Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July Pinterest Challenge-- Cheesy Ranch Chex mix

Welcome to the July Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. The purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen!

This month the boys and I decided to try out a new Chex mix recipe. I wanted something chocolaty and sweet but Evan really wanted to try something with ranch so I agreed.  We found this recipe for Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix and decided to give it a try.



Of course (as usual!) I did not completely follow the recipe.  We make Chex mix often and like to make ours with bagel chips too so we added some to the pretzels, Cheez-its, and Chex cereal.  We also didn't measure how much of each we used but just layered them in our large glass bowl until it was nice and full.



We melted 3 Tablespoons butter in the microwave.  We added in the 1 ounce packet of Ranch seasoning and the 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to the bowl and drizzled everything with the melted butter then gave it all a really good stir to try and make sure everything was evenly coated.



We put the mix in the oven to bake according to directions (250 degrees for an hour stirring every 15 minutes).  It smelled AMAZING!  (We've since made this again and tried microwaving it for 6 minutes; stirring every two and it worked just as great).



It was chuck full of great flavor.




I would definitely make it again and I'm pretty sure we found a new family favorite.

In January my boys and I made nail polish marbled mugs.
In February we tried out a new recipe for turkey & cornbread pot pie.
In March my boys worked on making a salt dough map.
In April my boys made some glittery mason jar luminaries. 
In May my oldest on and husband made a hand forged key holder
In June I made zucchini crust pizza for myself.


  To join next month's #pinterestchallenge, click here to sign-up ⇒ August Pinterest Challenge.

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop
Erlene - My Pinterventures • Jenny - Cookies Coffee and Crafts Debbee - Debbee's Buzz • Laurie - My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies Bri - Halfpint Design • Julie - Sum of their Stories • T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet Beverly - Across the Boulevard • Debra - Shoppe No. 5 Roseann - This Autoimmune Life • Terri - Our Good Life Chelc - Inside The Fox Den • Cherryl - Farm Girl Reformed Leslie - Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After • Katrin - Kreativ K Kelley - Simply Inspired Meals • Joanne - Our Unschooling Journey Toni - Small Home Soul • Gail - Purple Hues and Me Rebecca - Hello Central Avenue • Gwen - Geez, Gwen! Marie - DIY Adulation  Kristie - Teadoddles • Marie - The Inspiration Vault Lydia - Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen • Maria - Simple Nature Decor Michelle - Our Crafty Mom • Emily - Domestic Deadline Alexandra - Eye Love Knots Sam • Raggedy Bits

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Time Fun Featured Posts

With our Summer Time Fun party at an end it was time to go through all the submissions and pick a few of my favorites.  

That is never an easy thing when there are so many TALENTED bloggers linking up.  I did try my very best to read, comment, and pin them all and those posts that really stuck out in my mind were the ones I chose to feature.  I hope you'll visit each of the co-hosts this Thursday July 19th to see what features they've picked too. 


The Co-hosts!



In no particular order here are my choices: 


4th of July Dessert Recipe For Your Neighborhood BBQ from Play Dates to Parties -- they all look so delicious and we have a huge family party each 4th of July weekend.  

Looking for the BEST 4th of July dessert recipes? Head over to playdatesparties.com to see 15 amazing options, whether you have only 30 minutes or 3 hours to spare. #july4th #july4thdesserts #desserts #patrioticdesserts #pdpsweets

Tropical Shrinky Dink Charms and Pins by My Pinterventures-- My boys and I just LOVE playing with Shrinky Dinks.

How to make Tropical Shrinky Dinks Charms and Pins

Ladybug Wreath for New, Existing Homes Bridges Seasons by Debbees Buzz -- There's just something about ladybugs that tug at my heart and this is such a cute wreath.

ladybug-wreath-graphic-ladybug


The Best Cake Recipe You will Ever Make for Father's Day by Bluesky at Home-- I just adore cinnamon and this cake sounds amazing.

The Best Cake Recipe You Will Ever Make for Father's Day. Cinnamon Layer Cake is absolutely amazing. BlueskyatHome.com #bestcake #cakerecipe #cinnamoncake


Protea Flower DIY by Purple Hues and Me-- I just could not get over the fact that she made this using foam sheets.  



DIY Disney Themed T-Shirts by The Scrap Shoppe Blog-- You all know I just love anything Disney and with all the Cricut/ Vinyl clothes I've been working on lately this was right up my alley!

DIY your own Disney-themed t-shirts for even more fun at the parks!

Hawaiian Ham & Pineapple Kebabs by Delightful E Made-- don't they just look amazing?  I'm always looking for new grilling ideas.  

Get your cookout game on point with these incredible Hawaiian Ham & Pineapple Kebabs! Made with savory, delicious ham, fresh pineapple and veggies, these simple ham skewers will be your new favorite summer grilling recipe!

