Sunday, April 29, 2012

And we wrap our Lego Domination!

It finally came and went the Lego party!  My amazing weekly dinner Friend April came over on Friday and helped me roll fondant and cover the cake and with the last of the fondant we ended up covering the Lego brick cakes.  Let’s just say the buttercream I made was look goop BUT it turned into a great bonding for fondant … lol.

Friday I showed you how the fondant was made (and once more I will tell you it’s a tricky thing to make but worth it).  I kind of made a lot … lol.  We had enough for the cake and 30 mini brick cakes!

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First off was the Ninjago Cole Cake (yes it’s an actual lego character).  This was a little tricky but once you put your back into it and roll it out it’s pretty easy to cover and then you just tuck and make it fit in the right spots, and cut off the excess.

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Since I messed up the buttercream but seemed to make an abundance of fondant we ended up cover the mini brick cakes too.  The lego’s were a little hard you had smooth around the lumps on top.  I think they turned out pretty darn cute!

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The Cake’s are done!

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And since I had a little time left over … LOL I decided why not whip up a banner.  I stopped at the dollar store and picked up  few things.

You Need:

  • Construction Paper (2 Colors – I used Yellow & Red)
  • White paper to print a Lego Man
  • Ribbon
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Ink Jet to print letters

Print the Words Happy Birthday on construction paper.  Crunchy Cahtolic Momma gives you a place to down the Lego font.  You can find the Lego man with the 8 here.   Winks and Daisies also has other #’s for you to print. I then cut the letters down and cut a piece of red to go behind a little larger.  I used Elmer's glue to glue them together.  I found some cheap ribbon that I then stapled the letter to, so it looked like a banner.

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There you have it .. lol.  I will show the party tomorrow Smile.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lego Birthday Party Domination Continues …

I started my night out with Marshmallow fondant!  Ok people this one is NOT an easy one it is sticky and takes a good amount of patience!

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You Need:

  • Marshmallows (I used 3 Bags Small)
  • 1 Bag Powdered Sugar
  • Wilton Icing Color

Put marshmallows in the microwave for 30 second increments and then stir until smooth.  Add coloring to get the perfect coloring.  Slowly adding powder sugar.  You kneed it until it is no longer sticky.  I warn you this will be very sticky and at one point you may think you did something wrong.  Then it will come together Smile.  I’ll show you how it covers the cake after I do this .. lol.

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Next I wanted to give Cole something to wear.  I found this Lego Man that you can print on to printable t-shirt transfers.  This was one of the easiest projects I’ve done so far.  I even found a Ninjago Cole that I printed also and put on his shorts.

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And last on my list was to make Lego Gummy Candy found on Instructables.  They have the cutest video with the kids making them.  I made yellow and red bricks to go with our color theme.  This was pretty easy, it was a little time consuming but over all it was a cool thing to do.

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You Need:

  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 3 Gelatin Packets (Knox or Generic)
  • Vitamin C (if you want – I did for flavor)
  • Jello

Put water and gelatin packets, stir until dissolved and let sit for about 10 minutes.  She had hers in a glass dish that then boiled in a pan.  I did the double pan method (since my glass dish was being used).  Turn your water bath on Medium High place your gelatin pan in and stir.  Once becomes liquid again add your vitamin C if you’re doing that.  Than add Jell-o flavor.  Stir it all together and then take a syringe to put into your mold.  I doubled the recipe to be able to do both my molds.  Put in fridge and 10 –20 minutes later you have your gummies!

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OK I’m done … oh wait I still have the cakes to do!  Oh man I’m going to be one tired mama.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend.  I’ll be happy when Saturday comes!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lego Birthday Party–Inexpensive Treats for your theme

Still in Lego Domination here in the house.  I must say I’m pretty happy with myself that I have almost everything done for the party.  The cakes are the only things that left to do!  PLUS my first time at marshmallow fondant, wish me luck!

I have found some great things to do on Pinterest.  I found a great site Delia Creates.  She made this Free Download for Lego Brick Juice boxes.  It was simple to print, she made it with two per sheet.  I used this to make the Juice boxes and I used it to wrap the candy bars also.

Lego Juice Boxes:

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For Juice Boxes You Need:

  • Juice Boxes (I bought a 10 case)
  • Ink Jet Printer (black & White)
  • Colored paper (I picked up a ream at Dollar store & used Yellow & Red)
  • Scissors
  • Tape (She used double sided I only had the regular kind)

Cut the paper in half and trim to wrap each juice box.  Secure with a piece of tape.

