Enchanted Mommy

My Fireplace Is Ready For Halloween!

Happy early Halloween!  I’m trying to keep life as on-track as possible for the girls right now.  I’m 39, yes 39, weeks pregnant today. We just had so much fun decorating the fireplace!  In case you don’t remember my fireplace before we white washed it, here is that post.  You might notice that we added a little molding around the old thin mantle (thank you, dad).

halloween-new-wreath-2

Read More

Not-So-Healthy Kids Snacks

As any mother can tell you, the only thing harder than trying to eat healthy is trying to get your kid to eat healthy. Just try giving your kid a side of broccoli for dinner: It doesn’t matter how much cheese you smother it in, odds are it will still end up going to the dog. Going through this cycle night after night can be discouraging. Luckily for you, many companies are developing tasty, healthy alternatives for food, with the promise that these items are chock full of vitamins and nutrients to help child development. Unfortunately for you, many of these so-called “healthy alternatives” are not as good for your kid as they might appear to be.

Using data from FoodFacts.com, we examined three foods that many consider “healthy alternatives” for kids, and we debunked some of the health claims behind them.

 

 

1)   Annie’s Homegrown Fruit Snacks 

annies “It says organic, so it has to be healthy.” Right? Wrong. These organic fruit snacks are widely considered healthy because they contain 0 grams of fat (any kind), sodium, and cholesterol. On top of that, they are chocked full of so much Vitamin C, they provide 340% of the recommended daily value. However, these statistics don’t tell the whole story. For starters, these 3 oz. bags of fruit snacks contain 250 calories each, a frighteningly high amount for a tiny bag of gummies. Additionally, each bag is full of 33g of sugar, more than enough to give your kids cavities and send them bouncing off the walls.

FoodFacts Grade: C-

Read More

Yummy Brownie S’mores Tifle

I love trifle!  It is elegant to look at, delicious to eat, and EASY to throw together.  It is often my go to dessert when I have company for dinner.  There are so many different varieties!  Some of my favorites are the Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle, Banana pudding trifle, and strawberry shortcake trifle.

I have a new favorite now!  Brownie S’mores Trifle!  I found this recipe on momendeavers.com.  It was AWESOME!  It really looked fabulous and fancy as well!  It looked like I made this really complicated delicious dessert for some friends who came for dinner, when really it whipped together so fast!

It has a crunchy graham cracker brownie crust and toasted marshmallow and chocolate top!  So so so good!

IMG_6624-1

IMG_6633-1

IMG_6631-1

This is such a yummy trifle.  I can’t wait to have it again!  Give it a try!

Yummy Brownie S'mores Trifle
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1 large box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 1 tub whipped topping
  • 1 small jar Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 Hershey's Chocolate Bar
Instructions
  1. Bake your brownies as directed. Make you instant chocolate pudding as directed. Once the brownies are cooled, cut them into small chunks.
  2. Next, the whipped topping from the tub and mix it in a separate medium bowl with all of the marshmallow cream.
  3. In a trifle dish or large bowl add about half the brownies. Then top the brownies with about half of the chocolate pudding.
  4. Crumble about half of the graham crackers (or break into small pieces) on top of the pudding, covering it completely.
  5. Now add half of the whipped topping/marshmallow cream mixture to the top of the graham crackers.
  6. Repeat all three layers again (brownie, pudding, graham crackers, whipped topping mixture).
  7. Now for the best part! Spread you mini marshmallows out on a cookie sheet (do not put tin foil down first). Broil them in the oven until they are nice and toasted brown. About 10-15 seconds. Do not even close the oven door completely or take your eyes off them for a second or they will burn, and quickly!
  8. Let them cook and then sprinkle them on the top of the trifle. Break the Hershey's bar into squares and spread over the top of the trifle.

Realistic DIY Kid Valentine’s

I try to be creative with my kids’ Valentine cards, but in all honesty, I’m not that creative.  I like to think I am, so I go on Pinterest and look for Valentine’s that I could see myself doing with a 3 and 5 year old.  My 3 year old has 15 in her class and my 5 year old has 23.  Eek!  In this case, patience is a virtue.  So, I’ve searched and found what I think is the 5 easiest Valentine’s for kids.

1.  I’m glad we’re in the same school.  This one is cute and can easily be written!  I found this one here. valentinefish

2.  You are Beary Special.  I actually did this one with Ella last year, so it can be done.  Check this one out here.
valentine4

3.  I mean this one might take a while, but it looks cool and doable.  Who doesn’t love twinkies anyway?!  Found here.

valentinecraft2

4.  This one is a cute pencil Valentine.
pencil

5.  This lolly pop Valentine idea seems cool.  My kids’ wouldn’t be near this perfect, but I like the concept!
lollypopvalentine

I think these are my top 5 because they are cute and simple.  Happy Valentine’s Day and Superbowl Sunday.  Katy Perry = awesome!

 

 

 

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles!

It’s true… I did not survive the holidays well.  I threw in the towel and just let myself enjoy every minute of it.  This means that I gained 10 lbs from all the delicious food!

I am trying to regret it, but I really did enjoy myself!  First there were the peanut butter balls, then various types of cookies and trifles, and of course the filet mignon!

