Thursday, July 4, 2013

Patriotic Ice Cream Pizza

We typically make some sort of flag-decorated dessert on the Fourth of July, usually using blueberries and strawberries. This year was no different, and we made ice cream pizza!

I will admit, I took inspiration from the show Team Umizoomi and the ice cream truck episode. Basically you make a sugar cookie base, then top it with ice cream and whatever toppings you want. This could easily be adapted to fit any theme, and would be a fun alternative to regular cake and ice cream at a birthday party!

We made ours in round cake pans, but you could just make regular cookies and top them, or make a pan cookie and cut it into squares. This recipe is designed to make a pan cookie, so I'd suggest using a different recipe if you want regular cookies. 

Patriotic Ice Cream Pizza 
Cookie "Crust"(adapted from this recipe)
*Makes enough for two 9-inch cake pans. Double the recipe if you want to use an 18" x 13" baking sheet.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Ice cream of your choice, slightly thawed
Yummy toppings of your choice-berries, sprinkles, candy, nuts-be creative!

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Mix in vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread into two greased 9-inch cake pans. The dough will be just like cookie dough - spray a piece of wax paper with a little nonstick spray and use it to help press the dough into the pan.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
4. Spread ice cream on top of cookie base. Leave some cookie visible around the edges for a more authentic pizza look. It's easiest to place several little scoops on top, then spread them to cover the cookie. An icing spatula works well to smooth it all at the end.
5. Add toppings and serve immediately.

Note: if you want to do some prep in advance, you can add the ice cream, and put the entire thing in the freezer, then add toppings just before serving. The toppings won't really stick, but if you decorate and then freeze, the toppings (berries, M&Ms, etc.) will be frozen and hard. You might be able to do that and then pull it out to thaw for a bit, kind of like an ice cream cake. If anyone tries that, let me know how it works!

Monday, July 1, 2013

M&M Monday

Since I expect I'll have twice as many kid pictures now than I did before, Mondays will be dedicated to pictures of M and M. My parents got their pool fixed, and we helped break it in this weekend. Micah had a blast. We discovered that the baby float worked great for him! He had fun with the water wings, too.

This one dipped her toes in just a bit.

She was happy hanging out in the shade, too.

Even Lilie joined in on the fun!

Hope everyone else's summer is off to a great start, too!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Newest Addition

Well, my last post was on March 6 where I shared the final pictures of the nursery. On March 7, this little cutie entered the world.
Photo credit: Bella Baby Photography
And I've been a little busy since then. :-) Today, she looks more like this.

Photo credit: Madison's G'pa
And while I didn't put a hair bow on her for the first two weeks, she's had one on every day since then! Gotta admit that I've had fun picking out girl clothes and making hair bows.

Now that I'm back at work, she's pretty much sleeping through the night, and we have generally figured out how to manage two kids into our schedule, I'm hoping to get back to some regular blogging. I've got some new recipes to share, some inexpensive organizing ideas, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of cute baby and 3 year-old pictures to go around!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project Nursery: Final Reveal

Over the past few months I've been able to make a lot of great changes to the nursery to get it ready for our baby girl's arrival. In the original post, I shared that I wanted to make the following changes to take the room from baby boy to baby girl. The items with a star are things I wanted to DIY, and I'm happy to say I accomplished it.

  • Storage bins
  • Crib skirt* (tutorial here)
  • Curtain*
  • Laundry hamper* (I didn't share a tutorial, but click here for the one I used)
  • Changing pad cover* (tutorial here)
  • Mobile* (tutorial here)
  • Crib sheets

As a reminder, here is what I started with.

Bright and light pink storage bins, a new laundry hamper liner, and new changing pad covers (I ended up making two) added some much needed girly color to the changing station.

I also re-covered the picture frame mat above to go from green to pink.
The crib got new sheets and an adjustable length crib skirt that will still work as we adjust the height of the mattress. The window got a new super-easy curtain, and the corner got a fun new mobile.

The part of the room near the door is home to the hair bow and headband holder, and the baby book I made adds another splash of pink.

Overall I'm really happy with how the room came out, especially since I didn't replace any furniture and we didn't repaint the walls.
As they say, all that's missing is the baby. We're ready and waiting!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Project Nursery: Hairbow and Headband Holder

With a little girl on the way, I know I will want a place to keep hair bows and headbands. I've seen several ideas, but really liked the concept (though not so much the style) of this one.

