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Snowman Oreo Pops – Failure Can Be Fun

As I’ve said before, I have certain unhealthy foods that can really make me lose my self-control. One of those is Oreos. I think they must have cocaine in them.

My daughter and I wanted a fun and easy winter treat. This pin seemed to fit the bill, and incorporated my addiction. What could be better?!

snoworeopoppin

It’s from the Idea Room.

The recipe only calls for a few ingredients:Double-Stuff Oreos (yum!), white chocolate candy melt, mini-chocolate chips and candy corn.

oreosnowpopingre

The first thing you do sounds deceiving simple. You insert the Popsicle sticks into the Oreos.

Sounds easy, right? But when we tried it, the outer cookies popped apart almost every time. No matter what my daughter and I tried, how we held the Oreo – gently, firmly, from one side or the other, it popped apart or one side of the cookie cracked at least a little.

We finally did get a number of them in but, barely, and boy, it wasn’t easy!)

Next, you melt the candy melts and dip the Oreos in the melted candy. Sounds easy, too, right? Wrong!

When I dipped the Oreos in the candy, the sides of the cookie came apart and fell off the Popsicle sticks or broke into pieces. It just got worse with each dip.

Survey the devastation:

oreosnowpopbad

The good news is that though they were a mess, that made it more fun. The worse they came out of the chocolate, the more we laughed. The more atrocious the battlefield of Oreo pops looked, the funnier it was. We had a great time.

The other good news: As ugly as they were, they tasted great! I wondered what the combination of Oreos, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate candy melt and candy corn would taste like. One word: Awesome! My family devoured the mutant snowmen laughing all the way to gastric heaven.

On a skill level, this project would be categorized as high. On a fun level, this project is high, also.

In the end, I gave up on the Popsicle sticks and dipped the Oreos by themselves. That was a little easier.

oreosnowpopdone

He’s not a pop but he’s still cute, right?

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Minute to Win It Game Night – Winter Time Fun!

Last weekend we had planned to go tubing, but the tubing park was not open (despite the fact that we seem to have plenty of snow and it is freezing). It was the end of my two weeks of vacation from work and also the end of my children’s winter break. We wanted to have some fun!

This pin gave me some inspiration:

minutetopin

My kids love Minute to Win it, and the website has tons of excellent games that you can play with props that you have around the house or that you can get from the dollar store. I went to the Minute to Win It website and selected six games for us to play.

We created a chart to score the games. We gave one point to anyone who completed the game within the one minute time period and another point to the person who finished the task in the shortest time.

The six games we selected were:

A Bit Dicey: Put a popsicle stick in your mouth and balance six dice on it.

Bottoms Up: Players stand in the middle of four empty pop cans with a yo-yo hanging from the back of a belt around their waist; they use the yo-yo to knock over the cans.

Breakfast Scramble: Assemble the front of a cereal box that has been cut into 16 even pieces.

Face the Cookie: Using only your face, move an Oreo from your forehead to your mouth.

Egg Roll: Move four eggs across the floor and into a target area by fanning the eggs with an empty pizza box.

Defying Gravity: Tap three air-filled balloons to keep them off the ground.

Chocolate Unicorn: While leaning back, stack seven chocolate snack cakes on your forehead.

We invited a couple of friends, made lasagna, and Let the Games Begin!

First up was A Bit Dicey. About half the contestants were able to stack the dice. My daughter Kaelin was first up:

dicey

Bottoms Up was fairly easy. Everyone was able to finish in the 60 seconds. Our friend Courtney finishes the challenge:

Bottoms

Being one of the last to play was a definite advantage when playing Breakfast Scramble. Thank goodness I waited!

breakfast

Face the Cookies was difficult. The only person able to complete it was my daughter Kaelin. She finished it in two seconds by basically flicking it into her mouth. The rest of us failed miserably. But, we got to eat Oreos, which redeemed this challenge.

