Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Roll

These are seriously so good. I saw them last year on one of my all time favorite blogs Made, and I knew that we would love them. They are as easy to make as the traditional Rice Krispies but with just a few added ingredients to take them over the top.

We gave these out to some friends and neighbors last year for Christmas and they were a big hit. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Roll
Slightly Adapted from Made

1 package Mini Marshmallows ( I used a package or Large Marshmallows this time)
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, microwave the marshmallows, butter, and peanut butter for about 2 minutes or until melted.
3. Add in the Rice Krispies and stir to combine. 
4. Smoosh the Rice Krispie mixture onto the cookie sheet until it covers the bottom.
5. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips until melted, about 2 minutes.
    - Watch them carefully and stir around the one minute mark, they burn easily.
6. Spread the chocolate goodness over the Rice Krispie layer and then roll up like a jelly roll starting from the short end until it's in one log. I like to then squish it and roll it a little more until it has stretched into a skinny log.
7. Put in the refrigerator until firm. Slice and serve. 

This is how all of my photo sessions end when I'm taking pictures of goodies. Notice how she got away with two of them. Smart girl. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Free Christmas iPhone Wallpaper

I love trying out different wallpapers and prints on my phone. Reed doesn't understand it; he can't see the cuteness in it. What can I say, I like my phone to look good. Anyway, I tried my hand at designing some winter iPhone wallpapers for my phone and thought I'd share.

I made these wallpapers to fit both the new iPhone 5 and older versions. They should also work for other smart phones. My husband has a Samsung Galaxy phone and the wallpapers work for his phone (He may not understand it, but I've made his background cute too!). I've also included the plain background design for the home screen. I like my lock screen and home screen to match.

I'm really happy with how they turned out.

To download the picture to your phone follow these easy steps:

1. Click where it says "Click here to download"
2. Download the picture to your computer.
3. Email the image to yourself.
4. Open the Image in an email on your phone and click "Save image"
5. Open the Image on your phone and click "make wallpaper"

You can also just look at the site from your phone and save the images from there.

What are some of your favorite backgrounds to use? Does your background change to fit the season?

For iPhone 4 or earlier
                 Click Here to download                                  Click Here to Download

                                   Click Here to download                                                                Click Here to download 

         Click Here to download                                                       Click Here to Download

iPhone 5


                      Click Here to Download                                       Click Here to download

                            Click Here to download                                        Click Here to download

                       Click Here to download                                       Click Here to download

                                   I've linked up to some of these great parties.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few quick Thanksgiving printables to help keep the little ones busy. Have a wonderful day full of my two favorite things, family and food!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Toy List for 4-5 Year Old Girls

This age is so fun. I love watching Addie play and use her imagination. I try to get toys that are more open ended so she can let her imagination run wild. I'm also starting to understand why they say you get to relive your childhood through your children with their toys because I buy her toys that I would like to play with and that I might have had when I was little.

Here are a few toys and games that Addie loves playing with now, or that I'm thinking of getting her.  I think all of these toys would also be fun for a little boy, minus the princess doll, I'm assuming.

Let me know what other toys have been favorites in your house.

1. Hisss Card Game We absolutely love this game. Reed and I play a lot of games together and we're trying to brain wash our kids into loving games starting them young. This is a game that we love to play as a family. The grownups actually like playing this game as much as the kids. Addie has been playing this game since she was three, all you need to know are colors to play.

2. Melissa and Doug Stamp Set You don't really see wood stamps like these anymore, but I think they are still just as fun for little ones to play with. I have some old stamps I gave Addie but I think she'd like the pictures on these stamps better than the boring old ones I had.

3. Richard Scarry Busy Town I'm excited to try this game, I've been watching and reading the reviews for a while waiting for a birthday or Christmas to get it. The game board is over 6 feet long and you get to work together to solve a mystery. I'm hoping this will be another game our family can play together.

