Happy 4th Birthday Handsome!

I can’t believe my handsome little man is 4 years old already!  Everyone says it, but seriously, where does the time go??? I saw this over at Reaves, Party of Four and thought it was a super cute (and easy) way to capture all of Braden’s favorite things this year.  I plan on following Nicole’s lead and starting at the age of 4, asking both the boys these same questions every year and putting some sort of scrapbook together with a picture collage of that year.  What a great keepsake that will be 20 years from now…

Braden Age 4 – 20 Questions

1.  What is your favorite color?  Blue…no, red…no, blue….red.

2.  What is your favorite toy?  My submarine that floats in the water.

3.  What is your favorite fruit?  Hmmm…STRAWBERRIES!!!!

4.  What is your favorite tv show?  Mighty Machines

5.  What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Quesadilla (1 of 2 things he will actually eat)

6.  What is your favorite thing to wear?  My pirate clothes

7.  What is your favorite game to play?  Mario Kart (not a techie at all!) and “get you” with daddy.

8.  What is your favorite snack?  Animal crackers.

9.  What is your favorite animal?  Dinosaurs (I guess we need to go to the zoo more…).

10.  What is your favorite song?    Do You Like Waffles?Figure 8 .

11. What is your favorite book?  How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, The Tallest of Smalls by Max Lucado.

12.  Who is your best friend?  Wylie.

13.  What is your favorite cereal?  Jack cereal (Apple Jacks mixed with Cheerios) or Colored O’s (Fruit Loops mixed with Cheerios).

14.  What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play in the dirt with my dump truck and shovel.

15.  What is your favorite drink?  Water and milk.

16.  What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas.

17.  What do like to take to bed with you at night?  Monkey.  Oh and my books and my Thomas flashlight.

18.  What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Mom, I already answered that question.  Jack cereal!

19.  What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  I don”t know.  I don’t really like dinner.  (SO true!!)

20.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  A firefighter.

The most incredible Red Velvet cupcake and Cream Cheese Frosting EVER!

I know I haven’t posted the last day of 14 Days of Love yet but I just HAD to post this right away.  I have been a red velvet cupcake connoisseur for quite some time and I’ve tried many different recipes but this one takes the cake. Pun intended.  Hee hee.

Christina from Mele Cotte so very kindly shared her Red Velvet Cake recipe on her blog.  I adjusted the time a bit to accommodate the cupcakes.  I baked them at 350 for 15 minutes, rotating  half way.

While the cupcakes cooled, I whipped up some of this UH-MAZING cream cheese frosting from Not So Humble Pie.    It’s so light and fluffy and the perfect amount of sweetness.  Seriously.  Amazing.

Just thought I’d share that with ya’ll right quick.  I’ll post more about my fabulous day of love later.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Red Velvet Cupcake love-ing day!!

14 Days of Love – Day 11 Valentine Cards

What a day.   And not in a good way.

First,  I wake up to an over dramatic  starving 4yr old having a tantrum on my bedroom floor.  Two seconds later, a screaming toddler furious that he’s getting his diaper changed.  God forbid my husband changes the kid’s diaper first thing in the morning.  Seriously babe, what were you thinking?  All the while grumpy hubby trying his best NOT to be grumpy (which never works).  I guess that’s what happens when you have a whiny 4yr old AND a squirmy, screaming toddler who won’t sit still while you change his diaper so you get poop all over your hands all before 6:30 on a Saturday – kind of morning.  I’d be grumpy too.

Who am I kidding.  At this point, approximately  2 minutes after opening my eyes, I was grumpy too.

I thought for sure our morning would get better after all of our tummies were full. Buuut no.  Still whiny, still grumpy.

We couldn’t go outside and play (it’s been raining all day) so I was trying desperately to figure out a way to brighten our moods.  Then I remembered I had completely forgot about our Valentine Card craft for today. Gasp! I know.   I already had planned to make these for all the grandparents and aunts and uncles.

I thought it would be the perfect thing to get the boys out of their slump.  Who doesn’t like to paint and get all messy?

