December Box

December box TFS
It’s almost December and I am ready to celebrate Christmas as long as I can. Check out this cute December Box, it’s like the Christmas Eve boxes only you get to enjoy everything the whole month of December.  Every year I buy my girls matching pj’s for the Christmas season, we watch Christmas movies as much as possible, drink hot chocolate and have some popcorn of course, because what’s a good movie without popcorn, right?



I like to give the kiddos their Christmas pj’s, movies, books, etc., at the very beginning of December, or right after Thanksgiving- or that night ;0)

December box TFS

I want them, and myself too, to enjoy their Christmas goodies the entire month of December.  I want to wash their Christmas pj’s 5 times a week, read that book every night and watch Christmas movies as much as possible because once Christmas is over, it’s just not the same. Since we love to be in the Christmas spirit all month we start as soon as we can.

Put your Christmas pajamas, a movie, good book, hot chocolate, popcorn and whatever else you may want in your box 🙂



Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

cinnamon apple
Yum

My kids love pancakes! It’s one thing I know they will want to eat for breakfast just about any time.  I decided I would change things up a bit for them and make some apple cinnamon pancakes.  Well, they were a hit.  My little K thought they were the best 🙂



Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs butter, melted and cool
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 medium- large tart apple diced

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar.  Dice a medium to large tart apple, I used honeycrisp.  Add milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla; mix until smooth.  Fold in diced apples.  Batter will be thick.

Heat a frying pan or griddle with some cooking spray over medium heat.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan, spread batter out some.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it starts to brown nicely.  Best served warm, with or without maple syrup.

Makes 5 large pancakes.



 

Oreo Truffles

oreoballs
Yum

Today I am sharing one of my very favorite desserts to make at Christmas, OREO truffles. I know most people have probably tried these already, but if you haven’t you NEED to make these, soon! They are quite simple to make and only require 3 ingredients. Every time I take these somewhere they vanish almost immediately.




Ingredients:

  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 1 8oz pack of softened cream cheese
  • 24 oz of white chocolate chips or one pack of almond bark

oreo truffles

First, you want to finely crush your cookies.  I finely crushed mine in a food processor but you can use a large ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  Crush the cookies as they are, do not remove the creme centers.

Beat your softened cream cheese with a mixer, then slowly add your crushed cookies 1 cup at a time.

Once the cookies and cream cheese are mixed together well, form 1 inch balls and place on wax paper.  I used aluminum foil since I didn’t have wax paper, it worked pretty well.  You should have about 50 Oreo truffles once you’re finished.  Place them in the freezer for 20-30 min.

I used about 1 3/4 bags of white chocolate chips.  Melt your chocolate OR almond bark in the microwave or on your stove-top with a double-boiler per the instructions on the package.  *Be careful to not burn the white chocolate if you’re using the microwave.  Once the chocolate is melted take your Oreo balls out of the freezer and dip in the chocolate, then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Store your truffles in the refrigerator in an air tight container since the contain cream cheese.

 



DIY Ruler Growth Chart

wood craft

Affiliate links are used in this post, which means if you click on an item and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

I have been wanting to get a growth chart for my girls for some time now.  I figured I would get one of them that was made from heavy weight paper, but I never seemed to find one that I liked well enough to buy.  Then, my husband said he seen a wooden ruler growth chart that we could make.  Once I seen how cute they are we had to have one.




You only need a few supplies:

  • 1 prefinished pine board- 1″ x 6″ x 6 feet
  • Stain of your choice
  • Old rag for application of stain
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Vinyl numbers and tick marks
  • Polyurethane
  • Screws or other type of hanger to place on wall
  • Tack cloth– optional

We had most of the items needed on hand already except for the board and the vinyl.  The 1″ x 6″ x 6 foot board only cost $11.88 and we purchased the vinyl numbers and tick marks as a kit, you can purchase the vinyl kit from Amazon, Etsy or Ebay for about $14.

