Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - Favorite Projects

2011 was a great year!  I wanted to share my favorite projects from my first year of blogging.  Of course some of my favorites came from the good old blogging days of Turbo Bubblegum.  And although it was sad to say goodbye to that fun, I love Home Delicious.  So how about 3 from each?

The number 1 top project of 2011 (by far!!!) was:
Bathroom Art
I created these from the Land of Nod catalog for my kids new bathroom and they were a hit!
Number 2:
Healthy Chicken Taquitos
Have you tried these yet?  SOOOO good!
 Number 3:
Personalized Clock
I made these for end of the school year and the teachers LOVED them!
The number 4 project is:
Chore Chart
This is also my most pinned project! (and I still swear by it!)
Number 5:
Spooky Silhouettes
My kids loved these and the Thanksgiving silhouettes so much they wanted some for Christmas!  (I didn't do it, though.)
And the last project I will share of 2011 is:
Magnet Board for a Boy
I hope you had as much fun in 2011 as I did!  And here's to many more fun projects in 2012!

Linking up today at Tater Tots and Jello

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are you losing weight this year?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Slim-Fast for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

New years resolutions and a goal to lose weight.  They are one and the same.  Every year I say the same thing.  


Well this year I have a little more incentive.  My husband and I were asked to be the Ma and Pa on a pioneer trek.  Basically we will be the "parents" to 10 14 - 18 year olds while hiking for 4 days in the mountains.  And did I mention the 700 lb. handcart?

So my husband got the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD for Christmas.  I got the Wii Zumba 2 game.  And we will be practice hiking once a week.

And now comes the diet.  Can you hear the bum bum buh music in the background?

Last year I made the mistake of trying the HCG diet.  Don't get me wrong.  It worked.  But It was a killer and I gained it all back.  So this year I am shifting to a new mindset.  Something I can do forever.  Enter the Slim-Fast

The Slim-fast people have come up with a 3-2-1 plan.

This includes 3 snacks.  These can be the 100-calorie bars, veggies, fruit nuts.  Basically something healthy, and filling. SF-123-SB-ChocolateNougatGoneNuts.jpg

2 Slim Fast Shakes or meal barsSF-123-RTD-CreamyMilkChocolate.jpg

1 healthy, balanced 500 calorie meal.


For more info on this awesome plan, see the Slim-Fast website.

This is totally something I can do.  And I am going to stick with it darn it!  

So let's talk flavors.  These snack bars come in yummy flavors like chocolate mint, chocolate nougat gone nuts (sounds like snickers, no?) I am most excited about those two, but maybe you would like the Double Dutch Chocolate or the Peanut Butter Crunch Time.  And you can buy them all in the pharmacy section of most major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, Kroger, Amazon,com and even the Slim-Fast website.

These products are delicious and filling, I am personally going to start BEFORE New Years Eve so I am not as tempted to eat cookies and chips.  :)  And New Years parties always have the obligatory veggie trays, right?  

So what are you doing to get in shape this coming year?  Why don't we all start by liking Slim-fast on their Facebook page and making a goal!  I have!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reindeer Treats

Today Alexa had to bring treats to school.  She happened to be looking over my should the other day when I saw these cute reindeer donuts at Poca Cosa.
She was in love!
Yes, I know my tray is ugly!    But aren't those reindeer cute?
Hostess Donettes (face)
Pretzels (antlers)
Peanut M&M's (Nose)
mini M&M's (eyes)

So Simple!

Teacher Gifts

So maybe your kids are already out of school?  Mine aren't.  We go straight through tomorrow.  :{
So go ahead and pin this idea and use it later!  :)

I decided to combine a few different ideas we used for the super saturday activity to give to the teachers.
I came up with these:
Magnet board picture frames!
To start, I used some wood cut about 10x6.  To be honest, I bought this wood planning on making some larger magnet boards for wedding presents, but bought the wrong size wood!  So I reused this wood.

