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November 2016

    Christmas Candy Cane Popcorn

    This delicious treat is something I always love making around Christmas time!
    It’s so simple and easy to make and only has THREE ingredients!

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    What you need:

    1 bag of popcorn
    Almond Bark (or vanilla coating)
    3 Candy Canes

    Follow the popcorn directions. 2 minutes is perfect for my microwave.

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    While the popcorn is popping I take the wrappers off of the candy cane break them up and put in a ziplock bag.  I used an ice cream scoop to smash the candy canes. If you have a food processor that might work better. You don’t want any big chunks. Keep crushing until you have small to tiny pieces of candy cane and set aside.

    I cut three bars of almond bark and microwave for 45 seconds. Take out and stir. If it’s still a little chunky place back in microwave in 10 second increments until it’s completely liquid.

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    Pour half of the almond bark onto the popcorn stir and mix it all together. Keep adding more until most of the popcorn is coated. You don’t want too much but just enough to coat all of the popcorn. After you’ve mixed all of the almond bark had half of the bag of candy canes to the popcorn. Mix around and add other half of the bag.

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    If you’re impatient like us it’s ready to snack on, you’ll just have messy fingers while you’re eating it. We decided we’re going to gift some to our friends so we got a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spread the popcorn out, a let set for 15-20 minutes. I found some old mason jars we had and put them in their and we decorated the outside.

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    If you try it let me know how you liked it!
    What is your favorite Christmas treat?

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    Route 66 Adventures

    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with their families. I know I did! We have family that comes to visit from California almost every year and we have so much fun together. We had so much turkey on Thursday and planned to go to the Grand Canyon on Friday. We only live about 2 1/2 hours away but it was so windy and cold that we decided it would be better if we went when the weather was nicer. So instead,  Ethan rode his bike down and we went to Donkey World aka Oatman, AZ. One of my friends told me that her daughters call it donkey world and the whole time I was there I kept thinking how true it was.  The burros are a big attraction for Oatman and the gunfight. Yes you read that right, a gunfight. I don’t want to give too much away but  they block the road off because someone robbed the bank!!  They also have the mining museum, old western photos, and fun events that go on throughout the year! If you’re ever driving old Route 66 make sure you drive through this little town! The kids will get a kick out of it.

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    Whats your favorite Route 66 stop?

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    Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

    Fall is pumpkin everything. Seeing that Thanksgiving is this week, I only see it fitting that we put up a pumpkin pie recipe. I have a pie crust recipe from scratch but if you don’t find that you have the time to make this crust recipe you can just skip down to the pie part.

    Let me start this off by saying it took way longer than expected.

    Most pie crust recipes call for you to let them set in the fridge for an hour or two (ain’t nobody got time for that) so a little trick my grandma taught me was freeze your butter and put water in a bowl with ice cubes and make it really cold. It helps keep things together. So while I was prepping getting my stuff together I placed 2 stick of butter in the quick freeze part of our freezer.

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    I got my bowl of water ready and took out my flour, salt, and spices for the pie filling.

     In a medium bowl combine two cups of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cut in your butter with a pasty blender until it starts to look crumbly. Mix in water until dough is moistened.

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    Separate dough in half. Set aside one ball of dough. Roll the other one out until flattened. Place dough in 9″ pie pan lightly pressing into the corners. Depending on what you want to do with the curst will go from here. If you want the crust the way it is just clean up around the pan and skip to the pie filling part.

    If you want this braided crust go to the next step.

    To make the braided crust you will need the second ball of dough. Roll out dough until it’s flat and even. Cut dough into three strips. Move the three strips to the side and place the left strip on the bottom, the middle strip in the middle, and the right strip on top. Cross your right strip over the middle strip, but not over the left strip. Take your left strip cross it over the new middle strip, but not over the new right strip. Continue this right over middle, left over middle, until you get to the bottom of the strips. Place your braid onto the pie pan. Continue this until the top of the pie pan is covered.

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    I followed the ingredients from the Libby Pumpkin Pie to get the filling.
    Next year I am definitely going to try to make a pumpkin pie from scratch!!

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    I still had quite a bit of dough left over and decided I would use my leaf cookie cutters that I just bought from Hobby Lobby to place on top of the pie. I cut 5-6 out of each leaf.

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    I placed them on a cookie sheet and waited until the pie was done baking and put these in last to cook up for 5-8 minutes. Once they are a little browned I placed them on the pie and let the pie cool

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    INGREDIENTS 

    Pie Crust

    2 cups of flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    2/3 cup of frozen butter
    5 tbsp of water

    Pie Filling

    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    (1/2 tsp ground nutmeg) optional. I added this to our pie!
    2 large eggs
    1 can Libby’s Pumpkin
    1 12oz Carnation Evaporated Milk

     

    INSTRUCTIONS

     

    1. In a medium bowl combine two cups of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cut in your butter with a pasty blender until it starts to look crumbly. Mix in water until dough is moistened.
    2. Separate dough in half. Set aside one ball of dough. Roll the other one out until flattened. Place dough in 9″ pie pan lightly pressing into the corners.
    3. Mix sugar, ,set, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
    4. Pour into pie shell.
    5. Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F; bake for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.Serve immediately or refrigerate.

