Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary

I was "clicking" away the other day and came across this page.  Information on how to help with the tragic event that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary.  As an Elementary Education major (fully using it as a stay at home mom now!) and with a husband that teaches 4th grade tragedies like these hit home for us.  A lot of emotions run through.  I had recently been thinking about a way to show our little 3 year old how to encourage and support those affected this day.  I think I've found the perfect way!

Snow flakes for Sandy Hook Elementary!  You see, if its a craft, its right up my little one's alley!!!  A girl with her Mommy's loves!

Need ideas for some really cool looking snowflakes?  Check out Taming the Goblin's Paper snowflake pattern round up ideas.  Or release the inner geek with Anthony Herrera's Star Wars Snowflakes.  Or even I found these awesome patterns.

After making your awesome creations, mail them away to:

Connecticut PTSA by January 12th

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

I'm sure everyone is DYING to see our creations!  Here are just a few.  One great idea is to use different kinds of paper!  (we used anything from cupcake liners, scrapbooking paper, store ads (those colors look awesome as a flake!), construction paper, and obviously white printer paper.

Now go ahead, make your flakes and mail them away!

Friday, December 28, 2012

What to do with all those Holiday Gift Cards?

Prayer Sticks

If your family is like ours, we receive a LOAD of Christmas cards in the mail.  My daughter just loves getting any form of mail, and when there are pictures of those that sent it, well it just makes it that much more special!

During the Christmas season, we received an abundance of holiday cards with family photos on them.  I know we usually send them out to all of our family and friends (this year I just ran out of time!).  Am I the only one that struggles with throwing them out?  I look at the card and those beautiful pictures and I think . . .  "How can I put that in the trash?"

So here is an idea of what you can do.  Collect these simple items:  Sharpie marker, Popsicle sticks, scissors ( i know they are not pictured) and tape.

Now cut out the picture of the person/family/pet that you want to save.  Place the picture face down, put the popsicle stick against the picture, and securely tape it together.  Then use the Sharpie marker to write the name of the person on the stick.

Then TADA, you now have prayer sticks.  We will be using these at night so our little one can recognize the faces of family and friends afar as well as use it as a learning opportunity in letter recognition as we say the letters of their name out loud together.

Best part about these little guys is that our 3 year old (who desperately needs something tangible in order to understand a concept) is learning how to pray for someone that she visually sees.  I know when we see these loved ones in person throughout the year she'll be able to recognize them more . . . maybe even lose this shyness that is present in the first 10 minutes of seeing someone.


What do you do with your Holiday Picture Cards?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jolly Rancher Pops

Who doesn't love a jolly rancher?   Well of course, pinterest did it again when I saw these adorable lollipops and knew my daughter would LOVE to make them!

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Open your flavors of jolly ranchers

Put lollipop sticks on top of the three pieces of candy down the center.

Bake for 3 - 5 minutes and check how they're doing.  

**UPDATE**  After 2 minutes place one jolly rancher length wise on the stick on to help melt the lollipop together.  Bake for 3 - 4 more minutes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


We've all heard of and are most likely participating (if you're a lady in touch with the electronic world at least) of the wonderful site Pinterest!  We all "pin" these wonderful ideas of projects, food items, word creations, and well basically everything!  Usually we as women are just looking for a reason to make one of these creations and I've found a way!

You're invited to a "PINTERESTing Party"

Who:  Any person you want to invite and have a wonderful time trying recipes and making a project.

What:  Each person invited will make a Pinterest inspired recipe.  Something they saw on the site that they're looking forward to making, print off the recipe and attach it to a recipe card.   AND have a craft ready to prepare.  (idea:  each person can bring something toward the craft that is needed).  LASTLY, if the people invited have created a craft from the site, they can bring it along to share!

Where:  Wherever you want to hold it.

Why:  I think we already discussed this :)

How to make it work:

Lay your food out.  Once people arrive and its time to eat, allow each person to talk about what they made and the difficulty in it or anything else they want to share.

This is a picture of a wonderful centerpiece one of the ladies made. I love the organicness of it!

While sitting around snacking on the wonderful food creations, share one of the inspired craft projects that people brought to show off.  This is a great time to get inspired and even make a craft that interests you.

Finally when it is the host's turn to share what she brought (I went last) showcase the craft that you will be making.  We made these awesome Coasters.  Since the party went longer than expected, that last stage of spraying on acrylic had to get done and dry which gave me the chance to put them together in a cute way.