To start off you will want to lightly sand your board.  If you purchase a prefinished it is already smooth so it doesn’t need a lot.  After sanding you will want to make sure that all the dust particles are off the board before applying your stain.  The optional tack cloth works well to remove the dust, but is not a necessity.

Apply the stain to the board with an old lint free rag.  Make sure to apply the stain in the same direction as the grain of wood is going.  You may want to use more than one coat of stain depending how dark you would like your board to be.  Allow the stain to dry completely and lightly sand and remove dust between each coat of stain.



Once the stain has dried sand the board again if you like, but not too much.

After the board is stained and dry you will need mark with a pencil every inch mark.  This is where you will apply the vinyl tick marks.

ruler growth chart

Vinyl is very easy to work with and when you purchase your vinyl kit it should come with instructions for how to use it.  You will peel the backing off first, leaving you with the transfer paper that is sticky on the side you are going to place down on your board. The vinyl we purchased was already measured out for you in 1 inch increments, it makes applying the vinyl fast and simple.  Line the vinyl tick marks up with your pencil marks where your 1 inch marks are.  Have a credit card handy and rub over the transfer paper to get the vinyl to stick to the board.  If a piece of vinyl is crooked, it is easy to peel off and reapply.  Just be careful, you don’t want it to tear.

diy growth chart

Once all of you vinyl tick marks and numbers are where they need to be it will be time to apply a coat of polyurethane.

ruler growth chart



We chose to use screws to hang our board to the wall, we put 3 black screws through the board into a stud in the wall.  I didn’t want to take any chances of it falling, although it probably wouldn’t.  I like the way it looks with the screws we chose, they were black so they matched the vinyl numbers.  You may use a sawtooth hanger or other method of hanging your growth chart if preferred.

diy ruler chart

A couple things I would like to mention:

  • As you can tell we placed our board at the top of our baseboard, make sure to get the correct measurements of your baseboard if you do this too.  You want your board to start where you want it to be off the floor. Our board started at 3 inches because that is how tall our baseboard is.  **Most vinyl directions will have you start at 8 inches, so your board would be 8 inches off the floor.
  • Our vinyl kit went to 6 1/2 feet.  Our ruler ended at 6 feet but we did not use the 6 because it would not look right, we would have needed a longer board since we started ours at 3 inches off the floor instead of 8 inches as the vinyl kit recommended.

This was an easy project and didn’t take much time at all AND I just LOVE the end result.  My only wish is that we would have made one sooner!

This entry was posted in DIY, Home.

Italian Sausage Ravioli

cheese ravioli
Yum

Affiliate links are used in this post, which means if you click on an item and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Ravioli is a dish that is super easy to make but tastes delicious.  It’s one of my quick go to meals for busy after school nights.  It only takes a few ingredients and you can change it up and use hamburger instead of sausage or go completely meatless.




Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large jar of sauce
  • 1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown your sausage in a pan, then drain the fat.  Add sausage to your pasta sauce, mix. Put a layer of the pasta sauce mixture on the bottom of your 9×13 dish, then a layer of your frozen ravioli, repeat again.  Top your second layer of frozen ravioli with sauce and then 2 cups of cheese.

cheese ravioli

Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for approximately 15 additional minutes, or until cheese is starting to brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

cheese ravioli

Enjoy!

What’s Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday

It’s time for What’s Up Wednesday with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer.  I always want to link up but it seems like I always have something going on that I can’t, but not today!

What were eating…

Black Bean Chicken Tacos

These are so yummy! The black beans make it so filling.  This dish is now on my favorites list.

taco bowls

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I made a double batch last month and froze the extras.  I’m getting ready to make some to freeze for a mini-vacation we have planned in a couple weeks.  They’re great for a quick and easy breakfast on the go.

chocolate banana muffins

Vegetable Beef Soup

I tried this vegetable beef soup from the CincyShopper.com and it was yummy!  I just did not add the beans because I don’t like beans all that much.

