Thursday, September 20, 2012

Old Jars ..New Purpose

  Today is a day to try and get some things done. It sometimes seems to be a losing battle. I can think to myself , "okay today I need to get this, this and that done today", but in the end, only one of those things may actually get done. While the kids are at school I make a decision everyday to get things that need to be done..done. Then I stop and think again, "hmm, do I really want to work more while the baby is taking a nap or do I want to take a nap too?" I usually opt for the nap too. Today though, since the baby is refusing his nap and I can't mop the floors with him up and about, I thought I'd come here and share what I did the other day. Lucky you!
  This is a easy easy craft you can do with kids or not. Don't get me wrong, I love to do things with my kids, but sometimes I just have an idea and want to get it done without a dozen other helping hands. These are so cute, cheap and easy to do. Let's start with supplies needed for this project. Oh, wait I'll show you first what the project is. Please excuse my very poor picture. I took it with my phone, since moving I've yet to find my camera.

Now onto the supplies needed.
  • Start saving old jars, any jars as long as they're glass ones.
  • Tissue paper (the kind you buy to put in gift bags) I bought mine at Hobby they have every color you could imagine.
  • Some people use modge podge but I use plain old elmers glue and water, So much cheaper and works great!!
  • black paint for faces
Some kind of spray sealer. I bought a satin clear finish at Walmart for around $3.00.

-First wach and dry your glass jars and set aside.
-Then I decide what type of face I'm going to make. Obviously for these I did Halloween faces so I'm sticking to orange, purple, white and green tissue paper. Here's a tip. cut a long strip and hold it against your jar to see how long you will need it, then cut only what you think will cover the jar. If you cut all the same length then they may not cover the length of your other jars..make sense?
-get a old bowl and any old paint brush and mix only what glue you think you will use. You can always mix up more if needed, it only takes a minute to do. I mix apprx. 60% glue with 40% water. No real measuring of glue and water, just till the glue is somewhat runny but still able to keep on your paintbrush.
-With your paint brush dip into the glue mixture and make a strip of glue and add a strip of tissue paper on top of that. You can smooth it with your fingers and just keep going around the jar til it's covered in tissue paper.
-Once the jar is covered let it dry completely. Don't worry if you can see dries clear!:)
-Paint on a face and spray with clear spray..Thats it!! Super easy and very cute at night drop a tealight in and watch it glow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn or Fall either way...

  It appears to be peeking it's head out. Me, I love the 'fall'. The colors, the smells, and yes Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favorites! It's days like today though that I really don't care for. Rainy a drizzly type of rain, just cold and drizzly. No sun, no breeze, nothing, makes it a day to stay in and keep the windows shut, so no fall breeze flowing thru the house today.
  It's been some time since I've blogged about anything, family and moving took precedence for quite some time. Now though I believe I'm ready to begin again. I will be expanding my blog beyond just baking, as it seems I have so much more to talk about..some will hate me and some will understand where I'm coming from, but either way 'it is what it is' and I hope you enjoy reading and seeing what is happening here regularly.
  I am undecided on whether to keep my blogs name 'The Thankful Cookie' or  to go ahead and change it, but since I cannot come up with something that I find appropriate just yet so I will go ahead and keep it for now.
  As some here know I am the mom to 17 of my own biological children. I am by far from the 'perfect' mom, but who is, right? My oldest is 26 years and my youngest is 2 years old. No, I'm not a certain religion and I was born and raised right here in the United States. I just had a lot of kids and although like most moms, if I had that magic ball or time machine I would definitely go back and do some things different. I'm not referring to the number of kids I have, but to how I handled certain situations, things I said, things I've done or didn't do, whatever it may be I believe there is things we all wish we could go back and get a replay, but life doesn't work like that so it's all Live and Learn, I guess. I'm 43 years old now and my pregnancy days are done. I have no desire to have any more children. I'm still not at a complete 'happy' place with things the way they are but it's a work in progress. Some people take longer to learn and as it appears I seem to learn things the hard way. I'm hard headed, stubborn, bull headed, call it what you like, I'm at least one or maybe even all three of those terms. I'm still learning with my kids, my life, my decisions and everything in between, like most people.
  Right now I am down to one home all day now (my 2 year old son Gus). All the kids are back in school and the house is pretty quiet..what am I saying, it's extremely quiet! No fighting, arguing, can I or I wants for about 5 and 1/2 hours a day. I really thought it would take some getting used to, but I seem to be adapting well and frankly I'm enjoying it. Should I feel guilty for that? Sometimes I think I should, but by the time I really start thinking about it again, more time has passed, I look at the clock and see that time is flying by and think I better get busy and get some things done. The quiet will end as the school bus approaches, so enjoy it for now and enjoy my one on one time with Gus Gus. (I call him Gus Gus like the little mouse in Cinderella, love that movie). Who by the way is very pre occupied watching Barney at the moment.
  Well now that I have informed and filled you in a bit, you can see why I haven't updated my poor little blog in some time. My hope is that it will change. I still bake, craft, etc  and I will share the things I've done and provide you with recipes, tutorials and great deals on some things. Oh, did I mention I also coupon now, but we won't get into that just yet. In return all I ask is to read from time to time (and not just the 'how to' parts), because I believe I can give valuable information to tired mom's, stressed mom's, mom's who think they can't do it one more day, but still  muddle through somehow and I'm always open for advice to on how to handle this or that. I've learned that one day you'll blink and your kids will be grown and you'll wonder (when did that happen, I feel like I missed it). Time sneaks up on us and it's gone, so pick and choose your battles and your time wisely with our kids, because before you know it. they're all grown up and you'll be the one wishing you could've/would've done this/that differently.
  This is my entry for now here, I have a diaper to change. 26 years of changing diapers! I wonder how many diapers I've changed? Wow the thought of that, lol.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Baking Day 1

