Nilla Wafer Ice Cream Sandwiches

This recipe could only be better if I had Blue Bell ice cream available to me, but since that’s not an option here in Seattle, I had to make due with what we have here.  I came up with these Nilla Wafer Ice Cream Sandwiches as a fun, small summer treat for my girls.  I love Nilla Wafers and vanilla ice cream together and ice cream sandwiches are just plain fun.

Nilla Wafer Ice Cream Sandwiches

Get your mise en place ready and be prepared to work quickly.

ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients:
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Ice cream (strawberry & vanilla pictured)
  • Sprinkles

Instructions:
  1. Allow ice cream to slightly soften, but not melt
  2. scoop about 1 Tablespoon of ice cream onto the flat side of a Nilla Wafer and top it with a second cookie.
  3. Press but do not squeeze the cookies together or your ice cream will smoosh out of the cookie.
  4. Roll Edge of cookie in sprinkles.
  5. Freeze solid on a sheet pan.
  6. Remove to container and keep in freezer until ready to eat.
  7. **NOTE** You’ll have to work fast with this one or you’ll be swimming in melted ice cream.

When done making the Nilla Wafer Ice Cream Sandwiches, sit down with your kiddo and eat the left over ingredients. :O)

left overs

Comments make me giddy.  What is your favorite summertime treat?

Toffee-Doodle Cookies

I have a real big issue with Starbucks lately.  I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I do go there for iced tea once in a while or a quick bite when I’m busy and on the road.  In the last year or so Starbucks has developed a real nasty habit of putting something on the menu that I love and then just as soon as I’m good and attached they cancel it forever.  Bye-bye BBQ Sandwich. Bye-bye Toffee-Doodle Cookies!

The toffee-doodle cookies were the last straw.  I was so disappointed that I decided something just had to be done about it.  Picketing the store not being the most productive or effective idea, I went on the hunt for a great snicker-doodle recipe, made a few adjustments and made my own toffee-doodle cookies. I was doubtful that they would be as good as the real thing, but oh man!  I was so wrong.  These cookies are the BOMB!  Best eaten when still warm from the oven.

Toffee Doodle cookies

Toffee-Doodle Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4-1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
Toppings Ingredients:
  • 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions:
  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees
  2. cream softened butter and sugars
  3. add eggs and vanilla to butter/sugar mix.  beat until smooth
  4. in a separate bowl combine rest of cookie ingredients
  5. slowly add dry ingredients to wet mix and mix well
  6. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to help in  shaping of cookies
  7. combine topping ingredients, mix and set aside
  8. roll cookie dough into balls…mine were about 1 Tablespoon, but 2 Tablespoon balls would make a larger cookie
  9. Roll cookie balls in the cinnamon sugar mix.
  10. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 12-14 minutes….be careful not to over bake.

To make sure that I can have these delicious toffee-doodle cookies whenever the craving strikes, I rolled out a batch of them, froze them on a sheet pan and then took the frozen cookie balls and put them into a freezer bag.  Bam!  Now I can pull out one or ten whenever I need them.

freezer ready toffee doodle cookies

Do you have a favorite copy-cat recipe?  Comments make me smile.

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 17 – 23, 2017)

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 17 – 23, 2017)

We were hoping to have Mr, Rabbit and Kangaroo home this weekend from India but delays have hit us left and right.  We thought they’d be coming home Tuesday but then the judge decided to go away for 4 days and not sign paperwork before leaving.  Ugh.  So now those tickets are cancelled and we’re waiting again.  Very hopeful that Wednesday or Thursday they will be on their way.  Now to this weeks Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan. This week I changed up my layout from the grid style tracking to a more traditional planner layout.  I’ll be filling in my to-do’s for home and work under each daily heading and tracking my fasting blood sugar there as well.

Bullet Journal Weekly Layout

This week I also am trying out a new water tracker…

Eight Cups a Day

Cleaning tracker…

Chore Tracker

We also have a combined birthday party coming up at the end of July for Rabbit (turning 16) and Armadillo (turning 2) so I created a place to plan the details for that.  You can see that my little Armadillo was helping me plan on this page.

