Category Archives: Uncategorized

3 Delicious Grab and Go Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

A lot happens between about 7:00AM and 8:30AM.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived an entire day before it even reaches 9:00AM.  One thing I do not make time for in those early hours of the day is making a hot breakfast.  My kids get Eggos (which technically ARE hot) or those mini muffins that you have to eat like 3 bags of in order to feel full.  I’m starting to feel a smidge guilty about that.  Not guilty enough to get up earlier to make hot breakfasts for them, but guilty enough to figure out an easy alternative.

I’ve decided to do some breakfast prepping.  And I’ve collected three delicious and hearty options for a home cooked breakfast for the kiddos.  

Up first are my favorite, the Sausage Stuffed Pancake. This is by no means a gourmet recipe, however it is a step above popping a waffle in the toaster.  More importantly, they are totally delicious.  The sweetness of the pancake and drizzle of syrup go so perfectly with the mildly spicy sausage.  I want to eat more of these right now.

1.  Sausage Stuffed Pancake

Aunt Jemima Complete Pancake Mix (the one you only have to add water to.  What?  I’m a busy woman)

Banquet Brown & Serve Sausages

Pancake Syrup

Butter for greasing your muffin tin

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease a mini muffin tin with butter
  3. Mix the pancake batter according to the instructions on the box
  4. Cook the sausages according to the instructions on the box and slice in half when done cooking
  5. Add the pancake batter to the mini muffin pan
  6. Add a half of a sausage to the pancake batter.  I put mine in standing up in the middle so that just a little bit of sausage is poking out of the top
  7. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the pancake is cooked through.  The pancake is done when it feels firm to the touch.

You and your kids and anyone else you want to feed these to, are going LOVE these.  You can totally freeze these and pop them in the microwave in the morning to defrost, then eat them while you’re waiting in the carpool line.

2.  Ham & Sweet Potato Breakfast Egg Muffins

This recipe is an oldy but goody that I’ve been making for some time.  Click through to the old post for the full recipe.  I love these Egg Muffins because they are portable (you might want to use a cupcake liner if you are eating in the car.  I usually go with a sturdy napkin) and they are very hearty.  There’s plenty of protein to get your day started and the sweet potato is a nice veggie to add to your morning.  I’m not much of a fruit eater and there aren’t many veggies that I would think about eating as part of breakfast, so I’m happy to sneak the sweet potato into this meal.  It’s a winner!

3.  Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One word of warning on these.  They are delicious and very sweet.  They are a healthier version of the drive through muffin you get at the coffee shop because they have bananas in them AND they are actually wheat free. I found the recipe at Well Plated and I highly recommend spending an hour or two over there!  The recipes are delicious, healthy and easy!  It’s the trifecta!

I’ll prep one, two or all three of these during the weekend, or whenever I have some spare time and keep them on hand for the whole week.  Those Sausage Stuffed Pancakes go quick, though, so be prepared.  That it is the simplest recipe of the three by far, so it’s not too much effort make a new batch.

Alright, so what have we learned today, friends?  We’ve learned that if you smoosh just about anything into a muffin tin, you can make it a portable meal!  Hurray for that.  What things do you stuff in a muffin tin?  Tell me about it in the comments!

7 Pretty Pieces to Add to Your Closet for Spring

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no cost to you!***        March isn’t too early to talk about Spring.  That’s a fact.  All you people on Pinterest and Instagram that were talking about Spring in February need to slow your roll.  Now that it is appropriately early spring, I’m itching to add some Spring pieces to my wardrobe.  I scoured Amazon today for these 7 Pretty Pieces to Add to Your Closet for Spring.

Doesn’t it just make you want to go for a walk in a meadow?  Just make sure you wear those adorable bow sneakers, not the pumps.  Pumps are not for meadow walking.

Jessica Simpson Women's Belted Dolman Wrap Dress (M, Capr... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FRRIXRI/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_PY2Tyb069H5MS:

Jessica Simpson Women’s Belted Dolman Wrap Dress – We all need a good, easy to wear dress for Spring.  There’s Easter, Mother’s Day, Baby/Bridal Showers and I’m sure countless more festivities to attend once the weather starts to warm up.  This dress has a pretty print and is a very forgiving silhouette, which is also important after hibernating for the winter.

