Sunday, January 29, 2012

30 Days of Pinteres- Day 11: Doggy Treats to Share!

Doggie Parents, this one is for you!
Over a year ago we decided that we needed another fur baby in our family. We have our two cats, one who is our precious old man and the light of our lives, and one who hates us and lives in the basement. However, we thought we'd try our hand at raising another dog. Because, well, the first two attempts didn't work out so well. We have a little boy who's addicted to doggies, and we wanted to get a family dog that really *is* a family dog. Unlike the last two.

Christmas 2010, Husband and I took a trip to the local county dog control shelter because we saw on this older dog that Husband really liked. When we got there the poor dog looked old and mean. He had a nasty snarl and wasn't something we wanted to bring home to an eager Hunter who would likely climb all over him and use him for a horsey. We've already had experience with a dog who was a biter that we had to get rid of. Not making that mistake again. That whole, "he only bites when provoked" thing... um, ya, dogs are *easily* provoked.

As we walked down the line of snarling, barking dogs, we got to the end of the row where a sweet little girl was curled up in the corner of her cage. She didn't look up at us, and definitely wasn't barking. She had sort of submitted herself to the fact that, after 4 months, no one was going to want an unspayed female dog in perpetual heat because of all the male dogs around her. That was it, I had to have her. There was no question or hesitation. I knew she was a true family friend. And she has been! We've never been this happy with a dog, and we have never regretted our decision to bring her home (even after all the chewed shoes, destroyed $200 textbook, shredded brand new $60 shirt, and swallowed cupcakes).

There's that initial worry about whether or not your new pet will get along with your old pets. Our old-man cat Socks has been with us since 2000. He's been through it all, such as saying good-bye to our sweet angel and the love of his life, Nikki, two rambunctious dogs that he hated, three babies (who grew to be pesky toddlers), and 6 moves, 3 of which were cross country. He's more like a dog in nature, but he's hands down the most awesome cat in the world. He tolerates all that the kids have thrown at him in 11 1/2 years, and he's still ticking like he's a 3-year-old.

When we first introduced Socks the Tuxedo Cat to Holly the Christmas Puppy (who was about 2-years-old when we got her) he immediately batted her on the nose a few times with his claw-less paw. She lowered her head in submission and they've been best pals since. Socks absolutely loves to cuddle with Holly. He will lay next to her any chance he can get. These two make my heart smile.

As soon as we got Holly, I Googled dog treat recipes and found one that we ended up calling Holly Crack. It has that gross pureed meat baby food stuff in it, and she can't get enough of it. She will do *anything* for her Holly Crack.

I wanted to make some new recipes for Holly, even though I know she'll never get tired of the old one :) I found this one on Pinterest, and the originating blog post on Pink Pistachio is so cute! I made a double batch because we are going to share some with our newest fur baby family member, my new nephew Shadow. My sister is a huge dog lover, but lived in an apartment where she couldn't have dogs for a long time. She finally is in a place where she can have small dogs, and just like Holly called to us, Shadow called her name at her local animal shelter. We haven't met Shadow, us being in New York and him living in Wisconsin, but we will send him some love. This was Hunter's idea because he asked if he could send Shadow a picture, and then as we were baking treats he thought it would be great to send Shadow some treats, too.

Tomorrow I'm going to whip up a batch of these yummy looking treats. Pumpkin is great for a dog's digestion. If your dog has an upset tummy, perhaps a little too much of chewing-everything-in-sight-even-if-it's-not-edible, like doggies do, give them a little scoop of pumpkin. It's like Alka-Seltzer for dogs. Just like the previous recipe's originating blog post, this one also has a very cute story over at Simmer Till Done.

We do not, as of yet, own a dog bone cookie cutter. I would have bought one long ago, but I can tell Holly just simply doesn't care what shape her treats come in. I break them in half anyway, no matter what shape they are. We typically use our small star cutter.

The combined work of Mommy and Hunter, yet again. He's quite a handy little helper, if I do say so.

Don't forget to stop by and see what Louisa's up to at Weezie Peezie Lemon Squeezie!

