Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Together on Tuesdays

Thanks for joining us this week! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  We started remodeling our living room; the plan was to paint the room a new color and we're now making a new mantle, buying new curtains, and turning it all into a real project.  What have you been up to?


Welcome to Together on Tuesdays Linky Party #114

#114_banner

On this last day of January, we're all starting to prepare for the big game this weekend. Whether you like football or not, you may be interested in the wonderful party platters. Does your family host or attend a Super-Bowl Party? What are your favorite menu ideas for the big night?

#114

This week, Joanne and I are so glad that you've chosen to share your fantastic posts with us! You may share party recipes, menu plans, posts you've written, giveaways, reviews or anything family-friendly. If a post contains cursing, adult material or offensive material, I'll have to delete it. Thank you for posting G-rated items.

$114

Joanne and I are thrilled to have you here! Please follow us:

Joanne – Facebook Pinterest Blog


Last week, we had a great number of you entering. We enjoyed reading and sharing your posts at Together on Tuesdays Pinterest Boards. I'm so glad many of you voted for your favorites. We had three bloggers that were "tied". Here are your Featured Posts.

FEATURED

Priyam from SimpleJoys shared: Paper Wreath She took us step-by-step through the list of crafting needs and how to put the wreath together. The wonderful wreath design and finished product looked like something that most of us could accomplish. It's a beautiful wreath!


Jasmine, from Eccentricities by JVG, shared DIY All natural Aloe Vera Lotion. Her post gave a complete tutorial of how to make this beautiful lotion. She presented the lotion in a gift-package, and even included a cute-little scoop.

#114

Leslie, at From Playdates to Parties, shared her post: Free "Love You" Valentine's Day Printable. These great printables will have you ready for Valentine's Day. There are variations on the 2nd printable, which are so adorable! Thanks, Leslie.

#114
If you would like to be featured, just link up your best, family-friendly posts. All posters can enter as many links as you would like. When you finish, please visit at least two of the linkers and then vote for your favorite. Easy!

Now.....let's get Together on Tuesdays!
Linking Up With:

hosts

Oh-My-Heartsie-Girls-WW 200x200

JENerally Informed



Monday, January 30, 2017

The Best Ways to Nurture Your Child's Love of Art

Today I have a guest post for you all to read.  Please welcome Zara Lewis to Our Unschooling Journey.  She has written a post I am sure that you are all going to love as much as I do! 

The Best Ways to Nurture Your Child’s Love of Art


Nurturing your child’s inner artist is one of the greatest things you could do for them. A love of art broadens children’s horizons, boosts their creativity and develops their imagination. Children who love art are more in touch with their feelings. They also practice their fine motor skills and work on their patience. If you develop your children’s love of art, you are opening a door for them: a door that leads to a world where they are never bored. Of course, having kids who are able to sit still for a while and immerse themselves in the world of their imagination is great for moms too. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a huge win. So, let’s get to it! Here are some of the best strategies to turn your tot into a bona fide art lover!

Make It Fun


With kids and activities, it’s all about fun. If they feel that something is being forced on them, they will probably hate it, or flat out refuse to do it. Don’t nag your child, and don’t expect them to be great at it. Creating pressure to excel can have a negative effect. After all, it doesn’t really matter whether your kid is a natural-born artist. Our imagination develops the more we use it, and the same goes for motor skills, so even when they are not exceptionally talented, kids get better at art with practice. Instead of making them do something they are not too keen on, pique their interest with super fun activities: collect different shaped leaves for collages, use a randomizer to create hilarious artwork ideas, explore some great techniques and buy diverse and colorful supplies like glitter and googly eyes.

Broaden Their Horizons


It might sound strange, but a love of art is not developed solely by doing art. Your mission will benefit from anything that develops emotional intelligence and one’s inner world. One of the most important strategies to achieve that is to read a lot. Nurture a love for storytelling by reading consistently to your kids from a very young age. Once they are old enough, get them a library membership, and encourage them to read by themselves. Take them to the theater to see children’s’ shows regularly, or to the cinema for animated and family movies. Once they are old enough, introduce them to your local galleries and museums. And don’t forget to discuss these visits with them afterwards. Encourage them to share their impressions, opinions and emotions.

Take up Calligraphy



Calligraphy is a great way to incorporate art into your school kid’s writing skills. After all, who doesn’t want to have a beautiful handwriting? This art form is great for kids’ development for several reasons. First of all, today, when we are surrounded by so many screens, kids often lack the ability to sit still if they are not staring at one. Calligraphy is slow work – it teaches patience and precision, and rewards these traits with gorgeous results. It also has a really long and interesting past, which can be interesting to little history buffs.  Taking a calligraphy pen and sitting down to work will allow your child the time to slow down, think, and appreciate beauty.

