SPECIALIZING IN UNIQUE GIFTS FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CARRIE UNDERWOOD AND VINCE GILL


Carrie Underwood

If you missed seeing the performance

 "How Great Thou Art", 

check out this beautiful duet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MISD SUPERINTENDENT'S STAR AWARD


We're so proud of our granddaughter!
She was awarded the Superintendent's Star Award
 at the MISD Board meeting tonight.
Way to go sweetheart!

Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTER HAM

Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter!  We enjoyed the excitement of the grandkids and shared our Easter dinner together.  I usually do not like to have ham on the menu because it doesn't taste that great - except for this year.  Everyone thought it tasted delicious.  I baked a spiral ham and added the brown sugar glaze for the last 30 minutes.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

EASTER GREETINGS





EASTER PHOTOS OF GRANDKIDS




Saturday, April 23, 2011

HISTORY OF EASTER


Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity's most important holiday. Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance. Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil. The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins. The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus' last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus' ascension into heaven.

HISTORY OF THE EASTER BUNNY AND EASTER EGGS



Easter Bunny
The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity's most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit's Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Easter Eggs
Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Friday, April 22, 2011

PAULA DEEN'S GRANDMA HIER'S CARROT CAKE


CAKE INGREDIENTS:
Butter, for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
2 8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

CAKE DIRECTIONS:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
3.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4.  Add eggs and vegetable oil.
5.  Using a hand mixer, blend until combined.
6.  Add carrots and pecans, if using.
7.  Pour into pans.
8.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes.  
9.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
10.Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:

1.  Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer.
2.  Stir in the nuts.
3.  Spread frosting on top of each cake layer.
4.  Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

EARTH DAY

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SPRING TIME NATURAL NAPKIN RINGS

Nifty Napkins



For a shot of glorious color and fragrance,
tie napkins with white twine
and tucked in delicate spring blossoms.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PAULA DEEN'S EASTER BUNNY CUPCAKES


INGREDIENTS

CUPCAKES:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DECORATING CUPCAKES:
3 cups coconut, shredded
18 large marshmallows, cut in half
36 mini marshmallows
Black licorice rope, for whiskers
colored chocolate candies or jelly beans

DIRECTIONS

CUPCAKES:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3.  In another bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, milk and vegetable oil.
4.  Cream together the butter and sugar with a hand-held mixer in a large bowl.
5.  Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix to combine.
6.  Alternate the dry and wet ingredients to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
7.  Pour the batter 2/3 full into paper lined cupcake tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
8.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting and decorating.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
1.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream softened butter and add 4 cups sugar, milk and vanilla.   
     Beat with paddle attachment until smooth gradually add the rest of sugar to reach frosting consistency.

TO DECORATE:
1.  Frost tops of cooled cupcakes with a thick layer of frosting.
2.  Dip cupcake into coconut (pressing down into the coconut).
3.  Place one half of each large marshmallow on an angle for each ear.
     (note: you might have to use a little frosting as glue)
4.  Add colored chocolate candies for eyes and nose.
5.  Add two miniature marshmallows for cheeks.
6.  Cut 6 small pieces of rope licorice for whiskers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HOW TO MAKE HARD BOILED EGGS

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Add water to a large saucepan and place the desired number of eggs in a single layer in the saucepan. Make sure you have enough water to measure at least 1 inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, stirring the eggs gently when the water begins to simmer. This will help center the egg yolks. When the water reaches a full boil, cover and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the eggs stand in the hot water, covered, for 15 minutes if you are using large eggs. Increase the time to 18 minutes for extra-large eggs; decrease to 12 minutes for small eggs.
2.  Pour off the water and immediately run cold water over the eggs. This helps prevent the eggs from overcooking. If the eggs are overcooked, there may be a reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the white, and a greenish ring will form around the cooked yolk. Let the eggs stand in the cold water until they are completely cooled.
3.  To remove the shell, gently tap the egg all over, roll between your hands to loosen the shell, then hold the egg under cold running water as you peel off the shell. The fresher the eggs, the more the shell membranes cling to the shells, so we recommend buying and refrigerating eggs a week to 10 days in advance of hard cooking. This allows the eggs to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.  A hard-cooked egg should have both a firm white and a firm yolk and no greenish ring around the yolk.

Monday, April 18, 2011

BACKYARD FLOWER BEDS IN BLOOM

 Spent time working in the garden this weekend.

Love the blooms.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

APRIL 2011 GARDENING REMINDERS

According to Calloway's Nursery,
the following are garden reminders 
for the month of April.

Plant Caladium Bulbs
Plant Trees, Shrubs, Roses
Plant Spring Annuals and Perennials

Apply Horticultural Corn Meal for Fungus
Apply Tree & Shrub Food
Prune Shrubs

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ALL THINGS TEXAN ETSY TREASURY

Check out these lovely creations 
designed by 
Texan EtsyKids members!

by
Take A Bow Bowtique
by
Cupcake Dream


by
Snooky Doodles


by
Brownies n Butterflies

Check out other unique Texan creations 
called
All Things TEXAN.

Friday, April 15, 2011

VACATION PACKING TIP FOR CHILDREN


GoodHousekeeping provided this tip for helping children dress themselves for school.  I thought it would be an easy solution for packing for a vacation and then letting children dress themselves.

TIP:
Help small children dress themselves by placing sets of clothes that go together in large zip-tight plastic bags.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TOP TEN STATES WHERE TO MAKE A LIVING


According to MoneyRates, these are the top 10 states where to make a living:
1. Illinois: The adjusted average income is $41,987, thanks to reasonably high average wages, relatively low state income taxes and a reasonable cost of living.
2. Washington (state): The cost of living is higher than average, but so is the average wage and the state imposes no income tax. Adjusted average income: $41,456.
3. Texas: Also benefits from no state income tax. Adjusted average income: $41,427
4. Virginia: $41,120
5. Delaware: $39,105
6. Massachusetts: $38,665
7. Georgia: $38,228
8. Tennessee: $38,038
9. Colorado: $38,020
10. Minnesota: $37,721

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

150th ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began as Confederate forces under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay.  The next day, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort.  Two days later, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection."

Monday, April 11, 2011

LOG COUNTRY COVE


This weekend we attended a rehearsal dinner and wedding at this location.  What a spectacular rustic venue to host a vacation, retreat, or special event.  It is located in the Texas Hill country with scenic river/lake vistas.  We viewed several of the log cabins - which were top of the line in every aspect including their own private swimming pool and spa. Someday, I hope we can have a family reunion there to enjoy the relaxing country life.  If you ever go there, ask for Ellen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

CORA SPENCER'S "A BARNYARD MOOSICAL" PRODUCTION

The kindergarten students at
Cora Spencer Elementary
 presented
"A Barnyard Moosical"
on
April 7, 2011. 
Here's our little star from the "Cows' Chorus Line".

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

OPEN UP YOUR HOME SPACE


During the cooler months the prevailing wisdom is to push furnishings together to form a cozy unit.  Counter that philosophy when spring comes calling:  Push groupings of furniture away from the center of the room and create a more open, expansive feeling to your space.  Ground the furnishings with a rug or central coffee table.  Light and pastel colors enhance the sense of spaciousness.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BEAUTIFUL SPRING CAKES


I came across this cake article and liked the tiny tall cakes.  I think this idea would be great for making shower or special occasion cakes. Due to the negative comments regarding the article,  I will use my own recipes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

BACKYARD FLOWER BEDS

Spring is here!
 I am enjoying cleaning out my flower beds.  
My yellow irises are in full bloom.