Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday: Devil's Food Cheesecake Bars

These suckers are good. Almost too good. Diet break worthy good. I wish I could say they were one of my famous four ingredient or less recipes, like my
4 ingredient key lime pie (one of my favorite recipes ever) or my 4 ingredient blueberry cinnamon rolls. Sorry to say, but these bars have 7- but oh boy is it worthwhile. 

*One chocolate box cake mix
*Two sticks butter/margarine
*1 8oz package cream cheese
*3 egg yolks
*3/4 cup sugar
*1 tsp vanilla
*1 tsp cream of tartar

Step 1
Melt your butter/margarine and then mix with the chocolate cake mix. It will be almost play-dough like in consistency; press it into a greased 8x8 glass pan. (the greasing is more for the cheesecake part than the crust part)

Step 2
Using an electric mixer (yes, you can do it by hand if you want, but it takes FOREVER), whip the eggs whites until they form peaks but are not stiff. Add in sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar.

Step 3
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave, then, using your good friend the mixer, combine the two together until there are no lumps. Pour into your 8x8 pan.

Step 4
Put your delicious-to-be bars into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the cheesecake part has risen our of the pan and its corners are a light brown. (you can see in the photos how much it rose after baking)

Step 5

Pull out of the oven, let cool and refrigerate, then eat it with delicious caramel. Mmmm. That was how I ate mine. (And for the record, they literally WERE diet breaking good.... Just trying to get off the baby weight, but these yummies broke my will the night I made them.)

Please, please, PLEASE enjoy! They are delicious!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday: Love Languages

Funny Cry for Help Ecard: There's a sixth love language. It's called letting me sleep in.
And that about sums up how I feel. Every time my husband takes my babies so I can sleep a little longer, I fall in love with him a little bit more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday: How to Plan a Personalized Party

I have been to some wedding showers and baby showers that had a few personalized items like water bottle labels or signs, but had always assumed that items like that would be out of my price range if I ever threw a party. I never would have thought to go out and check out on something like that before, but someone from Shindigz contacted me and invited me to their website to check things out. I had no idea what the website was like and put it off for a few weeks. When I finally did start browsing around, I was surprised at the huge quantity of personalized items available- and for ANYTHING! Yes, they have all the normal party supplies, hats, napkins, plates, etc., but they also have personalized stickers, bath salts, candy bars, mini candy bars, lanyards, pretty much everything. I literally spent hours over the next few days browsing through their selection and wanted to share my favorite finds.
e past, like
Rainbow Personalized Cupcake Wrappers
Personalized StickersYou can create almost any style of sticker for any occasion- wedding, shower, brunch, birthday party, etc., and it will only run you about .20 a sticker. I think I will use them for my Christmas letter this year, something like 'Talley Family 2013" to stick on the back of my envelopes to seal them.

Personalized Cup Cake WrappersSO fun! These run about .50 a piece and I think are ideal for wedding showers, so like "Spencer and Julie, May 2014" or whatever. So cute!

Zombie Mini Candy Bar WrappersPersonalized Mini Candy Bar Wrappers One of the best deals on the site, you can personalize mini candy bar labels (I used this 'Movember' style for mine) and it only hits you at 8 cents per wrapper. 

Personalized Foil Print Napkins This one makes me wish I could plan my wedding all over again. No one uses cloth napkins at weddings (unless you're an ultra high roller, which I am not), and plain napkins seem so blergh- but these have a metallic print on your paper napkin. I would have done black and silver. 

Custom Napkins with Metallic Foil ImprintLife Size Cardboard Cutout I saved the coolest for last. I was in Japan during my sister's wedding and I love Aurora, so she had my face pasted on to an Aurora cut out- which was really fun- but I couldn't believe how affordable a life size cutout is. 19.99! It's almost worth it to get one of myself to put in the kitchen to freak my husband out next April Fool's Day. In fact, I just might do that. ;)

I made a decent sized order and really loved a lot of what I got. I gave some to my mother-in-law, who raved about them. All in all, I think that Shindigz has found a life long customer in me, but if you are going there to shop, I'd caution you to do so well in advance, as everything is made to order, so it takes  bit of time to get to you.

