This page is about a Mom who likes to think she is closer to the Hot side than the alternative. Here is my story of the daily journey of a less than rich, less than skinny and more than happy lady :D

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Canvas Quotes

The Inspiration:
Canvas Quotes Inspiration
DIY Quotes on Canvas
Thrift store picture quotes

The Ingredients:
  • Any size canvas
  • Vinyl letters- I used 3" and 4" to change up the word sizing
  • Scrapbook paper or magazines or an old framed picture
  • Sponge paint brushes
  • Mod Podge

The Directions:
  • Pick a quote that you love- song lyric, quote, verse, etc.
  • Tear scrapbook or magazine pages up so that they cover the canvas but have no distinct pattern
  • Apply Mod Podge to the canvas and adhere the scrapbook paper or magazine paper
  • Allow to dry for a few minutes- you can make sure you have all your letters ready for the next step

  • Once dry place your vinyl letters on the canvas
  • I used a straight edge but I was not super diligent in making my letters straight since I was going for the vintage look



  • Start painting over the canvas- use a light coat if you want the paper to show through all over the canvas; thicker coat if you want to cover the paper
  • Make sure to paint all around the edge of the canvas unless you covered it with paper also






  • Once the paint is dry ( I left mine to sit overnight), start peeling off the letters
  • If while you are pulling up the letters they tear the paper underneath or do not give a clean line, don't worry! It give your creation character! 
  • A few people suggested using sand paper on the canvas- lightly of course- to give it an even more worn look. 
  • Last, cover the entire canvas with Mod Podge to seal down any edges that may have pulled up

Here's how mine turned out:








Pretzel Buttons

The Inspiration:

The Ingredients:
  • Square pretzels
  • Hershey's Hugs- you can use Kisses but the Hugs are, to me, far better
  • Plain M&M's in the color(s) of your choice

The Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees (if your oven runs hot place it more like 150-170)
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Place pretzels on parchment paper
  • Place a Kiss on each pretzel
  • Bake for 4-5 minutes or until the chocolate is shiny and soft but not melting- they should still hold a little shape*
  • Carefully place an M&M in the center of the Hug and lightly press down
  • Allow to cool completely*

The Verdict:
*I will sometimes just place 1 M&M on top to see how soft the chocolate is at the 3 minute mark
*I usually place mine directly in the fridge or freezer so the Hugs don't have a chance to run once the M&M's are placed

Here's how mine turned out: YUMMY!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easy cookie recipe with not-good-gooey results :(


The Inspiration:
3 Ingredient Cookies

The Ingredients:

  • One 18.25 ounce box of cake or brownie mix
  • Two Eggs
  • One 8 ounce container of thawed whipped topping


The Directions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, boxed cake/brownie mix and whipped topping
  • Blend well with spoon until it thickens into a sticky batter
  • Keep hands wet to better roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls
  • Place on a greased baking sheet
  • Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes
  • Allow cookies to cool for at least 2 minutes
  • For added decoration, sift confectioners sugar on top

The Verdict:
*My cookies never actually made it to the cookie state. They were gooey and hard to serve.
*Although this seems easy the result was not great... most ended up in the trash :(

I didn't even take pictures... Oh well!



Whoopie Pie Filling


The Inspiration:
Whoopie Pie Filling

The Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

The Directions:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter & sugar until pale & fluffy- about 3 minutes
  • Add fluff & vanilla & continue mixing until well combined

The Verdict:
*Delicious!





Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Here is something I tried for Christmas- and they were yummy!

The Inspiration: 

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies


The Ingredients:


Cookies

  • 1 (18.25 oz.) box red velvet cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


The Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
COOKIES:
  • Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil and flour
  • Scoop onto lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets
  • I used a biscuit cutter to shape the cookies so when they came out they would all be the same size and the tops and bottoms would fit better together
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until tops look cracked
  • Cool completely
FILLING:
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer 
  • Mix in milk and vanilla, then beat in powdered sugar until smooth
  • Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center of a cookie
  • Top with a second cookie and press together until the filling reaches the edges of the cookies 
  • Makes about 15 sandwiches

The Verdict:
*I rolled the edges of my filling in green sugar to make it more festive for Christmas.
*Mine were a huge hit. I think this would work well with any other type of cake mix too. 
*Here is the link to another recipe for the filling using marshmallow instead of cream cheese.



Here's how mine turned out:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Habits of Highly Efficient Moms

I have been searching the web to find ways to make my life easier. Tips from other moms on how they still make time for the fun of life without sacrificing a somewhat clean home. Here are a few of the tips I have gleaned from my research:

  • Do one load of laundry a day- start to finish. Instead of doing all your laundry on one day, do a load as you have it. Wash, dry, fold and put away. This way there are not 3 baskets of clean clothes sitting around. 
    • I started doing this about a month ago. Sometimes I do more than one load if I feel up to it but I don't let it sit in the basket for days before folding or putting it away. It has helped me to keep the mess to a minimum.

  • Purge your bags.
    • On either Friday or Sunday night I purge my bags. I clean out my purse, the diaper bag, the car. I take everything that has accumulated in all the wrong places and put it back where it goes. Then I restock all the necessities- diapers, wipes, snacks, chap stick, etc. First go round it took about 30 minutes to complete the task. Now I can get all those clutter catchers done in 10 minutes or less. 

