Mar 27, 2014

Frito Taco Stack Up

One of our family go to meals is tacos. We pretty much love them. I am often trying to revamp our family favorite meal into other types of recipes.

So far we have added Taco Casserole and Taco Soup.

Now we have another taco inspired recipe for family dinner. This one is amazing and was an instant winner with the whole family!

Meet Frito Taco Stack Ups.

Well, hello there my delicious little friend. You are like a delightful fiesta on top of possibly the world's best chip ever. So, yeah I like Fritos.

Fritos are the base for this taco revamp. The taco meat mixture has a little more umph than regular taco meat. The pinto beans and corn kind of rock this dish. Adding corn to a basic taco dish really makes it yummy. Then just like a taco, you top this lovely taco stack up with shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and a splash of hot sauce.

Yeah, it is perfect.

This meal also can be portable simply by opening a lunch-sized bag of Fritos and serving all the makings in the bag and dropping in a spoon. Bam! Taco in a bag.

Anyway you make it, it is yummy and family friendly.

Frito Taco Stack Up

1 lb of hamburger
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 can Rotel
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed

Fritos, either individual bags or portions from a regular bag
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
sour cream
hot sauce

Cook hamburger and garlic in a saute pan. Drain.

Add in the tomato sauce, Rotel, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine. Turn heat to low and cover. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in the corn and beans. Stir. Allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

To assemble the taco stack up, layer a pile of Fritos on a plate. Top with about 1/4 cup amount of taco mixture. Top with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Drizzle hot sauce lightly over the top.

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Mar 26, 2014

Easy Pillow Case Superhero Cape: Thirty Handmade Days

Today I am over at Thirty Handmade Days for my monthly contributing post.

Remember the fun and easy tutorial for the Superhero Mask and Cuffs? Oh and the Superhero in 
Training T-shirt? Well this Easy Pillow Case Superhero Cape completes the whole superhero look.

Head on over to Thirty Handmade Days to get the tutorial and of course to see more insanely cute pictures of my saving-the-world-with-cuteness superhero. You could even make my day and leave a comment when you are over there!!! 

Love you guys!

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Mar 25, 2014

Refashion: Boys' Youth Shirt to Shirt for Momma

Some girls might resent having a chest equal to that of a prepubescent 14 year-old boy. Some, but not me. I actually prefer my athletic chest. Yes, that is what I call it that instead of flat-chested. It makes me feel better about the situation.

The great thing about having an "athletic chest" is that my shirt wardrobe can come from the all over the place. I have several shirts from the girls department. If the shirt is long enough and not too tween in style, then I can rock a sweet girl's XL shirt.

I had never thought of trying out little boys clothes though until a couple of weeks ago when I found a sweet crew neck sweatshirt on clearance in the boys department of Old Navy. Truth...I actually loved it and bought it for Oldest. Then I got home and for some reason hung it up in my closet. Probably because I was too lazy to walk downstairs and hang it up in his closet.

So the next day when I was trying to decide what to wear, I kept staring longingly at the sweatshirt. I decided I should probably just try it on. I mean what could it hurt, right?

I loved it. Therefore, I wore it all day long and it has never made it to Oldest's closet. It is mine now.

With that lovely crew neck sweatshirt in mind, I was more open minded when I looked in the little boys' clothing department.

That is how I found this glorious kelly green gingham gem.

Glorious right?

It was on clearance and looked big enough, so I didn't even try it on. I just bought it and triumphantly carried it home. When I got home, I decided I should try it on just to see how cute it was.

That is when I found a problem.

I may have the chest of a 14 year old boy, but alas I do not have the hips of a 14 year old boy. I have had four babies after all.

The sweatshirt had been cut wider and it was knit, so that problem never arose.

The less forgiving cotton in this button up shirt was not accommodating my  not so boyish hips.

ACK! I was so sad. I wrestled with taking it back, saving it for Oldest, or just dealing with it.

First I tried dealing with it. I wore it over a layering shirt and left the bottom button undone. I hated it.

When I was sharing my woes with a friend, she suggested I just add a panel.

Duh! I should have thought of that.

When I found this print during a recent shopping trip at JoAnn's, it sealed the deal.

This was a really easy refashion and just took under an hour.

So if you are like me, you know flat-chested, here is something you can do to expand your wardrobe options.

At each side seam, I measured up 4" from the bottom hem. I marked it with a pin. Then I cut up, just left of the double seam.

I made a triangle pattern. I added an inch in height and width to accommodate for the seams. I also cut the top tip flat. I cut two triangles from my cut print.

