Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dress Obsessed

Cassandra has a new obsession. It's been going on for a few weeks now and it's quite funny!

She LOVES dresses.

She wears them 24/7. No joke.

She has one in particular that my in-laws bought her for Christmas that she just can't get enough of. It's torture when I have to actually wash it because it's all I hear about until it's clean.

Since it's still winter, we've been putting her dresses over her clothes. And sometimes if we're not going anywhere, she'll strip down naked underneath and run around like crazy!  But even when bedtime comes, she has to have a dress on. She has a nightgown and most nights that'll do. But again with the nightgown-if I have to wash it, I hear about it every night until it's clean. Some nights we can convince her to wear a dress over her PJs to bed. It's crazy!

Avery went through a dress phase too, but it was only during the daytime. At night, she never asked about dresses at all. And I don't remember her phase lasting very long.

But this one....she's all about the dresses. Oh, and her "glass shoes" which are her shoes we wear for parties, etc. I actually had to hide them on her because she was wearing them all of the time and they were getting scuffed up. We put an end to wearing those except for going to special events.

The other day she asked me to take a picture of her all dressed up! She's too funny!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

I've been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time (as you can see, the pics are from August!). And now that I'm thinking of it, who the heck wants to eat ice cream cake in the middle of the winter?!  Although...ice cream is my favorite so I could eat it anytime!

This recipe came from my girlfriend's Mom. She made it for a birthday party we went to over the summer and I immediately got the recipe from her. It's super easy and really yummy too!

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
20 ice cream sandwiches
1 jar of hot fudge
8oz cool whip
desired toppings

1. Line bottom of pan with ice cream sandwiches-cut to fit if needed.
2. Top with half of hot fudge sauce, a layer of cool whip and any other toppings you desire!
3. Do a second layer of ice cream sandwiches
4. Top with hot fudge, then cool whip, and toppings.
5. Freeze until ready to serve!


(Notes: So next time, I'll have to play around with this a bit. I didn't have enough ice cream sandwiches for some reason. And the 8oz of cool whip barely covered both layers in the pan so I might buy a bigger tub of cool whip next time. Along with hot fudge, I used peanut butter sauce. For toppings I used crushed M&Ms.)

Even though I had to fake some of this to make it look right, it still tasted fantastic! And I love how easy it is! Definitely something easy to bring for a party, especially in the summer!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Planning

Once again, another 2 weeks have gone by without any posts on here. Life has a funny way of catching up with you at times.

The last week to ten days or so, my time has been consumed researching for our next vacation.

I think we finally made a decision and will be doing a Disney cruise in the fall!!  We have one on hold and hopefully will be putting a deposit down by the weekend.

I was really debating between Disney and Norwegian. Norwegian launched a special about two weeks ago where kids sail free and you get some other perks onboard (ship credit, drink package, etc). Believe me, it was enticing....and half the cost of Disney. I had one on hold for that too.

I finally really thought (and talked) it out and decided to bite the bullet and do Disney.

Why?

Well, who knows when we'll cruise next. It might be in a year, it might be in 10yrs. And if it's later rather than sooner, the girls will be old enough to do actual Disney.  And I also thought if we went on Norwegian that I'd be second guessing it the whole time we were there. The girls are just really into the princesses right now (Cassie wears a princess dress 24/7) and everything is just so magical to them. They would LOVE it! It really would be a trip to remember for us.  So, this is the time to do it, if any.  I just don't want any regrets.

So....if you have any Disney cruise tips, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Snow

Our winter here up in the NE has been pretty brutal.

It's probably one of the worst I can remember in a very long time.

Last year was bad because the temperatures were sub-zero for a long time. We never had a "thaw" of any sort last year so when it finally hit about 35 degrees outside, it felt warm!  Last year we had snow, but nothing super crazy. It was just the bitter cold.

This year....we have both. Yes we had a green Christmas. But I think that was the end of it. We have gotten a ton of snow and again we have had the bitter cold temperatues. Tomorrow the high is 2 and Sunday the high is 0! Yes, the HIGH! Add in the wind chills and it feels like the arctic here!  The big problem is that with the cold temperatures, the snow hasn't melted at all. We keep getting storm warnings (there's another one for this weekend) with 6-12" of snow and then it never goes away. We're running out of places to put the stuff! 

Usually I can deal with the winters, but this year, I'm over it. I'm seriously ready for Spring. The kids keep asking when Summer is coming and it feels like forever away right now. Heck, I'd be happy with 35 and sunny right now!

These are some pics out our back window so you can appreciate the amount of snow we have. And since I've taken the pictures, we've gotten more!

Yes, this is the kids' playhouse-can't you tell?!
And our furniture set-which you can't even see the seats of-or the ottomans for that!
Please come soon Spring! We miss you!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Frozen Party-Take 3!

I was hoping we'd get lucky and Cassandra would pick a different birthday party theme for us. But, she didn't. When I asked her what she wanted, she screamed out "ELSA!"

So....here we are with Frozen party #3 in our house. (See party 1 and party 2).

