Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When the Hubby Helps

Sometimes, my husband is a little ....


how do I describe him?

Let me count the ways...




Free spirited?


But, I fell in love with him,
and the kids like having him around,
so that makes him a keeper.

And when he helps in the kitchen
while being silly,
it makes it even better.

Yea, that's my Chex bowl, but it works for cupcakes, too.

Much to the chagrin of all my food-blogging friends,
I used box mixes for making cupcakes for Graduation.

And, I'm not hiding that fact.

I was running out of time and energy while planning and preparing.
Hubby knew  was a little stressed.
He doesn't like me stressed.
Only he calls it crabby.

So, he became a man of action.

He ripped into my box mixes and started throwing ingredients together.

When he started schlepping the dough into my
color-coordinated mini cupcake papers,
I was a little worried.

I wanted the cupcakes to be the perfect size
for decorating and displaying in my cupcake holders.

I don't like drizzled splotches on the edges of my muffin pans.
I don't like lopsided cupcakes.

I tried to give him a few pointers,
and he politely pointed me out of the kitchen.

Nobody likes a backseat  cook,
especially Mr. P.

I knew it!

Without my advice,
my tips,
my ideas,
my superior way of doing things,
they turned out fine.

That always happens.

Sometimes wives don't have enough confidence in their husbands.
We think they should do things around the house,
but do things our way.
(OK - you all know I'm talking about myself,
but nobody wants to be wrong alone,
so I'm inviting you along.)

It takes a mature woman to
let go
and let her husband
in his own way.

YES, it still IS help
if your hubby doesn't do it YOUR way. 

I ended up eating humble pie,

while Mr. Scott sampled one of his
mini cupcakes.

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes,
ready to go into the freezer
to decorate the afternoon of the open house.

They're cooled and placed in Tupperware containers,
with layers of waxed paper between.
They can be frozen for several months.

I used about half for Graduation,
half for company desert a few weeks later.

To show he's not gloating over his success,
he made a smiley face for me.

And, he made me smile.

The day of our celebration, I took the cupcakes out of the freezer.
I had purchased butter cream frosting from a party store
with a cake decorating kiosk in the back.

It was the same price as the tubs in the store,
but tastes delicious!
I used the gel food colorings to make the frosting
pink, purple and yellow.

A large swirl tip was chosen, the bag filled,
and with a quick, continuous swirl,
the cupcakes were frosted.
No perfection allowed in my house anymore,
I have to choose the more red-neck affirmation of
"get 'er dun!"

I didn't get a close-up of the cupcakes,
so click on the pic to enlarge and see them more clearly.

Thanks to Mr. P's uncoached help in the kitchen,
the cupcakes were a hit.

We "got 'em dun!" ~
his way.

Monday, July 11, 2011

When A List Isn't Enough...

I like lists.

No, I love lists.

I love writing them out.
I love checking things off.
I love rewriting the lists when they begin
to look too sloppy to be inspiring.

Most of the time,  a list works for organizing my life.
Sometimes,  I use several lists on a clipboard~
~like ~
Things To Do
Things To Buy
Things To Cook
Things To Pack

Preparing for a a Graduation Open House
sent me way past the usefulness of
Clipboard With Lists.

I went for the Big Gun I named ~

~Command Central~

Using a huge tray from IKEA,
I first wrote out days of the week on Post-It notes
and stuck them across the top.

You can see why the pressure was building,
I only had five days left,
and many, many, many things to do.

Each task to complete or item to buy
was written down and placed under the column of the day
I thought it should be done.

The white notes were mini-lists,
like all that needed to be cleaned in the dining room
and other things I don't remember,
and the print is too small on the picture to read.
Double-click on pic if you care what I was doing.

When a chore was completed, it was crossed off
and labeled with the name of the hero that completed the task.

At the end of the day, 
uncompleted tasks were moved over to the next column.

By the final day, only a few things had to be eliminated
from the list because we couldn't get them done.

Because the whole list was in view for the entire family,
everybody knew what needed to be done
and what they were capable of doing.

It also kept me from nagging and brought peace in the house.

Even my Type B "I'll-Do-It-Tomorrow" hubby
enjoyed completing a few tasks and  crossing them off
the first day
Command Central was established.

 I loved involving the whole family
in preparing for a special occasion,
and having a list that was flexible.