I also used these bases (2 for .99 at hobby lobby)
candle cups (6 for 2.99 at HL) and finnials (3 for 1.47 at HL) and keep in mind these can be cheaper with coupons.
I also used the metal sheets and decorative nails from Home Depot.  Info found here.

First I painted everything.
Then I sanded it to distress it a bit and added the metal.
I would suggest adding any vinyl lettering now, before you glue everything together.
Then get out the good old E-6000 and glue everything together.
Allow them to dry at least over night!
And add a fun magnet with a personalized note for decoration!

Linked today with Every Creative Endeavor, Somewhat Simple, Creations by Kara, Someday Crafts, Junk in their Trunk Ginger Snap and Lil Luna

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cranberry Apple Pie over at Naptime Crafters

Cranberry Ginger Apple Pie!  One of our favorite pies EVER!  
And I am sharing the recipe over at Naptime Crafters today.  Stop by and check it out!

There's nothing like peeling apples to keep your 3 year old busy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Neighbor Gifts

Don't you wish you were my neighbor? If you were I would bring you these sweet goodies...

My fridge is full of them.  What is it exactly?  cookie dough.  The most delicious cookie dough ever.  I will share that recipe in a minute.
But first, are you laughing at my labels? My Silhouette isn't quite working right so we went with the good old paper cutter.  And the writing instead of printing.  Well, it kept my 10 year old busy.

Anyway, on to the recipe.  This is basically Nestle's recipe with crunched up Oreo's in it.
Oreo Cookie Dough
(We 8 x the recipe in our house yesterday!)
2 sticks of butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
about 10 oreos chopped up

Now don't be tempted to use margarine.  You can use 1/2 margarine if you want.  1 stick of each.  But don't cut out the butter entirely!
Stir the butter until smooth.  We have a rule in out house.  No electric mixers with cookies, just wooden spoons.  I swear it makes them taste better.
Add the sugars and stir.
Add eggs one at a time and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla.  And try to use GOOD vanilla.  :)
Sprinkle salt and baking soda over the top and stir well.
Add flour and guess what.  Stir.
Finally add oreos and chocolate.  Try not to chop up the cookies too fine.  Leave them kind of chunky.  I use my pampered chef chopper and give it 3 chops.  Perfect.

That's it!  You can cook them at 375 for 10 minutes.  Or share the dough.  It is so good!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mud Pie

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!

My husband has been on a social kick lately.  "We should have people over," he says to me like 4 times a month.  Finally I gave in.  "OK, let's have a holiday pie party and invite some neighbors."  We have been here about 1 year and don't have many friends in the neighborhood.  But then came the doubt.  Will some people feel left out?  I can't invite EVERYONE!

Finally, we decided to just DO IT!

We are so excited to share our home, food and show our holiday decorations with friends!  Why we haven't done this before is beyond me!  We asked our friends to bring a pie to share and to bring their appetite!

I wanted to share with you my kids most favorite holiday recipe.  This is GOOD!  My kids aren't big pie eaters, but this isn't really a pie.

Note:  This is a make ahead pie.  You must make it the day before!

Mud Pie, Sims style
1 box Duncan Hines brownie mix (I used the yummy dark chocolate, but any flavor would work!)
plus ingredients for brownies
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
chocolate ice cream (please get the good kind!)
Toasted almonds, m&ms, oreos, or toffee bits for the top

Make brownies as instructed on box and cook in a springform pan for 30 - 35 minutes.  Cool completely.

In a microwavable bowl, combine butter, cream, chocolate chips, and corn syrup.  Cook in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth.  It took me only 2 intervals.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until creamy and smooth.  Spread 1/2 the chocolate mixture on the brownie, reserving the other half in the fridge.  Refrigerate brownie 1 hour.

Using an electric mixer, beat the ice cream on medium speed until it is spreadable.  Don't make it runny, though!  Spread immediately onto the brownie and put in the freezer until a completely firm.

