Saturday, December 31, 2011

Leaving behind 2011...Heading into 2012

2011 is about to go, but what a great year it was...
JBody and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary
Lil' E grew up fast in my eyes after becoming an official grade schooler (1st Grade)
The kids kept us busy with sports...wrestling, tball, baseball, soccer, flag football, basketball.
Razy started her first year of preschool without Doble and Doble moved into the big kid class.
Doble learned to ride a 2 wheel bike.
After trying for exactly a year JBody and I are pregnant!
5 Camping trips, Lil' E polar dipping in the ocean, Birthday parties and big cakes.
My little sister returned from her mission in the Philippines
2 new members born into the family (1 nephew and 1 neice)
The list could go on and on!!!

What is to come in 2012
We get to find out what our little bean is in Jan.
Baby #4 arrives in May
Lil' E is turning 8 and GETTING BAPTIZED!
Doble starts Kindergarten, Lil' E 2nd grade (oh my I am feeling old).
More camping trips this time with 6 of us instead of 5

Have a Fun and Safe New Year!!  I am looking forward to a wonderful 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Frozen Hasbrowns

I was down in our basement yesterday and noticed the buckets of potatoes we had harvest earlier this fall.  I have a tendency to forget about what is down there and decided I needed to something with the potatoes before they went bad.  I know that they can last pretty long, but I didn't want to take my chances.  Besides we have cans and cans of potatoe flakes in our pantry so I wanted to to something with them other than use them for mashed potatoes.  HASHBROWNS!  I figured there had to be a way to make your own frozen ones since you can find them in the stores.  And of course google came to the rescue. 

To make your own hashbrowns you will need:
Potatoes!!! Yep that is it.  Well you will need some equipment and water, but no preservatives.

You can buy your potatoes or harvest your own.  These are ones from our own garden, but in the past I have gotten those big bags of potatoes and then wasted them because we didn't know what to do with all of them.  Now I know!

Wash and peel your potatoes.

Cut them into large chunks.  Place them into cold water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 mins.  This will keep them from browning in the freezer.

I forgot to take a picture, but after they have boiled. Drain them and place in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Keep them in water and place in the refridgerator overnight.

Using a food processor grate or shred your potatoes. You will notice how dry they come out.  This is a good thing.  Dry potatoes are what make your crispy yummy hashbrowns.

Place in gallon ziploc freezer bags.  I put 2 pounds in each bag.  This way if I have a recipe that calls for hashbrowns they are in the same size bags you would buy from the store.  Lay them flat and get all the air out of them.  Lastly place them in your freezer.  Easy Peasy.  And Cheap too!

The "Minivan" Express

Wow it seems like forever since I have blogged.  I am starting to feel better and really wanted to share this new Tradition we started this year.

I have mentioned it many times before, but I love Pinterest.  I love that many of my friends use it too.  Thanks to my friend Crystal I was able to do this fun and memorable event with my kids.  It is called The "Minivan" express.  Yep just like the Polar Express.  Of course we don't own a train so our van became the polar express.  Here is what you will need to start this wonderful family tradition with your children next Christmas.

First you will need to print your tickets off.  I found mine over at Memories are the Scraps of Life. The actual link to the tickets can be found on her page or you can just go HERE.  I found some great gold paper at our local scrapbooking store.  You could print it off anywhere but the gold really gave it that special touch. 

While the kids were getting ready for bed with Daddy I made Hot Chocolate and Popcorn.  The kids could smell the popcorn so I had to tell them we were going to make popcorn balls the next day.  I hid their tickets under their covers for them to find when they climbed in.  Daddy saw and heard all the excitement of discovering the tickets, because I was outside in the car ready to great the kids. 

"All Aboard!"  Before entering the car they each had to show me their ticket to get it punched (just like in the movie).  Daddy came out and we were ready for the ride.  A little bit down the road the Hot Chocolate song came on and the kids discovered their Hot Cocoa and Popcorn bags.  Razy thought the ticket meant that we were going to go ride the real Polar Express.  After some explaining we told her she was in the Minivan Express and we were on our way to go see some pretty Christmas Lights.  Razy is NOT a fan of Santa.  So we had to assure her that we would not be stopping to see the big man in red.   We found some beautiful lights.  Here are a couple of our favorites. 
This was just a little house, but it had hundreds or lights. 

