Saturday, January 22, 2011

Days of Play--Pancake Snowman

Photo Source
Saturday mornings at our house are "pancake" Saturdays.  Does your family do something similar?  If so, try making these cute, fun, and delicious pancakes!

Try to make some pancake snowmen!

You will need:
  • Pancake batter
  • powdered sugar
  • whipped cream
  • m&ms, raisins, crasins, etc.
To Do:
  1. Make pancakes in three various sizes: silver dollar, standard, large.
  2. Arrange pancakes on a plate in the shape of a snowman.
  3. Dust with powdered sugar.
  4. Add embellishments to make the snowman come to life.
  5. Use whipped cream to look like snowflakes/snow drifts.
  6. Eat.

Friday, January 21, 2011

12 Daytz of the New Year {DIY}

Did any of you make a resolution to go on a date with your spouse at least once a month this year? 

I hope you did.

If not, it's not too late.

Many people experience the January "blahs."  If your spouse is one of them, consider whipping up a 12 Daytz of the New Year book!  Inside this book are 12 pre-planned, creative dates you can do throughout the year.

I originally got this idea from The Dating Divas.  Their idea is Christmas themed and they have awesome scrapbooky printables you can download for free if you want to do the Christmas theme.

However, if you want a neutral theme, consider making your own book of dates! It's easy and I made mine in less than thirty minutes.  I did keep my dates to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas.

What You Need:
  • cheap brag book photo album that holds 4x6 photos
  • 12x12 scrapbook paper (4 patterned pieces and 2 coordinating colors)
  • adhesive letters and numbers
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • markers
  • shape stencils
  • ModPodge
  • Paint brush

Some of my supplies
 What You Do:

1.  Put adhesive letters on the album cover.  Modpodge and let dry.


2.  Cut 4 piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper into 6 4x6 rectangles (a total of 24 4x6 rectangles). {If you look on my "supply" picture you'll see one piece of scrapbook paper has 6, 4x6 rectangles--that's what you should cut yours out to look like.  Sorry but I forgot to take a photo of these :( }

3.  Using your shape stencils,  cut out 12 shapes to hold the month numbers.  Cut out other shapes as desired for a "layered" look.
The number 5 (for May) is attached to a black square on a white oval.
 
4.  Cut out shapes for the inside cover.  Add letters and glue ... modpodge if needed.

My inside cover. I used adhesive letters to spell out the year and then hand wrote 12 Months of Creative Dating on an oval.
 5. Put together "number" pages.  Put the month number, and a teaser on each page.  Glue.  For example, my seventh month reads: On the 7 dayt of the new year, my adventurous wife went with me ... the "date" page says "... to enjoy rides and carnies and C.F.D."

You will pretty much word your number page this way:  On the  ___ dayt of the New Year, my ____ (wife, lover ...) gave to me ....
8.  Put together date pages.  On each date page, write down a date idea.  Need some ideas, check below!

Follow the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas and have your dates end in an "e" sound.
The 10th date (October) reads: On the 10 dayt of the New Year my ghostly wife gave to me ... a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie.
9.  Put all of your dates into the photo sleeves and wa-la ... 12 pre-planned dates!
10.  Wrap up and give to your love for no reason.

See, January is already looking up and you are well on your way to keeping your date resolution!

Date ideas:

See the links?  That means I've already planned the date.  All you have to do is pull it together!

Go on a date where you learn to make SUSHI
Do a date CHEAPLY
Snuggle and watch a movie on a day that is RAINY
A date that is TICKLEY
Go fly a kite on a day that is WINDY
Play a game of chance that is DICEY
Go for a day road-trip and SIGHT SEE
A chance to practice your ABCs
Go to the beach (or lake) with your bikini-clad HOTTIE
Make sculptures that are ICY
Go to a store and buy let him pick out some new PANTIes
Have a themed dinner and MOVIE
Take a bath that is BUBBLEY
Play a game by the Christmas TREE
A date that was edible-ARTSY
Play a game of truth or dare that is NAUGHTY
Give massages that are OILY
Have childish fun and act like KIDDIES
Go to bed early and tell STORIES
Double date board game TOURNEY
Thirty minutes of KISSY-KISSY

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things I Love--Cold Stone Creamery

I'm kind of an ice cream person.

Okay, I pretty much like anything delectable and sweet but ice cream and cheesecake have always topped the list.
Photo Source

A few years ago a Cold Stone Creamery moved into our town and it was love at first bite.

Know why?  Cheesecake ice cream.

I eat mine with graham crackers and frozen raspberries.  Certainly having frozen fruit makes this a healthy dish, right?

My husband doesn't love this ice cream because he thinks it's too rich (I think my thighs agree).

Nonetheless, if we go out for ice cream, that where I want to go!

Cold Stone: like it, love it, or totally indifferent?

(P.S. If you love Cold Stone--but not their prices--head to their website and sign up for the birthday club.  You get a free ice cream on your birthday!  Can't beat that!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

{Guest Blogger} What I Think About: Putting the L.O.V.E. in Marriage

Hello y'all.  This is Sarah.

I was excited when Reagan asked me to do another guest blog because my blog is generally all about recipes, kitchen tips and crafts – meaning I rarely get to write anything about being a wife. Well, with the exception of writing about my husband’s favorite foods. :)

So today I thought I’d share with you a few tips on how to keep your marriage one of love, respect, friendship and peace.

These things are the top three best tips I’ve learned from other couples with stable and happy marriages.

#1 – Don’t Ever go to Bed Upset.
Whatever issue you’re upset/mad/cranky/annoyed about, work through it now. You don’t want to wake up feeling resentment towards your spouse and ignoring it will only make the argument worse later on.

