Sometimes Homemade http://sometimes-homemade.com Working mom, home design lover, crafts. DIY, baking. Sat, 04 Mar 2017 04:23:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 51493153 My Friday Five – Catching Up! http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=friday-five-catching/ Sat, 04 Mar 2017 04:08:08 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7156 Well Heeeellllllllooooooo! Long time no post. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a little while. I’ve got lots of posts […]

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Well Heeeellllllllooooooo! Long time no post. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a little while. I’ve got lots of posts in my head these days just other things preoccupying my time instead of getting them written. If you ever miss me, you can usually find some updates on Instagram. I thought I’d do a little catch up today with my Friday Five.

1 | Vacation Dreams – We took a trip with some friends to the Dominican Republic back in mid January. It was a fantastic trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to travel with. Lots of pool time, a boat cruise, golfing, and zip lining. The week was over way too quickly! By now it feels like it was a lifetime ago!


2 | Missing Grandma
 – While we were on vacation, my grandmother passed away. Granny B., as we all referred to her, was a spirited 97 year old still living at home and with the sharpest wit and a knack for telling the best stories. I have such fond memories of times with her and my grandpa growing up. We will all miss her dearly, but we are beyond grateful that we had her in our lives so long.

This is a picture of Carter with Granny B when he interviewed her for a school project this fall.


She loved to sew and bake, and I cherish her baking items I was able to keep to remind me of her.


3 | Sweating It Out –
Work has been keeping me incredibly busy lately, but I’m trying to still remain committed to working out consistently. We’re doing a 3 week team challenge at my gym right now, so I’ve been squeezing in my daily workout either in the morning or over lunch, trying not to skip a day. Today was a trifecta of bodyweight/cardio, kickboxing, and trx. If only I could get my eating in check…


4 | Product Junkie
– I’m pretty low maintenance in my beauty routine, but I’ve always been a bit of a product junkie. I love to try out new products which is why I’m always thrilled when I get a new Influenster VoxBox. Free products? Yes please! This month I got the #FierceVoxBox. My favorite product so far is the Madam CJ Walker Brassica Seed Oil. I’m long overdue for a haircut, but this makes my hair look refreshed and it smells heavenly!


5 | Wallpaper Blues
– I’m finally tackling the wallpaper in my basement. We’ve lived in our hours 13 years and I think it’s the only room we have yet to re-paint. Oh how I hate removing wallpaper, it has to be the worst home improvement project task. These ducks are proving to be a formidable opponent. It took me 4 hours to get the paper off of two walls. I was nearly in tears at that point. With two walls left to go, wish me luck!

I need to get this wallpaper done because I know I won’t want to when Spring arrives for good here in Iowa. It’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend here, so I’m guessing my motivation will to be outside rather than in the basement. I can always find something a lot better to do than removing wallpaper though! Have a great weekend!

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10 Things to Do on an Airplane http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=10-things-to-do-on-an-airplane/ Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:02:00 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7136 Chances are if you’re packing for a flight, you’re not only thinking about what to put in your suitcase but […]

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Chances are if you’re packing for a flight, you’re not only thinking about what to put in your suitcase but also what to pack for in-flight entertainment. Regardless of the flight time, it can seem endless if you don’t have something to do while on the plane. Whether you’re looking to extend your leisure time or productivity, these 10 ideas will help make the most of your time.

We recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic. In preparation for a 10+ hour travel day, I thought a lot about how to pass the time. I fly a decent amount between work and fun, and my in-flight activities are often determined by which type of trip I’m on or how long my flights are.

1| Reading – this is my #1 go to regardless of what type of trip I’m on. Sometimes traveling is the only time I seem to have to read, so I always make sure to have at least a couple books downloaded on my Kindle or my iPad. Before e-readers, I used to leave books I had read in my hotel room so that I could have room to buy a new book on the way home. (Any book recommendations out there? I’m always looking for new ones to have in my queue.)

 

2 | Watching Movies or TV – For my recent trip, I used the new Netflix download feature to start watching the series House of Cards (so good!). Amazon Video also offers a similar feature. Another reason to love my Prime membership! Our International flight on United had free in-flight entertainment too. Tip: Sign up for the frequent flier program on airlines. You can often use your points for inflight wifi and entertainment purchases. Even if you don’t fly often, these are low point “purchases”.


