Some People Are Worth Melting For

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I saw this cute video in my facebook feed of these adorable melting snowmen and I knew I had to make them! I signed up to bring in cookies for the Christmas parties at school with the hopes of making these but just in case it was a complete fail, I knew I could swing by Publix and pick up a few dozen cookies in the bakery. Kids really don’t have a preference.

The parties were on Friday so on Tuesday night, I started making the homemade sugar cookies from Make Bake Celebrate. I had a total of 64 to make and these looked very detailed, which is what I loved about them, so I had to get a head start.

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Turns out, I do not have a plain round cookie cutter. And I didn’t realize it until the dough was made and rolled out. I’m not usually good at thinking outside the box but this time I did! I used the opening of a tall glass dipped in flour to make the circles. And it worked out great! I did find out that I need a bit more practice rolling out the dough EVENLY. Some cookies were paper thin and some were as thick as a steak! Again, I wasn’t worried because kids really don’t have a preference when it comes to cookies…at least mine don’t.

I hoped to start the icing on Wednesday and then label and bag them on Thursday but…it didn’t happen as planned. I ended up decorating and bagging all 64 of them on Thursday and into Thursday night. I do not recommend doing it that way!

This was my first time using Royal Icing  and I went with a recipe that didn’t need meringue or egg whites from Tips From A Typical Mom. My girlfriend has used this recipe many times and her cookies always came out great!

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The first batch of icing had to be thicker so it could act as a border and outline of the melted snowman. It took me few times to know exactly how thick it needed to be. If you zoom in on the picture above, you can see where the icing was too thin!

Next up, a batch of thinner icing to fill inside the border. As I started on my first one, I realized that I would need the cut marshmallow ready to place in the wet icing. I had no idea how quick the icing would take to set, so I stopped after one to cut all the marshmallows.

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And then I finished icing the cookies. I only filled 2-3 at a time and then gently pushed the marshmallow (sticky side down) into the icing.

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The baby was napping at this point and I was hustling! Her nap times were so unpredictable that week. I wanted to at least finish all the icing and the marshmallows before she woke up. I also had to go and pick the big kids up from school. Talk about a wee bit of anxiety!

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Once the marshmallows were set, I added the black sugar pearls from Wilton to use as buttons. I gently pushed those into the icing to make sure they would stay.

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The baby was stirring at this point and I was relieved that I got as far as I did. While she was eating her lunch, I used some orange sprinkles from Wilton for the nose. I used a toothpick first to make a tiny hole and then gently pushed the sprinkle in. Talk about detail! My dental hygienist hands were in heaven!

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I was in LOVE!! These were the cutest cookies ever and I wasn’t even finished yet! I definitely could have stopped here because they looked great…and again…kids don’t care! But I kept going. I just had to see how they would turn out.

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I thought about using the black sugar pearls for eyes but chose to use black gel instead. It was quicker to do but not quite as neat as the black balls would have been. I then used a red sparkle gel to make a scarf for the snowmen. I think if I make these next year, I may try to use fondant instead. I like the ease and quickness of gel but I LOVE the neatness and perfection of fondant.

I originally was going to print out tags saying…”Do you want to build a snoman?” But these cuties were already built and started melting. So I went with…”Some people are worth melting for.” And that was a perfect way for my girls to spread Christmas cheer to their classmates.

How did your children spread Christmas cheer?

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Menu Monday {Jan 18, 2016}

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Pan Seared Salmon, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pasta, Kale & White Bean Soup from my monthly Pampered Chef Cooking Club. Also shown Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce & Hollandaise Sauce

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Skinnytaste’s Stuffed Pepper Soup

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Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken& Veggies from Damn Delicious

Oops…forgot to take an after picture. Definitely adding this dish to the regular rotation! Husband, kid & babysitter approved!

