Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Retro Re-Pin Party

Hi Pinning Partners!

Welcome to the wonderful Retro Re-pin Party! Can you believe our party is now in its seventh week? A huge thanks to all of you for coming back each week and keeping this re-pin party going! We can't have a successful party without you, and we need your help to make it grow. We had a lot of fun links last week, and I can't wait to see what goodies are linked up this week!

If you have any questions about the party or how to link up a pin, just let us know. We are more than happy to help!

Meet your fabulous pinning hostesses! 

Retro Re-Pin Party

There are seven of us, so that means that your pins will be seen on seven blogs and gain tons of exposure. All links are pinned to our Pinterest party board, and we also love to pin some of our favorites to our personal boards -- awesome, right?!

We would love it if you decide to follow our blogs and our pinterest pages!

Kristina and Millie @ 2 Crochet Hooks: Blog/Pinterest
Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama: Blog/Pinterest
Stephanie @ Sustaining the Powers: Blog/Pinterest
Joy @ xoxo Grandma: Blog/Pinterest
Becka @ Probably Crafting: Blog/Pinterest
Felicia @ Nifty Thrifty Family: Blog/Pinterest
Leslie @ The Crafty Side of Sarcasm: Blog/Pinterest
*~* Are you all ready to party?!? ~

This is a Retro Re-pin Party so it works a little bit differently than the usual link party or pinning party. Please do NOT link up your blog main page, a blog post or your pin boards. Link up one or two of your Pinterest pins and PLEASE - Family Friendly posts only!! If the link is not to a previously pinned post, it may not be pinned.

Example: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/555139091540348954/

We have a few very simple rules for this party:

1. Add up to 2 pin links to your older pinned posts -- the older the better!
2. Re-pin at least 2 other pins -- that's why we are here!
3. Link back to us if you would, it's the nice thing to do!

Please help us spread the word about this party. Invite your friends, and come back next week! Take a button!

Meatloaf and Melodrama

Monday, August 25, 2014

Milky Way Poke Cake

Hi Friends!

The weather has been just a tad cooler here in the desert, so I felt inspired to do a little baking. The kids are still getting used to the new school year, and I thought it would be fun to indulge them with a special dessert for Sunday dinner -- kind of a sweet send-off for the new week . Remember the Butterfinger poke cake I made a few weeks ago? Well, this time around, I decided to indulge the chocolate lovers in our family, and I made a Milky Way poke cake. Yep, we're working our way down the candy aisle, here!

slice of chocolate poke cake with chocolate cool whip frosting, caramel and chocolate sauce and milky way bars

The ingredients are simple:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • Your favorite brand of chocolate syrup
  • Your favorite brand of caramel syrup
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 small jar of chocolate frosting
  • Milky Way candy bars (We used bite sized.)
Weekends are busy, so I have to admit that I cut some corners here and used a cake mix to make the cake. But, you can easily make this cake from scratch. Of course, the kids love helping when it comes to dessert, so my oldest daughter did the baking. This mix one has pudding in it, so it is super moist.

When the cake had cooled, I let the kids use a drinking straw to poke holes in the cake, and they had fun eating the little tubes of cake that got stuck in the straw. Then, we poured some caramel and chocolate syrup all over the cake.

poke holes in chocolate cake with a drinking straw

I like to refrigerate the cake at this point so that the syrup has a chance to firm up. I think this step makes it easier to frost. I wanted the frosting to be light and fluffy -- kind of like the nougat in a Milky Way bar. So, I combined a can of chocolate frosting with one small tub of Cool Whip and spread it over the cake. Then, I added a few swirls of chocolate and caramel syrup over the top.

chocolate caramel poke cake in a glass baking dish with chocolate cool whip frosting

It still looked a little bit plain, so I added some bite-sized Milky Way pieces when I served the cake. Personally, I like to add these to the individual slices. That way, the candy doesn't get too hard in the refrigerator. Then, we had to have few more drizzles of syrup before achieving chocolate - caramel perfection.  Voila -- a Milky Way poke cake! Yum!

chocolate poke cake with chocolate and caramel syrup and milky way bars.

The great thing about poke cakes is that you can take a basic cake and customize it with your favorite flavors. And, these cakes are never dry. Oh, they don't last long either!

What's your favorite cake?

Thanks a million for joining me for dessert! Have a wonderful day!

Dee :)

Sharing At:
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Snickerdoodle Sunday

Hi Everyone!

It's time for another Snickerdoodle Sunday party! Can you believe we're going into the last week of August?! I'm starting to see a lot of fall posts cropping up all over blogland and Pinterest, and even though it's still pretty warm here, I'm getting excited for fall!

We had a bunch of great posts linked up last week, and I can't wait to see what you're bringing to this week's party. But first, it's time to award the coveted frosted snickerdoodle to a couple of amazing bloggers.

I loved The Decoratorholic's Move-in Day post! Not only are there some great DIY ideas for decorating a dorm room or teen room, but it was also very moving. Y'all have to go check it out!

You also need to see these awesome Swirled Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars from My Sweet Mission! How amazing do these look?

