Friday, August 26, 2011

After School Activity {Helpful Cookie Tip}

It can be really hard to get a few moments by yourself after the kids get home from school to get dinner going.  Anyone who's been in the room with a child knows that, but especially parents.  But I have a sweet solution to help out once or twice a week.


Well, not these particular ones. 

But why not let your little ones sit down at the kitchen table, where you can keep an eye on them without having to hover, and decorate their own cookies?  It should give you those 30 minutes after work and school for you to get dinner going.

The kids will love it and you will too.  Almost no screaming guaranteed!

Here's how to make it easy on yourself:

1.  On a day you have time, say, the weekend the kids are visiting Nana.  Make up your favortie sugar cookie recipe.  Or cheat, because who's gonna tattle on you--the kids are gone! - and buy the pre-made dough.  Resist the temptation to eat them.  It will be difficult, as stated before, no one will tell on you. 

2.  After the cookies are cooled, freeze the cookie shapes in a plastic container, separated by sheets of wax paper.

3.  Up to a week in advance, make some glaze icing and store it in the fridge, covered.  Again, you could buy the store bought kind of cookie decorator icing or if like me, you have buttercream already frozen too.

4.  Then, when the kids come home (and of course have done their chores and their homework because kids always do what their told), pull out a couple of cookies for each child from the freezer.  You could also pull them out the morning of the activity before you rush out the door.  That is, if you can remember to make Suzy put on shoes, Tommy to stop being grouchy and screaming he doesn't care if his teeth fall out, he's not brushing, and you to have actually taken the curlers out of your hair.

5.  Pour the icing into decorationg bags with tips or snip off the edges of Ziploc bags.  Put some sprinkles in separate little bowls.  You don't want those dirty kid fingers in the big containers of sprinkles.  They pick their noses with those fingers.

6.  Tell them to go to town decorating! On wax paper of course. 

7.  Make dinner without crying over the fact that the kids are doing something without you.  Praise God!

While you are eating dinner with the family the cookies can "dry" and then everyone can eat one for dessert. 

It works.  I know.  I've tried.  I always save the broken ones (and a few nice ones too) for the niece to decorate.  She gets the biggest kick out of this.  (You can do the same with mini-cupcakes too!  They also freeze!) 

Hope your day is delicious with this cute tip!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Updates and Wooden Letter Crafts

It's been a busy month.  I say that, but then when I look back I think I haven't been busy enough.  Most notably, I haven't written much on here.  I thought it time to update everyone on how life has been going lately.  Or rather, how lost I still am and how much my oven has been burning with all the desserts that I've been baking.

We almost have everything unpacked from the big move.  The first thing I unpacked, naturally, was the baking utensils.  It's truly sad how much of the cabinets I'm occupying with stuff dedicated only to cakes.  We still have some trinkets and personal touches that need a home, but otherwise we have begun to make this our home.  It feels enormous; much bigger than necessary for two people.  I suppose that will change one day and then it might actually be too small.

I quit the lab finally.  Right before the move.  It was an intense decision with many rationalizations affecting the course.  Most of them were due to inapporopriate actions or words spoken to me; everything else was just, may I say, icing on the cake.  I really had no other choice in the end.  Regardless, I cried.  A lot.  There's still turmoil in how to handle other aspects of that decision.  When it really gets to me, I make sugar cookies.  Again, a lot.

I still have no direction on what to do next. Which path will lead to the most happiness?  What will help others more?  What is it that God wants me to do?  How will I know?  Decifering my destiny is like trying to figure out if a cheesecake is done without opening the oven door.  It's a guessing game really.

A rather depressing one at times.  However, there are lots of possiblities and that makes me smile.  I've also had extra time to do those crafty projects I've always been jealous of others being able to complete.  One of those I'd like to share with you.

I love the new craze using wooden letters as wall decor.  Lots of people are doing them in baby rooms.  Like this one done by Kendra Townsely McGaugh.  She sells these by the way.  Contact me if you need info.

Adorable, right?  They can be on the expensive side if you have lots of letters to do.  About 10 bucks a letter if you get the big wood ones.  I managed to catch Hobby Lobby on a sale day though and I found some already painted and made of particle wood.  Less work for me and lighter and easier to hang on the wall.

Grabbing my hot glue gun, my 50% off ribbon and letters, plus some touch up paint, I got to work.

I cut the ribbon all about 7 inches long while heating up the glue gun.  Then I just dolloped a bit of glue on the back of each letter and attched the ribbon.  On the bigger letters, like the "W", it would have been helpful to have 8 inches of ribbon to insure that all the letters had the same size of ribbon overhang.  Oh well.

When my husband came home he put a little nail in the wall and I stood back telling him the appropriate spacing.  It was that easy! 

Want to make yours more unique?  Grab some scrapbook paper, decoupage glue, and acrylic paint and go to town!  It's a really neat way to add interest to your walls without putting aonther picture on the wall.

I'll show you the cute rosettes and hair pins I made later.  Really adorable!