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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monster cookie bars recipe

I got a great cookbook for Christmas and it's even signed by the authors!

Two Chicks From the Sticks: Back Home Baking

It's got some fabulous recipes in it!
And they are both southern Iowa girls.
Throughout the book are little stories and pictures from their lives.
Love it.

At my house we LOVE monster cookies.
So, when I saw thier version of it for Monster Bars I had to make them!
It didn't dissapoint.

Monster Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
2 t baking soda
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup M&M's
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.
Grease a 12x 17 inch jelly roll pan.

In a large mixer, combine butter, brown sugar
and sugar.
Add eggs, peanut butter and baking soda.
Mix well.
Add rolled oats, mix well.
Stir in M&Ms and chocolate chips.
Press into prepared pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Makes 24 bars.

These were so much quicker than  making Monster cookies but just as good!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Countdown to Mickey Is On!

We are getting very excited!

There are only a few days left until we board the plane to see Mickey!

Or "M-OW" as Preston likes to shout.
(it rhymes with how)

Today for lunch we had Mickey Sandwiches.

We love to use cookie cutters to jazz up our sandwiches a bit!
You  never know what shape my kids sandwiches will be.
It takes a peanut butter and jelly to a whole new level.

Peighton's teacher always looks forward to seeing what Peighton has in her lunch each day!

A colorful Bathtime

Bet you can't guess where I got this idea....

Yes, Pinterest.

So, I may need a "P-intervention" soon
But it's SO FUN!!!!
And I have found such great things to do with the kids.

Anyway, during naptime, Peighton and I made colored ice cubes.
She thought she was being very "old" by using food coloring.

We froze them, of course.
Then had lots of fun coloring the bath water, chasing the cubes around and watching them melt!

It kind of ended up a shade of an odd green color-
which they thought was great!

Then they proceeded to play with the ice cube trays for quite awhile after all the cubes had melted.

Another successful night around here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We may need a longer trip to Disney just to wear all of this cuteness!

I bought a new design for my embroidery machine
so we could have a few more matching outfits!

I love it!
Just a little Mickey head on top of the P.

I'm thinking about making Peighton's into a dress by adding a twirly skirt to the bottom of the would be super cute.

And just because we love Minnie Mouse...
Peighton LOVES this one.
It's got a huge bow in the back of it!

Now, if I keep making more Disney outfits we are going to need to stay longer!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Melting snowman cookies!

I had some leftover circle cookies from the Thing One and Thing Two baby shower.
So we decided to make "Melting Snowman Cookies" out of them!

It was a great Snowy Day activity-and they were yummy too!

I got the idea HERE.

Here'e the picture from that website-they are much cuter than ours!

I let Peighton and Preston do ours and they did a great job!

This guy looks like he had a rough day!!!!!
I had a tube of blue Wilton frosting so we used that for the arms.
Peighton said the little marshmallows were the remains of a snowball fight! HA!

Another fun winter activity!

Monday, January 23, 2012

If you Give a Girl some Fabric...

She will make:

2 carseat covers with a flap so the babies don't get cold,

2 matching carseat blankets,

2 hats and 2 elephants to chew on in the carseat!
(The hats look really big to me...not sure exactly when they will least they're cute!)

Which equals one big pile of snuggly baby stuff!

Can't wait to meet the two bundles that are getting these!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Four Mickeys

It's only a few weeks away!
The countdown to Disney has begun.
That means I have to get all my crafting preparations done pretty soon!
I think that when you go on a family trip at least ONE of those days there should be matching....including adults. ;-)

Oh yes, that's right.

So, I had a lady on etsy make me this adorable Mickey design for my embroidery machine:

I thought I was just going to use it for Preston since I had a ton of girly stuff already and this is a bit boyish.

But then I decided it could be very cute on a shirt for Peighton, Preston, ME and my mom!!!!!
I am pretty sure my dad and Dustin will not they may get Mickey ears for the picture that these will require!

So, I got plain black shirts at Hobby Lobby and got to work!
Peighton helped me choose a different color for each shirts mouse.

I thought I wasn't going to like it on an adult shirt as much as I did on a kids shirt but once I got it stitched out I think I really like it!
                      It's not a super obnoxious Mickey Mouse shirt-which is what I was going for!

As my good friend Amy would say:
                                 "We will be the cute freak show walking through Disney!!!!!!"