 

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Skinnytaste’s Baked Pasta with Spinach & Sausage

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Ahhh…Saturday Date Night In! The husband found a great recipe from his new cookbook, Ruhlman’s Tweny, Coq Au Vin. Oh my! Delicious! Even the kids ate it…well just the chicken…no skin & no evidence of any mushrooms or sauce on it. Ok, they just ate the chicken. But still that’s a win!

What do you have cooking this week?

 

 

Friday I’m in Love

Hello!! This is my first ‘Friday I’m in Love’ and truth be told…I’m a bit nervous. I’ve read a few of Kendra’s Friday posts over at The Gilbertson Family and I LOVE them! They always make me smile!

So here’s hoping I make you smile!

~one~

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I am loving this cooler weather Central Florida is having! I love wearing my old, comfy sweats with my leopard-ish robe and my new gold glitter slippers while sipping my favorite wine by the fire. This does not happen but just a few times a year and when it does, I am sure to photograph it!

~two~

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Once a month, I meet with some of my favorite ladies for our Pampered Chef Cooking Club. Our consultant (and fellow runner!), Becky created our menu which consisted of Pan Seared Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Ham & Pasta Soup and Chocolate Mousse in an edible chocolate bowl. OMG. Absolutely delicious! I look forward to these evenings all month long. It’s an evening filled with great chit chat, swapping of recipes & kitchen tips and LOTS of wine! We just met on Monday and I’m already counting down the days until the next one.

~three~

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I took over the Orlando Moms Blog Instagram account for Takeover Tuesday and I ended up taking ALOT of pictures! This is one of my favorites. It’s proof that all three of my girls can actually play together without whining, crying or fighting. I tiptoed from the kitchen to this front room to ever so quietly take this picture. And once I captured it, I ran like heck back to the kitchen and they never even knew I was there!

~four~

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Ahhh…my new Garmin 620 running watch! Talk about being in love!! I’m in week 7 of half marathon training and I have been doing ALOT of speed work to help me run faster. Setting up a workout in Garmin Connect and then sending it to my watch has helped tremendously. Instead of being forced to only run on the track during Wednesday’s group run, I was able to go out into the park and through the neighborhoods. I was able to stay ON track because I got OFF the track!

My coach had me do a one mile warm up, run 1/2 mile fast, walk for 90 seconds and repeat SIX times. Then end with a one mile cool down. The watch beeped and vibrated to let me know when I need to increase or decrease my pace. I LOVED it. The jury is still out on whether I loved the actual speed work or not…

~five~

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I ended Takeover Tuesday with Orlando Moms Blog on Tuesday with my favorite picture of my mother. When I look at this picture, I see a mother full of love and happiness. I hope that when my girls look back at pictures of us that they see the same thing…love and happiness. Thank you mother for always loving me! I love you!

What are you in love with?

Until next Friday…

DIY No Sew Indian Costume- Part 2

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Better late than never, right?! I started this two part post back in November around Thanksgiving and well…things got crazy and I actually forgot that I never finished it. Until…this morning. So here we go!

This costume was relatively easy, I promise. My oldest had a Thanksgiving day feast in November and the classroom was divided into Pilgrims and Indians. My girl needed an Indian costume quick!

I really didn’t want to buy yet another costume and I had this giant bag of beads leftover from a previous project. I had to make it work somehow. So off to Pinterest I went. This post from Playdates & Pearls caught my eye and it gave me the inspiration to go ahead confidently and make one.

In my last post, I showed how I dyed, washed and dried the shirt.

After the shirt dried, I cut the long sleeves off to make a short sleeve shirt. I purposely bought long sleeves because I will use the cut parts for the costume.

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Then I cut the bottom hem of the shirt completely off and saved it to use later as well.

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I cut fringes all around both short sleeves. They were about 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long. I needed to make sure there was enough room for beads and to tie a knot after the fringe was beaded.

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Then I cut the same size fringes all along the bottom of the shirt.

