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Veggies are so in for 2012!



Happy almost new year! It's hard to believe that we will be ringing in 2012 in less than 48 hours. Where has the time gone? The Christmas season was a joyful one around here. We were able to visit with family, relish in the magic of Christmas, and even pick up a double ear infection and soaring high fevers for the little one. So needless to say, we are praying for good health and happiness in the new year.

Back to purpose of this post...veggies. We're pretty good eaters around here. Large appetites, eclectic pallets, and easy to please. As you can tell by the looks of Mack, he is too. However recently he has begun to turn his nose up at vegetables. I swore I would never have a picky eater as a child. Picky eaters top my pet peeve list. My students can tell you that they must try everything that I serve them in our classroom. So it came as a shock to me that my own little farmer, would not LOVE every veggie I put in front of him (wink,wink).



Thankfully Santa brought this mama a copy of Deceitfully Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. It has been out for several years, so you might already be familiar with her ingenious way of sneaking veggies into your child's diet.

I started with Blueberry Oatmeal Bars (I changed that to blackberry). After sauteing some spinach, pureeing it, mixing up the oatmeal crust and topping, we had a sneakily scrumptious snack!







I know, I know...blackberry preserves and spinach don't look great together at first, but just trust me. The glob of low fat butter spread, doesn't help either.

Waiting anxiously for a taste








Tada...spinach served! Mack has eaten for snack the last couple of days as I sit back and giggle in delight!


Here is the recipe:
nonstick cooking spray
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup balance trans-fat free margarine , chilled
1 cup no-sugar-added blueberry spread
1/2 cup spinach , puree

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 375.
2 Coat an 8"X 8" baking pan with cooking spray.
3 In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir to mix well.
4 Add the margarine and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do no overmix--bits of margarine will still be visible.
5 Set aside about half the oat mixture; press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes.
6 Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.
7 Spread blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping is slightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.
8 Spinach Puree:.
9 Steam baby spinach(for mature spinach-remove stems) for about 30-40 seconds or cook in skillet with 1 tablespoons water for about 90 seconds or just until wilted. Puree in food processor or blender for about 2 min until smooth and creamy.

Today I attempted her mozzarella sticks with cauliflower puree. I formed them into balls instead, and they didn't turn out pretty. However, they're good!



I would pick up a copy of the cookbook (it's under $15) so that you can achieve ultimate deception!
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Oh my!!!! It's been a while!!!!!



I have learned a very big lesson over the past two months it is impossible to be a homeschool mommy, wife, successful stay at home mommy, ETSY store owner, and a blogger all at the same time...I have fallen way behind so now that Christmas orders are starting to dwindle....and yes I completed over 250 Christmas Cards for fabulous families this Holiday season...that is an all time record for me, and
 I still have a few more coming in......ahhh the bussiness of the season.  Here is a quick update on some projects that we have been working on.

Kaitlyn and I made a Christmas countdown Calendar for her room. She had so much fun painting the picture frame. She used a branch from our Christmas tree dipped into some white paint to add some snowflakes to her frame. I spray painted the small clips I found at Hobby lobby with some glitter spray paint....I had no idea they even made that what a great invention....I see lots of glitter in my crafting future :)Kaitlyn decorated her frame with Santa stickers she picked out and viola we were done....each day she removes a clip as we get closer and closer to December 25th!

Tonight we made salt dough ornaments with Daddy for our tree they were so easy to make.
1 cup salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup luke warm water

mix together and then roll out onto a floured surface. Kaitlyn used cookie cutters to make some that we are going to paint later and then we made two special ones for our tree using K's handprint and Callen's footprint.


To celebrate Thanksgiving we made some handprint turkeys for the fridge. the kids loved playing in the paint and getting their hands messy!
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Christmas Card Wreath


Every year it's a treat to open up Christmas cards from friends near and far. It would be even more of a treat to get to share the holidays with all of those that we see coming through our mailbox! Since these sweet friends and family can't always visit, it is nice to display their warm wishes around the house.

As night time was approaching the other day, and our first cards were arriving, I took what I had around the house and made a quick and easy wreath for the porch door. The scraps are from the Advent Calendar (seen below) and the wooden W was in my craft closet. In the past couple of days the wreath has gotten quite full, and serves as a great reminder of all those we are blessed to have in our life!
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No Talent Needed - Advent Calendar

With little to no talent, and a busy Christmas season, you too can make this easy Advent Calendar.