Party Planning

Chocolate makes us joyful!

This week Jellyfish and I made our first batch of baked chocolate cake donuts and they were delish.  I can’t wait to play around with the recipe and come up with some new flavors to share with you.

Chocolate Cake Doughnut

This coming week we have 7 family members coming up from Texas for a visit so there will be a lot of fun activities towards the end of the week and over the weekend.

Here’s our meal plan for the week of July 17-23, 2017.

Monday – Pork Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice

Tuesday – Fish & Veggies

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Dinner at the Beach Cafe followed by a walk along the marina docks

Friday – BBQ at home w/ Family Game Night

Saturday – Beach Day – Grilling

Sunday – Family Dinner at home – Potluck

What is coming up for you this week?  I love it when you share.  Thank you for supporting this blog and my hobby.

Super Delish Egg Roll Bowl

As promised, we made the Super Delish Egg Roll Bowl again this week. This time we made it for my parents who came over to help install a second window fan which has made a HUGE difference in the temperature of our house in the afternoons!  I also made sure to make notes of my alterations to the source recipe so that I could share it with you.

While I haven’t made the switch to LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet completely, I am trying to incorporate more meals into our week that don’t include grains or starchy veggies.  This recipe is healthy, delicious and fairly simple to make.

Egg Roll Bowl

Super Delish Egg Roll Bowl

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground pork (chicken or turkey will also work
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (less if it’s strong to you)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos (more or less to taste)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger, grated by microplane
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 stalks green onion, sliced
Instructions:
  1. Brown ground meat in large pan.
  2. Add onions to pan with browned meat. Stir and continue cooking until slightly translucent.
  3. Add carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and sesame oil.  Cook until carrots are tender.
  4. Add cabbage and soy sauce and cook until cabbage is wilted.
  5. Garnish with green onion and enjoy.

I was super skeptical the first time I made this recipe for the kids and myself that they would eat it.  After all it is loaded with veggies.  I had PB&J on standby just in case, but to my delight they gobbled it up and asked for more.

Free Emergency Contact Printable

This week has been another whirlwind of activity.  Family dinners, cleaning and checking things off the to-do list in by bullet journal.  I love my lists but most of all, I love checking things off as done.  Check. Check. Check.  One of my tasks this week was to finish creating an emergency contact page (and a free emergency contact printable for you) to hang on the refrigerator.  I should have had this all along for Jellyfish who is nine, but haven’t.  Bad mama!

Do cell phones turn your brain to mush?

One of the negative side effects of cell phones is that you don’t have to memorize phone numbers anymore.  I remember when I was in middle and high school having all of my friends numbers memorized.  Now? Honestly, I have to think really hard to recall my own mother’s cell phone number.  And even then it might take me a couple tries until I get it right. Sheesh.  Sorry, Mom! So as I have been prepping for the kiddos from India, I thought it would probably be good to have some important information available for them.  I created a simple emergency information page which includes work and cell numbers for mom and dad, poison control, family contact numbers and our home address.  Click on the link below for your free emergency contact printable.

Free Emergency Contact Printable

I printed out our list on card stock and got out my trusty laminator.  I think I love that thing more than my label maker which is saying a lot. Once it was laminated I posted it on our freezer door and there it is all nice and shiny and beautiful.  We’re still just talking about a piece of paper, right?

Do you remember a time when you had to have all the phone numbers of your friends memorized?  If you do then, you’re aging yourself.  Ha! Sorry, I just had to say it.  You’re not alone, my friend.

This post contains affiliate links.  Join the conversation by commenting, following the blog here on Word Press or via Facebook.  Thank you for your support.