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I had the girls help do all the bead work. Some of the fringes were a little thick. I had to snip the end to form a point so the girls were able to bead it. My 3 year old probably did about 4 beads total and then she was done. She was more interested in goofing off with her little sister. My 5 year old LOVED beading! She’s very detailed oriented and has great dexterity…future dental hygienist?? 😉

I cut the long sleeves so that I had about 4-5 inches of fabric past the cuff. I was originally thinking that my daughter could wear these on her wrists but then thought it would look cuter (and stay on longer) if she wore them on her legs. Thank you for the idea, Samantha!

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And here’s the final picture! I used the bottom hem that I cut off to tie around my daughter’s waist as a belt. We also made a headband out of the foam and stapled the feathers on the back which she actually wore all day at school! The necklace was her idea and she thought it would look “fashionable” if a feather was added.

I did all the fabric dyeing and cutting and she did all the beading. I had to tie the knots for her after the beads were on. This an inexpensive and relatively easy craft to do WITH your child for Halloween, a school party or just for some good old fashioned fun!

I hope you enjoyed my project with my girl! Now go get crafty with your kids and make sure to send me a picture so I can see what you’re up to!

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And here’s the breakdown of the cost for this costume:12573935_10206034111547998_8594811136944350054_n

DIY No Sew Kids Indian Costume

My kindergartener is having a Thanksgiving Day Feast with the 1st and 2nd graders next week and they can come dressed up as either an Indian or a Pilgrim. My girl wants to be an Indian but I’m not allowed to braid her hair. WHAT?!?! I’m going to have to work on that one…

I searched Pinterest and found what appears to be an ‘easy’ no sew do-it-yourself indian dress. I pinned it and headed out to the stores. Well, truth be told…I headed to my husband’s closet first to see if I could steal an old brown t-shirt or two. No such luck. **Note to self…buy him a variety of colored shirts, not just orange and blue 😉

I headed to Hobby Lobby first and they had a great selection of long sleeve t-shirts at a great price…and they were on sale too! Score! But…they didn’t have brown. And I really, really wanted brown. Ok, no biggie. I’ll just dye the shirts. Easy peasy. But…they didn’t have brown dye. They were all out. Ok, no biggie. I’ll stop at Michael’s on my way home.

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While at Hobby Lobby, I picked up two (I only need one costume but I have a feeling my 3 year old will want one) long sleeved, size small adult t-shirts, 2 packs of feathers, and 1 piece of brown foam board (maybe to help in making a headband??). I already had beads at home left over from another project. So off to Michael’s for some brown dye…I was also hoping they had brown shirts so I could save a step but they didn’t.

They had brown dye and I was able to use a 50% off coupon so it came to $2.13! Score! Now…let’s change the color of these shirts because I promised the big kids they could help put beads on when they got home from school.

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I took a bucket from the garage (thank goodness it’s black), rinsed it out and filled it with HOT water. I dumped the liquid dye in and mixed for about 2 minutes before I put the wet shirts in the bucket. The directions say to add 1 cup of salt but I didn’t. I’m not looking for a perfectly brown shirt. I just need it not to be white and to be kind of brown.

Now, the directions say to mix CONSTANTLY for 30-60 minutes. Umm…who the heck has time for that?! And I’m pretty sure my arm would fall off in the process. So I left it and mixed it maybe every 5 minutes for about 30 minutes.

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After thirty minutes, I very carefully emptied the bucket and started to rinse the shirts with cool water. Talk about a mess! Thank goodness the big kids were at school and the baby was sleeping because this was hard enough to do by myself let alone have my little helpers helping me.

This is what the shirt looked like after I rinsed it with cool water. I tried my best to keep rinsing until the water was clear but I probably could have done a little bit better. Next up, I threw them in the washer and dryer!

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This is how it looked after the washer…

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And this is how it looked after the dryer…

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Definitely a bit blotchy but it will be perfect for an indian costume! Next up, time for the scissors and some beads!

Stayed tuned…

{insert Jeopardy music here}

For Part 2, click here!

Painting Is Easy. Choosing a Color Is Not.

