A blog about a mommy, a daddy & two little boys all finding the adventure and the happy in everyday life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

I'm sure I don't even need to tell y'all I got this idea from Pinterest.
But, if you were wondering, I got this idea from Pinterest.


I was looking through the neighborhood of "Kid-Friendly Christmas Crafts" -- Trying to find some good Winter/Christmas activities to keep my two-year-old from tearing down the walls, & these ornament popped out at me.

We took on our Cinnamon Christmas Ornament project last night & it was an easy success.
And it made our house, and our neighbors [we are currently residing in a duplex here in Hays, KS] smell phenomenal. At least I thought it smelled wonderful. I hope my neighbors like cinnamon. ;)

The instructions & photos to this simple craft are below.
Have Fun!












Ingredients ::

- 1 cup Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups Flour
- 2 cups water
- Rolling Pin
- Holiday Cookie Cutters [we chose a snowflake -- looks more like a star]
- Straw [for poking the ribbon/twine hole]
- Ribbon/Twine/Bakers Twine [for hanging the ornaments]

Directions ::

- Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Remove from heat & add the 1 cup of ground cinnamon.
- Once you have the cinnamon & water mixed, the "dough" should be stringy & shimmery.
- Add the flour -- Add the flour by the 1/2 cup.
- By the last 1/2 cup you will be kneading the flour into the mixture.
- Sprinkle cinnamon onto table/counter top & roll out the dough.
- Roll at least 1/4 inch thick to avoid curling of the ornaments as they dry.
- Cut out the shapes with cookie cutters & place on parchment paper for drying.
- Don't forget to make a small hole for the ribbon or twine.
- Dry overnight, turning occasionally.
- Hang with ribbon or twin.

** I used Mod Podge as a finish on a few of mine but I ended up hating the glossy look it gave the ornaments.

** I originally stuck my ornaments in the oven at 200 degrees. I checked them after 10 minutes and could see that they were already beginning to curl. I would recommend being patient & air drying the ornaments.

Monday, November 24, 2014

#instinctualparenting


"What good mothers and fathers 
instinctively feel like doing 
for their babies 
is usually best 
after all."

Benjamin Spock


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

OLIVER COUNTS TO NINE // A Video

My dear, sweet Oliver Kelly can count!
He hasn't quite learned how to say seven and he could care less about the number ten, but he did count to NINE with me last night & I am so, so proud of my big kid!

video

Monday, November 17, 2014

NO YEAST -- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Oliver woke up from his [late] afternoon nap crying screaming for his daddy. We tried calling daddy but that was quite the fail [understatement] .. So since he was so upset & missing daddy so terribly & because he had also just cried for several minutes hours [just kidding, it was only like 40 minutes of crying..] we decided we would make daddy a special treat for when he arrived home. Also, Oliver loves cooking. I think he loves cooking more than his daddy or his mommy & for sure more than his little brother, whom he doesn't really like very much at all [it's only been around 5 months since Owen was born, let's give it some time.]

My whole point is, we created some really kick-ass, NO YEAST, made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls.
And daddy loved them!
And Oliver quit crying!






INGREDIENTS ::


1. FOR THE DOUGH

- 1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3 tablespoons Butter [softened]
- 1 cup Milk


2. FOR THE FILLING

- 4 tablespoons Butter [softened]
- 1 cups Brown Sugar [I like to add just a bit more..]
- 3 teaspoons Cinnamon


DIRECTIONS ::

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

- Start with the filling.
- In a small bowl, combine Butter [softened], Brown Sugar & Cinnamon.
- Sprinkle half of the mixture on the bottom of a [lightly greased] 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.

- Next, the dough.
- In a large bowl, combine Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder & Salt.
- Mix in Softened Butter.
- Finally stir in the Milk to form a smooth, soft dough.

- Roll the dough out, about 1/4 inch thick, onto a large, lightly floured surface.
[I used my clean kitchen table.]
- Spread remaining filling onto the rolled out dough.
- Roll up the dough, hot-dog style.
- With a knife, cut preferred size rolls.
[I ended with 9 cinnamon rolls about the size of a canned cinnamon roll.]
- Place rolls into pan & bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.


** I was out of powdered sugar, so I did not make my own glaze. However; To make a glaze, combine 1/2 cup powdered [confectioners] sugar with 1/4 cup milk & top the rolls after they are finished baking.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Made From Scratch Honey Graham Crackers

I guess we were feeling awfully confident today, we, being my two-year-old + myself, because we created/produced/cooked/ our own Made From Scratch Honey Graham Crackers.