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
721 Pins
30 Boards

Friday, January 27, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 10: My Own Pin

I thought I'd take a little break from making other people's projects, and Pin my own today. Partly because I've been busy this week with the start of school, and partly because the project I am working on isn't turning out right, and partly because I'm being lazy :)

Drew is in an after school program called MAP, which stands for Middle School Achievement Program. They help the kids do homework, play games, and have various clubs for them to join like Cooking Club, French Club, and Arts and Crafts Club. I really enjoy it, and best of all I work with most of the MAP staff because it's run by the local YMCA, so I get updates as to how Drew is behaving ;) Luckily for him everyone in the staff loves him and thinks he's hilarious.

Today was the last day of the semester, so the fella who runs MAP asked if I would whip up a batch of cupcakes as a special treat for the kids.

Um... is my name Chaos Mommy?! Of course! And better yet, there's no flavor preference, so I get to go crazy!

I instantly decided on 24 Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes, and 24 Nilla Wafer Cupcakes.

I went back and forth a bit about how to make the Oreo cupcakes. Do I put the whole Oreo in the bottom of the cupcake, or chop up cookies and add the crumbs to my batter? I chose the latter and the batter looked great. :) Then for the frosting I made a Cookies and Cream buttercream.

For the Nilla Wafer Cupcakes I put a Nilla Wafer in the bottom of the cupcake, and I added some crushed up Nilla Wafers to the top of the vanilla buttercream.

I hope they were awesome! I hate when I don't get to taste test my cupcakes before they go out. However, I had a teensy bit of the vanilla batter leftover, and it was YUM! I will admit I licked the beater. And the spatula. And the bowl. And my fingers.

Also, while I was making these, I was giving Husband a little lesson in cupcake decorating. But don't tell anyone because I'm sure he'll deny it! He tried his hand at piping frosting on some of the Oreo cupcakes. I told him to make "dog poop piles". He said, "Why are you making them look like dog poop? What kind of party is this?" He obviously didn't see my "figurative" sign that was turned on.

When I walked into school, after school, with these bad boys, I was stopped by various teachers who insisted I stop and show them what was in my mystery boxes. They were jealous they didn't get to eat them! Where are my business cards when I need them?!! I also forgot to bring business cards to MAP because the lead fella said he'd pass them out to parents for me. Oh well. Next time maybe I'll have my act together!

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
694 Pins
29 Boards

Monday, January 23, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest - Day 9: Corn Dogs + Intergalactic Space Slime = Mommy and Hunter Day!

On Friday Hunter asked for a Mommy and Hunter day. I said I had too much homework.

On Saturday Hunter asked for a Mommy and Hunter day. I said I had too much homework.

~*~ BUT ~*~

I offered a Mommy and Hunter "Half-Day" on Sunday, and he could choose what he wanted to do as long as we stayed home (because Mommy is tired :).

He decided he wanted to choose some activities off that website. You know, the one that Mom goes on all the time... that has, like, fun stuff. But not Facebook. The other one.

~*~ SMILE ~*~

I've been taking a winter-term class to make up for a class that, um, didn't go so well. That means I'm taking a class that would normally take a full 16 week semester to complete, in 4 short and condensed weeks. But with all the normal homework you would have in a 16 week class. Luckily, it's a topic I'm extremely interested in, environmental biology. So at the very least, it kept my attention. However, all this means I haven't had the spare time over the last month that I thought I'd have. {Especially for crafting, baking, and writing.} It also means the kids start to feel when they've been pushed to the wayside. At least it's nice to know when they miss my attention :)

This all brings us to Day NINE: Mommy and Hunter Day!

I told Hunter to pick one food item to make, and one craft to make. He asked why we couldn't pick, like 5, or 6, or even 10? I said because it's a Mommy and Hunter "Half-Day" (because Mommy, by the absolute grace of God, and a power outage on the school's website for 5 hours during the last day of winter classes, got an extension on her biology class and was still allowed to turn in homework up until NOON on Sunday, and by goodness she was going to take advantage of that!). I kind of steered Hunter a little bit in deciding what we were going to bake because he was choosing things that I didn't have all the ingredients for. I explained to him we needed to choose a snack that we already had all the ingredients for. Mommy was taking one day to not step a foot outside the house. Or spend money.