I have to admit, I didn't go as crazy with the planning with this one as I did with Avery's. First, her birthday is not even a month after Christmas. I didn't have time or creative energy after the holidays to get very gung-ho on this party. And second, I was trying to make this party different than Avery's parties. Thirdly, she's 3....as sad as it sounds, she won't remember it. Avery probably won't remember hers either, but there's a slight chance she might.

Anyways, here are some shots of her birthday party from the weekend.

Cassandra's cake-made by moi. Bottom layer chocolate, top layer vanilla, oreo filling and buttercream frosting. Delicious!

Decorations...look familiar?!  Basically the same as Avery's party!

My Mom bought the girls each an Elsa dress to wear for the party. This is Avery's:
Cassandra napped through almost the first hour of her party-we went up several times to look in on her and she was out cold. We kept her door open hoping the noise would wake her. It did eventually, but she wasn't happy about being woken up at all! So unfortunately I didn't get a picture of her in her dress.

We had some appetizers then pizza, boneless wings, salad and fruit salad. While we digested our food, Cassandra opened her gifts.

My loves

Loves her dresses!
After presents, it was cake time! I also made chocolate covered Oreos and my Mother-in-Law found these frozen-esque cookies as well.
Singing "Happy Birthday!"
Make a wish!
We had a really fun time at her party! We didn't do any organized games or activities this time. We were going to, but never did. The kids just had fun running around and doing their own thing. 

I also forgot to take a picture of the goodie bags. They each got one of the frozen-esque cookies, some Frozen tattoos and some Frozen stickers! Nothing too big, but I don't think they mind!

Another successful party in the books!

Monday, January 26, 2015

3

I no longer have a baby...or a toddler. I'm not a Mom of a school-aged child and a preschooler. How on Earth did that happen?!

Friday was a special day-our baby turned 3.  THREE. It seems like yesterday she came into our lives, yet it also feels like she's always been with us. I can't remember life without her (or Avery being an only child).

Three is hard for me to swallow. It just sounds so old to me. Yeah I know you're thinking, "Wait until they're 20, yada, yada" but really three is like a first big age to me. No more babies or toddlers. She's a little girl now. A preschooler. It's crazy.

Let's see-Cassandra at age 3 has quite the personality. She's pretty laid back, very independent and can be stubborn at times. She also is the sweetest, kindest little girl. She can read people very well and will ask "why are you sad, etc". She definitely thinks of others first-she's great at sharing and is also my little cuddlebug. She eats pretty well-tries all kinds of foods. Her favorites these days: blueberries, raspberries, melon, yogurt, pasta, soup, waffles, pancakes. She loves reading books together and has really started to get interested in coloring lately. She's just starting to get into the pretend play too.  It's so fun watching her grow and change!

Like we usually do, we spent the day with her. Gabe took off from work (which we do for both of their birthdays) and I had the day off.  Avery had school so it was just a Mommy, Daddy, and Cassandra day which was cool-I don't think that's ever happened!  We always let the girls pick what to do on their special day. She chose the Strong Museum.  We got there right when it opened and had a blast! Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera so I have no pictures from there, but we all had a good time. I packed her a lunch and she ate there and had some ice cream after of course! And as part of her present, we let her pick out something from the gift shop....and she chose a book about Jacks and a set of jacks-kid cracks me up!

We got home and put her down for a nap, which she ended up not taking (girl must be too excited for her special day!). Then Avery came home and they played a bit. We made dinner and had some yummy cupcakes to celebrate!
Courtesy of The Upper Crust
Happy Birthday to you!!


After cupcakes, she opened her present from us.

We got her a shirt, a Frozen coloring book and Frozen  hair ties. She'll also get a big girl bed eventually-I'm holding out as long as I can!! 

After we played some more, it was off to bed.  It was a really fun day spending it with our little peanut.  She's just such a joy!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cassandra! We love you so very much!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Easy Cherry Pie

Let's see-I've had this recipe sitting in queue since July and still haven't posted about it. No better time than today right?!

We love taking the kids out to pick fruit in the summer....strawberries, raspberries and cherries. The problem?  You have so much fruit that you don't know what to do with! Yes, my kids eat a ton, but when you pick numerous pounds of stuff, they only last for so long before going bad.  So when we went cherry picking over the summer, I knew I had to figure out something to do with some of it.

I decided to make my first ever cherry pie.  And it turned out pretty darn good! I'm sure I'll be making it again next year when we go cherry picking!

Cherry Pie
 5 cups cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pie crusts (either homemade or store bought)

1. Add cherries, sugar, and cornstarch to a pan and stir to combine. 
2. Heat mixture until sauce thickens (I honestly don't remember how long it took since it was 6mos ago!)
3. Pour into pie crusts and bake at 350 until crusts start to brown (again I have no clue how long!).
(Notes: I "cheated" and used store bought crusts. I've never made one from scratch and I think the store bought ones are just as good. The only issue I came across is that my cherry pitter left a ton of seeds in the filling. Luckily just our family ate the pie so it wasn't so bad that we were spitting out pits, but it's not something you want in your pie either!)