Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween


11/3/11-Just wanted to say THANKS to Ashley from Make It and Love It...you KNOW the site.
She showed off these costumes on her insanely popular site with a ton of other cute costumes...but for
whatever reason, my costumes are running in the header for previous posts, so the Little Men are practically famous! Woohoo!

Happy Halloween or as my boys call it "Trick-or-Treating Day".

I know you guys have probably already seen the Super costumes, but hey this is all I have been able to accomplish besides feeding the Little Men, showering, a birthday party (will show later this week) and getting dressed. Hahaha. Eventually all my umph will come back...in like a year and a half, right???

Enjoy this fall evening with your sweet family and friends, whatever you are doing. We will be trick or treating between predictions of rain and snow. Wish us luck!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Going with the FLO


Insurance anyone???

I forgot to share my fun little Halloween costume with you all. Hehehe...

Hubby and I normally are not big dresser-upers. I hate spending money on creating costumes for us when the Little Men are SO much more fun to dress. This year we had a couples party we got invited to, AND being the newbies in the neighborhood we did not want to bah-humbug it and be the lame ones. SO I came up with a brilliant idea to be the lovely Progressive Insurance girl Flo.

I will admit that the whole costume hinged on the fact if I could get my white pants on. It was touch and go, but with a few hair bands and the lovely apron to hid  my huge fanny, the pants worked. To the pants I added a boys white polo shirt, a quickly made white apron, printed out tags from the progressive websites "dress like Flo" link (yes they have one of those), some fake eyelashes, red lipstick, eyeliner, and a really ratted hair-do.

Ta-da, there you have it. A pregnant Flo the Progressive Insurance Girl.


What was Hubby you ask??? Well he was just about the best "Mayhem" guy ever...you know the suit-wearing-havoc-creating mayhem guy from the Allstate Insurance commercials? He looked AWESOME and everyone knew who we both were right away.

So why no picture of Hubby, or Hubby and I together?

Right after my pictures were taken the babysitter came AND we were already running late. In the craziness, we simply just kind of spaced it. Then I didn't take my camera to the party. When we got home, again, we were so tired we just forgot!!!

SO, I apologize for not being able to show the whole picture...but it was AWESOME.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Man of Steel

 Do you guys remember this? Our very own Clark Kent...
This photo was for our Middle Man of Steel's party invite..which party is most likely 
going on while you are reading this...help me!

Well, behind Clark Kent is The Man of Steel.


The only Super in our house who can fly...a fact which he reminds the other Supers quite often.


With the ability of flight, comes the need for a cape of course.


I think our Man of Steel thinks he is the leader of all the other Supers.


With all his super powers, who can argue with him? Not me, that is for sure!


Whew, three costumes done...a feat I didn't think I could do. I am glad I did, because I am feel a lot safer with my own Little Supers. What house wouldn't be safe with their own Man of Steel, Wolverine, and Tiny Spiderman!

Our Tiny Spiderman


Yesterday I shared our Oldest superhero, Wolverine. Today it is Littlest's turn. Our littlest Super can be found scaling walls, swinging from web, and combating evil with his AH-dorable face.

His costume has been done the longest. He LOVES it. When you ask him what he is going to be for Halloween he happily declares, "PIDERMAN!" Right after I made it he wore the hat for hours.

SO cute! I know I am biased, but seriously...has there ever been a cuter Spiderman...who knew utter cuteness was a super power???

Even a tiny Spiderman needs a six pack, just a tiny version!


Spiders everywhere, just in case you weren't sure who he was.


I did mention that his super power was cuteness, right?


Just try to resist!

Later today I will share our last Super...I think you guys might already know who he is...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wolverine in Costume Form


We have a set of Supers at our house. Three Little Men all sporting new super powers and quite impressive six packs. Yes we are saving the world in all kinds of ways over here.

Oldest chose to be Wolverine almost a year ago (we won't mention that as I was sewing this costume he declared he wanted to change to Thor...I nicely said "Not a chance Mister!"). When he chose Wolverine he stated in awe that Wolverine was his favorite super hero...I sighed thinking of the new X-men movies and completely agreed that Wolverine was my favorite super hero too...hehehe...

Anywhoo...

I stressed the most about Oldest's costume, however it turned out great with only one minor sewing crisis concerning the claws...to which after ripping out my hair in attempt I just listened to very wise Hubby and order his claws online. Whew, much better.

Now he is one awesome Wolverine. Man he is not messing around is he!



I dare law-breakers to defy him. I just dare you to mess with him.


Bring it!


Our other Supers are shortly on their way!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup


I heart, heart, heart good homemade chicken noodle soup. Okay so I love most homemade soups. Man I love that it is soup weather again...now loving having to wear a coat, long johns, socks and sturdy shoes-not so much...but soup, I am ALL over that!