He was excited when we chose Corn Dogs, and even more excited when we chose Slime for our craft. Or better yet, Intergalactic Space Slime with Space Dust (because Mommy likes to use glitter in everything, so this is Mommy's way to get her boys to use glitter! {{Smile}} ) Also, because we had all the same ingredients for our Slime that The Idea Room had on her blog, except the cool glow-in-the-dark-paint. So Mommy had to do some quick thinking as to how else we can make our slime awesome. Because for some reason, just making slime by itself isn't awesome enough.

{The corn dogs were quite simple. I used one of my favorite corn bread recipes (although I feel there's nothing wrong with using a box mix, too), and Lil Smokies, in this case the turkey kind. I had Hunter scoop the corn bread mixture into the cupcake liners with an ice cream scoop. He did all of them himself. He said, "Isn't this great, Mom? You get to sit back and relax while I do all the work!"}

{Here's how delicious they turned out! I liked the ones where the corn bread rolled over the "dog". I added a pinch more sugar to the second batch, so they were sweeter. However, the first batch was yum! My sweet tooth prefers corn bread a little more on the sweeter side. Also, from my large stash of cupcake liners, Hunter chose the football ones because Daddy was watching Playoffs.}

{tA-dA! Hunter's so proud he made these by himself. While Mommy got to sit back and relax ;) }

While Hunter was eating... NINE.... corn dogs, he sang, "It's a Corn, it's a Dog... it's a Corn Dog MUFFINNNN!"

Then we took a short break because Mommy promised Daddy she'd whip up a big batch of Venison Chili for him to take to work for lunch all week. Hunter had no problems playing on the computer. After all, "We do need computer breaks you know, Mom."

Then it was Slime Time! Like I said earlier, with no Glow-In-The-Dark-Paint, like The Idea Room had, Mommy needed to think quick ;) AKA, use glitter! Hunter was quite impressed that all our other ingredients matched up exactly to the picture on The Idea Room's post. We had the same Borax, same clear Elmer's glue, and same Neon McCormick food coloring. Wow. Am I good or what?

I usually can't get slime to work out as well as it should. And my Borax hasn't been used since the last time we made slime, almost 2 years ago. It was a bit lumpy and I ended up having to strain the lumps out. We made two slimes, one wasn't as clear because of the lumpy Borax solution, and the other one turned out nice and clear, but it's more Flubber than Slime. Which is funny because we watched Flubber on tv this morning, so Hunter was quite familiar with it. Except disappointed that his Flubber didn't stick to his feet ;)

{I had to be in the picture this time. But unbeknownst to him, I get to crop my fat head out ;) }

The directions for slime are on The Idea Room website that I've linked to a few times. Great directions, I'm just a bad Intergalactic Slime maker :)

Now that Spring Semester is starting, and God willing, my 2nd to last semester, I'm going to make a sort of schedule for my 30 Days of Pinterest project. I have in-school classes on Tuesday and Thursday, and I also work Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so those days are cut short as to amount of time I have to make projects. Those are going to be my 30 Minute Project days. It will be fun to to challenge myself with some quick and easy projects, as well as lengthier ones on the days I have more time.

I try to make time for the kids when I can. Louisa and I have our Saturday mornings at gymnastics. We can fit a LOT of much needed conversation in on those 3o minute drives to and from work. And also we get to work as a team for three hours while coaching (and doing) gymnastics. Hunter and I get a quite a bit of time together as he's my companion at work, and since Drew and Louisa both have after school activities and don't get home until 5:30, Hunter and I get all that after school time together. Fitting in alone time with Drew can be a bit more difficult and I have to work harder at it. It does get done, though. I feel it's extremely important to give each child time, even if it's not always convenient for me to do.

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
633 Pins
25 Boards

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 8: When life gives you lemons... make lemon ricotta cookies!

