All White Bathroom Renovation

Posting photos of our all white bathroom renovation. The before photos are too yucky to post! Needless to say we are very happy with the results.

We left the existing tall built-in shelf with some updating: painting the unit, re-lining the shelf bottoms, and getting new baskets and towels. We installed a new vanity and top, and toilet. We left the existing shower/bath, and put in new floor tiles.

 

Energy Balls Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then refrigerate for 30 minutes so the “dough” is not too soft to roll. Roll into small balls and keep in refrigerator.

Lilies and Tulips

In the dead of winter, it’s nice to remind yourself that one day Spring will be back! What better way than with lilies and tulips.

Lobster Dinner at Home

Our New Years Day family tradition is to start the year off with a delicious meal – lobsters at home. January 1st is actually my Dad’s birthday, and this has always been what he wanted to do to celebrate.

When gathering and celebrating, a charcuterie of meats and cheeses is always a nice way to start.

 

Some tips for eating lobster at home:

  • See if your grocery store will steam the lobsters for you – saves time and you know it will be cooked to perfection.
  • Make sure you have the proper utensils: Kitchen shears, lobster cracker, and seafood fork.
  • Melted butter and a lemon wedge are a great accompaniment to lobster.
  • Have a big bowl on table for discarding the shells, and paper towels on hand for mess.

I served this meal with shrimp cocktail appetizer, as well as sides of mashed potatoes, corn and asparagus. Delicious!

Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas! From our home to yours.

Picture perfect!

These Christmas morning smiles are the greatest gift of all.

For our train-loving toddler, a Polar Express electric train set. Happy boy!

 

This little one is perfectly content just watching her big brother open gifts. Such a doll.

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

I love the idea of decorating gingerbread men during the holidays, but I don’t like the taste of gingerbread cookies! So, switching things up here and making “sugar cookie” gingerbread men in our house this year.

You will need:

  • Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Decorating icing tubes, 3 colors of choice

I made these with my son. He loved rolling out the dough, and I loved showing him!

An even bigger hit was stamping out the gingerbread men.

He got a kick out of the fact that they look like little people.

Once they were baked, we laid them out to cool. Then we stored them in a large ziplock bag, setting them aside to decorate at our Christmas Eve party.

We decorated them with colored icing tubes after Christmas Eve dinner. Even Uncle Ian took a stab at it! A fun activity for both kids and adults.

Best Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe

This slow cooker ribs recipe is absolutely amazing. Perfect comfort food on a chilly day, like we are having here today in New Jersey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless beef short ribs (last time I did 3.5 lbs and multiplied ingredients 1.5)
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons catsup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 package baby carrots
  • 1 package small red or white potatoes

Directions:

  • Put flour, salt and pepper and ribs in a large ziplock bag and shake to coat (can leave this overnight in fridge).
  • Brown ribs in butter in a large skillet.
  • Put in slow cooker.
  • In same skillet, combine remaining ingredients and bring to boil, stirring.
  • Pour over ribs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 9 hours (or 1.5 hours high, – then add veggies – 3.5 hours low).

Teaching Kids About Giving

I came up with this idea one night while talking to my son about Santa and presents and all the Christmas stuff he had been hearing. He just turned three years old, and this is the first Christmas he started to be curious with what was happening. He knew Santa was coming, and he had a sack of gifts (mostly learned all this from school and books and TV) but I wanted to be able to explain gift giving to him, not just receiving. So I decided I would take him Christmas shopping.

I went to Target and got a few packs of these brown kraft gift bags. We were having Christmas Eve at our house, and expecting ten family members, so I wrote each person’s name on the bags.

I brought my son to the Dollar Store, and brought the bags. I gave him a basket and explained to him that we were going to buy a special gift for each person, something that we thought would make them happy.

We walked through the store, I would name a person and give him the bag, and we would stroll through the aisles talking about things they liked, and what might make them smile.

He was having a blast. I was surprised he had an opinion about each person! I would suggest something, and sometimes he would say, “No, I want to give them this” and point to something else of his choice. How sweet!

When it was time to check out, I gave him a $20 bill, and explained that in order to buy our gifts, we will have to give the cashier money. He was armed with sunglasses for Daddy, a toy pony for his sister, a basketball and football for each of his Grandfathers, and Disney figurines for the Grandmas. Not to mention a set of bubbles for himself. I agreed that a gift for himself would be appropriate.

When we got home, we unloaded the gifts, put them in the appropriate bags, along with a handmade card for each person.