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The day we walked into this house, I knew I wanted to paint the kitchen. It took me months to finally decide on a color. Some days I wanted to stick my head in the sand and hope and wish someone else would do it for me. No such luck. My husband is a smart man. He would NEVER pick a color and paint without my approval. He would hear about that (and not in a good way) for the rest of his life. #happywifehappylife 😉

I had to think of the house as a whole. I like for the rooms to blend or compliment each other. I wanted a bold color but also one that would blend. Talk about a challenge…for me. I’m not good with that kind of stuff. Give me a recipe book and I can cook for days. Give my an empty room and tell me to decorate it…insert head in sand! Or better yet, I may just run away!

Here’s what I knew…I knew what I liked. I knew what kind of bar stools and kitchen table we were getting. I also knew that I’m always drawn to the beach and all of those beautiful shells! Now, how to bring it all together and have it look nice.

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Like I wrote in my last post about painting the kitchen, I googled & pinned for days. After much ‘research’, I finally decided on a blue, a nice navy blue. Great! The hard part is done, right? WRONG! Try going to the paint store and picking out a nice navy blue. Ugh…

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I narrowed it down to ‘Inked’ and ‘Very Navy’ but ‘Very Navy’ scared me. It was really dark!

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These swatches stayed taped to the wall for a few days but I’m sure if you ask my husband he would say a few weeks. One morning over coffee, I took the plunge and chose ‘Inked’. That’s it. It’s only paint. If I don’t like it, I’ll just repaint it a neutral tan color and be done with it. Gotta keep moving forward…

In the process of choosing the color, I did start painting over some of the painted on brick. And of course, every session of nighttime painting begins with a glass (or two) of my favorite red wine!

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Before…

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And the after….

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Woohoooo!! Brick be gone! Now, let’s get going with that blue!

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#icrackmyselfup

Stay tuned…

My New Favorite Kitchen Gadget!

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I had a Pampered Chef party a few weeks back to help my best friend raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is running the Space Coast Half Marathon in a few weeks with Team In Training and when she first told me about this, I volunteered to help her raise some money! I’m all about a good cause, food and a running! The perfect chance to give back since November is all about ‘Giving Thanks’.

I’ve been trying (and I use that word loosely!) to get my eating back on track. My youngest is almost 1.5 years old and I really can’t use the excuse ‘I just had a baby’ anymore. It’s time to combine healthier eating WITH my running. Running alone is not going to get me into better shape.

Breakfast is my most challenging meal. The mornings are CRAZY in this house. Going for a run, showering, and getting myself dressed before the kids wake up is a piece of cake! It’s getting THEM dressed, fed and out the door that is the hard part. Before I know it, we are in the car on the way to school and I haven’t eaten breakfast. Not good. Not good at all.

So…my best friend told me I needed this gadget…aka Microwave Egg Cooker, because everyone has one minute to cook a decent breakfast.

I love my eggs over easy with a runny yolk that is perfect for dipping my toast in. Following the directions for ‘Fried’ Eggs, I added a little butter in each well.

Next up, I melted it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

I cracked one egg into each well and then pierced it once with a fork.

I covered it with a paper towel and put it in the microwave for a total of 55 seconds.

And voila! Two eggs done in under a minute. And they were delicious!!

This gadget is definitely a keeper! Thank you BFF! You always know what I need! xoxo

Happy Cooking!

Change the look of your kitchen with just a little paint!

It’s no exaggeration to say that I spend ALOT of time in my kitchen. I’m a stay at home mom with 3 kids, 4 if you count the husband, and they require to be fed on a routine basis….like every 10minutes, no lie!

When we were house hunting, finding the perfect house with the perfect kitchen was a bit on the impossible side. I almost nixed the idea of putting an offer on the house we are currently living in because I HATED the kitchen. I hated everything about it…

the old cabinets

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the white appliances

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the cream color formica counter tops

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the light colored tile, the red paint, the gold sponge paint on top of the red paint and the painted on faux brick on top of the red paint.

