Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Sweets: Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Easter friends!  You've probably had your fill of chocolate eggs and bunnies, but here's a great Sunday Sweet for ya:)

I love these cookies!  L-O-V-E!
I found this recipe a few years ago and whenever I feel like baking cookies to just have as a special treat for the kids, this is what I make.
I randomly wrote the recipe on this piece of paper and I've lost it half a dozen times, but it always manages to resurface.  I re-found it last weekend and since the ingredients are pantry staples, we whipped a batch up.
I found the recipe and actually wrote it down wrong...a little too much salt.

The Brown Eye Baker has a lot of other great recipes, so be sure to check out!
This last time I baked them I used dark brown sugar because I heard it adds more flavor...honestly, I didn't notice a difference.
My helpers loved them from start... finish:)



Friday, March 29, 2013

Bounce House Birthday

I'm almost a week late on posting this fun birthday!
We celebrated with Emma last weekend at the bounce house for her 5th birthday, the kids had a blast.
It was the perfect energy zapper for a wintery spring in Michigan.  The kids were running, jumping and sliding like crazy.

There were some ride on toys that Wills was obsessed with.  After Emma's cousin Walton showed him the restart button, he was hooked!

Each and everyone of these girls were CRAZY for Emma.  They swarmed her like bees on honey to give her their gifts.  Lauren patiently waited, and may have been last but we know she certainly wasn't least:)

With William celebrating a birthday and then Emma, Miss Lauren has been talking non-stop about her birthday.  When is it coming?  Is it my birthday today? Can I get a Sleeping Beauty dress?  Can I have a pool party and wear a bikini?  Will Emma be there?  I can't wait to show Max my bikini?  
Umm, what was that?  For some reason, we've gone through a lot of wine this week:)

Thanks for including us in the celebration Emma!!



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

At the Big Top

Lauren got to play hooky from school last week to enjoy a fun morning at the circus with her Grandma's school.  William and I normally stay home, but now that he is two I felt like he would enjoy it just as much.  And with Grandpa coming along, I knew I wouldn't be out numbered.
The show was put on but the Detroit Shriners, and this particular performance welcomed students and adults from all over the city with special needs.  Grandma Robin is a speech pathologist and works with many of the students we were sitting with.  We were so lucky and thankful to have been invited.  It was so fulfilling to watch the joy on her students' faces!
The acrobats were my favorite part of the show, but before the performance started Lauren and I had quite the ride.  An elephant ride!  If it were on my bucket list, I can now check that box.
Both Lauren and William sat perfectly during the entire show and were thoroughly entertained.  I had been holding off on going to the movies as a family or getting tickets to Disney on Ice or Elmo Live in fear that William wouldn't sit still.  But I think we're ready now!
For anyone interested, the venue was at the Hazel Park Raceway and was small.  Great seats all around and the show continues this weekend!

Thanks again for including us in such a fun and special day!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leprechaun Locomotive Sundae Bar

As promised, I'm back with the details about the sundae bar.  Instead of a cake, I decided on ice cream sundaes.  William and Lauren have never let a scoop melt, where cookies and cakes are left half eaten...until I finish them.  And it seemed easy enough to make the bar train themed.
The cars were just mini loaf pans from Kroger and I modpodged with scrapbook paper.  They needed wheels and a quarter was the perfect size.  They may not be perfectly round, but a little dot with a black sharpie and I was done!
The train car labels were from a Martha Stewart line at Michael's and I just added the stickers and used toothpicks to display.

*Oreo Coal Car
*Box Car Bananas
*Side Car Sprinkles
*Passenger Car Peanuts
*M&M Monorail
*Peanut Butter Cup Caboose
* Steam - Whipped Cream
*Axel Grease - Chocolate Syrup
*Engine Oil - Hot Fudge



Monday, March 18, 2013

William's Two and a Saint Patrick's Day To Do!

With almost a week until William's birthday, I still hadn't made any plans for his party. Very unlike me.  My wheels are normally spinning months in advance, but this whole house up for sale thing had consumed me.  A quick decision and an email invite later, and I was in business planning his little party.

In an effort to keep things simple I reused last year's Saint Patrick's Day theme and why not!?!