Pin the print fabric to the right side of the cut seam, right sides facing. Pin the triangle with about a 1/2" overlap on the top.That part will tuck under. Sew with 1/4" seam allowance. I chose to use a contrasting thread to make it pop more.

Pin the over side of the print, right sides facing with the other cut edge of the shirt. Carefully sew around the excess at the top. You still want to be able to pull it through to the back.

Press the seams. Then roll up the bottom of the triangle and press to match the hem of the original shirt.

Sew the hem in place. Then sew a line of stitches across the very top securing that excess flap to the inside of the shirt. I also did a kind of top stitch around my new panel for visual cuteness.

Easy as that!

Now I can wear this cute kelly green little boys' shirt all Spring and Summer and not worry about those womanly hips of mine. Ha!

Oh the wardrobe possibilities are endless now! Huzzah!

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Mar 24, 2014

Go Cougars Football Birthday Party

Rah! Rah! Rah! Time for a Go Cougars Birthday Party!

Our Little Bean loves football. Loves it! He is especially true blue for our BYU Cougars.

Whenever he sees The Hubs in a BYU shirt he says, "Football. Go Cougars!"

Yeah we train them up young around here.

This year I figured it would be fitting to celebrate his 2nd birthday football style.

A little Go Cougars Football Birthday Party to be exact.

I went with classic BYU colors for the color theme. Good old royal blue and white. I also added in some vibrant green to represent the football field.

 I made this Y art using flat canvases and vinyl.  Easy Peasy. I also made some classic pennant flag banners using felt.

An easy way to make a simple, cheap, but totally adorable birthday party backdrop is to print off photos of the birthday kiddo. I took these photos of Bean dressed in the birthday colors and holding a football. I printed off 4 8x10's and taped them to the wall with green washi tape. I hung them up right by the Y canvases.

He sweet face was kind of the party show stopper.

On the table I added some cute little hacky sack footballs.

I also used a similar process to the Pinata Letters I made last year to make these "grass" letters. I just cut the slits much smaller. I also made a football field table runner out of felt.

There was blue, white, and green everywhere.

I got these straws in Target's Dollar Spot. So cute right?

Mixing colors and patterns is really easy to do with napkins and plates. Love these polka dot napkins!

Speaking of polka dots...

Eek, these balloons!

To bring in another touch of football, I very simply decorated these cupcakes like a football field. I went for a minimalist look for the cupcakes.

I embellished the cupcakes with little homemade toothpick flags and pom poms.

For Bean's cupcake I added a few sparkler candles.

The little toothpick embellishments were made with the same green washi tape I taped the photos ups with. The pom poms were made with striped tissue paper. They were one of my favorite things.

We served stadium themed food. I really geeked out when I found Gatorade in the exact blue to match the party. It the little things people.

We had popcorn. There was nachos. We had hot dogs and chips. There were lots of good eats.

We had a blast. It was football madness.

He loved every minute of it. It was a fun party to throw and was worth all the work the minute I heard him excitedly repeating "football" over and over.

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Mar 21, 2014

He Turns Two Today

Our Baby turns two today.

Does that mean I have to stop calling him my baby? I hope not.

He is our baby and always will be. I am sure there will be many times he doesn't like that fact, but there will also be more times he more than benefits from it.

This Little Man of ours is delightful. He is cuteness, happiness, smartness, and squeezableness all in one pint-sized little package.

He is our only blue-eyed boy.

He is so many things and amazes us every day. We are biased we know, but we think he is awesome.

He talks so very well. He is constantly carrying on conversations with us and everyone he is around. He is so observant and learns things really quickly. He is always on the go. From the minute he wakes up (very, very early I might add) he is chatting, running, and pointing things out.

He loves all things sports. He especially loves football. We are going to have to train him to be a running back, since speed and not size is probably going to be his asset. 

He eats almost anything. He may not eat much, but he will gladly eat almost anything. He especially loves vegetables. Broccoli is his very favorite. 

He loves to climb on anything. He is super strong and has monkey-like grip with his hands. With his love of climbing comes a host of battle wounds. Hence the both the scare and bruise in this picture. I am sure this is just the first for our rough and tumble on the move little man.

I can't get over this boy of ours. He lights up every single day. "The Brothers" as he likes to call them, love and adore him. I am in awe of how they cater to and care about him. They are patient and loving and he loves and trusts them because of it.

This Little Man that was a surprised addition to our family has brought so much joy and completeness to us. He is truly a blessing.