While I don't love the style of the ribbon or the baby pink color, I like the idea of using ribbon for clippy hair bows, and the hooks along the bottom for headbands.

First, I picked up supplies:

- 12" x 18" frame (must be wooden, not plastic)
- pink spray paint
- coordinating 1" wide ribbon
- cup hooks

The first step was to measure out where the hooks should go along the bottom. I started an inch in from either side, then put a pencil mark every 1.5 inches. You could put them an inch apart if you want more hooks - I just preferred the way this spacing looked.

Then I screwed a hook into the center of each line.

Next, remove the glass and spray paint the entire frame and hooks. After that it's time to attach the ribbon. The original tutorial called for using a staple gun, but I was afraid it would splinter my frame, so instead I used thumb tacks, but it didn't work so well.

Can you tell how loose the ribbon is? Especially the dark one on the far right. Not ideal. Also, I didn't like that I could see the little hooks on the inside of the frame. It just looked too unfinished.

So I removed the ribbon, and grabbed the cardboard that came with the frame. I decided to cover it with white fabric, and then attach the ribbons on the back side of the cardboard with hot glue.

It looked MUCH better. I like that it looks more finished, and the ribbon is also more taut. I loaded up the hooks with headbands...

and we're done!

I'm working on some clippy bows, which will find a happy home on the ribbon. Here's one so far. Cute, but lonely all by itself. :-)

I'm excited to have a system in place for all of the cute headbands and bows in MZ #2s future!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

$2 Freezer Organization

I suppose you can say I've been doing a bit of nesting lately. When I had MZ #1, I didn't even know what freezer cooking was. Somehow we managed to eat without too much trouble. But this time around, I know someone else will have to be providing meals for him for a few days, and with two kids, I imagine dinner time isn't going to get any easier! As I began working on meals for the freezer, I realized how disorganized it is.

I decided I could easily inject some organization for myself and also for the family members who will be staying at my house to help out with our little man. The awesomely talented Jen at iHeart Organizing provided my inspiration with her freezer organization system.

She is lucky enough to have a Container Store in her town where she picked up the clear storage bins. Unfortunately, the closest one to us is about two hours away :-( I decided to search for other options. As I was measuring the space, I happened to glance upon the little "clean" and "dirty" baskets I use for bibs, wash cloths, dish towels and rags.

I had recently decided that they didn't work so well because of their curved shape - I can't really fold anything. On a whim I tried putting them in the freezer to see if they would fit. Lo and behold, they did. I decided I would go out looking for baskets to use as new laundry baskets. Dollar Tree came to the rescue with these fun green baskets.

I simply moved the tags and the towels over, and they were good to go!

Then it was time to put the white baskets to use in the freezer. I decided the two items that needed the most help were bags of veggies, and packaged foods like chicken nuggets and frozen tortellini. They went into the baskets and I added labels.

I also designated new homes on the door for breakfast and breads, ice packs, and sauces. This makes breakfast items easy to grab, and it's a much better use of space in the door with stacked sauces (I always freeze them flat so they take up less space).

Overall the freezer is much more organized. I'd ultimately like to get the bins from Container Store or something similar - the white ones aren't quite as big as I'd like, and I do have a few things hidden behind them in the back.
But for a total of $2 for the new little green baskets, this is a definite step in the right direction!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project Nursery: DIY Baby Book

OK, so a baby book isn't exactly a nursery decor project, but it's still baby-related! My Mom found a great baby book when MZ #1 was born, but it came from a specialty shop in Texas. I looked around a bit on Etsy, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted, and they were quite pricey. After a little searching on Pinterest, Young House Love came to the rescue. I read their blog every day, but had forgotten about the baby book they made.

Cute, right? They have a free printable available with all of the pages they used, so all I had to do was get a scrapbook album and some cute paper. I headed to Michael's where I got an 8" x 8" scrapbook for just $9 with a 40% off coupon.

I raided my scrapbook paper stash for 10 sets of coordinating paper.

I did look briefly at the 8" x 8" packs of paper they sell at Michael's, but didn't really like any of them, so I decided I would just cut down the 12" x 12" sheets I already had. After cutting the scrapbook paper to 8" x 8" squares, I cut the printable sheets in half, and simply used a glue stick to attach them. Then they slide right in!

I played around with the Word document to customize the different milestones just a bit, and I left some blank pages for pictures, hospital bracelets, and foot prints.

I'm excited about how it turned out, and even more excited to be able to start filling it in soon!