Monday, July 30, 2012

july holiday - cake pops

You know I love me some cake pops!

Here's some I made for the 4th of July - I love how fun they look in the display buckets!
They were a big hit with both the adults and the kids at the Rogers' 4th of July party!

Don't you wish you could eat one now???!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

july holiday - baseball

The Rogers family loves to go to a Card's game when everyone is home for the big 4th of July bash.
Here are some pictures of our crazy, funny family!

Me & Kevin

We had to arrive several hours before game start time because it was replica jersey night... I made fun of Kevin for wanting to go sooo early, but the line was crazy long to get in and apparently I didn't understand the dedication of true St. Louis Cardinal fans because if we hadn't gone so early we wouldn't have gotten a jersey!

Since we were early though we had time to go see the 2011 World Series trophy!

We also got to see Carlos Beltran's 2,000 hit... cool!

Claire got a better view than the rest of us!

We're making silly faces!

Our view from the top

The Rogers love us some baseball!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

cookie dough brownies

A layer of brownie and a layer of cookie dough... YES PLEASE!

These were super yummy and the more I ate the more I wanted!
(recipe found via here - I love her blog!)

At first, I did feel that the brownie layer was a little too dry, but after a few days keeping in the fridge it didn't seem so dry anymore. Could have just been an error on my part (maybe a little over baked?), but I think next time I will adapt the brownie layer a little in an attempt to make it more moist (I'll update this post if I do this successfully!)

Cookie Dough Brownies

1 cup soft butter
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled slightly
1 cup flour

Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Mix in the melted chocolate until combined. On low speed mix in the flour just until combined. Line a 9x13 pan with foil. Butter the foil. Pour in brownie batter and bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. Toothpick inserted in center should come out clean. Cool completely.

3/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
(plus extra for sprinkling on top)

Mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. On low speed mix in the flour just until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand. Spread cookie dough over cooled brownie layer. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top. Refrigerate until the dough is firm (about an hour). Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator.

You will thank me for sharing this recipe... I promise!

Monday, July 16, 2012

bob? larry?

Bob? Larry? My baby girl friend, Tessa, tuned 2 last month and seems to always say "Bob" and "Larry" with a question mark at the end - it's pretty darn cute! I was sooo excited to be asked to try my hand at some Veggie Tales cake pops for her big party. Tessa adores Veggie Tales and can sing along to all her favorite songs... it's adorable!

Here's what they started out looking like... don't worry... ok I was worried, I had a professional baker on speed dial just in case :)

Ok that's a little better at least

Time lapse from the last step to this step apx 2 hours. Not 1 picture taken... I was stressing, I did the faces freehand and I can't even draw a circle that looks round :)

Please do not focus on the pirate Larry above. I ate him so he would not show up and ruin the party :)

An army of Bobs

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! Not perfect, but they certainly looked like Bob & Larry!

The display made them 10x cuter!

And Tessa didn't have any problems munching on her beloved Larry

and Bob :)

Next up: monkeys, tigers, & lions for Owen's first birthday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

bridal shower games

 Planning for games at a shower/party can be one of the hardest parts of prep work. Games often need to be personal, but also fun for a wide age range. When in doubt, the more competitive & personal you can make it, the better! And don't save this task for the last minute or you'll be sorry you did!

At my sister's bridal shower (see here) I planned several games which I will share in hopes of making someone else's life just a little bit easier :)

Who Has the Groom
(door prize rather than game)

First I had a "door prize" to get everybody loosened up and ready for some fun!
Taped to the bottom of each guest's chair was an envelope that said "who has the groom?"
Inside the envelopes was a print out of a tuxedo that had a picture of a celebrity male's head attached (that was a very weird sentance to type, please see the picture above :).
In one envelope, instead of a celebrity was the groom's head and the lucky person with that envelope won the door prize!

Here's the doc of tuxedo's that I printed (all I did was search for the image of a "tuxedo" on google and put it in a doc for easy printing and cutting). I cut out celebrity heads from a magazine and then taped them onto the printed tuxedo. I then wrote the name of the celebrity on the bottom of the card (Mr. Tom Cruise or Mr. Zac Efron...) and put each card in an envelope. I printed "who has the groom" on label's for the outside of the envelope, you could also just handwrite this but my handwriting is nothing to be proud of ;) I know this is a bit of work for just a door prize, rather than game, but everytime I look at these I seriously crack up! They were certainly a fun way to get things started!

The Price is Right
(mason jar version)

I like to make the first game of the shower what I call a "list" game. A "list" game is something that invovles minimal interaction with other guests, but gets competitive juices going and is a gentle entry into the games portion of a shower. There are endless option for these types of games, in fact it's often hard to find shower games that aren't simply list games!
Here I simply had a list of some common household items and guests took a couple of minutes to guess the prices of these items and write a guess on their sheet. Then we went through the list together and the guest who was closest in price to a particular item counted that a their "point". When done going through the list the guest with the most "points" was the winner! I used a mason jar in the background because of the theme of the shower, but you could also just print the list on pretty paper!

