Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmassssssss time

Oh my, has it really been since October since I’ve posted!? There simply isn’t an excuse. I’m done with season and I must be feeling very lazy since it’s over for another 8 months. Ridic. Sorry. Ok, there, I apologized. Let’s move on. :)

This year for Thanksgiving, my family spent the holiday with my bf’s family. It was a good time. I offered to bring dessert (of course) and wanted to go with a tried and true recipe so I didn’t screw anything up (and I managed to still screw it up). Ha. Paula Dean’s recipe for Banana Pudding is pretty life changing (like, eat the whole pan life changing) so I went with this amazing dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Directions

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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photo 4 photo 5 ryjrf

My pictures might look different since I didn’t follow enough directions. :) ha. For example, there should’ve been bananas on the bottom, I added the whip cream to the pudding and moved it around, and I added more whip cream to go under the cookies. Major improvising, major not being able to read that day. Ha. But it ended up turning out delish and of course, life-changing. :)

*Subject change*

Working at a school, you have your “teacher” friends. Being a head coach, alot of those “friends” are life-savers during the tough parts of season. And the little things they do (emergency copies, last-minute announcements, helping your organization with doing their job correctly, etc.) really help me have a smoother life.

So being in a time to save money (who isn’t), I was trying to be creative with what I could give to all these people who help me at work and stay under a budget. So I went to my fave crafting store, JoAnn's, and walked the aisles for some inspiration. I came across the wooden section and found some 29 cent round, thin pieces of wood. Perfect. I’ll make some ornaments. So I bought some ribbon. I already had paint and glitter at home.

I painted one side of them red and some green. Then I painted their first initial of their last name on the front. (The blinged out one is for my principal, of course)…

wrgw I bought a glue pen and outlined the letter. wqrqw 

Then I poured some good ol’ Fashion glitter on the glue. sdfasdf (I tear papers out of magazines to cover my table when I’m crafting, hint the Gucci ad on my table :)

Then I –6000ed a cute red ribbon to the back so everyone can hang them on their tree.sdgfsdf And I put a label on the back with the year. I received an ornament from a teacher friend one year and I wished she put the year on it because I don’t remember when it was she gave it to me.

qrqwr I then added the ornaments to a mini bag of (fluffy) sugar cookies Christmas Trees!….

I found this sugar cookie recipe on All Recipes, a great website with a million recipes for anything you can think of. It’s called “Ma Ma’s Sugar Cookies” recipe and it was easy. I personally like how fluffy the cookies turned out.

Ingredients
1/2 Cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour

Directions (makes 12)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.Beat in the eggs and vanilla, stir in the self-rising flour to form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets (except I didn’t do this and they were fine).
3. Bake for 8 mins in the preheated over. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 mins before removing (or they’ll break, from experience).

It says on the website that there are only 230 calories for 12 of these cookies. I don’t know if I believe that.

sdfsd  sdfgesg wewr
I then used my Christmas tree cookie cutter to make Christmas trees and then pressed some sprinkles into the dough for more decoration.

awregw  qrqwe I found these bags at JoAnn’s of course. They’re made by Wilton. And then I just added their ornaments to the bag.

wewer  weweqr Let’s just say it was hours of baking and making. Much needed and with the Christmas music in the background, I was soaking up the holidays. I wish Christmas was year round.

Homemade Sugar Scrub post coming soon!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hair Updo and Make Up part III

I have had the opportunity to do a sweet girl’s hair for homecoming for the third dance in a row. If you’ve seen some of my hair posts before, I really like doing hair and make up. (Please God, give me girls one day) :) Taylor is a girl I coached for a couple of years at my previous school so seeing her be a senior is neat. She has a younger sister in high school now so I did her hair too. I got the great ideas for the hair styles from this amazing Hair Style Tutorial blog. This girl makes it way easier than it is in real life, but I did my best. I think they turned out great! :)

With Taylor’s hair, I used the “messy side updo” tutorial. Except her hair did not turn out like the professional hair stylist on the blog (shocker!). But her mom was really happy, and she seemed happy, and I was happy… so I took it. :)

dscn1019 dscn1017 dscn1018 So I split her hair into 3 sections: top, middle, bottom. The bottom two sections, I tied into two separate knots (it’s to do something with the hair down there so it stays in more, genius of this blog girl to come up with that). Then I pulled back the top part, piece by piece. And then I put one million bobby pins in her hair to hold it up. Then we put some fancy sparkle diamond thingys in it! :)

Then her little sister, Morgan, came in and she had her hair half up and curled. But there were random bobby pins everywhere so I got to work covering and making it pretty. (Look at the tutorial on the above blog on elegant half updo, or something like that).

dscn1022 dscn1020 dscn1021 So with Taylor’s hair, we dropped all of it and then I just pulled piece by piece back. Instead of waterfalling it like most people do when they pull their hair back halfway, I just kept wrapping it around horizontally (and her hair is real long so it wrapped all around). You’ll have to get more creative if your hair is short because you’ll have to do more tucking in the back. And I just kept wrapping it until I was done. It turned out pretty. And fun. I love that family. I hope I have daughters like them (I think I said that the last time I posted about doing their hair.) :)



I also did Taylor's makeup. She's naturally pretty and doesn't usually wear a lot of make up so I have fun being dramatic with it! This time we played with purple on her pretty brown eyes.