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Lego Candy Bars:

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For Candy Bars You Need:

  • Candy Bars (Like Kit Kats)
  • Colored paper (I picked up a ream at Dollar store & used Yellow & Red)
  • Scissors
  • Tape (She used double sided I only had the regular kind)

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Cut the paper in half and trim to wrap each candy bar.  Secure with a piece of tape.

So there you have it a inexpensive way to tie your theme into your party goodies.

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Phew I’m almost done!  I did make Cole a shirt with a Lego Man I printed on a transfer paper and attached to the shirt.  I’ll show that tomorrow when I can have him model it for you Smile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

White Bean Chili Thrown into the crockpot!

It went from being a sunny day yesterday where I thought I would need the fans put into the house. Then today back came the rain and the cool weather.  Out came my crockpot and my crockpot liner because I refuse to soak another crockpot and dinner was made!

I found this amazing recipe on Eating Well for a White Bean Chili.  I threw mine in the crockpot because I’m lazy like that .. lol.

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 15-ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced cooked skinless turkey, or chicken
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
PREPARATION

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add turkey (or chicken) and vinegar; cook for 5 minutes more. Serve. My changes is throw it all into the crockpot and let it cook it Smile, raw chicken and all.  I put the chicken in the kitchen aid with the paddle and shredded chicken came out (Thank you Pinterest for that tip). I also added an extra can of beans.

Recipe

This was super easy to throw into the crockpot and 5 hours later, shred the chicken and it’s dinner time! 

Turkey & Black Bean Enchilada’s are on our Wednesday night dinner.  How about you what is your dinner plan?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lego Party–Part 2 (Lego Crayons, Lego Chocolates & Cupcakes)

We are full on Lego Domination at the house right now!  I’m trying this year to have everything done possible early!  I spent my weekend making lego men and blocks in crayon.  I then made some cupcakes for Cole’s class room with chocolate lego men on top.  Then the gift bags I made for the party, he requested I make for his class room too.  Another trip to get crayons and I was ready to go!

Lego Crayons:

  • Lego Molds (I bought mine on Ebay)
  • Crayons (I bought mine at the dollar store, easy to peel paper off)

Turn oven to 350 (the site I got this from said 250 but that didn’t do a dent for me).  Once molds are the ready put it in the oven the lego men took my oven 12 minutes and the bricks (which had TWO crayons instead of ONE like the men) took my oven 16 minutes.  I put the molds on a cookie sheet in the oven.  When I pulled them out I let them cool a minute before touching the silicone and putting it in the freezer to firm up.  I only had two molds and had a lot to do so I did the freezer you could use the fridge if not in a hurry.

I know that is all you need!  NOW it takes time to peel off the paper off the crayons I found the dollar store ones came off so much nicer then the Crayola ones I tried.  (ONE tip when taking the crayons out of the mold flip it from the back and push the head out FIRST they will break off).

We made Lego Men:

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Lego Bricks:

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Then time to make the gift bags. You will need:

  • Plastic treat bags (again at the dollar store – 40 bags $1)
  • Paper straw filler (Dollar store)
  • Insert two Lego Men and one Lego Block

Yup EACH gift bag only cost me around .35 cents!  A HECK load of time but so worth it!

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Then for my cupcakes for the classroom I decided to make Chocolate Lego Men.  You need:

  • Lego Mold (Ebay)
  • White Melty (Winco Bulk Section $2.98 a lb)
  • Food Coloring

Melt your chocolate I did mine in my glass pampered chef bowl for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  REMEMBER chocolate can melt so watch it.  Once melted put in your mold.  You can put in the freezer or fridge.  Be careful AGAIN pop the head out first or you will have some headless Lego men.

I made a yellow cake from the Food Network with a orange extract and then a buttercream top top it off.

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My Lego Army of Crayons!

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Gift Bags done for party and for the classroom:

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Classroom treats packed and ready to go:

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So there you have it my first set of treats done for the party.  I still have a few left to do, juice boxes, Lego Man Cake & Lego Block Cakes.  I’ll be bringing you more fun ideas this week and after.  Just remember that this all takes time and a little patience.  Be careful and don’t loose your head like this little guy … lol I couldn’t resist.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let’s make it play time!