I think William had a great time and loved having a few buddies over to celebrate with him.
I love having parties for the kids at home, but there is a lot work that goes into it.  I'm usually stressing and regretting the day of but not yesterday.  Besides reusing the decorations, I kept the menu simple and didn't have the stress of cleaning the house because it already was!  This may have been our last party at this house so maybe that even added to excitement of wanting to host.  Thanks to all who came and celebrated!

Even before I picked up the clearance train track, William has been loving all things trains...or "choo choo" as he says.  So, I decided to add one little touch in honor of his choo choo obsession.  I combined the two themes and I'll share that tomorrow!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dining Room Buffet Update

I made a list of projects I wanted to complete this year and posted it here.  Keeping the buffet bare after Christmas did in fact get this little project complete.  Deciding to put our house up for sale didn't hurt the cause either.
It started with finding this tray at Home Goods.  I've been seeing cocktail trays and mini bars in magazines and pinterest, and loved the idea of bringing one to this space.  

The lamps were a tough find.  It basically came down to finding the right height and shape.  I love the shape of these, but was just so-so on the color.  

The apple green coordinates well but it wouldn't have been my first choice. The lamps were only $25 each and because I love the shape, they could always be painted later.  It was also a we need this now and I've been to six stores kind of decision too.  I also purchased the orchid and had the books and artichoke.  I now feel like the mirror is all wrong, but I'm keeping it for now.  I'd love something more detailed, but who knows what the space will be like in our future home.

With the help of my cousin Mark's wide angle lens and flash, I snapped many of the pictures for our realtor.  I thought I'd share our entire space because I'm always wishing other home bloggers would do the same.  I love seeing how the entire space flows together.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Forward

We got a taste of spring like temperatures over the weekend and decided to enjoy the fresh air with a little visit to the zoo.  So did a lot of people, we couldn't believe the crowd.  Insert pun...the place was a zoo!  
We broke in the wagon which was a perfect fit for both kids, but if one was walking, the other wanted to join.  
There wasn't a ton of animals to see.  Everything indoor was open, but the only real outside highlight were the polar bears.  Until we stumbled upon this giraffe and then it was a wrap. 

I hope you enjoyed some of that sunshine too!
Being that it is Michigan, we are of course back to rain and cold today...BOO!  



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Team Spirit

We talked about the big MSU vs. UofM basketball game all week.  I even bought Lauren the cheerleading outfit and she couldn't wait to get to Grandma's to grab her pompoms and cheer on MSU.
Grandma's got talent!  Shaking those pompoms exactly like the girls on tv!
Lauren also wanted to give everyone a special performance during halftime.
I'm sure you are wondering what she is wearing and where it came from.  Our neighbor's husband is Indian and on his last trip to India he brought this home for his daughter.  After Lauren fell in love with it, we were lucky enough to have it on loan for the weekend.

Despite being dressed up for a Vegas show, Lauren had some major stage fright.  William was ready to steal the show but she pulled herself together and swayed from side to side for the duration of the song (the fourth attempt to play the song) long as Uncle PJ kept his eyes closed.
Maybe the dress just put too much pressure on her?


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Sweets {Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars}

I've got another good one for you!

I pinned this recipe forever ago and when I went to make it the link was dead.  I searched and this one seemed nice and easy and it was!
These were ooey gooey just out of the oven, but still soft once they cooled!  I think under cooking like the instructions said did the trick!



Saturday, March 2, 2013


Jackpot.  Defined in our house as an amazing deal.  Maybe it was receiving the mother load of playdoh when we only expected a four pack for Christmas or scoring the cutest bathing suit at the end of the season for $4. While running errands Thursday, William and I totally "hit the jackpot."  
This train set was hiding in a pile of toys at Marshall's for $10!  At first I did question whether it may be too good to be true, but one picture message to a mother of two boys and it was in my cart! 

I normally would have saved this until his birthday, but I was so excited that I decided we would open right away.  I stopped for a Shamrock shake for us to share while we put the track together.

Almost two hours later the track was together and in frustation with the zillion tiny screws this thing came with, I drank the shake by myself.  
Sorry Wills, but ya gotta do, what ya gotta do.
This ramp-oh-fun is what almost put me over the edge!  Screw red piece in place while holding three pieces of road together...riiiggghhhtt!
Assembly aside, it is a great little train set and the price really could not be beat!  And he is in love with it!
Now we just need a table so he won't step all over it:)