Rolo-Stuffed-Ritz

Rolo-Stuffed-Ritz

So to start, I have to tell you I love both Ritz crackers and Rolos. I eat Ritz a lot because they are a good snack to have in the house for kids, are on the approved snack list for Arthur’s preschool and go with so many dips and cheeses. I don’t have Rolos as often because they are so very sweet and I tend to pop them like candy. I deliberately don’t keep them in the house for that reason!
I picked some up when we were grocery shopping this morning so I could give this a try. This was an easy to put together, if a little too sweet for everyday, snack for the kids. Just preheat the over to 350*, put the Ritz crackers, salty side down, on the tray and put a Rolo in the center. I used mini-Rolos, mainly because I didn’t realize what I grabbed off the shelf, but they worked out great! The recommended time is 3-5 minutes and I did the full 5 minutes. I’m a slightly paranoid cook, at least the first time with a recipe, so I was watching to see when the Rolos started to melt out. Some of them collapsed from the inside, others just started seeping chocolate. Once you pull them out, just put the other Ritz, salty side out, on top and press down, the chocolate just gives way.
They will need a few minutes to cool down, but they are delicious and will be devoured. My kids and I blew through this small tray in about 5 minutes, so plan ahead. These would be a quick fix for a friendly get together or a kid’s birthday party. Enjoy the choco-caramel-salty goodness!
Original pin from http://www.recipebyphoto.com/rolo-stuffed-ritz-crackers/
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Split Pic

Split Pic

This was kind of a useless pin, but I had so much fun playing with it and I know there will be more fun over the summer!
I found this app when I was looking for another app recommended by an entirely different pin, and I have to say, I love when things are discovered by accidents. I checked around on Pinterest to see what people had done with this app and there were some very cool things, I must say!
My first thought for this app, was a fairy photo combination because Chiara has Tinkerbell and Periwinkle dress. For those without young kids, Periwinkle is Tinkerbell’s sister that she discovered in the recent movie, The Secret of the Wings. I had spent a little time playing with the app, no real purpose, just normal duplicate shots. (As normal as a picture of my children duplicated can be)
So a nice day of vacation rolled around and we went outside to play. Normally Chiara does alright with getting her picture taken, but other times she doesn’t want to play because she is so caught up in being a fairy, or a princess or whatever dress she’s wearing.
Lucky for me she cooperated long enough for 3 different attempts. The first one was kind of cute, but I didn’t realize she was further back for half of the picture. Think about the forced perspective of Lord of the Rings, and that’s kind of what it was. Chiara number 2 was hobbit sized! Second one, she was the same size, but her poses looked obviously, well, posed.
We took a quick break for a snack and Tony was looking at the pictures we had already done and pitched the idea for her peeking around the tree at herself. The exact idea, back to the tree and leaning out and around was a no-go for her, but we modified a little bit.
I was so amazed at how this picture came out. Even my mom was asking who the second little girl was. My response, “Um, your granddaughter….” It was a moment.
The app allows you to take the left side of the picture first, and by allows, I mean it makes you start on the left. Then you take the right side, and they make it relatively easy because you can see a shadow of the left side so you can line them up. Once both pictures have been taken, there will be an obvious center of the picture. Next step is to blur the center which is a button option on the bottom. As you can tell from this picture, this works amazingly well. I’m really looking forward to getting this picture developed and hanging it up somewhere.
I hope that you all give this app a try, it is free after all. It’s a fun way to blow off a few hours and anyone who likes to take photos will at least enjoy playing with it!
Original pin was a picture found at http://media-cache-is0.pinimg.com/originals/4b/0d/15/4b0d15fad0c57627fdc0e3d573b53cb1.jpg