A while back when we had the income we found this amazing deal on a swing set.  Regular $600 on sale for $130 yup a total mis-mark down but I will take it!  So we picked it up and put it in the garage.  With Rick currently unemployed we have some time to build it.  Rick worked a few extra hours at my parents house and was able to pick up the extra wood and the slide needed to complete it!

Now we started last Sunday night around 4pm thinking it couldn’t take that long right? LOL at 9pm we threw in the towel for the night.  Rick went back out the next morning while I was working in the rain and finally finished later that day AFTER he picked Cole up.  YUP I think it took 18+ hours to put this sucker together!

Day 1 – We had a peanut gallery and a little drilling hope.

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Day 2 it’s complete and ready to be played on!  It’s a great addition to our back yard and hopefully will give me some sanity this summer with the kids home!  The pool will be next to go up that my mother in law bought us.

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Happy Friday everyone!  We still have no job on the front for Rick and the taxes are still giving me a headache.  Any prayers are appreciated.  Have a GREAT weekend everyone.  I will be making lego cupcakes along with some lego crayon men for the party next weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuesday Dinner with Friends … Hamburger Noodle Bake

We got back on our Tuesday dinner with my friend and her son.  It was great to have them back over it has been a few weeks and we were able to let the kids play and we were able to sit and chat and have some wine.  I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while so I’m using what we have in the house.  I found this recipe for Hamburger Noodle Bake on the Weight Watcher website.  I did switch it out with Turkey so I guess mine would be Turkey Noodle Bake!

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Ingredients
  • 12 oz uncooked no-yolk egg noodles  
  • 2 medium uncooked red onion(s), chopped  
  • 1 small green pepper(s), yellow pepper or green pepper, chopped  
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked 95% lean ground beef  
  • 29 oz canned diced tomatoes  
  • 1/3 cup(s) parsley, flat-leaf, chopped  
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper  
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese  
  • 3 3/4 oz Nabisco Ritz Reduced-fat crackers, about 35 crackers  
Instructions
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Combine the beef mixture, noodles, tomatoes, parsley, and pepper in the baking dish. Stir in the ¾ cup of the cheese. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¾ cup of cheese and the crackers. Spray the topping with nonstick spray. Bake until hot and the cheese is melted, about 45 minutes.

Now my little tweaks were using Ground Turkey & Whole Wheat Noodles.  This was delish, very easy to throw together and even our little picky eater who usually is not a noodle fan loved it.

Recipe

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taxes .. I think this rat trap my just take me under!

Tax Day

I use to love the beginning of the year getting my taxes in and getting a refund!  Oh how I miss those days.

Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE LOVE my job, working from home is amazing!  THE ONLY thing that has been a drag is self employment taxes.  NOW if I was smart when I started this adventure I would have been putting money aside or sending money in to the IRS so when tax time came around I wouldn’t have a bill.  Well I didn’t so my first full year I get this I got a crazy LARGE bill I start making my monthly payments (which barely make a dent) and my boss even sent me an amazing bonus to send to the IRS that did put a dent in it but still I’m making payments.  SO this last year I thought I’d be smart and have Rick holding extra with his checks.  So when I went to do the taxes thinking I was all set I was in for a BIG wake up call yesterday!

UGH I made a little dent in what we owe BUT the bill once again was a large one!  I was deflated sitting in the tax office yesterday.  My stomach was in knots and I was almost in tears.  The poor tax lady was so kind, she just smiled and tried to make me laugh.  She said let’s work on a plan.  She told me what I need to pay each month to get caught up and to have next year paid in advance and mind you it was the amount of my mortgage and I started to cry again.  It was a rough day.  THEN she told me the cost of our 1 hour visit!  Let’s just say there were no more tears left only SHOCK!  Our ONE HOUR visit was $470!!  Mind you I’ve been doing this on my own for $39 on the computer!  This amazing tax lady took pity on me and found me a discount (let’s just say I am now counted as her family member) and I walked out with a $108 bill!  God sent me an angel during this rough patch.

