Revisiting Halloween

I’m trying to get back in to the daily habit of posting SOMETHING in order to flex my writing skills a little bit every day. Back in June, I made it a goal to post every night after my son went to bed, so I’m aiming for that once again!

There were a few things I forgot to post about Halloween… First, MaMa Joan made this cute little treat bag for my son for Halloween!
halloween bag

MaMa Joan also made this super cute cross stitch piece for me to hang on my wall during my favorite holiday…
halloween frame
She blogged about it on her blog HERE.
Also, as my sister-in-law MacKenzie mentioned before, I should have posted a picture of what I won for having the best costume at her Halloween party. I got this tumbler full of Halloween treats!
halloween cup
Here’s a better picture of me in all my costumed glory (taken by my sister Chastity).
Judge Judy costume
Now I’m off to finish baking cakes for my son’s impending birthday smash cake. Wish me luck!

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! This year I decided to be one of my idols… JUDGE JUDY. I try to watch her show every weekday from 4pm-5pm. Two days ago, there was a case with people from Minnesota! (I get irrationally excited when Minnesota cases are shown.)

So here I am, dressed up as Judge Judy at my brother and sister-in-law’s annual Halloween party…
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Sorry I had to crop out my son and husband–I don’t share many photos of my son online!
If you want to DIY your own Judge Judy costume next year, here’s the anatomy of my costume…
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Wig, wig cap, gavel, glasses, and HUGE diamond earrings (I set the earrings in the wig to show how big they are and to keep them upright, facing the camera). I got everything except the earrings on amazon.com for around $20. The earrings I bought at Kohl’s, with a coupon, naturally.
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For the judge’s gown I used my old graduation gown. I got a piece of doily lace and safety pinned it around the collar. Boom! 

Of course, every time I introduced myself at the party I went through the Judge Judy show’s opening… “You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Sheindlin. The people are real. The cases are real. The rulings are final. This is Judge Judy.”

DIY: Milk Jug Ghosts

Thanks to Instagrammer Colleen, I took up this Halloween DIY project. 

So I started collecting milk jugs over a month ago. Then I used hot tap water to remove the labels…

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Use hot tap water to remove milk jug label

I got all my milk jugs together and a few Sharpie markers to create my designs.
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Then I cut out the back so I could insert a string of Christmas lights…
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Finally, I put together the final product, ready for display outside my front door for Halloween night tomorrow!
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Thanks for the cute Halloween project, Colleen!

Fishing & Grilling Salmon

Papa David & Nammy Joan took the kids out fishing yesterday in Hudson, WI, and while Papa was the only one to catch a small perch, we were still able to grill up some salmon he had in the freezer. Before I get to the salmon recipe I used, here are a couple pics of the kids with the one and only fish Papa caught!
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Katsie was brave enough to take the fish from Papa! A girl after my own heart.

After fishing, we headed home to grill up some salmon. I hopped on allrecipes.com to search for a good recipe to make a salmon. I normally follow the rules that my brother-in-law Jason’s dad follow (only make recipes with 5 star ratings) but when I came across Maple Salmon at 4.5 stars with 2,200 ratings, I HAD to try it.
Just mix up:
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Marinate a pound of salmon in the mixture for 30 minutes. Then grill it up using tented-tinfoil. Voila!
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It was so delicious. I didn’t think the maple flavor would go so well with salmon, but I was glad I was wrong.

“Baby Cakes” Cake Pops!

Nammy Joan came over today to help my niece and nephew, Katsie and Jacob, make cake pops! Nammy Joan bought her “Baby Cakes” cake pop machine from Micheal’s craft store (using a coupon, of course).
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Nammy Joan’s cake pop machine came with a couple different cake recipes, and we used the vanilla recipe to create our pops. Here are the kids helping Nammy make the batter…
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We used a plastic zip bag to dispense the batter into each cake pop vessel…
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And the machine came with a handy dandy double-pronged tool to take the cakes out…
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The cake pops only took about 3-4 minutes to bake—really fast!
Then we dipped them in melted chocolate and peppermint white chocolate.
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Sprinkles were applied while the chocolate was still melt-y. Then the cake pops were propped up in a foam block to solidify. (nevermind the cake pop that slide down it’s stick…)
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These cake pops are so good, I have already had about 3 of them! Thanks, Nammy Joan, for helping the kids in the kitchen today!
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Lastly, here’s “URANUS” cake pop. This was all Nammy Joan… She was cracking up at this cake pop’s shape…Image

DIY: Homemade Playdough

It was an exciting day at casa de Uncle Dunk & Auntie Kelsey because Great Auntie Barb came over make homemade playdough with the kids! (I call her “Great” Auntie because she’s “Aunt” to me and “Great Aunt” to my niece and nephews.)
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Great Auntie Barb’s homemade playdough recipe came from an old book…
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The recipe called for the following ingredients:
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1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt (I think 1/4 cup would suffice though)
2 Tablespoons veg oil
1 teaspoon alum (Great Auntie Barb had something called septic pencil that we used instead of alum)
Mix the first set of ingredients first, then add:
food coloring
1/2 cup water (slowly add the water, you may not need all of it, or you may need more)

The kids helped Great Auntie Barb mix up the playdough ingredients…
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We added the food coloring to the water in order to help it mix in the dry ingredients better.
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After they were done mixing, it was time for playing!
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Of course, Uncle Dunk made an alligator…
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Thanks for the fun day, Aunt Barb!

Fresh-Picked Strawberries

After yesterday’s adventures in homemade strawberry jam, I decided to stay on the theme with designer Vickie Clontz’s Fresh-Picked Strawberry pincushion. Her pattern for this crafting project can be found in the March/April 2013 Quilt-It…Today magazine (or you can order the kit through her website). 

This project took me about 2 hours, and I STILL need to improve on my sewing techniques. Next time I make these I want to use red velvet to make the strawberries. Anyways, here’s my take on it…
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I left the white flower off because I think the white ribbon looks fine in its place. I’ll be giving this strawberry to my niece Katsie tomorrow. First, I need to find some kind of ribbon/lace to use to hang it like a necklace. I think she’ll love it! It will be a way for her to remember picking strawberries with her brother, her Nammy Joan, and her favorite auntie–ME! 😉