     

     

    What are you favorite desserts to make for Thanksgiving?

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    Pinterest Hacks {Beauty Edition}

    I’m sure most people can relate, I am obsessed with Pinterest. If I have a question, need to find a dinner recipe, or looking for inspiration for a new project I want to work on I always find myself searching Pinterest first. The funny part is sometimes these Pinterest finds are in no way, shape, or form realistic to do. So I decide I would attempt some hacks I find that I have been wanting to try and see what the outcome is. This week I’m going to try out beauty hacks. Wish me luck..

    Beauty Hack #1

    Red Lipstick to coverup dark circles

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    So I found this red lipstick from CVS. It’s the Milani Passion. I read that the red is a color corrector for dark circles and I thought, “Hey, I’m the dark circle queen with 2 kids. I definitely need to try this out.” I wanted to do one side with the red lipstick and one side without to see if you can tell a difference. Then I forgot and did both and wiped off the left side.

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    It was really weird to put this under my eye. I looked like I was sick or had pink eye! I’m not sure if I blended it out as much as I need to but I let it set for a minute and put my foundation on. I did concealer over that and it covered it all up. I’m not 100% that it worked completely but we did say that it made my eye look a little brighter so I guess that’s a sign that it covered up some under circle!!

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    Over all I think I’m going to have to try this one again to see if it really worked!
    So for now I’ll give it a PASS!

    Beauty Hack #2

    Use a spoon to get perfect wing shaped eyeliner

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    I have seen this one around the internet and don’t really know what to think.

    I’ve tried this twice now. The first time the pictures didn’t come out so well but the winged liner wasn’t horrible. I felt that if you have never attempted winged liner and are looking for a quick guide because you don’t have time to run out or to watch a ton of YouTube videos it was a good try BUT my second time around trying it did not come out like the first time I tried it.

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    It actually was quite horrible the second time. My wing went so far up my eye it was awful. I don’t think I will try this one again and have to give it a huge thumbs down.

    FAIL!

    Beauty Hack #3

    Use baby powder to lengthen and thicken eyelashes

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    To be totally honest I can’t really tell if it worked. I put one coat of Urban Decay mascara on. I used a q-tip to dust my eyelashes with baby powder. Added another coat of mascara, another coat of baby powder and one last coat of mascara. I did my left eye with just 3 coats of mascara. I can kind of tell a tiny bit that the right eye was thicker but length wise I did not notice any different. I would definitely give this another shot to see if it really helps. Maybe add a little extra baby powder.

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    I am going to give this one a FAIL because I didn’t notice a difference really.

    Here is the final look of everything!

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    Have you tried any Pinterest Hacks?

    Which ones worked for you and which ones were a complete FAIL?

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    $18 DIY Cotton Wreath

    If you’re obsessed with the show Fixer Upper like I am then you’ll really appreciate this DIY. If you haven’t seen it Chip and Joanna are very much farmhouse style decorators. I die every time I see a farmhouse sink put in. (Those are my favorite!) I just love all the attention to detail Joanna puts into decorating every home. I have such a hard time deciding anything when it comes to the decor in my home let alone deciding for other people. They make everything feel so unique to  each family and I think that’s really special.

    So on to the DIY. I always see them put a magnolia wreath and a cotton wreath somewhere in the house. Well….every time I look at buying one it kills me a little inside to spend so much money on something. So I do what any other DIYing mama does, I pinterest it. I found a few cotton wreath tutorials but I didn’t love them so I came up with my own version.

    Supplies you’ll need

    Floral Wire
    5-6 Cotton Stems (depending on how big you want yours)

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    That’s it!

    So for mine I bought 6 cotton stems but I only used 5. These I bought from Hobby Lobby. I waited until the floral was half off that’s how I got them so cheap. I didn’t want a huge one but if I was to make one for my door I would use 6. What you’re going to start with is cut 8 wires around 3″ long. You won’t need a rule, no exact measurement is needed.

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    You’re going to start shaping the cotton stem so it’s rounded at the top. I shape them going clockwise.  Grab the bottom of the stem and start shaping them in a circular motion. Once all of the stems are rounded start overlapping them so that the end of one meets the top of another stem. Repeat this until you’ve formed a circle. Make sure this is how you want the wreath to be placed.

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    You’re going to grab one of your wires and wrap it around the the top of one stem and the bottom of another one. Twist until the wire is tight and holing the stems together. Any extra wire wrap around both of the stems.

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    Continue around the whole wreath until you’ve formed a circle. Once all of the stems are connected you can go back around that need any extra support to hold stem together tight. I added the extra 3-4 wires that I had already cut to use to secure it.

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    Once all of the wires are in place and you’ve got everything nice and secure flip this baby over and check it out! You’ll need to move the little cotton balls around to cover any spots that might be bare or that you might see some wire. Play around with it until you have everything in the right spots and you’re finished! Just remember cotton wreaths aren’t going to be perfect because each stem is different. Hey Chip and Joanna’s cotton wreath isn’t perfect either!