Do you love the idea?  Do you want to try it yourself?  What are some ways that you would change it or improve it?  I love making things better!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Hand Picture

Family Hand Picture

This was one of the first "pins" I decided to do and found it here:

Original Pin:
Framed Family Handprints {Crafts for Fathers Day}

My adjusted project:

Adjustments made:
  • Instead of using a marker or other utensil to write the name of the family and personalized year, I simply typed it up on the computer and printed it out.
  • I also made a frame around our hand prints with additional scrapbook paper to create a "set in look" instead of purchasing the more expensive double matted frame.
  • For one of the hand prints, I used the "I Love You" symbol. My daughter really loves going to the picture and attempting to make the symbol and she's almost mastered it without having to hold down fingers with the other hand.
Would I do this again?
  • Yes, I think its such a cute addition to our family wall of pictures and as our family grows with #2 arriving in July we'll have to add another hand to it soon. I'll probably take this one out and save it in my daughter's scrapbook so she can remember the special time we spent making it.
I like how you can personalize it and allow each person who has a hand in the picture choose their own scrap book paper or something they want their hand on. I think the next time we do it since my husband enjoys reading so much maybe his hand will be on a page from a book or newspaper and I would have something with baking on the paper, etc. I would need to find a way to make them all collide together and not look like a stampede of craziness.

Enjoy! If you create one, please share a pic. Would LOVE to see it!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Éclair Pie

Éclair Pie

2 small boxes French Vanilla Pudding
3 cups milk
Tub of Cool Whip (When available use the French Vanilla Cool Whip you'll love it!)
2 sleeves of graham crackers (the honey ones are good to use, but the cinnamon style ones are a bit too much for this recipe)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat pudding and milk until it reaches a pudding consistency. Fold in Cool Whip. If you stir or beat in the Cool Whip you will over beat the mixture. Folding in Cool Whip means you will use a spoon or spatula to fold over in a gently manner instead of stirring the mixture.

Place this mixture in the fridge until ready for use to prepare the pie.

In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, salt, and milk. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

This mixture should stay off the heated burner and will be used once the pie is put together. DO NOT REFRIGERATE AS IT WILL SET FASTER.

** Prepare the pie (the next step) in a quick manner as you do not want the chocolate topping to set.**

In a 13 x 9 pan, layer graham crackers, 1/2 the pudding mixture, crackers, other 1/2 of the pudding mixture, and top with crackers.

Pour the chocolate icing over the cake evenly, spread with a spatula if needed. Refrigerate several hours to set. (usually 3)
Instead of making it in the 13 x 9 pan, I made it into a 9 x 9 pan and a smaller pan (The Pampered Chef's 3 1/4 cup glass container) so Darell can have his own extra portions tomorrow. I know he's going to LOVE this!

This picture really doesn't do the Éclair Pie any justice, but trust me . . . its worth the calories! I can't wait for another helping!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

For this recipe you have to have The Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (DCB).

Keeping with soups for the hubby's tummy, we're doing the Loaded Baked Potato Chowder. This is a Pampered Chef Recipe with the link provided.


3 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb/1.1 kg)
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) milk, divided
4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
2-3 green onions with tops (1/4 cup/50 mL sliced)
4 oz (125 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
Toppings per your liking. Suggestions: Broccoli florets, bacon, sour cream, or think of any items you like on top of your loaded baked potato and have that ready!

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, arrange into DCB. Pour 1/2 cup of milk over the potatoes. Cover and microwave on high for 11 minutes. Remove the baker from the microwave and move the center potatoes to the ends of baker and the potatoes that were on the edges to the middle. Cover and microwave on high for 8 - 11 minutes. The potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork.

Carefully remove the DCB (use pot holders or something similar! It will be hot!). I used another Pampered Chef tool (Mix and Chop) but you can use any tool you want. Mash the potatoes into a coarse mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add remaining 3 cups of milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth with no pieces of cream cheese showing. Add this cream cheese mixture to the DCB. Add butter. Cover DCB and microwave on high for 3 - 5 minutes or until chowder is hot

Carefully remove the DCB from the microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over the chowder, add green onions, and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Now you're ready to put it in your bowl and place your favorite toppings in it!

The toppings we chose were broccoli florets (chopped into smaller pieces), turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. It was awesome!

** Our family drinks Fat Free milk. If you use whole milk or 2 % you will get a bit of a thicker consistency for the chowder as well. **

If you are interested in purchasing the Deep Covered Baker, you can do so here: