A Late Christmas Post

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Yes, I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately. But here is a round up of a few of the Pinterest projects I tried over Christmas.  The first was a hot chocolate bar with candy cane rimmed cups from dukesandduchesses.com.  It was perfect for our annual Girls Only Christmas Party….sidenote – EVERYONE should plan a GOXP with their girlfriends over Christmas.  For me, it is a great way to get together with all of my friends at once, exchange some gifts (which saves on buying everyone an individual gift), eat way too much food, play some games and drink 🙂  Each attendee brings one wrapped gift for the gift exchange as well as a dessert or appetizer.  Back to the cups, I used frosting to coat the rims and then dipped it in crushed candy canes.  Delicious!

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My son and I also put together a Winter Bucket List to complete throughout December.  I used ideas from the list on Loves of Life as well as the Christmas Fun List from Joy of the Journey.  Our list looked a little something like this:

  •  Make paper snowflakes
  •  Drink hot chocolate filled with marshmallows
  •  Take a picture with Santa
  •  Mail letters to Santa
  •  Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn (Elf)
  •  Have a Christmas dance party
  •  Game night
  •  Wrap gifts
  •  Go ice skating
  •  Play in the snow
  •  Bake cookies
  •  Have an inside picnic
  •  Put up decorations
  •  Host a party

Overall, it made for a fun, yet busy, holiday season!!

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Hi ho, hi ho….

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I’m all for putting little minions to work (aka food snatchers, whiny brats, stinky pants, love of my life) so I loved this list of age appropriate chores for kids from thehappyhousewife.com.

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My son is 6 and will grudgingly complete chores with a promise of stickers.  I have found that once he starts getting a few, he loves to get more!  This list has some great ideas to start!  Ben was able to let me know what chores he feels capable of doing (and also which ones he would enjoy).  Our chore list looks like this…

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I’m also hoping to implement a few “after supper” chores.  As a kid I always remember Mom making us sweep, wipe the tables and do the dishes before we could crash in front of the TV.  According to the Center for Parenting Education, children who have chores have “higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school”.  Definitely worth the whining!  I recommend having a reward system in place, such as stickers, a weekly allowance or the promise of a special night out.  And the entire family can be involved!

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On the meal plan this week were some quick and easy freezer meals.  I picked two recipes and was able to make 6 large meals in a very short amount of time.  They are so handy to throw in the oven when I have a fussy baby at suppertime.  Also, no prep work or dishes is awesome.  The recipes came from theshabbycreekcottage.com.

Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

(makes 3 freezer meals)

For the topping:

2 pounds of ground beef (again, mine was pre-cooked)

1 onion, diced very finely

Six cups Cheddar Cheese, grated

For the crust:

5 cups of self rising flour

3/4 cup of sour cream

1 egg

1 cup (more or less) of water

In a saute pan, cook together the ground beef over medium high heat until onion is soft. Set aside to cool.

Make the crust first by combining the flour, egg, sour cream and enough water to bring it together into a thick, but spreadable consistency.

Spray the pans (I used three round pans) and spread a layer of the dough into each one. Sprinkle the cooled meat mixture over the dough, then top each one with about 2 cups of cheddar. Top with lid. To cook, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe

(makes 3 freezer meals)

3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

2 boxes of pasta (I used penne), cooked and draine

2 cans of Campbell’s cheddar soup

2 cups of chicken broth (I used the broth from cooking the chicken)

2 bags of frozen broccoli

1 Tablespoon Salt

3 cups of shredded cheddar

Combine all ingredients except shredded cheddar into a bowl, divide out into three pans, the top with cheddar cheese. When ready to cook, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until warm and bubbly. Because I’m getting carbs, veggies and protein all in one dish, I usually add another veggie and some garlic bread and that’s it. So yummy!