Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I am probably going to try Iron Craft 2011. Read more about it here. (Kat Knits)
5 Creative Ways to Recycle and Repurpose a Gift Sack. Because you probably picked up a couple over the past week or so. (Money Saving Mom)
This sounds amazing! 15 Minute Oreo Pie. (Money Saving Mom)
I don't remember if I had posted this one already or not, but Tortilla Snowflakes would be a fun kid project to make and eat. (Money Saving Mom)
This PVC pipe frame is cool looking. (DIY Network)
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The holidays are jam-packed with waste-producing activities. Here are some suggestions for Reducing Holiday Waste. (Simple Organic)
Luke 2. Because Christmas isn't complete without the best story of all.
Have a Merry Christmas, safe travels, and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Here's a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate. Also, there's a link to a list of food holidays - did you know there's a food holiday every day? Cool! (Xoelle via Swagbucks)
If you have lots of extra gift tags, you could make a Holiday Memory Game. What a cute idea for little kids! (Money Saving Mom)
Have I mentioned I love Gifts in a Jar? I really do. (various sites via Unsophisticook)
This is just a cool idea. Christmas Tree Mobile. (not Martha)
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients together. Roll into balls, and roll in sugar to coat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Top with Hershey's kisses after baking, and cool.
Put peanut butter between two Ritz crackers. Melt either chocolate chips or almond bark and cover. Top with your choice of sprinkles, and put in the fridge to harden the chocolate.
I made 4 dozen, half milk chocolate, and half white chocolate. It takes about 4 oz. chocolate per dozen sandwiches.
Aren't they pretty? I remember making these with Mom when we were younger.
Monday, December 20, 2010
So, for this week, we still have planned:
Monday: Tortilla Pizzas
Tuesday/Wednesday: Cornbread Taco Bake
Thursday/Friday: Homemade Pizzas
Saturday/Freezer: Spinach Lentil Pasta (because I just realized that we'll be doing family Christmases and those meals will be taken care of, so part of this will go in the freezer)
The hardest part for us lately has been lunch time. We've been rotating turkey sandwiches, macaroni & cheese, and frozen pizzas. I know we can do better than that, but those are quick and easy. Salad fixings don't last very long, although I suppose I could start picking some up for the first few days after grocery shopping. Anyone have any good lunch ideas that are toddler friendly?
If I have time this week, I want to try to make up a big batch of pancakes or waffles for the freezer, or possibly even some muffins or banana bread. I like having baked yummies for breakfast, but I never feel like making them at 6:00 in the morning. I can't imagine why... With the holiday baking I have yet to do, this may get pushed back until next week, but we'll see.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
How to Get to Know Your Neighbors. Do you know your neighbors? We know some of the other people in our building, and they rock. Our upstairs neighbors lent us a fridge last month when our freezer went out, and everyone's been helping shovel with all of the snow. (The Greenest Dollar)
Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Don't Let the... Here's an article on how to check for bedbugs before letting used furniture into your home. (Northern Cheapskate)
13 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions. I'm a big fan of having goals and making lists, and resolutions fit perfectly into that. Also, can you believe it's almost the end of the year? (The Happiness Project)
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I found this one to use instead. The problem with this one, which I realized once I had made and chilled the dough, was that it's too soft and sticky to be conducive to shapes. Sad. So circle sugar cookies for us this year.
On the plus side, they are really delicious cookies. They aren't quite as sweet as they could be, although I'm almost positive that's because I used wheat flour instead of all purpose. I would bet that people will still be willing to share, and I know for sure that Jonah will go a little crazy when he sees them in the morning.
For this particular set, I put them in a tin from a Glade Scented Oil Candle that I ran out of inserts for. So it looks pretty, and smells nice too!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I didn't take very many pictures along the way, but here is the project right before I started weaving. I cut 4 old bedsheets from the thrift store into 285 strips. Yes. Two hundred eighty-five. I started to dislike this project around strip 45 or so. This project would be much easier with a rotary cutter, or at least a good pair of sewing shears. I just had standard scissors.
