January 2011

Caramel Skor Apple Dip

I am not a fabulous cook. I don't love to do it. Baking is another story- I guess I just like the end result better, so I'm happy to do it ;)

Anyway, I wanted to start sharing with you some of the recipes that I have tried and liked. I'm often looking recipes up online because I don't have my own tried & true recipes for very many things.

Sometimes, I'll share a photo with you, of my creation. Sometimes I will show you a photo from the original recipe share-er. Always, I will either share the recipe with you or send you straight to the recipe via link.

To start with, today I want to share with you a delicious Caramel Skor Apple Dip Recipe. (You'll notice, in keeping with my habits, this recipe does not involve cooking & is super easy ;) I've had this several times before (made by others), but didn't have my own recipe for it. My husband wanted some to add some deliciousness to our fruit feast (which we had because we had been almost completely deprived of fruit for a week). I told you, I stink at the whole cooking thing, and sometimes that spreads to the whole "providing balanced nutrition" part of mothering...

but back to the recipe....
Doesn't this look delicious??

[photo taken from the website with the recipe which I will be linking you to]

There are a lot of recipes out there for a layered dip like this one, but we wanted it all mixed together with a little skor sprinkled on top- and we found it at Zestycook.com. All you need is cream cheese, caramel, skor bits, and brown sugar. (and apples)

It is DELICIOUS. Try it. The end.

Wait... not the end... do you have a favourite fruit dip?
Cuz I would LOVE to hear about it & expand my fruit dip horizons!

Making a Paper Triangle Banner (Bunting)

I'm preparing for Talia's birthday party and I wanted to try making a paper triangle banner (is there a technical word for that? I'm answering this myself- I looked it up. Bunting.) instead of using streamers this time. 

 I pulled out the ol' scrapbooking paper and here's what I came up with:

Paper Triangle Banner
Paper Triangle Banner

Paper Triangle Banner Tutorial

If you've got 12x12 scrapbook paper, you can use the same method I did
(I've posted a Tutorial Here).

If you don't have 12x12 paper, and if it doesn't matter whether the paper looks nice on both sides, you can use this idea from The Magic Onions blog.

I used 6 different pieces of paper & got enough triangles to make 4 (double sided) triangles per pattern. This makes a pretty long banner.

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Black Apple Doll - Quilt & Pillow

Now that I've finally finished Talia's version of the Black Apple Doll to go with her little sister's, I have some extra, matching fabric. I started thinking about what I could do with it, and with the fact that her birthday is coming up...

And here's what I came up with:

I've made a smaller pillow for Katrina's doll, but have yet to make a quilt or case for it... all in good time, and for now they can share ;)

It has been so fun to do this & I can't wait to give them to her!

Popcorn with Vinegar

We have some weird food traditins in our home and sometimes it's hard to track them. I don't know if this is a Dutch one or an English one... who knows- it could just be something weird my dad figured out he liked by fluke. He was born in Holland and served a 2 year mission for our church in England, so I suspect one of those- probably the latter.

Anyway, I have fond memories of my dad making popcorn in a pot on the stove and then topping it with vinegar. It turns out that all of my siblings and I have fond memories of this and to this day enjoy the odd treat. ;)

Here we are on a recent trip to visit my sister, the 4 of us enjoying white vinegar sprinkled on our popcorn & having a marvelous time ;)

Do you have any snacks or treats that you love that are a little odd?

Ragdoll #2

After making Katrina's ragdoll last year, it took me quite a while to complete Talia's.

I finally gave myself the push to do it on Christmas Eve so that I could have it under the tree on the big day :)

Here she is:

She's bigger than Katrina's doll and I did her hair differently. I wanted long hair, but I wanted to do something different than last time, because I thought that on a larger doll, the pigtails might look elephant-ear-ish ;) So, I made them a different shape & stuffed them. If I were to do it over, I'd make them bigger- they were the perfect size until I sewed it all and flipped it inside out ;)

I'm going to need to sew those hairbows in place or they'll get lost for sure.

