3.08.2012

The MOST Delicious Sandwich You Will Ever Eat!

Brace yourself...

I'm about to tell you about the best sandwich you will ever eat.

Brie, apples, and bacon.  All piled up in a mountain of deliciousness (umm is that actually a word??)

I found this recipe on Trader Joe's website and decided to make it for lunch one day.

And then my life changed....

I fell in love with this sandwich.  My husband did too.  He even said it would be part of his last meal (along with steak and Chipotle, obviously).

What you need:

-Some kind of thick and delicious bread.  I have tried many kinds but this is NOT a regular slice of bread kind of sandwich.  It needs to be able to support all of the layers of deliciousness! Trader Joe's suggests the Italian country loaf or panini roll.

-Butter (however much you want on your panini).

-1 Fuji apple cut in thin(ish) slices

-A few slices of brie cheese-I am usually not successful in getting actual slices so I just smear it on.



-4 strips of applewood smoked bacon (cooked)




1) Butter your bread

2) Place/smear the brie onto the bottom slice of bread

3) Alternate slices of bacon and apple...I usually do 2 layers of apple and 1-2 layers of bacon.

4) Place your panini in a press or in a panini pan and cook until it looks good and ready-aka-browned on both sides with melty cheese.


5) Enjoy :)

Oh and check out Trader Joe's website for a much better description and picture!


3.05.2012

Are You Sure You Want Kids?


I found this article online today and I can't stop laughing. All you moms out there will surely relate to at least a few of these! Enjoy!


11 Step Program for Those Thinking of Having Kids

Maybe you’ve already read this?  Maybe not?  We figured in case you didn’t see it and needed a good laugh – we thought we’d share it with you.  A friend of mine sent this 11 step program to me today on Facebook.  Honestly, I don’t know who wrote it but it had me laughing out loud.  Sometimes that is all you can do as a parent! 
11 Step Program for Those Thinking of Having Kids
Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.
Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.
Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out…
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this – all morning.
Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.
Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.
Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say ‘it’s all worth it!’ Share it with your friends, both those who do and don’t have kids. I guarantee they’ll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you’ll need when you become a parent!
What lesson would you add?

3.03.2012

Contact Paper Fun!

Contact Paper Fun! 

Today my nephew had lots of fun with this fast easy idea. I used painters tape to attach the contact paper to the wall. I then cut scrap paper and foam squares into different shapes and we had a ton of fun sticking the paper (and anything else we could find) to the wall! 

It took him a few minutes to understand why the entire wall wasn't sticky :) 






2.26.2012

These no bake peanut butter balls are ALL over Pinterest right now. After drooling over them for a few weeks I had to dive in and try them out! Needless to say, in three days, I've made five batches! My hubby loves them and they are a super easy fast snack for people on the go!

For the past week, I have been altering the recipe and using various nut butters and other ingredients. The almond butter tastes very strong so I settled with half almond butter and half peanut butter. I also used dark chocolate chips. All in all, my suggestion is to stick with what works- and Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots has this recipe down to a science!

Here are a few tips and tricks before you get started
1. Double the recipe!
2. Wet your hands when rolling these into balls (keeps the pb from sticking to you)
3. They go great with coffee in the morning
3. Did I say double the recipe? :)



No-Bake Energy Bites 
(makes 18-20 bites)

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!


2.17.2012

Easy Kid Closet Dividers

Who doesn't love to organize? And better yet... who doesn't love a super fast and easy way to organize?! The kids can even help with this project!

Here is a tutorial on how to create closet organizers with very few steps and very little clean up!

Materials: foam sheets, a cd, and number stickers 

1. Gather your materials

2. Trace out your circle.  

3. Cut out the shape. I just guessed on the size of the middle circle. I used a votive candle holder and pressed it in the center. It left a slight dent in the foam and didn't get any marker on it! 

3. Stick stickers in place (or use your circuit to cut out numbers and glue them in place). You could also let the older kiddos decorate these now that you've cut them out! 

4. Start organizing those closets! 


2.15.2012

DIY Magnetic Board

How to make your own magnetic board:
*Cute and easy!

What you need:
-A cookie sheet
-Fabric
-Hot glue

1) Get a cookie sheet.  Make sure your cookie sheet is magnetic!!  

2) Choose a fabric you like and cut it so each side is about 2-3 inches longer than your cookie sheet.



3) Stretch the fabric tightly across the cookie sheet.  
4) Turn the cookie sheet over (so you're looking at the back) and hot glue the top and the bottom to hold the fabric in place.
4) Tightly fold the corners of the fabric.
5) Hot glue the corners and the sides of the fabric.


6) Turn it over and admire your adorable magnetic board!  I also added a couple fabric flowers I made (I'll share a tutorial for those another day).


*I use my magnetic board in my craft area.

Enjoy!

2.08.2012

The Truth About Etching Glass

I'm a total sucker for Pinterest. I see ideas and I'm immediatly convinced I can make just about anything one way or another. I saw a pin the other day from a glass etching blog tutorial, read the instructions, and told Elaine we needed to test it out asap! It was this glass baking dish with the couples last name! I have a ton of weddings to attend this summer and thought...what bride doesn't LOVE seeing her new last name plastered on everything she owns?!


Here is the TRUTH about etching glass... let's just say we like learning the hard way!

Let's start the tutorial with what NOT to do...
1. Do NOT start with your favorite glassware items. PLEASE I BEG OF YOU... DO A TEST RUN FIRST!
2. Do NOT get lazy and try to skip the step where you double up the contact paper
3. Do NOT rush the process and leave the cream on for less than 10 minutes
4. Do NOT leave the cream on for too long either...it will eat through the contact paper and makes your project look nasty
5. I would NOT buy expensive vinyl for your first go round on this like some tutorials suggest. I used contact paper and ended up throwing a lot of scraps away because I didn't like the size, shape, etc.
6. Do NOT use a super sticky cutting pad on the cricut. You will get a headache trying to peel the contact paper off!

If you're like me and you hate reading directions... this photo is for you!


If you want to know how to do it the right way (the first time)... these are the directions for you!


How to Etch Glass
NOT LIKE THIS!!! 
1. Place the contact paper facing up on the cutter and cut your image out using the cricut-



2. Peel off your letters and leave the negative on the cutting board.



 3. Take another sheet of contact paper and slowly place it overtop the negative of your image (make sure not to pull the whole thing off, but rather adhere the one side and slide it off as you stick in onto the image to prevent lots of bubbles).



4. Pull both layers off the cutting board.



5. Peel the back layer of the contact paper off (again slowly) as you position it onto your glassware. It should stick to your surface.



6. Now remove the top layer of contact paper. Do this process carefully as to not rip the bottom layer. I noticed that the small pieces inside the letters a, e, and o got stuck on the top layer of contact paper. As you come to these letters, just use your fingernail to pull them off and place them back where they need to be. Smooth out the bubbles away from the edges. 



7. Use a plastic knife to spread on the etching cream. I used Armour Etch from Michaels. Let sit for 10 minutes (watch out for drips). 



8.  Rinse with water and peel off contact paper. Smile because you are awesome at etching! 

9. Go buy more glassware and repeat!


And there you have it folks! The do's and don'ts of glass etching. Also, a super big thank you to Make It Love It.com for the inspiration to etch like every single piece of glass in my home!