Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Iced Pumpkin Latte (Brew Over Ice with your Keurig)

How to Make and Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte in your Keurig

This is the time of year to obsess over Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Everyone seems to craving it, tweeting it, commenting on the nutritional value (or lack thereof), or making it. I am no different. I love the taste of pumpkin, and I love coffee. The only problem: Carolina weather doesn't really lend itself to hot beverages all fall long. Last week, the temperatures were hovering around ninety, and it was pure sticky outside.

Couple that with my frugality (Starbucks is how much??) and the fact that I'm the only coffee drinker in my house, and I had a problem.

So what's a pumpkin-loving girl to do? Make her own recipe of pumpkin spice latte mix, freeze it, and then brew her favorite coffee with her Keurig over the ice cubes! The result: refreshing, cool pumpkin spice heaven!

Here's what you need for the pumpkin spice latte mix:

2 1/2 cups water
2 cups dry non-fat milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp molasses
2 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp pumpkin spice (homemade or not)
dash pepper
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Microwave the water for 2 minutes. Whisk all ingredients except the pumpkin together until dissolved. Add pumpkin, and use a blender or immersion blender to combine well. 

Pour into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.

When you're ready to make the coffee, add 8-10 ice cubes to a large mug. Brew a k-cup over the ice cubes. The Pumpkin Spice Latte Mix will make about 9-10 cups of coffee (depending on how pumpkin you like your coffee).

Add whipped cream and another dash of the pumpkin pie spice if you desire! Enjoy a frosty pumpkin spice latte even if the weather doesn't seem much like fall!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Menu Planning Monday 2014-09-15

Are you ready to start another week? One way I prepare my mind for the week is to plan out our meals. It doesn't always go as planned, but it does help me focus.

Do you struggle to menu plan? It helps to have a list of "go-to" meals, meals that are easy, yet everyone in the house loves. It helps if those meals are healthy, too. Of course, if you have picky folks in the house, or children whose tastes seem to shift from week to week (my eldest daughter, for example), then the task becomes harder...but not impossible. My strategy: always have at least one healthy item on the plate that you know your picky one will eat. Fruit is a good bet in my house. Then, have a "thank you bite" policy. Everyone has to take a bite (or 2, or 3). No one can reject a dish without trying it. After that, anyone can  reject the dish. However, no dessert will be offered for those who do not eat an acceptable amount of food on their plates.My philosophy is that I have spent time to make the dish (or someone else has). It is only polite to try the dish. This will help your child handle meals in social situations, too--maybe you will avoid embarrassing temper tantrums at someone else's house.

Anyway, here's the plan for this week:

Monday:  Tacos with hidden veggies, fruit

Tuesday: It's a fundraiser night for Lil Bit's school at Chick-Fil-A and open house night, so we'll be doing a rare weeknight dinner out.
Wednesday: Spaghetti with   Dressed Up Sauce

Thursday: Hidden Veggie Nachos (using leftovers), Honey Spiced Applesauce

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner, Fruit

Saturday: Dinner with friends. We're contributing Baked Beans

Sunday: Italian Chicken Rollup, Salad

What are you eating this week?

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Gild Acorns - Easy Fall Decor on a Budget

Want to add some glamor and glitz to your fall decor this year, but you're on a budget? Why not use liquid gilding to shine up some found objects like acorns? It's super easy, and although you do need to set aside some time to do it right, not much of that time is hands on.

Even better, you can recruit your kids to collect the acorns. My girls are pretty proud of their collection...although be forewarned, your decor may become toys!

First, you need to prep your acorns. Do not skip this step! If you do, you run the risk of mold and worms invading your autumnal display. Trend may come and go, but I doubt that stuff will ever be in style!

We found our acorns on a hike just a few days ago. To get them ready for their shining moment, I cleaned them (just a rinse of water) and then baked them for 2 hours in a 200 degree oven in a foil lined pan. This dries them out and gets rid of any creepy crawlies. Allow to cool in the oven overnight.

The next day, I just brushed silver liquid gilding onto the acorn nut, leaving the cap natural.

If you wanted, you could always paint the caps too. You may need a couple of coats to get good coverage, but the gilding dries really quickly.

And...you're done. A simple way to add a little bit of glitz to your decor.

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pumpkins and Apples Sign

Are you decorating your house yet for fall? I'm starting to ease my way into fall decoration. I've brought out my fall box, but haven't gone all out yet. Part of that is that it's still in the 80's to 90's around here every day.

But I've been wanting to make a fall-ish sign as the basis for my mantel design, and I decided on one with pumpkins and apples, but no traditional fall colors--just neutral gray and white.

First, select your wood. I took a 1x6 board that was once a part of some steps in our garage--pretty beat up, but still pretty smooth. I took some white chalk paint (Annie Sloan pure white) and painted a base coat, and let it dry.

Then I created the text on my silhouette. The arrows I had in my library--not sure if they came with my Silhouette, or if I got them free. The font is Titiana. I had everything rotated to maximize the size on my Silhouette Portrait.

I cut the letters and arrows out of clear contact paper. I've found that contact paper works great as a stencil. I arranged my text and made sure that all the contact paper was sealed down. Then I painted the whole thing with dark gray chalky finish paint (Americana Decor Relic).

Once everything was dry, I removed the contact paper to reveal my beautiful letters, but I wanted it to look antiqued. So I took some sandpaper and sanded it down, focusing my attention on the edges, where wear would naturally occur. I did not wax it because I liked the chalky look of this piece, but you could if you wanted more gloss.

And that's it--a simple early fall decor item for your home.

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration! Our Sons & Daughters Wood Shims and Word Art Simple DIY Canvas Art Pallet Signs Chalk Paint Pumpkins with Fabric Leaves Make a Personalized Scarecrow DIY Wall Art for the Bathroom Decoupaged Fall Leaves Lampshade Gimme A F.A.L.L! Eat SOMETHING Sweet Baby Love Quilt Big Reveal Sketching Inspiration for my little Dancer - September Silhouette Challenge Family Feature Presentation Wall Art Last Unicorn Shadow Box Makin' my office a little more artsy fartsy Family Command Center DIY Grandparents Sign with Photo Frame Dream Big Little Girl Canvas Art Fall Pallet Sign {Grateful, Thankful, Blessed} Pumpkins and Apples Sign Handmade Freezer Paper Cloth Napkins
1. The Moberg Family // 2. Sandpaper and Glue // 3. American Honey // 4. Weekend Craft // 5. Grey Luster Girl // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. Cutesy Crafts // 8. Practically Functional // 9. Home At Eight // 10. McCall Manor // 11. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Create it. Go! // 14. Please Excuse My Craftermath... // 15. The Outlandish Momma // 16. The Sensory Emporium // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. unOriginal Mom // 19. My Favorite Finds // 20. Architecture of a Mom // 21. Black and White Obsession //

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!


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