DIY Cinder Block Bench

Whew.  We made it through another week of nesting.  I think we’re just about ready as much as we can be.  Rooms are ready, closet and dresser space have been made and we finished up a couple of projects just to make things look pretty like the DIY Cinder Block Bench below.  Mr. is still in India and we spent our 5th anniversary apart.  We’re all hoping and praying that the paperwork will be finalized this week and that he’ll be travelling home with Rabbit and Kangaroo next weekend.

Cinder Block Bench

I started this project thinking that I was making this cinder block shelf for our front porch.  My brother, awesomeness that he is, had the materials sitting around and gave them to me.  All we had to do was buy the paint.  I love cheap projects!

Image result for cinder block shelves

Jellyfish and I worked on the painting in the evenings after Armadillo was tucked into bed.  A surprise came though when I was rearranging our porch to put the shelves together.  I set the blocks and wood down in order to move some other things out of the way and bam! (channeling Emeril) My garden shelves were transformed into a garden bench.

DIY Cinder Block Bench

This colorful cinder block bench sits under my kitchen window and will provide a fun place to sit while the kids play outside or for the kids to sit and enjoy their summer treats.  I love how a project can transform from one thing to another like this!

Had some (okay, a lot) of paint left over so I also freshened up this Ikea step stool that I found at Good Will for $5.  Little Armadillo LOVES climbing up on her “tool” to help me cook.

Ikea Step Stool Refresh

Have you ever started a project with one idea in mind and ended it with a totally different outcome than you first expected?

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 10–16, 2017)

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 10 – 16, 2017)

This week was another whirlwind of activity as we worked hard to prepare for the coming of our two children from India.  Sometime in the next 10 days our family will increase from a family of 4 to a family of 6.  It’ll be so exciting and fun and scary all at the same time.  I pray that the Lord gives me guidance on how to love these kids in a way that they will see His love through me and come to know Him.  Since we don’t know exactly when Mr. and the kids will becoming home, my Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan is a little sparse.  I’ve planned the beginning of the week but left the end open to allow flexibility for last minute prepping with quick dinners or picking up family from the airport, etc.

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout

Jellyfish has decided that she wants to start using a bullet journal as well which is so neat.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as Anne of Avonlea once said.  She has a small chart tracking her reading, chores and water consumption.  Then she has a short to-do list for the week listing only the most important things that she wants to get done.  It’s never to early to start making lists, organizing your thoughts and tracking your goals.  I hope this type of journal will be a habit that sticks as I think it’ll only be a benefit to her as she continues in school with more homework and takes on more responsibilities at home.

Here’s our meal plan for the week of July 10-16, 2017.

Monday – Egg Roll Bowl – This was on our meal plan last week and it was such a huge hit with the kids that we’re doing it again. I’ll be blogging the recipe as I made some adjustments to the base recipe that I used last week.

Tuesday – Sausage & Potatoes.

Wednesday – Fish & Veggies.

Thursday – unknown / left overs?

Friday – unknown

Saturday – unknown

Sunday – unknown

I hope you have a great week.  
Love on your family a little extra this week.

Breakfast Tacos

Happy Independence Day everyone. It was strange to have a day off in the middle of the week. All day I was feeling like it was Saturday and had to keep reminding myself that tomorrow it was back to work.  We started off our day with breakfast tacos.

Jellyfish used to love eggs any time of day but in the last year something changed and she doesn’t enjoy them as much. She’ll eat them but there are frowns and grumbling that come with and if given an option she rarely chooses them. Last week I discovered the remedy. Breakfast tacos. These were met with lots of smiles, yummy sounds and a resounding, “we should have these more often Mom!” Yesss!!

Breakfast Tacos

Ingredients 

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cooked sausage or bacon
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomato
  • Corn taco shells. We used the small street taco size.
  • Any other toppings you like. Ideas: jalapeños, green onion, avacado, salsa or hot sauce

Before I started cooking I had my mise en place. French for set in place…translation…prep work done.


Method

  1. Cook sausage, slice and set aside
  2. Scramble eggs
  3. Heat taco shells. I microwaved for 1 minute but you could also hear in the oven
  4. Assemble tacos.