This next house was the whole reason we traveled 30 mins to the next town to see.  It was amazing.  I wish pictures did it justice.  We were first greeted by this giant snowman.  Then a sign that said "Drive Thru".  The owners let you drive their u shaped driveway to see the whole yard.
This is the entry to the driveway.  On the left is a carousel that spun and trees and bushes that were covered in lights.

The Nativity

Here was the landing dock for Santa and his sleigh.  You can even see Santa taking off in the distance.

And last but not least Santa in his big delivery truck.

After seeing the lights we headed home.  Of course we had to stop for an icecream treat.  When we got home we sent the kids upstairs to rebrush their teeth and get into bed.  This is where they found their last surprise.  On each of their pillows was a bell, that was left by Santa while we were gone.  They were so excited.  It was the perfect touch to the end of a wonderful night.  Just what I needed to help me get into the Christmas spirit.  

What are some of your family Chirstmas traditions?  New or Old?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Platter

Need a last minute way to make your veggie tray cute for your Thanksgiving table?  How about turn it into a turkey?  I found this cute little idea on pinterest and knew I wanted to make it.
The original was cuter but I wanted to add celery and tomatoes and didn't want as many peppers that they had on their tray.  It doesn't matter the veggies you use, it is the color that really makes the turkey.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apple Crisp Recipe

I have apples coming out of my ears right now.  Earlier during the summer months I prepared bags and bags of pear puree to turn into pear applesauce.  I have been dreading the applesauce making because I have been feeling so icky.  Well with the help of my mom and brother I went and picked baskets full of apples.  I have been slowly working on them and have made 10 quarts of pear applesauce, 5 pints of apple butter, and I still have lots more to do.  Well last night I decided to take a break and make something other than applesauce.  The kids and I found a yummy recipe and got to work.  I am excited to share it with you.  It smells delicious and tastes even better. 

Apple Crisp
10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored, and sliced. 
1 cup white sugar
1 TB all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.  Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan.  Mix the white sugar, 1 TB flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples.  Pour water evenly over all.
3.  Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together.  Crumble evenly over the apple mixture. 
4.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 mins.  (If your topping is getting too brown you can cover with aluminum foil.  I did this for the last 5 mins)
5.  Let cool for a little bit.  Serve with icecream!

Stay tuned for Pear Applesauce recipe.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shaklee Winners & Apology

Hello Readers.  I was supposed to announce this a couple of days ago, but I have a confession to make.  I have been super sick.  Getting on the computer is an effort.  So much so that I rarely check my email and I am never on the blog or facebook anymore.  I am hoping this will pass sooner rather than later.  It has been about 3 weeks now and who knows it could be another 3 weeks until I am feeling back to normal.  Forgive me for being a couple days late and bear with me in my lack of posts.  I really had plans on doing Give Thanks November this year, but it is looking like it could be later in the month that I will start it, if I do even start it.  Enough with my sad story and onto your winnings.  The following ladies have won a sample of the Shaklee Basic H Solution. 

Ladies you will be given an email to let you know that you have one.  You will have 48 hours to respond.  Congratulations!

If you are still reading than I will let you know why I have been so sick if you haven't already guessed. 

We are Expecting Baby #4

We are so excited.  I am so happy that each of the kids are so excited.  Razy inparticular cannot wait for her baby "sister" to come.  I keep telling her that there is a chance it could be a baby brother.  "Nope" she says.  "Girl babies come from mommies, and boy babies come from daddies."  Well little girl it doesn't work like that.  I am just happy that she can't wait to take care of it and be a big sister.  I know it will be a big suprise and change for her since she has been the baby for so long.  There are benefits of being the youngest and those are soon to be taken away from her.  For her sake she may want to have it be a boy.  That way, being the only princess cannot be taken away from her.  I on the other hand will love a boy or a girl.  There a things about both that I would love, but I really do think that every girl does need a sister.  Right now I can't be thinking about boy or girl.  I am just trying to get through the yucky morning sickness that seems to linger all day and into the night.  I am just thankful for an understanding husband who is okay with the fact that laundry isn't getting done (unless he does it), that the house is very messy lived in, and that dinners have become quite creative.  This will pass and I know that soon I will have forgotten how sick and tired I have been.  It is just all new to me.  This is the first time I have been sick during pregnancy.  I had other complications, but those seem so minor to the feelings I am feeling now.  You ladies who suffered or are suffering morning sickness I feel for you.  

