Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big 3-0!

Yep, it finally happened for me. I am no longer a 20-something and am oddly enough more okay with it than I thought I would be. I believe I know myself better than I did at 20 and I am happy with my life, where as at 20, I was still very lost and confused. I'm not saying I have everything together because I am far from perfect, but, I am happy. Entering this new era of my life I am hoping to grow and learn more then I ever have before and I am very excited about it! Here's a couple pics from my birthday party this last weekend!


Me and my sexy hubby!

Jameson <3

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Apple Candle Holders

With fall right around the corner, I thought I'd post a fun little project! So simple yet so cute for a fall centerpiece for your table or just for around the house but, you are using real apples so they will only last for so long! This can also be done with mini pumpkins for a cute Halloween or Thanksgiving decoration!

1. Every apple will sit differently, so see how they sit and then mark their topsides with a dot.

2. Place the tea light over the dot, and trace around it with a pencil.

3. Set aside the light, cut the circumference of the circle and then cut the circle into sections and scoop them out with a spoon. Make sure to cut and scoop deep enough for the tea light to sit nicely inside.

4. Squeeze lemon juice onto the cut surface to keep the apple from turning brown, and insert a tea light. Repeat with remaining apples.

To make it a bit easier, you can also use this tool: http://www.amazon.com/HOLIDAY-candle-CARVER-Christmas-centerpiece/dp/B0019FQWKC

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Morning Help List for Back To School!

I saw a similar idea on another blog and decided to customize it and make my own! Instead of printing out pictures and text I did my own and drew up my own little pictures (no laughing. The kids love it and can't wait to start using it when school starts! Here's to hoping it helps mornings run smoothly!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rapunzel's Hair Pasta

I knew Rapunzel's hair needed to make an appearance at the party somehow and I knew I wanted to serve something along with the hazelnut soup and that's how I decided on this! Again, ridiculously easy but the kids loved it!

Angel hair pasta for the hair
Bow tie pasta for the "hair bow"
Alfredo sauce is optional

Rapunzel's Hazelnut Soup

In 'Tangled', Mother Gothel mentions that she is going to make hazelnut soup for dinner, Rapunzel's favorite. So, it was a must for my daughter's birthday party! The pickier kids were iffy about it but most of them loved it! All of the adults loved and and were disappointed when we ran out! Lol Prep time takes a while but the outcome is definitely worth it!

Hazelnut Soup

2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections
1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
4 cups of chicken stock, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (can be purchased already chopped at your local store, check where they have walnuts, pecans, etc.)

For Soup:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

5. Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

6. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

7. Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

8. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

9. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

10. Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock.
Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

11. Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

12. While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream.

13. Serve in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts.

Rapunzel's Golden Flower Punch

This was really easy to make and everyone liked it!

Equal parts of pineapple juice, orange juice and club soda.

See?! Super easy! Make sure to add some ice to keep cold during the party!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Daughter's Tangled Party

Note: I will post all recipes in separate blog posts!

My daughter just turned 5 and we had a Tangled party for her birthday. You see, she is convinced she is Rapunzel because we have never cut her hair. She doesn't think of me as Mother Gothel or that her hair has powers, but, in her mind, she is Rapunzel.

Now, we had a lot more planned for this party but we are a military family overseas and things take forever to get to us when we order them so, as I'm typing this 2 1/2 weeks later, the things we ordered almost a month in advance for her party, are still not here.

The first item I wanted to take care of when it came to planning was the cake. I knew I was not going to do it because of time restraints and because Eliza insisted she wanted Rapunzel's tower for her cake! So, I passed that off to a very talented friend of mine. Here is her website: http://www.confectionsbyjulie.com/index.html She actually has the cakepops she made for my birthday party last year on her pricing page! Here is what she came up with:

I found this on a Google search and printed it out and taped it above the food table:

This punch was a hit among the kids and adults: (Sorry for the weird light in the picture)

Here was the table with the addition of Maximus' apples:

To start the party off, I printed out pictures of Rapunzel where you have to add her hair. I got the print out from here: http://a.family.go.com/images/cms/disney/PDFs/tangled-rapunzel-activity-kit-coloring-pages-printable-0910.pdf
It's a Rapunzel activity pack that we also got the poster for our next activity.

We printed out the "Wanted" picture of Flynn and my husband copied the picture onto poster board. I had seen on other blogs that they play "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn" but we decided to do it a little different. In the movie, the wanted posters always got Flynn's nose wrong so we decided to play "Pin the Nose on Flynn". I cut out papers and let the kids draw noses for Flynn. It was a blast and the adults got a kick out of the noses the kids drew.

Here's a close-up of the noses, lol!

Next was pinata time which is not at all Tangled related but as soon as my daughter saw it at the store she was determined to have it for her party and there was no talking her out of it! Oh well, lol.

Birthday girl with her loot!

Next was present time!

What would a Tangled party be without Rapunzel's favorite food? Hazelnut soup! Some of the kids were iffy about it but all of the adults loved it!

We also had Rapunzel's hair pasta! Notice the bow tie pasta made to look like a hair bow! The kids loved it!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Recipe posts to come later!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Free Kikkoman Gift or BOGO Coupon

E-mail 'promotions@kikkoman.com' with the subject '2011 QR Code' by 8/31/11 and they will send you a free gift or a BOGO coupon.

How cool is that?! We are Kikkoman users so either one I'll be happy with!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My New Logo!

My cousin has a blog ( http://craftypeacock.blogspot.com/ ) and when I first saw it, I wrote her and told her how much I loved her logo. She told me she made it herself and I begged her to make me one for my blog! Lo and behold, I get an email from her this morning and I swear I squealed when I saw the picture! It is beyond perfect and I am absolutely in love with it! A big thank you to Erica Peacock for her creative abilities and just plain awesomeness!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Redone Dresser In Place!

Here is the finished (for now) product in it's place in the kitchen!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dresser Re-Do Part 2 (Over a year later)

So, last year I decided to take on a furniture re-do of a dresser. I started it with good intentions and after the initial process, it took a break.........for over a year. Yes, I'm a slacker, I know. So, last week the hubby and I were cleaning out the garage and I saw my dresser sitting under a pile of boxes and told my hubby to get it out because I wanted to finish it! I am proud to say that the dresser is finally complete! I will most likely be making changes to it in the future but, for now, I am very happy with it!

Here is the original post: http://arockabillymom.blogspot.com/2010/04/dresser-re-do-part-1.html

And here are the after photos:

I know they're not the best pictures but you get the idea! Sorry I don't have any pictures of it in place in my kitchen, yet, but I will get to that this week!