Memorose Women Off Shoulder Short Sleeve Splice Stripe Lo... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FXCWAR0/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_bl3Tyb59QWB56:

Memorose Women Off Shoulder Short Sleeve Splice Stripe Loose T Shirt – One of the best things you can buy for any season is a T Shirt that has been elevated just a tiny bit in some way.  This one has cut outs on the shoulders and the cute color blocking to bring it just past boring T.  It’s also cut a little long with a smidge of ruching on the sides, which means it will be flattering and it will look adorable with your skinny jeans.  There’s nothing easier than throwing on a T Shirt and jeans and if that T Shirt has some style elements, you’ll look totally pulled together.

Nine West Women's Onosha Denim Fashion Sneaker, Blue, 7.5... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N651XVP/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_Mq3Tyb552RBXE:

Nine West Women’s Onosha Denim Fashion Sneaker – This sneaker is my life.  Or, as my daughter would say, this sneaker is my son.  Everything she loves is her son.  Not sun, son.  Weird?  Or is it a thing?  I want these sneakers on my feet.  Right now.  How freakin’ cute can you be??  I spend a LOT of time at softball fields (and soon to be lacrosse fields with the boy child, too) all through the spring and I would so love to have a cute AND comfortable sneaker to wear.

Aifer Women Sweater Long Sleeve Irregular Stripe Shawl Ca... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCZ245V/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_Zu3TybMN6Q7VB:

Aifer Women Sweater  – As much as I would like to say that every day of Spring is 65 degrees and perfect, the reality is that a lot of Spring is freezing cold in the Northeast.  Layers are key.  But, if you have to wear layers, you can at least make them Spring-y layers.  I love the colors in this cardigan and the drapey front.  Would be so cute with those sneakers, too!

XOXO Floral Skinny Pants 9-10 XOXO https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY5IPNO/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_Sy3TybS1N3GWB:

XOXO Floral Skinny Pants – I read somewhere that adding a patterned pant to your wardrobe is a great way to expand your clothing choices.  These pants can be dressed up or down depending on where you’re going.  A plain white tee on the weekend OR pop on a black blazer for work OR a pretty blouse for a weekend brunch or bridal shower.  I love patterned pants with a denim jacket, too.  So many options!

Allegra K Women Long Sleeve Stand Collar Zip Up Floral Bo... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9ALN5Y/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_ZD3Tyb4V4E513:

Allegra K Women’s Long Sleeve Bomber Jacket – Anyone else ready to jump on the bomber jacket trend?  I love the abstract pattern on this one.  If you just wear a pair of joggers, t shirt and sneaks with this jacket, you are instantly stylish.  So easy to achieve.  If you live in a climate where it’s chilly enough to need a jacket in spring, you might as well have a super adorable one to wear!

Chase and Chloe Vintage Inspired Mod Scalloped Edge Bow P... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AKQOI2E/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_SJ3TybEGA5XD2:

Chase and Chloe Vintage Inspired Pump – Sometimes my fashion choices are unique, I know this.  I might be in the minority when it comes to loving these vintage style pumps, but I’m okay with that. To me, it’s the quirky little accessories that really bring your personality into your wardrobe.  I’d love to hear a thumbs up or thumbs down from you on these pumps, so let me know in the comments!  Am I alone in the vintage-y shoe obsession??

 

 

Game Day Bingo

Anybody out there not really care about the big game on Sunday?  Are you just in it for the snacks and the excuse to get together with friends?  Do you feel awkward when everyone else is cheering or booing and you have no clue what is going on?  This post is for you (so isn’t this one if it’s the snacks you’re really in to!)  I’ve devised a way to keep your head in the game and look totally engaged while still having fun.  It’s a little thing I like to call “Game Day Bingo”.

I found a great site called My Free Bingo Cards.  It is super easy to make your own customized Bingo Cards for any occasion.  Mine are football themed, of course, but the possibilities are endless.

