Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Tricks and Treats - Kid-Friendly Witchy Finger Cookies!!!

I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!!  I mean, big time!!!  The house is decorated inside and out and I have giggled with glee since the first of September knowing that Halloween was right around the corner.  And as much as I love the deco - the candy and goodies run a pretty close second.  Okay - who am I fooling - they are neck and neck!  These witchy fingers are one of my faves to make!  I will not for a hot second claim this recipe or idea as my own.  There are tons of variations out there.  I know when I first started making these years ago, I found all different ideas - flesh colored, strawberry jam on the end to look like blood, etc.  Mine are pretty basic and simple, kid friendly and perfect to make when you are short on time and need something amazing in a pinch!  I always use the classic Wilton spritz cookie recipe with my witchy fingers, top them off with a a little black icing for the fingernails and a cutesie spider ring for fun.  Plus, it's a little something for the kids to keep!

Classic Spritz Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon no -color almond extract

Ingredients for decorating:
green food coloring
black icing
plastic spider rings


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  In a separate larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.  Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.  Once your ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add the green food coloring.  Knead the coloring through the dough with your hands until you reach your desired "witchy green".  Yes, you will have green hands but this is honestly the best way to ensure the dough is completely saturated with the color.  Do not chill dough.

Form small palm size balls of dough into "finger size" rods.  Round off one end of the dough rod and press down slightly on the top of that end to create a "nail bed".  This is where the icing will sit for the fingernail.  Pinch the dough slightly in three separate spots on the rod to create the look of a knuckles on a gnarled witchy finger.  DO NOT ADD THE ICING OR PLASTIC SPIDER RINGS UNTIL AFTER THE COOKIES ARE BAKED, OUT OF THE OVEN AND COMPLETELY COOLED!!!  o.k. - that was my safety disclaimer

Place each finger on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 min.  Watch these closely as it will be hard to tell when the edges start to turn brown because of the green coloring.  No one wants to eat a burnt finger ;)

Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet set up on a cooling rack.  After a few minutes, transfer the fingers to another surface to cool completely and prepare for decorating!

Once cookies are completely cool - slip a little spider ring on the finger and pipe a small strip of black icing onto the nail bed of the finger.  

Have fun with your presentation!  I placed mine in a spider basket on a Halloween towel because I made them in flash mode right before a Halloween party.  I would love to see all of your super creative ideas!

Enjoy your Witchy Fingers - try not to break your tooth on a bone - Mwahaahahaa!!!  Happy Halloween!!! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hair Skeered!!!!!

I'm freaking out! So skeered!! Which is a whole other level of scared...Hands are sweatin', hearts a racin' and I think I'm gonna puke! Why??? 'Cuz I'm getting ready to get my hair done! Please tell me I'm not the only one with an unnatural fear of the hair salon.  I cannot take the pressure. What kind of cut? What color? Lo-lights, hi-lights, all over color??? It's all so....permanent! Well, until 6 weeks later when there's a nice color line on the top of my head separating the light from the dark and the grays come out to play.  Cheeky little buggers.... I am so salon aversive that my husband actually forces me to go.  And, when I say force, I mean he calls me at 3:30 as I'm waiting at the deli counter with my two youngest kids who are acting like wild animals let out of their cage, already late picking up my oldest from school and tells me to be at the salon at 5:15.  Oh, why can't I just stay gray headed and ponytailed???  So here I sit, in the chair.  The stylist and I have consulted, meaning I have agreed to whatever she is saying because I'm clueless and panic ridden.  I must cover the grays...Big Daddy said so. So, color it is. I don't want a flat look so highlights, too. But, I don't want to look blonde. My natural coloring is red so let's play with that a bit. See how I try to sound like I know what I'm talking about???  Ok...colors have been picked, mixed and are now being slathered all over my head. Die grays...Die!!!  And then, a guy walks in the back door of the salon for a cut drinking out of a red solo cup.  All I want to know is, where's the keg? Instantly, I feel more relaxed. There's just something comforting about a red solo cup.  Wish I had one, too.... It would lessen my shock and horror as I look at myself in the fabulous full body mirrors they have.  Oh sweet my thighs really spread out that much when I sit down? Ugggghhhh..... Ok...let's talk cut now.  I need to keep it long enough to do a ponytail and not too short that I have to fix it everyday. Oh and I have about 3 different lengths going on thanks to the two rounds of post baby hair loss and now regrowth.  Long layers it is.  At this point....I've been there almost 3 hrs and it's past baby's bedtime.  My panic has now shifted to what is going on at home and the potential horrors that await my return.  Kids running crazy, dishes overflowing in the kitchen, baby half dressed and screaming???? What? All done? I take a deep breath and look in the mirror. A lot darker than I thought but I don't see any grays and it is fall so darker is good. All in all...not too shabby.  I think I like it! Alright, ring me up...I've gotta go save my home! Mad dash to the house, stressing all the way...pull in front to see all of the Halloween lights are on in the yard....Big Daddy NEVER turns on the deco and I feel a glimmer of hope. I bust in the door to a completely quiet house, clean kitchen, Halloween lights inside are on and Big Daddy is standing in the den holding a completely calm baby (dressed in summer clothes) with his hands over his eyes awaiting the big reveal. Approval is unanimous...all 3 of my big guys love the new hair.  Feeling really loved and then Big Daddy says...."Awwww, I've got my pretty wife back!"  Really, so I was your ugly wife before the cut and color!?!?!!! It's a good thing he's cute...and cleaned the kitchen!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I just can't...

