14
Feb 14

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

These. Are. So. Delicious!

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

I signed up to bring “treats” for my preschooler’s Valentine’s Day party. Then come to find out: there’s a nut allergy in the classroom!

What to do?!

This.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Enough for (4) batches of The Original Treats™ recipe*
    (2) 18-oz Rice Krispies; (3) 10-oz mini marshmallows; unsalted butter
  • (2) pints fresh strawberries* sliced width-wise 1/4″ thick or less
  • thick, heart-shaped cookie cutter
    (mine is the Wilton Comfort Grip Heart Cutter; 4×4″ and 2″ thick)
  • wax paper, and plastic food prep gloves (optional)
  • Time: Approx. 2 hours (including washing & slicing strawberries)

*Depending on how much/many you want to make. With these amounts I made 20 of the 4×4″ hearts.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Prep your work area with wax paper. I used a fabric cutting mat to measure (heat will warp these kind of cutting mats, but this one was already warped so I wasn’t worried about that).

Make a DOUBLE BATCH of Treats mixture.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Using the food-prep gloves (or a square of wax paper, if you don’t have the gloves), press the mixture onto your  wax paper surface. It doesn’t have to be an exact rectangle like this, but it should be consistently about 3/4″ thick.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Next, add the layer of sliced strawberries. Press them down a bit so they’ll stay put. Leave a 1/4″-or-so gap between so the Treats mixture layers can stick together.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Make another DOUBLE BATCH of Treats mixture.

Press the mixture carefully on top of the strawberry layer so as not to push them around too much. This Treats layer should be similar thickness to the bottom layer.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

Now you’re ready to cut!

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

These should be served same-day or next-day, and refrigerated to keep the strawberries fresh.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

If you don’t need so much or your cookie cutter is smaller, you can half the recipe down to one batch of Treats for the bottom, 1 pint of sliced strawberries, and one batch of Treats for the top; this would also work pressed into a 9×13 cake pan as bars. You could also quarter the recipe and use only one batch for the top & bottom, 1/2-pint strawberries and an 8×8 pan.

Fresh Strawberry Crispy Treats

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13
Jan 14

Printable Minecraft Bookmarks

My son is Minecraft-crazy. He also reads every night before bed, but can rarely find a bookmark when he needs one (defaulting to Kleenex). He was super-psyched when I made him these Minecraft bookmarks!

Printable Minecraft Bookmarks | grungezombie.net

I made two different printing types to see which would work best, so I’m offering both styles as PDF downloads. Finished bookmarks measure about 4″ x 2.6″ for both styles.

The first type is a print-cut-fold option. I printed them on photo sticker paper (one of the best inventions EVER), cut them out, pre-folded them before removing the backing. It worked really well! The colors are bright, the bookmarks have a slightly glossy finish, and they’re just the right thickness. You could also use regular printer paper or cardstock and a glue stick or spray adhesive. (click the image below to download the PDF for this style)

Download: Minecraft-Bookmarks-fold.pdf

The other set is a print-flip-print option, which would work well for cardstock but is not recommended for regular printer paper due to ink bleed. Or you could just print the front-sides if you don’t care about the backs being blank. (click the image below to download the PDF for this style)

Download: Minecraft-Bookmarks.pdf

Characters were created using templates from pixelpapercraft.com and include: Steve, Creeper, Zombie, Pigman, Zombie Pigman, Enderman, Herobrine, and Lava Acid Creeper (which I think is just a fan concept and not actually in the game, but it looks really cool).

Printable Minecraft Bookmarks | grungezombie.net

Books featured in the photos are: The Pocket Scavenger, The Boys’ Book of Adventure, Odd and the Frost Giants, and The Halloween Tree — all are highly recommended!

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13
Dec 13

Deck the Door

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, I venture into town; not for manic holiday shopping, but to choose a wreath for our front door. For the last few years, I’ve been getting them at a local gardening and landscape shop called Peck’s Green Thumb Nursery. They have gorgeous wreaths, made from real winter trees and plants, handcrafted in their store. I love having real wreaths; you can smell the coniferous sweetness every time you go in or out of the door.