Game Day Bingo:

You can create your own cards, or print mine with the link at the bottom of this post called Game Day Bingo.  If you want to create your own cards, all you have to do is go to the Bingo Card generator, add your title and your words (the hardest part was coming up with a bunch of football related words.  My cards have 25 squares, so I needed more than 25 words in order to make each card fairly unique), select a theme and make a couple of other easy choices and hit Next to generate your cards.  You can print up to 30 for free.

I think this is great for kids who might not be that into football.  They just have to listen to hear the words on their card to be said throughout the game and when they get five in a row, they win! It would be a super smart idea to laminate these bad boys so that the kids can use a dry erase pen to mark off the words as they get them, then just erase the whole thing after someone wins and start again.  Otherwise you will need something to cover each space with, like a small candy (M&M’s are perfect!) or coins.  It will probably be a good idea to have a few inexpensive prizes on hand for the winners.  My kids love prizes.  And they don’t love it when someone tells them, “You won!” and then they don’t get a prize.  Just FYI.

I hope you enjoy bingo and I hope you enjoy the game!!

Game Day Bingo

Can He Even Do That?

Almost every day I find myself turning to my husband or my coworker or a stranger on the street and saying, “Can he even do that?”.   The response is always “Apparently” with a side of “I can’t believe this is happening” face. Donald Trump’s latest executive order on immigration makes me ashamed and angry.  Ashamed to live in a country that elected this person and also a little ashamed at how much I have taken our democracy for granted and how little I know about how it works.  I can’t be alone on that.  I’m a college educated person.  I had four years of History and Western Civ in college. I studied democracy from it’s roots. I took US History classes.  Why did I not know how much the President can actually do all on his own?  “Checks and balances” was the phrase that kept popping into my head to comfort myself.  When do the checks and balances start??  Why did I wait until now, when it’s possibly too late, to speak my mind about this and re-educate myself?

I feel compelled to do something, but I don’t even know what to do.  Luckily, I have at my fingertips all the knowledge in all of the world.  Literally.  I’ve been researching ways to resist (other than marching) the policies that are being put in place and I wanted to share some of them with you.  Here’s what I have found:

  • Indivisible – This is a website and practical guide with steps you can take to show your resistance to Trump’s policies.  This is based on the grass roots efforts of the successful, if unpalatable, Tea Party.  I don’t like what they stand for, but they sure can organize.  Happy to steal their ideas.  Thanks Tea Party!
  • Five Ways to Be a Silent Protestor – These are five simple ways to protest without marching.  My favorite, #4, Stay Informed.  I like to google “fact check Trump” and see what fun stuff I come up with.  I actually laughed out loud at this one that I found on NPR:

I had a standing ovation like you wouldn’t believe….They actually — they were standing from the beginning. They didn’t even sit down. It was one standing ovation, the whole thing.” Trump in interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Jan. 26

THE FACTS: Trump never told the CIA officers to sit at the beginning of his speech, and it’s standard protocol without a directive from the president, they wouldn’t have sat down, as Huffington Post’s S.V. Date explains.

  • If you can’t stomach all of the political stuff but want to feel like you’ve done something to help someone, donate to a refugee fund.  International Rescue Committee has a 4 star rating.
  • 10 Actions/100 Days – The Women’s March organizers will send you one thing you can do every ten days to protest.  The first is to write a postcard to your representatives.  They even made a postcard for you to print.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.
  • Read this statement by Madeleine Albright and sign the petition by clicking on the link.  And I dare you not to cry as she describes arriving in New York Harbor.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the executive order on immigration and refugees that the President signed on Friday. It bans Syrian refugees from entering our country, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days, cuts in half the number of refugees we can admit, and halts all travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.

I felt I had no choice but to speak out against it in the strongest possible terms.

This is a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values. We have a proud tradition of sheltering those fleeing violence and persecution, and have always been the world leader in refugee resettlement. As a refugee myself who fled the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, I personally benefited from this country’s generosity and its tradition of openness. This order would end that tradition, and discriminate against those fleeing a brutal civil war in Syria.

There is no data to support the idea that refugees pose a threat. This policy is based on fear, not facts. The refugee vetting process is robust and thorough. It already consists of over 20 steps, ensuring that refugees are vetted more intensively than any other category of traveler.