I think my family loved it because it kept me from

...but they can't admit that in public,
because they don't blog.
So, I'll say it for them.

Anything that relieves stress for Mommy
is a success in our house.

What organizational victories have you had
while planning special events for your family this summer?

Making your home sing Mondays

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Think Inside the Box

When I saw these adorable boxes at Cash&Carry....

...I just had to buy them.

Then, I had to think
inside the box.

What could I fill them with for our graduation open house?

So, I bought all this,

divided it into these,

and cooked it in this.

Years ago I sent in enough box tops to get a microwave bowl
with the Peanuts gang and the Chex logo on it,
the perfect size to make one batch.
But after years of making pounds of the stuff,
the bowl literally burned in the microwave.

Now, the vintage Pyrex bowl  from my
sister-in-law Nita works perfectly.
It's my new "Chex Bowl."

Beka and I made eight batches.

Our tradition is to cut open a paper bag to cool the mix on.

Of course, I don't always follow the recipe. 
I love using Bugles and colored Goldfish.

I also double the amount of seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce.

Then we decorated with flowers I cut out using my new Cuddlebug.

After the mix was cooled, I put 3/4 cup into a fold-top sandwich bag
and sealed it with a twisty tie before putting it in the boxes.
(The zipper type bag didn't fit into the box.)

I put the filled boxes into a cardboard box and put it in my freezer.

Chex mix doesn't mold but gets stale, 
so I always make it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer.

Other than just being adorable,
having snacks in packages helps feed a crowd quickly.
I needed to keep the food line moving.

With a perfectly sized portion, there wasn't any waste.

The extra boxes were taken to the end-of-the-year softball party.
Score again!

Because they were so fun to use,
I want to keep these boxes on hand for other special treats,
but I need more inspiration.

what would you put
inside the box?

Making your home sing Mondays

Friday, July 1, 2011

Flowers Always Fade

I love decorating with flowers.

Whether they're fresh, printed on fabric,
or cut out of paper, they always bring color and sunshine to any decor.

They also preach a sermon to my heart,
based on I Peter 1:24-25

"...the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Flowers and this verse is my favorite combination
 for a craft for Daily Vacation Bible School.
Because I had "Wasted Not and Wanted Not",
There were mountains of flowers, one inch circles and mortarboards
that needed to be crafted into Graduation decorations.

My dining room table was gloriously covered.

Inspiration  usually comes to me in a messy way,
not a neat, organized way.

I need to spread out all my stuff and look at it.
Then, I begin creating.

One of the things I created for Thanksgiving last year was a
After the holidays, I left up the grapevine along the mantle, 
assuming I would decorate for each holiday or season.

It had been empty since Thanksgiving,
but it was time to change that.

Flowers were layered and glued together with gluestick.

Since I wasn't going to reuse the flowers,
(psst....please don't tell my relatives)
I just used blue painter's tape to hold paper clips down.
No special reason to use this tape,
just it was the only one I could find at the time.
My family has this thing for using my tape.

On one side of the fireplace mantle,  the graduate's name,
on the other side flowers that spelled out 2011.

I just printed out the letters on a Word document,
then used my one inch punch.
(has a peek-a-book top so you can see what you're punching)

Little take-out boxes from Cash&Carry were decorated for Chex Mix.
(more on this later)

Mini-cupcakes were decorated with homemade floral picks.
As I was cleaning up after Graduation,
I had a handful of these beauties in my hand,
while hearing those warring voices in my head~
"Save them, you might need them."
"Don't save them, throw them out. You save too much."
"You might need them...."
"You'll never need them....."

I boldly threw them out,

I could.
But, I shouldn't have.

I hadn't taken any close-up pics.
I'm have to use my words to illustrate.
But, I just used 2 one inch circles,
glued on a small flower
and a mortarboard on one side,
and glued a toothpick between them.
I used Elmer's glue so it would be flat.
Hot glue can make things lumpy.

For some of the picks I used pics of Grace in her cap,
but she didn't like them.
I loved them.
I think she's beautiful.

We celebrated the graduations of other friends
by posting their announcements and pictures on a prominent wall.

The flowers were bright, festive and made Grace's graduation party so beautiful.

But, after all that work, they were thrown away.
I know, what a waste.

But, from now on,
may flowers always preach this silent sermon
to your heart.

I Peter 1:24-25
"...the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”