Monday, December 24, 2012

Footprint Ornaments

Grandparent gifts? FOOTPRINT ORNAMENTS! Simple project that comes out adorable!

Gather your supplies!
Ink Pad in your choice of colors (I chose a kid friendly one from Hobby Lobby) and a box of glass ornaments!

And your child!

Put the babies foot in the ink pad, make sure to coat it good or else you will have pale ornaments that aren't as defined!

Our first had 2 toes, 2nd had 3 toes, by the 3rd and 4th we had all of our toes back!

 Pass her to grandma for a sink bath/foot soak!

My hand is not steady enough for paint, so I used fine tipped Sharpies ($3.99 for a set of 4 at Target) to write on the ornament. Now if only my writing were nicer.

And voila! Great grandparents have a gift made by Piper!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Salt Dough Ornaments

You only get a first Christmas ONCE with each child, so I figured I had to commemorate it! I'm glad that she was born right after Christmas last year so that she is old enough to have a lot of personality and fun opening gifts for her first Christmas. I opted to do salt dough ornament hand and footprints for us, and then we did handprints for each grandparent. They're not perfect, but they are definitely made with love!

First step is obviously to gather supplies. I decided to do the recipe on my friend Kaydee's blog : The Sweet Life

You will need the following :
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
I threw the flour and salt together in a bowl and then added the water. I kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes, until it was like a big ball of play-doh, and we were ready to go!

I then rolled out the dough after laying a piece of parchment paper down on the table.
I tried to make them visually look big enough to contain her hand and foot prints, not paying any attention so perfect circles or the like.

Then came the hard part. Baby Wrangling!

 I wound up recruiting the help of my mother when Piper decided to be less than cooperative.

You have to press the hand or foot down pretty hard in order to make a decent indentation in the dough.

Here are the 4 of them I got from one batch of the recipe. I took a fork and poked holes in the top so I would be able to loop a ribbon through them.

After this was done, I placed them on a baking sheet, still on the parchment paper. Bake for about 2 hours at 250 degrees.

After they were cooled off, I took fine tipped Sharpies and wrote on the ornaments, rather than painting. I have more control with markers than I do with a paintbrush!

 I took some scrapbooking ribbon I had laying around and pulled it through the holes I made in the top and just tied it in a knot. And Voila! Done!

Please go check out Kaydee's blog for more cute holiday themed posts, including cute holiday nails!
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December Photo-A-Day Challenge: Day 20

Day 20 : Tree Topper

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Munchkin" Christmas Party

Yesterday I had our 2nd annual "munchkin christmas party" as it has been affectionately named. Of course this was the first year that it was 4 babies. Last year 2 of us were still pregnant at the time. We've been having parties for all 4 of them, since all 4 of us grew up together and have stayed in touch (some of us for 26 years!)

This is the second year I've hosted it, and I love it. I love hosting parties. I just wish we had our own place to do it. Although it was nice enlisting the help of my husband and my mother to make all the foods!

 Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs were a HUGE hit. So much flavor. I opted to cook mine and then toss them in a crock pit with some pasta sauce to keep them nice and juicy for the party. 
Stuffed Zucchini cups were the other heavier appetizer!

 The table set up and decor!
 A virtually tray-less veggie tray this year!

Chips, pita strips, salsa, guacamole, and homemade Spinach Artichoke dip

 The cookies that you've seen in previous posts!

 Our Santa Berries melted, so they don't look as cute as planned, but they were still delicious!

 Kiddie snack bar! Puffs, Gerber Cheetos, Wagon Wheels, and Arrowroot cookies.

 We opted to do a Secret Santa this year but I just couldn't help myself, and had to order a little something for each of the kids. I came across a killer deal on the Disney Store website where the fleece character blankets were $10 on sale, there was a code for free personalization, and if you ordered a personalized item, the shipping was free! Each baby got their favorite character (I even got Piper an Ariel one)

All in all, I would say us moms and babes had an excellent night :)

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

For a party I hosted on Sunday, I decided I wanted more fancy looking appetizers than the usual! I opted to make Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn's Kitchen.

They turned out to be relatively easy to make, and they tasted delicious!


 2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (may need more, depending on your pan)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)
12 oz. ground turkey (10% fat or less)
(use any combination of ground meat you'd like, but use low-fat ground meat for the South Beach Diet.)
1-2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional but recommended)
2 C flavorful tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 cups low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese (I used low-fat blend of six cheeses called Italian blend.)



 Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and green pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then saute onion and pepper for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef and ground turkey, season with Spike seasoning, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon if there is, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

 While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.


 Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn't need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

December Photo-A-Day Challenge : Day 10

Day 10 : Wrapping Paper

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Photo-A-Day Challenge - Day 6

Day 6: Shopping

At our favorite store, Target! We went to pick up the ingredients for the Christmas party that we are hosting this Sunday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Cookies : Part trois!

Selection #3 I had come across on Pinterest. Before I get too far into this, I must warn you. The recipe for the peanut butter cookie is DRY. So dry in fact, that the cookie tastes kind of like chalk texture wise. I would definitely recommend finding a "wetter" cookie recipe, or buying the refrigerated dough. You will not be sorry. You have been warned.

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

From : Bakergirl

1) Gather your supplies.

2) Sort out your "parts"
Red Noses

Chocolate Pretzel antlers and green eyes

I'm going to skip posting the recipe directions, feel free to check out the recipe at Bakergirl if you wish to try with this cookie recipe.

3) Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown. 

4)  Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color... we love the rainbow)

Sometimes you may run out of the M&M colors of your preference. Or become slap happy from all the work you've just completed. This is when you wind up with :

Zombie reindeer? Bloodthirsty reindeer? DRUNK reindeer? Or if you're a Twilight nerd like me : Bad Vampire reindeer.

As well as a baby, with a contact sugar high.