The process typically takes 18-24 months, and is conducted while they are still overseas. I am concerned that this order’s attempts at “extreme vetting” will effectively halt our ability to accept anyone at all. When the administration makes wild claims about Syrian refugees pouring over our borders, they are relying on alternative facts — or as I like to call it, fiction.

The truth is that America can simultaneously protect the security of our borders and our citizens and maintain our country’s long tradition of welcoming those who have nowhere else to turn. These goals are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they are the obligation of a country built by immigrants.

Refugees should not be viewed as a burden or as potential terrorists. They have already made great contributions to our national life. Syrian refugees are learning English, getting good jobs, buying homes, and starting businesses. In other words, they are doing what other generations of refugees — including my own — did. And I have no doubt that, if given the opportunity, they will become an essential part of our American fabric.

By targeting Muslim-majority countries for immigration bans and by expressing a clear preference for refugees who are religious minorities, there’s no question this order is biased against Muslims. And when one faith is targeted, it puts us all at risk.

I will never forget sailing into New York Harbor for the first time and seeing the Statue of Liberty when I came here as a child. It proclaims “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” There is no fine print on the Statue of Liberty, and today she is weeping.

This executive order does not reflect American values. If you agree, make your voice heard now.

https://my.ofa.us/Stand-Up-For-American-Values

Thanks,

Madeleine Albright
Former Secretary of State

There are a million reasons I’m not on board with Trump, but the Executive Order on immigration is possibly the scariest.  I’m not a particularly religious person, but I know if we ask the question, “What would Jesus do when faced with women and children who are fleeing from places RAVAGED by war?” the answer would not be, “Let’s make them wait 90 (more) days to come to the United States”.  If you find a way to justify to yourself that Jesus would be on board with this executive order, you are reading the wrong bible.

I’ve never asked for my work to be shared, but I’m going to now.  If you found this post useful, please share it in as many forms of social media as you can.  You can do so with the sharing buttons that should be staring at you from the left sidebar or at the bottom of the post.

 

Monthly Wrap Up

I had plans for a post about shopping at Ikea for today, but this month is about to come to a close and it has been an absolute whirlwind!  I feel like I had a lot of solid posts and I’ve actually gained a bunch of new followers, so welcome to all of you!  You have no idea the thrill I get when I have an alert telling me I have a new follower.  It makes my day every time!  So, welcome aboard and I hope you find some fun projects, recipes and some laughter here!

So, number one crazy thing that has happened this month just happened today.  I work part time outside of the house and today… I GOT LAID OFF!  I’m sad that I’m going to be leaving the company that I’ve worked at for seven years and don’t get me started on the people that I work with.  They are my family. I’ve spent 6-8 hours a day with them everyday for the last 7 years.  I can’t think about not seeing them everyday.  For now, I want to focus on the positive side.  I will be home full time for at least a little while, which means I will be focusing big time on this here blog.  If I can manage to get this thing making me some money, maybe I won’t have to go back to work at all!  Expect lots of good content because I will have plenty of time to create it!

Number 2 crazy thing also happened today. I was featured in one of Hometalk‘s emails today and oh my, I have like a 1000% more people coming to see this blog today than ever before.  If you happen to be a blogger and you are reading this, get yourself on Hometalk.  Their features are the real deal.

I had some really fun posts this month, too!  If you are new here and haven’t made it through any of the posts, here are some of the fun things I’ve been up to:

I painted these tiles which are a precursor to a top secret project that will be on the blog in a couple of months.  Sadly, the tiles pictured above were destroyed in my attempts to find a good way to seal the tiles.  I did, however, find a way to seal the tiles.  And you can find out all about that in this post:

I also shared how I painted my favorite upholstered chair.  This is the post that was featured on Hometalk today. Thanks Hometalk!!

And I made some pretty delicious food this month, too.  If I do say so myself.  Other people said so, too.  Like my daughter and my husband.  These Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites were legendary.  As in, my family keeps asking me to make them again, so they are a legend now.

I also made some delicious and easy gluten free Peanut Butter Cookies and some gluten free Chicken Fried Rice as an early Chinese New Year celebration.

This is year is off to a crazy start! I can’t wait to see where we end up!!