Jellyfish and Armadillo like to assemble their own so I just serve them all the components.


I like mine put together


What is your favorite go to breakfast?

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 3 – 9, 2017)

Weekly Bullet Journal Layout & Meal Plan (July 3 – 9, 2017)

How was your weekend?  Ours was good and busy.  Jellyfish (9) and I have been working hard on cleaning out the clutter in her room.  We’re about 95% done and it feels amazing!  Mr. is in India and working out the final steps so that his son (Kangaroo – 14) and daughter (Rabbit – 15) can come and join us here in the States.  It’s been a long process and now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel it is so exciting!  I’ve had a serious nesting bug which was a bit of a surprise for me.  I didn’t expect to feel that but I do.  We’ve been cleaning, organizing, throwing things out and purchasing things for our family of 4 that is about to turn into a family of 6!  My bullet journal list exploded last week!

Last week, I didn’t get all of my to-do’s done so you’ll see quite a few of them migrated to this week’s Bullet Journal spread.  Have you given the journal a try yet?  You’ll love it….especially if you’re a list lover and doodler like I am.  This week one of my goals is to totally fill out the water intake on my tracker.  Last week was okay, but I only completed my daily goal for water twice.  The rest of the days were only about 2/3 full.

Bullet Journal Layout

On this week’s layout I added a cleaning schedule.  I try to do a little cleaning and a little laundry on most days of the week that way I’m not spending all day on Saturday trying to play catch up.  Our dryer is still out of service which is such a bummer.  We’re doing some at the laundry mat and some at my mom’s house.  I’ve also washed a couple loads and hung them to dry.  I don’t know what I’m missing, but when I do this my clothes turn out stiff and hard.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Weekly Bullet Journal Tracker

Here’s our meal plan for the week of July 3-9, 2017.

I’ve included links to the recipes where available.

Monday – Nachos

Tuesday – Forth of July Dinner with the Rents.

Wednesday – Baked fish and veggies.

Thursday – Brown Butter Pasta & Pork Meatballs

Friday – Grilled Chicken & Salad from our garden

Saturday – Egg Roll Bowl Never got around to this one last week.

Sunday – Sausages and Cauliflower Mash

Summertime Planning

This week I also added a a few layouts for summer planning to my journal. Jellyfish and I sat down and brainstormed all of the fun things that she would like to do over the summer.  Not sure that we’ll be able to do all of them but we’re going to do our best!

Summer Fun Bullet Journal Layout

At the end of the month we have a bunch of family coming in to town for a visit so I also did a lay out to pencil in our plans for outings with them. Right now it’s just a blank outline which we’ll slowly fill in as we firm up our plans.

Bullet Journal - Vacation Planner

What is your family doing over the summer months?

June Blog Challenge – Day 30 – Blog Content Survey

June Blog Challenge – Day 30

The end has come…

We’ve spent the last 30 days together every day sharing about ourselves by using a list to prompt our conversations.  For me, it has been great fun and I’ve learned a few things about myself.  This challenged has pushed me to think and push myself to answer some (not all) of the prompts even when they made me uncomfortable.  The main thing I’ve gained is a huge sense of accomplishment at completing the exercise of posting on a daily basis.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my shares, and rants and random information.  Thank you for sticking it out with me.  I have one final request for the month of June.  Please help me complete a blog content survey so that I can make sure to provide you with the content you love and ditch the stuff you hate.

Blog Content Survey

Here are a few things that I’ve blogged on in the past.  Let me know what works and what doesn’t.

  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Weekly Bullet Journal Layouts
  • DIY Projects – Home, Garden, Kids
  • Monthly Book Reviews
  • Recipe Roundups
  • Craft Roundups
  • Parenting Topics
  • Organization Tips

My desire is to have this blog be a place where we can spur each other on to live joy filled lives as we love our families.  Your input will help me develop the content that is most useful to you.

Please use the comments to let me know what you’d like to see more of on the blog.

If you’ve missed any of the June Challenge posts, check them out here.