Today he turns two. TWO! Time goes by too quickly. Today I will try to freeze time and enjoy this toddler of ours. We will party football style of course.

There will be cake.
There will be presents.
There will be laughing.
There will be squeezing.

There will be loving on you Little Mister Bean.

Happy Birthday, we love you!

Mar 20, 2014

Avocado Brownies

Yes, you read that right. That delightful photo of some pretty yummy looking brownies does say AVOCADO Brownies. That definitely means that there is avocado in those there brownies.

Now, don't "p'shaw" me just yet. Let me tell you how fabulous these brownies are before you question my sanity of actually baking brownies with avocado in them.

These brownies are fabulous. They are dense. They are rich. They taste nothing like avocados.

No don't get me wrong, I like avocados. Actually I like them a whole bunch. I however, do not want my brownies to really taste like an avocado.

However, that wonderful denseness and richness I mentioned earlier is due in large part to those sneaky avocados.

I understand that you might be skeptical. I was a little too. Just a little. However, there was one in our house that was really skeptical. In fact he was so skeptical that I had to force him to try some. I had to force my kid to eat a brownie.

Wow. I never thought that would happen.

He took one bite. He chewed that one bite slowly with a lot of trepidation. Then he finally smiled at me and said,

"Mom! I can't taste the avocado! I think they are magic!"

Why yes, yes Little Mister they are magical and they made these brownies to die for.

The other great thing about baking your brownies with some avocado is that you can convince yourself they are healthy because you know, you cooked them with vegetables.

I will speak the truth and then not again.

These brownies are just as delightfully indulgent as regular brownies and are not really any healthier for you. Like maybe a smidge and that is all.

Now with that being said, you can promptly ignore that truth and go back to the whole these brownies are healthy way of thinking and without guilt help yourself to two.

That is what I would do.

Avocado Brownies
adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1 cup extra dark chocolate chips
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 avocado, mashed
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

Add the 1 cup extra dark chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate, and the butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at 50%. Stir. Then microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until the chocolate is smooth. Add in the mashed avocado and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In a another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs until slightly frothy. Then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine. Stir in the flour with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the 8x8 pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of extra dark chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Bake the brownies for 35 minutes, or until the a toothpick test comes out almost clean. They are better slightly underdone then too done.

Allow the pan of brownies to cook on a wire rack. Pull out the brownies by the parchment paper. Cut up into squares.

Happy Recipe Thursday and happy eating!

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Mar 19, 2014

Superhero Mask and Cuffs DIY

Do you already feel the world is a safer place just by looking at this photo? I sure do.

Yup. The safety of the world is in good hands. The good hands of the cutest Superhero in existence.

I have previously shared this ridiculously mean...manly Superhero in Training T-shirt.

Today I want to add a couple of necessary accessories for the superhero ensemble...yes I realize a real superhero probably wouldn't  say ensemble. They would probably say crime fighting gear, or something like that.

Anyway you say is a little DIY on how to make a few pretty awesome crime-fighting-approved accessories.

First, we have a set of Superhero Crime Fighting Cuffs.

You need felt and velcro. Cut two rectangles measuring 4" by the circumference of your child's wrist plus 2" from one color. Also cut two rectangles measuring the determined width by 1".  Cut a piece of velcro measuring 2 1/2".

Sew the skinnier strip onto the center of two of the larger rectangle.

Sew the velcro on one of the striped rectangles and one of the plain ones. Sew on opposite ends. Repeat with the other set.

Sew the striped rectangle to the plain one. The velcro facing out on each side.

Cuffs are done and ready to be worn.

All we need now to finish off the fighting a Superhero Identity Hiding Mask.

To make the mask you just need the Superhero Mask Template some felt and some elastic.

Cut out two pieces of felt in the shape of the face mask.

 To sew the eye holes, I keep the template pinned to the two pieces of felt. Then I sew on the inside of each eye hole in the template.

Once the eye holes are sewn in, you can remove the template.

Measure a piece of elastic that will allow the mask to snugly fit your supers head and add an inch.

Pin one edge of the elastic between the layers of the mask on one side. Then pin the other end on the other side.

Sew around the outside edges of the mask, securing the two layers together and securing the elastic in place.

The last thing that needs to be done is to cut out the eye holes.

With mask and cuffs in place, our Superhero is ready to save the world.

Or at leas the front porch.

Superhero crime fighting gear that any Super would be proud to wear.

I hope your Supers enjoy them as much as my Supers do.

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