Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don't Forget...

I have loved reading about your Valentine memories!!!

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win
a set of snack bags of your choice (one sandwich bag and two snack bags).

Go  H E R E  to enter!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quickly Approaching

If you are like me, you really look forward to January.  Besides two birthdays (which I really do keep pretty low-key) January is a pretty laid back month for us.  This is always very nice after a crazy December.  We usually have a couple of weeks of total down time where nothing has started back up and then the last week or two of January things slowly pick back up.  But for those last two week I tend to stay in laid-back, slow-moving mode not realizing that things are zooming by!

And then all the sudden, BOOM!  It is February!  And I start frantically scrambling for the spring and most importantly Valentine's Day!  I do love Valentine's Day, I do wish it was a little bit further away from Christmas and Easter (the flood of candy kills me!), but I think it is a fun holiday.

I do wish I was super organized and on top of things and always prepared for every holiday and upcoming season.  But I am NOT!  Just about everything I get done is by scrambling at the last minute.

I actually did put up our Valentine's Wreath last night.
It always makes me happy!
full tutorial here

So, if you are like me, I thought I would make things a little bit easier for you...

I had the realization just the other night that February was quickly approaching and I had not thought about Valentine's gifts (especially for teachers!).

And then I realized, I have a newly stocked inventory of the cutest sandwich bagssnack bags and hair ties that are all about  L O V E !!!

The kids teachers will be getting either sandwich bags or hair ties.  That makes one part of Valentine's Day super easy!  And hopefully will give a big smile to all the recipients :)

So, go no further for your Valentine's needs!  Shop HERE.

But, even better than that...

I will make Valentine's Day even easier for two lucky readers...

I will be giving away two sets of bags of your choice (one sandwich bag and two snack bags).  

To enter, leave your favorite Valentine's memory in the comments section.
Also, leave the pattern of your choice.

Don't forget to leave your email address so I will have a way to contact you when you win.

Winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Irish Dancing

We entered into a new world this weekend.

If remember this post from early September, Ella started taking Irish Dancing.
Since September, there has been lots and lots and lots of Irish Dancing in the Lee House!
 And it was all leading up to this weekend.
 checking in for her first dance

We transitioned from just taking Irish Dancing lessons to competing in Irish Dancing.

Ella competed this weekend in her first Feis, pronounced "fesh" (Irish Dancing Competition).
 We were all so excited we could hardly wait for her first dance!
After the Opening Ceremonies
 the dancing began!
 Ella danced 3 individual dances and one dance with a partner.
We found out quickly that cameras and video cameras are not allowed, so this is it for pictures while dancing:(  I wish you could see her sweet, excited face while she was dancing!
 This is one of those days that I will remember forever.
Ella has worked so hard over the past couple of months to get ready for this day.
And then she did it!  She danced her little heart out with such grace and confidence!
Ella with her teacher, Ms. Chelsea

 We were all so proud of Ella!
 After the dancing you just have to wait and wait for the results to be posted.

Miller passed the time by trying out Ella's dance number.
 Sara Wells's sat enthralled, watching this older dancer getting her hair done.
After waiting 

and waiting

and waiting...
(really it was probably only about 30 minutes)

the results were finally posted...

A N D 

E L L A  W O N!!!
 She won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!
 We had one happy, happy little girl!
 What a fun weekend for everyone!!!

 There is no going back now,

I see many more Feis weekends in our future.

Oh, what fun we will have!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Round Again

Tomorrow and Saturday...

I was there today and there are some cute, cute clothes at great prices.

Lots of smocked girls and boys clothes.

And some great toys.

I even saw a single Bob!

Come and shop!

And don't forget, I will be selling my bags and hair ties.  
Perfect for Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


So, what makes something in the kitchen a failure???
I will be the very first to admit that everything that comes out of my kitchen is definitely not a "success," but that does not necessarily mean it is a failure.

I have mentioned before that Murray is reading The Chronicles of Narnia to the kids.  To say that the kids are loving it is an understatement!  It is the first thing they ask Murray about when he walks in the door.  "Narnia" is their favorite thing to play with each other.

With this new fascination (and our love to cook), Aunt Wellon gave Miller and Ella "The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook" for Christmas.

I am sure you can guess the very first thing they wanted to make out of it...

Turkish Delight!

The way that Edmond is so enchanted with this simple pleasure makes my mouth water every time I read the book.  Any dessert that is good enough to trade a brother and sisters for more definitely has my taste buds very curious.

The kids have been begging and begging and begging to make Turkish Delight (since Christmas Day).  Last week, with rain, rain and more rain in the forecast, AGAIN, I figured it would be as good as time as any to make the much anticipated Turkish Delight.

I lost my helpers when I had to stir constantly for thirty minutes over medium heat.  And let me tell you, this was not just casual stirring, this was thick, thick, thick, thick stirring.  After about 15 minutes I had had enough of the stirring.  The consistency looked good enough to me.
And we only had one minor injury in the process.
The big bummer is you have to let it sit over night.
After Miller got over the initial let down of not eating his Turkish Delight right away, it actually made his anticipation grow even more!

This is the point I really started to question what we were making and 
if it really would be as magnificent as C.S. Lewis makes it sound.

But we did not give up.

The next day ee rolled the filling in powdered sugar and could hardly wait to try our very own 

T U R K I S H  D E L I  G H T...

Turns out, it was not such a delight!
No one ate more than one bite :)

So does that make it a failure?

The next day, with more rain and snow in the forecast, I decided we needed another project in the kitchen that would yield better results.

So we made Caramel Popcorn! 

And, oh, it was so good!  I could not stop sneaking handfuls every time the kids left me alone in the kitchen.

I feel pretty confident in saying this is one of the kids favorite snacks that I have actually made.  
But, what do you think they will remember longer,

The first time we made caramel popcorn?

Or the time we made Turkish Delight together?

I can almost guarantee that making Turkish Delight will be something we will talk about for a long time!  While it may have been a failure to the tastebuds, it was definitely a huge success in spending time together and building memories that will last forever:)

So, thank you Aunt Wellon for our Narnia Cookbook!   Hopefully our next dish will turn out better than the first.  But if not, oh well, at least we are having fun together and bringing some of the magical world of Narnia into our home!

Now, for our delicious Caramel Popcorn Recipe...

You need:
1 bag popped popcorn
1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1.  Preheat oven to 250

2.  In a large pot, over medium-high heat, melt butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt and then bring to boil.  Use a candy thermometer and bring temperature up to 250 while constantly stirring (I had actually just bought my candy thermometer the day before to make Turkish Delight.)  It only takes about 3 or 4 minutes to get up to temperature.  

It will be a beautiful golden color.

3.  Remove from heat and add baking soda.

     The caramel will then become beautiful and creamy!

4.  Add popcorn to pot and stir, stir and stir some more until the popcorn is evenly coated.  

If you do not have a pot big enough, use a large oven safe bowl and while you are making caramel mixture put it in the oven to warm up.  If you pour the caramel into a room temperature bowl, it will instantly harden - trust me, I know first hand :)

5.  Spread the popcorn on cookie sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minute.  

Pass the time with an impromptu drum session

Or, catching snow flakes.

6.  Spread the popcorn out on wax paper or aluminum foil to cool.
Sweet Sage, what torture I put her through!

I promise you, you will love me for this one!  This popcorn is awesome!!!!!