Saturday, April 28, 2012

dress up the box

You know I try to cook from scratch to try to control the ingredients that go into our food and decrease the amount of preservatives and things I can't pronounce, right? 


But that doesn't mean I'm totally against a little help from the box.  Especially when Greg's favorite brownie mix goes on sale for a dollar a box.

Using a box doesn't mean you have to be completely satisfied with the plain old box ~ you can dress it up in a little party dress & go somewhere nice. Adding a little something special doesn't even have to be complicated. 

Start with the usual suspects and mix as directed on the box.

See that blue bowl? I got that years ago from a student. It was part of a gift set with pancake mix, syrup, & other stuff in it. It is one of my favorite mixing bowls for brownies, muffins, and well, pancakes.

To the mixed batter add a package of peanut butter chips.

That's it.


The result is a scrumptious, never plain, peanut buttery brownie.

Your family will rise up and call you blessed.

Of course, if you make your brownies from scratch, you can still add a little secret ingredient to fancy up your brownies.

Happy eating!

Monday, April 9, 2012

play day at the park

One day last week during our spring break (oh how I miss you, spring break) we took the kids and their buddy Austin to the park. We loaded up the truck with bikes, scooters, frisbees, and helmets they pretended they were going to wear.

The first thing the kids did was zoom around on their bikes while we set up the picnic blanket. You don't think we just brought active gear, do you? Of course, we brought a picnic too. The kids and I stopped by the grocery store deli for some fried chicken and potato salad. I was easily suckered in to macaroni and cheese, fruit cups, and apples & carmel. I'm an easy target sometimes.

Like that quilt? Kinda hideous, but I love it. My grandma made it for me a long time ago and it has always been the picnic quilt. That's the only time it comes out of hiding. There's no mistaking which blanket is ours at the 4th of July fireworks!

The weather was great ~ warmish with a cool breeze. After we ate, the kids rode their bikes, scootered, jogged/walked on the path around the park several times. They even showed their utmost maturity by heckling a couple getting an exercise routine together. From our vantage, the couple was clearly new at this exercise business. But with our butts planted firmly on the picnic blanket, we were not really in a position to criticize ~ except we did.

Greg tried to nap while I read, but the kids visited the blanket at every lap and pestered him. I didn't really get much reading done either because when the kids were on their lap, I kept chatting him up.

In between laps around the park, playing on the tennis courts & playground equipment, and interrupting Greg's nap, there were sweaty snack breaks.

Greg played frisbee with the kids for a little while. I would have, but someone had to hold down that blanket and watch all of our stuff. I know ~ sacrifices.

What a great way to spend an afternoon.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

pancake morning

Today was a pancake morning. Heather asked for chocolate chip pancakes. And wanted Mickey shaped. Sheesh! Demanding! The first one I tried was a miserable fail of a misshapen oval. I told her I'd try just once more, then she'd have to settle for regular-shaped ones. Lucky for her the second one turned out.

Heather was a happy girl!

Stephanie was a happy girl too, even though we made her get up for breakfast.

Mickey Mouse chocolate chip pancakes (chips are on the other side) make little girls happy.

When it is a pancake morning, there's quite a few left over. I freeze them for the kids to eat on school days. To freeze them, lay the cooled pancakes out on a cookie sheet between wax paper. Freeze them for about an hour, then put them in a zip top bag. To reheat, pop them in the toaster or microwave. I don't recommend the toaster for the ones with chocolate chips.

What was for breakfast at your house today?


Friday, April 6, 2012

new product ~ silverware sleeves

There's a new product in my Etsy shop. Silverware sleeves!

These are great for dressing up a place setting for a casual or dressy table.

I think these numbered beauties are super fun.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

well, hello there

What can I say? I've been a little bit busy. Let's do a short recap of the last month and a half. Has it been that long, really?

Well, we went to see the Mouse. You know the one! We always have such a good time when we go to Disneyland and this trip did not disappoint.

I was in a new craft boutique. A teacher-friend of mine started up a crafting boutique. Considering it was a spring boutique (which generally don't do as well as fall boutiques) and this was her first one, I didn't do too badly. I am looking forward to her fall boutique.

I've been working, working, working on that dang yearbook! I ended up doing the whole dang thing myself this year and let me tell you it's going to be 82 pages of awesome, but I'm burnt out. I'm.still.not.done! The worst part is that I missed my deadline and I'm bored of it now. Do you ever get that way? You get to the end of a project and can't stand the sight of it any longer? No? Me neither, then.

The kids and I are on spring break. Greg was able to get this week off as well. I love spring break!  I love spring break even more when Greg is off work with us!

I turned another year older this weekend. Only not. For the record, I am 29 {again}. I refuse to be older because I just don't feel older than that.

We went to see The Hunger Games. Have you seen it? Have you read the book? Once I was finished with the book (just this past weekend), I announced to Greg that he could feel free to take me to see it. I like to read the books first because I'm not sure I'd go back and read the book ever if I saw the movie first. Harry Potter? Saw the movie first. Never read the books. Anyway, The Hunger Games movie was pretty much true to the book.  I recommend it.

The yearbook is the last big commitment I have for a little while, so, who knows ~ maybe you'll hear more from me a little more often.