Yes, I really had to use one of the world's most overused sayings :)

Meyer Lemons! Yum! I drank 2 of them in warm lemon water with a touch of honey tonight because I couldn't get enough of them. Plus I have a cold. I saw this cute little package of Meyer Lemons at the store and had to buy them. Wasn't sure yet what I wanted to make with them, I just wanted them. They were so cute and bright yellow, I couldn't resist! A Meyer Lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It's still got the tart lemon flavor, with a bit of sweetness. You can use them as substitute for any lemon recipe, although the final result might be a tad different. It won't be so different that the dish will be ruined.

I saw these Lemon Ricotta Cookies on Pinterest, originally posted on Tracey's Culinary Adventures. TCA got it from Giada. Of course Giada would pair ricotta cheese and lemon, and make a cookie out of it!

I love ricotta cheese (I'm saying it how Giada says it in my head!) But I'll warn you, if you are NOT a fan of ricotta, don't try this cookie. Because you can taste it. I love how versatile ricotta is. You can use it in savory dishes, and sweet dishes, for cooking or baking. Louisa and I even saw Ricotta Fritters made on Chow Ciao!. (**Note: PLEASE watch him if you haven't watched him before. HIL-AR-I-OUS!) Louisa's been nagging me to make ricotta fritters ever since!

I chose not to make the lemon glaze, partially out of laziness, partially because I really needed to get back to homework after my short stop baking in the kitchen, and partially because I thought the cookies tasted good with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar. I will make these again, and I'll try the lemon glaze next time. With the stuffed up nose and bad head cold I have right now, it's not like all my taste buds are working properly anyway :)

{{Speaking of "lemons", go check out Louisa's new blog, Weezie Peezie Lemon Squeezie. She's a funny gal, and I guarantee that if you follow her, you'll like it! }}

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
564 Pins
22 Boards

Monday, January 16, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 7: Chalk Paint and Organizing Jars

{Supplies: Glass jars, chalk board paint}

I love jars. I don't know why. They don't have to be anything special, or expensive, or old. I just like glass and filling glass jars with things I can see. I have many shelves in my kitchen, instead of cabinets, so my dream is to fill the shelves with labeled glass jars. Pretty, and functional.

I found these chalk board painted jars on Pinterest, originally from up by First Lady of the House (wow the organization is out of this world!!!!)

I have had Folk Art chalk board paint sitting around the house for a year, at least. I had all sorts of plans, but never came through with any of them. This pin on Pinterest gave me motivation to use the paint, and get a little organizing done, and make my dream of jar filled shelves start to come true.

I have some spare Mason jars that I will definitely use with the chalk board paint later, but I went to Family Dollar to find some different jars. I got those jars with the snap shut lids for $2.50 for the big ones, and $1.50 for the little ones. I thought they were very cute.

I also have an old key holder/mail holder thingy that hangs on my wall. I figured some chalk board paint on that, and a few fun messages or reminders now and then, would work good.
There's day seven! It took me two days to complete this because you need a few (I did three) coats of paint on the jars, and drying and chalk board curing time. Plus homework for a crazy hard class, work, and spending time with the Chaos Peeps, it turned into a two day project.

Here's a little preview of supplies for two (separate) upcoming Pinterest projects!

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
527 Pins
22 Boards

Friday, January 13, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Days 5 & 6: Sick Day, and "Are those really pancakes!??"

Thursday was a strange day. Our school district had a 2 hour delay in the morning because of inclement weather (still not quite sure what was inclement about it). Everyone was confused, including school staff. Louisa and Drew leave an hour and a half before Hunter does, so they got up at 8:00, got ready, and left the house at 9:00. It was a nice morning for them. Hunter's bus was due here about 10:30, but Hunter was moving so slow and his eyes were watery from congestion. I decided to keep him at home, since I had nothing much to do Thursday anyway.

For my 30 Days of Pinterest project, I thought I'd look up some Sight Word activities for Hunter to do while he was home. He's in first grade and struggles with reading a bit more than Louisa or Drew ever did. I found this really cute game that was similar to Cootie. You have a "Love Bug" outline on a piece of paper, and a key that tells you what number equals what body part. Instead of physically building your Cootie, or Love Bug in this case, you draw it. So we played that a few times, and then I sent in a blank copy for his teacher :) She has that Smart Board, so she can let the whole class play it one day. The awesome site this game comes from is Teaching Heart Blog, and they also have a Turkey and Snowman version of the game.

