Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best winter appetizer ever!

I made these penguins for a party recently. Aren't they the cutest? They also taste great!

Olive Penguins
1 can of large olives
1 can of small olives
8oz. cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons of horseradish sauce
salt and pepper to taste
a few large carrots

Cut a slit in each of the large olives. Cut a carrot into slices, then cut a wedge out of each slice to make "feet". Cut small wedges for beaks and push one into each small olive for heads. Mix cream cheese, horseradish, salt, and pepper. Pipe or spoon into each large olive. To assemble, carrot feet on bottom, large cheese filled olive next, then the head; using a toothpick stab through olives into carrot feet to hold it together. This recipe makes about 4 dozen penguins. You can also add an optional pimento scarf if you get a jar of sliced pimentos. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Shout Outs

This is the "You know you're a parent when..." edition of Sunday shout outs. Since I only have little ones right now, they all pertain to small children :)

You know you're a parent when: quote or sing the songs on Curious George, Veggie Tales, or any Disney movie on a regular basis. of the best gifts your spouse gave you was letting you sleep in without interruption the day after Christmas. wear nothing but "machine washable" clothing and are SO excited if you can make it through the morning without changing. get used to eating cold food. (This might be just a mom thing though)

(another mom one)...purse = diaper bag've begun mastering the art of keeping a straight face when you really want to laugh. have friends (with kids) over and spend the entire time discussing sleeping/potty training/discipline/etc. have ever picked a pacifier up off the floor and stuck it in your own mouth before sticking it back into your child's mouth.

My mom came up with a few more, but I am feeding a baby and typing with one hand so I will post those later. Can you think of any to add?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Neat Giveaway

Tis the season to be giving!
I Never Grew Up is doing a cool giveaway at her blog for a Flip Ultra Video Camcorder!
Check it out HERE.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Really cool giveaway for MOMS

Since I have an abundance of testosterone at my house and no other girls, I try to be as feminine as possible as often as possible. However, being a MOM of boys, I don't usually get a lot of time to myself to do the fun feminine things I like to do (paint my nails, take a bubble bath, fix my hair, etc.)
With this in mind, the Simple Mom is doing a giveaway over at her blog for a Pampering Mom kit. It looks FANTASTIC!

The busyness of the holidays

I think that is the theme of this year. Everyone I have talked to and every blog I have read are all lamenting how busy they are or giving tips for how to deal with a busy holiday season. I've heard lots of people commenting on how family is most important and how they are limiting their activities, decorating, parties, gifts, etc. I have had a busy December as well, but I know it's because I chose to do a lot this year. I chose to make cookies with Will every day for a week. I chose to have a party with lots of my friends. I chose to make my DH a couple gifts. I chose to make my sister's gift. I chose to make one of Will's gifts. I chose the busyness of the holiday season. Yes, it's a lot of work for me. But Christmas isn't about me. It's about giving to others in remembrance of Christ coming to earth to give His life for us. So while I am busy this Christmas, I am not stressed out. I chose to be busy so I can give as much as I possibly can to those I love.
Sometimes, busy is good :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Shout Outs

This is the homemade-food-gifts edition of Sunday shout outs. This past summer I found a whole box of brand new mason jars that I am going to fill with different mixes for gifts...hopefully. If I ever get myself together enough :s
I also saw a great idea in this month's Family Fun magazine.

Cowboy Cookie Mix Looks yummy!

I LOVE this cutting board idea & the individual slices idea!

Ideas from BlogHer. I liked the idea of pet treats!

What is the most unusual food-themed gift you have ever received?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bean Bag Buddies

I like making homemade Christmas gifts whenever I can. I think they are more personal and meaningful. To put time and energy into some one's gift is to tell them that they are important to you. With that in mind, I present to you Bean Bag Buddies by Nicki Wheeler. This book includes patterns and instructions to make lots of various professional looking beanie babies. I have made the duck, monkey, bear, bat, and koala so far. The book also includes patterns for a snowman, reindeer, space alien, cat, dragon, rhino, horse, dog, and pretty much any other animal you can think of. Right now I am working on the cow for Will's stocking.

I am impressed by the clarity of the instructions and the simplicity of the sewing skill needed to accomplish these patterns. It did take a little time for me to trace the patterns at the beginning, but I could have easily photocopied them and spared myself some work :) I also enjoyed how I could use pretty much ANY material and get fabulous results. The cow I am working on now is made out of some polyester that I had. Plus, since you only need a little bit of material, you can make these animals quite inexpensively!
The one difficulty I did have was in finding safety eyes. I ended up searching google for them and buying them online. If you were making these for older kids, you could just use buttons, but since my target audience is under 2 it was worth the extra work for me :)
I also didn't exactly make them BEAN bags - I just used stuffing because I wanted to be able to throw them in the wash when they get sucked on.
Overall - GREAT book with easy adorable animals!
Want to find the cheapest price on this book?

"A day that will live in infamy"

But not only because of Pearl is my dad's birthday too!

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Sunday Shout Outs

This is the baking-cookies-like-crazy edition of Sunday shout outs.
Three guesses what my plans are for the week :)
I love having cookies made to take to events, give as gifts, or just snack on with a warm drink.
Here are the cookies I am planning on making/have already made this year:

Chocolate Meringue Stars I made these for two parties last week. I had never made meringue cookies before, but they were easy and turned out great! (Notice that several are missing already)

Easy Chocolate Caramel Cookies I found an easier version of this recipe that uses a chocolate cake mix, 1 egg, 1/4 cup water, & 3 tablespoons of oil in place of the chocolate cookie dough.

Christmas Sandwich Cremes (My DH picked these out :)

Peanut Butter Cutout Cookies These are for a cookie decorating party I am doing with my neighbors & bible study ladies :)

If I feel the need to make more cookies after that (or if we eat all these before Christmas!) these are my second string:

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Cookie Dough Truffles Awesome, awesome, awesome tasting! I eat WAY too many of these when I make them, that's why they are second string :)

What is your favorite cookie that makes Christmas sweeter?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm Back!

Whew! Traveling with two small children is more work than I even imagined it! I now fully appreciate all the work that my mom did when we travelled when I was a kid. (Thanks Mom - you are amazing!) We had a fun trip (although I slept less than I ever have for any other vacation) and got lots of great pics. It snowed 10 inches while we were there. My DH and I both decided we are now tired of travelling for a while and ready to be home :)

My grandmother's house after the snow

My Nana and her great-grandson

My photogenic little boy

Evan and his daddy chilling together

Will playing in the snow for the first time

More snow pics