Jonah helped me test it out once it was done. I think it turned out pretty nice, but I don't know that it was worth the effort (or my sanity, or getting little fabric bits all over my living room). What do you think?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
12 Days of Christmas Presents for Teachers. This is a really cute idea, and I think kids would have a lot of fun sneaking the presents to their teachers. (How Does She via Money Saving Mom)
Felt Christmas Wreath. Looks pretty easy, and you could leave certain color combinations up year-round. (The Inspired Room)
DIY Modern Paper Ornament. These look really cool, although time consuming. Maybe a project to try after the holiday busy-ness is over? (How About Orange via not martha)
Reusing Onion and Potato Bags as Gift Wrapping. I like this idea, and I think they look pretty, but I have to ask...wouldn't your presents stink like onions? (Money Saving Mom)
Deck the Halls...with Items from Your Kitchen. Some cool decorating ideas using supplies you have in your pantry. (Unsophisticook)
Oh to have the space to have a yarn collection like this. (Things Organized Neatly)
This seems like it would take a lot of time (and a lot of peppermints!), but it's really cool looking. Homemade Peppermint Wreath. (Common Sense with Money)
If you have any golfers in your life, this Golfer's Snowman Ornament would be an adorable present. (Full of Great Ideas)
More homemade present ideas, as linked in Money Saving Mom posts: Homemade Sugar Scrub, Homemade Hot Cocoa Cones (cute!), and Homemade Lotion. (Money Saving Mom)
These photo cubes are adorable. (The Simple Dollar)
Have old books sitting around? Use them in crafty ways. (Alisa Burke)
31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband Flip Calendar. A thoughtful reminder. (Better Life Blog via Money Saving Mom)
Embroidered and Embellished Onesies. Aren't these just adorable? Definitely adding this to my after-Christmas crafty list. (Lindsay Sews via Money Saving Mom)
I love gifts in a jar, and S'mores in a Jar sounds delicious! (Money Saving Mom)
Monday, December 13, 2010
- Turkey or chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
- 1 can corn or 1 bag frozen broccoli, cooked
- 2 cans cream of something soup (mushroom, chicken, celery, whatever)
- 1 box stuffing (or equivalent amount of leftover stuffing)
Monday/Tuesday: Turkey Stuffing Casserole
Wednesday/Thursday: Veggie Stir Fry (just rice, a bag of frozen stir fry mix, and any extras we might add)
Friday/Saturday: Multi Bean Soup
Sunday: Leftovers from the freezer
Monday: Tortilla Pizzas
Tuesday/Wednesday: Cornbread Taco Bake
Thursday/Friday: Homemade Pizzas (probably a Mexican one and a Veggie Ranch one)
Saturday/Sunday: Spinach Lentil Pasta
Since this is my very first Menu Planning post, I don't have all of my recipes to link just yet. As they come up, I will try to post them so you can try them too!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Pack Rats in Fiction - are you a White Knight? I have some pack rat tendencies, although I'm trying really hard to limit what I keep around "just in case". (Unclutterer)
Video blog: My Very Simple Homemaking Binder. I can't decide if this would make me more organized or not, but I do love a good to-do list. (Money Saving Mom)
Short and sweet - Six Reasons to Let It All Go. We are doing some more uncluttering once Jesse's school break starts next week, and I'm really excited for it. (Unclutterer)
How do you display Christmas cards? Read the linked article and the comments for lots of ideas. (Deal Seeking Mom)
You've seen plenty of ads for the greatest gifts ever and "must-haves". How to Deal with Holiday Marketing. (Northern Cheapskate)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 oz. chocolate, melted
Mix together butter, peanut butter, and sugar. I started with a spoon, but at the end found it easier to use my hands. Roll into balls. I made some bigger and some smaller, I think 24 small (1 tsp. or so) and 26 bigger (1 tbsp. or so). Place on lined baking sheet (I used aluminum foil) in the freezer for 10 minutes. Melt chocolate chips while you are waiting.
I used 8 oz. of milk chocolate chips (all that I had left!) and 3 oz. of white chocolate chips. And I gooped it on there pretty heavy, so I ran out before I was done. This recipe also called for just dipping them halfway, but I chose to completely cover them. How you cover them is up to you. Refrigerate for 25-35 minutes to set the chocolate.
These are super rich, but super yummy! This recipe is definitely a keeper! I clipped it out of a magazine (I believe Real Simple) at some point earlier this year, but hadn't gotten around to making them yet. My mom always made peanut butter balls as one of our holiday treats, so I chose to make that my first holiday goodie this year. What treats are you making?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
But...cooking from my mom's recipes is not the same as my mom's cooking. She guesstimates more than measures, and sometimes makes substitutions without ever writing them down. I have learned this by now, so when I tasted the cheesecake, it was just a bit off from hers. My dad stopped by and had a piece, and informed me that even though the recipe uses a graham cracker crust, she has always made hers with Oreos. Mystery solved!
Doesn't it look yummy? Here's the recipe:
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or marg., melted
- (3) 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- (1) 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1 tsp. flour
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, sugar, and butter; press evenly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add milk, beating until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. In small bowl, toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with flour to coat; stir into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over top. Bake 1 hour. Turn oven off; allow to cool in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Our tree, in all it's glory, is right in the middle of all of the toys, because that's really the only kind of open spot in our apartment. I use the bigger toys to kind of block off the tree, and it actually works pretty well.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Our friendly little snowman family, alongside some cinnamon scented candles and our advent calendar. What a cute little display!
We received the stained glass nativity as a wedding gift, and I think it is just gorgeous! A couple little angels, and our new (last year) family tradition of a yearly snow globe complete this shelf.
On shelves where little hands can reach, it's best to do decorations that are okay to play with. My Grandma Winter crocheted these carolers a long time ago, and I was blessed enough to get to keep a set of them! There's also a lamppost somewhere, but a certain little boy already walked off with that. It makes a good sword, apparently.
We also have a tree up (more on that soon!), and a holiday centerpiece on the dining room table. But that's pretty much it for this year, and I think it's just enough. What decorations have you put up?
Friday, December 3, 2010
If you have been following me over at The Deal Seeker, some things will look familiar to you. I plan on continuing my weekly Crafty Link-Up and What I'm Reading... posts, because those are some of my favorite features. I also want to add a weekly (or bi-weekly) menu planner, complete with recipes and pictures, because those are creations too.
To get your crafty fix for the day, check out my 20 Days of Homemade Christmas Ornaments over at The Deal Seeker. Once those are done, expect to see a lot more crafty projects over here. I can't wait!
In case you were wondering, there were a couple different names I had wanted to use for this blog, but they were all already taken. So while I normally go by Katy or Katherine, for this blog, I guess I'm Kate. It works for me!