How were your pregnancies?  Were you sick?  Tired? or did you feel the best ever in your life while pregnant?   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shaklee Basic H Review and Giveaway {multiple winners!}

Recently I was asked to review a product called Basic H2.  It is a product by the Shaklee company.  I had never heard of the product nor the company until I was sent my sample.  To be honest I laughed a little when I saw the small capsule that came in the mail.  I was expecting a larger package.  However, after reading the information on the packaging I realized that that tiny capsule would actually make 2-16oz bottles of cleaner. 

Not only did it make 2 bottles, but this super cleaner has the ability to basically clean my whole house.

According to the website it can clean...
Barbecue grill grunge, Sticky countertops, Muddy doggie prints, Greasy pans, Crayoned walls, Splattered tomato sauce on stovetops, Kitchen appliances, Bathroom fixtures, Streaks on windows, Dusty tables, Adhesive residue, Microwave mishaps, Patio furniture, Wooden decks, Chrome lighting fixtures, Spotty silverware, Spilled juice, Water-marked windshields, Shoe track marks, Grimy toilets, Remote controls, Filthy volleyballs, Dirty gym bags, Refrigerator inside and out, Steering wheels, Dusty ceiling fans, Chandeliers, Telephones, Banisters, Fingerprints on bathroom mirror, Greasy kitchen sinks, Chocolate on kitchen walls, Coffee mug rings on tabletops, Pizza dough on countertops, Dog slobber on glass doors, Veggie drawers, and more.

Not only does that pretty much cover EVERYTHING inside the house, but it has many uses outside.  I wanted to test it out and I found that they were true to their word. 

Not only did it clean the crayon off my walls, but my banister was pretty nasty and it cleaned it up good as new. 

I didn't take a picture of everything I cleaned with the cleaner, but I will say that I was happy with the product.  The very first thing I cleaned was my bathroom.  I will be honest.  When I clean my bathroom I love the fresh scent to the cleaner that I usually use.  The one thing with the Shaklee Basic H2 is that it is unscented.  Many people would probably like this feature.  Myself on the otherhand, am not used to cleaning with out a scent.  So subconciously I thought it was not cleaning.  However, it cleaned very well.  No streaks and residue left on the countertops or the toilet.  All bathroom odors were eliminated,  so that was a plus.  I will just have to get over the minor issue of no scent.  I guess that just means I can put a scentsy in their and I won't get the mixture of Autumn Harvest and Bathroom Cleaner.  That is a Bonus!

After researching a little bit I found out some pretty cool facts.

This little 16 oz bottle creates an unbelievable 48 gallons of super-safe, really powerful, all purpose cleaner.
1 bottle of Basic H2 equals the cleaning uses of 5,824 bottles of 26 oz. Windex®*
Depending on your cleaning needs the concentrate can be diluted differently.
For all-purpose cleaning:
Add 1/4 tsp. to 16 oz. of water.
For windows and mirrors:
Add 1-2 drops to 16 oz. of water.
For degreasing:
Add 1 1/2 tsp. to 16 oz. of water.
For bigger jobs, add 2 oz. to 1 gallon of water.

Not only is this a great little cleaner it is Non-toxic, Natural, and Biodegrable.

Shaklee has other products that look just as great to use as the Basic H.  If you would like to learn more about Basic H and other great Shaklee products please visit Andrea's website.

Would you like to try Basic H out for yourself?  Andrea has offered to giveaway some samples so you can make up 2 of your own bottles of Basic H. 

How to Enter:
Visit Andrea's Shaklee website and tell me what other product you would like to try.

For more entries:
1. Follow my blog
2.  Blog about this giveaway and leave a link.
3. Share on Facebook
4.  Tweet about this giveaway.

This giveaway will end November 1st, 2011 at 11pm PST.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

There is a Monster in Our Toilet

Halloween is soon approaching.  I love this time of year.  Mostly becuase I love fall and the lead into The Most Wonderful Time of Year...yes I will say it CHRISTMAS!  Razy and I had all our fall decor up 2 days before October 1st.  We have fall and Halloween stuff in the living room and dining.  I am slowly finding crafts and other fun decor.  When I came across the Toilet Monster I knew I had to do it. 

All I did was take a piece of blank newspaper print and taped it to the toilet.  Then I made a template by freehanding Mr. Monster.  I cut it out and then use that as my guide for my vinyl.  I cut him out of the vinyl and placed him in his new home.  Hopefully monsters like living in toilets because with 2 little boys I know I wouldn't want too. 

