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Thanksgiving cards

This time of year is getting busier, but it’s not as hectic as December.  For the past two years, I have sent out Thanksgiving cards.  They are two-sided.  One with a picture of the boys {or family} on our yearly family vacation and the other side with either another fun family photo {or a picture with Santa.}  This year, our Santa popped up at the mall on November 1.  I had a free afternoon with the kiddos and got a crazy one of the two of them.  They claim to be too old to take photos with  Santa, so I let them have a little fun with their posing.   Check out the results below.

Getting this holiday chore done earlier is great for me.  One less thing to stress about while preparing for the onslaught of Christmas to-do’s.  I even bought the stamps online at the USPS online site.  Check out their great holiday store here.  {I didn’t have to wait in line; who has time to go to the post office.  I work all day and can never seem to get there before it closes.}  The minimal shipping cost was worth the freedom from the hassle of standing in line while telling my kids not touch anything or anyone.

chef stamps

These are the celebrity chefs stamps that I chose for my Thanksgiving cards.

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Here is the Thanksgiving side of my card.

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Here is the Christmas side of my card.  Don’t worry, my younger son is only “smoking” a candy cane.  It’s likeness to anything else was unintentional.

I get them printed at a photo lab that ships overnight.  You have to have a photography business to use that one, but tinyprints.com {which is currently offer 30% off holiday orders} and moo.com {which is offering free shipping for a purchase of $40} have some really nice designs.

tinyprints

for TINY PRINTS click here

moo

for MOOclick here

 

Happy start to the holiday season.

SPL

 

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New no-bake Nutella cheesecake

I saw a recipe on Pinterest the other day for this no-bake Nutella cheesecake.  It sounded like a great pairing.  But, I can’t stand cool-whip.  It tastes like raw chemicals to me.   Yes, I’ve used the stuff before, but I’m trying to cut a lot of junk out of my life.  Obviously, that doesn’t mean cutting the junkfood out of my life; I’m making a Nutella cheesecake for goodness sakes  That’s not an essential, nutrition-packed recipe, now is it?

Anyway, I have amended the original recipe as follows and it is devine.  My kids loved it too.

no bake nutella cheesecake
no bake nutella cheesecake

 No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake with Oreo crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 12 oreo {or oreo-like} cookies
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp crème fraîche {optional}
  • 4 Tbsp sugar

Garnish: {optiontal}

  • 1 Chocolate bar {I love the intense flavor of a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, but you can use whatever is your favorite.}
  1. In a food processor, blend the oreos until they turn to a fine powder.   In a bowl, combine the oreos and the melted butter until they clump together.  Spread the mixture on the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ pie pan.  Make sure that you have a thin layer all the way around.  {My crust was thin and did not go up the sides of the pan.}  Set aside.
  2. In the same bowl as you made the crust, add the softened cream cheese and Nutella.  Mix with a hand mixer until well blended.  Add the vanilla and mix again.  Set aside.
  3. {You do not have to clean the beaters from the Nutella mixture.} In another bowl, whip the whipping cream, crème fraîche and the sugar to fairly stiff peaks.  Be careful not to make butter though.
  4. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream mixture into the Nutella mixture until there are no more white streaks.  It makes a lovely mocha-colored mixture.
  5. Add the Nutella cream mixture to the oreo crust.  Even out the top and chill about two hours before serving.
  6. If you’d like to make it fancy, grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle it on top.

 

New no-bake Nutella cheesecake

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chocolate
Author: Ginger Hansen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Scrumptious No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake with Oreo Crust
Ingredients
  • 12 oreo {or oreo-like} cookies
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp crème fraîche {optional}
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Chocolate bar {I love the intense flavor of a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, but you can use whatever is your favorite.}
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the oreos until they turn to a fine powder. In a bowl, combine the oreos and the melted butter until they clump together. Spread the mixture on the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ pie pan. Make sure that you have a thin layer all the way around. {My crust was thin and did not go up the sides of the pan.} Set aside.
  2. In the same bowl as you made the crust, add the softened cream cheese and Nutella. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended. Add the vanilla and mix again. Set aside.
  3. {You do not have to clean the beaters from the Nutella mixture.} In another bowl, whip the whipping cream, crème fraîche and the sugar to fairly stiff peaks. Be careful not to make butter though.
  4. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream mixture into the Nutella mixture until there are no more white streaks. It makes a lovely mocha-colored mixture.
  5. Add the Nutella cream mixture to the oreo crust. Even out the top and chill about two hours before serving.
  6. If you’d like to make it fancy, grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle it on top.
no bake nutella cheesecake 2web
It’s worth making this mess

 

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mud-luscious & puddle-wonderful.

