Potato Stamps

13 Jan

PotatoStamping

One of FabDaughter’s favorite things to do is paint. I try to mix it up every once in a while by using different types of things to paint with, new paints, stamps, etc. I had an extra potato that I wasn’t going to use, so this morning I made heart stamps and both FabDaughter and I went to town stamping away.

Directions:

  1. Cut your potato into chunks sized for toddler hands.
  2. Use a sharpie or pen to draw the shape you want to stamp onto the potato.
  3. Lightly trace over your pen with the tip of a paring knife. Then carve out about a half-inch around your design.
  4. Dip stamp into paint and stamp away.
FabDaughter is potato stamping away.  (She's wearing my old art smock from the 80s!)

FabDaughter is potato stamping away. (She’s wearing my old art smock from the 80s!)

Advertisements

A New Milestone (First Day of School Printables)

7 Jan
First Day of Preschool

First Day of Preschool

FabDaughter had her first day of preschool today and it couldn’t have gone better. She seemed a bit timid while walking in but it didn’t take too long for her to warm up. We hadn’t even been there for 10 minutes when she looked up at me and said “You can go to work now Mom.” Sniff. Sniff. I can’t believe that my sweet baby angel is a preschooler!

I’ve seen other Moms create signs for their kids to hold for their first day of school picture and I wanted to make one for FabDaughter. After I finished my design, I printed it out on standard copy paper and glued it to a piece of foam board to make it easy for FabDaughter to hold. If you click on the links below, you can download PDF versions of a similar sign for grades preschool through fifth. Enjoy:-)

Boy – First Day of School Printable Sign
Girl – First Day of School Printable Sign

Family vacation and the start of “I wish I could buy that.”

1 Jan

Vacation

A few weeks ago we went on a cruise, Royal Caribbean’s The Oasis of the Seas. It was FabDaughter’s first big vacation! The ship left from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and traveled to Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico. My parents, six of my aunts and uncles, my mom’s best friend and her husband also traveled with us. It was wonderful to spend 8 whole days together in paradise. We had an amazing time! FabDaughter experienced some new firsts including:

  • 1st airplane ride
  • 1st cruise
  • 1st time playing in the sand on the beach
  • 1st swim in the ocean
  • 1st time out of the country

The Oasis of the Seas was perfect for kids and families. The ship has multiple pools but one area is just for kids and has a shallow pool (3.5 ft deep), splash areas with water guns, a heated wading pool, a hot tub and a circular pool with a current. We spent the majority of our pool time in the kids area.

Kids Pool Area

Kids Pool Area

Besides swimming, I think FabDaughter’s favorite part of the vacation was the DreamWorks Experience (R) which included meet and greets and character dining with characters from Madagascar, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. She was ecstatic every time we came across one of her favorite characters. One of my favorite parts of the vacation was the DreamWorks character breakfast. There was music, dancing and each character came around to every table to take pictures. FabDaughter was PUMPED! So were Mommy, Daddy, Granny and Papa:-)

DreamWorks Characters

Something pretty funny happened while we were shopping in Jamaica. FabDaughter picked up a maraca type shaker in one of the stores and was having a blast shaking it. The sales lady wasted no time in coming over and trying to sell it to us. Then FabDaughter looked up at us with the cutest face and said “I wish I could take this home.” We were all laughing at how cute it was so we had to get it for her. I think after we bought it, something clicked in her smart little brain. Just the very next day FabDaughter took us into the toy store on the ship (yup, they have a toy store too) and proceeded to pick up every little toy, smile, look up at us and say “I wish I could buy that.” It didn’t work that time but it was still pretty funny. Now, every time she sees something she likes whether it’s a commercial or we are in a store she says “I wish I could buy that.” She just saw me writing this blog and the pictures and said “I wish I could go on a cruise again with Granny, Papa and Alex (the lion from Madagascar).”

FabDaughter & her new maraca

FabDaughter & her new maraca

Hot Chocolate & Chocolate Dipped Candy Canes

1 Dec

I love drinking hot chocolate and I also love dipping things in chocolate:-)  I combined two of my favorite things to make a cute treat for friends.

Warmest Wishes

Items Needed

  • Milk chocolate Merckens wafers
  • White chocolate Merckens wafers
  • Candy canes
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Candy bags
  • Ribbon
  • Labels

Directions

Melt ½ cup of Merckens milk chocolate wafers in the microwave.  I use Wilton Stay Warm Candy Meting bowls to melt my chocolate in, but you can use disposable candy melting bowls or even a glass bowl.  Microwave the wafers in 30-45 second intervals at a reduced power level (I use power level 3), stirring after each time, until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and smooth.

Dip candy canes into the melted chocolate and then let dry on waxed paper.  (Optional step:  sprinkle colored sprinkles, sanding sugar, etc. over top the melted chocolate instead of drizzling melted white chocolate overtop the chocolate.)