 

 

My Word of the Year in Lieu of a Resolution

Happy New Year!   I can’t be the only one that equally loves putting up Christmas decorations as she does taking down Christmas decorations?  I love the season, starting with Thanksgiving and straight on through to Christmas and New Year’s, but I also enjoy the symbolic fresh start that comes with a new calendar.

That’s not to say that all of my Christmas decor is down and put away.  Neither, does it really mean that I actually *enjoy* putting it away, I just like it to *be* put away.  Clean slate.  Done and done with 2016 and welcome 2017.

My social media has been flooded with people posting their word of the year for 2017 and I thought it would be fun to play along.  I really like the idea of focusing the year on a word rather than one resolution.  I thought of a lot of words that would work.  “Less” is a good one.  “Thrive” is a great verb.  “Calm” is a great goal.  But, for me, the best word for this year is… (drum roll…)

Commit.  Why commit?  Well, the first definition of it goes something like: to carry out or perpetuate as in a crime or mistake.  I’m not referencing that, for the record.

I chose Commit because it is a verb.  I think your word of the year should be action oriented.  It is much easier to embody an action than, say an adjective or noun.  Like, I could have chosen, “Cat”, but I would probably be setting myself up for failure for the year.  Probably.  Commit is something I actually have to do, not become.  Tonight, for example, I was going to post a recipe I made this week which tasted good, but the pictures came out horrible.  I thought of my word of the year and that I wouldn’t be truly committing myself to making this blog the best it can be if I posted that recipe with those awful pictures.  So, you’re getting this instead.  Lucky you!

Commit is a word we hear a lot around sports, too.  Commit to your swing.  Commit to the play, don’t bail out.  When we don’t commit fully, bad things happen.  A hit becomes a dribbler down the first base side, a basketball player takes a shot outside of his range, a gymnast ends up on the ground instead of on her feet.  I remember my gymnastics coaches telling us to commit to the trick we were trying because if you bail half way, you will likely get hurt.  I see it on my daughters softball team and my sons basketball team.  When players don’t go 100%, it’s very easy for a fan to see it. I don’t want that to be my life.  I want to commit to the swing and if I go down swinging, so be it!

So, then, what am I committing to? I’m committing myself to this blog.  I want three posts a week and I want them to be three quality posts with good pictures, funny words and something useful for you, my faithful reader.  I’m committing myself to my part time job because, right now, it is helping with the bills around here and I actually do like it most of the time.  I like it 100% of the time when I am with my coworkers and, like 10% of the time that I am doing the actual job itself.  I’m committing to eating healthy and going to the gym.  I’m committing to making my kids lives better.   And whenever I start to stray from these goals, I will think of my word of the year, Commit, and I will put myself back on track.  Because I always have the best of intentions, I just seem to lack in follow through skills.

And, I’m not ignoring the passive form of commit, as in “I was committed to the mental ward”.  So, don’t worry, I will commit in appropriate doses and not over extend myself!

Here’s to 2017!  I’d love to hear your word of the year!

 

Linking up to:  2017 One Word Blog Hop

Gift Guide for Your Active Boy

Gift Guide for Your Active Boy

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and purchase something, I may earn a commission!***

I have a very active nine year old boy in this house and he needs to have as many opportunities for movement as we can possibly offer to him.  For the overall sanity of the family and the sake of our furniture we prefer that the running jumping and falling happens outside whenever possible.

gift-guide-for-your-active-boy

Beginner Slackline by "Goodtimes" - 48' Long and 2" Wide ... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015MJXPN2/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_CfFlybQSB5MVW:

Beginner Slackline- $33.97

Anyone familiar with a slack line?  They are super cool.  You attach the line to two separate trees and it becomes sort of a bouncy balance beam.  About 4 inches off the ground.  Don’t go crazy.  No broken bones, please.

b4Adventure NinjaLine Intro Kit with Seven Hanging Obstac... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F6CP4NE/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_lmFlybZQVWB4D:

b4Adventure NinjaLine Intro Kit – $80.88

How cool is this?  This with the slack line above is the beginnings of an American Ninja Warrior course in your own backyard!

Disney Star Wars Boys Hooded Robe 4-16 (M (7/8)) Star Wars https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7MV1SE/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_BuMmybFM1Q6GV:

Disney Star Wars Boys Hooded Robe – $37.98

When the active boys stop being active, they are usually very dirty.  Wrap them up in a super cool bathrobe after they’ve scoured the dirt off!