Swirled Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cookie Bars by MySweetMission.net

Congrats, ladies! Here is your frosted Snickerdoodle! Please visit the other hosts to see who they featured and view the most with the most overall views. 

 Meatloaf and Melodrama
Let's get this party started! 
Meet Your Snickerdoodle Sunday Hosting Team!

Kristina & Millie @ 2CrochetHooks, Dee @ Meatloaf and Melodrama,
snickerdoodle hostessesFelicia @ Nifty Thrifty Family, Sarah @ Sadie Seasongoods
Just a few Simple Rules

**Please DO NOT link and run…Yes we mean YOU….please visit, comment and pin on a few of the blogs that are sharing here today. Visit at least as many posts as you linked up! This is a great way to get people to visit you and everyone’s blogs will benefit!
  • Remember to Follow Your hostesses- 2 Crochet HooksNifty Thrifty FamilyMeatloaf and Melodrama, and Sadie Seasongoods
  • Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • Linkback on your post ( optional, but always appreciated)
  • No adult content blogs, Family Friendly posts – old or new
  • Please no more than 3 links to your blog
  • No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! Reviews w/affiliate links are ok!
  • Yes, you can link giveaways & link parties (add them to our Party page!)
Adding your link to this blog hop gives the hostesses permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Snickerdoodle Sunday. All features will be pinned to our Pinterest boards and will be linked back to the original source.
By participating in this link party, you will be sent a weekly reminder e-mail when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or used in any other way.

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    DIY Harry Potter Party

    Easy Ideas for a Fun Harry Potter Party

    Hi All!

    It's August, which means Halloween is just around the corner -- right? Well, maybe not quite, but since Halloween ideas are all over Pinterest right now, I thought I would share some ideas for throwing a Harry Potter party.

    My oldest daughter has continued to have birthday parties well into her teen years. It's funny because my other teen prefers much quieter celebrations. Anyway, the oldest baby has a large group of fun-loving friends who all love the Harry Potter series, and she thought it would be fitting to have a party with a Hogwarts theme.

     Harry potter party ideas
    If you want to have a Harry Potter party, now is a great time to start planning and looking for props and party decorations. My daughter's party was in the winter, and because we didn't plan ahead, it was hard to find some things she wanted. But, being a thrifty DIY family, we made most of the props and decorations on our own.

    My daughter made the invitations to look like the Hogwarts invitation letters. She printed them out, folded them and handed one to each of the 20 guests. Yep, we had a house full of teens that day, and I survived to tell about it!

    I took all of these photos as the party was being set up, so the lighting isn't all that great. But, these are not staged, so you can get an idea of what everything looked like. 

    The guests were encouraged to come in costume, and a lot of them wore big Harry-style glasses and short capes. You can find these throughout the year. We had wooden posts outside with names of places from the series. We also had a sign with Platform 9 and three quarters, and this was taped to the front door. 

    platform nine and three quarters sign

    As the guests entered, they were asked to take a wand. These were branches that were spray painted black. We also found this cute owl and put it among the wands. I think it really resembles Harry's owl, Hedwig!

    wands made of twigs spray painted black and stuffed owl

    When all the guests had arrived, my daughter had them gather around the Sorting Hat. She made this by taping and pinning pieces of brown felt over a really beat-up witch's hat that was leftover from Halloween. She also taped black felt to make the face.

    sorting hat made from brown and black felt

    Each guest sat on the stool and put the hat on. My daugher had made a list of what house each person was assigned to, and my younger kids took turns playing the hat's voice. They hid under the table and would shout out the name of the house. The guests had a lot of fun with this part!

    After the sorting ceremony, the guests had to choose a tie that represented the correct house. 

    chalkboard welcome to hogwarts sign with harry potter books, lantern and  felt ties

    My daughter made the ties from felt, and we used saftety pins to pin them to the guests' clothes. I placed a stack of Harry Potter books next to a chalkboard tray and added a lantern on top.

    Here is a sample of some of the snacks we put together. We made labels and attached them to some empty jars. The labels are hard to read, but in the bowls, we have Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Baby Dragon Eggs, Flobberworms and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Do you see the water bottle in the background? It's almost like the Downton Abbey picture!

    party food named after harry potter books

    We also made pretzel wands out of large pretzels, melted white chocolate and colored sprinkles. These were meant to resemble how the wands looked in the battle between Harry and Voldemort. We made cupcakes with vanilla frosting and made lightening bolts with yellow gel coloring on top. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of one!

    pretzel wands made from pretzels, white chocolate and sugar

    In the bathroom, we hung a sign above the toilet, which told how to get to the Ministry of Magic!

    this way to ministry of magic sign over toilet

    We also used red lipstick to write a message on the bathroom mirror about the Chamber of Secrets being opened. We have a small front bathroom, and I couldn't get a good picture. Let me tell you that this was not easy to erase!

    We made this photo prop and my daughter took pictures of her friends as they held up the signs.

    diy wanted azkaban photo prop

    There isn't room for all of the pictures here, but I wish there was! To mimic the dining hall, we placed two tables together, lengthwise, to make one large table. We covered this with black plastic tablecloths and used cheap Dollar Store silver trays to hold plates of food. 