Brownie-Oreo Trifle

Brownie-Oreo Trifle

Let me start off by bragging about the fact that today is my birthday. Not really sure if bragging is the right word. Maybe stating the fact would be better. My daughter’s birthday is only 5 days before mine so I haven’t had my own birthday cake since she came along. Not complaining because we usually have leftover cake on my birthday. This year though, we blew through Chiara’s cake, so I thought this would be a good time to try out the Brownie-Oreo Trifle I’ve had pinned since around last September!
I put this together at the same time I was making dinner, so it’s fairly easy to do. The kids got really excited watching me put together the elements too. Brownies, pudding….. mmmmm!
You will need the following:
1 9×13 pan of brownies
1 box chocolate pudding (They said you can use sugar free or fat free, but who really cares with the Oreo and brownie combo?)
1/2 cup water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cool whip (they also gave the option of lite, but once again, Oreos and brownies….)
12 oz cool whip
18 oreos, chopped
6 oreos for garnish
Bake brownies as directed. Cool completely and chop into bite size squares. Combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth. Fold in 8 oz of cool whip until there are no streaks. Chop 18 Oreos and set aside. In a trifle bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture, half of the Oreos, and half of the cool whip. Repeat each layer. Garnish the top with 3 whole Oreos and 6 crushed Oreos with filling taken out.
I was really excited about finally being able to use my Longaberger Trifle Bowl which was my September incentive. It looks so beautiful, but this is also the firs trifle I’ve ever made!
I felt a little selfish because the kids were being little monsters tonight, so they were sent to bed right at bedtime. Tony and I dug into the trifle after they were tucked in and asleep. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing with them tomorrow, but tonight it was adults only!
It is very, very yummy. Beware however, because it is very, very rich! I used the last of our milk making dinner and I was wishing for a tall glass of it before I was through my small serving! Tony enjoyed it too, and since he is the toughest critic in the house, I’d call this a big winner!
Original pin can be found at http://bakingaway.blogspot.com/2010/02/brownie-oreo-trifle.html

Camping / Apocalypse Tip

Camping / Apocalypse Tip

This is another easy one. My husband informed me this was a little redundant because we have a lantern already. My thought process is that we might not always have a lantern! What if the apocalypse comes and we need extra light?! I’m not one of those end of the world or government collapse paranoia freaks, but I like the idea of maybe being ready. Not to the point of building a bunker in my basement, but I think there is valid reasoning to having food supplies set aside. Something this simple is also a good tip to have in my arsenal.
Empty milk jug and a flash light (or a headlamp would be preferable) and you have a gently glowing lantern that lightens a room enough to see. I got lucky enough that we have a few headlamps in the house. My mom bought them for my kids from the volcano national park in Hawaii. Very fun to play with, even when not using them for a lantern lighter!
Original pin claims to be at http://beat-goes-on0.blogspot.com/ however I couldn’t find the directions on the site, but this is pretty much a “what you see is what you get” kind of thing. If you can’t figure out what to do based on this picture, then you may have bigger problems in the coming apocalypse…..
Just saying

Record Bowls

Record Bowls

I need to start by saying how fun and easy this one was! Even my kids wanted to help so it’s a good thing I have a lot of oven mitts!
Directions are as follows:
Take a record (don’t ask me about sizes, I was born in 1985 so a record is a record to me!) and place it on a foil lined baking sheet.
Preheat the over to 250* and place the record in there until it softens. The directions on the pin said about 5 minutes which may have been a bit too long as the edges of my record got a little warped. The directions said you were going for a leathery fruit feel, but if you know what that is you are wiser than I!
You will have to feel it off of the aluminum foil, at least I did, but luckily the foil was cool enough to just peel it off of the record. I did this at my own risk though, so make sure you don’t burn your hand! Once the record is softened, you place it over the outside of a bowl (this is to help shape it) and please remember to use oven mitts and tongs! It’s not super hot, but it’s warm enough to get an ouch-y!
Once you get the shape you like, and try to work quickly because it does harden back up kind of fast, just let it sit till it’s cooled.
I used a plastic bowl and it didn’t hurt the bowl at all so I’m fairly sure any material bowl could be used. This was quick and fun, even a little amusing, because my son was so upset that I “broke” the record. Obviously I didn’t use one of ours, but thrift stores always have records and usually they’re only $.50, so this is a cheap pin to complete!
Original pin is at http://www.thepartyanimal-blog.org/melted-vinyl-record-bowls-party/
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Clean your dishwasher

Clean your dishwasher

This was eye opening, more than a little disgusting, and not as huge a success as I had hoped. I still would recommend everyone do this, because thinking about what is in your dishwasher will disgust you anyway!
Step one is to take out the bottom shelf of your dishwasher. This is easy, just role it out and lift it up. However, don’t let your kids realize it rolls, that just leads to a whole other issue! They never want to give it back. Then, there is the matter of taking out the twirl-y thing on the bottom. There should be a lever type thing at the bottom and you pop it, and it’ll come out.
Now is the disgusting part: pull up the grate at the bottom and get all the crap out of there. There were bone fragments
Original pin is http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/cleaning-tips/how-to-clean-a-dishwasher.html

