Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

Gosh, I can't believe it's Tuesday already. And I can't believe February is right around the corner, too. Can't time just slow down? Geez. Anyways....last week I gave you an idea on how to use up your leftover candy canes, this week I'm going to show you another one. This is another great treat, something you can also give as a gift to your favorite teacher, friend or neighbor! It's super simple and easy to put together, too!
White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

White Chocolate and Peppermint Popcorn
from Skip To My Lou

16 oz. white chocolate or almond bark
1 cup finely crushed peppermints (that's about 12 candy canes)
4 qts. popped popcorn (see my recipe here, just omit the seasoned salt and add a sprinkle of table salt)

Slowly melt white chocolate/almond bark in the microwave or double boiler on the stove top. Stire often to keep chocolate from burning. Stir 1/2 cup crushed peppermints into the white chocolate. Place popped corn into a large bowl. Pour melted white chocolate and peppermint mixture over the popcorn. Gently stir to coat popcorn while sprinkling remaining crushed peppermints over the popcorn. Pour out onto parchment paper and allow coating to harden.


Have a great day!


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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heart-Shaped Suckers

Do you still have candy canes lingering around the house wondering what to do with them? With Valentine's Day right around the corner, these are the perfect way to use up those candy canes! How fun would these be to give to your kids' teachers or grandparents or even a neighbor? They couldn't be easier, either.
I first saw these in the magazine Family Fun (I actually tore out the page and put it in my "to make" file!) and then I saw them on the blog Idea Room. (love this blog, btw!) I knew I had to make them! Check out her instructions right here.
This is how ours turned out!
Candy Cane Heart Suckers
If you still have more candy canes to use up, tune in later for another fun way to use them!

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Best Popcorn EVER!

I'm letting you in on a secret today. The best popcorn EVER! And I mean it, too! This is a family favorite and typically what I have for dinner on Friday nights! (no joke--I work late and most of the family has already eaten dinner by the time I get home, so I make this popcorn and eat it with a side of apple and peanut butter--just ask my kids! and if there is any leftover popcorn, I have the same thing for lunch on Saturday!)

Best Popcorn Ever
So what makes it the best ever? The coconut oil? The season salt? The popcorn kernels? Nope--all of them together. Coconut oil makes this healthier than using oil to cook it in or butter to top it with. And we just lightly sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, because a little goes a long way! Here's the recipe:

Best Popcorn Ever

1-2 Tbls Coconut Oil
2/3 C. Popping Kernels (love Orville's or Boy Scout's Fundraiser kernels!)
1/2-1 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Place oil and popcorn in stove top popper. Turn heat on Med-High. Cover. Stir or shake pan when it begins to pop. Once the popping slows down or stops, pour into large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve. That's it! I have a stovetop theatre popping corn popper that you crank and stir--absolutely love it!

If you don't want to fuss with the stove, you can do this in the microwave, too! Here's how:
  • Take 1/3 c popping kernels and place it in a brown paper bag.
  • Seal bag with scotch tape.
  • Put in mircowave and set time to 2 minutes.
  • Stay near microwave since all ovens vary, stop when the popping slows or stops.
  • Put 1/2 Tbls coconut oil in microwaveable safe container and heat for 1 min or until melted.
  • Pour oil over popped corn and sprinkle with salt
Making your own microwave popcorn is so much healthier than what you can buy at the store--its super easy and so far, I've never made a big mess of having the bag explode while cooking it!

What you do top your popcorn with?

Visit me over on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

Have a great day!


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Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt

We have a few Valentine's Day traditions in our house...one of them is a Scavenger Hunt. The kids enjoy reading the clues and going from room to room which leads them to the Valentine's Day Surprise!
These are pictures from 2009 (my kids have changed so much!)--I must not have taken pictures during the hunt since then (and this was way before I ever thought I'd have a blog)!!

valentines day tradition, scavenger hunt
 Clue's were typically easy! Here are a few examples to get you thinking:
  • We don't wear shoes in the house, this is where we should put them. (shoe closet)
  • ZZZZZZ this is where you find dad snoring. (parents bed)
  • The only purple room in the house. (Hailey's bedroom)
  • Crunch and munch, this is where you find the snacks. (pantry, snack bin)
  • Shhh....mom's relaxing. (whirlpool tub)
  • Craftiness happens here. (craft room)
  • Splish, splash Carson is taking a bath. (kids tub)
  • Brrr...it's cold in here! (freezer)
At the end of the hunt they find their little treat bag. Something small and simple. 

