Crafty Tuesday ~ “Tooties”

As I mentioned yesterday, Calder is talking like crazy these days!  It’s also fun because he’s still signing as well.  From time to time, the sign (even thoug they are often “his” version of the real sign) help clear up confusion, as has been the case with “tooties” (a.k.a cookies!). 

At our family Christmas gathering last weekend, I made the mistake of offering these sweet treats far too early in the day.  It was a battle to get him to eat anything else the remainder of the day!  He even helped himself to a piece of chocolate fudge as I stood talking with my family.  Only when I glanced down did I see his sheepish, chocolatey grin.  Of course, being the good mother I am, I quickly snatched the sugar-laden sweetness from his smudged hands and downed it myself (note the absence of a weigh-in post today!).

Throughout the holiday break, the infatuation with sweets waned.  Perhaps its because they were around in such abundance he didn’t feel he needed to eat them every waking moment.  So when Aunt Gretchen asked him to help bake cookies with her, I was a touch nervous that he wouldn’t consume anything of nutritional value for the rest of the week.  Happily, I was wrong!  In fact, he worked remarkably well with the pre-cut frozen dough (don’t worry, Gretch, I’ll be using that secret family recipe from now on!). 

Here are his masterpieces in progress!  I especially love the last one…not sure if it’s a sign of concentration of desire to perform quality control!

Cookies 4

Cookies 1

Cookies 2

Cookies 3

Museum Fun

Last week we headed to Impression 5 to check out their cool exhibits and the new First Impression room designed specifically for toddlers!  It was an action-packed day that involved a quick 20 minutes on the treadmill, meeting Aunt Julie for coffee, spending 2 fabulous hours at the museum, and finally meeting up with Grandma and Grandpa for lunch.

Ladies, I hope you had as much fun as I did watching our little monkeys climb, crawl, explore and play their way through the day.  And considering the excitement and the late lunch, things were incident free!  I’ve played with a few of the pictures I snapped and have included them below for your viewing pleasure!  Enjoy!

Museum 4

Lovin’ the dimples!

Museum 2

I think he would have swum in the bubbles if I’d have let him!

Museum 5

Little Mama!

Museum 7

One of the several toys that ended up in the “to be cleaned” bucket during our visit!

Museum 10

Museum 13

Museum 12

Once he found the fish he was all set!

Museum 6

Museum 3

Museum 8

“Look at the splash I can make!”

Museum 9

Museum 1

Fun feature to keep kids busy in the lobby…that is if my kid didn’t try to steal two of the marbles!

Museum 11

I absolutely L-O-V-E this shot!  When he makes me so crazy, I want to remember the sweet look on his adorable face at this moment!  It takes my breath away!

While Seneca was there, she and Great Aunt Julie got lots of time to snuggle.  I really wanted this to be a day for Calder – to let him run around, be loud, climb in, on and through everything he wanted…and have my full attention.  It was so very well worth every second!

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On a completely unrelated note…I have a question for any and all of my readers.  When I put lots of shots in a post such as today’s, is it easier/better to have my two cents written above the shot or below it?  Trivial, I know, but I can’t ever decide which way to go.  Your help is appreciated! 🙂

Nutter Butter Dessert

Nutter Butter Dessert

So I’ve had plent of grape salad this summer, and just last week having dinner with friends we haven’t seen in far too long, I was introduced to a new delicious dessert.  Sadly, I don’t think I can find anything remotely healthy about this divine dish (well maybe the cool whip and cream cheese could be considered a valid source of calcium?), yet it’s too scrumptious not to share!  On the plus side, this is fairly decadent, so indulging too often isn’t as likely.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 24 Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Filling

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 8oz Cool Whip, thawed and divided

Directions 

  1. To make crust, crush the cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, or use a food processor.  Combine with the melted butter and press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate or square pan.
  2. For the filling, mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until ingredients are well blended and evenly moist.
  3. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip.
  4. Spoon filling into crust.
  5. Top with remaining whipped topping and garnish with extra cookies if desired. 
  6. Freeze 4 hours or overnight until firm.
  7. Let stand 1/2 hour or until pie can be cut.
  8. For an added treat, drizzle plates with chocolate just before serving.

I found that the crust was a little dry, so next time I might use fewer cookies or more (yikes!) butter.  I’ve also read that baking the crust for 8-10 minutes at 375 helps it set as well).  Feel free to substitute Nutter Butters for an Oreo crust if you’d like.  And it might be tasty to top with a few pieces of crumbled toffee bar instead of cookies…

Enjoy!

Grape Salad & Great Fun

One of my all time favorite summer recipes is Grape Salad.  This quick and easy dish can be served as a refreshing sweet side dish or take the place of a dessert.  Enjoy!

Grape Salad 

Ingredients

2lbs seedless green grapes

2lbs seedless red grapes

8oz cream cheese (softened)

8oz sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup pecans (chopped)

Directions

Stem and wash all grapes, then lay them in a single layer on a towel to dry.

In a separate bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla and combine until well blended.

Pour dry grapes into a 9×13 pan and arrange to make a “flat” top surface.

Top grapes with cream cheese mixture.

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the cream cheese mixture, and top with the chopped pecans.

Chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving, best if chilled overnight.

I imagine the cream cheese mixture could also be served as a fruit dip for various cut fruits, but I haven’t tried that yet.  Hope you enjoy this as much as I have! 🙂

My creative activity find as of late is spin art.  I’ve been scoping out garage sales and resale stores for an inexpensive salad spinner to take advantage of this great activity.  What fun have you enjoyed?

A “sweet” idea

Lately I’ve had tons of luck with my selection of waiting room magazines.  Recently, I picked up a copy of Wondertime and I found myself reading the various articles with great interest.  Perhaps because this second pregnancy is so close to my previous one, I haven’t consumed nearly the same amount of literature about the ins and outs of gestation.  That’s not to say that my actual appetite hasn’t been as voracious as ever!

In any case, one of the activities that caught my eye was the Still Life with Kool-Aid.  I immediatly contacted all the early elementary teachers I could think of to clue them in on this cool little idea.  I’m excited to uncover more creative activities that I can do with my kids in the future. 

I’ve taken full advantage of my summer free time by exploring more blogs.  The inspiration from many of the ladies is amazing!  In keeping with creative activity ideas, Mia’s Mama has turned me onto another site that’s piqued my interest – Unplug Your Kids.  With my newfound excitement about all things blogging and trying to work on my digital photography skills, it’s a great reminder to unplug or “extract” myself from technology for awhile.

If you feel so inclined, check out some of these great project ideas and leave a note if you’ve got any others that you felt were a great fit for your family!