Finally, warm the reserved chocolate in the microwave until spreadable (but not hot) and spread on ice cream layer.  Sprinkle desired topping.  Place back in freezer overnight.

You will LOVE this!  The fudgy layer in the middle and on top is SO delicious!

Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective

linked today at: House of Hepworths, Every Creative Endeavor, Somewhat simple, sassy sites and bear rabbit bear

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

M&M Snack Mix

This little sweetie had her first (and last?) dance recital yesterday.  It was the cutest thing ever.

What do you think about these tap shoes?  I got these super cute hair clips in the mail literally minutes before we left and inspiration struck.  I just clipped them to the ties to make it a little more festive.
We had to bring a treat to share.  My older daughter needed 2 dozen sugar cookies for an activity later that day, but the little one doesn't like sugar cookies.  Bummer.  What do I have around the house that I don't have to go to the store for?

Then, I found this recipe and I loved it!

Always Bunny Ears

M&M Snack Mix

6 cups crispix or chex cereal (I used Crispix)
2 cups honey Teddy Grahams
1 stick of butter, melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups marshmallows
2/3 cups M&M's

Dump the cereal and crackers on a large baking sheet.  Mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together.
Drizzle over cereal mixture.
Stir stir stir.
Bake at 250 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Add marshmallows and M&M's.


Linked today with Lil Luna!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Fun with DownEastHome!

Since I don't live in Utah, I thought I was out of luck when it came to Down East Home.  Wrong!  I was thrilled to find out that Down East Home is now available online!

DownEast Home sent me a few fun items to try out and I wanted to share them with you.
Aren't these birds so cute?  You will not believe they were only 1.99 and 3.99.

Or maybe you would like a little more bling?  I saw these swanky sequin pillows in many colors for only 14.99!

I really wanted a trifle bowl and can you believe it was only 9.99?  I filled it with ornaments for now, but who knows what the future holds for this baby!

So what would you do with $500 to DownEast Home?  I'm not kidding!  DownEast Home is giving away a $500 holiday home makeover to one lucky winner between now and Dec 9!

Go to for more information and to enter the sweepstakes!

My Friendship Bracelet Maker Winner

Using, the winner of the My Friendship Bracelet Maker is number 25...


Congratulations Heidi!  I will contact you shortly with the details!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Broccoli Soup

If you are looking for the giveaway, click here:

Did you get a chance to see my guest post for Pink Senorita last week?  If not, here is a repost:

Nothing says Fall to me like soup.  It gets so stinking hot here, that until November we have a "no soup for you!" rule around the house.  So all of a sudden, come November 1, we have soup every day.  This is my kids FAVORITE recipe in the world.  They would eat it every day if I would make it every day.  But I won't.  Because, I will be honest with you.  It takes a little time.  But it is SO worth it.  Have you ever been to Archibalds Restaurant at Gardner Village in Salt Lake?  It tastes just like that!  But better service.  (I can't stand how snotty that place is.)  And can I note there is no cheese, no cream, and so many veggies!!

Whitney's Broccoli Soup
1 onion, chopped very fine
1 handful baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 stalks of broccoli chopped
3 Tbs bouillon mixed with 6 Cups hot water
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup non-fat evaporated milk

Spray large soup pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Add first 3 chopped veggies and cook on low 5 minutes.
Add broccoli and 2 cups of broth and cook 15 minutes.  Add rest of broth and boil. 5 minutes.  While boiling, melt butter and add flour to make a roux.  (This is my least favorite part, and make sure your kids aren't pulling on your legs while you do it.)  Using a whisk, slowly add the 2 cups milk and cook until think.  It only takes a couple of minutes, but whisk constantly.  Take off heat and whisk in evaporated milk.  Whisk until smooth.  Add to soup and simmer 15 minutes.

Enjoy the best broccoli soup ever!