Staches & Tiaras

This game sure made for some great pictures! Before the shower I asked the Bride & Groom to answer these questions. Then I selected one of their answers (either the Groom's or the Brides, but not both) to read to shower guests with the question. Guests then held up either a mustach (groom) or tiara (bride) to cast their vote on who's answer it was. Example: I would say "The question is: what is your favorite color? and the Answer is: Green" Guests would cast their vote and then whoever had voted that it was the Bride's answer was correct! At the end of the game the guest with the most correct answers/votes won (I had guests keep their own tally). I found an image of both a mustach and a tiara by doing a google image search and then used the image as a pattern to cut out the mustaches & tiaras with cardstock. I hot glued the cutouts to wood sticks found at Hobby Lobby. I do not own a cricut, but it would be so much easier if you did!

The Candy Game

This game was actually much harder to play than I though it would be. Maybe because I love candy/chocolate and maybe because I saw the answers, but come on people!

I found this list of candy clues and answers online (via here). You simple read the clue and guests then try to guess the answer/candy. I bought one of each candy from Wal-Mart (most were about $1/each) and then as I read each question the first person to raise their hand (or tiara, from the previous game :) and guess correctly got that candy as their prize. That meant each question got a prize rather than just one prize for the end of the game. It costs a little more, but it was so fun to see the "loot" piling up and guests really getting into it!

Words of Advice/Love Spoon Boquet
(also not a game)

This isn't a game either, but at most the shower's I've been to I've seen a place were you can write a note of advice or love to the guest of honor at a shower. This was just a fun version that I found via pinterest and fit my mason jar theme! The wooden spoons were the cheapest at Wal-Mart - $0.88 for a four pack, but one of them wasn't a spoon so technically a three padk.

Now go get ready and enjoy your upcoming party!!

(feel free to ask questions in the comments section if I left something out)

Friday, July 6, 2012

cinnamon apple coffee cake

I recently pinned this recipe and just couldn't wait to try it!

What's not to love about the combination of cinnamon rolls, apple pie & icing?!?!?!
Seriously, it was easy to make and we devoured it... so much so, that I'm going to recommend the serving size change from 8 to 4 :)

Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1 can cinnamon rolls (8 pack w/ icing)
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans (optional - I did not use)

Spray pie plate with cooking spray. Layer 1 1/2 cups apples on bottom of pie plate. Mix together melted butter, corn syrup, & brown sugar. Add cinnamon rolls cut into fourths, remaining apples, & nuts if desired. Toss to coat, Spoon mixture over apples in pie plate. Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then invert onto serving dish. Microwave cinnamon roll icing for about 10 seconds and drizzle over top. Serve warm.

This is what it looked like all done and ready to eat consume!



Here's a shot about 10 minutes after digging in... it's pretty much devoured!

The original recipe says it serves 8, I'm going to say it only serves 4-6 and if you are
having it for brunch after sleeping in until about 10 on a holiday... it'll serve 2 with just a little left to snack on later.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

a story to make you smile

I don't often write up stories, but every once in a while something happens which just has to be shared. I'm hoping you will also enjoy and this isn't one of those "situational" funnies :)

This week Kevin subbed for a volleyball team and I went along to heckle cheer his team from the sidelines (aka the outdoor bar area :).

Wellll, this guy at the next table kept hitting on me... Dude. Ring. Duh!

I'll spare you all the details, but at one point his friend leaned over and asked if the guy was annoying me, to which I said "yes". Everyone laughed, but sadly my honesty was not rewarded.

As a last ditch effort to get my phone number this guy gives me his "business" card - I put business in quotes b/c he was an MMA fighter. Maybe all MMA fighters have business cards? Seems a little silly, but hey, what do I know?!

How I resisted this guy's charms I'll never know, but it certainly did NOT have anything to do with:

1. His age, because being a cougar is all the rage in society these days
2. His looks, because wife beaters, large billed ball caps & shorts with a waist that falls to your hips is a timeless & classic style.
3. His manners, because, in general, I swoon for every guy who gives me a cheeky wink.
(Please be visualizing Ryan from this season of the Bachelorette, because that would be spot on!)

Finally, he and his friends call it a night and I'm left to focus on my HUSBAND kicking butt at volleyball!
come on, pick it up! grandpa coulda hit that from a wheel chair

Not 10 minutes later I overhear the waitress complaining about "that young guy at the next table" who left without paying his bill! I quickly (and cheerily) piped up "you mean that guy who was sitting right there?" while pointing to the now empty seat of my flirty MMA fighter. When the waitress nodded her head I said, even more cheerily than before, "HERE! He left me his business card, feel free to give him a call!" 


I was rewarded with the biggest grin I have received in quite some time and whether she did anything with his information or not I don't know (I'm pretty sure I saw the idea of prank calls twinkle in her eyes if nothing else).

Let me pause again, hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

I want to end with a "the moral of the story is...", but honestly, I don't have one - it was just a funny story :)

If you'd rather read a funny story more along the lines of me embarrassing myself be sure to check out this old gem.