Hyper Toss Action Game Hyper Toss https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ASSZFKI/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_aqFlybCDVWM5T:

 

Hyper Toss Action Game – $25.99

Hyper and toss.  Enough said.  It’s like a cross between twister and Simon.

Merax 14-Feet Round Trampoline with Safety Enclosure, Bas...:

14-Feet Round Trampoline with Safety Enclosure, Basketball Hoop and Ladder – $429

Ok, new spin on the backyard trampoline.  Add a basketball hoop and suddenly you have a house full of Jordans.

Amazon.com: Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano with Full-Size Semi-Weighted Keys and Included Power Supply: Toys & Games:

88-Key Beginner Digital Piano – $209.99

For a little chill time after all that running around, a keyboard offers a lot of sensory involvement while sitting.  Finally.

Amazon.com: Xtreme Cycle Moto-Cam Red/Black: Toys & Games:

Xtreme Cycle Moto-Cam Red/Black – $72.77

Every kid loves a good remote control toy.  And this one comes with a ramp to up the fun factor.

The Wild Robot – $9.34

And when your boy is finally ready to rest his head, he’s probably going to need a good book to wind down with.

DIY Marbled Christmas Ornaments

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and purchase something, I may receive a commission!***    I’m into the whole handmade Christmas thing this year.  I made these wood burned ornaments a couple of weeks ago and this week it is some super cool DIY Marbled Christmas ornaments for the tree.  As you know, I have certain criteria for the crafts that I pick; they have to be useful as well as beautiful (at least to me!) and these tree ornaments fit both categories.  They might not be useful all year long, but they will decorate my tree for years to come!  And, of course, they offer my favorite part of crafting, the feeling you get from knowing you *made* something!

diy-marbled-christmas-ornaments

Pretty, right?  I have a vintage silver foil Christmas tree that I think these would be perfect for.

I love these because they are easy to make and it is very hard to mess them up.  You could mess them up by picking the wrong colors to marble them, but if you don’t like the colors, just rinse them before they dry and start fresh with a new color.

Materials:

Nail Polish – I used a red-ish/pink and a pretty gold nail polish.  The cheap polish is better than the quick dry, expensive stuff!

Plastic Cups or other plastic vessel that you can dip the ornament in.  It should be something you don’t mind either throwing away or reserving only for craft use.  I wouldn’t use anything that might touch food after this project.

Clear Ornaments – I used mini ornaments, but they are available in lots of different shapes and sizes.  I’ve linked to a set on Amazon.

Wooden skewer – For stirring your nail polish.

  1.  Fill your plastic cup with water.  I tried hot water and then I tried cold water.  Cold water seemed to be easier to work with.  I’ve read tutorials that say you have to use hot.  What can I say?  Cold worked for me.  Do what works for you!
  2. Before you start, figure out where you want to let your ornaments dry.  I opened my bottom cabinet doors, lined up some paper towels on the bottom and then taped the ornaments to the open cabinet so they could hang out and dry.

***Note – The next couple of steps need to be done fairly quickly.  The longer you let the polish sit, it will start to set and then it becomes difficult to work with.***

3.  Drip in a bit of each color of nail polish and swirl it around using your skewer. Mine looked like this:

nail-polish-marbling

4.  Dip your ornament into the polish/water.  In and out.  You don’t need to let it sit in the water.  Just a quick dip.  Change out your water and nail polish about every two ornaments so that the polish doesn’t get too clumpy.

5.  Allow the ornaments to dry and then hang from your favorite tree!

And that’s it!  The one downfall I have to warn you of for this craft is the smell.  I hate the smell of nail polish and it seems to be even smellier when added to water.  Maybe I should add a clothespin to the list of materials!  All in all these were fun to do.  I wouldn’t suggest for under, say 8 years old because it can get a little messy and I think I would probably cry if I spilled a cup of watery nail polish all over the kitchen.  And that is just not the Christmas spirit I’m going for!

