Monday, April 14, 2014

Cadbury Egg Pie

It's Cadbury Egg Season!! Ok, so I know they've been out for awhile, but seriously, I can never get enough. But as much as I love them, I am glad they only come out once a year because that makes them more special! Oh Cadbury Egg... how much I love thee! 

This year, just for fun, I decided to take my favorite candy and transform it into another favorite- a pie! And with this I give you- a Cadbury Egg Pie! 

This was so simple. You can make it tonight..... or this weekend. Hey, Easter is this coming weekend! What??!! When did that happen? 

All you need is three ingredients..... a store bought graham cracker crust (or you could make your own), a pint of heavy whipping cream and 8 Cadbury eggs.... or 2 boxes of 4. If you get 2 5 packs, just eat the remaining two. Hey, I'm not here to judge (because that's exactly what I'd do... come on, these things are only out once a year!!!)  

And for this recipe you will be using the entire pint of whipping cream- no need to figure out what to do with the remaining portion. I love that. 

Take 5 of your eggs and put them in a bowl with 1/3 cup of the heavy cream. 

Melt that in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals and stir until pretty thin. (It may not get completely thinned, that's ok) 

Then, in another bowl, pour in the rest of your whipping cream. If you would like to add about 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla, go ahead and do it. It's not completely necessary, but does help the whipped cream in both taste and texture. 

Take a hand mixer (or just use your kitchenaid- mine, sadly, is currently broken) and whip that right up. Keep mixing until it's thick and looks like the whipped cream that it is.

Then gently fold in your melted cadbury eggs. These should be a tad cooler now, since you let it rest while making the whipped cream. 

Once it's incorporated, I take the remaining 3 cadbury eggs and chop them up. They will be sticky. This won't be perfect. That is perfectly ok. 

Fold those babies in and pour it into your graham cracker pie crust.

Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so, to harden. 

Then, enjoy! 

Cadbury eggs... please always, always show up in my Easter basket!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BzzAgent Product Review- GOOD2GROW

I recently joined a social marketing company, called BzzAgent. They send me products to try and I try them out and review them for all of you. I love trying new products, don't you??

This week I'm reviewing Good2Grow kids drinks.

You know those drinks, with a character on top, and your child sees them and begs and begs because it has to taste better than anything they've ever had before, because it has their favorite character on it? Yeah, these are those.

I will admit that while I have seen them, I've never bought them. I thought they were definitely overpriced juice boxes, and who has the money to spend on that?? So I was pretty excited, that for my next BzzCampaign, I got to review them.

Being the BzzAgent that I am, I made sure to read through all of the paper stuff that came with them. These little drinks have:

  • no added sugar
  • no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives 
  • non GMO (not genetically modified- HUGE in my book!) 
  • reusable caps
  • bpa free 
  • recyclable 

Those are some definite plusses! And definitely much healthier than your average juice box.

A "spill-proof cap" is also advertised. Huh, we'll see about that.

Look! No leaks!

One also really cool thing is that they are fruit and vegetable blend juices. My kids are good veggie eaters, but you can never have too many vegetables, so this is just one more way to sneak them in.

Now the negatives.... so honestly, I think it's a bit overpriced. I was sent a refill pack and 3 different lids. Two girl lids and 1 boy one. Well, I have 2 boys and 1 girl... so I went out to the store to buy another boy lid to save my sanity.

They were not on sale that week... and I think I paid around $2.50 for just one bottle (with an appropriate "boy" lid). I thought that was a bit high for a bottle with a character on it. The refill packs were around $3.50, which also is a bit high for just the bottles.

However, that being said, this is really good juice. Not only tasty "good," but also "good for you" good. Not genetically modified or artificial colors products are a little more expensive. But I almost thought, that for the price, it should have been organic too. At least that would justify the price in some mother's minds.

But again, that being said, the top is reusable, and that helps too. I started putting water in the bottle, and my kids drank it right up. Why? Because of the character on top, of course!

These drinks really are fun and my kids just loved them. I took a picture of our youngest making his own bed, and later on I realized he was clutching his drink. He calls it "Scooby Doo Where Are You," and it's currently the only cup he'll drink out of.

I think these would be great for a long car ride. They are small enough for children to hold, yet hold enough liquid for them to be happy. I much prefer this to a juice box any day. And they really are spill proof- we haven't had a single mess.