3 | Sleep –
Oh how I wish I could sleep on a plane! If you can, I’m eternally jealous. My husband is one of those people.


4 | Crafting –
  Depending on how long your flight is, you can make some real progress on your latest knitting or crochet project. You can bring knitting needles and crochet hooks, check out this is what TSA says on it. “In general, you may place your knitting needles and needlepoint tools in carry-on or checked baggage. Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage.”


5 | Work
– If my flight is long enough on a work trip, I often pay for wifi to make the most of my travel time and keep caught up while away from work. Even if I don’t use wifi, there are usually presentations, planning, industry reading or other things I can do while offline. If your inbox needs a clean out, this is a good time to do it.

6 | Photo Editing and Organizing – I often use my flight time to transfer photos from my phone to my computer or a USB drive for storage. While doing that, I get rid of photos I don’t really want and edit them. If you don’t have a computer with you, you can also just delete and edit straight on your phone.


7 | Playing Cards
– if you’re traveling with someone else, you can play cards. On my recent flight a couple sitting ahead of me had some sort of game going on.


8 | Coloring –
if flying is stressful for you, coloring may be the perfect activity to help you relax. I like these Crayola Twistable colored pencils so you don’t have to have a sharpener with you.

9 | Games – there are so many games you can play on your phone or tablet. I’m partial to Candy Crush  or Bejeweled Blitz. Someone sitting next to me was playing Angry Birds. What ever your thing is, there’s an app for it! Don’t forget non-digital options like cross words, word finds or Sodoku.

10 | Shopping –  you can “window” shop through the Sky Mall magazine or hop online to make some actual purchases. My boss was flying on Cyber Monday last year and her goal was to get all her Christmas shopping done during her flight. Genius!

P.S. I didn’t list talking to your seat mate as an option. Even if this is your thing, you may not be seated next to someone who reciprocates.

What’s your favorite way to pass the time on a flight?

 

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10 Easy and Healthy Snacks http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=10-easy-healthy-snacks/ http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=10-easy-healthy-snacks/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:00:45 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7114 If you’re looking to add healthy snacks into your diet, these ten easy snacks help you incorporate more protein to […]

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If you’re looking to add healthy snacks into your diet, these ten easy snacks help you incorporate more protein to keep you satisfied longer and not over-indulge.

I’ve admitted several times in the last year that one challenge I have working from home is that I struggle with wanting to snack ALL THE TIME! When you have easy access to your kitchen pantry yet rarely have time to make a meal, it’s easy to have a snaccident!

I mentioned last week that I ran across a quote that said “when thinking about eating better, add vs. subtract.” This really makes sense to me and feels like a positive change rather than focusing on cutting out certain foods. Right now I’m working to add more protein, fruits and veggies into my diet, which hopefully in turn means I’ll eat less junk.

Here’s my top 10 list of easy healthy snacks that help me meet my daily protein goals. Many include some of my favorite dairy products from Hiland Dairy.

Yogurt + Granola or Fruit– a small bowl of yogurt with granola and/or fruit is a good way to curb hunger AND feel like you’re eating dessert. Your choice on regular or greek yogurt.


Greek Yogurt Dip + Carrots
 – did you know you can sub in greek yogurt for sour cream in most dip recipes? A really easy one is to mix a packet of dry ranch seasoning with a small container of Greek yogurt. The combinations are endless on this one with different dip and veggie combos.


Hummus + Veggies
– I’m partial to carrots on this one too, but any dip worthy veggies work – peppers, cauliflower, celery, snap peas.


Yogurt Fruit Dip + Fruit
– I tried out Hiland Dairy’s recipe for Yogurt Peanut Butter Fruit Dip. Yum! There are so many dips you can make with low fat yogurt, another favorite is with orange juice concentrate. MMMMM!

 

Almonds (or other nuts) – it can’t get much easier than popping a handful of nuts to tide you over. It’s easy to eat to many, so I try to portion mine out. If you want a little kick, try these spicy smokehouse almonds.


