Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gotta have my morning coffee drink

So, I'm not an "ordinary" coffee drinker.  Meaning, I'm not a big fan of hot coffee.  I'll drink it if it's the only thing there (or if I've moved into an igloo for a bit and I'm freezing) but it's not my first choice.  Now, mention some sort of iced coffee drink and you've got my complete attention!!  It originally started with my love of French Vanilla iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, but once I moved further south, there were no D&D's to be found. Very.Sad.Day.
I was left to substitute my coffee addiction with iced coffee from McDonald's which, in my opinion, not even the same ballpark! But it would do.  A blended, on ice drink, would make me even happier.  Before you mention Starbucks, I will add that while I love my coffee drinks, I don't want to feel like I'm drinking sludge.  I need some sweetener in there too.
A friend introduced me to this recipe for my own blended coffee drink at home some 5-6 years ago and I've been making it ever since.  And, everyone that I give the recipe to loves it.  So I thought I'd share it here with you as well.  You may find that you'll need to tweek it to your own liking, but as I write this, to me it's *PERFECTION*!! 

You'll need:
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 cups of 2% milk
2 sweet 'n low packets (or other sweetener)
1 packet of hot chocolate
(this could obviously be made a little healthier if you substitute lowfat milk & lowfat hot chocolate but I stand by my perfected recipe!) lol

I pour the milk into my blender, add all of the dry ingredients to it, put in as much ice as you want and blend that baby up!  
Pour into a pretty insulated cup w/ a straw and you're on your way! (this recipe will make 2 servings) 
I couldn't live without this recipe.  I need my drinks to be ice, ice cold and this does the trick for me.  I also like mine a bit more on the coffee side, than the chocolate side, so I add a bit more instant coffee to mine.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Happy drinking!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I really am such a night owl. It's now 1:44 am and I just finished my little Sophie's St. Patrick's Day shirt.  I wanted to applique a simple shamrock onto a white tee for her.  I bought a brand new shirt to use for this project, but it occurred to me that I've held onto several tees that have gotten a spot on them (I despise stains on my kids' clothes) and I was able to find one with a small spot in the middle, easily hidden by the applique. Yay!! Win, win.  I get to recycle a shirt and she still gets the new one.
I decided I wanted the shape to be around 6".  I cut a block of fabric and ironed it onto a piece of Heat 'n Bond.  I then turned to my Cricut and SCAL2 for this one and stuck the Heat 'n Bond directly to my Cricut mat.  The SCAL2 shapes library has a shamrock (clover) in it so, keeping proportions, I set my size height to 6.50". which gave me a width of 5.779".  Once it was done cutting, I was able to peel my applique directly off the mat and iron it onto my shirt.
This was only my 2nd time doing an applique and I think it came out much better than the 1st! LOL  It's not perfect, and I can see where I made a mistake, but really, she won't care.  She's just going to be happy that Momma made her a special shirt!

Hope everyone has a Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  I can't wait to smell my corned beef & cabbage cooking up in the crock pot later (even though my hubby hates it).  The girls & I love it and hey, ti's only once a year!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Our Big Monkey Luau is here!

My daughter's 3rd birthday was just this past weekend and I'm so happy with how everything turned out.  I just wanted to share some pictures with you.  I think we ended up with  more of a Luau than a MONKEY Luau like I originally planned, but everything was so pretty and girly that I couldn't be happier (and the birthday girl was loving it too!).

I made everything myself.  The dessert table contained banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting, mini monkey breads, "monkey kisses" (hershey kisses melted on top of pretzels topped with an M&M), chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting, coconut cup "drink" cake pops, and white chocolate covered Oreos topped with fondant bananas from this Etsy shop.  Um, AMAZING!! They look so real with little speckles on them and everything:
I found these adorable monkey drinking cups on Amazon for the kids to use and I glued a hibiscus flower to their ear so they'd fit the theme.
These are the cake pops I made. They were very time consuming.  I got a new Babycakes Cake Pop maker around Christmas and decided to try it out for this party. Total FLOP! I don't know if you need to practice with this thing, or what, but they weren't even coming out looking circular, and were completely dry. So then I had to go back to the regular way of making cake pops and ended up adding too much cream cheese frosting for the amount of cake I had left.  I could only dip a few in chocolate before having to stick them back in the freezer. Ugh! But I'm happy with the end result!  I originally found these on 365 Cake Pops and just knew I had to  make them.

This was the birthday girl's special seat.  She gets to be right up in front of everyone so we can be sure to get lots of pictures.  We are definitely a picture taking family!

Here's the centerpieces I made for all the main tables. I painted cardboard tubes brown and made them look like palm trees, and cut Hula monkeys on my Cricut to hang from the branches.  They're stuck in a yellow metal bucket I found at the Dollar Store.

Here's what the entire room looked like set up.  We hung paper lanterns from the ceiling in coordinating colors.
I also set up a small area as a Photo Booth.  Oh my gosh, the kids LOVED it!  I won't share those pictures since they're not my children but they had a blast. I found tons of printable props online that I mounted to cardboard and glued sticks to.  SO much fun.  Our little area:

I made this special outfit for my little princess.  She calls it her toot toot (tutu). I know, so sweet, right?

One last view of the dessert table.
I so enjoy throwing these parties for my girls.  My husband thinks I go overboard, but, what does he know?? LOL