4. Portable Art Studio There is not much in this world Addie enjoys more than arts and crafts. She will sit at the table cutting, glueing and coloring for a long time. My mom dug up one of my old art set like this one and Addie has been in heaven.

5. Melissa and Doug Play House Reusable Sticker Pad I'm getting Addie one of these for Christmas and I think she'll LOVE it. She already has fun playing with stickers and reusable sticker pads are even better. This one comes in a lot of different styles which makes it a little harder to pick. Plus I think I'll have a lot of fun playing with this too...

6. Disney Princess Snow White's Cottage  We are constantly playing with Duplos and I think these Disney Princess legos would be extra exciting for Addie. If we didn't have a little 18 month old who has to playing with everything Addie has I would probably start giving her regular legos but for now they are both happy with Duplos. If you already have some Duplos then this Green Building Plate  is great. I was a little skeptical at first, but it helps Addie build houses and anything else she wants.

7. Calico Critters Cozy Cottage This might be another nostalgic toy because I played with Calico Critters when I was little and now Addie loves playing with them too. She got this house for her birthday and she can't stop playing with it and her little cat family. They can be pricey so I look for sales on them at Toys R Us. But I've never seen these Fuzzy Penguin Triplets there so I might have to splurge because they are too adorable.

8. Disney Princess Ariel Doll And of course what list of toys for a 4 year old would be complete without a Disney Princess doll. We have both Rapunzel and Cinderella, but I'm positive she could never have enough princesses.

9. Wikki Stix We first found out about Wikki Stix while eating at The Original Pancake House. They give kids a small package of these to play with instead of crayons and a coloring page. Addie sat entertained the entire time we were waiting for our food and then at home she continued to play with them. They are just pieces of string that have been coated in wax so you can bend them and stick them together anyway you want. These would be a great stocking stuffer or something to take to restaurants to keep the little ones busy.

Click Here to see my list of toys for 12-24 month old children.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gift Ideas For 12 - 24 Month Old Children

With Back Friday coming up I thought I would make a list of toy suggestions for the little ones 12 to 24 months. My little Grace is 18 months right now which makes most of these pretty perfect for her. A few of these are geared towards girls because that's all I know right now, but I'm sure little boys would like them too.

We own and love some of these and some are suggestions I've seen that have good reviews. Now I just need to hurry and decided what I'm going to do so I can enjoy December.

I'll be posting another gift idea list for girls 4 - 5 years old this week too.

1. Folding Doll Umbrella Stroller Is there anything cuter than watching a little baby pushing her "baby" around the house? I love watching Grace take care of her own baby and a doll stroller is a must!

2. Peek-a-Baby: A Lift-the-Flap Book This is one of Gracie's favorite books right now. All the flaps have been taped back on because we have read and lifted the flaps so many times. She asks to read this "more! more!".

3. Playskool Explore and Grow Ball Popper This is one of the most played with toys in this house. If you have a baby or toddler then the ball popper is a very safe bet. We also put pom poms in the popper and watch them explode everywhere.

4. Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game I have seen some really good reviews on this game and I'm feeling like it will be under the tree this year. I'm hoping it will be a fun activity that Grace and Addie can do with each other.

5. LeapFrog Poppin' Play Piano I think this piano looks like so much fun! The little balls rise in tune to how hard they push on the buttons. I don't mind toys that make noise because then I can hear what they are doing instead of wondering what trouble they are getting into. When things go quiet, I know it means Grace is dipping her pacifier in the toilet again.

6. Fisher-Price Little People Farm Grace will sit down and look at these books by herself because they are full of fun flaps and cute pictures.

7. Megabloks 80 Pc Large Classic Bag We don't have any of these mega bloks but they are the hands down favorite when we go to the library for story time. I might have to add one of these to the list.

8. That's Not My Fairy Another favorite board book. We have two of these touchy feely books from Usbourne and Grace loves them.

9. Fisher-Price Little People Lil' Movers Airplane Little People play sets are always a hit around here. We have this airplane and it gets filled up with toys and pushed through the house.

