Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Late Night Indulgence

I've been talking all this mess about how I'm going to loss 20lbs. by May...yeah right!  I had the best frozen pie dessert, by Marie Callender's,  I could have ever imagined.  I've fallen in love, and it's not with another man.   Here's how it happened.

My husband and I have a late night tradition. After the kiddos are tucked quietly in their beds and enjoying a peaceful slumber, we bake ourselves a batch of Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies with walnuts....ummm, uummm, good!  Then we pour ourselves a giant cup of milk with ice and sit down with a good movie.  It's sneaky, and I LOVE it!  We've done this at least once a month for years.  Well, I stopped by our local HEB tonight to grab a package of our usual indulgence and there was a sign posted where the cookies should have been, "To Our Valued Customers:  Many of our products are not in stores this week...blah blah blah...sorry for your inconvenience."  My reaction..."WHAT!!!!! I just drove all the fricken way over here, on the coldest night this year, FREEZING my hieny off in FLIP FLOPS and NO COOKIES!!!"  As you can probably imagine, I was quite livid!  However, I gathered myself together and walked over to the freezer section to find a suitable alternative.  Low and behold...Marie Callendar's Dutch Apple Pie... I grabbed one and headed for the checkout lines.  Once home, I began reading the directions for preparation and noticed that this wasn't your usual frozen pie.  It reads something like this:  Bake pie for 50 minutes pull pie out and sprinkle topping onto pie and bake for another 10-15 minutes, pie will be perfectly golden brown.  I'm like...I gotta see this!  Most frozen dutch apple pies aren't perfectly golden brown when they are done.  Anyhoo, I must say this package is not lying.  The pie was so beautiful when it was done that I didn't want to cut it.  Here's the thing though, I made a few alterations.  I added some chopped walnuts to the crumb topping, baked it for the 15 minutes and then added a caramel topping to that.  Can you say OMG....That thang was GOOD!  I just want to say "Thank You Marie Callender for being there when we really needed you and that I admire you in all your true awesomness!" 

Tollhouse who???  Our new late night indulgence is in the freezer section and maybe I'll just shoot for losing 10lbs. before May:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making Mobiles

My husband and I were looking around for a mobile to hang for our infant son and was blown away at the prices on some of those things.  We were kind of kidding at first when we said, "I could make that" but the reality was we actually could. 

I'd been a Parent Educator for the past four years and one of the activities that I did with my parents was teaching them how to make a mobile.  Unfortunately, most of my clients didn't really put a lot of effort into the project and the mobiles came out looking like second grade art class projects.  I guess that's why the idea of making a homemade mobile didn't really appeal to me at first.

After considering the prices of the mobiles that I liked for about, oohhhh...10 minutes...I decided that it would be well worth the effort to make my own.  The mobile I really liked was this BEAUTIFUL butterfly mobile on one of my favorite Montessori sites Michael Olaf.com, you can go here to see it.  I was feeling optimistic so I decided to give it a try.  Of course it wouldn't look anything like that one, but it would have floating butterflies...that was the goal anyway:)

Here's how to make one!

You will need:

~4 sheets of heavy cardstock (color doesn't matter)
~4 Butterfly coloring sheets (check out thebutterflysite.com http://www.thebutterflysite.com/butterfly-coloring-pages.shtml)
~2 6" dowels or tongue depressors
~String or yarn
~Glue stick
~Colored pencils

Here's what to do:

I enjoy using colored pencils because it's easier when coloring in small, intricate places, such as the little circles on a butterfly.  I choose 2 big butterflies and 2 small butterflies to give the mobile balance.  Print out your butterflies on the cardstock.  Color in your butterflies, bright, vivid colors are best.  Cut them out, be really careful around the antennas.  After you have all four of your butterflies colored in you can take them to have the laminated for long-term use (this step is optional).  Cut a thin strip of cardstock about 1cm wide and then cut that strip into (4) 1 1/2" long pieces (these will be the handles on the back of the butterflies).  Buckle the cardstock strips in the middle and rub the ends across your gluestick, then place it onto the back of the butterfly...make sure only the ends are glued and the middle of the strip stand up off the butterfly itself.  While that dries, go ahead and take your 2 dowels or tongue depressors and put them together creating a cross or an X.  Take the rubberband and tie it around the middle of the two sticks to hold them together.  Next take your string or yarn and cut four pieces at two different lenghts, for example 2 4" strings and 2 6" strings.  Next, either tie it around or glue it to the four ends of the sticks (I prefer gluing).  Now you will need to tie the other end of each string to a butterfly...please be careful not to pull of the little handles that you've made.  All you need now is a long piece of string to hang the mobile from wherever you want in the house.  You're Done!

Mobile can be used for all different ages of children, hang them as decoration in there rooms or in our case, or homeschool classroom.  Children love looking at mobiles!  For the infant, it's a great source of visual stimulation and tracking activity.  Have Fun!

PS. I'll be putting up some pics of ours soon...my computer is acting up:)     

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Date Night

OMG...you should have seen us last night, we were definitely cute!  It's been a long, long, long time since we've had a date worth writing anything about, but last night it finally happened.  I have been on this free movie screening kick for over a month now and I can't see myself getting tired of it no time soon.  Usually a girlfriend goes with me to the movies since the baby is so young, hubby stays home with him.  However, neither of my very few girlfriends will go to a scary movie.  I usually don't either but hey...it's FREE!  Well I got passes for Shutter Island and thought it was a horror film (didn't take the time to read the poster), plus the previews make it seem like a horror film so I just assumed.  Long story short, my husband said he'd go. 

After he got off work he called me to see if I was ready to go and of course I wasn't...that's just my thing.  Anyhoo, when he got home we both got all jazzed up.  I even put on my Vicky Secret specials and he put lotion on his elbows...It was a BIG deal!  After we were both looking and smelling good we intrusted our infant into the hands of our 18 year old son and stepped out on faith.  I was glad we did, he did a great job. 

It was magical, listening to Michael Jackson and my husband sing Pretty Young Thing on the way to the theatre.  We even held hands at one point during the drive there.  Since we were attending a screening, we had to stand in line for about an hour, but we talked and laughed the whole time. 

The movie was awesome!  Completely unexpected, I found myself drawn into the plot from the moment it began.  I was constantly thinking about what was going on and why certain things were happening.  In the end I was completely surprised and what I thought was going on wasn't, even though I had thought it at one point...the movie never lets on until the very end and I LOVE that.  The movie come out on February 19, 2010 and I highly recommend seeing it.  If you enjoyed The Book of Eli, you will absolutely love this movie. 

Hubby and I shared popcorn and a soda, held hands during the movie and gave each other "the glance" all night.  Afterwards, we drove home to more Michael Jackson but this time we were both singing and getting wild with it. It felt like a high school date that you don't want to end.  As for my Vicky Specials, they took center stage after a few parenting chores...I never knew I could get a baby to sleep so fast:)  I LOVE date nights!!!!