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March 31, 2010

Blindside

When we first moved into our house 3+ years ago we made a list of home improvement priorities. We started with the cheapest and easiest, so we painted lots of rooms. Each year we try to tackle one big item usually using a tax refund to assist. One item on the list was new curtains for the family room. About two years ago the curtains came off the track and they have never quite been the same, although we wanted new curtains even before that. But part of the delay in new curtains was I wasn't sure what to replace them with. That changed a few months ago when I saw a Costco ad for Hunter Douglas honeycomb blinds. The room in the ad looked similar to my family room and I decided those were the blinds for me. I love my new blinds and want to do the whole downstairs of the house, but that will have to wait for another tax refund or two.

Picture from birthday of Boy #1, but it shows the old curtains pretty well

New blinds, I love the way they show off the wood

When they are up they almost disappear

March 22, 2010

The Culprit

This is the butter knife that caused me to get four stitches in my pinkie this evening. Who knew a butter knife could be so dangerous? I was helping boy #1 enlarge some holes in the lid of a jar for his rolly polly friends when the knife slipped down quickly as I was holding it. I waited 45 minutes until Steve got home to get a second opinion and then I drove myself to the urgent care. Meanwhile dinner was in mid preparation and we were hosting students for dessert, which wasn't made. Luckily I gave instructions to Steve and he took care of dinner and dessert while I was gone.

March 19, 2010

Cupcake Recipe

A few people have asked for this so here it is. My mom sent it to me, so thanks to her for introducing the recipe to me.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 bag peanut butter cups - regular size, not mini

Mix together cake mix, eggs, and milk. (I think you could use your own cake batter made from scratch if you wanted to) Pour 2 Tbsp batter into paper liners and place a peanut butter cup on batter. Fill paper liners with more batter until 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 15 -18 minutes or until cupcake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Frost when completely cooled.

Peanut Butter Frosting - This is good on just about anything
1 Cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 Cup butter, room temperature
2 Cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla

Combine peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl, mixing together until light and fluffy. Stop mixer and add powdered sugar, 3 tbsp milk or cream, and vanilla. Start mixer slowly and mix together, gradually increasing the speed. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add 1 tbsp milk or cream if frosting is too thick.
I chopped peanut butter cups to place on top

March 11, 2010

I Have a Confession to Make

I have a serious problem. I cannot stop eating caramel corn. You think that maybe I would stop making it, but that would be too easy a solution. In the past two months I have made this so many times I have lost count. I will share the recipe so you can be addicted also.

The recipe comes from my friend's cookbook.

3 popped bags microwave popcorn or equivalent amount air popped popcorn
1/2 cup butter - the original recipe calls for butter substitute (remember this is a healthy cookbook)
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups mini marshmallows

Empty popped popcorn into large bowl. Melt butter in pot over low heat. Add brown sugar and marshmallows to pot and stir over low until melted. Boil for 3 minutes while continuing to stir. Pour mixture over popcorn and stir to coat.

March 6, 2010

Something Magical

How do you keep the attention of 18 six and seven year old kids for close to an hour? You hire a magician. Today was the birthday party of boy #1. He is really into magic tricks so we decided we would splurge a bit and have a magician come to the party. Oh my, was it worth every penny! I have never seen boy#1 laugh so hard and be so entertained. He also got to help out with lots of tricks and got quite a loot from the magician. And other than providing pizza and making a cake, it was pretty easy to host that many kids. Here are some pictures and video footage from the party.
Boy #1 laughing

More laughing

He helped the magician entertain the crowd

Here he is with a bunny and a bird

His bag of tricks from the magician

My bunny out of a hat trick


video

March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Boy #1!

Boy #1 was 12 days overdue and therefore was born on 03-03-03. I think he has a pretty cool birthday. Today was a party day with balloons at the breakfast table, fun books at school, and family over for dinner, cupcakes, and games. Boy #1 loves his cousins, aunts, uncles, and his grandma who has been visiting us. He had a great day and I think he is a great kid. Happy Birthday!

Boy #1 with his birthday balloons

Playing his new Winter Olympics for the Wii with cousins and Uncle J

Hanging out with Grandma

Making a wish

Yes, there is an entire peanut butter cup near the bottom of these cupcakes. Yum