Last year I searched out a knock off recipe for my favorite restaurant chicken noodle soup. I posted it here. Now, that soup was good, but nothing compared to this soup. I have already made this soup twice. It is easy to throw together and SO yummy. The first time I made it I finished off the leftovers the next day. This is now my go-to chicken noodle soup recipe.

Enjoy the brisk fall weather you might be having, make some soup and get warm and cozy.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
adapted from Cooking Like a Champion 

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 stalks of celery, diced (1 cup)
3 carrots or handful of baby carrots, diced (1 cup)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 quarts chicken broth (can do half chicken half vegetable it adds a nice flavor)
2 cups wide homemade-style noodles
2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For chicken-I put 2 chicken breasts in the crock pot with some salt and pepper. I cook on high for 4-6 hours. Then it shreds perfectly. You can also poach chicken in chicken broth if you like. OR hey just use a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Directions:
In a large pot, heat oil over med-high heat. Add the celery, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the stock, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for another 10 minutes. Then add chicken and parsley. Continue cooking until chicken is heated through.

Serve with a side of rolls or biscuits.

Cheddar Biscuit-This time I served it with a vamped up packaged Pillsbury biscuit. I simply shredded a little bit of cheddar cheese, pressed that into the top of each biscuit. Then I cooked as directed. Right before removing them from the oven I melted 4 tablespoons of butter and mixed in 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Then I brushed it over the top of each cooked biscuit. A simple version of a cheddar bay biscuit.



Yum! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Somewhat Simple Food Contributor


It is that time of the month again...NO not that time...geez.

It is time for my recipe contribution over at Somewhat Simple. Since it is October and all, I chose to share a pumpkin recipe. This is a super easy and delicious Pumpkin Pie Bar recipe. I am not a big fan of regular pumpkin pie, but these make my mouth happy.

Head on over and get yourself this recipe. Happy fall baking!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Gummy Candy


I have a list of homemade candies that I want to make. Yesterday I posted the homemade butterfingers, YUM! I actually have a lot of homemade chocolate candy bar recipes, but as some of you might know, I prefer gummy candy to chocolate..shock...GASP...I know.

So I went on search for some homemade candy recipes that weren't chocolate based. I found this recipe almost right away on Skip to My Lou. I thought to myself, "Self, you can't go wrong with homemade gummy candy."

So I went and bought some gelatin. Next, I raided our Jell-o stash...yes we have one. Then we found some candy molds at a craft store. This recipe is fast, easy and the candy totally stores well (we prefer them in the fridge). My Little Men LOVED this candy. In fact, this was the treat of choice for days. Hubby LOVED them. We had so much fun making this recipe we have already done it twice. So many variations. SO much fun.

Here is all you need:


2-3 oz boxes of Jell-o
3 packets of plain gelatin (there are four in a box)
2/3 cup water
candy molds*

a helper or two...

*We had a 10 pack of candy molds. You will get more if you use smaller molds. I always made two batches at time. We filled 6-7 molds depending. 



FIRST- Pour the water into a medium-large sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin and Jell-O over the water.


Let is sit for 5-10 minutes.


Then put the saucepan on the stove. Heat to boiling on medium high heat Stir constantly and keep on heat until the gelatin and Jell-O dissolve. 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a minute.

Then transfer the mixture into a container that you can pour from.


Then start the careful, meticulous pouring...this part is not for the kiddos...well either is the stove part, but I figure you all would know that.

You do not need to prepare the molds at all. The candy will come out fine without it.


Let the candy set for at 20-30 minutes. Then to get the candy out you need to use one finger, it will stick to it a little, then pull down and back gently. The candy should kind of peel out of the mold. Be careful to not roll the candy down on itself because it will stick.

Lay the candy out on a sheet of wax paper. The candy will be stickier in the very beginning. In a couple hours it will be much less sticky.


You can eat some right then and there or you can store it in a rubbermaid container. Like I said earlier, we put ours in the fridge.

I promise you this, you will have fun AND you will be addicted to making your own gummy candy.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homemade Butterfingers



Can you guess what candy bar I can be found stealing from my childrens' trick-or-treat bags? Oh wait, did I just admit to stealing their candy...okay you know YOU ALL do it too! Part of the exhilaration of watching our kids load up on the candy is knowing that some of it is ours. Let's just say it is part of our payment for giving them life, wiping their bums, staying up all night with them, and getting stretch marks.

This year, I found a recipe for homemade butterfingers. Not because I am not planning on diving into their treat bags, but because...well my Little Men are learning to love Butterfingers too. I can justify taking some of their candy, but not their favorite. I know such a lovely motherly sacrifice.

I was leery of this recipe. Could these really be just as good? I mean, really?  I was especially fearful when I saw that there were only 3 ingredients. THREE. Oh and one of those ingredients was candy corn, uh say what? Yep, candy corn.

I figured though, if there was a time to give this recipe a try, it was now. Now when candy corn assaults you at every store you go to.