    The kids had a blast, and they were so surprized by the all of the different decorations. We also drew owl faces on some white balloons and let them float around the house. But, you can see that there are so many fun things you can do with this type of party. And, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get the effects you want!

    Have you ever had a Harry Potter party? I would love to hear about your ideas!

    Thanks for visiting -- have a great day! 

    Team Frames at PinkWhen

    Hi Friends!

    I'm sharing another craft over at PinkWhen today, and I'm soooo excited about this one! Why? Because it's almost time for college football, and if you love football as much as I do,  I have an easy way for you to show off your team spirit. 

    ASU maroon and gold frame

    I'm a huge Sun Devil fan, so this chalkboard frame is for me, but I made another one for Jennifer's favorite team. You'll have to go check out her blog and see what her frame looks like and get the details on how to make your own!

    I have another fun post coming up later, so I hope you'll visit me again real soon!

    Have an awesome day!

    Dee :)

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Fun with Chalkboard Labels

    Organizing with Chalkboard Labels

    Hey There!

    I'm on a total chalkboard kick lately, and I'm especially loving chalkboard labels. These are so cute, and as a person who is not naturally prone to being organized, these things make organizing fun! After I made the little lunchbox note jar for the kids' lunchtime notes, I decided have more fun with chalkboard labels.

     glass containers with sugar and candy made from old jars and chalkboard labels

    I found these adorable chalkboard art labels at the craft store, and a little voice spoke to me. Actually, it was my daughter, but she loved them too, and I just had to buy them. Don't you just love the little hearts and scrolls?

    chalkboard labels with chalkboard art

    I think I told you before that I hoard jars, so believe me, I already had all the jars that I needed. I even had some labels, but like I said, these were just too cute to pass up! I wanted to make a couple of treat jars to hold after-school treats for the kids. I thought this would help give them an incentive for completing homework and chores before dinner.

    I took a jar from my stash and spray painted the lid with aqua spray paint, just to give it a pop of color. Then, all I had to do was add a chalkboard label, label the jar and add the treats. Voila -- tres chic, n'est-ce pas?

    upcycled glass jar of skittles candy with spray painted lid and chalkboard label

    I used another jar to hold some Tootsie Pops, but since these are so large and won't scatter everywhere, I didn't bother to add a lid. How's that for easy upcycling?!

    upcycled glass jar with tootsie pops and chalkboard label

    Last, but not least, I added a label to my sugar dispenser. I suppose it's meant to be a container for pancake syrup, but this is what I use to hold the sugar for my coffee. The kids wouldn't stop playing with the sugar when it was in a sugar bowl, so this syrup jar is a great alternative!

    syrup dispenser used to hold sugar with chalkboard label le sucre

    I think writing the word in French makes the otherwise plain dispenser look more fashionable, don't you think? And, people can tell right away what's in the jar. Unless, they don't speak French!

    three glass containers with chalkboard labels and candy

    This was a super easy and very thrifty update. The labels cost under two dollars, and I had a coupon. So, you don't have to spend money on new jars when you can upcycle some old jars with chalkboard labels. And, it's easy to update the labels whenever you change the contents of the jars.

    Thanks for stopping by to see this little thrifty update of mine. Have a wonderful day!

    Dee :)

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    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Rain in the Desert

    Hi There!

    We had a big monsoon storm in the Arizona desert yesterday, which was a nice break from the summer heat. I know in many places, getting rain isn't big news, but here, when it rains, it usually pours -- cats, dogs, elephants, wooly mammoths -- you get the idea! Every once in a while, the rain leads to flooding, and several parts of the Valley were affected. We were lucky we didn't have any major damage. 

    Last night, we sat on the patio and enjoyed the cool evening, which is a rarity for August! It was still raining, but the setting sun was trying to break through the dark clouds.

    arizona monsoon clouds and sun shining

    Remember the sunny sunflower I showed you last week? This is how it looked last night. 

    drooping sunflower after the arizona rain and monsoon

    It's standing up again today, minus a few more petals. The  yard was flooded, but you can see that the grass is nice and green. The water level in the pool rose, but it never got past the rim.

    rain and pool water rising after arizona monsoon

    The kids love puddles, even when they're not so big. Whenever we go out after a storm, I have to keep the younger ones from stomping in the puddles. But when we're at home, they can wiggle their toes in the water without a problem!

    bare feet in the puddles after arizona monsoon

    The last time it rained, the kids found a little desert toad in the yard and named him Hopkins. My little guy was excited to have a pet toad, until he realized that Hopkins didn't plan on staying. So yesterday, he went out calling for the little toad, but Hopkins probably found another yard to explore. With the furboys in residence, who can blame him!

    We took a brief walk in the desert to see if any water remained, but it had all drained away. The ground is still wet, and signs of our second spring are starting to appear.

    wet ground and green plants in the desert after monsoon

    This brief cool spell after the monsoon has been awesome, and I can't wait to start decorating and crafting for fall. It'll get hot again, but still, I can dream, can't I?

    How's the weather in your part of town?

    Thanks for stopping by for a little slice of our life in the desert. Enjoy your day!

    Dee :)

    Sharing At:
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