One of my favorite cookies I tried this holiday were these Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles from twopeasandtheirpod.com.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the sweet and salty combination thing they have going on!  So good!  My kids loved them too and are now always asking me to make those “one yummy chewy caramel ones.”  Good stuff!

Chewy and yummy with melted caramel in the middle!

Chewy and yummy with melted caramel in the middle!

Oh man… they are making me drool just looking at them.  Dang after Christmas diet!  Ha!  If it weren’t for that I would be making them all over again!

IMG_0760

 

IMG_0756

 

Look at that sea salt sprinkled on top!  Yum!

Look at that sea salt sprinkled on top! Yum!

IMG_0776

Okay, enough already.  Here is the fabulous recipe!  Let me know how they turn out!

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: cookies
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  • 1 Tb plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup caramel squares cut into ¼'s
  • For Rolling Cookies:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on top of cookies
Instructions
  1. Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into slices and brown it by heating it slowly on low heat in a skillet pan. Whisk frequently until the butter foams and brown specks start to from on the bottom of the pan. Remove the butter from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine brown butter and sugars in a mix until smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Then slowly add in your dry ingredients.
  4. Chill dough for at least 30 min in refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 and roll 2 Tb of dough into balls. Place a piece or two of caramel in the center of the ball and wrap the dough around it.
  6. Roll the balls into the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place on prepared cookie sheet on parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  7. Bake 8 - 10 minutes and cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes until cooking is set.

 

Going With Joybird Furniture

I’ll be honest. I’ve been in the need of a new couch for a long time and I think I’ve finally found the one that’s perfect for me. I’ve spent a lot of time in actual retail locations from major furniture brands and different department stores but hadn’t found anything that was perfect for me. That was until I discovered the website joybird.com. They have modern furniture designs that allow for a lot of customization. Pick your color, fabric, and style and they’ll build the furniture and ship it to your home.

I’ve spent a bit too much time on their site looking through the combinations I could come up with. Did I want to go with a sky blue or a deep green. What would look best with the yellow paint I’ve been considering? What style of couch would hold up with my taller and heavier family members? But I think I have it picked. A light blue couch that looks sturdy.

I have researched joybird up and down and really like what I’ve seen on review sites. For example, the following review on Yelp:

Read Kendall M.'s review of Joybird Furniture on Yelp

People love Joybird furniture so much that they regularly post their photos on yelp to go along with there review. Yes, there are a few people that had some issue but the number of updated reviews that include comments on how Joybird fixed any problem a customer had was well beyond anything that comes from the other furniture websites I have been looking at.

I made the plunge and clicked the “buy” button a bit earlier tonight. I’ll be sure to share a post with my new furniture once it arrives and after I get to actually painting the room. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind and not use yellow. Time will tell.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween (a day late)!  I love going with themes for my kids for Halloween.  Last year, it wasn’t happening with my two year old.  I was ecstatic when they all agreed to be a blind mouse.  Here they are!

3blindmice

I just love Halloween!

In case you’re wondering where I got their costumes, their leotards are from leotard boutique dot come, sunglasses are from Children’s Place, I bought rods at A.C. Moore and spray painted them gray, mouse ears, tail and tights are from Target.

Decorating 101: How to Decorate a Room

Unfortunately, there is no cheat sheet for decorating a room. However, there are a couple steps that you can take to circumvent the process. Above all else, remember that decorating a room is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Updating is important, as trends usually shift every three to four years. A couple fresh coats of paint and a few new room decorations can refresh and revitalize any room.

Before you start trying to tackle everything at once, make a list. You don’t have to change everything in your room at once. By making a list, you can visualize all of the little things that you are trying to accomplish and then plan accordingly. What exactly is it that you don’t like in your current decor? Can you salvage any of your old furniture or decorations? Online shopping is going to be your best asset, not necessarily to buy your items, but to plan. Make a wish list of all the items you are looking to put in your new room and set a budget for yourself. By planning out your ultimate dream room in advance, you can save accordingly and scour for similar items with cheaper prices. You should also pay attention to any seasonal deals or offers that you can find.

Some of the best websites to find the highest quality products for the cheapest prices are Etsy, JoyBird, Pinterest, Urban Outfitters, Williams-Sonoma, Target, Crate and Barrel and West Elm. The best advice for decorating your new room is to invest in timeless pieces that you love, and then mix and match from there. You will ultimately end up saving in the long run. Think about the needs, not the wants!

One thing I really enjoy about sites like Joybird is that they let you custom design your furniture.  Love a particular couch and need it in a unique color.  Joybird is the best solution.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Cake

I always try making my kids some kind of cake. I usually google some things and they pick it out.  Sometimes I steer them into “something that looks cooler and maybe a lot easier” type cake.  My daughter picked this out and surprisingly it was SOOOOOOO easy and so adorable!

ellacake4

I found the image through Pinterest, but it wasn’t linked to anything, therefore I am not able to give credit for this cute cake idea.

