5.14.2012

Surprise!

A couple weeks ago D. showed up from work with these:


My pictures don't do them justice, but they were gorgeous!  He asked if I wanted to go to dinner with him, and of course I said yes! 

We went to this delicious restaraunt called the Euro Bistro and it was so good.  Best.  Food.  Ever.
Plus, the presentation was beautiful.  It really was like artwork on your plate.  Here's our dessert:


And yes, it did taste as good as it looks.

To add to the ambience of the place, they even had a lady dressed in German garb playing the accordian.  It was amazing.  She even came over to our table and played and sang "Zee Eensy Veensy Spider" for Little Man.  He was mesmorized.  She went to each table individually and played something for them.  It was both a little awkward and a lot of fun all at the same time.  Here is a video we "secretly" took while she was playing for another table:

video

So, there I was thinking that D. just wanted to have some nice German food (because he LOVES everything German...well, almost everything) and in the middle of dinner he said he had snuck a surprise into my purse.  Sneaky, sneaky.

It was a Milka chocolate bar and I should have been suspicious when I saw that it was conveniently in a resealable packaging, but I was oblivious still to what was about to happen.


Am I the only one that wants to sing the "I've got a Golden Ticket!" song from Willie Wonka right about now? 


That's right, folks.  D. got accepted to do a month of German language training IN Germany and we get to go with him!  Munich, here we come!  We'll be heading out later this summer and I'm SO excited! 


My next task: Hit up Pinterest for ideas on how to keep a 2 year old busy on an 8 hour plane ride...




5.10.2012

Date Night Game

I was looking for a fun date night game idea we could do for our anniversary last Monday, but nothing was striking my fancy, so I decided to make one up!  This was SUPER fun and easy to put together.  I created a game board with my paper scraps and I love how it turned out!  



Each colored square represented a stop for our date, and each had a corresponding card of the same color with instructions of what we needed to do at that location.  D. had a lot of fun with this and was so surprised since he thought we were just going to dinner and then coming straight home.   Here's how we played the game:


I just picked places that were close by and that I knew would be fun to go to.  Here's what our evening looked like:

First Stop: HOME DEPOT - Game Piece

Task: Find something under $1 to represent you for the night.  This was fun because we had to actually have a reason behind what we got.

Second Stop: TARGET - Accessorize

Task: Find & purchase something to wear tonight.  D. got a fun watch and I got a bling bling necklace!

Third Stop: EURO BISTRO (quite possibly the BEST German food ever!) - Dinner 

Task: Eat delicious food

Fourth Stop: BEN & JERRY'S - Dessert

Task: Find an ice cream flavor to share.

Fifth Stop: BARNES & NOBLE - Game

Task: Purchase a game to play when we get home.  We love games!


To add another element of fun, we used scrabble tiles and picked letters before each stop.  Then we chose one of these three cards that told us whether we had to use both letters, either letter, or neither of the letters in our task for that location.  It was super fun to try to find something on the menu with both B & O in it...I know, great letter combination.  It was also fun to see D. try to justify what he was getting and how it went along with the letters even if it had nothing to do with them.


We had a great time!   Highly recommend this for a fun date!

5.09.2012

Sweet Treats for my Sweetie

Check out this blog post for the skinny on what I did for our anniversary. 

Here is the list of Sweet Treats I used for our anniversary treat boxes.  They are all delicious and easy too!

 Caramel Apple Heath Dip

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Orange Creamsicle Fudge


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Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn


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White Chocolate Lemon Truffles


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Cookie Dough Dip

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Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

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Anniversary Treats on the Hour

Monday was the three year anniversary of when I married my best friend.
Love this guy!

We take turns planning our anniversary and this year it was my turn.  Because we are going on a Disney Cruise to Alaska at the beginning of June, we decided to do something low-key for our anniversary (although, I did plan a little surprise adventure for us while we're on our cruise...more about that later). 