Apple Slices + Cheese
– I don’t know why but this combo always makes me feel like I’m maybe eating part of a decadent cheese plate rather than a healthy snack.


Peanut butter + Anything
– I have a life long love affair with peanut butter. For those of you allergic, I’m so sorry that you have to skip this one. Hopefully you can use another nut butter. My favorite peanut butter combos (aside from chocolate) are:

  • Apple + peanut butter
  • 1/2 English muffin + peanut butter
  • Celery + peanut butter
  • Pretzels + peanut butter


Milk and a Banana
– No, I don’t mix these together, but for some reason a glass of milk always tastes so good with a banana. Just me? Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

 

Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast – use an air popper or our favorite kitchen gadget, the Whirley Pop to make your popcorn. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast. Yes it sounds weird but provides a cheesy flavor and ups the protein.


Edamame
– these are slightly more time consuming than grab and go, but they don’t take long and are SO good. Just steam and flavor your way, from just sea salt to my favorite spicy garlic edamame.

Roasted Chickpeas – if you have time to make ahead, I really love roasted chickpeas. You can make them about any flavor. I love them to eat as a snack and to add to salads for a little crunch instead of croutons. Recipe: Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas


If you’re looking for other healthy snack or recipe ideas, sign up for the Get Healthy with Hiland email series. You’ll get great tips, recipes and even coupons for their top quality dairy products. I already made their Yogurt and Peanut Butter Fruit Dip and I’m scoping out the Blackberry Hazelnut Power Bowl. Yum!

Do you have any go to healthy snacks I should add to the list?

 

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My Friday Five – New Year, New Faves http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=my-friday-five-new-year-new-faves/ Fri, 06 Jan 2017 19:00:41 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=my-friday-five-new-year-new-faves/ Happy first Friday of 2017! Was this the longest short week ever or what?! While I enjoy my job, and […]

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Happy first Friday of 2017! Was this the longest short week ever or what?! While I enjoy my job, and I even worked a few days last week, it was a challenge to get back into the full routine of work and school again. Plus it was SO cold this week, making me want to hibernate.

While I’m not much of a resolution maker, like many people, I kick off the new year with more mindfulness and a desire to do some things better. I thought I’d share some of my favorite things so far in the New Year helping me along the way.
*Some products may contain affiliate links to Amazon or trusted retailers.

1 | Krazy for Kettlebells – I dig the group fitness class I go to (Kosama) surprisingly for the strength training. I say surprisingly because I used to dread most weight workouts. While I still look forward to kickboxing day I try never to miss kettlbell or TRX days. I’m getting stronger and even managed to lose a little weight over the holidays during the Project Zero challenge. Winning!


2| Fitness + Fashion
 – It’s no secret that I love my Fitbit Alta. I’ve had it for several months now and love it just as much as the first day I got it. I had a Fitbit One previously and resisted getting a bracelet style tracker for a long time because I love wearing bracelets and thought most trackers on the market weren’t very fashionable. The Alta has a slim profile and it lets you change out the bands. I found this silver tone band on Amazon for a steal. While I still wear the original band when working out, it’s nice to have the option to dress it up when I want to.


3 | Inspired by Spiralizing
– I saw a post recently that said “When thinking about eating better, add vs. subtract.” This speaks to me. While I eat my fair share of junk, I really need to focus on eating more of the good stuff. I got the Paderno Spiralizer for Christmas and I’m loving it as a way to get more veggies in my diet. This Thai Peanut Chicken with Sweet Potato Noodle recipe is my fave so far.


4| Toy Roundup
– I spent part of my time off after Christmas cleaning and organizing our basement. Can you believe I didn’t take a single picture? We recently had a new Container Store open near us. I raided their Elfa collection for some storage solutions that could hold ALL THE LEGOS. I tell you what, sorting Legos would be a good form of torture. Now I want to redo all of our closets, and my craft supplies, and… I might need a loan to buy ALL THE ELFA! (photo from containerstore.com)


5 | Capturing the Moments
– Like most people these days, I find I take a lot of pictures but I rarely seem to get them printed. I spotted this little Canon Selphy photo printer on sale recently and snatched it up. It had its coming out party when we had friends over for New Year’s. I set up a little photo booth in the basement and the kids and adults had fun posing and getting their pics printed. I love that I can print directly from an app on my phone and the quality is better than expected!


