The Power of Moms

 

Entries in July (17)

Tuesday
Jul102012

Camp Week Part 2

I stumbled along this great idea on Pinterest and thought it would be a fun idea to use if you are camping at home. I made it for a Baby Shower, but thought it was an easy take on making S'mores without fire.

You can find the instructions at Tip Junkie. My only recommendation is add a whole lot more chocolate chips in-between the graham crackers.They were very easy to make and turned out yummy!

Last year we did a camp week at home and wanted to share a few of our past ideas.

Nature Walk and Project

Indoor Campfire

Camp Hats

Family Banner

Tomorrow I will share some more activities and crafts you can do either camping outdoors or at home!



Monday
Jul092012

Weekly Theme: Camp Week Part 1

Each week this summer, we will be doing some fun food, crafts, and activities with our children revolving around a certain theme. I hope you join us in these themes and we would love for your to leave comments with your ideas or link up your ideas on our Facebook page!

This week we are celebrating camping. My little family just returned from a week long camping trip to beautiful Maine. Today, I wanted to share a few quick tips on travelling long distances and camping with children. Throughout this week, we will share food ideas, activities, and crafts you can do with your children whether you are camping at home or camping out under the stars.

Travelling:

  • Don't always assume you can travel to Maine during the summer and try to find a hotel room at 2 AM! 
  • Throw away the limited TV screening policy and let your kids watch unlimited movies. It is so peaceful and quiet you can even have conversations with your husband!
  • Have snacks galore! We used a cooler with fruit, cheese, lunch meat, and made sandwiches and snacks.
  • Have any stuffed animals, special blankets, and PJ's ready for nap time or if travelling at night.
  • Take as many rest stops as needed.
  • A few fun games... I Spy, the license plate game, and I also taught Logan the color ruby and we tried to find as many items that were rubied color. He loved it.
  • Music and silly songs

 

Camping

  • Know that the kids will go to bed late and naps will be skipped or taken whenever possible.
  • Dirt is good... at least that is what I tell myself when my daughter is continually dirty from digging and playing
  • Always be prepared for rain
  • It is exhausting, but well worth it!
  • Lots of band-aids for those many falls and scrapes
  • Don't forget to charge your camera so you have enough battery power for all those great pictures you will be taking!
  • Embrace the no make-up and hair pulled back every day look
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Be prepared for a lot of activities and then realize you didn't do any of them... you were too busy enjoying your family and exploring!

I hope some of these tips can help! I really encourage camping. I told my husband that it is a lot of work, but the experience is so valuable! Our family loved it and hopefully your family will love it as well!


 

 

Friday
Jun292012

4th of July Shirts- Repost

 I love the 4th of July and love to celebrate in style! I love making shirts for my kids because I know one day they won't let me!

 

If you would like to download the full size image, please click on the thumbnail below.


To make a shirt:

1. Print your image out on t-shirt transfer paper. You can find this at any craft store or general merchandise store (Walmart, Target, etc.)

2. Cut out the image. For the star, I cut as close to the wording as possible. Keep in mind any border will be white on your material.

3. Iron on the image using your transfer paper's directions.

4. Let cool and wear!

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help! You can leave a comment or email me at becky@twelvemonthsoffun.com.

 

 


Thursday
Jun282012

4th of July Healthy Eats and Sweet Treats - Part 2

Yesterday we featured patriotic fruit stacks as the healthy but yummy portion of this two-part post; today we are going to get into the good stuff; our 4th of July Sweet Treats. This tasty post is a modification of the Star & Stripes Cheesecake Shots shared on Half-Baked: the cake blog. Any cheesecake that you can pick up and pop in your mouth is great for adults and kids, and you can make it as sweet as you want by modifying the amount of sugar that you add to the cream-cheese mixture.

4th of July Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

{modified from Star & Stripes Cheesecake Shots}

Ingredients needed:

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese-room temperature

1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip- thawed (you can use whipped heavy cream also-you may need to add more sugar)

¼ cup of white sugar (more or less depending on your sweet tooth)

½ tsp. of vanilla

Fresh blueberries

½ package of puff pastry-thawed (this will be too much; I did not come up with a solution on how to cut it back-you could possible cut the frozen roll of pastry in 1/2 so you were only using ¼ of the package, but I am not sure how easy this will be-we just ate the extra dipped in the extra cheesecake mixture)

½ cup melted butter (if end up trying to quarter the amount of pastry you use you will only need ¼ cup)

¼ of turbinado sugar for “sparkling”stars

1-inch star shaped cookie cutter

*full disclosure: we actually used fillo dough due to me not realizing that it was different from puff pastry-this required us to have to butter each layer which was a little messy and time-consuming, you can save the time and trouble by using the frozen Puff Pastry by Pepperidge Farm

 

To start I washed our berries off and whipped up the "cheesecake" filling. We were short on time so I forgot to take pictures of the "before" but the process was simple. I whipped the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until it was light and fluffy. I then folded in the whipped topping until uniform throughout. I then set it aside and got busy hulling berries. To get them to stand up on the plate I cut the bottom off so they had a flat surface to rest on. I used a small paring knife to this part and it worked like a dream. You could try one of those fancy-shmancy strawberry hullers, but I like that I had control over the size of the hull and could make it a little bigger to fit more filling.