Our other tradition is making heart-shaped pizza's for dinner. Each kid makes their own! Such fun!
valentine tradtions, heart shaped pizza
valentine traditions, heart shaped pizza

So, what kind of Valentine's Day traditions does your family do?

If you like what you see, comment, pin and follow along!


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Facebook Fan Freebie

Are you a FAN of Crazylou on Facebook? If you are, did you catch the Fan Freebie I am featuring? To celebrate my recent fan growth, I decided to give a Free, Customizable Printable to all my Facebook Fans! Not a fan yet? What are you waiting for? Go now and get your freebie! And tell your friends about it too! You wouldn't want keep this offer just for yourself, would you?

Click HERE for Crazylou on Facebook!

Wanna see what the freebie is? Well look no further! It's a customizable last name printable. Provide me with your accent color, last name and year! Some have requested their child's name too--which I think is totally awesome! I will email you a jpeg version that you can print at home or download to your favorite printer! My gift to you for following me! (one per person, must be a follower of Crazylou on Facebook!) Oh, and this offer ends at 8 pm central time tonight, January 17th.
Free Last Name Printable
 Have a great day! And thank you! Mu-aw!


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Fun Kids Craft--Ribbon Key Chains

I've been in a funk lately. I was off of work for 3 weeks for foot surgery and I had big plans of preparing blog posts, making fun enhancements to the blog and various other little things that I could do with my leg elevated and my butt planted on the couch. But, instead, I caught up on all my shows, watched a few movies, wrapped Christmas gifts and played on Facebook and Pinterest. Oh, and I did work from home a bit too.

So, now that I'm back at work full-time and the kids are back at school, I'm trying to get in the swing of things. It's just harder than I thought. And now I have to fit physical therapy into my crazy schedule! ARRGHHH! Anyways....

This is a project Hailey and I did before the holiday madness. She gave this to her teacher for a gift! Along with this really cool plaque for her desk (you can buy it here).
Make a Difference

Here are the simple instructions and a picture tutorial:

Ribbon Keychain
Ribbon Keychain
This is a fun project to do with kids and something they can give as a gift or keep for themselves. It’s a just a few simple materials and about 10 minutes to pull this craft together!

I did this with my eleven year old daughter, but I think it would be a good craft for kids 6-12 years of age.

ribbon keychain

Jewelry Split Rings
Ribbon—2 patterns: 20 inches of one, 4 inches of another
Hot Glue


Step 1: Cut a piece of ribbon 20 inches long and two coordinating pieces 2 inches long.

Step 2: Slip key ring onto ribbon; fold over and secure with hot glue (done by an adult if it is not a low temp gun)

Step 3: Use the small pieces of ribbon to wrap around the top part of the key chain, spacing them slightly apart.

Step 4: Cut to the length you wish the key chain to be.

You could use fabric paint to decorate or personalize.

Super simple and quick! Plus this is something that someone will use! How cute would it be if you added some stick on rhinestones, too?

Here is the picture tutorial:


 Her teacher sent us a note thanking her for such a creative gift! Love it! What creative things are you up to? This is the project we did over at RockfordParent.com, too! Come on over for a visit!

Don't keep me hanging--I love comments!


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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Low-Fat, Easy Baked Chicken Parm

For those of you that are watching your weight or looking for "healthy" and "lighter" alternatives to some yummy comfort food--you're in for a treat. This Low-Fat Baked Chicken Parm is great for the entire family, uses 4 ingredients and comes together easily! You'll want to add this to your dinner rotation!