I won't lie, it was challenging for us. Mainly because the smaller of the two of us, once again, meaning my two-year-old, insisted on rolling & cutting & poking the dough all by himself.

** that's a big don't when it comes to graham cracker making. don't let the two-year-old boss you around. or you'll end up with misshapen, fluffy, brownie sized "graham crackers" .. as if you can even call them a cracker anymore.




In all seriousness, it was a lot of fun. And, as brownie sized as our crackers may have turned out, they taste almost like a graham cracker.
I kid.
They tasted pretty great!



INGREDIENTS ::

- 2 1/4 cups Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Melted Butter
- 1/2 cup Honey -- Although I suggest adding a smidge more, I will be next time.
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla


DIRECTIONS ::

- Preheat oven to 375.
- In small bowl, mix first 4 ingredients.
- In large bowl, mix last three ingredients.
- Mix the ingredients in the small bowl INTO the large bowl. Mix well.
- Roll flat out onto cookie sheet. Our cookie sheet was 10 x 15.
- Cut (hopefully without a toddler) in cracker sized pieces.
- Poke tops with a fork -- Like you'd see in a store bought graham cracker.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges begin turning brown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Life Whispers. Listen Closely.

Motherhood is such a complex, joyous, chaotic, selfless, self-depriving 'job'.

(and using the word job is completely wrong, motherhood is so much more.)

It takes more patience than any of us are given at birth, so we practice. We build up a sort of 'tolerance' to tantrums & we soak up the cuddles like a good sun-tan & we become semi-effective multitask-ers.

And we always think we need time alone. Time to ourselves. Time to be a little selfish.
And as true as that may be, sometimes life whispers, sometimes your heart talks to you & you have to listen closely.


I left the house [by myself] this morning & went the the doctor. All alone. Our two sons stayed home with daddy. And I sat all alone in the waiting room, in the examination room, no chaos ensuing. I didn't have to tell our oldest, Oliver -- age terrible-two-and-a-half -- to "stop playing with the stirrups" or "don't put your finger in the model vagina."

The things you say as a mother, am I right?

To be honest, I hated it. I felt alone. And really, really bored. I missed the chaos that is my squirrelly two-year-old.

Isn't it funny how used we get to lugging around our rambunctious little's and all of their belongings - bottles, wipes, toys, a snack, a second snack, diapers .. Being a momma is kind of my thing & I'm all sorts of lost when things are silent & little humans aren't running around my feet or squealing in my ears.

On a side note :: I got to listen to the radio as loud as I wanted in the car.


I was happy to come home to my fellas, who were watching Christmas movies & making a mess of the living room. It was sweet.

I followed suit & made Hot Chocolate in our Crockpot & then we all took naps together.
And, for me, that is the only alone time I truly find myself in need of.
A good nap, a hot, ten-minute shower or indulging in a favorite television show during nap-time.
Some time to collect my thoughts & clear my mind.

As parents, we're in a constant bittersweet, fleeting season of in-between. Our babies are getting so big but they're still so little. And I want to spend all my precious time soaking in every little squeal, cry, smell .. Because all too soon I'm going to have more alone time that I could ever want.

That is what life was whispering today.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Blueberry French Toast

It's kind of a big deal  when my husband has any morning time off of work, so I usually like to cook a special breakfast for us to enjoy together.

This AM, for the first time, we created an amazing Blueberry French Toast Bake. In our Crockpot! The original recipe was, of course, Pinterest inspired, but I tweaked it to my liking & I'm sure I'll tweak it again next time.

My main point is that it was delicious & you need to do yourself a favor & make a batch. Now!




Ingredients ::

- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Melted Butter
- 8 Slices of Bread [I tore mine into halves -- see photo above]
- 1 1/2 cups Blueberries [frozen of fresh]
- 5 lightly Beaten Eggs
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt

** Syrup, Reddi Whip, Blueberries for garnish

Directions ::

- Coat slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Mix together Brown Sugar, Cinnamon & Melted Butter in a small bowl.
- Coat bottom of slow cooker with 1/3 of the Cinnamon-Sugar mixture.
- Add 4 sliced of bread torn into halves.
- Add another 1/3 of Cinnamon-Sugar mixture on top of the bread halves.
- Add Blueberries.
- Rip the remaining 4 slices of bread into halves & place on top of Blueberries.
- Add the remaining Cinnamon-Sugar mixture.
- Beat the eggs.
- Combine Milk, Vanilla & Salt with the eggs & pour over the bread.
- Cover & refrigerate for several hours [overnight].
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours & serve with the garnishment of your choice.


** I did not pre-make and refrigerate our dish. I made the entire thing at once & it cooked nicely.