My blog details all the fantastic "pins" I've actually made! Enjoy!

Duck Pretzel – Easter Treat March 30, 2012

I’m taking my daughter to a “Spring Tea” party hosted by one of her classmates.  I wanted to bring a cute treat to fit the theme that a bunch of 4 year old’s would love.  I saw this pin for these duck pretzels.  It looked like a cute and simple project and I had most of the ingredients already.  They turned out really cute!


What You’ll Need

1.)  Nonstick Mat – my Silpat worked great

2.) Twist Pretzels

3.) Candy Coating – I used white Wilton candy coats and used my oil based Wilton food coloring to color it yellow.

4.) Spoon

5.) Tick Tacs

6.) Something for the eyes – black icing OR edible marker OR black nonparelis



1.) Place pretzels out on a nonstick mat.


2.) Melt candy coating according to package directions.


3.) Color the candy coating (if you use white candy).  If you purchase yellow candy coats, you can save yourself a step.


4.) Spoon candy coating inside pretzels.


5.)  Before the candy sets, place tick tacs where the beak will go.


6.)  Let ducks set for 15-20 minutes.


7.) Use marker to dot an eye on the duck.  I tried my Wilton FoodWriter, but it didn’t work.  I ended up using the marker to make indentation where the eyes should be and piped in some black icing to make the eyes.  I decided I didn’t like that, so I used green sprinkles.  If I make these again, I will use some larger black ball nonparelis.


8.)  Eat and enjoy!



Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878136803/

Substitutions:  I used black icing AND green sprinkles for the eyes instead of an edible marker.  Also, I used tic tacs instead of orange coated sunflower seeds.  I couldn’t find the sunflower seeds at the store.

Time: 30 minutes

NOTE:  One bag of Wilton Candy Melts made 50 duck pretzels.


Paint Chip Easter Egg Garland March 29, 2012

I’ve seen this idea posted a few times and I thought it was a cute project for Easter.  The best part is, it’s free!  I did feel a little sneaky snatching paint chips at Home Depot the other day.  I was relieved to read that someone actually called Behr and asked if it was considered “stealing” when taking paint chips for crafts.  Behr said that it as NOT stealing!  Phew!



– Paint Chips

– Stencil of Egg

– Pencil

– Scissors

– Tiny Hole Punch

– Crochet Thread

– Tape



1.)  I collected paint chips from Home Depot.  I grabbed the Behr paint chips that have four colors.


2.)  I cut my paint chips in half.


3.)  I found a picture of an egg by searching in google for “easter egg template”.  I copied the picture from the internet and pasted it into Word.  Then, I re-sized the image a few times until I got it just the right size.  TipMake sure to get your template just the right size.  If you make it too big, you will cut off some white on to the tips of the eggs.  A few of mine have white tips! 


4.)  I cut out the egg and traced it onto my first paint chip.


5.)  I used my first paint chip as a stencil and traced the egg shape onto all my paint chips.


6.)  I cut out the eggs.


7.)  I punched two holes at the top of each egg (about 1/4″ apart).


8.)  I placed my paint chips in order.  My daughter had fun matching the colors in rainbow order.


9.)  I threaded the eggs onto the crochet thread.  NOTEI did not pre-cut the thread.  I cut the thread after I threaded all the eggs and after I hung it on my mirror.


10.)  I taped my garland to my dining room mirror and spaced the eggs out evenly.


Time:  1.5 hour total.  It took one hour to cut the paint chip, trace the eggs, and cut them out.  It took another half hour to punch the holes and string the eggs.

Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878131804/

Link to Projecthttp://blog.amyatlas.com/2011/04/paint-chip-easter-garland-easter-giveawaypantone-egg-contest/

Substitions:  None


I’m excited about all the fun projects I can create out of paint chips.  I plan to use the paint chips to make a similar garland (but with circles) for my daughter’s Candy Land/Rainbow themed birthday party (it’s not until September, but I’m getting started early.)  I’m also going to make my daughter a paint chip necklace!


Also, take a look at my yarn ball eggs (in a white bowl under the mirror).  I’ll be posting about this, too.  I just want to make more of them first!


Happy Easter!


Organizing Digital Photo’s with Blurb Books March 28, 2012

I have tons and tons of digital photos.  A few years ago, my computer (and hard drive) crashed.  I lost all my digital photos (including all my digital wedding photos).  I was heartbroken and tried everything to retrieve them.  I still have that corrupted hard drive in my filing cabinet hoping some day I will be able to retrieve my collection.


After the loss of my digital photos, I purchased an external hard-drive.  Now, I backup my pictures onto my external drive very often.  I even have it on my daily to-do list so I don’t get out of the habit (which is so easy to do).  Also, I backup all my photos onto CD’s (or should I call them DVD’s now?) at the end of each year.  I save each photo with the date and a description (i.e. 09-27-2011 Sophie’s 4th Birthday).  I found it’s important to use the “0” at the beginning of the date, so the pictures are in chronological order.