Chocolate Unicorn was also a favorite because it involved delicious chocolate baked goods. Fortunately, though still difficult, it was easier than the Oreo game. Our friend Kelsie succeeded marvelously.

chocolate

We had to cancel Egg Roll because first of all, we found that no one was going to be able to get four eggs into the target in a minute. Secondly, the one egg we decided to use broke. So if you’re going to try this one, hard boil the egg. My son’s forceful use of the pizza carton was just no match for the fragile egg.

eggroll

Love the action hair!

Next up: Defying gravity. This challenge was something that was hit or miss with the contestants. A few were able to accomplish it, but many went down in defeat (including me, unfortunately).

My son Austin was the champion with eight points, but the scores were very close. The beauty of the games was that everyone specialized in something.

We all had a great time. Next time you’re bored and looking for something fun to do, try Minute to Win It!

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Snowman Hot Chocolate Spoons

I can’t say the weather has been great for hot chocolate here in Ohio. It’s been unseasonably warm. But I still love hot chocolate, and it is December. So that’s excuse enough for me and my family!

When I came across this pin, I had to try it.

Snowmanspoonpin

It’s from the Getting Crafty’er blog. Adorable, huh?

Here are the ingredients we gathered.

snowspooningred

We melted the chocolate. It didn’t make much chocolate. So, to cover the spoons, you had to scoop the chocolate in the spoon then spin it around. Next you had to tap off the excess. Here is a picture of me coating a spoon. (Photo credit to my daughter Kaelin!)

snowmanspooncoat

And we didn’t even sneak any. Do you believe it? Hard!!

Next we added three small mini marshmallows, two mini chocolate chips as eyes, and a peanut butter chip hat. I will tell you that this is practically impossible without getting the melted chocolate on the marshmallows. In fact, my daughter and I began laughing and laughing because we kept getting little bits of chocolate on our finger and then we would get it on the marshmallows. So we would come up with a plausible explanation for what that brown chocolate smudge was. “The hat has a brown band around it,” or “That’s his pocket.”

snowmanspoondipped

Then the most difficult part–the coconut. At first I tried to find big enough shreds to go all the way across between the marshmallows, but then realized that there weren’t enough of those. I started using two pieces, one for each arm. Next, it was hard to get them not to fall down into the chocolate. You have to gently place them between the marshmallows and kind of squish the marshmallows together. I don’t know that I ever got the technique quite right.

Here are the final products.

snowmanspoons

They are definitely not perfect, but, boy, they were so much fun to make!

We also make the peanut butter and chocolate chip version. You melt the peanut butter chips the same way and then carefully place mini chocolate chips on the spoons. (Sprinkling them did not look nearly as good.)

pbspoons

Again, not perfectly beautiful, but delicious and fun to make. My daughter had a great time.

A friend of mine was sick with a bad cold, and I was running over some chicken broth to her. I knew these hot chocolate spoons would lift her spirits. I didn’t have cellophane, so I used a sandwich bag. (I’m a master at substituting what I have on hand.) I cut off the top where it seals. I only had purple curling ribbon, so I found some ribbon from a present that my parents gave me.

Here is the finished product.

snowmanspoonwrapped

She loved them. What a great inexpensive present and a fun family activity.

Stay warm, have some hot chocolate, and until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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Fun Shaped Bird Feeders

Winter break is almost upon us and that means precious time with our children. But that also means that soon we will hear the annoying chorus of “We’re bored! We’re bored! There’s nothing to do!” This pin is perfect for those days:

BirdFeederPin

This winter break activity is from the eighteen25 blog. Here are the instructions:

what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup birdseed (we got the seed for small birds at wal-mart)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small envelope of knox gelatine
  • twine or string
  • cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids
  • wax paper

what you’ll do:

  • Mix together the envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. Continue stirring until the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for a minute.
  • Stir in the 3/4 cup birdseed, adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan.
  • Lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
  • Cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.
  • Continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.
  • Push the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter until it’s full.
  • Allow them to dry overnight, turning them over every now and then.
  • Remove from the cookie cutters and hang them in your trees.
  • Then wait by the window to watch for your first guest.