I's been forever since I have blogged an original post.  I wish I could say it was for a super cool and glamorous reason, but it's not.  The reason I haven't blogged an original post?  I just couldn't!  Why couldn't I?  Oh, so many reasons!  I was too tired, I was too busy, there was just so much else going on.  The yard wasn't going to decorate itself for Halloween...and I have an image to uphold ;)  Am I any more busy or tired than any other mommy blogger or any mommy for that matter?  No way! I'm no fool...or life is a cakewalk compared to so many others.  I am just "learning my limits" 

Before I had my 3rd child...I said yes to everything.  Guilt?  People pleaser?  Nope.  I like "doing".  Room mom, PTA,'s fun for me.  And, whatever I do...I go 100%.  Go hard or go home is my motto.  Unless, it's cleaning house.  Then, my motto the bare minimum until they start yelling for clean underwear and the baby is eating full meals off the floor. 

But, seriously...when I became pregnant with my 3rd, my whole world changed.  I no longer was the mom with two school aged children who could go and do whatever I wanted during the school hours.  I was now the mommy of two school age kids and an infant.  Life as I knew it looked a helluva lot different now.  It was hard for some people to understand...this new me.  "You mean you're not volunteering for this or that?"  "Aw, come on, go for PTA prez this year....I was 15 mos pregnant and dragging around two toddlers while I served on our school's PTA."  (I exaggerate, of course)  And, it was hard for me, too.  However, I was slowly learning my limits.  And, drumroll please...they're not necessarily "your" limits.  You may be able to serve on the PTA board while 15 mos preggo dragging along two toddlers without pulling your hair out.  You go girl!  But, I just can't....better yet, I don't want to.  And, I've had to learn that that's okay.  p.s. it's not a competition ;)  And, even if it was a competition - you win :)

I've also come to realize this is way bigger than just me learning to say no.  This is about the example I am setting for my children.  This generation is the most over-scheduled, over-committed, burnt out, stressed out generation our world has ever seen.  If we can't set limits for ourselves, how can we ever expect our kids to learn their own limits.  If they see me doing 10 million different things well and keeping my sanity, than that's awesome.  But, if they see me trying to do 10 million different things poorly and turning into a giant stressball who has stretched herself too thin...then we have a problem.  

I am a work in progress...I still try to do too much at once, I get stressed and I put unnecessary guilt on myself because I'm not doing as much as I think I should. I am a mom after all!  However, I grow a little more everyday and it's getting easier when I need to say, "I'm sorry, I just can't this time".  Now, if only this would work with the laundry......

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Valentia Even Glow Serum - Antioxident Skin Treatment - 20% Vitamin C Product Review

As I have mentioned before, I'm not the girl who has a devout beauty regimen.  Until now!  Thanks to some great skin products that I have had the privilege to review, I can now say - my skin may survive to see 60.  I cleanse, I apply eye cream and I round out the process with my new favorite product - Valentia Even Glow Serum - aka "liquid gold".  I love love love this serum.  It goes on silky smooth and even smells great!  Not to mention, my skin has never felt softer.  My skin looks brighter and more alive which is quite an improvement on the "Zombie Mom" look I had going on.  I also use it on my neck and chest to help smooth out the wrinkly sun damage that was starting to surface.  I was even starting to develop a few sun spots on my face and have been pleased to see those lightening with each application.  The vitamin c in this serum also helps to filter out the nasties that are in our everyday environment to prevent future damage.  Yeah for "liquid gold"!!
   I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.