Thursday, May 23, 2013

Girl's Night

About once a month I get together with a group of women to hang out, munch tasty treats, and play bunco. I  don't know how Bunco is played in the rest of the world, but the way we do it is to determine who gets to chose a present first. We all bring something to the exchange, and all go home with a prize. It basically is an excuse to craft. Usually, I am rushing at the last minute to come up with something to take, and I fail to get a picture. This time, I managed to take a picture first. The inspiration came from here. The theme this month was just "home decor" and since I have been taking a marriage and family class, this is what came to mind. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eeeeeewwww Gross!

My husband is a lot more adventurous than I am. As in, sky-diving, high-adventure, has eaten funny things like escargot, adventurous. I am not, but I like my husband. So when his sister told him about a show he would like called Man vs. Wild (I know, it has not only been out for a while, but has already been canceled. We are a little behind the times.), I started getting ideas for a fun, if not absolutely disgusting date night. I got an episode (Season 4: Guatemala) from Amazon, and projected it onto a wall in our room while eating much tastier bugs than the ones Bear Gylis was enjoying. One of my sisters is still in shock that I would even contemplate such an idea.
(Want to know the secret? There are benefits to wearing glasses- I can take them off when things get too gross and not see a thing. It has come in handy many times to not have perfect vision.)

Strawberry-filled, chocolate spiders
Rumor has it, one of my grandmas was an amazing chocolate dipper- to the point that she was being invited to teach other women the fine art. Unfortunately, I didn't ever get to benefit from her amazing knowledge in that regard (she taught me many other things, but by the time I came along she had moved on to healthier hobbies). Thanks to the internet, I have now made my first filled-chocolates. I used a Wilton Halloween candy mold (it contained spiders and ghosts). I melted some Wilton Dark Chocolate flavored melts according to the package directions, and painted the chocolate into my molds. For the filling, I started with a recipe found here that I adapted slightly. I cut the recipe in half, used strawberry extract (because that was what I had on hand), and added a tablespoon of milk (I needed my cream to be a little more flowing). After I added the filling to my chocolate painted mold, I topped with more chocolate to cover the tops. A little time consuming, but very easy. Either that or chocolate-dipping genes are coming through.

-some of these spiders became peanut butter filled. I just took equal amounts of peanut butter and powdered sugar and combined it together with a drop of vanilla to make the filling. I don't like peanut butter, but I liked those spiders.

Bug Crackers
The inspiration for these probably came from here (I don't remember exactly where, but this is the idea). I cheated and just bought chive and onion cream cheese. These actually weren't my favorite- I made them a couple hours ahead of time because that is when I could, but they were slightly mushy by the time we ate them. You would have to make these at the very last moment if you don't want them soggy).
Gummy Worms
(No prep required- I just picked up a bag from the store. If you would like to make some more realistic ones, a tutorial can be found here.)

Fruit Dip
This was some tasty stuff. I found the recipe here. I even ended up making more the next morning when we shared the leftovers with the kids. The graham crackers are Keebler's Bug Bites. I only found them in a variety pack at Walmart that also came with Scooby Snacks and Rice Krispie Treats.

Pina Colada
I tried to find a more exciting glass to put these in, but decided it wasn't worth buying glasses that I would only use occasionally. The recipe for these came from here, the non-alcoholic version of course.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The lazy way to do a cake

Tiger had a birthday a little bit ago. I confess, with all the pack meeting planning I had been doing (basically, I think being Cubmaster means hosting a party every month), I was not looking to put on a production like last year. So I asked Tiger if he would rather have a party with friends or just go to Chuck-E-Cheese. I was not disappointed when he said Chuck-E-Cheese. Since I was taking the day off, I really went all out. As in, I ran into Walmart half an hour before we were leaving to go Chuck-E-Cheese to see if I could find something that would do for a cake. I found some cupcakes on the day old rack that were just the right shade of blue (would you believe that these started out with what I think were Twilight character rings). I tossed the rings in the trash (sorry- I haven't gotten into vampire romance novels yet) and made it more fitting for a 6 year-old boy. Said boy was going for the most eclectic birthday ever. He said he wanted a Batman-Scooby Doo-Superhero birthday. 
The cake says "Freeze Tiger- it's your birthday!"
And for his school class he wanted "Earth" cupcakes.
It pays to befriend the lunch ladies- they made him cupcakes for his birthday too. (He really loves them- to the point that we were walking into Walmart one day and he was insistent that he go hug this lady that was coming out- turns out she was his lunch lady and he hugs her everyday at school).  
 I think the day went well. I got the day off, and Tiger had a great time at Chuck-E-Cheese.
 (Batman cake, Scooby tablecloth, superhero napkins- I delivered).
Kitty was actually a better driver than Tiger.
 How is that for three generations? Tiger, Dad, and Grandpa (he and Grandma drove out to celebrate the day with us. Tiger was very excited about that).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Finally Done!

Remember these chairs from Kitty's birthday party?
 I finally got around to sanding and staining them.
 Two of them became a gift for a craft swap, but I still had two left, and since I had just stained the doll bed for Kitty, I figured I should probably finish the chairs too.
 They are actually quite sturdy- I sit on them all the time, and I am not petite by any definition of the word.
So how long do you think it will take me to getting around to the table?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day for the Little Mom

Kitty loves babies. The stuffed variety are her favorite. Her current favorite baby is a little stuffed Koala from Deseret Book that she calls "Kawana" (think 4 year-old trying to say Koala). Friday, I had a super productive cleaning morning, and by afternoon was looking for a fun non-cleaning project. It started out with a little bed made out of scraps of wood (plans here). (If I was going to make it again, I think I would add 2" to the width. It is fine as is, but I think the 2" would be nicer).
 Then came a mattress,
 and a fitted sheet and pillow,
 and a semi-fitted flat sheet,
 and a blanket. Of course, Kawana then needed a nightgown to wear to bed.
 Sleep well, little marsupial.
 Today, the little mother got a diaper bag from Butterick pattern 5304 (view F). I have had way too much fun. And I got a very big hug and "thank you" from a sweet little girl (I am sure that Kawana is happy too)!