Wreath 2013-2014

The best thing about Peck’s is that they use all different kinds of greens for their wreaths: pine and spruce and juniper, and there’s some little blue berries in this one which I have no idea what to call; and pine cones! Not a proper wreath without pine cones! I added the fake holly berries which I picked up in Peck’s wonderful Christmas section full of displays and decorated trees and ornaments galore. I also added the obligatory silver jingle bells that I have to have on there every year — it’s so fun to hear the jingling when you open the door!

Wreath 2013-2014 (detail)

This wreath will stay up on our door through February and into March, though I will probably take off the holly berries and jingle bells once the holidays are over. The door wreath is hands-down one of my favorite holiday traditions!

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01
Dec 13

The 25 Books of Christmas

This year, our family is attempting the Book-A-Day Advent Calendar, as seen around Pinterest. Over the last few months, I was able to screen more than FIFTY winter/holiday/Christmas-related books, thanks to our local metro-library network.

I was overall seeking secular books that were still morally relevant to the season, and maybe even with a poignant story, but also not totally discounting the entertaining seasonally-themed books for pure enjoyment. I ended up choosing 14 new selections to add to what we already have (weeding out quite a few from the original stash).

The books will be wrapped, and placed “around” (near?) our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, until we get the full-sized tree up.

Here is our complete 24-book plan for this month, in no particular order:

'Jolly Old Santa Claus' by 'Sparkie' & George Hinke 'The Golden Christmas Tree' by Jan Wahl & Leonard Weisgard 'Night Tree' by Eve Bunting & Ted Rand Hilary Knight's 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

'Little Rabbit's Christmas' by Harry Horse 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' by Dr. Seuss 'Merry Christmas Mom and Dad' by Mercer Mayer 'Over and Under the Snow' by Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal

'The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice' by Wendy Pfeffer & Jesse Reisch 'Curious George: Snowy Day' by H. A. Rey 'Snow' by Cynthia Rylant & Lauren Stringer 'Duck & Goose, It's Time for Christmas!' by Tad Hills

'The Night Before the Night Before Christmas' by Natasha Wing & Mike Lester 'Owl Moon' by Jane Yolen & John Schoenherr 'The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher' by Robert Kraus & Vip 'Just Right for Christmas' by Birdie Black & Rosalind Beardshaw

'Russell's Christmas Magic' by Rob Scotton 'Snowden' by Nancy Carlson 'The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree' by David Rubel & Jim LaMarche 'Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?' by Jan Brett

'The Mole Family's Christmas' by Russell & Lillian Hoban 'Peter Claus and the Naughty List' by Lawrence David & Delphine Durand 'My Wonderful Christmas Tree' by Dahlov Ipcar 'blank

Reserved especially for Christmas Eve is my lovely “vintage” (1988) Hallmark pop-up The Night Before Christmas [+|+] — my favorite childhood Christmas book :)

I also purchased Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, after reading a library copy. The story is so touching. I really want my 8-year-old son to experience this bittersweet tale of more humble times; about misfits and poverty, family-ties and the spirit of giving.

'A Christmas Memory' by Truman Capote

It’s definitely not age-appropriate for my 3-year-old, so I think I’ll bundle it with the Duck & Goose board book, and on that night they will each have their own book to read.

I am so looking forward to all this cozy holiday reading!

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30
Nov 13

Door Sixteen Independent Holiday 2013

Door Sixteen Independent Holiday 2013

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24
Nov 13

Pinterest Gift Guides 2013

Gifts for Rustic Relatives Gifts for Modern Tastes Gifts for The Geekery Unique Gifts for the Ungiftable Gifts for That Guy Gifts for Dark Dwellers Gift for Book Lovers Handmade Gifts for Children Gifts for Young Explorers Gifts for Scrappy Girls & Boys Gifts for Christmas Gift Packaging

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23
Nov 13

On the Docket Notepad Now Available!

A new organizational notepad is now available in my shop! The “On the Docket” notepad is a combination to-do list and weekly planner. A printable PDF download version is also available, along with the assembled magnetic notepads.