I also think this would be a great little add-on birthday gift. What kid wouldn't love a fun cup wrapped up with some streamer?? I'm going to remember that for the next party we attend.

I actually was going to give one to my neighbor, for her daughter, and it turned out they already has some! Great minds think alike. She said they loved them as well.

So if you are looking for a juice that is actually good for your child, one that has a spill proof cap and is something your kid will be excited about.... look no further. Good2Grow has you covered.

(As a BzzAgent, I was mailed a box of juice to try. All opinions are my own) 

Monday, April 7, 2014

LDS Church- Past, Present, Future and Favorites- Relief Society Birthday 2014

This year's Relief Society Birthday was a lot of fun. 
Well, it's always fun, but so far, I've liked this one the best! 

Food: We didn't want the sisters to bring anything this year. So kept it simple, but good. We got spring rolls and frozen deli pinwheel roll things from Sam's. We also bought cupcakes ($15 for 30 and (had them just do white icing. We added our own sprinkles) and strawberries from Sam's. We had a nut tray as well as a few candies.

Decor: This is where we wanted the impact. We also wanted to mix up the seating a little. We set up 5 tables of 6 (planned on 30 sisters). We picked 5 candy bars and bought a fun pack of each. ($1 for 6 fun size). We assigned each a color and decorated each table in that color.

Reece's- orange
Butterfinger- yellow
Nestle Crunch- blue
Milky Way- green
100 Grand (we wanted skittles, but couldn't find them)- red

Each table was pretty much the same... white tablecloth, a piece of colored fabric, colored napkins and colored (fake) flowers.

We put a cupcake at each place (with our own added color sprinkles) and made a trivet, as a party gift, for each sister. They said "Love Never Fails," of course a take on "Charity Never Faileth."

Gift: To make the trivet- you just take a tile from any home improvement store (we got the cheapest ones) and lightly glue your paper down. (Spray adhesive or watered down elmer's works great). Then spray with spray can of enamel. Pieces of felt were hot glued to the bottom corners. I think we spent maybe $10 total on this. Tiles were around $. 07 each and the enamel is around $6 for the can.

Program: When each sister entered the room, they were asked to pick a candy bar from a bowl. Whichever they picked, is what table they sat at.

We had everyone eat first.

For the program- we had 3 different sisters speak on Relief Society past, the present (we had our current RS president do it) and the future.

The sisters did a remarkable job. There were tears. There was laughter. The spirit was definitely present. It was awesome.

Game: For some added "Fun" we had everyone bring something that was their favorite. We had favorite soap, rocks from the Baltic sea, a picture of grandparents, old jewelry, handmade items, books, movies, etc. They were all laid on a table and numbered. Everyone had to go explore and try to guess who's item was each other's.

Super fun. People have some great talents and I always find what others like, to be fascinating.

Service Project: We wanted to do a service project this year. And since Relief Society started from the women wanting to help the men by sewing shirts.... we wanted to do something sewing wise.

I came across a great organization called Conkerr Cancer, and they supply local Children's hospitals with fun pillowcases for their patients. We had a goal to make/donate 200 pillowcases..... and I'm super proud to say that WE DID IT!!!  I was so proud of our sisters and know that many of them spent hours and hours with their sewing machine trying to meet this goal. It feels so great to be serving others, especially when you know you will be bringing a sweet smile to a child.  (Conkerr Cancer is a nation-wide program. Feel free to check on their website for opportunities in your area!!) 

It was another successful Relief Society Night!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BzzAgent Product Review- Kroger Inspired Gathering

I recently joined a social marketing company, called BzzAgent. They send me products to try and I try them out and review them for all of you. I love trying new products, don't you??

I love Kroger. I truly, truly do. I love their store. I love their store brands. I love their prices. I go there at least several times a week. Yeah, my grocery budget goes over most months....and I get a LOT of fuel points.

When I was picked to be a part of the BzzCampaign for Kroger's website, Kroger Inspired Gatherings, I was very excited. You mean you want to give me a reason to shop at one of the only stores I ever go to?? Um, ok.

As much as I love Kroger, I did not know about their inspired gathering website. I use their site all the time for digital coupons and to see the weekly ad, but I'd never seen the inspired gathering site. Strange!