 

Mini Meatball Subs – Best Party App Ever

Guys, I got you covered for all of your holiday cooking needs.  I have discovered the best appetizer of all time.  It’s delicious.  It’s easy.  Everyone will like it.  I present to you, Mini Meatball Subs – Best Party App Ever.  You’re welcome.

mini-meatball-subs-best-party-app-ever

I brought these to an ugly sweater party that I attended this weekend and they were a hit.  They really do taste just like a bite sized Meatball Sub.  The host of the party popped them in the oven for a few minutes when we arrived because they had gotten a little cold and they were still perfect after a quick reheat.  You cannot go wrong with these.

Mini Meatball Subs

Ingredients

2 cans Crescent Rolls

24 Mini Meatballs (from the frozen section, mini, not dinner size)

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1 1/2 – 2 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

2 cups Spaghetti Sauce

Mini muffin tin

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your muffin tin
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls without tearing along the perforations as you would if making crescent rolls so that you end up with a rectangular piece of dough.  Roll the dough lightly to reseal the perforations.  Cut the dough into small squares that will fit in your mini muffin tin, about 2 inches by 2 inches.  Don’t get out your ruler.  Just eyeball it.
  3. Line each muffin cup with the crescent dough
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and Italian Seasoning.  RESERVE SOME MOZZARELLA FOR SPRINKLING ON TOP (I wrote that in big caps because if you are like me you will put all of the mozzarella in the cream cheese and then be mad at yourself).  I used my hand mixer to mix this.
  5. Smoosh about a teaspoonful of the cheese mixture into the crescent roll lined muffin cup.
  6. Pop a meatball on top of the cheese concoction.
  7. Add some (I did about a teaspoon, but you may want more or less) of spaghetti sauce on top of the meatball.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Bake for 17 – 19 minutes until the crescent roll is golden brown. I would err on the side of too brown because nothing is worse than undercooked crescent roll.

Did I tell you they were easy??  There’s barely even any cooking involved.  A bit of mixing and then it’s just assembly, people. There are probably a bunch of delicious variations that could happen with these guys.  I was daydreaming about a Ham and Pineapple Pizza Muffin or some type of Greek pizza muffin cup with some black olives.  These would be a really nice surprise in your kids lunch box.  It’s basically a proven fact that 90% of kids like meatballs and/or pizza.   Fun fact about this recipe, I had to google what you call each individual divot in the muffin pan.  It’s muffin cup, not muffin hole as I had previously written.

 

The New Sides – Two Recipes Joining my Thanksgiving Table

Ok, we are about a week and a half out from the big day (Thanksgiving for those of you who still don’t believe it’s already half way through November).  I’m so behind, you have no idea.  My to do list includes putting down a new floor in the dining room and I am half way down with that, but I’ve done NOTHING else.  Except try two new recipes.  I do love all of the old standards, but I like to add something new to the mix every year.  It can be very hard to find recipes that will work for a large group. I have adventurous taste buds; my mother?  Not so much.  So here are the two new sides I came up with that I’m hoping will satisfy at least a few of my guests.

caramelized-baby-onions-with-bacon

These came out soo good.  I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with any thing that has been cooked in bacon fat, though.  And, they are super easy to make!

The New Sides – Caramelized Baby Onions with Bacon

1 bag frozen Baby Onions

3-4 pieces of bacon

1/4 c water

  1.  Allow baby onions to thaw
  2. Cook the bacon until crispy.  Keep the oil from cooking the bacon on the stove.  Remove the bacon from pan and pat with paper towels to remove excess grease.
  3. Add thawed baby onions to still hot bacon oil and add the water.  Allow to simmer until browned.  Stir frequently
  4. Chop the bacon and add to the onions.

crispy-oven-fried-potatoes

Crispy oven Fried Potatoes

4 Red Potatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 c of vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Slice the potatoes thinly.  (I did mine on a mandolin, a smidge thicker than a potato chip).
  3. Rinse the potatoes and pat dry
  4. Mince the garlic and add to the oil
  5. Add potatoes to a baking dish and coat with the garlicky oil
  6. Turn potatoes every 15 minutes and cook until browned and crispy

The Crispy Oven Fried Potatoes would actually make a good snack if you had some yummy dip for them, too.

Ok, I’m off to finish the second half of that floor.  Just kidding, I’m going to bed.