Saturday, June 30, 2012

J's Breakfast Cake Muffins

If you are into healthy foods...stop reading now!  

These muffins are far from my healthier Fat Boy Muffins, but they are SOOOOOO yummy :-)  These are what we call in our home "J's Plain Muffins".  My oldest loves muffins, plain.  No blueberries, no nuts, no raisins, just plain sweet muffins.  
 I guess he gets that from me because I love chocolate chip cookies...without the chocolate chips.  Yep, that dough is so sweet you don't need the chocolate messing it up (I know, insane!)
Anyway, I happened upon a pound cake type recipe several years ago and adapted it as our Plain Muffin recipe (or for a fancier name...J's Breakfast Cake Muffins).  
These get baked every couple of months now, J likes them with butter of course. 
I thought you might enjoy them too! 
 Trust me, it is REALLY hard to not eat more than 1...ok 2...but really try to stop at 3!

J's Plain Muffins 
(aka Breakfast Cake Muffins)

1 3/4 c bread or all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (less if you use salted butter)
1 c sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (microwave for 12 secs if needed)
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 c light sour cream 

In mixer, beat butter and sugar until combined and fluffy.  
Add eggs one at a time, beating between additions.  
Mix in vanilla and sour cream until well blended.  
You can combine all dry ingredients and then add to mixture or add them in this order (mixing to combine after each addition):  baking soda; salt; flour.

Scoop into muffin tin (I use cupcake holders because I despise cleaning muffin tins!) and bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes. 
Now do your best to share!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Purple Frog Digi Template #2!!

Since I've seen a few encouraging downloads of Template 1, I thought I would try a new template.  

Ok, well the real reason for a second template...I wanted a quick, easy to decorate layout for my son's camp photos, one that I could flip around for a different look but I could use for every page.  

Back when I was paper scrapping, I started an 8x8 book for him during his first summer at day camp.  I'm a few years behind...but hopefully I can start catching up digitally :-)

Here it is...#2.  Click on the picture to download!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Poetry Works Everywhere

I have heard it said that homeschooling moms can find a teachable moment anywhere.  
Well, going on our third year, I think I am finally catching on...not that my son is always thrilled with this. 
I found these fun "post it" poems through our local Scholastic book orders.  
In an effort to expose my family to more poetry (not to memorize just to read and enjoy), I thought they would be great on a bathroom mirror.  However, I realized my son, who is usually in a wheelchair, might have trouble reading them way up there.  

And then I thought of just the right spot to them...
Yep, the one place everyone in the house has to well...sit...sometime, right?
(except the 1 year old, but he'll be there one day)
Works for us! 
You could do this and print up the poems yourself too, just use some double sided tape! 
Or maybe math facts, grammar helps? 
Who in the family couldn't use a refresher on those occasionally?  ;-)

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

July Table Centerpiece

While cleaning out my mom's house as they pack to move for the first time in 38 years...we have found some great items.  For instance, the beautiful glass vase pictured below, which was filled with pennies when we found it.  This belonged to my Aunt Jo, my mom's only sibling.  She passed away when I was in college after battling several cancers, she was in her early 50's.  She meant the world to me and I love anything that was hers.
I also just loved the look of the vase, the details, very vintage in appearance :-)  I am not a floral person, the smells give me headaches and the silk flowers collect dust.  I think they are pretty and I love growing them outside, I just don't like using them indoors.   I've been holding onto the vase for a month now trying to figure out a way to display it.  So after staring into my junk/old craft closet for a few minutes, I figured out something to do for July/Fourth of July!
 All you need is a vase or a fun bowl, some styrofoam balls (or even crumpled up paper), small pieces of fabric in the colors of your room or holiday choice, small stick pins (the kind you use for putting sequins onto styrofoam balls), scissors and some twine and/or bag filler.  As you will see in the end result, I opted to not use the bag filler in my vase but you might love it in yours!
 Wrap the fabric around the styrofoam balls and pin it down to cover well.  Doesn't matter if the pins and some folding shows, this is a rustic craft!
 Layer the twine (and/or bag filler) and the fabric covered styrofoam balls, top with extra twine (or in my case, the vase had a cork topper) and tie a fun bow to complete the look!
Wah-lah!  A quick, fun, fairly cheap (or free if you have had any of this stuff on hand for years...) decoration for summer :-)

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breast Cancer T-shirts!

I have been getting mammograms now for almost 10 years.  My maternal grandmother was a breast cancer survivor.  Cancer of many kinds runs through both sides of my family, most recently, my father survived esophogeal cancer, just like his father before him.  
My Dad after his treatments were over in 2009
5 years ago, I decided to do something to help the fight.  My mom and I joined the 3Day Walk for Breast Cancer and I have never regretted a moment of it.  During my 2nd year, I created Team Priceless and began recruiting friends to join us in raising funds and walking the 60 miles over 3 days.  Almost all of the $2300 we each must raise to walk goes towards breast cancer research because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime.  
Team Priceless 2010 ready for Day 1
This year we are selling these super cute Team Priceless inspirational shirts and would love to sell them to anyone and everyone to help raise funds and to help raise awareness! 