I think it would also be really cute on a backpack too!
(we may need those next!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Donuts and Jammies

What do we do on a cold, snowy day with no plans for the day????

We stay in our jammies and make DONUTS!!!!!!!

He REALLY likes donuts!

Peighton is the official froster and sprinkler.

Looks like he maybe shouldn't have had that last donut, doesn't he?
Actually, he's just mad because Peighton yelled at him to SIT DOWN!!!!

We're going to spend the rest of the day playing and baking and staying warm!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day!

We FINALLY got some snow here in Iowa!
Peighton has been dying to use her snow boots that we bought months ago.
She finally got the chance!

All bundled up and ready to go!
Only took about 20 minutes to get to this point...

Preston wasn't too fond of the sledding with Peighton...might be because he kept landing on his face!

My Baby Oompa Loompa!

A snow angel is a must do for Peighton.

She was doing a song and dance number is a stage for Peighton.

Preston enjoyed sledding MUCH more when he was sitting with daddy!

Oompa Loompas aren't so good at getting back up the hill though.

We had a fun morning in the snow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

My two monkey are ALWAYS snacking!
I saw this post on Pinterest and knew Peighton and Preston would gobble them up.

They were really quick to make too!

Chocolate Granola Bars

1/2 cup peanut butter
 1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 cup oats
2 T wheat germ
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Melt  the butter, peanut butter and honey in a pot over medium to low heat, stirring constantly.  Turn off the burner when melted.
2.  Pour in the cup of oats and the wheat germ.  Stir til combined.
3.  Wait til it cools and stir in the coconut and chocolate chips.  Or, if you’re impatient with things like this, like I am, go ahead and dump it all right in.  The result will be a more uniform chocolate taste.
4.  Pour into foil-lined 8 X 8 pan and stick in the fridge.
5. Once cooled, flip out onto cutting board  and cut to the size you like.

Peighton gave them a "Two thumbs Up!"
Preston thinks he needs a bite everytime we're in the kitchen!

Mine never really "set up" though.
I think when we make these again I will cut the butter in half. They just seemed to have too much gooey-ness about them to harden up like I think they should.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Trust me when I say
You NEED to try this one!!!!!

We made it for lunch today and everyone had seconds!
It was a fabulous lunch for a cold winter day.

I think the only way I could have improved it would be to use the homemade noodles from the Kalona Bakery that the Amish make!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and finely diced
2 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup diced celery
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup sliced carrots
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t minced fresh parsley
2 cups egg noodles

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and the celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes or until soft and carmelized.
Add the chicken along with remaining ingredients, except noodles.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the noodles and simmer for another 15 minutes.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Puff Paint

Peighton and Preston were busy irritating each other from the moment they got up this morning!!!!!!

Which meant we needed to do something out of the ordinary that they could both be involved in.

I did a lot of messy art projects when I was teaching special needs kids as well as when I taught preschool.
I kept a lot of the books from my classroom knowing that one day I just might do a few of the projects with my own kids!

I flipped through one of my books this morning and found a recipe for making our own Puff Paint!

The recipe is super simple and needs normal pantry items-it was the perfect thing to make in a few minutes!

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 cup salt
paint or food coloring (I used washable paint)

Mix them all together and put into squeeze bottles.
I used some ketchup and mustard bottles I found at Wal-mart.
I made 2 batches and divided it into 4 colors before putting it into my squeeze bottles.

Preston was very happy he got to do this art project-sometimes he's not always allowed to do the same things as "Sis!"

Peighton set right to work making all sorts of lovely designs.

At one point Preston did end up tasting the puff paint....he quickly decided that it was not worth eating!!!!!

They are currently still drying and I think might take awhile.
Peighton says they look a bit glittery!
Depending on how they turn out they could make some fun valentine cards for the Grandma's!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Baby Shower

Peighton and I had such a fun time throwing my Sister in Law, Katy, a

Thing One and Thing Two

Baby shower!

She is having one girl and one boy so it was fun to do a shower that wasn't all pink or blue!

We made a super cute diaper cake.
I topped it with blue tissue paper to make it look a bit like thing one and thing two!

On one of the tables I made bouquets out of burp clothes and baby spoons!
I rolled up the burp cloth very tight, taped it with clear packing tape and then taped a spoon to the back.
So simple and quick!
I also wrapped it in tulle and tied ribbon around the base of it.
It was so cute sitting in my little polka dot pails!

