Archive | March 2013

Easter Egg Hunt ~ Springtime Family Fun!

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Love this time of year! A family tradition of ours is attending the Madison Township Fire Department Annual Easter Egg Hunt! The firefighters & medics do such a fantastic job creating a family event for our community! We used took our now teenage son to this annual Easter egg hunt when he was a toddler and now we take our baby, Spencer!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe Easter Bunny paid a visit and took pictures with all the kids and there were LOTS of kiddos!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis year, the fire department got a donation of chocolate bunnies too! They looked so cute sporadically stuck in the ground among the gazillion eggs that also were filled with candy!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASpencer has one foot forward waiting for the signal to “Go!” I believe he was also sizing up his competition, lol!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI can see Spencer plotting his path of destruction . . .

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASpencer was super happy with his loot! He was one of the lucky ones who got a chocolate bunny!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAA sunny and perfect day out at the park! We are loving these family moments knowing they will one day be a special memory! Hoping you and yours are making memories too this weekend and wishing all of you a very Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blueberry Crumb Muffin Pan

I love, love, love this recipe for Blueberry Crumb Muffin Pan! For one, it is loaded with sweet, crunchy crumbs and it is fast to make. Takes less than 5 minutes to throw together and bakes up in 40-50 minutes. So throw the ingredients together and shove it in the oven. Go get in the shower and get ready for the day. Once you are dressed and ready to go so is this sweet treat! This recipe was given to me by our Mom Lockwood. I decided to make this last night at 3 in the morning because I was craving something fruity and sweet. This really should be made in a 2 quart oblong glass baking dish. You know, that set of Pyrex glass dishes you got for Christmas years ago? The one with a 9×13 glass dish you use all the time but also came with a slightly smaller glass dish that doesn’t get used often…that is the 2 quart baking dish I am taking about, lol! But alas, the hubby was fast asleep and so was our teenage son. My 2 quart baking dish was way, way, way up on the top shelf and I don’t climb chairs so I used my 9×9 metal baking pan and although it turned out, it did flow over the edges and kind of ruined the bottom of my stove. And it took slightly longer to cook. So don’t follow my lead and use a 2 quart baking dish, lol. It is so GOOOOOOOD, yep, it takes that many “O’s” to describe it!

Printable Recipe: Blueberry Crumb Muffin Pan

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Sugar

  • 3/4 Cup Milk

  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

  • 1 Egg

  • 2 Cups Flour

  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

  • 1 Teaspoos Salt

  • 1 Cup Fresh or 3/4 Frozen Blueberries

  •  2 Cups Sugar

  • 1 Cup Flour

  • 1 stick of margarine, melted

 Directions:

 Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar, milk, Oil and the egg with a wisk. I love when wet ingredients are in the same increments like the milk and oil because I can measure them both out in the same glass at the same time. Anything to save time is a good thing for me, lol!

In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients stirring until moist. Batter will be lumpy.

Fold in the blueberries. If your using frozen ones, toss them in frozen. If using fresh, be sure to rinse them off and pat them dry before adding them to the batter. A lot of liquid will ooze out of a blueberry so you don’t need extra fluid.

Pour batter in a 2 quart baking dish. Again, I used the wrong pan so don’t follow my lead. Use the 2 quart baking dish instead and save yourself from having to clean the bottom of your oven out later, lol! It really oozed out bunches, so I guess it’s time to figure out how the auto cleaner works on our stove. Or better yet, our teenage son can do it the next time he rolls his eyes at us, lol! Which should be a dozen times in the next half hour or so.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the 2 cups sugar, 1 cup flour and margarine. Stir till crumbly.

Add crumbles evenly on top of batter. What is fantastic about this recipe is that the layer of crumb topping is as thick as the layer of batter! The batter does rise thanks to the baking powder but you will still end up with a thick layer of sweet and buttery crumb bliss. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean of batter. That’s how long it took in my 9×9 pan but I think you could start checking it around 35 minutes in a larger pan. It will be more spread out and cook faster. This recipe has lots of butter so don’t confuse the butter for batter when you insert the toothpick into the middle.

Yep, right over the edge of the pan. I should of just woke the hubby or teenager up to get me the dish from the top shelf, lol! Oh well! My sweet and fruity craving was hugely satisfied anyways! Give this quick recipe a try and you won’t regret it!

