Sometimes during the holidays, I need to go semi-homemade when I'm making goodies. The good thing about this idea is that you can dress up a homemade pie or store bought. You could use store bought pie crust, or made from scratch. Either way, I can guarantee you will get lots of "oohs and ahhhs" over these cute pies.
I like to think that I am pretty confidant in the kitchen. However when it comes to pies, I prefer the store bought route. Especially during the holidays when I am being pulled a million different directions. I just don't have the time to make a pie from scratch. Mrs. Smith's to the rescue.
-Signature Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
- Signature Deep Dish Cherry Pie with Butter Fudge Sauce
-Signature Deep Dish Peach Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
-Signature Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Icing
I wasn't able to find the Peach Pie in stores in my area but I did try the Dutch Apple, Cherry, and Pumpkin Pie. They were the perfect addition to our two different Thanksgiving feasts.
I really enjoyed how you can customize your pie with the different sauces. For the Cherry pie, we served the butter fudge sauce on the side, and anyone that wanted it could add it to their piece of pie.
Have you seen all the really cute prints on Duck Tape® these days? I have seen neon colors, animal print, and just about everything else in between. Well Duck® Brand is at it again for the holidays. They have come out with a fun new line of holiday prints.
My favorite print is the polka dots or the candy cane stripes(not pictured). I am throwing a dinner party in a few days and I am using a lot of items that have polka dots in those same colors. It would have been perfect for the party!
I think I would make up some Christmas poppers. It would make a great up-cycle craft too. Take some empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls and wrap them in the candy cane strip print tape. Leave some over hang on the ends of the roll, so you can wrap some ribbon around it. That would make a great stocking stuffer.
The possibilities for this Duck Tape® go way beyond just wrapping up your boxes. Some of the ideas, I thought of include:
- make a bow for your packages
- make gift tags
- a utensil holder
- place cards
- holiday decorations
- picture frame
- decorate your tissue box
If you head over to the Duck® brand website, they have a whole section called 'Ducktivities' which is full of really great project ideas for Duck Tape®.
You can also check out Duck Tape® on Facebook for more information about their products.
My favorite tip is how to deal with a difficult child. Let them take a time-out on the sidelines and keep snapping away with the rest of the family. Pretty soon they will want to be right in there with everyone else. I might have to try that with my stubborn one!
Back to the event. A group of 10 local bloggers met up at Phoenix City Grille for a delicious dinner and to talk about the Shutterfly Family Photo Site and Cardworthy moments. According to Shutterfly, every photo is a Cardworthy one when it best reflects your family and who you are. Here was our Cardworthy moment from the night.
|I'm in the red top with the white sweater.|
Dinner was wonderful it was nice to get some Christmas card inspiration from the other ladies. I was especially relieved that I am not the only one that has not taken their photos yet. Here's another fun photo from the night. Chocolate makes everything more inspirational. ;)
Right now Shutterfly.com is running a CardWorthy Photo contest on Facebook. All you have to do is upload your 2012 holiday card. The contest runs for four weeks and each week there is a different theme. The grand prize winner will win a dream trip for 4 to the destination of their choice! Woohoo! The first place winner will win $500 in Shutterfly.com credit. Second place gets $250 in Shutterfly.com credit and third place gets $150 in Shutterfly.com credit. You can find more information and the contest here: http://on.fb.me/SXfDVI
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway was sponsored by Shutterfly.com. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Years past I have had a Carnival Party and a Winter themed party.
This year I am putting together an Art/Color themed party. Today I thought I would share with you the invitations that I made for the party. Art parties are not a new idea, so I was really pleased to find a ready made template over at Makoodle for the invitations. I had to change a few things to accommodate a double birthday, but I love them!
You can find the template for the crayon box over on Makoodle at the link above. The font I used to add my kids name is called Pastel Crayon and it available for free download at dafont.com.
I will tell you what I did differently on the inside. The original invitations had each crayon wrapped in a label that had some of the party details on it. I was concerned that once the invitations were opened, the crayons and therefore the party details, would get lost. I decided to hot glue the crayons together and just put a label over the whole thing.
I have a big fun activity planned for their party that I can't wait to share with you. I will probably wait until after the party so I can have some pictures. I will have more posts up as I put elements of the party together, so stay tuned!
Each set features the award-winning Light Up Lip Gloss with built-in mirror and light, plus Magnetic Nail Color.
Baking season is in full swing! I'm not going to lie, it has made my mission to lead a healthier lifestyle pretty difficult. It seems that I have so many food memories associated with this time of year and it is not a lot of fun to watch everyone else partake in sweet treats while I sit on the sidelines.
