Friday, April 25, 2014

5 on Friday: Brain dump

Join me as I count down my Top 5 of this week:

1} Scoring big at a Gapkids Sale last weekend. I could have gotten into serious trouble but shopping with a 3 year old kinda curbs the desire to browse. Little Miss certainly made out with 3 tops and 2 barrettes. And ok, you know I also got a pair of gold loafers for ridiculously cheap, too.

2} Mother's Day. I have seen some adorable cards on IG this week and it has me feeling behind (why, I'm not sure, I still have close to 2 weeks to shop, but it is what it is.) I think these from Katygirl Designs are great.
Mother's Day Card Set of 2

3} Easter candy. It's becoming a menace in my house. I. Can't. Stay. Away. So I searched Pinterest for some ideas on how to consolidate it (ha) and then share the wealth with unsuspecting co-workers and family:
Mini Cadbury Egg Blondies. These were easy and so yummy. Definitely saving this recipe! { }
Cadbury Mini Eggs Blondies 

Jelly Bean Easter Bark | by Life Tastes Good #Easter #Snack
Jelly Bean Bark
4} Grocery shopping is kicking my butt lately! Its like we buy a bunch of food and its gone in a week! And then there's the dinner struggle of what to cook. I seriously need to lose the baby brain and get back on track. Maybe this Meal Planning kit from Raising Up Rubies and Amy J Delightful will inspire me (fingers crossed!):

5} Home Improvement on Hallmark Channel. I have been enjoying these re-runs too much! Totally takes me back to childhood. The Taylor's are so my favorite TV family :)

{Have a wonderful weekend, folks!}

Linking up with Hello Happiness Blog.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day: Earth's Birthday Project

Earth's Birthday Project

Our Preschool participates in Earth's Birthday Project every year and it is something I really look forward to!  It is a great science project and a beautiful way to celebrate Earth Day! 

We purchase Painted Lady caterpillars and observe their life cycle from small caterpillars (larva) to chrysalises (pupa) to butterflies (imago) and then release them in the school garden.

My favorite part is getting to hold the butterflies upon release. This was last years photo:

{Happy Earth Day!}

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Painting with Sidewalk chalk

I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!  Inspired by the ever-present sidewalk chalk that likes to make an appearance inside Easter baskets, I have a fun art project for you today!
Did you know you can make beautiful pictures using chalk and water?  Just by dipping the chalk into water and then coloring on colored construction paper you get vibrant colors a lot like pastels but without the mess (no residue on the fingers!) and you can also blend colors too!  Its a less- mess way to explore a new medium of painting using less expensive tools; win- win. You could also do this sans the construction paper outside on the... wait for it... sidewalk(!) for a bigger canvas to create on :)
So bust out those sidewalk chalks and get painting!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Brian's Birthday (mini) Cheesecakes

mini cheesecake recipe
My baking game has been off for a while now and so I went with an easy recipe I tore from a magazine ad for Brian's Birthday dessert.  Luckily, they turned out great and feeling redeemed, I wanted to share this no- fail crowd pleaser.

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
12 vanilla wafers

PREHEAT oven to 325 F.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and extracts; beat well.  Place a wafer in the bottom of 12 paper- lined muffin cups.  Spoon batter into each cup, dividing evenly between the 12 cups.

BAKE 22- 24 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool in pan on wire rack. {I don't have a wire rack, so I balanced my muffin tin between two chargers to cool the bottom.}  Mini cheesecakes will deflate in center upon cooling.

REFRIGERATE 4 hours or overnight.

ADD desired toppings.

I topped my cheesecakes with chocolate covered strawberries.  Some I rolled in gold sprinkles left over from Kinsey's pink and gold party.  

I melted the milk chocolate chips in a metal mixing bowl in a 175 F oven for 10 minutes.  That little tip gleaned from Damaris Phillips' Southern at Heart show on Food Network saved me from wrestling with a double boiler and I will be forever grateful.

And of course I dipped some Peeps into the left over chocolate :)

{Happy Birthday, Brian!!!}

Brian's 2013 Birthday celebration here.
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