Front design is centered on front of t-shirt ("Because Love, Sisters, Family, Wives, Friends, Mothers, Faith, Daughters & Life...are Priceless").  
Back scripture ("How Priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  Psalm 36:7) is centered on upper back of shirt.

 Shirts are $20.00 each which includes shipping.   Color choices are Lime, Chocolate or Gray

E-mail me at or comment on this post if you are interested in ordering a shirt or two...or three! 

Gift them to a survivor or to the relative of someone who fought their battle courageously.  
Please share this blog post, especially to friends and family who have been directly touched by this disease.

Anytime we wear a pink ribbon, we raise awareness of this deadly disease, as well as all cancers.  Please join Team Priceless in the fight against breast cancer. 

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Keychain Card Keeper

As is how I keep track of the keychain cards that are so popular now (our library even uses them!) and it keeps me from having the larger cards filling up my wallet and purse.
Simply keep a 1 inch binder clip ring in your purse (I have mine clipped to a small metal loop that came in my purse) and add the cards as you get them.  
Then you can safely throw away the larger cards or store them in an envelope at home in a drawer. 
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last Minute Luggage tags!

I've been in a luggage tag bind more than once in the last year.  I know...crazy, right?  Last year at the 3Day, my teammate and I realized we didn't have tags on our luggage that had to go on the trucks ahead of us so off to Target we went.  Where the CHEAPEST tags we found were $4.00!  yes, $4.00!  Now granted, we could have found them cheaper elsewhere but it was late, we were tired and we were desperate.  

Flash forward to this week.  Packing my son for camp, I realized that one of his bags (actually my hubby's usual luggage bag) didn't have a tag.  And as any camp parent knows...if you want it back, tag and label it!  Even undies. 

So while standing by our desk, digging for anything remotely tag-esque, I saw a few of these collecting dust...we all have them.
   Perk cards from random stores, which also give us keychain sized cards (I have a tip for you on those a later post!).  Who needs both? They just create clutter and weight to my purse.

And the lightbulb flickered on.  Here's what you do! (And please bear with the quality of the photos...cell phone pics!)

Cut the card in in 1/2...

Then cut a piece of paper to fit the front and back and tape the paper (I used double stick) to each side

Write contact info in Sharpie that will show up and use clear packing tape to wrap around tag so both sides are covered. Punch a hole (my regular desk 3 hole punch worked just fine) in the corner for attachment then hang on your bag!  (We used zip ties since hubby had them handy)

If it breaks or gets money gone...because it was free!  And you can use all kinds of fun papers to personalize your tag.  Think of the gift ideas!  For family and friends going on long trips, for kids backpacks, (which is what the following picture shows...this was my 2nd tag to make before I had fully "developed" it so it's not fancy but it will work for camp!)
Last name blurred out to protect the innocent son ;-)
I will admit, my first tag was just sharpie on the card itself...which then progressed to the plain white tag above, which then progressed to the much more fun and final product described in this post :-)  For larger bags, don't bother cutting the card in 1/2, go for the whole card!
What else can you think of to do with old perk cards?  Share your ideas!
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Genius? Me thinks yes!

My oldest is heading off tomorrow for his first week of overnight summer camp.  The whole family is excited, nervous, scared, thrilled, you name it...we are feeling it.  Definitely overwhelmed as I pack him up for the week.  It's a camp for kids with disabilities, my son has cerebral palsy.  So along with the regular nervousness of sending your child to summer camp, I also get a bit anxious wondering how he will do with bedtime, showering, etc... Yes, they are trained to work with these kids but still...I'm the mom!  He has actually attended this same camp for 7 summers (since he was 6 years old), but that was their Day camp program...three days of 9-5pm.  This is much different!  It's also the camp at which I worked for 6 summers back in my college days, so it holds a special place for me, always has.  And it does for my oldest now too after 7 summers of day camp.  I know he will love overnight camp.  He will be worn out, he will have a blast and he will get a good amount of physical activity and NO video games!  (Can I get an "oh yea!"??)  I can't wait to hear about it!!

So on with my "genius"-ness for this week.  Packing your son for camp (not sure this would work as easily for girls because they don't typically wear long socks).  And yes, I know a lot of boys don't wear long socks, but I think even crew socks would work.  Since my son has trouble with ziploc bags and I truly didn't want to send 10 bags filled with clothes inside his luggage that would just get thrown away, I came up with this...
place one set of shirt/shorts together (include undies if needed, I decided to keep those separate), rolled up and lay on top of a pair of socks
pull up the ends of the pair of socks around the shorts and shirt set
My son is thrilled because the outfits are already together but in a way he can manage.  Plus, this boy could care LESS what he wears on a daily basis so I will be appeased as the mom knowing he will semi-match most days.  Hopefully.  And of course I am happily daydreaming of how popular I will be with the counselors..."what a brilliant mother he has"  "did you see her AWESOME packing job?"...and the comments go on in my mind ;-)  Yes, I realize that's where they will stay, but they make me happy regardless.
roll open end of one sock and continue rolling it over the toe ends of both socks (as well as open end of other sock)... into a nice little "knot". 
 Now...the test will be if they stay together in his trunk once he has unpacked.  I will update this post with those edge-of-your-seat results after camp.
And this is what it begins to look like packed in his bag!

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