What ya need is:
Cake box of your choice and ingredients listed.
Muffin pans.
Cupcake liners.
30ish jelly bellys.
One container chocolate icing.
One container pink icing (or white icing dyed pink)
Stem (green candy)
Tiny bit of icing dyed red

Here are my step by steps:

1. Bake your cupcakes according to package and arrange 20 of them like this:

ellacake

2. I started icing with just regular old chocolate icing.  I did use a circular tip just because I wanted the outside of the cupcake to be even with icing.  Some people may be good enough to do it with a knife.  Then, I just used a butter knife to smooth it out.

ellacake1

3.  Using the same circular tip, do the lines on the bottom of the cone!

4.  Then you icing the pink the same way and put some jelly belly’s on it!

ellacake3

5.  Lastly, you do the top (the cherry) red.  And bam, you’re done.

ellacake4

I think this cake cost about $6 to make!  I think it is so adorable!

Oh yeah, the ice cream theme is awesome too.  Amazon has two cute things that you can use as favors!  They have ice cream dishes and the fun cone popper thingy!  Happy Party Planning!

How to Paint and Antique your Kitchen Cabinets

My parents had an accidental house fire recently sparked from their fire place that spread through their living room last fall.  Although the fire damage was minimal, the smoke damage was terrible.  They had to get their entire house scrubbed from top to bottom and repainted.

During this cleaning process their kitchen cabinets were damaged.  The wood finish was stripped in several places.

I decided to be brave and offer to repaint them… I couldn’t make them any worse after all! Ha.  After a lot of research I finally got around to the task a few weeks ago.  They turned out GREAT!  They look brand new and way better than they looked even before the fire.

I regret that I forgot to take a picture before the cabinet doors were removed, but here is the before pic with the doors already off.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

And now for a few of the After pics….

IMG_0226

 

IMG_0220

IMG_0216

Awesome right!  It changes the entire look of the kitchen!  Did I mention that the entire project cost less than $300.  That included all the paint/primer, glaze, supplies, and hardware.

So here are the basics of what I did:

1.  Remove all the cabinet doors and hardware.  I numbered all the doors using post it notes first.  I put one post it note on the back of the cabinet and one with a matching number where the cabinet door was removed.  This saved me from having to puzzle through figuring out where each door went when I was finished.

2.  The hardware was spray painted with a metallic spray paint after we soaked them in vinegar and water to clean them.   It took three coats of spray paint.

3.  I sanded down any visible blemishes and wiped everything clean.  Part of the island and even some of the long sides of the cabinets is not real wood and more like thin particle board.  I sanded this down as well as possible to really get it scuffed up a bit so that the primer would stick better (actually, I delegated this part to my Dad since I hate sanding!).

4.  Priming time!  I started with priming the inside of the cabinet doors so that I would be doing the outside part that everyone will see last.  I figured that I would rather have the back scraped from being turned over than the front.  I didn’t work on the front of the cabinets until 24hrs after the back was completely done (primed and painted).  I only did one coat of primer.  I recommend Zinsser Oil based primer with stain blocker.  Just a warning… it is strong smelling!

IMG_6825 (1)-1

 

One coat of primer applied

One coat of primer applied

5.  I then did two coats of paint.  I used an off white color and got the Benjamin Moore Active paint in the satin finish.  Satin so it is easy to clean food and spills and the the Benjamin Moore Active brand because my research showed me that this paint hold ups really well on cabinets and has a really nice finish to it making a poly coat unnecessary.  I was wary of doing a poly coat on white cabinets as it often yellows over time.  After waiting 24hrs from the last paint coat on the back of the cabinet doors I turned them over primed and then painted two coats.  Oh, I almost forgot… I added Floetrol to my paint each time I put pain in the roller pan.  This slows down your drying time which will decrease any brush or roller marks on your cabinets.

6.  After waiting another 24hrs, I used Valsar antiquing glaze to antique the drawers, cabinet doors, and trim.  I use the Valspar gel because it is already mixed and ready; no need to add a thing to it.  This is really the fun part.  Use a foam brush and paint a thin coat over the desired area (I really only focused on the crevices as I wanted it to be a very light antique look), then using a lint free rag, wipe it all off.  Some of the glaze will remain giving it an antique look.  You really can’t screw this one up since you just keep wiping it off if you want less and repeat it if you want it more heavy.  I keep a wet rag nearby also so that I can wipe parts even cleaner if they look smudged.

IMG_6851

 

IMG_6850

7.  I waited another 24hrs before putting the cabinet doors back on and installing the knobs and handles.  The easiest way to install the knobs and handles is to make a template of the corner of the cabinet door and of the shape of your drawers.  Then measure exactly where you want your knobs to go on the template and mark them.  Use this template on each drawer and door so that the knobs and handles are all in the same spot.  I know they sell these templates at home depot, but it was simple enough to make my own out of construction paper.  You will need a power drill and an electric screw driver for this step.

The island without handles/knobs

The island without handles/knobs

 

The island with handles and knobs

The island with handles and knobs

All done!  This was a very tedious task and cannot be rushed.  If you decide to do this, make sure that you have enough time to give to the task.  I recommend at least a full week.  The more you have to rush each step, the sloppier your work will be.

IMG_0216

IMG_0214