Anyhow- I was pretty excited when I scrolled through it. Such great recipes, cleaning ideas, cheap decor tips... all sorts of party planning needs! Now, I admit, the website does need to be updated more frequently. It took them a little while to get Cinco de mayo and Easter recipes up, but they are there now and I have to admit- those recipes look delicious!

I scrolled through the recipes and found a few I wanted to try.

First up was Cheesy Mashed Potatoes. It took a lot for me to make this, because I'm a purist with my food. And especially with my mashed potatoes. I like butter and salt, and that's it. But for the sake of the review, I decided to try something a little more fancy, and you know what? We LOVED these.

Next time, I'd probably leave the onions out. I'm not an onion hater, the added flavor was great. But even though I chopped them pretty fine, I still felt like I was biting into them and I didn't like that. Maybe I'll just use onion powder next time??  If you love onions, keep them in, if you don't, don't. I think either way would be fine.

Oh- I also changed it up a bit.... my secret to awesome mashed potatoes is 1 sweet potato to every 3 regular ones. The sweet potato not only adds some health to the dish, the taste just makes them awesome. If anyone asks, I never tell, I just say, "Oh, I added some cheese." No one can tell a difference and they all swear they are the best mashed potatoes ever!

Along with my starch, I like a little dessert. Ok, a LOT. You never have to twist my arm to try a dessert. I opted to try the Chocolate Mousse Pie. It was as good as it looked. I thought I had some cocoa powder, so I didn't buy any. But it turned out I didn't have any, so I just omitted it... making it a regular graham cracker crust.

For fun, I added chocolate shavings to the top- upon seeing it, our 3 year old said, "There's worms on it??" (sigh). It was really yummy (sans worms) and made up exactly how the directions said it would. Everyone ate this one.

For this grand feast, I chose a Sunday night. I like Sunday being "big dinner" night. I feel like then I can slack for the rest of the week. haha. I paired it with roasted chicken and green beans. (I'm not a food photographer, and even if I was, I had 4 people waiting on me to eat... I didn't have time for "food styling.")

It was a great meal that was made ever greater by new recipes from Kroger Inspired Gathering. I will definitely be checking back to the website, looking for new recipes and new tips. I have my eye on a few more things I'd like to try... I'll let you know when I do!

(I was given a Kroger gift card as a part of the BzzAgent campaign. However, all opinions are my own.) 

Friday, March 28, 2014

LDS Church- Guessing Game- Relief Society Birthday Celebration 2013

I know I'm about a year behind on this... but this was a fun night and I decided I should post it anyhow. Sorry for the lack of pictures.... I didn't think of it back then! 

This took a little prep work- but it was worth it in the end.....

A few weeks beforehand I sent out an email asking sisters to share with me something no one else knows about them. I got all sorts of things like:

-This sister is a published model and writer.

-As a small child, this sister used to sneak into her parent’s bathroom and lick their deodorant.

-This sister has hiked in the Swiss Alps…. she has also run three marathon’s.  

-One time, this sister was in a hurry and changing from church to casual attire. There was nowhere else to change, so she had to change in the car. When she was done, and rushing to the event, a man behind her said, “ma’am… you dropped your errrrrr…. shirt…..” He had her slip in his hands. 

Awesome stuff. Hilarious stuff. I was rolling on the floor while reading them all. I made up a quiz of anyone that submitted anything (not everyone did) and for the game, everyone had to guess who it was. It was awesomely fun. (The licking the deodorant still has me giggling!) This game was a huge hit.

Once everyone had guessed, usually the sister told a little about the "why" behind her thing. It was really great, learning a little about different sisters.... and laughing with one another is always awesome too!

I did also include a Relief Society Quiz... I think we did that one first. There weren't many high scores, but that's ok, we learned a lot! The questions I asked on that quiz were:

1. What is the Relief Society Motto? (Charity Never Faileth)

2. What is the Relief Society emblem? What does the emblem represent? (
The Sego Lily/ Wheat Sheaf (The sego lily was selected because of it’s usefulness in sustaining life along pioneer settlements. It is an appropriate symbol of purity, beauty, patience through winter and darkness, and storing of strength for the time of blossoming. The wheat sheaf has been used as an emblem along with the sego lily, symbolizing storing of grain against time of need.)

3. What are the Relief Society colors? (g
old and blue)

4. How did the Relief Society get started? (a Men working on the temple needed shirts)
        a. Men working on the temple needed shirts
        b. The women wanted to help the needy Saints.
        c. The women wanted to feed the hungry.