Well, apparently Andrew (1.5yrs) doesn’t.   Hubby held him and I started painting his feet.  He started screaming.  And squirming.  And screaming some more.   At the time I couldn’t bare to take pictures of the torture I was putting him through but looking back now, I SO wish I had taken the pictures.  Needless to say, footprints did NOT get painted.  I wasn’t about to try the hand prints.

Okay so Andrew wasn’t having it, but maybe Braden would have more fun.  Not so much.  All he wanted to do was everything I was telling him not to.  “Braden, stop flinging the paint brush.”  “Braden, don’t touch the wet paint.”  “Braden, wait for mommy to help you.”  Forget it.  I give up.

So there went that brilliant idea.  After my already exhausting day, I had no energy left to try anything else.  Cars 2 anyone?

Sorry, no cute-sy Valentine’s this year folks.  At least not today anyway.

Just so happens tonight is my night out with the girls.  Thank Goodness.  There is a glass of wine with my name on it!

14 Days of LOVE- Day 10 “I like the way you roll”, among other things…

Disney’s Family Fun magazine/website is probably one of my favorite “go-to”‘s when I need a silly but child friendly activity.  Right now they also have a great Valentine’s Day section with tons of fun ideas.   Whether it be a candy card to give out or a Valentine’s Day printable, whoever comes up with their stuff is brilliant and very clever.  Here are some of my favorites .

I’m always looking for cute valentine’s for my boys.   You know, ones that aren’t covered in pink hearts…

Caped Cute-sader - Image Collection

Valentine, YOU RULE! or I Love You beyond measure.  Very practical🙂

You Rule!

Great for friends, great for significant others.🙂   I made one for hubby last year that said “Dynamic Duo!”.   Isn’t it so cheesy!  I love it!  There really are thousands of things you could say for this one.

Dynamic Duo

You Make my heart glow.  Awww…

Hearts Aglow

I dig you!

A Sweet Shovel

And this is the one I made hubby this year.  I don’t have a picture because, well quite frankly this is a family blog and I don’t want to make anyone feel weird.  Let’s just say it does say ” I like the way you roll…” among other things.😛

Valentines Day

I could spend hours posting all the things I love from this site,  but I’ll just let you check out for yourself🙂

**Oh and I am in no way affiliated with Disney’s Family Fun.  I just think they’re stuff is super cute and I love their magazine :)**

14 Days of Love – Day 9

VALENTINE’S BINGO!

So now that you have a ton of M&M’s just lying around from yesterday’s LOVE messages, here’s a super fun way to eat use them.  I found this adorable BINGO template from Heather over at Simply Fresh Designs.

Aren’t they just the cutest?!

Click on the link above and you can download your very own BINGO cards.  Use the leftover M&M’s as BINGO markers.  That’s assuming you haven’t eaten them all of course!😛

Super fun (and yummy) game for the fam!

BINGO!

14 Days of LOVE Day 8 – M&M Messages of Love

Candy messages are fun in any way, shape or form. Taking the time to spell it out means so much more, don’t you think?

B was delighted to see his little message when he got up from his rest. (He doesn’t like the word “nap”. Babies take naps, big boys take a “rest”. Got it.

Here’s hubby’s

I have to work tonight, so I’m a little bummed I won’t get to see his reaction. I’m sure it will be wonderful and worth all the hard work🙂 He is and always will be the man of my dreams. I am so very, very blessed.

The boys and I made one for Grammy (my mom) but she got to hers before I could snap a pic. It said “U R The Best Grammy” In case you couldn’t tell.🙂

People ask me all the time how I have time to do all of these fun things for my family. Well I’ll tell you. Actually why don’t I show you…

I have 3 loads of laundry sitting on my couch waiting to be folded. Not sure that’s ever going to happen but at least they are clean. I’ve embraced the fact that the laundry will always be there, chores will always need to be done. ..but these happy moments to make cherished memories won’t.

**UPDATE**

This is what I came home to late last night after work.  I couldn’t help but grin ear to ear.  Hubby isn’t one to do things like this often, which is totally fine.  But man, when he does, it sure does make my heart flutter.

14 Days of LOVE – Day 7 Rice Kiss-py Treats

I made these adorable little goodies last year and my hubby loved finding them in his lunch. Buuuut, as usual, I wanted to step it up a notch this year. I was actually looking for a recipe when stumbled upon these from Ali at Gimme Some Oven! Perfect!