After the chocolate dries, melt Merckens white chocolate wafers in the microwave.  You can either transfer melted chocolate to a squeeze bottle (I use Make’ n Mold decorating bottles) or use a spoon to drizzle melted white chocolate over top of the chocolate candy canes.

Cady Canes

Package one candy cane with one bag of hot chocolate in a large candy bag, tie with a ribbon and then add the Warmest Wishes label below.

Warmest Wishes Hot Chocolate Label

Potty Training Reward Chart

9 Sep

FabDaughter first peed in the potty when she was 18 months old.  The very next night she went #2 in the potty.  Score! I didn’t know what all the hype was since this potty training thing was turning out to be super easy! (According to my mom, I was potty trained before I was two so of course its only natural that FabDaughter would be a chip off the old block.)   I thought either A) I am a potty training master of the universe or B) my daughter is a genius or C) perhaps both.  She continued on this way for a few more days and then all of a sudden refused to go.  Uh oh…FabDaughter = 1, FabMommy = 0.  I am definitely not the potty training master of the universe.  Potty training has been going much better since then and she has been peeing in the potty 100% for quite some time now.  #2 in the potty is hit or miss.

We had been using a potty chart made by my friend, The Girl.  You can find it here.  It is super cute and she has both boy and girl versions too!  After FabDaughter was going through a particularly stubborn streak regarding going potty, I decided to use The Girl’s potty chart idea and personalize it for FabDaughter.  Everytime she went potty, she would get a jellybean AND a sticker.  When she filled up her chart she would get an extra prize like a lollipop.  Now, she only gets a sticker for #2.

Here is the generic girl version if you would like to download it.

Here is the generic boy version.

Here is one of FabDaughter’s charts all filled up!

Happy potty training!

Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies

8 Sep

I’ve made these cookies a few times and they are delicious!  This recipe is adapted from The Great American Cookie Cookbook.  I didn’t have enough Kahula to make the icing so I used Grand Marnier.  I’ve included both the original icing ingredients as well as my variation using Grand Marnier.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 Crisco stick
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coffee flavor liqueur (I use Kahula)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups Quaker oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup raisins

Original Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp of coffee flavor liqueur
  • 1 tsp cold coffee

Variation Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp cold coffee
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Grand Marnier

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Place sheets of wax paper on countertop for cooling cookies.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Crisco, brown sugar & granulated sugar.  Mix at medium speed until well blended.  Beat in egg, Kahula and vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and nutmeg.  Add gradually to creamed mixture at low-speed.
  4. Stir in oats and raisins.
  5. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 375F for 9 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cool on baking sheet and then transfer to wax paper to cool completely.
  7. Once all cookies have been baked and cooled, combine confectioners’ sugar, Grand Marnier (or Kahula) and coffee in a medium-sized bowl.  Add additional liquid as needed to thin out icing or add additional confectioners’ sugar as needed to thicken up icing.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle on top of cookies.  (I transferred the icing to my Make ‘n Mold squeeze bottle for drizzling.)

Chubby Hubby Buckeye Truffles

8 Sep

Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream is one of my all time favorite flavors so when I stumbled across this post at Six Sisters’ Stuff I knew I had to try to make their Chubby Hubby Buckeye Truffles!  Truffles are easy to make.  The trick to truffles are to cool them in the fridge after each step.  Sometimes when I make truffles, I cool them overnight before dipping them in chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups of pretzel pieces
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter (I use reduced fat Jif) plus about 1/4 cup for melting and drizzling
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbsps of light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp Crisco

Directions:

  1. Crush your pretzels.  You can put them into a ziplock sandwich bag and pound with a mallet or you can crush them in the food processor.
  2. Combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt into a medium-sized bowl.  Use hand mixer on low/medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add crushed pretzels to the peanut butter mixture and mix on low until well blended.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and mix again until well blended.
  5. Put bowl into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes or so.
  6. Line baking sheet with wax paper.  Scoop out mixture (I used a teaspoon for smaller sized truffles), roll into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Put cookie sheet into fridge and chill for 30 minutes or longer.
  8. When you are ready to dip the truffles, melt the chocolate chips and Crisco in the microwave.  I use Wilton Stay Warm Candy Meting bowls to melt chocolate in the microwave.  You can also use a plastic or glass bowl.  Melt in 30 second intervals on power level 4, stirring thoroughly after each interval, until the chocolate is smooth.
  9. Using a chocolate dipping fork, dip each ball one at a time into the melted chocolate and completely coat with chocolate.  Let any extra chocolate drip off and then transfer coated truffle to the cookie sheet.
  10. Put cookie sheet into fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
  11. Melt 1/4 cup peanut butter in a small plastic container in 30 second intervals on power level 4, stirring thoroughly after each interval, until the peanut butter is at a liquid consistency.  Drizzle over truffles.  (I transferred the melted peanut butter into my Make ‘n Mold squeeze bottle for drizzling.)