Today I am going to share with you a recipe for Cranberry Orange Muffins that use Truvia® Baking Blend instead of sugar. In case you haven't heard of Truvia® Baking Blend before here are a few facts:
- Truvia® Baking Blend is a mix of Truvia® natural sweetner and sugar
- It will give a sugar-like taste and texture but has 75% fewer calories
- One 1.5 lb bag of Truvia® Baking Blend has the equivalent sweetness of 3 lbs of sugar!
Cranberry Orange Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
⅓ cup Truvia® Baking Blend
1 Tbsp orange zest
1⁄2 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup skim milk
1 1⁄2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen), chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Prepare muffin tin by greasing cups or use paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix together with a fork.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, Truvia® Baking Blend, orange zest and juice, eggs, vanilla and milk.
5. Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
6. Fold in chopped cranberries.
7. Fill each muffin cup about 3⁄4 full.
8. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean (20–25 minutes).
9. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
Now is the perfect time of year to buy cranberries. I have seen some great deals.
What is your favorite holiday recipe that you could recreate with Truvia® Baking Blend? Leave it in the comments, I would love to check it out!
You can see my kids were both very engaged in the game. They both have a 3DS, but more often than not, one will stop playing so they can watch their sibling play.
My favorite part of the game is that there were clearly defined objectives for each baby. One baby might need a bath, a bottle, and practice walking. The next baby might need a diaper change, a nap, and learn to play the xylophone. There was a wide variety of tasks to complete and I can see this game having a long play life. The objectives insure that the kids don't get bored or that they don't know 'what to do' with their babies.
One of the favorite activities to do with the baby was peek-a-boo. You start by covering the camera on the front of the 3DS, then when the baby calls you, you remove your hand and say 'Boo' into the microphone. I really felt like the game utilizes all the features of the 3DS, which is much appreciated in a game.
Another thing I liked about the game is that the tasks were all very realistic. To give a bath, first you had to set the water to the correct temperature. Changing a diaper involved multiple steps like opening the diaper, cleaning the baby, throwing away the old diaper, applying diaper cream if necessary, and putting a new diaper on. I felt like the kids were getting a better understanding of what it takes to care for a baby.
|Interacting with Baby Lucie|
There is a fair amount of reading required for the game, so I would recommend this game for children with reading skills. My 4, almost 5 year old liked to play the game but she needed someone with her to explain what to do. There is also a section where you teach the baby some words, so you need to be able to read the words and say them into the microphone.
Overall we liked the game very much and I would recommend it for your reading children. Any little girls that love to play mommy, should really love Imagine Babyz 3D. The game is available for purchase from Amazon: Imagine Babyz 3D.
Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this blog post. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.
There are some really great ideas on it. The most exciting part is that for select items in the guide, I will be doing some reviews and giveaways too! I'm trying to help you out with your shopping this year!
You can find the gift guide by clicking on the button above. I will also have this button in my sidebar, so you can get to the Gift Guide anytime you want.
Later today, I will have my first gift guide review up. Make sure you stop back by and check it out!
Back in May 2004, I was headed back from my honeymoon with my new husband. We went on an Alaskan cruise and had to fly from Vancouver back home to Arizona. As we made our way through customs I noticed there was a lot of buzz among people. Everyone was whispering excitedly about something. I am as curious as they come, so I made a great effort to find out what was going on. It was then, that I saw him. It was Michael Vartan, the hunk from Alias and former beau of Jennifer Garner. The show Alias was still on, and he was a big celebrity. No one seemed to be approaching him, just lots of buzz about him.
Well, I am not ashamed to say that I followed him at a respectful distance until he went into a little gift shop. The gift shop was empty and so I took my chance to pounce and get a picture with him.
I saw this awesome trailer for a movie "Connecting Flights." It made me laugh pretty hard, I highly recommend you watch it. I love the tagline, "Sometimes you fall in love and sometimes you run into it." #connectingflights
Seriously, how funny is that Sears commercial.I totally wish it was a movie, they had me going the first time I watched it.
This is a sponsored post, I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.
Well the time has come! I have three different things to share with you. The first is a template that will work for any party hat. I deconstructed a store bought hat and created it digitally. You can download a PDF version or an SVG version for those with digital cutting machines.
Download: Party Hat PDF Template
Download: Party Hat SVG
The hats are very simple to put together, you simply cut them out and make the hat into a cone. The pattern has a way to secure itself with a tab, so you don't even need to tape or glue the hat together.
Once you have made all your party hats you can cut out some pink Foofa flowers from this Foofa Flower Template that I have made available.
Here is a preview of what the flower template looks like. The real Foofa Flower Template does not have the big watermark.
Here is what the whole table looked like. Foofa and Brobee hats, plus DJ Lance glasses and fun Yo Gabba Gabba favor bags for all the guests.