After the flour incident other day, I remade new dough this morning, and started baking today! Below is how I roll my dough. I'd bet you never thought duct tape could be used in cookie making. I lay my paint sticks down, oh and they were never used for paint, only cookie making.
I use them as my guide for rolling the dough. I use duct tape to hold them in place, so they don't shift or move on my counter top. I then lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the sticks. *see below*
Next, I put my dough on top of the paper and lay another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough.
I place my rolling pin on top of the paper and roll out the dough.

I pull the top piece of paper off and cut out my shapes. Ahh You see the shape and you think you know what design the final cookies will be, don't you? Well, don't be so quick to guess:)
 Finally, the baking has begun!
I have more to bake, but six batches of dough are made, rolled, cut, baked, cooled and put up in containers, ready to ice and decorate.

This is only some of the cookies that I made today, I couldn't get them all in the picture. Tomorrow I get to do it all again, but with chocolate too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 1 Making Dough

It was a late night last night for me. By the time I returned home from work, did a few loads of laundry, got out the kids school clothes and backpack, then unwound, it was around 1:30 am before I got to sleep.
But, I told myself that when my other kids left for school this morning, I would start making the cookie dough, and I did.
After the kids left I got out what I needed and got to work. So please excuse my attire...I know the snoopy pj pants are so GQ, but I live in my pajama pants, when I'm at home, mainly because I'm too busy with my kids to worry about what I've got on. I'm sure a lot of you know what I mean:)
Here we go with Day 1 of making the dough. Oh and I was on dough batch #2 before I remembered to get my camera, then forgot to fix the timestamp when I changed the batteries. I could tell already it was going ot be 'one of those days'.  I guess my brain wasn't working yet and later I'll let you know why I definately know I was too tired to do this first thing in the morning. Okay, here I am batch 2. Getting ready to cream the butter and sugar.

While the butter and sugar are being creamed together, it gives me a 3 or so minute window and I jump over to the other side of my kitchen to unwrap more butter sticks. 
Yes, you'll note the Mountain Dew bottle, I admit, it's my morning coffee, so to speak.

 Now, I'd like to say that you couldn't see behind me in photo 1, or to the left of me in photo 2, there's a good reason for this. Okay, I'll let you look.

Here is what was hidden behind me. Mia insisted on being my helper today. I told her to say something when I took her picture, so she yelled "Somethingggg"..she just turned 4, I should've known:) Back to the cookie dough now.