So, with a little bit of pessimism I gave the recipe a try. I "tsked" and snorted in disbelief as I melted the candy corn. Continued to murmur as I stirred in the 16 oz of peanut butter. I was still rather skeptical as I made the bars.  After dipping them in chocolate, letting them sit a bit, and even refrigerating them for a bit, I finally give them a try...

Ahhhhhhh (choirs singing not me screaming)...DE-lightful.

How in the heck does peanut butter and candy corn make a Butterfinger? Well, I don't know but oh.my.word. it does.

If you love Butterfingers, then please do yourself a favor-make this recipe. If you love your stomach, thighs, and bum then plan on giving some away to friends, neighbors, and passerbys before you eat them all yourself. Just sayin'.


Homemade Butterfingers


Ingredients:

1lb candy corn
16 oz peanut butter
16 oz milk chocolate chips, or candy coating

Melt candy corn in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and continue to cook and stir in 15 second intervals until candy corn is melted. Stir in peanut butter. Mix until completely combined. Spread the mixture into an 8x8 pan if you want them a little thicker, or a 9x13 if you want them a little thinner. Make sure the pan is lined with parchment or wax paper. Cool the mixture completely. After my bars cooled I actually wrapped the whole big brick of the pb/candy corn mixture in plastic wrap. I then let them set out a day on the counter before I covered them in chocolate. I personally think that this helped it give a little bit of the crunchy texture butterfingers bars normally have, where as the original recipe said the bars tasted like butterfingers but where chewier. 

Once you are ready to cover your bars, cut the brick into the size bars you want. Then melt chocolate in the microwave for a minute. Stir and continue to cook and stir in 15 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Drop the bars in the chocolate one at time. Cover with chocolate, lift out (I use a fork to scoop out so the chocolate will drip off). Make sure to get as much of the excess off. Then lay on wax paper and let the chocolate harden.

After trying one, then another, store the rest in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. I think they are even better refrigerated.

Yummers! I actually have some in my fridge right now...whew...be strong I don't need one this early in the day...in a couple hours maybe....hehehehe...

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...


We had a photo shoot at our house. The shoot involved one finished costume, one little man suit, a pair of fake glasses, and the most handsome almost 5 year old I know.

I happened to luck out that the party theme Middle chose for this year's party was Superman. Since he had already also chosen that as his costume of choice I was golden for this photo shoot--which was for his party invites.

He was super cooperative and most of the pictures turned out great...



However, try explaining to a four year old how to look brave and strong. Well it is hard, and this is what you get...angry curmudgeon face.


So we stuck with his own cute serious face. Perfect.


With my oh-so-cute Superman photos in hand, I tinkered around in photoshop and made this party invite.


I got the idea from here. Their invitation is WAY adorable and has several more professional touches than mine does.Still, I wanted to see if I could figure out how to make a copy cat invitation and I was pretty happy with what I got.

Now I just have to plan the rest of the party...hahaha.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In a Nutshell: Hoops


Our family entered new territory this week. Basketball. This is a sport I never played. I had a rotation of basketball in 9th grade PE, but I was horrible. In fact, it was the only rotation I couldn't get an A in...no matter how hard I practiced I just couldn't not master the lay-up. Sigh. Oh well, it is behind me now.

I really wanted our boys to give it a try. I am a big believer in staying active, but that is not the only reason I wanted them to give basketball a try. I think that basketball is a huge social outlet for boys and later for those boys when they are all grown up. Basketball is a sport that guys always seem to do just to hang out. When little boys turn into men I think it is primary way to exercise too. So I decided it wouldn't be a bad sport to introduce the boys into.

Oldest had his first practice this week. I was nervous for him, but he did GREAT. He is quite the shooting pro. He seemed to have a knack for getting the ball in the hoop.




We will need to work on the concept of dribbling while running, but I have confidence he will get that in no time.

All we need now is to actually buy him a ball and maybe a real pair of shoes...although I think the retro Adidas sneakers are the bomb.


Middles' practice should be soon too. We are excited to experience our first basketball season.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Falls


We took a little trip to the local falls this week. We went because my very bestest friend...we have known each other since I was 10, so we've known each other a long time...feel free NOT to do the math...anywho...my friend was here visiting for a week.

She is the best.
this picture is a little old...probably should have snapped a new one 

We did a lot of cooking, hanging out, and some more hanging out. I was a little boring this trip with my debilitating baby exhaustion and all. We still had a lot of fun though.

Like this trip over to the falls.


I might covet my friends' camera. She has this lens that I dream of fort-nightly. She snapped some pics of two of the Little Men while we were at the falls.




So cute!

She even snapped a picture of me, prego belly and all. I threatened her with death if she got my every growing fanny in the shot. She listened beautifully!


I hope you guys all notice the absence of snow and the fact that I am not wearing  parka! The weather is still a little chilly, but better than having snow on the ground.

Hope you are all enjoying your Fall weather.
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