I love teaching/coaching high school students and being able to be apart of all the fun parts of high school. :)

Oh sidenote: Go download Mat Kearney’s cd, it’s AMAZE-ing!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creation Frenzy Explosion

Clearly, I did not get enough making and baking into this current volleyball season. No wonder I went mad with stress from a season filled with ups and downs (like every season to every coach in the history the world). I mean, “Making is therapy” is not at the bottom of my blog on accident (I’m sure no one has ever seen it :), it’s down there, look). I really do get lost into what I’m doing and kind of forget about all my other responsibilities and the reality of being an adult. It’s a nice mini escape when sometimes a girl has just got to get one.

With that said, my twin came in town this weekend (yay!). We accidently stumbled into a new JoAnns that was built 6 months ago (where have I been, not seeing this jewel 5 minutes from my apartment!?). I’m about to say something that will be shocking…I mean…you’ll be surprised…. I.like.Joanns.better.than.Hobby.Lobby….by a million. Omg, that just happened. I said it and I meant it. After telling the manager how much we loved our (hour and a half) experience, he informed us that this was JoAnns new store format. Bravo, JoAnn. Bravo. Or shoot, whoever is on your marketing/creative team should get a raise, a big one. I know I know. I sound like I got an application and quit my teaching job (I didn’t, it crossed my mind, ha. Jk jk). You know how I am: I like a product, store, restaurant, etc. and I tell everyone about it. I am every business’ dream client and best marketing tool. I should’ve been a saleswoman (not). Ok off on a tangent, that’s official. So we’re there and after being over-stimulated by each and every single aisle and each and every single idea, we started filling our basket (and reasoning with our selves, “Do I really need this right now? Do I really have time to do this right now?", No I don’t , put it back). My sister in her true guilty shopper ways, I swear, went to the aisle with the iron-on letters to change her mind over 10 times. It was so much. Like I said. And I soaked it up. :)

Here’s what my make and bake day consisted of today….

First, I painted my sis a pumpkin for her classroom (and I got this pumpkin at HEB for $4!! And I know, I have a pumpkin mini-obsession this fall, see last post)….

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Next project: Create a sweatshirt for Nate’s games. His booster club sells the cutest clothes, but this cheap (depending on what it’s for, let’s be serious) teacher wants to not spend $35 on a shirt/sweatshirt. So sis and I bought $5 (yes, you read that right) sweatshirts and I bought some blue (his school colors) fabric spray paint (see picture, $6.99). I love living in 2011 and all these creative people have created products that rock. This being one. So I made homemade stencils out of computer paper and went to work.

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The only problem is (well, there are several, this being the biggest one) is I left out the “L” and Tayor is not a school. So I had to throw the whole sweatshirt away. (Not to mention, the paint got everywhere and the letters look like crap). Let’s try this again, on a spare tee I have…

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I love it. So cheap and simple. This time I cut the letters out and laid those out, it’s the point of spray paint right? I can’t wait for his games this week so I can wear them!

Then it was time to make cookie pops. Why? Season is over on Tuesday. I can’t believe my first season as a head coach is over. Who knew it would come so fast and take so long. Like I said, coaching is a rollercoaster and has been, for me, for 5 years. A constant test of character, patience, reality, morals. So, college graduates, ready to sign up? Ha. Really, it’s rewarding too. The moments that kids step up, do acts of kindness, rise to greatness, are appreciative, hard work paying off…those are the reasons why we do it. A constant mix of emotions for sure. (yep, that was another stray tangent).So we’re having an end-of-the-year party in the athletics period tomorrow to give our silly awards away (we would not do this if we made play-offs, but we didn’t make it unfortunately. Just wanted to clarify that :) Ha. So I made these really easy cookie pops.

Very easy-make sugar cookie dough, then ball it up, and pop a popsicle stick into each one.

dscn1012They turn out like this->  dscn1013

I wanted to make them Halloween cookie-ish. I bought black icing. I thought I was going to “flood” the cookies like I’ve always wanted to do…(see the deceiving picture on the bottle). Yah, I had to end up getting a paint brush and painting the icing on. It was a MAJA fail, and a disappointment in my baking dreams. Then I had to sprinkle my orange sprinkles on. They look like licorice cookies. They may look like someone smeared tar on a cookie, but they taste so goooood. Decoration:fail. Taste: win.