- They DO have dollar paper ware (paper plates, forks, napkins, etc.) in every color under the rainbow. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday: 5 Reasons to be a Stay at Home Mom

My day today was enjoyable, albeit a little nuts. I have two children myself, a toddler and a newborn,
but today, I had over two nieces, one nephew, and two neighbor kids (for a grand total of seven kids ages ranging from 2 weeks to 9 years). We swam and played in the water outside, had baths, cleaned up, watched a movie, sang, danced, had lunch, and read/acted out a story. Then, I sent everyone but my two on their merry way and had a moment to ponder my afternoon.

Background. My hubby is a little nutty and wants ten children. No joke, no exaggeration. Sometimes I want two. Sometimes three. Sometimes five. It changes day to day, usually based on how much sleep I got the night before. But, really and truly, he wants ten children, so having seven all at once was a great chance for me to think about whether or not it is possible/probable/desirable.

Here's my conclusion.

 I will have more children, but take it one at a time and not commit myself to one particular number.

I will not neglect any of my children regardless of how many I have.

But, most importantly, I will continue to be a stay-at-home-mom.

Why? Several reasons.

I can take my babies hiking

*I am interested in building their character, not just watching them. Any day care center or sitter, no matter how wonderful and amazing, will ever replace me. Personally, I am a great sitter. I take wonderful care of other people's children, yet even I am not a better option for most children than their actual parents. Why? Because when I make choices about what I do with my children, (like what they eat, how often, where we play, what we do, what movies, what discipline, etc.) I make these choices based upon their entire life. I do my best to teach my children so that they have the opportunity to become honest, hardworking members of their community. No one, aside from their daddy, cares about their future and who they become in the way that I do, so regardless of how great of care they might give my babies, a daycare center or sitter will not be able to do what I do.

I can take her to the park!

*I KNOW that I will regret it if I do not. This is only because I CAN stay home (again, with some budgeting). If I couldn't, then tough luck, life is what it is, and I would feel no regrets about working, but because I CAN stay home, I know that someday, were I to choose to not stay home, I would regret it. In twenty or thirty years, I will look back on how I raised my babies and ask myself if I really did all that I could do for them. If I had the ability to stay home with them but didn't, I know that I would feel regret at missing that time with them. The money comes and goes and means nothing to me as time goes by- but the memories that I make with my babies as they grow up will stay with me for eternity.

*It makes me a better person. Any mama that stays home knows that being a SAHM has its own specific and difficult challenges. It involves many sacrifices and concessions of my wants and desires. Giving up what I want for myself (to be better dressed, drive a fancier car, get time for myself, etc.) to improve my babies lives helps me to curb my own selfishness and become a more charitable, selfless person.

Like being a SAHM gives
me time to make sushi...
*It makes me a better mom. Being a working mama takes a lot out of you. I am not a perfect person and cannot perfectly control my impulses (unfortunately) and coming home from a long day of work to a clingy, whiny, or sick child is far more likely to put me into an angry, frustrated mood than if I have had all day with my babies to take care of them. Working doesn't take away your mom duties: it gives you double duty, work and mom-ing. I want to be able to give my all to my kids, and if I work, I would want to give my all to my work, too. I know my limitations. I cannot give my all to both.

*It makes me a better wife. If my young babies need me and my hubby needs me, my hubby will be put on hold until those babies' needs are met. And that is fine. Unless my time with hubby and babies is limited and all my energy goes into taking care of my babies and my husband gets neglected. Like I said earlier, I only have so much to give, and splitting my time between hubby and babies gives me much more time and energy to give to my husband and our relationship than if I had to split my time between work, babies, and hubby.

Are you a bad person if you are not a stay-at-home-mom? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I don't believe there needs to be strict division between working moms and SAHMs, especially since we are working towards the same goal: loving and caring for our children. But these five reasons are why I choose to stay home with my babies.

New to mom-ing? Check out 5 Tips for First Time Moms.