The next activity we pulled off Pinterest is from one of my favorite activity/craft/DIY blogs, Tip Junkie. There are not only sight word flash cards to print off, but 25 sight word game and activity ideas. We played a few games, had a little fun, and Hunter *finally* conquered the word "our" and remembered the difference between 'our', 'are', and 'or'.

So those were my Thursday, Day 5 Pinterest activities, but Louisa thought they were too boring for me to make a single post out of ;) She said I needed something more exciting than that for my Pinterest project! Oh, teenagers. They don't understand! Other moms helping their little ones learn to read will find it interesting! I think.... I hope....

Today's project was my attempt at making the perfect shaped pancakes. And failing. Miserably. I followed the instructions, even got the *same* bottle as shown on the blog (pure coincidence, but still), and they turned out..... funky. For lack of a better word. I guess the key to perfect shaped pancakes, is perfect flipping. The skill of which I do not possess. Not even a smidge! My husband flips pancakes like a madman, but alas, God didn't equip me with pancake flipping wrists, I'm afraid.

Here's the run down on how to make great shaped pancakes from Not So Idle Hands.

And here's my failed attempt at pancake shapes :) Louisa made an awesome smiley face, that turned into a taco when I flipped it. We also attempted stars, hearts, everyone's initials, and flowers. Only the initials turned out, everything else was flipped in half.

For my pancakes I used a regular pancake mix, and added 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and about 1 tbsp maple syrup to the batter. So at least they tasted good!

Also today, I shoveled about 2 feet of snow on the front sidewalks, took a 20 minute trip to Walmart that actually took me an hour, and saw a gagillion cars slide off the snowy roads as I plowed through in my Dodge Ram 4x4. Because you don't live in Northern New York state if you can't barrel through the snow and get where you need to be going. It was nerve wracking knowing the kids were coming home in the buses, when it was near white-out conditions. They had an early release day due to weather, and they all got home safe. But there's a LOT of snow out there, and I really need my husband to come home and snow blow the driveway!

Please visit my Pin Boards:

My Numbers:
492 Pins
21 Boards

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day Four: French Toast *BOMB* and Hash Browns on Crack

A few things people should know about me:
  • I am slightly not right in the head
  • I do projects at all hours of the day... like 2:30 in the morning
  • I don't sleep well, so some of my best inspirations come late at night
  • Sometimes I don't even sit down for the first time until 11:00 pm.
  • I do *NOT* make my kids breakfast. Getting a hot breakfast like this is a gigantic treat to them. My poor, deprived children...

I was up late doing homework last night. I went to the kitchen for a snack when I noticed that my loaf of sandwich bread had a slit in the bag, from one end to the other. My first thought was to grab a few gallon sized zip locks and put the bread in them. When I went to open the bag of bread, I noticed that half of it was pretty hard and crusty. CRAP! My guess is that the bread had a tear in the bag before I put it in the freezer, because I had just taken the bread out of the freezer yesterday morning.

What else do you do with crusty bread? Bread crumbs? Bread pudding? Ah-ha! French toast! I didn't feel like sitting around this morning making French toast for the kids, so I decided to look on Pinterest for a French toast baked dish. And boy did I find one!! This baked French toast was originally posted on a blog called Mormon Mavens, and they adapted it from The Pioneer Woman herself :) This stuff is seriously the bomb-diggity! I want to eat the whole 9x13 pan :) Would that be bad?!!

My slight adjustments to the two recipes I linked above are:

*I didn't have enough milk, and it being 2:30 a.m. when I assembled this, I wasn't going to the store :) I used about half milk (1%) and half heavy whipping cream, to equal 2 cups total.

* I added about a tsp of cinnamon to the milk/egg mixture.