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Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the color red. I really do. But it was too much for the kitchen. It wasn’t my style and it made me not want to be in the kitchen.

I firmly believe that the most memorable family memories are made in the kitchen. Any conversation or story that I tell my kids from my childhood, always has us in the kitchen. So I was determined to turn this kitchen around.

I pinned, I googled and I browsed Home Depot. I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t get the husband (or the checkbook) to go for it, no matter how hard I tried. Deep down, I knew it was unrealistic to redo the entire kitchen so I opted to work with what I had. I still pinned and googled but this time I added a few key terms to help with my search…oak cabinets, white formica, white appliances. I wanted the internet to show me what color paint would work best with what I had because I knew I could get the husband on board with that and he would love it too! I could change the look without draining the bank account. I was determined to LOVE my kitchen again and a little paint could bring me that love…right??

Stayed tuned for Part II…

Weekly Meal Plan for August 3 – August 9

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My mother, sister, nephew and niece were in town visiting this week and I was beyond excited to cook for them. It was a bit trickier than usual because the big kids really didn’t nap but we got it done. It really does take a village to raise a family, doesn’t it?

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Malaspine Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli

Now, my mother had this meatloaf the last time she was in town and she LOVED it! So of course I had to make it again for her. This was a huge hit with everyone, kids included! My mother in law, sister in law and her kids stopped by the next day and I fed them the leftovers. They loved it too! Seriously, if you are looking for a great meatloaf recipe, this is the one.

The kids did not love the broccoli because of all the garlic but us grown ups gobbled it up with no problems! Ha!

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Jenn’s Chicken & Veggie Soup

This one was easy to do with the family in town. I chose to make this one on the day that we stayed home. It takes about 2-3 hours in the oven. I have done it in the crock pot as well and it’s good but I really love it in the dutch oven. Best. Comfort. Food. Ever.

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Chicken Mozzerella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ahhh….one of my husband’s favorite meals! There were no leftovers this night. Even the kids ate it! I left out the red pepper flakes for the kids but sprinkled them on ours. The red pepper flakes give it a nice kick!

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Lasagna Soup

My sister is the one that told me I needed to make this so I knew her and her kids would love it. I was a little worried about my mother though. She loves lasagna but I wasn’t sure she would go for it as a soup. But she was living in my house, under my roof for the week so she had to eat it, right?!?! Hahaha! I’ve always wanted to say that!

I used regular sausage instead of the chicken sausage the recipe calls for. I love all the skinnytaste.com recipes but I tend to fatten them up just a bit.  😉

Mother LOVED the soup! I overheard her tell my daughter that I was a great cook. OMG! I learned from one of the best cooks around!

Desserts:

We put a HUGE dent in the #GoBigOrGoHome birthday cake but we still needed something sweet. I had to make my mother’s favorite banana bread and I also wanted to make something new for them. Cannoli Cake was it! My mother and my sister LOVED it! I should have made that at the beginning of the week because now I have a ton left and they flew back to NJ today.

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Cannoli Poke Cake

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Banana Bread

What favorite meals do you like to cook when you have family in town?

Enjoy all the recipes!

Happy Cooking!

and Happy Eating!

Katie 🙂

Hey, Plan To Eat users…look me up and let’s swap recipes!

MrsRoemersNest

Weekly Meal Plan for July 27 – July 31

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Tilapia with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes & Corn

 

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Jenn’s Chicken Veggie Soup

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

(I must remember to get a picture!)

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Honey Balsamic Chicken Breasts & Veggies

And here’s a shopping list for this week’s meals, minus the brisket, burgers and hotdogs. We are having the family over to celebrate my daughter’s 3rd birthday and my husband usually does the shopping and the grilling for the cookouts! Love that man!

I would LOVE to connect with some more Plan To Eat users! Look me up… MrsRoemersNest

Happy Cooking!

Katie 🙂

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