We’re taking Carter to Monster Jam tomorrow and I have a little shopping to do for an upcoming trip. Throw in house work, maybe a work out, and other to-do’s and the weekend will fly by I’m sure. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, enjoy!

Linked Up At: High Five for Friday; Oh Hey Friday

 

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Best of 2016 – 4 Year Blogiversary! http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=best-2016-4-year-blogiversary/ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 17:03:37 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7087 It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago today I started Sometimes Homemade as a place to document my craft […]

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It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago today I started Sometimes Homemade as a place to document my craft projects and DIY adventures! It’s fun each year on my blogiversary to look back on what you deemed most popular for the year.

It’s been a fun journey over the years and my projects and posts have definitely ebbed and flowed throughout that time. This year I had fewer posts than in years past. I found myself both busy with a new job as well as more motivations in other parts of my life. Adjusting to life as a non workaholic means I made more time for family and fitness. I found myself posting when I had projects to share rather than doing projects so I had things to share here. I still love this space and my loyal readers. Life is a balancing act and some days (years) what tips the scales are different things.  I’ve already got some new posts lined up for the new year though, so stay tuned!

Here’s a look back at the top 10 posts of the year.

10 | Salted Caramel Brownie BitesIf you haven’t tried these yet, you must!  Not only are they they perfect combo of salted caramel and chocolate, but they are bite sized and cute! They are a good go to for parties, treat tables, or dessert exchanges.


9 | Shade Loving Container Garden
– I’m still learning when it comes to gardening, but this container garden I did for our front was a winning combo worth repeating year after year!


8 | Working from Home: Expectations vs Reality
– Working at home is going well! I’ve got some more posts coming this next year on what the day-to-day is like now that I’ve found my groove.


7 | Tips for Picking Paint Colors
– Nothing is worse than getting paint up on your wall and realizing it’s all wrong. Apparently I’m not the only one whose had that happen because a lot of you wanted to read about tips for planning and doing it right the first time!


6 | Cake Batter Blondies
– This is one of my favorite recipes from the year. I’ve made them with a variety of different colored sprinkles for various holidays and tailgating and they are always a hit! Variation: Pumpkin Cake Batter Blondies


5 | Nerf Battle Birthday Party
– Carter turned 8 this year. Three months later he’s still talking about how much fun his Nerf Battle Birthday party was. It was pretty easy to put together and the kids were entertained all afternoon. It was fun for the adults too. Win!


4 | Top 5 Things to Do on a Girls Trip to Nashville – 
One of the highlights of my year was a girls trip to Nashville. It looks like many of you are on the hunt for ideas of what to do there too as this post had quite a bit of interest throughout the year since my trip. Ohhhhh… the memories!


3 | Dutch Letter Bars
– You can’t go wrong with almond flavored desserts. If you’ve ever had a traditional Dutch Letter, these bars do not disappoint!


2 | Spicy Garlic Edamame
– If you’re looking for a healthy snack or appetizer with a little kick, these hit the spot and are so easy! I haven’t made these in a while, but looking back on this year’s posts was a good reminder to add them back into my snack routine.


1 | Best Yard Games for an Outdoor Party
– Yard games are perfect for back yard barbeques, camping or a trip to the beach. My post on how to make your own wooden yard dice is one of the most popular on the blog. Save this list for later as these all make great gift ideas!


And with that, 2016 is almost a wrap. Thanks for your support over the last 4 years! I’m looking forward to a creative and productive 2017.

If you want more regular updates on what I’m up to, I created a new Instagram account for the blog this year, so follow me @sometimeshomemade. I’d love to connect!

Cheers!

Previous Year’s Best of Posts: 2015; 2014; 2013

 

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My Friday Five – Holiday Happenings http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=friday-five-holiday-happenings/ Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:15:55 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7061 Welcome to Friday! This week flew right on by and December is following suit. It’s been a busy few weeks […]

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Welcome to Friday! This week flew right on by and December is following suit. It’s been a busy few weeks with work travel and all sorts of holiday happenings.