Update: I made this again but this time I had the hubby get down the right dish! The 2 quart dish was perfect! Took my oven 40 minutes to bake it to perfection! My oven tends to always bake fast, for example, if a recipe says 20-25 minutes, then whatever I am making is done at 20 minutes (always the lowest time). So make this in a 2 quart dish and it will be fantastic!

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Irish Float

Happy St. Patty’s Day a day late, lol! The hubby surprised us by making Irish Floats! Cool, creamy and completely refreshing! More importantly, EASY to make! This will definitely be part of our summer!

Ingredients:

  • Ginger Ale

  • Lime Sherbet

Directions:

Spoon into a glass lime sherbet all the way to the top.

Pour ginger ale over the ice cream.

That’s it. Sooooo simple yet incredibly delicious!

I actually liked mine better after giving it a good stir to combine the ginger ale and sherbet. So refreshingly cool! My hubby just rocks!

In case you were wondering . . . it was kid tested and kid approved by our tiny tornado, Spencer! His exact words were, “Yummy yummy!”

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Nothing screams summer more than our Strawberry Pretzel Dessert! Of course, the Packs march to their own beat and we don’t wait until summer to make this family favorite! There are tons of versions out there but this is our tried and true recipe. The crunchiness, the salty, the sweet, the creamy center, the cool Jell-O, the strawberry chunks…yep, this is to die for! This is a family favorite that never lasts more than a few hours in the Pack household. Give this one a try and you can thank me later…or better yet, I’ll just say “you’re welcome” right now!

Printable Recipe:  Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of crushed pretzels (see directions on how to crush the pretzels)

  • 1.5 sticks of butter/margarine melted

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened

  • 8oz tub of whipped topping, thawed

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1.5 cups boiling water

  • 6oz box of strawberry Jell-O

  • 2 – 10 oz packages of frozen strawberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place pretzels in a Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer, crush the pretzels.

Mix together the melted butter/margarine, 3 tablespoons of sugar and crushed pretzel sticks. Yep, the butter isn’t completely melted but extremely softened. Either way will work.

Dump pretzel mix into a 9 x 13 glass or metal dish. Press down the mix into a smooth layer.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to completely cool.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, mix together cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and whipped topping until smooth.

Spread over the cooled pretzel mix.

Place in fridge to firm up for 15-20 minutes. Place the contents of the Jell-O into a medium-sized bowl. Pour the boiling water over the Jell-O.

Once all crystals are completely dissolved, add the frozen strawberries to the bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge until the Jell-O and strawberries mix thickens.

Once slightly thickened, pour over the cream cheese mix.

Return the glass or metal dish to the fridge until Jell-O is firm.

Serve cold. Keep leftovers in the fridge. I promise, you will make this a gazillion times more after your first bite…yep, it’s that GOOD! Enjoy!

Spirit Flip Flops

We’ve got spirit, yes we do!

We’ve got spirit, how about you?!

 It’s almost spring and it’s time to break out our beloved flip flops! Kick those basic flops up a notch by making Spirit Flip Flops! Super cute and super easy to make! It is completely customizable! The best part, you end up with an original, one-of-a-kind pair of spring and summer shoes for around a total cost of $10.00! I love our son’s high school colors: red and black! Bright, striking and a fun color combination! So go pick up those $1.00 flip flops from Michaels or the dollar store. Or heck, buy the Old Navy flops that go on sale for around $2.50! Stock up because these are so cute you will want to make more than one pair! Before you head out, check out your current ribbon stock, save money by using materials you have left over from other projects!

For baseball season last year,  I made a pair of these Spirit flip flops to wear to our son’s baseball games. The other moms loved them and so did all the teenage girls who showed up to watch the boys play ball. They were my favorite go-to flip flops last spring all the way through the summer!

Sunday is our oldest son’s, Steve Jr’s, girlfriend’s, Shianne’s, birthday. Say that three times fast, lol! I’m not sure that was even grammatically correct? Anyhow, she is a sweetheart and we adore her. She is also a triple threat: she plays volleyball, basketball and softball. We are loving that she is way busier than him which is saying a lot since our son plays football and baseball while also being part of the basketball team’s film crew. So there time together is rare but special and we appreciate that he is dating an athlete. Our son and his girlfriend work hard to elevate their own games to help their teams. We love that about both of them. I decided to make her a pair of these cute Spirit Flip Flops for her birthday, she is so full of school spirit that I think she will appreciate them! 