Now that I have a system to back up my photos, I wanted to do something with them.  I’ve always had hopes and dreams of filling in all the blank scrapbooks I have laying around, but I never got around to it!  This is where Pinterst comes in.  I came across a pin that introduced me to blurb books.  I fell in love with this blurb book idea immediatly.  Basically, I will tell the story of my family each year with a new blurb book.  I’m starting with 2012 and if I can keep on it, I might even back track and do 2011.  At the end of the year, I will have a finished book with all my favorite photo’s from the year.  With a blurb book you can add photos, text, etc.  You can pick out the size of your book, the cover, font, text size, colors, etc.  I’m sure there are other options out there, but the blurb books seemed to be high quality and I stopped searching once I found this website.


Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878124356/

Link to Idea from Pinterest:  http://jengrantmorris.blogspot.com/2012/01/organising-photographs.html – you have to check out Jen’s amazing post on photo organizing.




Restaurant Quality Filet Mignon Steaks!

Filed under: Cooking,Good Ideas — ipinnedit @ 4:37 am
Tags: , , , ,

I do enjoy a great steak with a glass of red wine!  The steak we make at home is good, but not restaurant quality!  I saw this pin that read “The secret to how steakhouses make their steaks so delicious. – it is true.  No more grilled steak.”  After reading this, I knew my husband would be uneasy and skeptical when I told him that I was (1) going to make him steak and (2) was not going to grill it.  I really really wanted to knock his socks off … and I did!


Okay, so these were the best steaks we’ve ever had (at home).  They were definitely restaurant quality!  I just don’t want to think of the mass quantities of calories I probably consumed.  Yup, I finished my entire steak!  My husband said “his world was turned upside down”, referring to the fact that the steaks were not grilled.  We will make these again.  You should make them, too!



Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878124202/

Substitutions:  My filet’s were more like 11 ounces each (Costco size), so I increased the baking time a bit.  Also, 4 teaspoons of salt seemed like too much for me, so I probably only did 2 teaspoons (which still seemed like a lot).   My meat thermometer read about 145 degrees when I took the steaks out and they turned out medium to medium rare.  They were perfect!

Time:  I prepared the butter ahead of time, which probably took 5 minutes.  It took me 6 minutes to cook on the stove top and I baked the filets for probably 10 minutes.

Quick Tip:  I didn’t use the entire log of seasoned butter.  I made broccoli for a side, and used some of the butter log to season the broccoli.  Yum!



2 Week Meal Plans March 26, 2012

I find meal planning and grocery shopping overwhelming and very time consuming.  In my effort to get organized, I’ve figured out a way to reduce the stress of getting hot meals on the table.  My new system should help keep grocery bills under control (less trips to the store, less $ spent) and reduce eating out!  I decided that I would plan two weeks of meals at a time.  I will only do major grocery shopping every two weeks.  I know there are those of you out there that can shop once per month, but I’m just not there yet!


I have created a “Meal Planner” worksheet to help plan and organize the meals I will prepare.  This worksheet lists days, dates, and activities.  Then, it has a spot for me to write-in my plans for lunch, dinner, and sides.  Although there is a column for lunches, I have not started planning lunches yet.  At the bottom of the worksheet, I have two extra spaces.  The first is to list any ideas I have for the next two week cycle and the second is to jot down any lunch ideas.


Here are the steps I follow to plan my 2 weeks of meals …

1.)  I prep my “Meal Planner” worksheet for the next 2 week cycle.  I update my dates and type in any notes or activities we have going on.  Then, I print it.

2.)  I review my freezer / fridge inventory (see a previous post) to see if there are ingredients I need to use up.  Also, by reviewing this list, I will see if I have any meals frozen that I can eat in the next 2 weeks.

3. ) I pull out my cookbooks, printed Pinterest recipes, magazine recipes, etc.  I also have my laptop nearby, so I can look up recipes (usually on allrecipes.com).

4.)  I flip through all my recipes and pull out the meals that Iwant to eat, keeping in mind any ingredients I already have.  If I don’t find a recipe to use up my ingredients, I search for recipes online.

5.)  I determine how many meals each recipe will make.  Many of my recipes make way too much food for my family, so I can freeze a second meal for the future!  Or, I can eat the same meal twice.

6.)  I jot down the meals I have chosen on my “Meal Planner” worksheet.

7.)  Then, I prepare my grocery list.  I WILL BE POSTING “GROCERY SHOPPING MADE EASY” very soon.  Stay tunned!. 