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Last, one of my favorite line of cards are from this website, Quotable Cards. The cards are basic with a quote plastered on them. Genius and ingenious. Once again, I’m marketing for them. They say so much without all the flash. They usually want $5-$6 for each magnet (which I’ve bought) and $2 for the cards. So I, of course, wanted to recreate the idea. At JoAnns, I saw this magnet canvas paper:

dscn1009Too easy and too assessable.  So I went to work with some quotes I got from their website.

dscn1008I’m not going to post all of them as one of the recipients of the magnets hasn’t seen hers yet. But you get the drift. I’m addicted… I’m thinking of easy Teacher Christmas gifts. :)

Last but not least, I also made some streusel muffins for my sis to bring home to her boyfriend, Justin. I’m not going to post pics, they aren’t that special. :)

So it’s 8:15pm and I’m wrapping up. What a day. A nice escape.

A creation frenzy explosion. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painted Pumpkins

I don’t know why I’m soaking in fall more than ever, but this year I’m feeling extra “fally”. And one thing that comes to mind when I think of fall is pumpkins. I think it doesn’t help that my boyfriend’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and his favorite dessert is pumpkin pie. And my fave drink at Starbucks is a non-fat pumpkin latte and my favorite weather is when it’s chilly and there’s a jacket feel to the air.  All of these things somehow tie back, in my mind, to pumpkins.

So my mom and I went to the Katy Rice Harvest Festival. I usually go with Dad, but he went out of town. So I talked mom into eating some good ol’ unhealthy festival food and walk around with me. One of my favorite things about the festival is the pumpkin patch around the corner. So we picked some pumpkins out so I could paint them for some people….

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The “N” is for my momma (her name starts with an N). The “M” is for my front porch. The “I <3 U” one is for Nate’s front porch (he has a mini gnome that it will go perfect next to). The “B” is for my friend Katie who’s last name starts with a B. And the “C” is for my friend Amy. It was raining outside while I was painting these so it was even more of a perfect day. :)

Got the idea from Pinterest. Shocker. :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello Fall

As a teacher and volleyball coach, “fall” starts in July for me since I live my life by semesters. But this weekend, Fall really did come in the form of a new month and cool weather. Thank God it did. I needed the refreshing change for the last month of season. Speaking of season, this one has been the busiest of my life (including as a player, and yes, surpassing being in college and playing). I’ve seen a million things on Pinterest that I want to make that will be put off until after season. So I’m counting down to start creating.

My sweet friend, Amy, and I got distracted last Sunday just roaming Target (BAD news) :). We were talking about how we wanted to make something. She told me about this ridiculous easy pumpkin cake (3 ingredients!) Seeing as Pumpkin is my pumpkin’s (Nate, ok, I got mushy gushy cheese fest for a second) favorite dessert flavor, I jumped at making it. This is by far the easiest dessert I’ve ever made. And it’s good! Here goes…

Ingredients: Yellow cake mix, one can of pumpkin, and one icing container.

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Step one: Mix pumpkin and cake mix until consistency is thick.

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Then spray your cooking pan with pam and spread the mix all throughout the pan. Doesn’t look the most appetizing, but I promise it ends up tasting good. :)

dscn0812 Cook for 20 minutes…dscn0814

Then ice the cake! The pumpkin makes it very moist and delish. dscn0815

And if you notice the missing piece, I had to try it before I gave it to Nate. It was so so good. Thanks Amy!

Happy Fall!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

5 minute fish and a healthy pancake.

Nate and I decided that we really needed to stop eating out so much. Two reasons: 1. to save on $ 2. to save on the costly calories that restaurants pack into their meals. So we sat down and planned out dinner for every night of the week. We are both coaches so we really don’t want to come home and cook some nights. But we really committed to this strategy last week and we did well.

H.E.B. always has a lady who’s cooking recipes in the by the bread section. She was cooking this fish salsa meal one time and I happened to pick up the recipe card.

I bought this Veracruz salsa sauce. You pour it in a sauce pan and then put your choice of fish in the sauce and start frying.

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Then when it’s done (and it literally took 5 minutes), stick it on a plate and put some feta cheese crumbles on top.

dscn0752  and we added our favorite vegetable, corn…

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So this experimentation with different meals has been fun to say the least. The next experimentation was with a “healthy” pancake. I l o v e  me some pancakes. Mmmm, I could eat a thousand (that’s the dang problem). So I heard someone talk about mixing oats and egg whites to make a healthy breakfast. So I bought some oats and some egg white liquid (because I didn’t feel like separating the real thing from the yolk.)

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Next, I put 3/4 cup of egg whites in the blender.  dscn0737

Then 3/4 cup of oats…dscn0740

And for the first time making them, I even put a 1/4 cup of dscn0741 . :)

Then you pour the ingredients into a pan and make it like a pancake.

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I put some spray butter and Cary’s sugar free syrup dscn0745 to make it delish.

And there you have it, two satisfying and under 5 minute meals. Enjoy!