Fudge Pops and Ice Boats

 I bought the Taste of Home Smoothie and Blender Drinks Recipe Cards cook booklet the other day. I am so glad I did. We have already made several recipes from it and they have all been terrific. This recipe for Homemade Fudge Pops is also on the Taste of Home website.


  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 20 Popsicle molds or disposable plastic cups (3 ounces each) and Popsicle sticks


  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Stir in the brown sugar, cocoa and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool for 20 minutes, stirring several times.
  • Pour 1/4 cupfuls into Popsicle molds or plastic cups; top molds with holders or insert Popsicle sticks into cups. Freeze until firm. Yield: 20 servings.

The recipe was simple enough for Brielle, 5, to help extensively with it. We made a few alterations as usual (I can’t seem to follow directions whether it’s intentional like with my recipes or unintentional like with my knitting). I used about 1/3 less sugar, half unsweetened almond milk, and almond extract instead of vanilla. I also used shaped ice cube trays instead of popsicle molds for smaller servings and much less meltage.

 Although, they still manage to get the chocolately deliciousness everywhere.
Aviana made Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothies the other day which we can heartily recommend. I also think everyone should keep some Iced Coffee Latte in their refrigerator to pour over ice for when I visit   those midafternoon lulls. (I actually used Sanka for no caffeine, and it was wonderful)
In other news, I saw Ice Cube Boats on Pinterest and figured, hey, it’s hotter than a volcano-(-Cadrian is going through a compare-everything- to-avolcano phase) we could fry eggs on the driveway or play with ice…We opted for the ice. We used empty yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and whatever else we found in the recycle containers to freeze the water. We taped a bendy straw bendy side down to the bottom first. (Much better directions and pictures are at the link above)
 They were cute but didn’t float evenly at all and the sails made better crowns than sails as it turned out.
 And they only lasted for about a minute. Seriously.
It’s hotter than a volcano.



I love crafting blogs and tutorials. I am eternally thankful for the people who take time to make them. Because…look what I am capable of, with a little guidance!

  I used the tutorial at Ruffles and Roses.

The math only looks complicated, but if I can figure it out, you certainly can! I didn’t want to take the time to hem a circle so I made a ruffle and attached it which I think went a lot faster.

The girls loved them, especially the twirliness!

If you try it, I’d love to see–Happy Twirls to You!


Countdown to Christmas

I saw a fabulous idea for an Advent calendar on Pinterest, so I made it.

You make little cards from cardstock and fold them over ribbon stapled to the back of a picture frame. I just so happened to have a frame that was newly glass-less, so I was all set.

You clothespin the cards to the ribbon so you can’t see what’s inside.  Aviana and I decoupaged clothespins with scrapbooking paper, but it turned out that the regular sized clothespins were way too heavy for the ribbon.

I used some mini clothespins that happened to have a summer theme, but ah well. On the inside of the cards you write an activity for the day.

The blog I read this on ((The original post is here)) suggested using post-its, so you don’t have to re-make the cards every year, and it gives you flexibility to change up the activity if something comes up at the last minute. Is she brilliant or what?!

A few of our activities were ice skating…

and making popcorn strings…

do our Advent candles…

make Christmas cookies…

and go see Santa.

Even though Aviana made all the cards for me, I’ve since then found some K&Company paper that had beautiful vintage Christmas numbers. I did feel a little guilty about covering up all her painstakingly placed stickers, but I do love the calendar all the more with its new Victorian feel and matching numbers.


SIze matters

I saw an adorable elf hat pattern in a knitting book. I knew I just had to make it for my one year old sweet boy. Only it had me making cables.

I’ve never done cables. I’ve been knitting for about two years now, but I’ve never done cables. Or color changes either. Or anything with true shaping, like a sweater. Or anything else that requires a lot of attention…

But this time I thought, I can do it. So I watched a couple of how to videos just to reassure myself, and soldiered on. I went out and bought special yarn, knitted a size swatch because I wanted to make sure it would fit him, and began.

The hat turned out ok (except for the very first cable turn).

Oh, and except for the fact that it didn’t fit Denton! It was too big for ME! I have no idea where I went wrong (unless I mixed up centimeters and inches or some crazy thing).