1 | Winter Wonderland – The week after Thanksgiving I was off to the winter wonderland of Park City, Utah for a work trip. They are right on Deer Valley ski area and were prepping for the opening ski season and decking the halls while we were there. It was truly a gorgeous place with amazing service. My work meetings were good too. Since we all work remotely, It’s good to reconnect in person once in a while!

A sight I never thought I’d see, we got to witness the talented staff making a giant gingerbread AT-AT.

 

2 | Decking Our Halls – Our tree and decorations made their debut after Thanksgiving as well. It’s always a pain to get the tree upstairs, but so worth it with all the twinkling lights. Carter was really excited about decorating the tree this year and wanted to make sure the ornaments were evenly placed. I’m pretty sure he just wanted to climb up and down the step stool, but either way we had fun!

 

3 | Visit with the Big Guy – In the past, Carter has always seen Santa at my former employer’s kids Christmas party. Since I left last year for a new job, Carter had been concerned about how he was going to be able to see Santa. We did a weeknight trip to Jordan Creek this week to avoid the crowds, and he got to tell Santa he wants some Pokemon cards.

4 | Craving Cupcakes – I was invited to a local Yelp Elite party this week at Molly’s Cupcakes. Carter and I went and sampled more than a few of their delicious center-filled cupcakes.

I’m always a sucker for the almond wedding cake variety and Carter favored their Oreo cookie cupcake. Their shop is so adorable and features a school theme, complete with swing chairs at the bar area. If you’re in the Des Moines area, they’re located in the East Village (just two doors down from the Iowa Tap Room).


5 | Let the Baking Begin
– I haven’t started my major holiday baking yet, but as part of a partnership with Hiland Dairy I made these Rosemary Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits which are a perfect holiday side or next to your favorite bowl of soup. If you’re in the baking spirit, hop over to their site for recipes and enter to win a free year’s worth of dairy products!


I’ve got some shopping to do this weekend (online mostly, I hope) and plans to make my homemade mac and cheese and do a little baking. Otherwise we have a low key weekend planned while we enjoy the first expected snow fall of the season. Luckily I already dug out my boots before my Utah trip. Now I just have to make sure Carter’s boots and snow pants still fit him. I’m not sure why we always wait until the first snow fall to think about this. Whatever you’re up to, have a good one!

Linked Up At: High Five for Friday; Oh Hey Friday

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Rosemary Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=rosemary-garlic-buttermilk-biscuits/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:54:37 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7042 Buttermilk biscuits get a delicious update with fresh rosemary and a hint of garlic. They are a perfect side for […]

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Buttermilk biscuits get a delicious update with fresh rosemary and a hint of garlic. They are a perfect side for your holiday meal plus they’re versatile and easy enough for a weeknight dinner! Check out how to win a free year of dairy products from Hiland Dairy!


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones! Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about coming together to prepare a big meal and enjoy the company of the ones you’re with. As I’ve said many times before here, baking brings me such good memories of both of my grandmas and never more so than the holidays.

My baking season usually includes some tried and true favorites as well as some new recipes. I tried a new recipe over the weekend that will definitely make a return trip to our table, and not just for the holidays! These rosemary garlic buttermilk biscuits pair well the traditional flavors of the season as well as a perfect side for a weeknight dinner.

If you’ve shied away from made from scratch biscuits, you should try these. You’ll have most of the ingredients on hand and they come together quickly! At the core of this recipe are buttermilk and butter (butter really does make everything better!) I recently re-discovered Hiland Dairy products. I say re-discovered because for those of you who are Des Moines locals, they used to be named Roberts Dairy. Same great products! I love that they use local farmers and have such a commitment to sustainability and their products contain no growth hormones. Even better, they are giving away a free year of dairy products, click here to enter!

From start to finish, these took me about a half hour. Start by mixing your dry ingredients and then cut in your cold butter. I use my KitchenAid mixer on low to cut in my butter. You can also cut in with a pasty cutter. The mix should be crumbly. Then pour buttermilk into mixture and combine. Don’t over mix. You want to make sure you maintain those little pockets of butter.

Turn your dough ball onto a floured work surface. Then cut into rounds. You can use a biscuit cutter (or the top of a small glass works too). For excess dough, you can combine and repeat the process. Just know that your second round likely won’t be as fluffy as your first as the butter starts to get kneaded in more. Just try to minimize the handling.