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats! I just HAD to try them.

Since I am obviously all about Valentine’s Day right now, I had to put my own little Valentine twist on them. I made mine with the pink marshmallows and valentine sprinkles.

Cake Batter Rice Krispies Recipe
(orignal recipe From How Sweet Eats)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag of mini-marshmallows (I used a 10 oz bag of large pink marshmallows)
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix (the dry cake mix, not prepared into a batter!)
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 (1.75 oz.) container of sprinkles

Method:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in (dry) cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish (any size will do) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I find spraying a knife with nonstick spray helps to cut them.

Ali’s Tip: I actually increased the cake batter to 1/3 cup for my recipe to give it a little extra cake batter kick (the 1/4 cup seemed just a little too subtle to me), but add as much in as you like!

***Note: Many readers have asked what to do with the remaining cake mix. If you would like to use it to whip up a batch of cake mix cookies, just measure out 6 oz. of the remaining cake mix, and combine it with 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, and 1 egg. Stir until mixed. Then form into cookie dough balls, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.***

Darci’s Tip: Use Ali’s tip! And make the cake batter cookies. They are just as heavenly🙂

To make these into a kiss shape. Instead of pressing into a baking dish, scoop a spoonful into a small funnel sprayed with cooking spray. Press down until funnel is full

(Sorry about the blurry pic. It’s hard to press down rice crispy’s with one hand while holding a funnel AND a camera with the other!)

Cut out 6×6 squares of foil. Place rice crispy in center and wrap with foil. To make it really authentic, you can insert an adorable little love note to peek out of the top. (I just printed mine on regular ol’ paper and cut them out with scissors).

Personally I’m not a big fan of regular Rice Crispy treats but these new Rice Kiss-py treats with all of their cake batter goodness are my new favorite!!

14 Days of LOVE Day 6 – Valentine’s Garland

I was perusing pinterest the other day(surprise, surprise) for some additional valentine decor and there are SO many beautiful and wonderful Valentine garland’s out there!!

I love this adorable tissue paper heart garland from Erin over at Sunny Side Up

Valentines Day Mantle - Oh how I NEED a mantle!

And this super sweet newspaper garland from I don’t even know where! I’ve searched and searched and can’t find the original owner of this pic.

Newspaper Heart Garland

Or how about this fantastic burlap pennant banner from iwishedforyou. I am such a sucker for burlap!

burlap banner with text hearts

One of these days, I am going to make ALL of these. But for now, since I have a 4yr old to entertain, I settled on this adorable and super easy heart garland.

I found the pic-torial here. I cut out my strips of paper from the collection I downloaded from Sara at Moonsteam Design the other day.

I folded and B stapled. Here’s an action shot of him “pushing down hard with his muscles”.🙂

My little nook is looking pretty festive, huh?!

14 Days of Love – Day 5 Superbowl and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Nothing says LOVE like chocolate covered strawberries! And can you think of a better Superbowl snack?!

I tried to make little footballs like these from Shari’s Berries

6 Hand-Dipped Football Berries

buuuuuut mine didn’t turn out quite as cute, so I just drizzled chocolate on them instead.

Cute or not, they were absolutely delicious.  And gone before halftime.

14 Days of Love – Day 4 House Hunting?

Yep you read that correctly.  We are in the process of house hunting and today was a very loooooong day of hunting.  I feel horrible that I wasn’t able to pull off something valentine-y for today but I’m exhausted.  However on an exciting and nerve racking note, I think we may have found THE ONE!  It is absolutely nothing like I would have ever envisioned us buying, but we absolutely LOVED it the moment we walked inside.

It’s an awesome two story ranch style house on a quiet street.  It’s older but has been fairly upgraded on the inside.  The backyard has a beautiful old tree that is just perfect for a tree house that I know our boys would love.   Beautiful brick fireplace, hardwood floors, crown molding, granite counter tops… I’m starting to sound like a listing agent, aren’t I?

Well, here’s to praying they accept our offer…soon.  The suspense is killing me!

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