On the Docket To-Do List Notepad

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29
Oct 13

Children’s Book List 2013

My 3-1/2-year-old and I have been furiously checking out children’s books at the library, and reading about three each night; burning through them pretty quickly to see which ones would be worth investing in to add to Nola’s bookshelf. 25 great books for kids ages 3-5

Here is a rundown of 25 of the BEST children’s books for ages 3-5 years that we have found in 2013:

'If You Want to See a Whale' by Julie Fogliano & Erin Stead

If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano & Erin Stead, is probably my personal favorite of this year. An instant classic, reminiscent of P.D. Eastman; a simple, whimsical adventure, with illustrations that are somehow simultaneously contemporary and nostalgic. I could read this book a thousand times over.

'I Like Old Clothes' by Mary Ann Hoberman & Patrice Barton 'Stuck' by Oliver Jeffers 'Owl Moon' by Jane Yolen & John Schoenherr 'Counting in the Garden' by Emily & Patrick Hruby

* * * * *

'Not a Box' by Antoinette Portis

NOT A BOX by Antoinette Portis: Nola absolutely loves this book! We maxed out our 2-months of renewals and eventually had to return it to the library. She was so upset, and continued to talk about it and ask for it, so I bought her a copy a couple weeks later and it remains one of her favorites.

'No Fits, Nilson!' by Zachariah OHora 'For Just One Day' by Laura Leuck & Marc Boutavant 'I Want My Hat Back' by Jon Klassen 'Night Cat' by Margaret Beames & Sue Hitchcock

* * * * *

'The Umbrella' by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert

The Umbrella by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert: an absolutely lovely wordless book. The illustrations are adorable, and the best part is: Nola reads this book to me! There’s nothing more fun than having a small child tell you their own version of the story.

'Virginia Wolf' by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault 'The Dark' by Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen 'Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You' by Nancy Tillman 'Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great' by Bob Shea

* * * * *

'Extra Yarn' by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen, is another new favorite of mine. Nola enjoyed it, too, but I think she’ll enjoy it more in another year or two. I love Klassen’s illustration style (the infamous bear makes a cameo in this book) and it works perfectly with Barnett’s endearing story of generosity — and knitting!

'Giraffes Can't Dance' by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees 'Monsters Love Colors' by Mike Austin 'Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book' by Rod Campbell 'Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words' by Ann & Paul Rand

* * * * *

'I Can Do It Myself!' by Stephen Krensky & Sara Gillingham

I Can Do It Myself!, one book from the “Empowerment Series” by Stephen Krensky & Sara Gillingham, is another one of Nola’s new favorites! She wants to take it with her to bed almost every night. The “series” is only three books right now, but I hope they will add more in the coming years. I am loving these illustrators who blend vintage and modern styles to make books that are appealing to children and still interesting for adults!

'All Kinds of Families!' by Mary Ann Hoberman & Marc Boutavant 'I Took the Moon for a Walk' by Carolyn Curtis & Alison Jay 'Forever Friends' by Carin Berger 'A Long Way Away' by Frank Viva

* * * * *

I have ongoing Pinterest boards of kids books recommendations for two different ages groups, 2-6 years and 7-12 years, filled with great books read and “approved” by my kids! Along with boards specifically to save books that I would like the kids to read someday: here and here.

I’ve also been screening holiday/winter-themed books for a book-a-day Advent Calendar this coming Christmas. I will post the final results with a full 24-book list on December 1st!

If you have book suggestions for the kids (or for me!) feel free to post in the comments section!

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08
Oct 13

2014 Weekly Calendar Notepads

I have a new style of Weekly Calendar Notepad now available in my Etsy shop! Say hello to a modern, Helvetica style…

Helvetica 2014 Weekly Calendar Notepad

…along with the classic Scribbled version — “classic” as in: year three!

Scribbled 2014 Weekly Calendar Notepad

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14
Feb 13

Happy Valentine’s GWAR

Made the hubby a special Valentine:

Happy Valentine's GWAR

It’s a pop-up card!

Happy Valentine's GWAR

WE ARE GOING TO GWAR!

Eat it, everyone who’s not going to GWAR!

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