*I had to get this in the oven by 5:30 a.m. for my two oldest children to really enjoy it, so the French toast sat in the fridge a total of three hours. Both bloggers suggest keeping the French toast in the fridge longer than that. Just letting you know I took a short cut and it turned out just fine :)

* The topping I made was exactly what Mormon Maven's topping is, although she added an icing on top of that after it came out of the oven. Not having any milk left, I opted out of the icing, but I'd love to try it like that! If you would like to make an icing, there's no specific formula. Place about 2 cups of powdered sugar in a bowl, add a few drops of milk at a time until you get the icing slightly runny. Runny enough to drizzle on the French toast, but not like water. You add the icing after the dish comes out of the oven. If you add icing, be sure to store leftovers (psht! HA!!) in the fridge.

I actually had two Pinterest projects today. The first was out of a need to use up that prematurely stale bread, and the second was a need to... eat dinner! :) I had come across these Crack Potatoes, originally posted on a blog called One Good Thing. These potatoes were once a result of someone's mistake, and they are a scrumptious delicious mistake!

Please visit my Pin Boards:

Today's Numbers:
436 Pins
20 Boards

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 3: Shadow Box Monogram

So, does everyone have a closet full of random craft "crap" that they bought on clearance, without knowing what to do with it, just because it was on clearance? Raise your hand! (And PLEASE tell my husband I'm NOT the only one!)

I've had most of these materials on hand, randomly, for no reason, for quite awhile. The shadow boxes were picked up on sale at Michael's, the letters also were on sale, the paint I've had around just because I love painting, and the paper is because I was once going to be a scrapbook artist, then changed my mind, yet I can't stop buying paper!

We recently remodeled Drew's room, and by "we", I mean Husband :) We're decorating the new bedroom in a Hard Rock Cafe theme. My son is all about rock n roll, and rocker type colors. Eventually I'll paint a guitar on his wall, and he's going to have a real music corner to rock out in.

I saw this shadow box with a monogram on Pinterest, and knew I had the materials on hand to make one for Drew's new room. Louisa had actually asked me once if she could decorate her room with different shadow boxes with an assortment of items in them, so I thought this would be great for her, too. Her room is painted a few shades of teal, and has a lot of black and white accents. Her favorite color is lime green, so I let her go through my paint collection and pick out the shade of green for her "L".

My shadow box looks a bit different than the one I found on Pinterest, but it's all about the inspiration and making an idea your own.

{These are the materials for Louisa's shadow box. The paint is Craft Smart Neon Green, and Folk Art Extreme Glitter Peridot. I'm in love with Extreme Glitter!!}
{These are the materials for Drew's shadow box. I'm using two pieces of paper for his background. I thought this glittery black would look nice under the red with the stars. A little rock n roll-ish. The paint colors are Apple Barrel Black, and Folk Art Extreme Glitter Black. So cool that they have black glitter paint!}
{I started my project by sanding and painting the letters. I didn't want to get *too* glittery with Drew's "A", although it was tempting :) That black glitter is so awesome!}
{While the letters are drying, I cut out and glued the scrapbook paper on the backs of each shadow box.}

{When the letters and backs were dry, I glued the letters onto the paper. Then I let them sit and completely dry.}
{Finished product! Both kids were excited with how their monograms turned out.}
Now I'm off to get homework done. Because I took the day off to craft it up (and go to work), I need to get moving on my environmental biology projects!! (Multiple!)

Please visit my Pin Boards:

Today's Numbers:
376 Pins
18 Boards

Monday, January 09, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day 2: National Apricot Day

What *is* Pinterest? I had a friend, a little older than myself... maybe like, old enough to be my mom, email me and say "I love all your crafts and goodies, but WHAT IS PINTEREST?!!" :)
If you're a Pinterest Virgin, I highly caution you that it's addictive, and sucks precious hours/days/weeks from your life. So take a peek whenever you have a free minute... or 1000.

I was browsing through Pinterest on my morning run, and saw that today is National Apricot Day. How fortuitous for me, because I wasn't quite sure what to make today. A few more clicks and I found a delicious Apricot Crumbles from Real Simple Recipes. I'm all about using what I already have in the pantry/fridge, and I happened to have a jar of apricot preserves on hand.