Place on a parchment lined pan or in a well buttered cast iron skillet, brush the tops with buttermilk. I sprinkled a little rosemary and garlic on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes until tops are golden brown.

The recipe makes 10-12 biscuits. The flavor in these turned out so great I’m definitely going to experiment with some other herbs and spices (and maybe some cheese!). Now I’m thinking about how to use the rest of my buttermilk. Pancakes or waffles are definitely on the list, any other ideas? Don’t forget to check out the recipes on the Hiland Dairy website and enter their giveaway for a free year of dairy products!

Rosemary Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour - plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter (ice cold)
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients together.
  3. Cut butter into your dry ingredient mixture using a food processor or pastry cutter. It should be a course meal.
  4. Stir in buttermilk until just combined. Dough should be fairly wet, so add in more buttermilk if mixture is dry.
  5. Turn dough ball onto a floured surface.
  6. Gently with hands spread out until dough is about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Then fold over 2-3 times on itself. Press dough down to about 1 inch thick.
  7. Using a round cutter, cut into rounds.
  8. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or a well buttered cast iron skillet.
  9. Brush topes of biscuits with buttermilk
  10. Bake about 10-12 minutes, watching closely for tops to be lightly golden.
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Painted Acorns for Easy Fall Decor http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=painted-acorns-easy-fall-decor/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:38:59 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7034 Bring fall indoors with these easy to make painted acorns. Put them in a fall themed bowl or scatter them […]

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Bring fall indoors with these easy to make painted acorns. Put them in a fall themed bowl or scatter them around your Thanksgiving table for a natural fall accent. 

Better late than never, I’m finally posting about the adorable painted acorns to use in your fall decor. T-minus one day until Thanksgiving, you can save it for ideas for next year. I first saw these at the Vintage and Made Fair this fall. I almost bought some, but of course decided I should make them instead.

For supplies, I had everything on hand already except the acorns.

  • Craft paint – acrylic or chalk paint work well.
  • Paint brushes – easier if you have multiples so you don’t have to keep washing out between coats.
  • Acorns

If you’re using natural acorns, you’ll want to make sure you kill of anything (little bugs) that may be living in them. You can do this by putting them on a sheet pan or in a ziploc bag in your freezer. I’d leave them overnight to be safe, but a few hours would likely do the trick. If you’re not in an area where acorns are plentiful, you can always by craft acorns like these I found. (<<Amazon link).

Paint on an even coat of paint on each of your acorns. (I painted them holding them in my fingers, but I couldn’t get a picture of that myself  ) I used a wider brush with an angled tip so that I could better control the line around the acorn caps. If you feel you can’t do that well, you may want to tape off the caps with painters tape or masking tape. I suggest just using the right brush though because who has patience for all that taping?!

I painted two coats on each, letting dry in between about a half hour.

I’m loving these scattered around my new letter board sign from Letter Folk.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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10 KitchenAid Mixer Tips http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=top10-kitchenaid-mixer-tips/ Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:04:03 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7023 I’ve professed my love for my KitchenAid Mixer time and time again here, and today is another one of those […]

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I’ve professed my love for my KitchenAid Mixer time and time again here, and today is another one of those days. I just invested in my mixer a few years ago as a birthday present to myself and it’s a gift that keeps on giving! Here are my favorite KitchenAid Mixer tips, tricks and hacks to get even more out of your stand mixer.

1 | Shred chicken and other meats – Your mixer is not just for baking. Outside of the holiday season, when I’m doing a lot of baking, I undoubtedly use my mixer for shredding chicken more than almost anything else. Use the beater blade on medium until shredded to the consistency of your liking.

 

2 | Mash Potatoes – if you’ve ever had to make mashed potatoes for a large group, even with a hand mixer, it gets tiring or you have to do it in batches. Your stand mixer makes it a hands free task and you can work on other things while creating the perfect fluffy potatoes.

3 | Cream Butter and Sugar – Use your beater blade (not the wire whip) or better yet use the Flex Edge Beater. Even if your butter isn’t entirely softened, this will do the trick like a boss!

