December 29, 2014

Elf On The Shelf, 25 days

Our mischievous Christopher Elf was here for 25 days! I have started this little tradition 3 years ago, but we don't follow all the "rules" intended to get children on their best behaviors for 3 weeks....because I believe Boo should try to be "good" all year long, and not just for Christmas. 

It is a fun thing for us me to do, and Boo to experience.  The Husband is starting to enjoy this too, as he would sometimes ask me what Christopher would tonight, and makes sure Christopher doesn't forget to make the reindeer food on Christmas Eve. I am surprised at how much Boo loves Christopher. She also remembers a lot of the mischievous things he did from previous years. I know which are her favorites, but I.. Christopher tries to not repeat the same thing twice. I didn't go all out and crazy this year...but maybe next time! This is a quick compilation of what our Elf did this year. Something for us to look back at one day. =)

Boo drew a picture of them: 

This is where Christopher rests:

Day 1: He brought our Advent Calendar to help with the countdown. A big thanks to my friend who helped me make this last year. We love it:

Day 2: Christopher TP'ed the stairs

Day 3: Christopher wanted a new outfit. All wrapped up.

Day 4: Caught in the web! (Clearly I did not do a good job, because Boo said "Oh look, Christopher is pretending to be Santa and Spider-Man is like a reindeer pulling him.") I tried, haha.

Day 5: Elf Shoefie!

Day 6: Christopher had a late night tea party with the princesses.

Day 7: Christopher was not impressed with the Christmas decor in the house, so he took it upon himself to wrap picture frames. I like it!

Day 8: Christopher went skiing.

Day 9: Christopher wrote a little note on the mirror...glad he found a ladder.

Day 10: Christopher thought Boo would love these arts & crafts stuff. He's right!

Day 11: Christopher Angry Birds

Day 12: Christopher made a kissing booth! Would you want an Elf kiss or a chocolate kiss? Untitled

Day 13: Do you want to build a snowman...?? Christopher knew he had to incorporate Frozen into his shenanigans!

Day 14: Yo Ho, let's go! Christopher and Hook join the crew on the Christmas train.

Day 15: Christopher and Angel hanging out at the top of the Christmas tree with a new ornament for Boo.

Day 16: Christopher bandit! Piggy bank is worried. (Cue in Mission Impossible music)

Day 17: Christopher attempts tightrope walking. (It is one of Boo's favorite games on the Wii Monkey Ball game, and she always wins.)

Day 18: Namaste! Boo does yoga during PE at school, so Christopher thought he should try it out too.
Day 19: Christopher left a note...he wants to play hide and seek.

Day 20: Christopher made some coloring pages of himself and Boo! He was busy on my computer and phone last night.

Day 21: Christopher shows Boo where the North Pole is.

Day 22: Christopher celebrates the start of Christmas break with a cookie decorating kit.

Day 23: Christopher made himself at home in a cozy igloo along with some snow.

Day 24: Boo watched the movie Elf for the first time last night. So Christopher had a great idea to make everyone Elf Spaghetti for breakfast! So thoughtful, yum...
Night 24: Christopher came early tonight to give Boo her new Christmas pajamas, reindeer food, and a reminder to leave cookies & milk out for Santa!

Day 25: Christopher stuffed her stocking and Santa came!

December 04, 2014

Lotus Seed Sweet Potato Soup

This is a Chinese sweet soup. It's like a dessert, and it's super easy to make in a crockpot!


 1 large sweet potato (not yam) - peeled and chopped
1 carrot - peeled and chopped
Rock sugar
Apricot seeds - rinsed
Lotus seeds - rinsed

I put it all in a crock pot, threw a handful of the apricot seeds and the lotus seed in, along with a few rock sugar. This is one of those recipes where there are no measurements at all, and you can't go wrong:

Fill the crock pot up with boiling hot water. Set it on low for about 4 hours:

And you are done!
Enjoy and good luck.


It really doesn't get any easier than this! 
I got everything from Mother's Market and if I can make it, so can you.

Sweet potato pie:

Pumpkin pie:

These are the cans I got. It only calls for a few ingredients and there are simple directions on the back.
You pour everything into a bowl and mix with a whisk:

Then I poured it into a pie shell, threw some pecans on top, and baked for 40 minutes. 
I made one pie at a time:

Even my husband approved and he is not a big pie person. 

Good luck. =)

May 23, 2014

Teacher's Appreciation Week

Teacher's Appreciation Week was the first week of May. In addition to Boo making homemade cards for her teachers, we also planted basil plants in metal buckets and made chocolate covered strawberries.

I got two potted Basil plants from Home Depot for about $3.50 each. I knew I could separate the roots and get about 4 mini plants from each. The little metal buckets are from Target at the $1 Spot:

After we planted them, I felt that they didn't look quite finished. Something was missing but I wasn't sure of what:

Thankfully that same day, I was with a friend who mentioned she got a bag of little pebbles from Home Depot for her flower projects. Yes, I think this was exactly what I needed! This was about $4:

It made a huge difference:

Looks much more polished now, and I'm confidently in giving these as gifts:

Chocolate covered strawberries were so easy to make, believe it or not!

I got a box of strawberries from Costco. The first thing is to wash them and let them dry really good. Then I used toothpicks and stuck them from the top as pictured below. I placed them all on a cookie rack:

Then I took some milk chocolate chips, pour some in a glass bowl with a tablespoon or so of Crisco shortening. I melted it in the microwave in intervals of 10 seconds, taking the bowl out each time and giving it a stir, until completely melted. Don't over heat or it'll burn. Add a little bit of shortening if it's still clumpy. It should be a smooth consistency. Then I took a strawberry by the toothpick and dipped it into the chocolate at an angle. I dipped each maybe 2 to 3 times, and rotating the angle to make sure all sides are covered with chocolate:

I laid the dipped strawberries on wax paper for them to set:

While those are cooling down, I made some melted white chocolate with the same microwave method. I poured the melted white chocolate into a zip lock bag and closed it. I cut a tiny hole at the bottom corner of the bag and piped in a zig zag motion onto the strawberries. It would be less messy if I used a pastry piping bag to do this, but oh well. This was still good and they tasted so good!

After the chocolate harden, I put each into a cupcake wrapper:

I had these clear cupcake containers, and I decided to put the strawberries inside. It worked out great, especially for transporting them:

Good luck and have fun!