Friday, November 29, 2013

Extra Home Depot Kids Workshop this month (tomorrow)

I've told you about the FREE Home Depot Kids Workshops before, they are the 1st Saturday of the month from 9am-12:00.  However this month for the holidays there is an extra workshop and it's tomorrow!  There will still be a regular workshop next week too.

Tomorrow, Saturday November 30th the project is a Small Toolbox, which they say is suitable for gifting.  This may be true if someone in our family is desperate for a pink and purple painted toolbox.  Ha!


Next saturday, Saturday December 7th the project is a Wooden Tic-Tac-Toe game board.  Very cool.


You can register for space at the workshops online, although my Home Depot doesn't seem to mind if you just show up.  Remember that if it's your first time your child also gets a free orange Home Depot apron!  And all participants get a completion pin and certificate.  Sometimes they give other goodies away too.  We've collected flashlights, water bottles, snow cones, popcorn and candy to name a few.  

So grab the kids and create!  See you there.

Fisher Price (Black) Friday

Sorry, no vintage Fisher Price toys today. I'm off Black Friday shopping! :)

See you next week.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

When the turkey dinner is eaten and the dishes are washed it's time to head to the backyard for some Flag-Football.  We've got the cousins, aunts and uncles in two teams.

The blue team.

And the orange team.

They played rough.

But were all smiles the whole time.  And now they're ready for some pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

For a more traditional Thanksgiving photo check out last year's tribute to the pilgrims.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Topiary Tree Craft


I've got another Christmas decorating craft for you.  This year my friend had her 2nd Annual Ladies Craft Night and we made these lovely Christmas Mossy Topiary Trees.  They could be used year round but add a little Christmas ribbon or ornament and you're all set for the holiday season!

On a scale of 1-10 for craft difficulty I give this a 3.  It was really quite easy and only took about an hour (and that included lots of talking, eating and laughing).



Here's what you'll need create the tree: 1. Cone shaped styrofoam 2. Small square of styrofoam to fit into your pot 3. Small pot 4. Loose moss or sheets of moss 5. Ribbon or ornament to embellish with 6. Hot glue gun & glue sticks 7. Stick to be the tree trunk, can be from your backyard or from a craft package (ours was from Hobby Lobby).  

My supplies cost me $13.12 at Hobby Lobby although I ended up using a different pot that I already had at home.


For Sheets of Moss: First you measure out the length of the cone by laying it on a sheet of paper, rolling it all the way out and tracing around the space it left (look 2 photos down to see a copy of my tracing paper on the table).  Then cut out the moss shape and fold around the cone.  It will be longer than the top which makes the pleasing tall tree shape.  Glue one long side and then slowly glue/press the rest of the moss around the cone.  When completely attached take a few loose pieces of moss (they'll fall off naturally when you cut the moss shape), add some more glue and cover the seam.

For Loose Moss: Hot glue and press pieces.  Easy-peasy (but more time consuming!).

For the base of the tree trace the base of the cone then cut out the circle.  Trace your stick diameter in the middle then cut that out as shown above.  Insert the stick in the base of the tree, you may need to make space for it by using a small knife.  We used a little pumpkin carving knife.

Now glue the base of the tree around the stick.  You're almost done, put your tree into the styrofoam in the base of your pot, add some more loose moss (to cover the styrofoam) and there you go.  A topiary tree!  Embellish with a ribbon, ornament and/or berries for an extra festive touch.

Note that the loose moss can get VERY messy.  Make sure you have a broom or vacuum handy.  Our hostess was very gracious with the mess we all made.

 

Some of the finished products. Aren't they lovely?  Mine is the one on the right.  I ended up using a TJ pot (had lying about) rather than the regular clay pot I had purchased.


The bases for the trees in the photo above were made using tin cans and some twine.  She wrapped the twine around and glued it to the can.  Brilliant and oh-so-cute!

Our 2nd Annual Christmas Crafters.  This super fun tradition is getting bigger every year!  We may have to move out to the patio next year. Good thing this is Phoenix and that is possible in November, ha!

Thanks Amy for hostessing us so well!

For More Christmas Crafts Check Out:


Monday, November 25, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake Recipe

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  Or perhaps you're like me and haven't done your Thanksgiving meal shopping or planning yet? ;)  I've got a perfect side-dish for your holiday meal, a Cheesy Cauliflower Bake.  It looks like macaroni and cheese but it's made out of Cauliflower instead of pasta!  My big girl loved it and so did I! (my husband passed since he doesn't like regular macaroni and cheese let alone cauliflower, his loss, more for me!)



Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
Ingredients 
1 large head of cauliflower 
1/2 teaspoon salt
oil - for greasing the baking dish 
1 cup heavy cream 
2 ounces cream cheese 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or regular mustard)
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 
8″x8″ baking dish or 2 1/2 quart Corningware dish

Directions 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill and bring to boil one large pot of water.  Grease your baking dish (spray or put oil on a paper towel and wipe around). 
2. Cut cauliflower into small pieces. Place the cauliflower in the large pot of boiling water and book until crisp-tender. This should take about five minutes (longer if your pieces aren't small enough). 
3. Drain pot with strainer and pat the cauliflower between several layers of paper towels to dry. Place the crisp-tender, dried-off cauliflower into the greased baking dish and set aside. 
4. Pour the cup of heavy cream into a small saucepan, place the saucepan on the stove, and bring the cream to boil. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces. Whisk the small pieces of cream cheese and the mustard into the boiling cream until the mixture is smooth. 
5. Stir in one cup of the cheddar cheese, the salt, the pepper, and the garlic into the saucepan and whisk until the cheese has melted, which should take no more than two minutes. 
6. Remove the saucepan from the stove, pour the mixture over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the remaining cheese upon the cauliflower and mixture as a topping. 
7. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for fifteen minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Little People Jetliner

In honor of all the travel that will be done the next week for Thanksgiving we're taking to the air.  It's the Little People Jetliner #2360.  Made from 1986-1990 this jetliner set came after many other jet sets including the Play Family Fun Jet #183, Jetliner #182 as well as the Jetport #933. 