Oh So Cute Hair Accessories

Last night I stayed up pretty late playing around with ribbon.  I found some cute hair clips on pinterest and google and decided to try my luck at making them.  They didn't have instructions so I jut made it up as I went.  I think they turned out pretty cute.

Butterfly hair clip: found one similar on google and made up my own.

Cupcake Hair Clip:  The one I found on pinterest had different frosting.  I think I like the way mine turned out a little better.  It was easier to make too.

Soccer Hair Clips:  I can't wait for Razy to wear these at for her next soccer game.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  I got the idea from pinterest.

Strawberry Bows:  I didn't make these last night, but thought I would share them again.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Strawberry Bow Winner!

Thanks to all those who entered my giveaway for Razy's Birthday.  She had a wonderful day.  Here are a couple pictures of the day.
I will be posting the strawberry filling I did for this cake over on my cake blog

Now onto the winner of these cute little bows.
I have notified her.  Thanks again for playing and wishing Razy a Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to my Little Princess! {Giveaway}

Today my little girl turned 4.  I can't believe it, nor do I really want to think alot about it.  Only two more years and I will have all three kids in school.  We enjoyed her birthday at the soccer and football fields.  Tomorrow we will celebrate it with family.  Pictures to be posted tomorrow night.  For now let me share with you the giveaway that I have been promising.

Happy Birthday Razy!
Favorite Food: Cereal
Favorite Color: Pink, Purple, Blue
Favorite Song: Anything she makes up.
Favorite Movie: Tangled and Strawberry Shortcake
Best Friend: Doble
Favorite Toy: Babies and Princess Barbies
Dislikes: Potatoes.  She hates them, french fries and all.
Birthday Theme: Strawberry Shortcake

In honor of the her Birthday I am giving away a set of Strawberry Clips!
To Enter:
Mandatory: Wish Razy a Happy Birthday
Extra Entries:
1.  Follow Positively Peaches
2. Follow my cake blog Peach of Cake
Remember to leave an email address for me to contact you.

This Giveaway will End Friday September 30, 2011 at 12am PST and a winner will be announced the following day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Piggies with Ribbon Headband

This is a repost of a hair do I did in March. 
If I told you the week I have had you would understand. 

I love doing Razy's hair.  I love hairbows and flowers and headbands.  I love creating hairdos that go along with the holidays.  I love hair blogs.  I follow a couple that I really like. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me about another one that I really like. This morning as I was contimplating a hairdo for church today I found this one.  Razy got to choose the style.  I gave her three choices and she picked her favorite.  I thought I would give a little tutorial for those that wanted to try it. 

Start by making a part down her head.  I like to part Razy's hair to the side, but you can part down the middle.  Divide each side of the part into two.  The front section of each side is just temporary.  For the back section put the elastic toward the bottom.
For each back section either braid or twist braid and tie off the end with an elastic.  

Take each braid or twist braid over the head and tuck it into the elastic from the other side.  This is where you will weave your ribbon into the hair.  She says to sew it, but I couldn't find a needle so I just weaved it.
 With the remaining hair in back divide into two pigtails and add the hair from the front temporary part and the ends of the braids.
To create the bun: In each piggy make a braid or twist braid and tuck the ends into the elastic then curl and add a bow. 

So my tutorial isn't as good as the one I followed.  Head on over to The Story of a Princess and Her Hair for a better tutorial and more cute hairstyles. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Faux French Fish Tail {tutorial}

Sorry for this late post.  Kind of a busy day.  I am behind on Razy's Birthday Cake and we had lots of running around with drop offs and pick ups and football in between the cake/cupcake making.  But here I am and here is your new hair style.
1.  Begin by taking a small portion of hair at the top of the head.  Tie it off with a rubberband.

2. Divide that portion of hair in half.

3.  Take the pony and pull it through the top and out the bottom of the divided pony.

You should end with a piece of hair looking like this.

4. Take another portion of hair and tie it off with a rubberband.

5.  Repeat step 2 and 3 by pulling the through the hair.

5.  Continue steps 1-3 all the way the head.

6.  End at the back of the neck.

7.  Take a rubberband tie it around the remaining pony tail about 1-2 inches down.

8.  Pull hair through like you have been.

9.  Continue all the way down the pony tail and you are done.

I love how the pony tail looks similar to a fishtail without the tedious braiding.  A fish tail is very hard to do on Razy's hair and this way it holds better in her hair in less the time.