Save money! Go through your ribbon stash! After raiding your leftover ribbon and if you find you need more ribbon, be creative. Choose different textures, styles and sizes. A completely sheer one inch ribbon looks very cute! Choose between 7-8 different ribbons. Don’t go any larger than a one inch or smaller than a 1/4 inch width ribbon for max effect. Have fun, you get to choose the color scheme!

Supplies I Used to Make These Spirit Flops: 

  • 7/8” x 9 ft – mini white polka dot on black ribbon ($1.99 Walmart)

  • 7/8” x 9 ft – red and white zebra print ($1.99 Walmart)

  • 3/16” x 6 yd – black eyelet ribbon (.47 cents Walmart)

  • 1/4″ x 10 yd – red ribbon (.47 cents Walmart)

  • 3/8” x 15 ft – “GO TEAM” white ribbon ($1.00 Hobby Lobby)

  • 3/8” x 15 ft – red with black dots ribbon ($1.00 Hobby Lobby)

  • 3/8” x 15 ft – white with black dots ribbon ($1.00 Hobby Lobby)

  • 1 pair of black flip flops ($1.00 Michaels)

  • scissors

Directions: 

First, cut your ribbon…all of them. Anything less than 3/4″ wide, cut them into strips that are 6 inches in length. Anything that is 3/4″ up to one-inch wide, cut them into strips that are 7 inches in length. The wider ribbon needs to be longer to account for the larger knot. Keeping the strips these lengths helps to keep the finished, knotted ribbon roughly the same length. Hope that makes sense.

Lay your cut strip piles in the order that you want to tie them onto your flip flops. Try to balance the widths, colors and textures. Also keep in mind that the ribbons on the ends will be next to each other. Hope that also makes sense.

So here’s the super duper hard part…ok, lol, it’s not hard at all. Starting on one end of the strips of ribbon, take one ribbon and tie it tightly around the plastic piece of the flip flop. Tie a double knot. Pay attention to the design of the flip flop. The plastic pieces do flip over so you do end up tying knots upside down kind of.

You always want your double knots on the top of the plastic parts. You don’t want your feet against the knots or it will be pretty painful to walk in! Keep the ribbon tightly against each other and double knot each ribbon. Go all the way around the plastic pieces.

Try to keep the side that rests against the top of your foot free of major wrinkles in the ribbon. Following your laid out pattern, continue knotting the ribbon all the away around the plastic part. Tadah! That’s it and your done with one flop. Repeat with the second flop.

With the ribbon I purchased for this project, I almost have enough left over to make an entire second pair of Spirit Flip Flops. I need to purchase one more spool of both the 7/8” ribbons and another pair of flip flops. That means it will have cost less than $15.00 for two pairs of Spirit Flip Flops! So I guess I’ll make me a new pair for this upcoming baseball season! 

Check out Walmart, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or your favorite craft store for unique ribbon. Last year I added ribbon that had little baseballs on it. You can find awesome ribbon with almost every sport to personalize your Spirit Flip Flops! Always check websites and newspapers for money saving coupons before you head to the craft store! I bought the red ribbon with black dots, white ribbon with black dots and the “GO TEAM” ribbon for only $1.00 each at Hobby Lobby (they were on sale)! The 7/8” ribbons I purchased at Walmart for $1.99 a spool and the 1/4″ ribbon was only .47 cents! So shop around! I hope you get a chance to make a pair, they really are super cute and you will get lots of compliments! 

This would be a great team building project for cheerleaders, brownies or girl scouts! It is fairly inexpensive and it will build up their fine motor skills! Inexpensive, creative, customizable and fun! Just a win-win craft project!

On The Mend

Blooming While Healing

For those who follow my blog, you have probably wondered, “Where’d Kathy go???” My deepest apologies. My blog is something I take great pride in and try to post new crafts and recipes several times a week. We had a bit of a health scare out of nowhere. Three masses were found in my abdomen and the fear was cancer. Two weeks in the hospital, two surgeries and 36 staples later, I am on the mend. More importantly, cancer was ruled out! There should be a rule written somewhere that if you have pulmonary hypertension that you are excused from acquiring any other disease or disorder for the rest of your life. Seems fair to me! Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes; we truly do believe that those prayers and well wishes made all the difference in the world! What was by far one of the most frightening experiences in our lives were more easily conquered with the help of our family and friends. Our kids went without wanting and were safe and lovingly cared for while Steve stayed with me 24/7 in the hospital. You know who you are and we can’t thank you enough for looking after the Pack family! We are blessed upon blessed!