Monday, July 18, 2011

Freezing Celery without blanching

Yay for being able to freeze celery! We had a big garden party and I bought a big bunch of celery for a salad - and ended up only needing 2 stalks, leave around 8-10 that would have gone bad. I washed them, chopped them, put them in a freezer bag and froze them! They'll come in handy whenever I need something for soup - and I was so happy not to have to blanch them!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun and Easy Decorating Project

We’ve been in our new (to us) house here in Germany almost a year, and I’m finally starting to get to some of the decorating projects that I’ve had in the back of my brain. My husband just shakes his head when I start a new project, but he bears with me! Soooo… Here’s the latest!
1. Collect myriads of different size and shapes wooden frames (second hand stores, yards sales, and closeout sales).
2. Choose a color (for me dark blue). While we were visiting my parents in the USA we picked up some small Benjamin Moore paint samples with a free coupon I got from Money Saving Mom.
3. Take the frames apart.
4. Sand them down (just a little) , and paint them (mine needed two coats of paint).
5. Insert your pictures, and hang ‘em up! I really like how using the identical color for all of the frames unified all of the walls of my upstairs landing.
My children LOVE the hallway now, often stopping to look at the pictures and point out the people they know. When my little guy saw it for the first time he got so excited that he came running to me, threw his arms around me, and said “thank you Mama!!!”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Write that down!

I'm realizing how fast my babies are growing up. My big boy is almost 4, and says the funniest things. Someday I'll be so happy that I wrote these down. Because as sweet and as cute as they are, this mommy brain just isn't going to be remembering them. Precious memories.

Big brother: I have a broken leg Mama. (Said very calmly)
Me: You have a broken leg!?
Big brother: MmmmHmmm
Me: I’m sorry to hear that, where is it broken?
Big brother: Here, and here, and here. (Showing me scratches from industrious play outdoors).
Big brother came to wake me up from naptime, and began telling me all about…
Big brother: ”A Hitte (little – not German, just how he pronouces little) owl in our house Mama. And it has a hitte eye. And Papa stepped on it. And now it is Tod! (dead)”
I was still a bit disoriented and had to ask “what was in our house?”
Big Brother: A hitte owl! EULE Mama! (Owl in German)
Want to see it Mama? Come, I show you.
So I dragged myself out of bed and followed him.
He excitedly pointed to something very small at the foot of the bed, and upon closer inspection I discovered the “owl that Papa had stepped on”.
It was a moth. Grin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My pet peeve...

Going onto a recipe site to try to find a bang-up new cake recipe, and find that most of the cake recipes have as the first two ingredients:
1. cake mix
2. pudding mix

What ever happened to the concept of making things from scratch. The frustration is also because I happen to be in Germany, where the yellow cake mixes and instant vanilla pudding mixes aren't necessarily transferable... Sigh.

Free Walgreens Brag Photo Album!

I know what I'm going to be making for my mom for her birthday next month!

Use the code BRAG through June 25, for a free photo album!
Shipping will apply!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pink O Patch Creations Hair bows and Legwarmers Giveaway!

Pink O Patch Creations has got a good thing going. This Oregon mommy stays busy juggling 2 little ones, side business, and college, but you wouldn't know it to look at her beautiful work.

First off, check out these leg-warmers! These are such a cute idea. We have cold winters and I'm going to be putting these to use under my little girl's skirts. She can walk now, but back when she was crawling I was constantly wishing for something like this to take the wear and tear off of her pants, and also to provide an extra layer of cushion for her little knees. Aren't they chic? Almost want some for me!

Heather gray with purple arglye crazy leggies/arm warmers/leg warmers

I personally have a weakness for korker bows. I've tried my hand at making bows recently, and my personal opinion is that the korkers are more complicated to make. You need more materials, and you actually have to cook the ribbon to make it maintain that corkscrew shape. But, (also my opinion) they are some of the cutest little bows out there. I love that you can incorporate lots of different colors or shades. Alisha actually incorporates different sizes of korkers too for an extra bang. Her bows are such pretty (downright artistic) color combinations and good quality. Check them out for yourself!

Twlight korker hairbow. Free Shipping.

This is not part of the giveaway, but Alisha has recently started making these little bibs. I've said in the past, my pet peeve on bibs are ones that are only one layer with a Velcro fastener. These have THREE layers and a snap to fasten with. I love these bibs! I would say that they're more appropriate for small children than toddlers. It's hard to see in the picture, but she's got some fancy stitching going on here that is SO pretty!

Purple bib with butterflies backed with flannel

AND, you have the chance to win a pair of legwarmers of your choice and a pair of korker bows (matching or different)! Just go to Alisha's great little shop - Pink O Patch Creations - and tell me your Number 1, all time favorite product that she's got on there! 

AND, she has a sale going on until July 4  - 20% off with the code GIVEAWAY20 (not applicable to shipping)

The giveaway will end on Monday, July 4th, at which time I will contact my chosen winner via e-mail.
Open to USA residents!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Cakes for my children

My children both have birthdays the next two months - little sister in July and big brother in August. SO, I've started thinking about what to do for little sister's birthday cake. She LOVES horses, so I think I'm going to go with that - and I found a GREAT video tutorial and instructions with template at Betty Crocker.

They have lots of different tutorials for children's cakes, so I have a feeling I'll be going back there often!

Pony Cake

1box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow or devil’s food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
Red liquid food color
1container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
Tray or cardboard (20x15 inches), covered with waxed paper or foil
1small round chocolate-covered creamy mint

  1. 1Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate or freeze cakes 1 hour until firm.
  2. 2Meanwhile, in small bowl, tint 1/4 cup vanilla frosting with red food color to make pink; place in resealable food-storage plastic freezer bag. Place 1/2 cup chocolate frosting in another resealable food-storage plastic freezer bag. Cut small tip off 1 bottom corner of each bag. In medium bowl, stir together remaining vanilla frosting and chocolate frosting to make light brown frosting.
  3. 3Using serrated knife, cut off rounded portion of top of each cake to make level. Turn cakes cut sides down. Cut cakes as shown in template. On tray, arrange cake pieces as shown in template, attaching pieces to each other and to tray with small amount of light brown frosting. To “crumb-coat” cake, spread thin layer of light brown frosting over entire cake to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze cake 30 to 60 minutes.
  4. 4Frost entire cake with light brown frosting. With pink frosting, pipe on blanket; spread with metal spatula to make smooth. With darker chocolate frosting, pipe number on blanket. Pipe on hooves; spread to make smooth. Pipe on mane and tail, leaving in long strands to look like hair. Attach mint for eye.

Thank you Betty Crocker!!!

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