What we’ve been up to…

Well, now that school is back in full swing we have been getting used to our routine.  It was rough for the kiddos getting up for school early the first couple of weeks, but now it’s getting better.

What I’m dreading…

Dentist appointment next month.  Ugh….I really hate going to the dentist, but I guess it’s worth it 😉

What I’m excited about…

 I’m excited for Fall weather!  I’m ready to wear leggings and boots and flannels.  Anyone else with me?

What I’m watching/reading…

The Blacklist is back on!!  I love this show, as I have probably mentioned that before 🙂

I also watched This Is Us, I really like this show so far.  Everyone compares it to Parenthood, which I’ve never watched, so I may have to see if it’s on Netflix.

What I’m listening to…

Not much really.

What I’m wearing…

I am getting as much use out of my flip flops as possible before it gets too cold.

What I’m doing this weekend…

Not sure yet.  Just hoping to spend some quality time with my family.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

We have a mini-vacation planned with my mom and sister.  I am looking so forward to it!  It’s been years since I’ve been on vacation with them, like before I had children.  Can’t wait to make more memories with them!

What else is new…

I made this sign for my sister.  It has a favorite verse on it, Song of Solomon 3:4.  I love how it turned out!  It was quite simple to make, I’m hoping to have a How To post on it soon.

DIY Wood Art

So that’s about it for us this time around.  Can’t wait to read what’s going on with everyone else linking up!

 

This entry was posted in Home.

Super Hero Girls Party

super hero

Affiliate links are used in this post, which means if you click on an item and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

We just had a super hero girls birthday party for my oldest.  She loves all things super hero, especially the DC Super Hero Girls, they are her favorite thing right now.  I thought this party was cute and budget friendly too.

I decided to make the main colors of the party red, blue and yellow, with some purple throughout too.

I usually bake and decorate a cake for my kids parties but did not this time.  I always buy cupcakes from Sams for every birthday party we have.  You get 30 cupcakes for around $14, which I think is awesome once you figure how much it would cost and the time it takes to make them yourself.  However, if you don’t have a store like Sams or  you want to save as much money as possible I would definitely make cupcakes myself.



 

Super Hero Party

At the time of her party the Batman vs Superman movie was out.  Our Kroger’s had rings for the cupcakes that you can purchase for .10 cents each.  So, I got enough for all the cupcakes.

If you are making a cake or cupcakes for a celebration and need toppers or a cake kit always check with your local grocery store bakery.  They will usually sell you the kits or toppers for a pretty good price.

I love this inexpensive cupcake stand, which happens to also be a cake pop stand as well!  It is always so simple to dress up this plain cupcake stand with whatever theme I’m going for.  We used a Batgirl figure she already had on top with a cut out of the Batgirl symbol that I made with my Silhouette Cameo.

I also made some bat brownies.  These were a big it with the little ones.  I seen this idea on Pinterest for a Halloween party and thought it would work great for our party.

TFS brownies2

These balloons came from etsy.  They are only 5 inches but were so cute above the cupcakes (when they still had helium:)  You can find a large selection of balloons online.

 

super hero girls

 

I made all of the decorations myself since I had trouble finding supplies (I could only find balloons), which there is NO Problem finding party supplies now 😉

dc girls tissue flowers
I made a couple banners and some tissue balls and flowers.  Tissue balls are easy to make and inexpensive, but still add a lot to your decorations.

super hero banner



We just used regular plates and napkins but I would have loved to have bought these party supplies but they weren’t out when we had our party.

party decor

I made these word bubbles say “Kinsey Is 6” and I made some say “POP, BAM,BOOM” that i just put all over the siding and porch . They are really easy to make using Word, I’ve thought about making a free printable or doing a tutorial on how to make them using Microsoft Word if anyone is interested.

super hero

We also made some bottle labels for water. These too were made using Word.