  • Plan your meals out and do your shopping only once a week. 
    • I modified this tip. I am trying to get a stock of food built up so every week I don't have to buy tons of groceries if I don't have the time or the funds. I go get what we need for our meals, what we need for the week. Then I take the coupons, the deals and stock up. Last week it was drinks. The week before cereal. That way I can build up the reserves when I have time but I am not strapped to keep everything under budget. So far this has been great- especially with a new baby coming. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

10 Can't Miss Photos to take Each Month- Southern Style

So I came across this list a few years ago and I was so excited! The 10 pictures I need to take every month!
10 Can't-Miss Photos to take Each Month
Once I started reading the list I decided it was not going to fit this Florida Mom's life- pictures of people sledding? How's that going to work???

That's when I decided to modify the list- for those of us who enjoy the beach year round :D

10 Can't Miss Photos to take Each Month- Southern Style

JANUARY:

  1. Playing inside
  2. Firsts for the new year: new outfits, family dinner, book you read
  3. Your kids bundled up to go out in the cold the one cold day we have
  4. Snuggling
  5. Bowls of soup, hot chocolate- anything to give the illusion that its winter
  6. Family taking down the holiday decorations
  7. A day at the beach- why not rub it in to those that are taking pictures "sledding" or "snowmen"?
  8. A stack of all the winter clothes you have worn 5 times in the last 3 years
  9. Playing in the rain
  10. All the toys the kids got during the holidays that they are now bored with

FEBRUARY:
  1. Kids in PJs
  2. Favorite Gadgets
  3. Loved ones
  4. Romantic night out
  5. Valentine's You Receive
  6. Super Bowl Party
  7. A day at the beach
  8. Mardi Gras celebrations
  9. Kids making Valentine's for school- or kids watching TV and parents doing them :D
  10. Valentine's Day treats

MARCH
  1. Kites flying
  2. Exercising- or people at the park exercising while you eat your ice cream on the park bench
  3. March Madness events- brackets, gatherings, fans
  4. Dr. Seuss books, costumes, etc.
  5. A day at the beach
  6. Working in the yard
  7. Signs on spring (could fall under February)
  8. St. Patrick's Day festivities
  9. Your car
  10. Your pedicure

APRIL:
  1. Rainbows
  2. Easter celebrations (could fall under March)
  3. Egg hunt
  4. New Easter outfit
  5. Decorating the eggs, hiding, etc.
  6. A picture at the beach!
  7. Umbrellas & Rain boots
  8. Flowers
  9. Your bracket from March Madness that did not do well...
  10. Any April Fool's jokes you decide to play on family, friends, co-workers

MAY:
  1. BBQ's
  2. Grandmother's hands
  3. Mother's Day photos
  4. Cinco de Mayo fun
  5. Cemeteries decorated for Memorial Day
  6. Kentucky Derby nonsense
  7. A day at the beach
  8. Memorial Day festivities- fireworks, food, parade, etc.
  9. Pictures with your Mom, your Mom friends, anyone that has a child
  10. Camping activities

JUNE: 
  1. Baseball games
  2. Father's Day photos
  3. Outdoor activities: games, picnics, evening walks
  4. Pictures with your Dad, your Dad friends, anyone that has a child
  5. Strawberries on the vine (could fall under May)
  6. Last day of school, high school graduation
  7. Flip flops (could also fall under January- December)
  8. A day at the beach
  9. Weddings- we all know June is the kick off of wedding season!
  10. A day at the zoo

JULY:
  1. Farm fields
  2. Family reunions
  3. Fun in the sun!
  4. Ice cream or snow cones
  5. Watermelon ready to serve
  6. A boy holding a worm, bug or frog- lightening bugs would be awesome!
  7. Fourth of July celebrations
  8. Girls playing with a hula hoop, on a bike
  9. A day at the beach
  10. Concert or movie in the park

AUGUST:
  1. Sprinkler fun
  2. A day at the beach
  3. Corn on the cob
  4. People on a bike ride
  5. NFL Preseason party- fantasy football drafts, games, etc.
  6. Pitcher of Lemonade
  7. Back to school shopping
  8. Sunset
  9. Fair, carnival
  10. Vacations or travels

SEPTEMBER:
  1. Football games
  2. Tailgating parties
  3. Fishing fun
  4. Fresh baked cookies
  5. Visits with grandparents
  6. First day of school happenings (could also fall under August)
  7. Apple picking
  8. A day at the beach
  9. Scenes from a car trip
  10. Playing in the rain, outside playing sports

OCTOBER:
  1. Scarecrows
  2. Corn Maze
  3. World Series party
  4. Pumpkins at night
  5. A day at the beach
  6. Haunted house
  7. Halloween costumes
  8. Apple cider, hot chocolate- fake that Fall!
  9. Hayrides
  10. Kids jumping in leaves, or on the trampoline since the leaves won't fall until December

NOVEMBER:
  1. Baked pies
  2. Geese flying to your house to stay for the winter
  3. Family gatherings
  4. Thanksgiving events
  5. People preparing the family meal
  6. Other people "watching football" on Thanksgiving (falling asleep on the couch)
  7. Black Friday madness
  8. Thanksgiving left overs in the fridge
  9. A day at the beach
  10. Getting the Christmas decorations out

DECEMBER:
  1. A day at the beach- go ahead and get it out of the way since there is a lot to do in December
  2. Hockey games
  3. Canned food drive, community service
  4. Friends sharing a laugh
  5. Lighting of the Christmas tree or the Menorah
  6. Gifts being wrapped, then unwrapped, bags from the mall, holiday shopping
  7. New Year's Eve parties
  8. Holiday events- the table, nativity scene, Santa visits, cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, stockings
  9. Christmas carolers
  10. Family in PJs enjoying the only other cold evening of the year
HAPPY SNAPPING!!!