Be daring

Be daring

This was a purely indulgent Pinterest moment. I was probably just as shocked as everyone when Emma Watson chopped her hair off. At least she didn’t go insane and shave her head like Brittany Spears, but I can definitely understand wanting a change after being forced to keep the same style for over 10 years!
I’ve changed my hairstyle over the years. Mostly it’s kept between my chin and shoulders. It rarely gets longer than that because I get frustrated with it’s slow growth so I chop it off. It’s a little stupid on my part, but women are not expected to be rational!
The most drastic thing I’ve done before now was going “Alice” with her cut from the first Twilight movie, but I wanted a change, and with my birthday coming up (my usual change-up time), I figured, why not?!
I ran the idea by my husband, mother and close friends and I got the same response from everyone: don’t! I’ve never been one to let other people’s opinions slow me down, so of course I went out and did it anyway.
I had a ton of dead ends from chemical stuff I’ve done to my hair (dye jobs, perms, straightening) so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone, and get rid of the bad and start fresh!
I’ve also started another pin-tip, so there will be follow-up on how to have healthier hair, depending on how it turns out. I guess the point I’m trying to put across with this pin is that you should try what you want to do. Am I in love with this hair cut? Not overly, but you know what, live and learn! It’s a change, yes, but it’s not permanent. Hair grows back, so this will end up just being a fun time to look back at, possibly wondering when I lost my mind. LOL
Positive note: My Hard Rock Café hat looks fantastic with this cut!
Original photo inspiration came from http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m13kx7YdjJ1rnz2zeo1_500.png

Lace Braid

Lace Braid

I love easy hairstyles. I’m really glad I tried this one before I chopped all my hair off too because it is really cute. I didn’t do it quite like the picture, mainly because I’m not talented enough to do that to myself. Once again, I’m struck with the knowledge that I need a test subject!
It’s another style that if you can handle a French braid, you can handle this. The only difference is that you only add hair from the bottom instead of from both sides. If someone isn’t looking closely, it looks like a regular braid, but if you look closely you can see the difference.
It’s nothing super special, but it is always nice to have variations on a classic. I can’t wait to try this on someone else, maybe play it up a little more like the original pin!
Original pin can be found at http://www.bloom.com/trends/?fm=braidsandponytailspv
The website is a little difficult to navigate and I couldn’t find the directions to this exact hairstyle, but lucky me, the directions were attached to the pin.
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Oreo (Milkshake) Smoothie

Oreo (Milkshake) Smoothie

After reading this original pin, I realized 2 things. First, I would never make this the way it was originally intended because I don’t do yogurt. Second, I completely blew away the point of this, which was a weight watcher recipe….. Yeah, that’s a my bad!
Recipe is 1/2 cup milk, 4 oreos, 2 cups frozen yogurt. The original pinner said she doubled it and used one of those nifty handheld mixers you can stick directly in your cup.
I on the other hand used ice cream instead of yogurt (don’t ask why because I don’t know, but I have a deep seated aversion to yogurt) and I tripled it to share with my kids. Keeping the oreos away from them for a few days was a very complicated process too! I also threw everything in my blender because I don’t have a nifty handheld blender.
This was a huge, if messy, success! I don’t know if my blender is just getting old, or if I just put too much ice cream in, but the blender was struggling to churn it up.
The kids made an absolute mess of themselves, but they devoured it. I scarfed mine down as well, almost to the point of brain freeze. I was also excited, as I always am, when I have a chance to use my pretty cups and spoons!
Original Pin is http://refreshrestyle.com/2013/01/oreo-smoothie/
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Bubble Solution

Bubble Solution

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day in the greater Cleveland area, so I knew we had to give this pin a go!
It seemed simple enough, and Chiara and Arthur were already playing with their bubbles, so I took that as a sign. While Arthur was in school, I went ahead and put all of this together.
6 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups Joy dishwashing soap (If using an ultra concentrated dishwashing liquid, use only 1 1/3 cups) (I took this to mean you don’t actually have to use Joy, so I used Dawn because that is what I normally use)
In a large bowl (at least 3 quarts) stir water and corn syrup until combined.
Add dishwashing liquid and stir very gently until well mixed.
(Try not to make any bubbles.) Dip (don’t stir) bubble wands into bubble liquid and blow bubbles
After reading some of the notes, I realized some people said it’s best to let it sit for about an hour (maybe to concentrate or something, I don’t know) so sit it did, until after dinner. Bubbles are a little hard to see in pictures, but there are 2 here to see.
I definitely would not call them industrial strength, nor would I call them big.
However, I know I’ll try this again. I want to try again using Joy dish soap to see if that makes them tougher, and I want to get a different bubble wand, since mine is a little wimpy.
Even if they don’t come out super strong, it’s a very inexpensive way to make bubble solution and my kids love wasting an afternoon blowing bubbles!
If you’ve had better luck with this pin (you know, maybe by following the exact directions) let me know. You guys should hear back on this before summer gets in full swing!
Original pin is http://www.food.com/slideshow/15-awesome-kids-crafts-for-summer-85/giant-bubbles-4