Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Monster Cookies

How do you make a Monster Easter Cookie?  Add Easter colored m&m's of course!  

I tried another one of Tina's recipes at Cooking is a Whim and loved it!  Her Monster Cookies are yummy!  You may remember I tried her fabulous Honey-Bean Brownies about a month ago.  She has lots of great recipes!

Easter Monster Cookies

Recipe from Cooking is a Whim
Monster Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2/3 cup butter, softened
1-1/3 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon corn syrup
6 cups old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M’s

In a large bowl, beat butters and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add the baking soda, vanilla and corn syrup. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and M&M’s.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 3 dozen large cookies (about 6 dozen if you make them regular sized).

My Little Cookie Monster

Official Cookie Tester
Thumbs Up!
A little fact I just read about in my new Taste of Home magazine, is that cookies made with butter tend to be crunchy and cookies made with shortening and brown sugar tend to be chewy.  Butter melts faster than shortening, so when baking in a hot oven, buttery cookies spread out faster and are thinner and crunchier than shortening based cookies.

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Silver Polish

I have a few pieces of baby silverware, that were my grandmas, that I decided should be used instead of sitting in a box somewhere.  They were pretty tarnished and were in desperate need of some polishing.  I wanted something nontoxic and found a great solution on none other than Martha Stewart's website.

Fill an aluminum pan or one lined with foil with hot water, salt and baking soda and stir until it dissolves.  A chemical reaction occurs when you add the silver, removing the tarnish.

It worked pretty well.  Take a look at the before and afters.


Line the bottom of a pan with foil

Add hot water, salt and baking soda

Speaking of baby spoons, Ryder got to try out rice cereal for the first time the other day.  He was a little skeptical at first and kept spitting it out, but I think that is a natural reaction the first time you try food.  He's starting to get the hang of it.  He's getting so big, so fast!


Happy Champagne Thursday!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minty Green Shamrock Cookies

Parker and I made some minty, green sugar cookies for St. Patrick's day.  I added a little mint extract and green food coloring to the dough and frosting to give it a little St. Patrick's day touch.

Parker found his Jr Chef coat and got to work rolling the dough and stamping out shamrocks, or at least he did for a few minutes.  

My little helper

Ready to bake

They have a little bit of a green tint



Here's a quick green centerpiece that I put together.  I used my St. Patrick's day Wordle that I created last year, a few green vases and some shamrocks.

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way -
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
~Author Unknown 

Hope everyone has a fabulous St. Patrick's day!

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

4 Months

Ryder Norman is now 4 months old!  

He had his well-child check up this morning and is 14 lbs 13 oz and 25.5 inches.

Valentine's Day
Sleeping in his own room for the night
Engagement Party (It was my first too!)
Going down a slide (with mom, of course)

Coming Soon:
Two bottom teeth - We have a teething baby on our hands.  Wish us luck!  
Rice Cereal

Napping in his room

Enjoy the pictures from Ryder's 4 month photo shoot!

Love those blue eyes!


I love the fuzz on the top of his head

Okay Mom, I've had enough!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Seeing Double

No, I didn't drink too much champagne last night.  My mom was in town for work this week, so we got take advantage of the hotel pool and take Ryder swimming for the first time.  Coincidentally, Ryder was about the same age Parker was when we took him swimming for the first time, so we got some similar shots.  

Ryder had fun swimming and splashing in the water!  He's a pretty easy going baby and loves his baths, so I figured he would like swimming.  He seemed a little cold after we got out of the pool, so I soaked a towel in the hot tub and wrapped it around him to warm him up.  

Parker & Ryder

Ryder & Parker

Flapping his arms trying to fly away

He really did seem to like the water, even if his face suggests otherwise


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jewelry Organization

Do you want an easy way to organize your jewelry?  Grab a few bead boxes from Michaels, JoAnn Fabric or any other craft store and start organizing.  These bead boxes are a great way for storing jewelry.  They have movable dividers, allowing you to change the compartment sizes.  Each necklace can have its own compartment, making it less likely to get all tangled.

I use the smaller one for traveling and I love that everything is still separated and untangled when I get to my destination.

I saw a three pack at Michaels the other day for $5.99, plus it was 40% off, making for some cheap organization.  If it isn't on sale when you are there, you can always use one of their 40% off coupons. Michaels and JoAnn coupons are pretty easy to come by.

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Free Valspar Paint Sample

Do you have something you've been wanting to paint?  Is there a certain color you want to try out?  Now is the perfect time to get a FREE paint sample from Valspar.  Valspar is giving away 750 free paint kits, every day during the month of March.  The sample store opens at 10:00 am EST every morning.  I have a few projects I want to work on, but it needs to warm up, so I can work on them in the garage.

Request Free Paint Kit

The paint kit includes:
- 8 oz Valspar paint sample
- Single-use foam roller
- Paint tray
- Coordinating Paint Chips
- Coupon for $5 off a gallon of Valspar paint at Lowes

"Like" the Valspar Facebook page today!

Happy Painting!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mission: Move Baby to Own Room

Step 1 of mission move Ryder to his own room was to install blackout curtains in his room, to make it as dark as possible.

There are not a ton of options for blackout curtains, at least not affordable ones.  So, after looking around a bit, I went with the exact same curtains Parker has in his room.  Eclipse curtains from Target, that are suppose to block 99% of light, reduce outside noise and save on heating and cooling costs.  I'm not sure if they block 99% of light, but they do block quite a bit.  I bought two panels for around $25.



A little tip if you don't like your curtains bunched up on the top, is to create tabs on the back.  I think it looks a little classier, than bunched up together.  All you have to do is cut slits in the outer layer, where you insert the curtain rod.  

The width of these panels is 42", so I cut six, 2" tabs and five, 6" tabs and slid the curtain rod under the 2" tabs.

DIY Hidden Back Tabs for Curtains

Step 2 was to put Ryder to bed in his room and see how he did.  We wanted to move him sooner, rather than later.  Even though it was so much easier on me, to reach over and grab him, feed him and put him back in the pack and play, when he was in our room.  Plus, he was only getting up once or twice a night, when he was in our room and I was thinking that was pretty good and wasn't sure I wanted to change anything.

Every time I had put him down for a nap in his room, he woke up 20 minutes later, so I was a little worried.  The first night we put him to bed in his room, he ended up back in our room around 12:30 AM.  He woke up 4 times in three hours and I wasn't ready for a night with absolutely no sleep, but I wanted to try again the next night.  The second night and every other night after, he has stayed in his room the whole night.  The first few nights were hard on me, because he was up 4-5 times.  We have a humidifier in his room too, because he gets stuffed up when he sleeps flat on his back.  When he was sleeping in our room, we had him propped up to help with the stuffiness, but now that he is in his own room he needs to sleep on his back.  He has been in his room for about a week and half and is doing pretty good.  We just started putting him to bed earlier, after Parker goes to bed, a little after 7:30.  He usually sleeps around 12 hours, getting up 2-3 times to eat.  He has had one night where he only got up once.  That was nice for mom!   I know its hard to believe (especially for Grandparents) but the more kids sleep, the more they sleep :)  It's nice to have a few kid free hours in the evening to spend with Chris.

Mission pretty much accomplished!  We're still working on a consistent nap schedule.

Now, all we have to do, is get him to sleep through the night.  Wish us luck!

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Sleep Tight!