a pretty cool life.: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream (without an ice cream maker!)

Just for fun, we decided to make ice cream sundaes after school one day this week.  We had all the fixin's except the ice cream, so I got down to work.

Now, I've made ice cream without an ice cream maker before.  It was good.  But this is awesome.

The recipe comes from a condensed milk ad...such a lucky find!

You'll need:

1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
2 tsp. mint extract
1 pint whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
food coloring if you like minty green  ice cream better than white :)

Whip whipping cream.

In separate bowl, combine all ingredients except cream.  Mix well.

Fold in whipped cream.

(The recipe yielded about 6-7 cups of ice cream)

Freeze 6-8 hours, until firm.

So easy!!


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

Project inspiration from the week, thanks to Pinterest:

I finished the quilt I started last week.  Now I just need to bind it...someday.

I couldn't help myself when I saw this darling heart doughnut pan.  I gave these a trial run so I'm ready for Valentine's day.

And I'm sticking with my resolution so far.  I like seeing the motivational running quotes pop up in my feed of otherwise crafty pins. :)

Hope you had a good week of projects, too!  And you can follow along with all my pins here if you'd like.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From Valentine's past

Pinterest certainly is able to breathe new life into old projects.  Over the past few weeks, these Valentiney pages have seen a boatload of traffic.

If you've been around awhile, thanks for reading!  And if you're new here, enjoy!

Want to see what I'm pinning?  (Besides more things to do with Nutella?)  You can follow me here.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Superhero Sienna dress

Ok, here's another flashback.

Both of my boys have birthdays in December, and this year they decided to have a superhero party.  Of course, Baby Sister needed to join the fun, so I made a teeny tiny superhero dress.

I used the LBB Sienna pattern.

And a pile full of my old shirts.  (The navy Superman shirt was a lucky clearance find from Target...otherwise I would have stenciled my own and the blue sleeve is from a pair of her brother's pants.)


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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

I guess it was kind of a slow pin project week this week.  I'm not sure if there was a full moon, the day off of school on Monday, the snow, or what threw everyone for a loop, but the behavior out of the little humans in this house was less than desirable. Mama doesn't make much when that happens.  Eh. 

We did make our own microwave popcorn several times though.  I gave up on microwave popcorn years ago, but making it on the stove can be a pain.  (But worth it for this.)  This is a great alternative and it's quick.

I also spent the last few nights working on cutting and piecing quilt tops.  This one caught my eye weeks ago, and now my version of it is ready to be assembled and quilted.

Like I said, slow project week.  Whatev.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Teacher gifts

I'm not sure why I didn't share these pics earlier.  (Maybe because I was too busy eating cookies?)  These are the (mostly) handmade gifts we gave to Big Brother's teachers.

A box full of things I hoped they would love because I do.

Anthro homegrown mugs.

Handmade candles in mini latte bowls.

Notecards similar to these.

The brown packet in the middle is filled with amaryllis bulbs.  

And if you follow me on facebook, you remember that I madly finished the poms poms in the school parking lot right before pickup. Yay procrastination.  ;)

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekly Pinterest

What I made this week, thanks to Pinterest.

I don't know why I never thought to use frozen Cool Whip instead of marshmallows in hot chocolate.  Hearts make everything better.  (My husband likes it in his coffee, too!)

I baked a ham earlier in the week, and wanted to find a way to use the bone.  This soup was a great alternative to split pea.

By the middle of the week it was too snowy and cold for me to venture out to the grocery store.  Making do with what I had I hand, I make slow cooker spaghetti sauce.  Definitely a great alternative to a jar of store bought, but not too exciting. Next time I'll add some Italian sausage to kick it up a little.  (But the meat free version will be perfect for Fridays during Lent!)

I also made a version of garlic bread to go with it.  It was good, and I really liked the cheese on it.  But...the original recipe called for an entire stick of butter.  Uh, either that's a typo or the recipe's author is really crazy about butter, because I used less than half a stick, and I thought I was going overboard slathering it on.  Try it.  Maybe I'm way off.

And you all read Ashley's blog, right?  Her video today was so incredibly beautiful.  Grab your Kleenex.  Watch it.  Choose joy.

And if you'd like to follow my pins, you can find me here.

Enjoy the long weekend, friends!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The weather outside is {going to be} frightful

After a week of amazing January weather in the 50s, Chicago is due to get our first significant snowfall of the season.

Forget shovels and salt, we needed to test drive our hot chocolate recipe.

I'm not really a hot chocolate drinker, but this is awesome:  drop a heaping spoonful of Nutella into 10ish oz of milk.  Warm on the stove and mix.  Heaven!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Sunday and a 365 catch up

Bald is beautiful.

Yay for a super fun night out with friends.

Friday lunch.


Thursday, January 5, 2012


Just enjoying the sun shining in.


Super easy microwave caramels

Bail on your New Year resolution to eat healthier and make these.  

Trust me when I say if you make nothing else found on this blog, try this recipe.  

I recently pinned this, which reminded me of a recipe I've had clipped out of a magazine for years.  

The recipes are basically the same, mine just calls for 5 tbsp. of butter, which is about 1/3 cup.  I'm sure both are equally delish.

You'll need:

5 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk

Put all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring every 2.

Spray an 8x8 glass dish with Pam, and pour mixture in.

Let cool and cut.  (I cheat and put them in the fridge to cool, but if they're in there too long they get too hard to cut.)

Wrap in wax paper.  

Store in a container with a lock, or you might just eat them all. ;)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A 365 backlog

January 4th and already I'm behind posting.

Better late than never, no?

A quick batch of homemade brownies.  

De-Christmasing time.  
'Til next year my pretty, shiny friends.

10 degrees outside.
Desperate for groceries, but we'll just forage for something in the freezer.

Baby Sister's first "solid" meal.
How did 6 months go by so fast?


Monday, January 2, 2012

The one where I make some resolutions

Okay 2012, let's do this thing.

It's the week to be talking resolutions.   I usually don't, because I don't know how much they really help me.  Maybe because I usually say things like "be more organized" and anything that vague is doomed from the beginning...

Anywho, here is my (not all that ambitious, but totally do-able) list for the year:

Blog, blog, blog.  I love this little space and it's been neglected far too long.  I can't wait for the new projects and new friends to come.

Actually follow through on my 365 project.  Maybe even post them here each week?  I've had good starts the past few years and then slowly dwindled in my picture taking by February or March.  To be holding a book full of photos at this time next year is going to feel awesome.

Run 500 miles this year.  My typical runs are usually 3-4 miles so hopefully I've got this one.  And every time I run, I'll have this going through my head. ;)  

So how about you?
I have a good feeling about 2012.



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