Dollar Store Flower Coasters by Crafty Lumberjacks-- I just thought these were so beautiful and I loved that the supplies were from the Dollar store! 




Update a Bright Purple Planter with Paint by Shopee No. 5-- The transformation from cheap purple plastic pot is just amazing!
Update A Bright Purple Planter With Paint

Ginger Peach Iced Tea by Delightful E Made--  My favorite drink year round hands down is iced tea and I love the idea of infusing it with fresh peaches and ginger.  YUM!

A refreshing, thirst-quenching iced tea perfect for sipping on a hot summer day! This delicious beverage has amazing peach and ginger flavor, and way better than any powdered mix!

DIY Beach Themed Coasters from Mason Jar Lids by Our Crafty Mom-- I just love beach themed crafts and I'm always looking for ways to use mason jar lids

DIY Beach Themed Coasters From Mason Jar Lids Our Crafty Mom 5

What were some of your favorites?

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Strawberry Coffee Cake

We picked so many fresh strawberries that we just could not eat them all before they started going bad.  Despite making our red fruit salad, some homemade strawberry jam (using this recipe), strawberry shortcake, and slicing strawberries into yogurt and piled on plates as a tasty summer side dish I still was left with several cups of strawberries.  

We decided to take our favorite Blueberry Boy Bait recipe and turn it into a strawberry coffee cake with a nice cinnamon swirl.   




For the cake part of the recipe you will need:

2 cups Flour 
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup skim milk 
1 cup strawberries; ours were small so I only cut them in half. 

For the topping/swirl:
1 cup strawberries (same note as above)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon.

Grease and flour a 13 x 9 pan and preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl combine butter with the two types of sugar.  Once mixed, gradually add in eggs one at a time.  



Then slowly add in 1/3 of the milk mixture, 1/3 of the flour mixture, and keep alternating until everything is nice and smooth.


Gently fold in the strabwerries


Pour into prepared 13 x 9 pan and then sprinkle the additional strawberries on top.


Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the whole cake.   Use a knife to make little swirls.


Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a knife/ toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with a few cake crumbs attached.


Let cool slightly and then slice and serve! 



Since I just love strawberries I often eat mine with extra strawberries sliced up on the side.  A wonderful summer brunch idea.


What's your favorite strawberry recipe?  

Linking Up With:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Cute Cricut Clothing Ideas for the Superhero Fan

I had so  much fun making some back to school clothes for my niece's birthday that I decided to make some cute shorts and tops for my nephews birthday too.  

He's a huge superhero fan and I just knew I had to make at least one Batman outfit for him.  I decided to decorate the front of the t-shirt with the Batman symbol and the front of the shorts with a mini cityscape projecting the Batman symbol as well. 



On the backside I used my glitter vinyl to fill up the back with this adorable Batman saying.


For the next outfit I had a green shirt and a pair of tan shorts.  I had been planning on making something Hulk themed but my boys assured me any Batman fan would also enjoy a shirt with the Joker.  Most of the images I found for the Joker were a bit scary and geared towards adults so I finally settled on this Lego Joker head and I just LOVE how it turned out paired with the words Joker on the shirt pocket. 



For the last outfit we left Batman behind and came up with a fun Superman T.  I paired this shirt with some blue shorts and adorned the front with the Superman logo.  On the back I typed up another cute saying using some matching blue vinyl.



I really hope he likes them and hasn't outgrown this size by the time he gets to wear them; he's two (almost 3) and growing like a weed!

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Weekly Wrap- Up: My Birthday Week!

We had so much fun this week and when I call it my birthday week I'm not kidding! I had three days of celebration and by the time the week was over I had been showered with gifts from so many wonderful family members.  I also ate more cheesecake, ice cream, chips and junk food than I'd like to admit but boy it sure was a lot of fun!



On Friday my mother in law was watching the boys so I could take off with my mom for the day shopping.  Each year around my birthday my mom and I take a day to shop, go out to lunch, and just catch up with one anther just us girls.  It's fabulous!  I found a really adorable romper, two pairs of pants/capris, and a skirt and shirt.  It's also pretty great that my birthday is in early July because I am able to make out like a bandit with all the sales!!  I arrived home just before dinner and once the boys had eaten my husband took them shopping to pick out some gifts for me for my birthday.  I love my boys and yet it was heavenly to have the whole house to myself for an hour or two. I curled up on my bed reading The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand and ignored the housework and laundry for once.  They wrapped up my gifts all by themselves and stored them in my room until they were ready to give them to me (Ian got me a new food processor, Evan bought me a new book, and Alec picked out some nail polish and got me a bag of Lindt dark chocolate truffles-- my favorites!).