I hope that easy and fun crafts like this allow you to slow down and enjoy the most wonderful season of all!
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A Woodlands Themed Mantle

This is our first Christmas season in our home, and I couldn't wait to decorate a mantle for the
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Camp Will















I along with the other guests not only survived our camping experience last night, we relished in it! Jen and Jason out did themselves yet again. Their backyard was transformed into a kid friendly campsite full of tents, hot dogs, and of course s'mores! Thanks for a delightful evening and that precious baby boy of yours. So can I cross camping off of my bucket list?

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Easy Holiday iron on transfers


It's as easy as 1- 2- 3!

Just go to www.marcylauren.etsy.com to purchase your design

Open Microsoft word or another word processing program, insert the image and then drag the corners to resize to the desired height.
and print onto Avery dark t-shirt transfer paper sold at Walmart.

Step 1: Cut the design out

Step 2: Peel the back off

Step 3: Position the transfer onto the shirt making sure it is straight

Step 4 and 5: Cover with the tissue paper provided, and then iron on no steam pressing firmly for 3 minutes or so moving the iron around to cover the entire image.

Step 6: Allow the shirt to cool and then peel off tissue paper......and you are done!!!!
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Give Thanks Banner

A simple way to show your gratitude.

Start with a roll of packing paper or a brown paper grocery bag.



Cut rectangles, squares, triangles...really any shape you would like. I crumbled my rectangles to add a little texture to the banner. I also didn't cut out identical rectangles, but if you are a closet perfectionist, go right ahead!



Now start gluing on your letters. You could cut your letters out of fall inspired scrapbook paper, or use pre-cut letters. I happened to have multiple alphabets of letters due to a scrapbook store going out of business sale years ago. They have been collecting dust in a closet, and they were the inspiration for making a banner.



If you crumble your brown paper, you will find that the letters don't want to be glued down. So use a weight on each rectangle for a couple of minutes.





I've learned that it is virtually impossible to take nice pictures in our dining room, but here is the idea. The banner is MUCH cuter in person (if I do say so myself). Oh and those curtains were less than $14 a panel at Wal-mart. Yes, I have been to Wal-mart for all you naysayers!

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Halloween fun

Ghost Candles
This morning started off with some spooky pancakes and some Halloween fun! Kaitlyn and I made some Ghost candles out of old spaghetti jars. She squeezed some white paint into them and I added a few tablespoons of water...she shook them both up to coat the jar. I drew the eyes and mouth and she used the sharpie to color it in. Put a small flameless candle in the bottom of the jar for a spooky effect...these looked so cute tonight in the kitchen window.

Halloween Counting Book
We worked on our counting skills today. Kaitlyn used some Halloween stickers to make a counting book. She sorted the shapes first and put them into piles. I drew the numbers on the pages and she added the correct number of shapes to the pages. We are working on recognizing her numbers and using tangible items to count and match to those numbers. When she was done she had a cute book to read tonight.

Candy Corn Counting
Next we practiced a few more numbers by using some candy corn. I made small little flash cards with the numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 on them using scrapbook paper. I put some muffin wrappers with each card. K had to put the correct number of candy corn into each muffin wrapper. We talked about the numbers counted them and compared them. At the end she decided she wanted to eat the muffin wrapper that had 8 candy corn because it had the most.....I think she got the lesson :)

After Math we practiced her letters by playing a letter matching game, you can purchase it from my Teachers Pay Teachers Site here 


Painting
K had fun breaking out the paint and painting her candy corn...she had a little piece of candy as her inspiration :)

Posted by PicasaLunch was fun we made ghost sandwiches using our Halloween cookie cutters! Overall it was a spooktacular day, can't wait to see her go trick or treating tonight!
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Mad Hatter's Tea Party


We threw the kids a Mad hatter's Tea Party this weekend, and it was oh so fun! My little 3 year old was Alice and her 7 month old brother was the Mad Hatter. All of their little friends came over in their costumes and drank colored "tea" (Crayola Flavored water, no sugar added, comes in bright colors and is sold at Walmart) and ate cookies. The Party Invitations and Printables can be found here For treats each guest got a spooky S'more kit ( graham crackers, mini hershey bar and a PEEP Ghost) They were so yummy on the fire!


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