So I tried again. This time– was pretty cute!

Now if I could just get him to keep it on for more than eight seconds.


Smart Bottom Kids

When I find something that I love, I feel compelled to share it with others who may love it too. While messing around the other day, I ran across an Etsy store called Smart Bottom Kids (and with a name like that you know it has to be good right?)

The shop owner, Darcy, puts together craft kits for you and your kids to do together. Darcy is a former elementary teacher and has a seven and a five year old (kind of like me 🙂 so one would think she’s pretty much a genius when it comes to small child craft kits). (Turns out she is.)

I ordered the Christmas Ornament Banner. It was a little pricier than I would normally spend on a craft, but I love to support Etsy shops and I love to do crafts with my chiddlers. I don’t relish the setting up and cleaning up part though. I was hoping the kit would take care of the setting up.

I wonder if Darcy would come and take care of the cleaning up too…

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I quickly got the kit in the mail. She said all would need is scissors, but is that really all I would need?

A great big resounding YES!

The kit came with everything clearly labeled in nifty little packets. Even the craft sticks were labeled “glue spreader”. Her proportions were extremely generous, we would actually have enough sparkles and decorative paper left to make an entirely different garland, all I would have to do is cut out the ornament shapes.

It was perfect for two children–it came with 2 each of several ornament shapes.

It was also the perfect size craft for them–they were almost to their crafting limit by the time they finished their last ornament. It was also wonderfully sparkly, and especially for the five year old, whose favorite color is “glitter”, this was another perfect.

This guy helped by playing nicely in his chair and

also finding, and subsequently, emptying, my wallet; having a dirty diaper; getting into other various and sundry mischief.

I originally hung it here,

but then we moved it to the archway.

( I am just posting this review because I want to, not because I’ve been asked to or given anything free ;-))


Mama’s Daybook


Outside my window…frosty

I am thinking…I should really be in bed

I am thankful…to spend time with my brother and new sister

From the learning rooms…elving and Advent

In the kitchen…Chicken tortilla soup was a big hit tonight. Not a smackeral left

I am wearing…a bright striped sweater jeans striped socks and Ugg knockoffs.

I am creating…Christmas gifts–also knitted an elf hat for Denton with a CABLE–too bad it ended up being too big for KEVIN! (and I did an accurate gauge swatch, so I have no idea what happened)also got a spinning lesson Saturday!

I am going…to my mom’s again tomorrow

I am wondering…if I’ll be able to get my hair highlighted this week

I am reading…the fourth Harry Potter book–I’m reading the books then watching the movies after each one. Fun times.

I am hoping…this week continues to be wonderful

I am looking forward to…more “Telestration” and laughter tomorrow

I am hearing…Kevin shuffling papers

Around the house…keeping up with the clutter

One of my favorite things…watching my children grow–how Aviana wants to be with grown-ups so badly and truly can hold her own

A few plans for the rest of the week: being in the arms of my family

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

A repurposed sweater 🙂

Farm Fresh Birthday #1

Kid #3 had Birthday #1 in the Farm Fresh Birthdaypalooza.

Grandma brought over yummy chocolate cake. The frosting was a huge hit, as was my Farm Fresh Homemade Vanilla.

Brielle had all she could do to restrain herself and not open ALL of Cadrian’s presents. She loved this puppy that blew bubbles from Grandma and Grandpa.

And Cadrian was fond of his new tractor; every time he sees a tractor or big piece of equipment, he says “Dada!”

Birthday balloons are great,
but the most fun comes in letting them go, watching them float carelessly to the ceiling, and then shouting “BOO! BOO! BOO! BOO!” at the top of your voice until one of your giants gets it for you
So you can do the shouting all over again!
The birthday garland I sewed up using an idea from The Creative Family and garage sale material.

More birthday fun tomorrow, Farm Fresh Fans, when I’ll have a six year old for the first time ever.


It’s the thought that counts.

This was my first attempt at embroidery or appliqué or whatever it is I did here.

The heart patch on the back? That’s because I accidentally sewed the back to the front and made a hole when I took out the stitches.
I hope it really is the thought that counts because I don’t have time to do another one before Saturday when I get to meet my sweet Genevieve.