I sift my flour, I do everytime I make decorated cookies, do you?  I just think it makes the dough have a nicer consistency. I also add the flour in 2 or 3 increments. Now back onto my kitchen aide for one final mix. 'Note my trusty helper is right at my side to make sure I can handle the task at hand.'

Now that it's mixing for a minute or so, I'd like to show you the other sideline member. Gus is fighting a cold but he's so patient, sitting, watching us make a mess of the kitchen. I know he's wishing he could help too. Oh, and in his photo there's "a clue, a clue" to the style of cookies I'm making. Yes, you know it's for Valentine's Day, but I haven't told you what style yet. Did I just quote Blue's Clues...sheesh I've seen to many episodes of blues clues over the years I guess.

We're on our last batch of dough for the day, it's time to make the kids lunch and get ready for work.

So, my trusty helper and I knead the 6th batch dough a bit, and wrap it up so it can be refrigerated to firm up.
I Made my kids lunch and decided I'd make myself a sandwich before I get ready for work. I grab for the bread on the top of my refrigerator.  I had sat my flour on top of it earlier to get it out of the way. Anyway, I open the door to the fridge *yeah I call it a fridge a lot* and guess what?? Oh, it's not what your thinking I'll bet.
I realize that I had accidentally grabbed my bread flour and that is what I had been using all day to make cookie dough with!!! I was furious with myself!! I threw the bread at that dumb flour sack, and continued to be 'mad'. I couldn't believe I did that, ugh.
I headed upstairs to get ready for work, by the time I came down I was a bit more calm, lol. I decided I'd just make the kids cookies out of it for home, they'll eat them as long as it's cookie shaped, and I throw some sprinkles on them. lol.

So, tomorrow I start fresh, but will update you again, when I'm ready to bake the cookies!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ingredients & agenda to make 264 cookies

So here we go!
The final count is 22 dozen, which is 264 cookies!
These cookies are Valentine's Day cookies and they are needed by the week of Monday, February 7th. 
First, I'm figuring how much and what ingredients I'll need. As a rough guesstimate I figure that one batch of dough will make apprx. a dozen cookies (for the style I'm making). So I'll be making 22 batches of cookie dough. Each individual dozen will have an estimate of of  half of the cookies being sugar style and half of the cookies being chocolate. To sum it up I'll need to make 11 batches of Sugar and 11 batches of Chocolate dough. There will be 2 special design cookies for each dozen and the other 10 in the dozen will be various kinds of hearts.
I want the cookies to be as fresh as possible, so I'm thinking I'll start mixing dough and baking them around the 26th-27th of January. Which it will take quite some time to make and cool  all the cookies. My guess is about 3 days for this part of the process. Which then I'll be heading into the first part of February and when all the cookies are baked and cooled the decorating will begin!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catching Up

Well, it's been a rough couple months & I'm catching up on things finally. I have received some emails asking if I'll be writing more and to answer them here and via email. I work a job outside the home & had to adjust to that, but now I'm ready to start updating my blog again.  I know of you that are reading and not a follower, so please become a follower. I've been asked by those readers what that means? It means you will get a email when I post here, so you can stay updated and helps me to keep track of my traffic here:)
Without giving to much away on here, I have a extremely large cookie order (it's a surprise for some people who shall remain nameless..for now), because I know a couple of you are my anonymous readers. I'll be walking you thru (pictures too) the whole process of making apprx 20 dozen cookies for some well deserving people!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Challah or Hallah Bread

Challah or Hallah bread (However you prefer to spell it), was on my list of things to make for the Thanksgiving holiday. I made 3 loaves, and boy was it hard!! See how I had to knead the bread, I worked so hard at this!
Okay, okay so I'm busted, huh! Lol, so I had some help with the kneading, but I did work hard to get my little helper centered in the picture;)
Really though if you get a chance to make this, it's super easy. The longest parts is the rising times, there's 3 one hour intervals of rising time for each loaf. Oh and look here's the ingredients, all of which we usually have in our cabinets.

We made quite the mess in my kitchen, but it was worth it! The smell from the oven was awesome, and we ended up eating a loaf tonight with dinner, so I guess I'm making more before Thanksgiving.
Here's the finished bread, fresh out of the oven and cooling on a wire rack. I'll update the recipe section soon with the recipe and step by step instructions with pictures.