That's a lot of planes!

Structurally it is like other jets but has different plane and windshield colors.  It should be pulled by a yellow plastic pull string (mine is missing).  It makes a whirring jet like sound when pulled.  It can also be pulled by the Airport/Jetport luggage truck which simply attaches to the hole in the nose (look here for an example).

The Jetliner family included four family members, all with molded hair.  No thin hair for this family!  There could be a few other variations to the family including a mom with lighter brown hair, green dad with brown hair or orange boy with brown hair but they always had molded hair.

Besides the jetliner and family the set also came with two pieces of luggage.  A blue hatbox and a brown suitcase.  Both of these pieces were found in other airplane/plane sets including the Jetliner #182, Jetport #933, Airport #2505 and the Express Train #2581 (just the blue hatbox).  There may have been a version with a dark blue hatbox, which I've never seen but would love to have.


The jetliner holds four passengers and 2-3 pieces of luggage.  The back of the jetliner has lithographs of a rainbow (mine is faded) and stamped on the Fisher-Price logo (with a solid blue background and white lettering or no background and blue lettering) although I've seen a plane with no lettering at all as well as one with no lettering and orange engines!  Either way the lithograph on the tail should have the number #2360.  If it says #933 then it belongs with the Jetport #933.


Happy Thanksgiving Travels.  Hopefully your flights are as smooth as this little family's!

For more flying fun check out:

Airport Crew #687
Jetport #933
Airport #996
Play Family Fun Jet #183 (family & accessories)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not your college top-ramen


A friend of my husband was just in town visiting from Japan and he brought us goodies.  Along with a super cool sake cup and fancy tapestry he had 2 boxes of Ramen.


This is what I think of when I think of Ramen.  You know, 25 cents at the grocery store.



But this isn't your college top-ramen.  Check out these boxes.


This Ramen is the real deal!

Our friend told us that in Japan they don't usually drink the tasty soup base because it is so full of sodium (and who knows what else!).  Since Ramen is a daily staple they focus on the noodles and leave the rest.  However, since we don't have it very often I'm drinking and eating it all!

I don't think he approves. ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

House Party - For the Love of Foam Gevalia Coffee



I hosted another House Party this last week.  In case you're keeping track it's my 3rd this year!!  It was (another) Gevalia party, this time for their new foam K-cup coffees.  It was called For the Love of Foam and had samples of their new Cappuccino, Mocha Latte and Carmel Macchiato flavors.


A week before the party I received my FREE box of samples.  Also coupons and goodies for the party.  I was supposed to try out the samples before the party to make sure I knew how to do it.  I was happy to comply! ;)  


 
It's pretty easy though.  The coffee comes in 2 steps; Step 1. Open the foam packet and put in the bottom of your cup.  Step 2. Brew the k-cup (8oz only).  Add sugar and cinnamon/nutmeg, etc on top and voila!

I hosted the party at my BFFs house and it just happened to be her birthday week so we celebrated with some cupcakes!  A little sweet with coffee is just fine with me, although all our littles just may have had a bit of a sugar high.  
The Birthday Girl!

Having little babies means lots of coffee!  

Especially my friend who has twin girls!

To be honest I only liked the Cappuccino flavor.  The Mocha Latte had sucralose in it which is a no-no in my house (that and I hate the taste).  The Carmel Macchiato was a bit too fake-flavor tasting to me and reminded me of gas station coffee (brutal I know).  However, the cappuccino was just right!  Especially with a dash of cinnamon on top.  Yum!


I'm still a fan of old-fashioned foam-milk-yourself but in a pinch or when in a hurry this is a yummy alternative.


Thanks to my friends for coming and to Gevalia for sharing the Love of Foam!


Other House Parties I've Hosted Recently


*Note: I do not get paid to talk about House Party, I just like them!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fisher Price Friday - Dept 56 Christmas Ornaments at Target


It's beginning to look a lot like a FP Christmas here on Fisher Price Friday.  As you may recall I am a huge fan of the Hallmark Fisher Price Ornaments which sadly stopped production last year.  However, thanks to a lovely FP friend I found these new Fisher Price Holiday Classics Department 56 ornaments to tide me over.



Aren't they adorable?  This year's collection included the Pull-A-Tune Xylophone (#870), Rock a Stack and the Chatter Telephone (#747).  Unlike the prior Hallmark ornaments these aren't made out of plastic so they're heavier.  I'm no material expert but they feel like ceramic to me.  They are also larger than the Hallmark ornaments.



However, they're cheap ($8 each) and adorable so I don't care!



I found mine at my local Target.  I was unable to find them on Target online.  There are some on eBay with marked up prices.





The proportions on the Chatter Telephone are a little off but it's still adorable!  It includes a black phone cord and a red glitter phone receiver.  The lithographs are pretty impressive in their similarity as shown.


So go get them!  Merry Christmas! 

For more on the Hallmark Fisher Price Ornaments

2007 - See 'N Say 
2008 - Play Family Farm 
2008 - View-Master 
2009 - School Bus 
2009 - Chatter Telephone 
2010 - Play Family Fun Jet 
2010 - Zookeeper Says 
2010 - Play Family School 
2011 - Music Box Teaching Clock 
2011 - Play Family House 
2011 - Little People Lil' Movers Fire Truck (not a vintage toy) 
2011 - Snoop 'N Sniff - Limited quantity 
2012 - Corn Popper 
2012 - Two Tune TV

Wednesday, November 13, 2013