5. What temple was being built when the Relief Society was organized? (
The Nauvoo temple)

6. What date was the Relief Society organized? (
Thursday, March 17, 1842)

7. What was the original name of the Relief Society? (
The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo)

8. Who was the first general president of the Relief Society? (Emma Smith)

9. Who was asked to write the constitution that would be presented to the Prophet Joseph Smith? (Eliza R. Snow)

10. Who is the current general president of the Relief Society? (at the time, it was Linda K. Burton. Obviously this will change over the years)

For food- We did a "dinner" of sorts.... we supplied some chick-fil-a chicken strips and cupcakes from Sam's (they are $15 for 30 cupcakes, you can't beat that!) We had sisters bring different sides. 

For decor- well, I can't really remember. But I'm sure it was something colorful and birthdayish! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LDS Church- "This Little Piggy" Relief Society Night

In January, we did a fun Relief Society night based upon the story "This Little Piggy." We actually saw the idea online (original source here), but of course we tweaked the idea to fit with our ward.

For our's we had 5 different speakers:

This Little Piggy....
went to market.... saving money at the grocery store
stayed home....... home organization
had roast beef...... simple ways to improve our health
had none...... the power of fasting
went wee, wee, wee all the way home..... how all these things do help us make it "home"

All we told each lady was what is written above. We let her choose where she wanted to go with it and told her to talk about what she was inspired to talk about (within that topic). Each lady did a marvelous job and I thought it was really fun hearing all of their tips on everything.

(I forgot my camera so all I ended up with was a few lame-o phone pictures)

For decor- This night snuck up on us, so we kept it simple. We just made pigs out of balloons and taped them to the chalkboard. They were cute and one sister asked if she could take them home (her daughter apparently loves pigs), so of course we let her and that made for super easy clean up!

What an easy pig? Blow up a pink (we also used white) balloon. Cut 2 triangles for ears, an oval for a nose, draw dots, eyelashes, whatever- tape them on, and you are done!

For food- We had sisters bring their favorite "bar" dessert.... we also had a some pigs in a blanket, just because it went with the theme.

I think it was a great night, and everyone that was there (I think) enjoyed it and learned something. It wasn't super well attended because it was snowing. If you live in the south, you'll know what I'm talking about. When southerners even hear a threat of snow, we hibernate until the "storm" has long past. So, for that reason, I do think people stayed at home. But it was a fun night and if we had been more on top of things, we would have done a bit more. But that's ok, it worked. :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Hand Towel Bib.... aka Best Bib EVER

I'll be honest, I hate baby bibs. They just never fit right. The neckline is too low, they don't cover enough of the shirt area, they stain easily, ugh... they are just a pain.

Then one day, I was visiting with my sister. She was about to feed her son and put this on him. I said, "What is this??!!" She said, "Oh, someone made it for me, isn't it great?" 

This bib is simple- it's made from a hand towel. It fits snug around the neck and it's basically like a drop cloth and therefore covers the entire front of baby. It's thick (because it's a hand towel) and to be honest- it doesn't stain. I have no idea what kind of chemicals are in it, but we have used ours over and over and stains never stay on it. 

Target had a bunch of great colors. I bought a pack of 2 for $5. 

For the ribbing, I just unpicked the neckline of an old t-shirt. 

To assemble, make a circle pattern out of paper. Mine is about 8 inches in diameter. I placed mine down where I wanted it on the towel. Be careful, if you mess this up- there's no turning back! 

Mine was centered in the middle, and close to the top (but not all the way to the top, you want to leave some towel to hang over the back, maybe like 2-3 inches or so.) 

Once your ribbing is picked, pin it in place, around the circle (right side, meaning the front, facing down). To get it nice and even, I placed 2 pins across from one another, then did the same to the opposite side. Then pin wherever else you feel comfortable. 

Then just sew around. I used a serger, but if you don't have one, use a zig-zag stitch. Do NOT use a straight stitch. You want this to slip over the baby's head and if you use a straight stitch, your thread will break.  

And then you are done. 

Easy as that! 

Now go make a few for your baby, for friends baby's, and their friend's babies. This has definitely become my "go-to" shower gift. They are so easy, fairly cheap and everyone loves them. I'm only sad we didn't have these with the older two! 

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