And I'm excited about a project I have in mind for Talia's birthday that involves the leftover fabric from both dolls... I hope I can get it done in time! (stay tuned for that :)

p.s. I'm happy to report that Talia loves her despite the imperfections that I noticed as soon as I flipped it right-side-out. She has affectionately named her "Sweet Clover Rose" ;)

(p.s. just like last time, I worked with this template)

Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes

Thanks to this post at the Idea Room, we had Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes recently for breakfast, and they were delicious!!!

To make the cinnamon swirl part,
all you need to do is mix the following ingredients:
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
I put the mixture in an icing bag and piped it onto the freshly poured pancake.

So easy, and oh so delcious ;)

Check out the original post though, for the rest of this fabulous recipe (if you don't want to go the easy way out like I did, and use pancake mix ;)

Moments- "My Toy!!!"

Picture this:

I'm sitting at the computer, Ken's standing a few feet away.
Talia & Katrina are playing in the room next to us.

Katrina comes running into the room & heads straight for under the desk I'm at.
She smacks her head on the keyboard tray, doesn't react, just scurries under the desk.
Ken & I look at each other like, "What the?"
Katrina starts screaming "MY TOY!" as Talia runs over.
Seeing the predicament, I stick my leg out as a barrier to prevent Talia from reaching Katrina (by about a foot).
Talia growls & scratches at my legs in an attempt to get to Katrina, desperately telling her, "I was playing with it!" while Katrina continues to scream.

I don't know if I've managed to give you the correct picture of how it all went down, but Ken & I were just killing ourselves laughing at the whole thing until Talia finally started laughing through a frown, and the problem evaporated.

Cinderelly Cinderelly...

Last night, the girls and I were Cinderellas. I filled a bucket with warm water and vinegar (with some dishsoap for bubbles), grabbed 3 rags, got them in their pajamas with shorts (Katrina's didn't last long- she decided a diaper was more appropriate) and we went to work on the floor. It was funny how much fun it was! When we were done doing that, Talia asked what the next part of "our game" was going to be. Thinking on my feet, I said... "um... laundry" and we went up to their room and sorted clothes, putting away clean ones & tossing dirty ones into the hamper (first Talia pretended she was washing them by hand). It was great! She was disappointed when it was time for bed. :)

Winter Sugar Cookies

This year I bought a snowflake shaped cookie cutter to make sugar cookies with. We had a lot of fun together, making the cookies, and frosting them. Then we had fun delivering them with our dipped pretzels, to people's homes.

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Moments- Feeding Me Yogurt & Putting Her Own Socks On

This morning there was actually some sunshine! I rolled up the blinds in the kitchen, pulled out some yogurt & called Katrina over to sit on my lap on the floor in the sun. We shared the yogurt together- we fed it to each other- it was hilarious how she wanted to feed it to me, too. She did a great job. What a cutie, and what a fun, snuggly moment. :) This girl is growing up! She also wants to put her own socks and clothes on these days. She likes to insist on sitting on the potty, too... but she just sits there a little while & then gets some toilet paper to flush (I think that's her real motivation).

Here she is loving on some dollies- note the pucker :)

Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

Have you noticed the re-appearance of Strawberry Shortcake dolls? If you were a child of the 1980s (as I was), then you will likely know & love Strawberry Shortcake & all of her dessert-y friends with their fruit-y pets... like literally. ahem..

So, I have noticed them and my Talia has noticed them. In fact, every time we walk by a strawberry shortcake doll box (with all of its mini accessories) she picks it up and presents it to me with her sweet, pleading eyes and asks if we can buy it.

She has never done this before, and she hasn't really done it with any other toys (wait... not true. She did do it with some "Tangled" Barbies). Anyway, I recently decided that I might have to surrender to the toys with the million mini accessories, and get her a Strawberry Shortcake Doll set for her birthday. It is what she really wants after all, and it would be sure to get an excited reaction and a lot of love.