We had a huge family cookout on Saturday.  Each year my husband's entire family gathers together at a little lakeside cottage to celebrate the 4th of July.  As some of his cousin's kids are getting older and not attending our numbers have begun dwindling just a bit but we still had a wonderful party anyway.  We all caught up with one another, shared some new foods, and played games.  The kids swam in the lake, went tubing, played cornhole and we ended our night with a huge fireworks show put on by one of the neighbors.

We caught sight of this beautiful bird; a waxwing

Evan's favorite spot of the day was this comfy swing chair

Mine was camped out by the lake with my book; though I did put it away and visit too. 





Sunday my mother in law once again watched the boys so my husband and I could go off and enjoy a day out for my birthday (the boys were invited but they thought they'd have more fun going back to the cottage to eat up leftovers and hang out with whomever showed up).  My mother in laws (yes I have two!) bought me some new flip flops, a new shirt, gave me a gift card & some spending money, and a few new snacks to try.  My husband and I headed to Maine for the day and saw the Nubble lighthouse, walked through York, put our feet in the freezing ocean, had some clam chowder and lobster and went shopping in Kittery at the outlet stores.  I picked out some shorts, a couple of t-shirts and a beautiful flowing lace blouse.  We had perfect weather and such a fun time reminiscing on trips we had taken to Maine when we were dating and first married.

York at low tide 

Even in July the ocean is FREEZING!  But us New Englander's don't care.  

Ian headed off to work with his father on Monday morning to go screen some loam and the younger boys and I prepared for some company.  My mother and sister and nephews were coming over for a little birthday party for me.  Each year on or around my birthday my mother and sister come over with snacks/ food and some gifts and we spend a relaxing afternoon sitting by the lake catching up. It's a tradition we began a few years ago and I just LOVE it.  My mom gave me the rest of the clothes I had picked out when we went shopping (she let me take the romper home to wear on our Maine outing).  My sister got me a couple of books and a really cute umbrella shaped bird feeder (she attends many arts and crafts fairs and finds neat little one of a kind shops to browse through all the time so her gifts are always unique).  We ate cheesecake and chips and watched all the boys swim.  It was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon.




My new bird feeder is still waiting for some company

Alec had karate on Tuesday and we used the morning to run errands as well; we stopped by the bank, library, post office and Target before having a quick lunch of breakfast sandwiches at Dunkin Donuts with my mother in law.  The younger boys asked to go swimming as soon as we arrived home and they had some visitors swimming with them.  Ian headed off for the afternoon to work on one of our neighbor's beaches using the excavator and other assorted equipment.





These ducks bravely swam right by the boys even though they were laughing and splashing! 
We didn't have anything planned on Wednesday so we did tackle some schoolwork and Evan finally began book 2 in All About Spelling.  I made up a few meals for the freezer and Ian spent some time working on his model boat while the younger boys played Pokemon upstairs (some made up game using lots of imagination).  It was nice out so after lunch we headed outside and we all went for a quick little kayak ride.  The younger boys talked me into going to the bridge so they could jump off and then they all spent the afternoon swimming in the lake.




See the little turtle sunning himself?


Evan did a fancy twist in the air.




We were invited to go swimming at a friend's house on Thursday but we did manage to tackle a bit of schoolwork in the morning.  Alec wanted to play Sudoku in place of math and Evan, Ian and I played a round of Clumsy Thief.  We made some minty muddy buddies and homemade blueberry/yogurt Popsicles then we packed up our bag and headed out.  We had a fabulous time visiting with our friends and their new baby kittens.







How was your week?

Weekly Weight Tracker

Friday-- After trying on lots of clothes my mom and I ate salads at Panera bread.  We also ate pretty late in the afternoon so I ended up skipping dinner entirely.  I didn't weigh myself or exercise but I felt like I did OK.

Saturday-- I tried very hard not to pig out at the 4th of July party and failed miserably!  I did take a few short walks throughout the day but in no way could the exercise have made a difference against all the yummy foods we ate all day long.

Sunday-- My husband and I did a LOT of walking; all around York, on the beach, through all the shops and stores in Kittery.  I only ate a small cup of chowder for lunch but the small ice cream I ordered in the afternoon was HUGE and not really caring I gobbled it right up.

Monday-- I weighed in and found (not surprisingly that I had gained 1.8 lbs.  I knew my mother was coming over with cheesecake and chips and there was no way I could pass that up being that we were essentially celebrating my birthday.  I did make sure to walk for 15 minutes and lift weights for 30 minutes.

Tuesday-- I exercised on the stability ball for two different 30 minute sessions.

Wednesday-- I went kayaking for 30 minutes.

Thursday-- I weighed myself and found that while I had not hit a new low number this week I was only .2 more than my lowest weight so I figure that's not too shabby!


On the Blog This Week:













Linking Up With:

ethannevelyn.com