Any recommendations or reviews? What toy has been a hit at your house?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Streusel Topping

My wonderful friend Madison introduced me to these sweet potatoes when she had us over for dinner one night. I've never been a sweet potato fan and I never would have made them on my own if she hadn't served them to us for dinner. They are super simple to make with the bonus of only using pantry staples; except for the sweet potatoes which are pretty crucial to the finished dish.                                       

The original recipe also includes walnuts in the streusel topping, but I am not a fan of nuts in my food so I leave them out. These are also perfect for Thanksgiving. You can make them ahead of time and then put them in the fridge. When you're ready for them just pop them back in the oven to heat them up again. 

This recipe is really straight forward and to tell you the truth I don't even use the recipe anymore I just throw some sugar and butter in until I think it's enough and every time they turn out delicious.

Recipe slightly adapted from Lauren's Latest

3 large sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I don't use them)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork or knife and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft. You can also microwave the sweet potatoes on high for 13-15 minutes as well.
2. Once they are soft, slice in half and scoop out the centers into a bowl leaving a 1/4 inch border of sweet potato with the skin. Mix in brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Spoon mixture back into shells. 
3. Combine all ingredients for streusel and mix together until it starts to clump. I like to use my fingers for this part, I think it's the easiest way to mix the streusel. Top the filled sweet potatoes with the streusel and bake 20-30 minutes or until warm again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books

Here we are almost at another holiday. I thought I would make a new list of our favorite Thanksgiving picture books like I did with Halloween. It's a lot harder to find good Thanksgiving books but here are a few books that we enjoy reading.

1. Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' I remember reading this book when I was little and I still love it today. Apparently they decided to reillustrate it using a family of foxes instead of the original people, which is strange. I like the original. But it's still a fun and silly book we all enjoy.

2. Thanksgiving Is Here! This is a sweet short book about Thanksgiving day. The illustrations are my favorite part. Addie loves looking at all the people and figuring out what they're doing.

3. Balloons over Broadway This is the true story of the man who created the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is really well done and an interesting read for even the parents. It's a little too old for Grace at 18 months but Addie enjoys reading it. 

4. 10 Fat Turkeys Addie thinks this book is hilarious. We have a lot of fun reading the little rhyme and looking at all the funny turkeys. Definitely for the younger crowd. 

5. Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl This is also a book from my past. Instead of illustrations the book has pictures of a young girl reenacting a day in Pilgram times. Addie enjoys looking at the pictures and I think it gives her a better idea of what it was like to be a Pilgram. 
 What other Thanksgiving books are we missing?

Here are some more Thanksgiving books I've found that we like.

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tommy The Turkey

This is my cute little turkey I made with some of my best gal pals. I named him Tommy because he is so cute. But now that I look at him he may be more of a girl because of the girly colors on his feathers. Oh well.

This was such a fun craft to make. All you need is a little 2 x 4 block, some jumbo craft sticks, 5 gallon paint stick and a few other items most of us have at home.

I put him on my window above my kitchen sink so I can look at him while I do the dishes. His little face makes me smile while I scrub.

Once you have everything together it only took about 30 minutes to get him to look like this.  If you want to make your own Tommy and see the original tutorial with step by step pictures click here. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pretzel, Reeses and M&M Bites

I've seen treats like these all over the internet made with Rolos, Hershey's Kisses and Hugs but until now I hadn't seen any with Reese's cups. I made these with the little mini Reese's cups. Have you tried these? They are to die for. I'm not sure why miniature anything is about a million times better but these are so good.

I heated mine up a little to long in my warm oven and they started to really melt but I just pushed in the M&Ms and they turned out fine. 

They are the perfect holiday snack because you can customize them to any holiday by changing the M&M's color. I couldn't find the fall M&M's anymore so I just ate all the blue ones in a regular bag. They're healthy right?  I LOVE chocolate. 

                                              Linking up to some of these parties. 


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