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    Hope you enjoyed this DIY!

    If you try it out tag me in your post so I can see how it came out or #erinsdiy so I can see everyones awesome wreaths!

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    5 Minute Hairstyles

    Do you ever feel like you’re in a rush to get out of your house and between getting your kids dressed, presentable, diapers, snacks, and everything other little thing that you probably forgot, getting yourself ready is the last thing you do? As a mom of two, I am always in a hurry trying to get ready whether it be going to the grocery store or just to look like you cared about yourself a little for a mom date that you might have planned. I have three hairstyles in my arsenal that I am always using. If you see me on a semi daily basis you know that if my hair isn’t in a bun it’s in one of these quick and easy hairstyles.

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    The first one I did was a quick curl and headband braid.

    A trick I’ve learned when being in a hurry is if you put your hair in a ponytail and curl it then you can do it faster than if it’s broken off into sections. You won’t get as tight of curls but if you’re in a hurry it’s doesn’t really matter anyways. It took me 3:49 seconds to curl my hair and I finished it off with a headband braid that took me exactly 5 minutes!

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    The Second one I love to do is a half up bun!

    Since my hair was already a little curled this one was even easier. This took a whole 2 minutes. If you are are in a hurry you can follow the first step from above to curl your hair fast and then separate the hair at the crown of your head. Twist and wrap around in a bun. Use an elastic or hair tie depending on the thickness of your hair. My hair is extremely thick and it’s long so I have to use a hair tie.  This is a go-to for me! Especially if I still have next day curled hair this is super easy to put up and run out the door if I need to.

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    The last style is a fishtail braid

    I love the way this one looks instead of doing your classic side braid. Pull hair to one side and split it in half. Grab a small piece of the back left portion. Pull over the top and add to the right half.  Now grab a piece from the back right portion. Pull over the top and add it to the left half. Continue doing this until you get to the bottom of your hair and you’re done! Super quick and easy. This took me just under 4 minutes to do.

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    I hope you found these quick hairstyles helpful!

    What is your favorite 5 minute hairstyle that you like to do? I need to add some more to my hair bank.

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    So You’re Ready To Potty Train

    To some parents the thought of potty training is a nightmare they’re not ready to face and to others they are excited and ready to start their potty training journey together.  For me, I was the first one.  When I tell people that I had Kellan day and night potty trained before he was 2 some didn’t believe it. Kellan had just passed the 1 1/2 year mark and we were going on 20 months. I finally said January 1st that I needed to get my butt in gear and get this potty training thing going because baby #2 was going to be here mid March and I didn’t have the time to waste.

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    So like the mom I am, I hit Pinterest pretty hard trying to find out tips and tricks to potty training. I always seemed to come across the, “Potty train your kid in 3 days” or “Have them potty trained over the weekend.” Well I am calling a big BS on that! Maybe it does work more for older kids, I’m not sure, but it definitely didn’t work for us. It took a whole month for me to get him mostly day potty trained. Nap and night potty training didn’t come until the next month.

     

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    So I came up with a little guide of things that worked for us. Some things I found online and others we figured out along the way. If you’re getting ready or already potty training or maybe need a different tactic hopefully these will help.

     

    • Have LOTS of underwear on hand. I would say no less than 10 pairs. I remember we went through 7 pairs of underwear in one day!  Which leads me into my next one..
    • Be ready to wash a lot of stuff. We potty trained in the winter so we just bought extra pants.
    • Sweatpants or stretchy pants work best. They were easy to change and the band was easy to pull up and down when we needed to hit the bathroom fast. Jeans can be a pain sometimes.
    • Personally I didn’t want to clean out a little potty (poop just grosses me out) so we bought a new seat from Home Depot that has a detachable little seat that is magnetic to the lid. You can find it here. I love this thing. I found this to be easier for him to use the bathroom outside of the home too.
    • Speaking of cleaning..when they have their accidents, which they will, we bought kid and pet spray to clean up with. We have carpet in the bedrooms so it helped clean up the mess. We bought it here.
    • We did treats for going in the potty. 1 chocolate chip for going pee and 2 chocolate chips for going poop. I noticed he started to pee a lot more to get more chocolate chips. Whatever works though right!
    • CONSISTANCY IS KEY! That is a huge one. When you start you need to commit because doing it one day and not the next and starting again in a couple of days will confuse them. I tried this a couple of times before I fully committed and he would get frustrated when he’d pee his pants because he thought he had a diaper on and it was just a mess for both of us!
    • Go easy on yourself. Like I said it took us a month to get him potty trained with little to no accidents during the day. It can be so frustrating at times because some days they will be so good and go to the bathroom in the toilet/potty and the next they forget that they knew how.
    • Always have wine on hand. No seriously, for the days that things didn’t go well it can be frustrating and a good glass of wine will help you forget..at least until tomorrow. I didn’t get to participate in it but for the next one I will!

     

    I hoped you found some of this helpful! We’re going to be doing the same thing here soon with our little Knox. Have you potty trained before? What are something you found helpful or worked for you? Remember stay strong mama

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