But then I started thinking about my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls that lay hidden in a box in my mother's basement somewhere. I knew I had 3 or 4 of them at least, and a horse & carriage, a dancing doll with a barre, and some sort of multi-person swing with strawberry seats.

So, the other night when we went to visit my parents for my dad's birthday, I went on a hunt for those dolls & I found them! They are looking a little rough though ;) And... they're missing some clothes. But, I've set out today to restore them the best I can, and see if I can make them a worthy gift for my little one's birthday. I'll definitely be posting about the process when it's complete!

(And mom, I think I'm coming over sometime before T's birthday so I can hunt for some of those missing clothes! ;)

Silly String Fun

After Talia attended a friend's birthday party in the summer, she's been talking about doing Silly String on her birthday. We've explained that it has to be done outside and that it would be hard to do in the wintertime. Well, Daddy made her little dream come true & brought some silly string home for Katrina's birthday. They had a blast in the backyard, spraying the dead cornstalks in the garden ;)

30 Days of Kindness

Last night, I came upon a great blog called dandee. She had just finished a "thirty days of kindness" project, in preparation for her 30th birthday. I loved the idea & decided to give it a try.

I'll use some of them on these two, I'm sure ;)

So, I've begun my journey.
I'm starting with her list, and as I complete them, I'll come back here and cross them off (I may not do them all in order).

1. hold the door for someone
2. compliment someone's hair & mean it
3. write a letter to a friend & mail it
4. listen. really listen.
5. share a smile & a warm hello
6. bake a treat & deliver it to an elderly neighbour
7. call someone you've been thinking about
8. tell a loved one you're thankful for them
9. be patient
10. be sincere when you ask "how are you?"
11. be on time
12. hide a note for your love
13. read to a child (as long as they want)
This one really stood out to me, and I don't think I'll forget it easily. It's often on my mind, and I will do it often.
14. donate to a clothing drive
15. make someone's bed
16. leave a generous tip
17. leave a treasure on a stranger's doorstep
18. avoid judging others
19. send a thank you card
20. surprise someone with a home cooked meal
21. make a new friend
22. give someone a hug
23. cheer up the sad
24. deliver flowers to someone special
25. make a yummy breakfast for your loves
26. send happy mail
27. say I love you
28. reach out to an old friend
29. make someone laugh
30. anonymously pay for a stranger’s meal

I wanted to share this with you incase you'd like to give it a try or start one of your own. But definitely, don't rely on my typed out version of the list- Miss Dandee has a lovely collection of photos to go with hers, and I assure you that you'll find more than just this, to keep you occupied at her blog. :)

Apron Fun! :)

My mom made this apron for me a few years ago.
For her birthday, my mom made a matching one for Katrina.
And for Christmas, she got one for her dolls! :)

2nd Birthday Cake

For Katrina's 2nd birthday, I decided to make her a cake.

I decided to make the inside all different colours like I did with these cupcakes. Here's how that turned out:

And I went out and bought some supplies for cake decorating. (This was long overdue. I once worked as a cake decorator at a Baskin Robbins and have missed being able to do that for my kids' birthdays- mostly I've just done cupcakes so far). I ended up decorating pretty simply & pretty quickly. Here's how it ended up:

Baking Banana Muffins

We made banana muffins one day. It was great fun- and Daddy led the whole thing. The girls loved it. I'm not going to share the recipe because ours didn't turn out- possibly because we halfed the recipe & Daddy suspects he doubled an ingredient ;) But it was so fun!

You'll notice Katrina's hat- we couldn't find her baking hat, so Daddy solved that problem ;)

Happy New Year - "Look Not Behind Thee"

Happy New Year!
As I look forward to the future, I find this video a good reminder.
Check it out if you've got a minute. :)

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