Try Origami


Origami might seem trivial – after all, it’s just folding paper, right? Wrong! The engaging activity is actually excellent for your kids’ mental, intellectual and aesthetic growth. Kids usually love origami because it’s fun, and they get a tiny figurine as a reward for their effort. But while they are folding away, they are actually learning advanced mathematical skills like fractions and geometry, boosting their patience and precision, and honing their spatial visualization skills. And don’t forget that the art of origami also exposes your kids to a different culture. Start with easier designs, then slowly build up to more complex ones as you get the hang of it. Starting out too ambitiously might prove too hard, and have a discouraging effect.


Nurturing the inner artist in your children is a slow, and even a never-ending process, but one that pays off immensely in the long run. Every child has potential, but it’s up to you to make the best use of it. 



More about Zara: 


Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.










Linking Up With:

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


“Mrs.AOK,


Over the Moon Link Party

#114_banner

JENerally Informed


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with a Crunchy Crust

I have been searching for a few years for the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe.  While I enjoy most types of macaroni and cheese I find that most recipes usually fall a bit short of my expectations.

I like a macaroni and cheese that is creamy and cheesy but I also want lots of flavor and a bit of a crunchy crust.  

I think I may have finally created my perfect recipe!



After reading so many recipes and combining components of a few different recipes I decided to whip up a test batch.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese With a Crunch Crust Ingredients:

For the creamy mac and cheese:

1 lb. pasta, cooked and drained. 
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups "pizza" cheese; our bag was a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone

For the crunchy topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2/3 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

First I cooked up the noodles according to the package directions.  Drained the noddles and put them in a 13 x 9 pan.


On the stove I melted the 4 tablespoons of butter and sauteed the minced garlic a few minutes until fragrant.  I then added the 4 tablespoons of flour to make a roux.  I slowly added the milk and the 1/2 and 1/2 making sure to continue stirring well throughout each addition.  I added the mustard, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper and continued cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it had thickened.


Once it had thickened, like this:


I then added the shredded cheese to the milk mixture and continued stirring until ALL the cheese was melted. 


I poured all of the cheese mixture over the noodles and mixed well then flattened all the noodles back into the pan nice and neatly.


I spread a light layer of sour cream over it all.


I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and added 2/3 cups Panko crumbs, stirring them until all the crumbs were coated in butter.  Then I spread the crumbs over the pasta and sprinkled it all with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.


I popped the whole macaroni and cheese casserole in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and crumbs had turned a light golden brown. 


It was nice and hot and gooey and with that added crunch of the crumbs-- YUM! 



Creamy Macaroni and Cheese With a Crunch Crust Ingredients:

For the creamy mac and cheese:

1 lb. pasta, cooked and drained. 
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups "pizza" cheese; our bag was a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone

For the crunchy topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2/3 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. First I cooked up the noodles according to the package directions.  Drained the noddles and put them in a 13 x 9 pan. 

2. On the stove I melted the 4 tablespoons of butter and sauteed the minced garlic a few minutes until fragrant.  I then added the 4 tablespoons of flour to make a roux.  I slowly added the milk and the 1/2 and 1/2 making sure to continue stirring well throughout each addition.  I added the mustard, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper and continued cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it had thickened.

3. Once it had thickened, I then added the shredded cheese to the milk mixture and continued stirring until ALL the cheese was melted.

4. I poured all of the cheese mixture over the noodles and mixed well then flattened all the noodles back into the pan nice and neatly.  I spread a light layer of sour cream over it all.

5. I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and added 2/3 cups Panko crumbs, stirring them until all the crumbs were coated in butter.  Then I spread the crumbs over the pasta and sprinkled it all with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

6. I popped the whole macaroni and cheese casserole in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and crumbs had turned a light golden brown.

Linking Up With:



Share it one more time new logo with bird barb and i update





hosts

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chocolate Trifle Cups Perfect for Valentine's Day

My family just loves a good trifle and the possibilities are just endless!

Rooting around in our cabinets the other day I found I had many of the makings for a perfect Trifle but I did not have enough cake to make a large trifle.  See when baking birthday cakes, I always level off my cakes before decorating and not knowing what to do with the 1/4 or so inch of cake that usually gets cut off the top I tend to freeze it.  I had enough cake to make a few mini trifles so I broke out my Pampered Chef 1 Cup Prep bowl set (the only small containers with lids I have) and set to work making mini cups for everyone!



I thawed out the leftover chocolate cake
Heated up the caramel sauce in the microwave
Mixed up the chocolate pudding according to the package directions
Thawed out the Cool Whip and then set to work

I put a bit of cake in the bottom of each dish.



Topped the cake with a good dollop of caramel sauce.



Added a scoop of pudding over the caramel.



Next, I added a small scoop of Cool Whip; making sure to flatten it out nice and smooth.



Then I started all the layers over again making sure to end with a good covering of Cool Whip.  I had a package of Reece's peanut butter hearts and decided to top each cake with a heart.



Perfect for valentine's day and those layers just look so YUMMY!, even If I do say so myself.





Linking Up With:

Strawberry Butterscotch

Beverly's PINK SATURDAY




Amanda’s Books and More

blog-hop-logo







Oh-My-Heartsie-Girls-WW 200x200