The farmyard duck bath toys I found at Hobby Lobby.
We ended up coming home with two sets of ducks that day because Peighton thought we should have the ducks at our house too.

We made a little clothesline and hung Thing One and Thing Two onesies from it!
Can't wait to see them wear these!

Peighton loved the cupcakes, of course!
I was initially going to top them with blue cotton candy-to look like the hair of Thing one and thing two-but I was afraid it would melt right off and not look cute at all.
So, we just did some yummy red velvet cupcakes and bright blue frosting-still cute!

We had feet, bottle and onesie cookies too!

I was even able to find some Thing One and Thing Two fabric and made a set of blocks for the babies to play with...or throw at each other if they are like Peighton and Preston.

Another cute bouquet of flowers!

I should have taken more pictures of all the fun things she got!
So many cute things to fill their closets and play room!

I had everyone bring a favorite book for the babies.
Since the theme of the shower was from The Cat in the Hat it was quite fitting!
I recently read the quote:
"Children become readers on the laps of thier parents."
So true.
And these sweet babies now have lots of books to read for storytime!

We had a Diaper and Wipes Raffle to help her stock up on all the diapers they will need for the babies.
The winners got to take home some of my mom's famous cinnamon rolls!

We also played a fun game of How Much Does It Cost?

I bought:
a package of diapers
nail clippers
baby shampoo
a baby toy
a package of baby food
Each person had to write down what they thought each item cost and total all of the items.
Most were surprised at how much those 6 items cost!

We also played a fun ( and kind of challenging) word scramble game!
Everyone had to unscramble a list of baby-related words but the hard part was there were twice as many letters than they actually needed...because Twins are twice as hard!!!!
I printed this out from someone's blog that I now can't find.
But there was no answer key!
I will admit I had to have my mom figure some of them out!!!!!

Such a fun day and I got to do lots of crafty stuff to get ready for it!
"Thing One and Thing Two" will be here before we know it!!!!
Peighton is very excited to have more cousins!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yellow ruffle tote!

Oh how we LOVE ruffle fabric and our house!

I found these at Hobby Lobby this week.
I'm thinking the pink and black might make some really cute capris for Peighton this summer.

But the yellow had MY name all over it!

I had seen a simple tote made of the ruffle fabric on Pinterest one day.
Had to have one.

I have a very cute navy and white striped dress that would love to be paired with yellow accessories!

I made a simple tote out of the yellow.

No closure at all.

While at Hobby Lobby I picked up this adorable grey flower pin as well.
Perfect addition to my cute bag!

I did have a really hard time deciding on straps though!
I don't make too many solid colored things which made it hard for me to pick something for the handles!
But when in doubt I usually go for polka dots!
I think it turned out pretty good!

Can't wait to pack this adorable bag for my cruise!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pizza Roll ups

Now that christmas and New Year's are over Dustin is back to his normal travel schedule...which means he is gone a good portion of most weeks.

About an hour before dinnertime can get pretty awful around here, especially when I have to start dinner and entertain the starving short people by myself!

One thing I try to do to help minimize meltdowns is involve my kids in making dinner.
Not every meal-I'm not Superwoman!
But at least a few times a week I try to make something that both Peighton and Preston can help with.

They LOVE this.
Preston is only 18 months right now but there are plenty of things he can do-he certainly doesn't like to be left out!!!!!!
And Peighton is getting really good at most simple tasks in the kitchen-I'm pretty sure she was helping me at 18 months too!
She's a great helper with her brother too and sometimes even gives him tasks that I haven't even thought of!

Here's what we made:

Pizza Roll Ups
1 package Pillsbury Pizza dough
pizza sauce
Toppings like pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, etc
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Spread out the dough on a large cutting board.

Top with sauce, then the toppings.

Preston's job was putting on the pepperonis.

Bet you can't tell what he just did...
This little boy is such a stinker!

Sprinkle on the cheese.

Start on a long end and roll into a spiral.
Cut into 1-1 1/2" slices and transfer to a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
I like to check them at 10, but they usually take longer!


We like to dip them in some of the extra sauce!

They both LOVED dinner tonight!

Making simple things like these with  my kids is really fun and I am teaching them so much!
We measure things,
count things like pepperoni,
do things in a step-by-step order,
learn colors,
and numbers,
the list goes on and on!
Most of all though, I am spending TIME with my kids and making memories.