Once this was done I set them up in the serving tray per my sister's suggestion. She said it would be better to not move them once they were filled; I think it was good advice. I used a piece of blue vellum to line the tray; you could use any scrap book paper you had lying around. Scrapbook paper is a great way to make a really simple dessert look fantastic; we use that trick all the time to line cupcake displays or cake plates.

It was then time to pump them full of "cheesecake" filling. My sister does cakes and cupcakes as a hobby/side job, so she hooked me up with a professional pastry bag and tip, but you could use a ziploc bag with a corner cut off just as effectively.

Once the tray was full of cheesecake stuffed strawberries I stuck it in the fridge to chill and made the puff-pastry stars. As I stated in my disclosure, I confused fillo dough with puff pastry, so I was a little stressed when I opened the box and the layers were separated. We are problem-solvers though, especially when guests are due to arrive in 45 minutes, so I put the child on buttering duty, channeled my Tim Gunn, and "made it work".

Once we had the top layer buttered we sprinkled the turbinado sugar on top (Sugar in the Raw), punched out the stars using the 1-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, gingerly separated them and spread them out onto a lined cookie sheet. I lined mine with my Silpat; you could also use parchment paper. I did not spray it with anything since we had butter everywhere. They baked them at 425 F for about 10 minutes, and came out looking much better than I expected. The picture below shows what they looked like before going into the oven.

Once the stars had cooled, each stuffed strawberry was topped with a blueberry and star "pastry". You could also use cookie dough or pie crust to make the stars if you did not want to mess around with puff pastry or fillo dough. These 4th of July Sweet Treats were a huge hit at the party, so much so that I only got to taste one. Delicious and patriotic!

Tuesday
Jun262012

4th of July Healthy Eats and Sweet Treats- Part 1

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. This is not to say that I do not get really excited about other holidays like Halloween and Christmas, but the 4th of July is a great time to gather with friends and family to celebrate without the pressure of gifts, baked goods, complex decorating schemes, etc. The colors and theme are already picked for you, and gatherings are usually held outdoors so you don’t have to stress about the fact that you have not dusted your woodwork since Christmas. This past weekend I hosted one such event in our backyard. Instead of making a fancy dessert, I decided to make a healthy snack and a sweet treat. Both featured the colors red, white and blue and a star-theme. Today’s post will feature the Healthy Eats portion of our dessert; check back tomorrow for the Sweet Treat.

One thing I really liked about both of these snacks/desserts (other than their tastiness) is that my daughter Maggie could assist during different stages. She is 4 so it didn’t necessarily make the preparation go faster, but it did give her a chance to work on some kitchen skills and for me to work on some patience skills.

Healthy Eats: 4th of July Fruit Stacks

{inspired by the fruit flag featured on The Kitchn: }

Ingredients needed:

Watermelon

Bananas

Blueberries

2.5 inch star-shaped cookie cutter (it could be bigger or smaller-this is just what I used)

4-inch skewers

The first thing I did was cut a slice off of the watermelon, lay it flat on a cookie sheet (it keeps the juice from going everywhere) and cut the rind off. I then set the child loose on punching out star-shaped watermelon “cookies”.

This lasted about 3 minutes until I got tired of helping her get the cookie cutter unstuck (I cut the first slice to thick), and she became more interested in eating the watermelon than making stars.

I then had an epiphany that slicing the watermelon vertically would make it easier to cut thin even slices, which would make it easier to cut out stars; the star-shaped cookie cutter I used was about 1-inch thick.

It went a little faster then; Maggie supervised and I punched out the watermelon stars. When we were done we had about 28 stars. We also had a lot of scraps which I did not want to waste, so we saved them to snack on this week. (She wore the yellow hard hat you see in the background while supervising, but did not want it on for her big modeling moment.)

Once we had our stars ready to go; I sliced up some bananas, washed the blueberries and modeled for the child how to skewer the fruit to make a red, white and blue fruit tower without poking her eye out or stabbing her finger. While I organized the watermelon stars into leftover cupcake wrappers I found in the closet (some were stars-perfect!) the child worked off the cost of the mango smoothie I bought her at Target earlier that day and skewered all of the fruit towers. I was impressed. 

We served them at the party an hour later, and the only regret I had was that I did not dip the banana slices in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. The supervisor gave them two-thumbs up, and they were enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. For the really little ones we took the skewer out before putting the fruit on their plates. These would also be cute for a patriotic brunch. You could also use longer skewers and skewer the stars sideways, alternating banana pieces and blueberries if you wanted something a little more substantial.

Come back tomorrow to check out the “Sweet Treat” in Part 2 of this post!