I made all the decorations for this party with the exception of the balloons.  It was a very budget friendly party since we already had the ink and cardstock paper that it was printed on.

 

Black Bean Chicken Tacos

taco bowls
Yum

Affiliate links are used in this post, which means if you click on an item and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

One of my favorite easy dishes to make for dinner is black bean chicken tacos.  They are truly so simple to make using your CrockPot.  I like black beans in mine, but they are completely optional.



Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breast

1 package taco seasoning

1 cup salsa

1 can black beans (optional), rinsed and drained

Place chicken breast in bottom of your crock pot.  Mix the 1 cup of salsa and taco packet together and pour over top of the chicken breast.  Cook on high for 4 hours.

black bean chicken tacos

After 4 hours shred your chicken and add your black beans that have been rinsed and drained.  Continue cooking for 2 more hours on high.

If you do not want to add the black beans then just shred the chicken and continue to cook on high for 2 hours.

black bean chicken tacos

As always crock pots vary, so make sure you adjust your cooking times as needed.




I have used frozen and fresh chicken when making this and they both turn out great.

Once your chicken is finished you can sever over top of tortillas chips, in a burrito shell or my favorite way is to bake my tortillas in a nonstick tortilla pan which makes the best taco bowls.  I’m not sure of the exact brand I have, as they were a Christmas gift one year, but you can purchase them on Amazon.

Top with any of your favorite tacos toppings.  We like to use cheese, tomato, lettuce and sour cream.  Enjoy!

black bean tacos

 

M&M Cookies

Yum

m&m cookies

One of my favorite desserts to make is cookies.  Whenever we go to gatherings for family or friends it seems as though you can never go wrong with a good cookie recipe.  Also, if kids are going to be there it’s pretty much a given you won’t be leaving with leftovers, kids LOVE cookies, especially if the have m&m’s.

yummy cookies



This m&m cookie recipe makes about fifty 2 inch cookies.  It calls for simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups m&m’s

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda, mix well.  In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each one.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Add m&m’s and stir.  Drop rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.



Bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are starting to brown.  Cooking times may vary depending on your oven, try to keep an eye on them.

m&m cookies

 

Cool for at least 1 minute on cookie sheet then place on wire rack to cool completely.

I used regular m&m’s because that’s what I had on hand, but the mini m&m’s would be great too.

 

DIY Easy Ant Killer

Affiliate links may used in this post, which means if you click on an item and make a purchase I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

My oldest turned 6 last month. My my where has the time gone!  It seems like they just laid her my arms yesterday. I would love to keep my kids small forever but that’s just not how it works unfortunately.

It was her birthday, of course we had to have a party.  The party was a success, some of her classmates from school came and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.

The next day as I was cleaning up from the festivities I found a crumb of a cupcake in the floor, with a few ants nearby.  I hate having ants! So I immediately made my go to ant killer recipe.  This is truly the best any killer I have ever tried and it works FAST.

Ant bait




I’m not sure about anyone else but I have never had any luck with the ant killer they sell in stores, it has never worked for me.

**I would like to add that this recipe is not kid or pet friendly.  Please keep out of reach of children and pets.**

So to get rid of ants and keep them gone I only use 3 ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly or Jam
  • Index card

Mix your peanut butter and jelly together or if you have a jar of Goober you can just use that.

Use one teaspoon of your PB&J mixture and one teaspoon borax. Mix well.

Cut an index card into eighths.  Use as many as you need, I used 2 since my ants weren’t out of control.

Place your mixture on your card and place near your counter edge or the edge of the wall.

Then, wait for the ants to come.

DIY Ant Killer




I found a few ants that morning, used this ant killer and by that evening all the ants were gone.  And, they haven’t returned!

**NOTE** This ant bait is not kid friendly OR pet friendly!!  If you have children or pets keep it far from their reach OR do not use!!

 

 

This entry was posted in DIY, Home.