All of these toys would be great for the kids in your life. They are fun and educational. You will definitely earn cool points with your kids if they found these in their stocking this year!
One winner will take home:
- a LeapPad2 Explorer Learning Tablet ($99.99)
- a Leapster GS Explorer Learning System ($69.99)
- Brave Game Cartridge - compatible with both Leappad2 and GS ($24.99)
- Leap School Math - compatible with both Leappad2 and GS (24.99)
- Tag Reading System ($39.99)
- Human Body Discovery Pack for Tag Reader ($19.99)
- Lalaloopsy Sugar Cookie Template - Click the link to download from Google.
- Tote Bag: I made one out of yellow felt using this tutorial as a rough guide
- Bright Pink felt - hair
- Light pink felt - cheeks
- Peach/skin tone felt
- Black felt
- 1" - 1 1/4" black buttons
- 1/8" black ribbon - eyelashes
- Black Permanent marker or fabric marker
- Fabric glue such as Fabri-tac. You could also use hot glue, but I don't know if you would be able to launder it then.
- Print the Lalaloopsy Sugar Cookie Template and trace and cut out all the pieces on the correct color felt
- Using the black marker trace all the way around the outside of the hair piece. Using the template as a guide, draw on the curl marks as well. I drew the curl lines on with white chalk the first time, to give myself a guide. Depending on your confidence level, you could do it either way.
- Construct the hair bow by wrapping the thin strip of black felt around the center of the rounded rectangle. The ribbon should scrunch up in the center to give the bow shape. Secure with glue.
- Take the button eyes and glue some ribbon in the holes. You could sew them onto the felt, but I felt like glue was an easier option. Cut some short pieces of the 1/8" ribbon and glue to the back of the buttons for eye lashes.
- Starting with the face, assemble the face on the tote bag. Glue each piece down with fabri-tac.
- Draw the mouth on with a black marker.
My daughter really loved her tote bag! At first I was worried it was too big, but she did a pretty good job of filling it up with candy on Halloween!
I also have to share another picture of my daughter in her costume, just because it's cute! For most of her Halloween festivities, we ditched the wig and hair sprayed her hair pink instead. That wig was a major league pain.
That is why I was so excited to give Kidfresh frozen meals #KFHealthyKids a try. They are all natural with no artificial flavors or preservatives. There are several different varieties for kid with all different preferences. The best news for me is that they also have some hidden vegetable purees hidden in there. My first grader is very opposed to anything vegetable related but he really liked the Wagon Wheels Mac and Cheese. You can see my whole shopping experience at Safeway in my Google + album.
Back to the school pick-up situation. I picked up the Muy Cheesy Quesadillas so they would be easy to eat in the car. I took them home and was happy to find them individually wrapped. That makes it perfect for smaller appetites or for a snack instead of a meal. My busy preschooler ate both of them with no problem for her lunch.
I snuck a bite of the quesadillas from her and I was very pleased with the taste. I was specifically trying to detect the carrot puree inside and I didn't taste it. I think next time I'll have my son give it a try. I think carrot puree in the quesadillas might have to be my newest 'mom trick.'
I snapped a quick picture before we went to get brother from school. I was trying to get some smiles, but I should have known better. It is not a good idea to get in the way of a hungry preschooler after she has spent the morning playing and learning. Ha, ha, ha. She just devoured those things.
I will be keeping some Kidfresh meals on hand to have for a quick meal or snack. They are great go-to meal when you are in a hurry. I have some more great news! If you go and visit the Kidfresh page on Facebook, you can get a coupon for $1/off an entree. It is really easy to do and the coupon gets emailed to you. Kidfresh meals are available in the freezer section at Safeway stores.
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Kidfresh #CBias #SocialFabric #KFHealthyKids
Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats6 cups Rice Krispies
1.5 Tbsp margarine(not diet margarine)
4 cups Pumpkin Spice marshmallows. - In the holiday baking section at Walmart Regular marshmallows would be fine too.
1/2 cup Pumpkin Spice Jello pudding mix - also in the holiday baking section. You can use the whole package of the pudding if you want some extra pumpkin flavor.
Directions: Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir occasionally until completely melted. Stir-in the jello pudding powder after the marshmallows have melted completely. Incorporate the Rice Krispies cereal. Turn out into a well greased pan.
Have you ever tried the pumpkin spice Jell-o? What do you make with it?
That is why I jumped at the chance to interview a child development expert on giving developmentally appropriate gifts. Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos. She had some really great information on why it's important to buy developmentally appropriate gifts as well as some great gift recommendations. She works on product development for LeapFrog and she really knows her stuff.
The video is only about 3 minutes, and I highly recommend you watch it. I really learned a lot!