I love to feed the birds during the winter, and my cats love it also. They especially adore when I hang the feeders outside the big picture window in the living room. They can watch them flit back and forth for hours.

These shaped feeders are perfect for hanging outside the window and in our trees, and the shapes are adorable. I knew they would be great for family time.

I gathered the supplies. I decided since we were going to go through the trouble and mess, I would double the recipe and make even more. I got the bird seed from the large bin where you can scoop as much or as little as you need so that I didn’t have to buy an entire bag.

BirdFeederIngredients

This picture shows the gelatin cooking and dissolving. When I first began the project, my kids said they didn’t want to help, but once I started, my daughter couldn’t resist and came in to help cook the ingredients.

GelatinCooking

Next we added the birdseed. The doubling of the recipe worked perfectly. We didn’t need to add any extra birdseed as the recipe suggests you might need.

BirdseedCooking

We selected four cookie cutters—the state of Ohio, a wavy square, a heart and an apple.  We placed them on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet. At this point my son decided he wanted to join the fun. We pushed the birdseed into the cookie cutters. We even had enough left over to add a small moon shaped cookie cutter.

It was a messy business, but very fun.  One note: you have to work quickly at this point because relatively quickly the gelatin solidifies.

Once you fill a cookie cutter halfway, you insert the twine. The original instructions don’t tell you how long to make the twine, but I found that 20 inches made a nicely sized loop for hanging in the tree.

BirdfeederHalfWay

Finally you fill the cookie cutter the rest of the way, press the mixture down and flatten it across the top. Here is my son finishing filling one of the cookie cutters.

PressInBirdfeeder

Now the cookie cutters are all filled and ready to set.

BirdFeederFinished

After about three hours, we started flipping them over as the instructions said, and it worked perfectly. About eighteen hours later, we pressed them out of the cookie cutters. They came out easily, and looked great!

Here are the final products ready to be hung.

finishedbirdfeeders

The kids were thrilled to hang the birdfeeders up and they looked great in the trees and hanging from the porch. (No, it’s not evening. It’s 4 p.m., in Ohio, and of course, it’s grey outside. Sigh.)

kaelinhanging

HeartBirdFeeder

I would recommend this project for anyone with kids. My teen and preteen enjoyed the project, but it was easy enough that any child from toddler to teen could find it fun. Toddlers wouldn’t be able to do the cooking, but they would have fun pressing the bird seed into the cookie cutters and inserting the twine. What child wouldn’t be thrilled to hang their finished bird feeders in the trees and see the birds enjoying their hard work?

If you give this project a try, send me a photo. I would love to see how yours turn out.

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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A Day of Free Family Fun with… Statutes!

I’m always looking for fun things to do with my kids (aged 12 and 17). If we get some exercise and it’s cheap or free, that’s just a bonus.

So, when I ran across this pin, it was not only funny, but inspired an idea.

When Statues Attack

My family and I headed down to the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus to check out the sights and watch out for ferocious attacking statues. It was a mild November day and the sun was shining. The paths were busy with walkers and cyclists, and it was great to be out in the mix.

The Scioto Mile runs along the river, and unfortunately, we were attacked by a number of fish.

Even the people were dangerous. (And they looked like good old fashioned folks, really!)

The wildlife was also dangerous.

Even the fictional wildlife was dangerous, but then I guess that was to be expected.

Fortunately, we came away uninjured.

Afterward we went for frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf—one of those self-serve yogurt places. They’re wonderfully delicious, yet dangerous. I get the feeling that I’m eating something healthy and then I get to the toppings bar. And I keep adding, and adding, and adding. I do throw fruit in there, but still. I can’t kid myself that much.

All said, our Statues Attack picture day won a big thumbs-up from entire family. I would suggest it especially for teens. My 17-year-old thought it was a great day.

But if you head to the Scioto Mile: Beware!!

Until next time, happy pinning!

Shelly

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