Now only if I could find an angel to help with this tax bill … ugh feeling a little defeated now and trying to figure it out.  I know what I will do to take even more out of Rick’s checks to be held back so we won’t have the problem HOPEFULLY next year.  BUT that sadly doesn’t take care of the back taxes.  I think I may have to find a part time job … ugh .. lol life!  Ok as mama says I’m going to put on my big girl panties and deal with it some how.  No more complaining … oh who the heck am I kidding this sucks!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lego Party–Invite Time

Cole’s has picked Lego to be the theme of his party this year.  So on the hunt for Lego party ideas I went.  THANK God for Pinterest this year it made it so much easier.  I think I pinned at least 50 ideas!  I found a few invite ideas but the one I really liked didn’t let you down the template.  Then I found Allison Waken’s website and she made a FREE template for a Lego tri-fold card.  This card turned out so cute.  I don’t have Photoshop, BUT I do have Picasa so I uploaded the photos she made and was able to add words to the inside of the card.  I then saved the updated photo added it to a word document and then printed!  I found at Michael’s in the wedding section a tri-fold card that was perfect!

What you need:

  • Photoshop or Picasa to add words to your card
  • Tri-Fold Card
  • Scissors to make cuts in the card
  • Ink printer
  • Envelopes if you’re mailing

Head to the link above for the free downloads. 

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So there you have it a VERY cool interactive card.  More Lego fun to come!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sundae Lover Gift

My bosses daughter turned 15 last week and I wanted to send something fun for her.  She is an amazing young woman.  I saw a while back this cool idea on Pinterest for Ice Cream Sundae Kit.  The picture she had was so cute, she put the treats in little bags and the sauce in little glass jars.  Since mine is being shipped across the US to her I didn’t want it to be all messed up by the time it got there.  So mine is not as pretty, but still a great gift idea if you want to ship it do it my way.  If handing to someone make it pretty like her’s.

What you’ll need:

  • Ice Cream Cones (the nice waffle kind)
  • Toppings (ie gummy bears, sprinkles, nuts … etc)
  • Sauce (ie fudge, caramel etc)
  • Plastic bags or plastic boxes like I did
  • Box

Put your toppings in a plastic bag or plastic boxes like I found at the dollar store.  If putting in a box to ship leave the cones in the box if handing it out put in a nice plastic bag with a ribbon.  If shipping leave the sauce in the container it came in, if giving out then put in some cute glass jars.

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Hope you have a wonderful day and maybe try this sweet treat!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Palooza!

We had bunny time and egg time this past weekend.  Lot’s of kid fun!  We enjoyed this past weekend to the most.  I had to share some fun pictures of what we did!

First off we went to the Saturday Church Service were after service they had the Easter Bunny visit.  We waited in line that went very fast and the boys along with my friends daughter and her neighbor kids joined in on the picture.

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Here we are waiting in line.  My iPhone was  hit with the kids to play games on.  Caden of course was a cheese as always!

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We coordinated with our neighbor for an egg hunt between the two yards.  The kids sure did have fun and LOT’s of eggs, I think I counted at least 250.

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In some of the eggs were Gummy Teeth, these were a huge hit.  It was so funny to see the kids and adults wearing them … lol.

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Some random shots of the egg carnage .. lol and even some of my yummy fudge!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kicking it with my Crockpot again …

It’s still a little chilly here (well we did have a sunny day Monday) but it’s still soup time in my mind!   This is one of my favorite soups I have made.  I believe I’ve made it before and posted.  Cole actually ate 3 bowls of it.  I was actually spooning the bottom of the crockpot for it!

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Ingredients
  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray  
  • 1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced  
  • 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped  
  • 1 rib(s) (medium) uncooked celery, chopped  
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef  
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour  
  • 3 cup(s) canned chicken broth, divided  
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat evaporated milk  
  • 8 oz Kraft Velveeta Light Reduced-Fat Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product, or similar product, cubed  
  • 1/2 tsp paprika  
  • 1/4 tsp table salt  
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper  
  • 24 item(s) baked low-fat tortilla chips, crumbled  
Instructions
  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add garlic, onion and celery to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Coat a 3-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray; spoon in vegetables.
  • Place same skillet over medium-high heat and brown beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes; pour off any liquid and add meat to slow cooker.
  • In a small cup, combine flour and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until lump-free. Pour flour mixture into same skillet; add remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, and then pour into slow cooker; stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours. Serve soup topped with crumbled chips. Yields about 3/4 cup of soup and 3 tablespoons of chips per serving.

Enjoy!  Hope you all have a wonderful night.  We have swim tonight, so I’m thinking it will be another crockpot night so dinner is ready when we get back. 

What is on your menu tonight?

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