So I went to the source of all craft/party knowledge and ideas, also known as Pinterest, to find some ideas of what we could do.  Since D. had to work, the first thing I did was inspired by this pin:

I Love You More Than... -- ok, this is an adorable vday/anniversary gift

I customized the cookie sayings to things that pertained to us (i.e. I love you more than...Little Man loves Goldfish.  And believe me...he DOES love his Goldfish!  So much that every time we pass them in Target he yells out "Goldfish!  Bite!")  Then I snuck these fun cookies to someone else who works in the same office and he surprised him with a "special delivery" at work.

Then, I wanted him to have something that would help him get through the work day, so this is what I did.  It started with the idea from this pin:

Anniversary on the Hour idea from @30daysblog.  Treat your loved one to a small gift throughout the day on every hour.

I knew D. was wishing he had the day off, so I surprised him in the morning with a bag full of presents to help him through the day.  I made a bunch of treats that I found on Pinterest and made him a card that looked like a giant cookie with the instructions.  Here's how it turned out:

I got these fun treat boxes at Michael's for a couple of dollars with my 40% off coupon.  Love it!

The boxes all looked the same, so I had to make sure before I wrapped them that I knew which ones had to be put in the fridge for the night before giving them to him the next morning.  It would probably be easier to assemble them in the morning if you do this, but D. goes to work SUPER early, so I didn't want to do it the same day. 

PowerPoint helped me make this.  Insert Shape (Circle), insert shape (little triangles), print.  Awesome.
He had so much fun opening a present every hour.  Who wouldn't love that?  Check out this blog post for the recipes to the treats I made.  They were all delicious!








No Shame: From a Box


I admit it.  I love Jiffy's muffin/pie crust mixes.  Cheap, good variety and easy to use.

Recently I've been experimenting with some different recipes that use these wonderful little mixes as the starter.  My latest love begins with a Blueberry Muffin Mix and becomes a delicious Blueberry Coffee Cake with Struessel Topping.  Yum. 

I usually make this in just an 8" square pan, but this time I decided to try it in my mini loaf pans so I could take some to a friend that wasn't feeling well.  Because we use the mix to start things off, it goes really quicly and you'll have a delicious breakfast in no time that people will ooh and aah about.  Ready?  Here we go.



Now, I have to admit that I actually got this recipe from the side of the Blueberry Muffin Mix box and then added a few changes, so I can't take complete credit for it.  In case you can't read my fuzzy picture with bad lighting, here is the ingredient list:

For the Cake



  • 1 pkg. Jiffy Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. butter, melted (I used this instead of shortening, because I don't really every cook with shortening...)

For the Struessel Topping



  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I like more than this, but this is a good place to start if you're not sure how you feel about nut ratios.)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. baking mix (I use Bisquick because I have it.  Jiffy also makes a mix like that, or I'm sure you could just use flour if you don't have either one.)
  • 1 T. butter, softened (not melted)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350...don't forget!

I like to do the struessel topping first so it's ready to go.   Combine all the dry ingredients (brown sugar, chopped nuts, cinnamon and baking mix) in small bowl. 


Mix that all together.


Add softened butter (I accidentally melted mine, and it worked okay, but you're probably better off with just softened butter...) and stir that together until it's crumbly.  Then set it aside.  It's cake time!


In other bowl, combine all the cake ingredients (Muffin Mix, milk, egg & melted butter) and mix it well.



Then pour that in a pan that you have sprayed with cooking spray.  If you're using an 8" pan, just pour it all in.  If you want to do smaller ones, just make sure you don't fill it more than halfway full.  I did mine a little less than halfway and they turned out really well.


Sprinkle struessel topping on top of cake mixture and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (give or take a few minutes depending on which type of pan you use).  You can check to see if they're done by inserting a toothpick in the middle of one and seeing if it comes out clean.  If it does, they're ready!


I let mine cool in the pan for a bit before trying to pull them out.


Now, wasn't that easy?  Enjoy!