One of my Mom’s friends once told me that when she and her husband got married, they promised that if they ever had an argument they couldn’t reach an agreement on, they would count to ten and then simultaneously say “I’m sorry.”

When my husband and I were coming back from our honeymoon, I told him about that and we agreed that the last thing we would say to each other every night before falling asleep would be “I love you.” Because, trust me, it is dang hard saying that if you’re pissed off about something.

And I can tell you that there’s never been a night where we’ve gone to sleep upset or forgotten to say “I love you.”




#2 – The Code.

You know how awesome inside jokes are between you and your man? Well, wouldn’t it be fun to have a secret code just between you two?

My parents decided early on in their marriage that they wanted a silent way to say “I love you” when the situation made it hard to verbalize it: during a meeting, at a party, across the room, etc. As a kid I thought it was really weird and embarrassing to see my parents brush their index finger lightly across the bridge of their nose at seemingly random moments.

My husband and I have a different code; we tap three times with our fingers and then the other respond with four taps. So if you ever see me drumming my fingers on the table, it’s not out of boredom.


#3 – Hug, Kiss and 10 Minutes.

During my bridal shower, someone gave me Dr. Laura’s book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.”

It’s fantastic. I read it during our post-honeymoon roadtrip to our new home in Boston.

This is the bit of advice that really stuck with me from it: When your husband gets home from work, greet him with a smile, hug and an awesome kiss. Then, let him do whatever he wants for the next 10-20 minutes.

Seriously.

This isn’t the time to bombard him with your problems/issues of the day, or talk about the kids, or the time to ask him to take out the trash, etc. If he wants to watch ESPN, let him instead of getting annoyed because you haven’t been able to so much as go to the bathroom by yourself all day. Let him play with the Wii or Xbox360.

Encourage him to go unwind and relax. Because, let’s face it, you want your home to be a place of peace and joy.

If your husband knows that he’s going to get a loving greeting and unwind time, he’s going to rush home from work and love being there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cutting It Off!

When I was a kid my parents and I had huge control issues over my hair.  Really, the fights were epic.  I like my straight hair long, free, and in my face.  They hated it.  They wanted me to tease my bangs and wear French braids like my sister; I refused. 

The result: years of pixie cuts.

You've seen my photos.  My round face in a pixie cut is NOT cute. 

Basically what I'm saying is that until I "took my hair" back in seventh grade, I hated my hair.  And I promised I would NEVER get into control issues about hair with my kids.  Short?  Fine.  Purple?  No problem.  Mohawk?  Whatever floats your boat.

The past few months M.E. has wanted to cut her long, flowing, beautiful hair.  I've been resisting.  Are you sure?  Are you sure?  Are you sure?  I'm pretty sure M.E. is tried of hearing that question! 


I kept thinking she wasn't old enough to make that kind of decision--that I needed to be the protector of her hair.

What I realized is that we were having control issues over her hair.  It is true that I can't put the hair back on once she cuts it off but it is equally true that it will grow again.  And it is true that she is a lovely, delightful little girl no matter what her hair looks like. 

I want M.E. to know that who she is on the inside matters more than what her hair looks like on the outside.

I want M.E. to know that I trust her to make decisions (and to live with the consequences).

I want M.E. to know that who she is is all right with me (even if I think she needs a tweak here and there). 

So on Saturday, M.E. cut off ten inches of perfectly healthy beautiful hair.  She loves that it is short and doesn't get into so many tangles.  She hasn't mentioned once that it was a mistake.  And even though I wanted her hair long, I'm diggin' her new look!


You know what is really ironic about this whole situation?  I'm NOT emotional about my hair.  It has been long, short, platinum, black, brown, red, orange, straight, permed, flipped, teased, ironed and mayonnaises. 

I hereby resolve to hold on to my original plan: when it comes to my kids' hair, what they want is fine with me!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Family Resolutions: It's Not Too Late

A few Sundays ago our local paper featured on article by John Rosemond on family resolutions.  It never dawned on me to make family resolutions but as I read through these, I really liked them.  There were 14, which is WAY too many for me, but I thought they were worthy of cutting out and hanging on the fridge as a reminder of what really matters when it comes to family.

Anyhow, I wanted to summarize them and share them with you. 

1.  We will keep birthdays simple.  No expensive "event" birthday parties.
2.  We will spend as much time helping our children develop good manners as we do helping our children get good grades.
3.  We will appropriately discipline our children and teach them to apologize.
4.  We will work as a team and assign chores.  We will do chores before we relax/recreate.
5.  We will insist that our children NOT have cell phones until they can pay for them.
6.  We will tell our children that being different is okay when they complain that they are the only ones who have to do chores or don't have cell phones.  (We will also point out that if everyone else has a cell phone then they can borrow one when needed).
7.  We will not serve customized meals.  Kids eat what adults eat.
8.  We will bond with our children but not in bed.
9.  We will keep our marriage first and refuse to revolve around our children.
10.  We will take care of ourselves and engage in adult-only activities.
11.  We will put children to bed early so that they will be well rested and we will have alone time (or couple time).
12.  We will eat together as a family six times a week (even if we are having take out).
13.  We will limit after school activities.
14.  We will help our children develop hobbies rather than buying "things."

So what do you think?  Any you like?  Any you dislike?

Personally I would add: We will have "technology free" nights where we read and We will have a monthly family game night.  And I honestly don't care with you bond with your kids.

Do you do family resolutions?  If so, what are they?  If not, have I tempted you?