Every other week I follow this schedule

Tuesday = take inventory of fridge and freezer (and pantry)

Wednesday = Prepare 2 week meal plan and write grocery list

Thursday & Friday = grocery shop (you will notice that my 2 week meal rotation begins on a Saturday, so if I grocery shop on Thursday and Friday, I’ll have all the ingredients I need by Saturday).


That’s it!  Now I have all my meals planned for the next two weeks!  I have done this once so far, and it worked out so great for me!


Click here to see the printable I found on Pinterest that inspired my “Meal Planner” worksheet.


Recipes and Meal Planner Worksheet

Meal Planner Worksheet


Easter Peeps S’mores

One of my family’s favorite pastimes is sitting by the fire in our backyard fire pit.  Part of our fire ritual is making s’mores.  I saw a pin that used Peeps instead of marshmallows in the s’more.  Brilliant!  I knew my girls would love this idea.  I’m not a peep fan, myself, so I was a bit skeptical.  It turns out that they were really good cooked up and the s’more tasted just the same.  I have a Tupperware full of s’more ingredients on hand at all times since we make them a lot, especially in the summer.  The only ingredient I was missing was the peeps, so I picked some blue bunny Peeps up at the store.


The entire family loved this activity.  My 4-year-old enjoyed roasting the Peep (and eating them).  My 19 month old got a taste of her first Peep and she came back for seconds.  My husband (not a big sweet person) loved it, too!  Overall, I’d say these were a hit, and easy too.


Pinterest Pin:  http://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878112967/

Link:  http://eclecticrecipes.com/peeps-smores-for-easter

Substitutions:  The link shows duck peeps, but I used bunny peeps.  I wish I would have gotten more than one color … maybe next time!

Time:  It only takes a few minutes to roast a marshmallow!



Quick Chicken Salad March 20, 2012

Filed under: Cooking — ipinnedit @ 10:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

I love chicken salad!  I have made it many times in my own kitchen, but it never seems as good as it does at a restaurant.  This pin looked appetizing, so I gave it a whirl!  The recipe was simple enough, it just took some time to chop up all the ingredients.  The recipe could make at least 6 large sandwiches.  It was very tasty and I will make it again!



Substitutions:  I used a handful of walnuts instead of pecans.  Also, I used 1/2 cup of mayo instead of 3/4 cup.

Time:  Probably 15 to 20 minutes prep time!

Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878090964/



Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet … A Favorite in My House

Ever since tasting the chocolate chip pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, I have loved loved loved what my family calls “cookie treats.”  A “cookie treat” is basically a chocolate chip cookie baked until it’s almost done, tossed in a bowl, and covered with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I saw this chocolate skillet cookie pin and wanted to try it!


I followed the recipe exactly, baking for 15 minutes.  I even have the same 8″ cast iron skillet used in the recipe!  It was sooo very good.  It was very very chocolaty, so be ready to chug some milk!  I love that there was hardly any cleanup since everything was mixed directly in the skillet!


Recipe:  http://www.sophistimom.com/one-pan-skillet-cookie/

Pinterest Pin:  http://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878090968/

Substitutions:  None

Time:  15 – 20 minute prep time and 15 minutes to bake.



Four Leaf Clover Green Bell Pepper for St. Patrick’s Day March 18, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Good Ideas,Holiday Ideas — ipinnedit @ 7:14 pm
Tags: , ,

I cut up a green bell pepper to resemble a four leaf clover.  I purchased a green pepper that looked like it would have four “leave”s, but as you can see when I cut into it, I only got a three leaf clover.  Maybe finding a four “leaf” pepper is just as lucky as finding a four leaf clover?  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878076499/

Idea Linkhttp://media-cdn.pinterest.com/upload/135530270005661530_zyCbEMBL.jpg



St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Twizzlers and Rolo’s Treat

My daughter’s eyes lit up when she saw the Rainbow Twizzler’s I purchased.  I showed her a picture of the project we were going to make and she was thrilled.


To complete this project, I used Rainbow Twizzler Twists, Rolo’s, and sandwich baggies.  I had my four year old and her neighbor friend help me place the rainbows.  They had to find all the colors to make a rainbow and then lay out the rainbows on our kitchen table.  Then, they counted out Rolo’s for me.  This turned out to be a great lesson for my preschooler (matching colors and counting).  I placed the Rolo’s and Twizzlers in the baggies.


The kids handed out the treats to some of the neighbor friends.  These treats were a hit.  If I’d had more time, I would have created a cute “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” label to attach.  Maybe next year …


Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878075338/

Project Linkhttp://mygratitudeattitudes.blogspot.com/search/label/crafts?updated-max=2011-04-13T06%3A00%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=20

Substitutions:  My daughter is allergic to nuts, so I substituted the Hershey’s for Rolo’s!