Low-Fat Baked Chicken Parm
serves 4

4 Chicken Breast, skinless, boneless
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
4 Tbls Reduced Fat Parm Cheese, divided
1/4 c. Part-Skim Mozzerella Cheese

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour entire jar of spaghetti sauce in pan. Sprinkle 2 Tbls into the sauce. Take each chicken breast individually and turn into the sauce, covering all sides. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken to cover lightly. Cover pan with tin foil and place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with mozzerella cheese and remaining parm cheese. Put under broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve over whole wheat pasta if desired.
low fat baked chicken parmlow fat baked chicken parm

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Tasty Tuesday! Feel free to PIN it, share it on Facebook or email it to your friends!

Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Chicken Fajitas, Rachel Ray Style

Yum-O! That would be the one word that describes this awesome meal! Another word: easy! Seriously, EASY! This is a restaurant quality meal that serves four and costs WAY less than you'd pay at the restaurant! Another word: quick! Yep, I said it, its quick. Meal will be on the table in 30 minutes! I found this recipe in the Rachel Ray cookbook 30-Minute Meals. I've been making this recipe for years, my entire family loves it! Although I've made it with chicken this time, we've also enjoyed it with steak, too!
  So wait no longer, here is the amazing recipe, adapted from Rachel Ray's recipe:

3 Tbls. Hot Sauce
2 Tbls. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Allspice
2 Tbls. Chili Powder
1 handful of fresh oregano and thyme leaves combined (3-4 stems of each)
1/2 bottle of beer (bonus, you can drink the rest while you cook!)
1 drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 pounds of chicken (or steak), sliced thinly
1/2 onion, cut into strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1/2 green pepper, cut into strips
salt & pepper to taste
Shredded lettuce, cheese

Pico de Gallo:
4 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Put the chicken in the marinade and allow it to hang out. Heat two pans, a nonstick griddle or grill pan to high, nonstick frying pan to medium high. Drizzle the frying pan with oil. cook the onions and peppers with an occasional shake, until they darken around the edges, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn off heat.

Place meat onto the hot griddle/grill pan. Turn once, cook until cooked through.
Heat tortillas. Fill with meat, veggies, lettuce, cheese and pico de gallo. Wrap and enjoy!


Let me know what you think!


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Lunch Notes {free printable}

Wouldn't it be fun to open up your lunch and find a note from someone you love? I think so! Sometimes life gets so busy that I forget how much those little gestures really make on someones day. I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, which lead me a a fun blog with a list of lunchbox notes. I decided to take it one step further and create a fun printable to share with you.

Now, all you need to do is print, cut and place in your kids lunchbox! Wouldn't that just make their day? 

Here's hoping you have a great week!


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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Easy Photo Coasters

I've been waiting to share these with you for awhile--I'm so excited to finally show them off! I made these Easy Photo Coasters for my parents and for my mother-in-law for Christmas and I absolutely loved how they turned out! I can't wait to make a set for myself, too!

I bought the plain white tiles at the Habitat for Humanity Store for pennies (you can get them real cheap at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.), took my favorite pictures and put it all together! The hardest part is seriously picking out the pictures! Here are the easy instructions:

  1. Clean and dry the tiles
  2. Cut the pictures down to 4x4 size
  3. Get out your Modge Podge and put a thin layer on the tile, carefully lay your picture down on the tile.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Continue to put thin layers of Modge Podge over the pictures, making sure to let each coat dry before applying the next.
  6. I put about 6 layers of Modge Podge over each picture.
  7. When Modge Podge is dry apply a spray sealer over the pictures.
  8. Apply felt to the corners to protect the surface the coasters lay on.
  9. Allow the coasters to cure 30 days before setting any hot mugs or cups that will sweat on the coasters. This will hopefully prevent damage to the pictures.
Even though this is a process, it really does come together quickly. I let the coasters set overnight before spraying with the sealer.
I wrapped them with a cute bow and put them in a gift bag. I think they really enjoyed their gift and now they can show off their grandchildren to all their guests!
Now that I shared them with you, I've got to go make a set for my house! Happy crafting!


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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! It's 2013! This year is going to be a year of positive changes, I just know it! I had a good 2012, don't get me wrong--I really have no complaints, but I know 2013 is going to be a great year!
This year I wanted to do a little survey with the kids. I plan on filing this with their school papers that I save and in a few years we can look back at it and see how they've changed. Feel free to print one off for your family members, too!

Hope you have an awesome 2013 too! Thank you for following me!


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