Thursday, November 24, 2011

Counting my blessings

Thanksgiving is a time for counting your blessings & being reminded of all that you have been blessed with.

This Thanksgiving I am reminded to be Thankful for my Husband. We do not always see eye to eye & there are days I am sure we drive each other crazy BUT we have love & we have each other & we always work things out somehow... for this I am grateful.I am Thankful for my sons!! They bring me the biggest joy & sometimes a few extra gray hairs BUT they fill my heart with love & joy to a capacity that could just make it burst & for this I am grateful.

I am thankful for my new nephew! My Squish!! I love him like he is my own & I cant wait for all the fun times we are going to have together. I love that he will be someone that my boys can be a role model to & that he has filled their hearts with love too! For this I am grateful!

I am thankful that my baby sister is now a mother to a beautiful baby boy! I know she is & will continue to be a great Mommy & my heart is overjoyed for her. For this I am grateful!

I am thankful that my brother-in-law is an awesome Dad & that he loves my sister beyond words. He will show my nephew how to grow up to be a great man! For this I am grateful!

I am thankful for brothers!!! I have 2 awesome brothers that are great inspiration for my boys. They give my boys someone they can turn to when sometimes Mom & Dad just don't cut it & for this I am grateful!!

I am thankful for ALL my sisters who give me a fuller life without even knowing it. They make me laugh & let me express my opinions & they are there for me when I need to vent & for this I am grateful!

I am thankful for cousins because they are just as important as sisters. I am blessed to have my cousins nearby to share in the joys of my life & for this I am grateful.
I am thankful for the parents who take care of all of us. While I have separate families...they are all equally important to me in every way because without each of them I would not be the person I am today.

They have loved me even when it would have been easy to be mad instead. They have forgiven me even though it would have been easy to walk away. They have given advice even when it would have been easy to let me struggle on my own. For this I am grateful!

I am thankful for my close friends (you know who you are). You are even

more special than you CHOSE to make me a part of your life & for this I am grateful (because honestly I don't know what I would do with out you)

I am also grateful for my numerous Aunts & uncles who are a HUGE part of my life I love you all & am so Grateful that we are such a close family!

I hope you counted your blessings today & were reminded of the many reasons life is so precious.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Addictive little things!

Let's talk about cake balls!! I know they are everywhere.....& with good reason! These little bite size goodies are so easy to make & they are to die for.

You start by making your favorite cake, this time I chose chocolate but they are equally as good in MANY other flavors Then you take this perfectly moist delicious cake & crumble it up.......yes I said crumble, ruin the cake people, its OK, I promise!

Then I used gobs of peanut butter, I didn't measure it, I just mixed in enough to make the cake come together into a dough. That part isn't exact science. Most people use a tub of store bought icing & that taste equally as scrumptious but this time around I was going for that chocolate - peanut butter flavor

see below how it is starting to come together like a cookie dough...that's what you want it to do

then you roll small amounts into balls & place on a sheet pan lines with parchment paper or in my case tin foil

then you will pop them into the freezer until they firm up. This makes them easier to handle when you give them a dip chocolate

I guess I could have tried to take a picture of the fork method of dipping but lets face it...this is a messy job! At least for me it is!

I used regular old chocolate chips, the kind you use in chocolate chip cookies. Some people use almond bark but I find it way too sweet. I used the semi sweet but also dipped some in milk chocolate chips to satisfy my 15 year old who doesn't like chocolate!!! I KNOW a complete sin. . But if he is willing to try the milk chocolate the least I can do is oblige him!

I dumped the chips in a glass bowl & followed the package directions for melting them in the microwave. worked like a charm & I was able to melt it without seizing up the chocolate. I always seems to do that with the double boiler method. . .I apparently get moisture in the chocolate.

You can totally tell the difference between the 2 I think the dark taste the best, Oh & its good for you least that's what "they" say!

Once I get them covered in chocolate I pop them back in the freezer to speed the cooling process & then I like to keep them in the fridge. I love when the outer chocolate snaps when you bite into it & then you get the moist luscious cake inside. Pure heaven.
I really owe my new found love of cake balls to My Uncle Jeff. He was apparently obsessed with making them last year & made all kinds of flavors, so he introduced them to us & they have been a hit ever since. So I say Thank you Uncle Jeff ( my thighs NOT so much)
On a final note I have extra cake balls made up in my freezer waiting to get dipped because I always seem to have more cake balls than melted chocolate. I find this is a convenient way to speed up the process for the next time. I guess this will help me determine how long they will keep in the freezer. I tried to figure that out last time I made them but my Dad who was visiting, discovered them hidden in the freezer & ate them before I got the chance. He was even more thrilled when I was able to coat some in the chocolate!!
So there you have it, my method of making cake balls. It really is so easy, I hope you give it a try with your favorite cake & icing flavors!

Until next time........ Happy Creating!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jingle all the way!

It seems like things in the stores went straight from Halloween to Christmas in a heartbeat!

It always makes me feel bad for the Thanksgiving Holiday because it gets treated like the kid in school who always ate the paste!

While my home is still decorated for fall & there is much discussion on the big turkey dinner, I decided I would get a jump on some Christmas projects I wanted to try.

(Thank you Pinterest)

I have several projects in the works but this particular project was so cute & so fast to get done I thought I would share it right away.

I saw this on Pinterest & remembered it but never did pin it to my board so I have no idea where it originated from but I am glad I saw it because it has awakened my thought process for the endless possibilities!Here was my take on the Jingle Bells Shadow Box. You will have to check back to see some of the other boxes I have come up with.

I started by finding a super deal at Michael's on some shadowboxes, then I found a cute piece of Christmas scrapbook paper I already had & glued it to the front of the frame back (I know you have to think about that for a minute right?) but I am not sure how else to describe it so we are going to roll with that!

Then I glued my sparkle chipboard letters to the front of the glass with my dazzle tack glue

I did it on the outside because I didnt want the glue to be seen if i glues it from under the glass. I also think the added dimention is nice.

The I placed a package of silver bells inside the shadowbox frame to roll around freely & affixed the backing in place.
It looked really fun & cute just as it was BUT I felt like it needed that little something extra so I added a bow
and there you have it!!! a cute project that took less than 15 minutes. I was so excited about it that I was actually giddy & for a split second thought, we could just skip Thanksgiving & go straight to putting up the Christmas tree....NAH just kidding, we cant pass on Thanksgiving TURKEY & pumpkin pie!
This project cost me less than $10.00 & it makes such a cute gift

or something to deck your own halls with!

Until next time. . . . .Happy Creating!