim off the ends and wrap up in plastic wrap. I place them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Then take them out and slice each tortilla into about 10 even sized pieces.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

peppermint mocha cakeball truffles

Archer Farms Peppermint Mocha cupcake mix makes some dang good cakeball truffles. Everything you need is right in the box, the frosting, crushed peppermint bits and mini chocolate chips. Seriously this cake was awesome! This mix is not sold online, only in stores at Target. I am guessing it is a seasonal offering, so hop to it!