Every Monday night I coach gymnastics, so I had to leave the house at a certain time. I thought I had plenty of time to bake my Apricot Crumble, and get to work. Just after I put the crumble in the oven Louisa said, "Mom, you have 5 minutes before you have to leave." Yikes! The kids have to come with me to work, so I had to stop the oven and leave for work. I finished baking it when I got home and everything was fine. Oops :)

The kids gave this two thumbs up. Or probably would have if I hadn't ushered them to bed the very second the last bite was swallowed. Too many LATE nights doing homework and my body is not pleased with me. So I'm.... *gulp*.... going to bed before midnight! I know. Crazy.

Please visit my Pin Boards:

Today's Numbers:
Pins- 367
Boards- 18

Sunday, January 08, 2012

30 Days of Pinterest- Day One: Hootioes and Dandelion Fluff

PINTEREST!!! Do you "pin"? Are you a "pinner"? "Pin-o-maniac"? I have no idea what the proper verb is for a "pin-artist" is, but I am one. Whatever you call me!

I got my daughter into it too. Oops :) It is fun to have more subjects to chat with your 14-year-old about. Lord knows us teen parents are always on the look out for connection-worthy activities!

A few days ago, after an especially hearty pinning spree, I came across this signage:

Ohh... HAHAHA! YES!!! I first thought. And then, Wait.. but I really *AM* creative!
So here I've been pinning all these ideas for the past few months, and looking at pictures and oohing and ahhing. But I wasn't doing anything more with these new ideas than just looking at them on my "boards" and saying, "ooh, look what I could do."

After a little (and I mean very little) thought, I decided I was going to set aside time in my daily life (bwahahahaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!) to *create*! Also, getting my daughter in on this will give us, you know... more connection! Bonus points!

Day one, I decided to do something food related. I had my eye on something called Spaghetti Dogs, to make for the boys. I thought this was not only FUN, but would sort of knock their socks off. I love to keep them on their toes ;) I haven't been able to find the original Pin on these Spaghetti Dogs, however after doing a little Googling, they're all over the blogosphere (where have I been?).

{To begin, cut hot dogs into 4 pieces. My pieces were about an inch or so long. Note: This was a good way to get rid of two partial packages of hot dogs. I broke all of my spaghetti in half, however it's not necessary. Then, like a good old fashioned game of Kerplunk, stick the uncooked spaghetti noodles through the hot dogs... like so!}

{Next step, boil noodle filled hot dogs in water until noodles are cooked. If you really want to impress the kids, don't let them see HOW it's done. Just walk into the dining room with these on a plate and set it in front of them... hehe... snicker snicker! My boys freaked out! Drew's direct quote was, "What ARE these?!!" with very wide eyes. Hunter, in his unlimited genius, says "It's hot dogs and noodles... duh!"}

We ended up nicknaming these "Hootioes" (as in the word "hoot", and "ioes" like the end of Cheerios). Louisa and I were whispering about making these, and I said, "I hope I have enough H-O-T D-O-G-S to make these." She thought for a moment, looked confused and then replied, "Hootioes??!!" Ah-ha... so funny. That's my honor student!

The next Pinterest project I took on today was more Louisa's fault. She usually paints her nails every Sunday. MaD Manis is one of her absolute fave nail blogs. Louisa pinned these dandelion fluff nails from MaD Manis, and I said I'd like to try painting them for her. We obviously didn't have that shade of China Glaze, so we made due with a blue we have.In all fairness to Louisa, I hastily took this picture before she had time to clean up her nails. I won't do that to her next time ;) She usually over-paints her nails, and then cleans them up afterward. She does have quite a knack for doing some great looking nails, though. I wanted to try my hand at these, but I bet she could do them better.

A few notes about my new project, 30 Days of Pinterest:
I'm trying to link back to either the original Pins, or the original posts and places all of our Pins come from. Bare with me!

Also, my Pin projects should span the creative vastness that is Pinterest. Food, clothing, crafts, jewelry, decorating, etc. There's SO much in that website, that I am only scratching the very surface, but I have the strong need to learn to be creative *every single day*, no matter if it's big or small.

