Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Seuss-tastic baby shower!

My younger sister {Sabrina} is having twins! A few weeks ago (I can't believe I am just doing a post on it) she came up to Alaska to visit and we threw her a baby shower. As soon as we knew the exact dates she would be here, I started planning. Sabrina saw the idea of "Thing 1 & Thing 2" online somewhere and thought that would be cute. I agreed! I am a Seuss fan, so we went with that!

The week before the shower my day-job boss decides to send me to Prudhoe Bay to train some fellas on our purchasing program the day before the shower! Dang...I like to put things off till the last is when I work my best. Oh well, had to plan ahead....

Welcome to Sabrina's shower!

My mom helped out a lot with the food and letting me borrow a bunch of her serving pieces.

I had a lot of fun planning the shower and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Sabrina received a lot of really great gifts that she had to pack up and send back to California. Thanks everyone for coming!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip ice cream sandwich

I made these ice cream sandwiches to enter in Nestle Tollhouse's "Bake some Love" contest on Facebook. It's a long shot to win, but it was fun to come up with a plan. The rules were: you must use Nestle's original chocolate chip cookie recipe and must be heart shaped.

I am sure you've all made Nestle's chocolate chip cookies but here we go...

First, get all your ingredients together.

Cream together the butter and sugar mixture. {by "cream" I mean to combine until you have no clumps of sugar separated from the butter, it should be one smooth mixture}

Add your wet ingredients {eggs and vanilla}one egg at a time.

Slowly add your dry ingredients, careful not to over mix at this point because it will make your cookies tough.

When almost all the flour is mixed in, add your chocolate chips and mix in by hand.

Then I spread the cookie dough mixture onto my half sheet pan that I prepared with parchment paper. And popped it in the over at 375 for about 20-25 minutes. {Mine took about 25 minutes} I didn't spread the cookie dough all the way to the edge because I knew the dough would spread out with the heat of the oven.

While the giant cookie is baking, I took a whole gallon of softened {microwave for 15 seconds at a time till soft} french vanilla ice cream. I spread it out in a 13x9" pan lined with saran wrap. Then topped with another layer of saran wrap and put it back in the freezer. 

I used my three inch heart cookie cutter to cut out the cookies when the pan cooled.

Did the same with the ice cream {using the same cookie cutter}. Note: don't use the slow churned ice cream like I did, it has too much air which means it is too soft all the time.

Sandwich it with two of the heart cookies and viola! a home made ice cream sandwich!

But this would be too I searched my mountains of decorating stuff and found some red sprinkles! Pour the sprinkles out on a plate and dip the ice cream edge into the sprinkles.

Hmmmm...still a little boring if you ask me. So, I found some white chocolate chips, melted them down and used a fork to drizzle.

Oops this one is starting to melt...this will be my "tester". :) Happy Valentines Day!

Great Gift Idea

I come from a family of six (three sisters, myself, and our parents).  As we've grown up, all gotten married, and they've started having kids...our family is getting big! In efforts to keep everyone's wallets relatively full, we decided to start drawing names among the adults and only buying for them.  This year, we decided to buy as couples.  My sister Jeannie and her husband got David and I, and we drew their names.
I think buying for boys is much harder than buying for girls (especially sisters), but decided, as lame as it is, to get them a gift card to spend together.  I found an inn in Prescott, AZ (they like to go there) and got them a gift card.
My ultra-creative sister made us these:

I love them! These little buttons necklaces are some of our great-grandma's vintage buttons.

Don't you love them?

Check out her super cute blog: My Balancing Act !!

Family photo wall

I've been wanting to put up my family pictures since we moved into our house last March. I knew I wanted to put them up in the hallway to the bedrooms, but just haven't gotten around to it....until today. I'm tired of walking to my bed room down this drab hallway.

Now, I am the type of person that is not afraid to put a couple of nail holes in the wall just to get things where I want them. I am not a fan of measuring then hammering...I like to guesstimate then hammer. :) My husband on the other hand, he gets a little stressed about things not being symmetrical. So, I waited till he was out in the garage washing the truck to start my project.
Here is what I did to make sure they were spaced far enough apart (unlike my last house).
First, I took brown paper and cut to the length of the hall space I wanted to hang my pictures. Laid it on the ground and started laying out my frames to see where I wanted them.

I traced around the pictures with a marker on the paper and labeled each square for which picture that was for. Then, I taped the paper on the wall where I wanted the pictures to hang.

Next, I figured out where the nail needed to go on each frame by measuring from the top of the frame to the hook.  I then measured on the drawn outline of the frames to mark where the nail needs to go. I hammered the nails in place.

I hung the picture to make sure I was putting the nails in roughly the correct location.

After I finished putting all the nails in the correct locations, I rolled the paper back from one end careful not to pull the nails back out of the wall. So I didn't forget which picture was meant to go where, I put them up as I rolled the paper back.

Now I have a happy wall of family photos to remind me how blessed I am to be a part of all of their lives.