4 | Easy Sliding – My mixer sits under my counter and I need to slide it out to use it. This is easier if you keep a towel underneath it, plus it helps with keeping your counters clean.

5 | Keep it clean – if you don’t have the pouring shield, just drape a towel over your mixer to keep flour dust or other splatters contained.

6 | Pin won’t push in – This has happened to me twice. After the second time I’ve been less lazy about maintenance, but to fix this, apply a towel with hot water over the pin and work it around a little. Then apply a little dot of vegetable oil. Push it a few times before adding your attachment. If you’re like me and leave your beater blade on all the time. Do yourself a favor and try removing quickly before each use. It’s much easier to remove it when the attachment is clean vs when it has a load of buttercream frosting on it!

7 | Hand Wash – You may not like it, but I’m going to tell you to hand wash your KitchenAid beaters, bowls and attachments. Your glass bowl can go in the dishwasher, but I usually hand wash mine since I’m doing the others. As a time saver as I’m finishing my baking project, I run hot water in my bowl with a little dish soap and put in beaters to soak. By the time I’m ready to wash, most dough or frosting has worked it’s way off and it’s a quick job.

8 | Attachments – This isn’t so much as a hack as a recommendation, KitchenAid has so many useful attachments from the pasta maker to a spiralizer. While the mixer itself may take a decent amount of counter space, it can replace several kitchen appliances. Do your research before you buy a new juicer or ice cream maker to see if the KitchenAid attachment will suit your needs instead.

9 | Storage – many of the attachments can be stored right in the bowl. Keep the ones you use the most in there and the other ones in your pantry or other cupboards so you don’t have to go digging for them.

10 | Extra Bowl – This isn’t a necessity, but I find it handy to have an extra bowl so that I can have more than one thing going at a time. I was lucky that when I bought my mixer, KitchenAid had a promotion going on to get a free glass bowl. It’s nice to have so look for sales or specials or add one to your Christmas list!

Any of your favorite tips you’d add to the list?

 

KITCHENAID MIXER GIVEAWAY

Now through Nov. 19th you can enter to win a KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. (estimated retail value $299) US Entries only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Halloween Fun http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=halloween-fun-2016/ Tue, 01 Nov 2016 22:06:30 +0000 http://suzannerust.net/?id=super-hero-capes-for-kids&capes=?p=7010 Happy day after Halloween! I’m already thinking I have to throw out our bucket of Halloween candy so that I don’t […]

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Happy day after Halloween! I’m already thinking I have to throw out our bucket of Halloween candy so that I don’t eat it all day long. #workfromhomeproblems Just a few pics to share our weekend festivities.

Pumpkin Decorating | We had a pumpkin carving contest for my work. Even though we all work virtually, we still manage to have some fun. I’m pretty sure my ghost isn’t winning any awards, but it was fun to try out my new Dremel tool. Carter prefers to paint his pumpkins so he decided on a Pokemon ball. I typically do some sort of monogram pumpkin, so this year I tried string art.

Good Fun with Friends | Our friends hosted a Halloween party on Saturday night complete with games. I will plead the 5th if you ask me if we taught our kids to play beer pong (sans beer of course). Carter loved being wrapped as a toilet paper mummy.


Festive Food
– We didn’t go too crazy on food, but I contributed a few Halloween themed noshes.

Pumpkin Cake Batter Blondies

 

Halloweenies – these were super easy, just little smokies wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked. Kids and adults both loved.

 

Gummy Worm Ice Cubes – these were a good idea, but they flipped over when in the cup. Live and learn!

Trick or Treating | Here in the Des Moines area, we trick or treat the night before Halloween. We call it Beggar’s Night. Kids also tell jokes when they come to the door before they get their candy. It’s their “trick”. Don’t ask me how that tradition got started, but we did it when I was a kid too. Carter’s joke this year was Q: What does a pirate say when he knocks on the door? A: Trick ARRRRR Treat!

He went as Obi Wan Kenobi this year. The Jedi costume we ordered from Amazon fit him perfectly and the Jedi cape my mom made him earlier this year was a perfect complement.

 

And that’s a wrap for Halloween! Did you dress up or go to any Halloween parties this year?

 

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