Please visit my Pin Boards:

Today's numbers:
Pins- 313
Boards- 17

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012?! Did I sleep through 2011?

I do NOT remember 2011. Was I sleeping? Did I fall into a worm hole?

So I was at this New Year's Eve party last night, and people were yelling, "Hooray! It's 2012!" and I thought, huh? I think school played a big part in why I don't remember much of last year. I had a LOT of classes last year. Some were easy, some were hard, and some, well..... let's just put some of those classes on a dusty old shelf high up in the attic and pretend they never existed. K?! :)

I don't make new years resolutions. I don't keep them, I don't even try to keep them, and it's just not my bag. However, I do usually work toward being a better person in general. More giving, loving, and a better light of God's love than I was the year before. Heck, I strive for that every DAY. But on the 1st of January each year, in addition to wishing my late grandparents a quick "happy anniversary", I think back at a few instances that went well, and a few I could have worked harder at to make better choices. 2011 seemed to be full of the latter, but we're always hard on ourselves, aren't we?

This year I'd like to take better advantage of all my children have to offer. Find the qualities that make them *shine* and enhance them. Louisa's big adventure in the first part of the year will be performing in the school musical, Fiddler on the Roof, as Yente. She was very upset when she first got the role. Who wants to be the old woman with hardly any lines?! Understandable! However, after a few rehearsals, she realized that not only is Yente the comic relief, but she's really the core of the story, after Tevye. She took a situation she wasn't happy with, and found not only the silver lining, but the HEART. Louisa is also working hard on her gymnastics, trying to land that back handspring with no help. She doesn't give up until she gets something. I love that about her!

Drew has found a love of playing musical instruments. I would love to see where this takes him. He's playing my old tenor saxophone (really the entire reason he's alive today... without much exaggeration) and he's doing amazing. He joined a piano club after school, just because, with no prompting from anyone and no friends saying, "Hey, let's do this piano club thing". Just... cause. I'm so proud of him for doing that! He's coming into his own in middle school, and I pray it stays this way. I know how torturous the years of middle school can be. We're currently building him a music corner in the new room his dad built for him. I hope to grow this love of music, both with the music corner, and with the opportunities for him to play his instruments whenever he wants to. Drew, being the middle child, and not quite as "normal" as the others, gets over looked sometimes by family members. He doesn't always get the recognition he deserves. I pray that this year everyone truly understands him for the beautiful soul he is (as his 4th grade teacher once said). He's got so much to offer, and I want everyone to see what I see in him.

Hunter has had trouble getting a solid start in first grade, however, I know he has the supreme smartness his brother and sister have. He adores having books read to him, and I think once he finally gets a grasp on reading by himself, he'll be a book lover for life. But we're struggling a little to find that inner self-reader. He's in there! In know it and I won't give up till he comes out! The major wow-factor in Hunter comes from his math skills. He's going to knock some socks off some day with his impressive math knowledge. He took to his addition and subtraction facts like they were M&M's. I'm excited to see where this is going to go!

As for me, I finally graduate college this year with an associates degree in Culinary Arts. What I do with that degree is up in the air. I have my home business that I plan to advertise and grow, but what else? A restaurant? Bakery? Do I want to work for someone else? I do need more experience in both baking and decorating. I know it'll all come with time, but it'd be nice to get that experience while being paid for it, not while paying for my own supplies ;)

2012 will be a year of growth for us, but everyone says that every year. Right? Every year we say, "This is a big year, I can feel it!"

For now I just say, GET ME THROUGH SCHOOL!!! It'll take me more than 10 semesters to get nothing but a little ole associates degree. It's time to move on to the next stage in my life. The "college graduate" part!

P.S. Please, please, double triple please..... Go LIKE my business Facebook page, and SHARE it with your friends list. Because even if you don't live here in Northern New York, you might know someone who does. And even if your friends don't, maybe one of their friends does! See how this works?! :)
It's easy... Click, LIKE, and SHARE ;)

I pray you all have a Chaos year, in the best Chaos way imaginable! Because without Chaos, all rules of physics are null and void.