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  e.e. cummings

My two little guys are wonderful.  They love getting dirty and refuse to take baths and showers.  They are full of energy and the more you push them on the more energy they seem to have.  But they didn’t start out that way.

They started as squeezy little bundles of fat, sleep and poop.  {So the dirt is an improvement in some respects.}  I loved what they were and adore what they are becoming.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Boys are special.  {And that’s not to say that girls aren’t special, I just don’t have any for comparison.}

Check out this little cute bundle of fat, sleep and poop.  I am looking forward to capturing him as a ball of energy as well.

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Gotta love the baby feet. I have a thing for feet; it’s weird, I know.


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Returning the super squishy drooliness

My husband and I have decided that two boys are all the kids we need.  We love them mightily and are desperately trying to cherish as many moments as we can with them until they start to like girls, grow facial hair and only need us for the car.  We get glimpses of these older-kid moments now when they whine and roll their eyes.  However, I can still put my eight-year-old in time out.  {I haven’t figured out what I’ll do with a 14-year-old.}  Alas, I have a few more years to cross that bridge.

This digression is leading somewhere… it’s to other people’s babies.  I love babies, but I don’t want to house, diaper, feed, discipline and send to college any more than the two I have.  So, I love taking the opportunity to snap some photos of other people’s kids; I can appreciate the darling, super squishy drooliness and then return them and the tuition payments to their parents.

Here is a particularly squishy, university-bound boy that I had the opportunity to love and then return.

Enjoy my tuition-free snaps.

SPL
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The enclosure card {updated}

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I heart enclosure cards.  They are great to grab and go on the way out the door to the birthday party.  I have my kids write a small sentiment on the back and voilà; you have a cute personalized card for any occasion.  And, if you know me, you know that we are often running out the door to one birthday party or the other.  We had two this weekend.  These enclosures came in handy for both events.  –And you know what events these kids birthday parties are turning into.–

The enclosure card is a not-so-distant cousin the the carte-de-visite or calling cards of yesteryear.  And, I love yesteryear…  Not that I want to go back in time, but I appreciate things that are classic or timeless.  I want to savor some of these time-honored/tested/worn traditions.  {And that doesn’t mean that everything that is old should be saved either… you can probably think of dozen of ridiculous traditions that we should do away with, but you can ponder that later.}

In our age of smartphones and speed-dialing, I forget my friends’ and family’s phone numbers or even how to spell their name.  It seems like my smartphone is making me less smart {or at least less attentive to others’ personal details.}

So, in lieu of spending hours pondering a card at the store, print and enjoy this freebie.  {Each card measures 3.5″x2″  • the same as a business card.}  In Acrobat Reader, you can personalize them and then print as many as you’d like.  But first, you need the font.  I printed mine on watercolor paper, but they would work just as well on standard cardstock.   They are available in two fairly unisex colors.   Click on the image below to download.  If you print it, please leave a comment below.  I always love to hear how someone is using my designs.

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Enjoy.

SPL

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free printable luggage tags

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Are you packing your bags to go somewhere this summer?  Is your luggage the same black rolling bag that everyone has?

Yes or no, make your stuff stand out with these new printable luggage tags.  This printable is FREE.

They fit nicely in the standard luggage tag laminating pouch.  I have created six colorful and whimsical designs for you.

Click on either image to go to the download.

Enjoy.
SPL
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senior-ita!

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Well this senior-ita is not Spanish or even a Spanish speaker, but she does like Latin.  (Canis in via sedet.  Coquus in culina coquit.  My Latin teacher would be so proud to know that I know where the dog is sitting and the cook is cooking.  She did write our book.)
I had the opportunity to take this Latin-lover’s* senior photos on a beastly hot day this summer.  We held up well with lots of water, paper towels for blotting and a trip to our local coffeehouse, Fair Grounds, for some AC and iced lattes.
* Yes, I do think I’m “punny.”

PhotobucketOn a side note… It’s my birthday today and I really don’t feel my age, however; my senior year seems decades ago.  Well, I have to say to myself, “Sarah, it was decades ago.”   However, I wouldn’t go back for anything.  Each year seems to get better than the last, even though it seems like the years keep speeding up.Photobucket
Do you like the vintage photo look?  Go to Willette Designs for the free download.

Enjoy the AC this summer and your years before they’re gone.  E pluribus unum, y’all.

SPL

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Photobucket This is a free frame from The Coffeshop Blog.  Check out all her great freebies. Photobucket

 

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Party hat template

I am coming out the the crafty closet. Yes, I’m crafty. You got a problem with that?

So,  it’s end-of-the- school-year party time and I got my craft on with some party hats for my son’s class.
I have included the template and directions below.

The hats were a great success, but I could kick myself for not getting a class picture with them on. Too bad.
Enjoy what I do have.

Click the image below to go to the download site.

Party hat template