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Chocolate Pretzel Fudge

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I recently made this fudge for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful!  I love to bake and make desserts, but I have never made fudge before.  This recipe was so easy that a kid could do it…seriously, I think I’m going to let my kids in on the fun next time.  All you have to do is melt a few ingredients, toss in some pretzels, chill and cut, and you have some really yummy fudge.  If you like chocolate covered pretzels, which I really do, you will love this fudge!  It would be perfect to make for the holidays.  Who doesn’t want something easy to make and totally delicious to serve up at Christmas dinner?  Hope you enjoy this fudge as much as I did!

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Chocolate Pretzel Fudge

Ingredients:

12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips (I’m a Nestle Toll House girl)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tablespoons milk

1 cup broken pretzel pieces

extra pretzels for top

Directions:

Melt all the ingredients, except the pretzels in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat when chocolate is melted and smooth.  Stir in the pretzel pieces.  Pour into a foil lines 8×8 baking pan (you’ll thank me for this when you are cutting the fudge later).  Press whole pretzels on top of the fudge and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Lick the pan while you wait for the fudge to harden (you’ll also thank me for this when you’re making yum, yum noises).  Remove from foil and cut into squares.  Serve at your party and be a hero.

It’s as simple as that…hope you enjoy!

And if you’re feeling really frisky, you could dip some pretzels in white chocolate to serve with the fudge.  Double the fun!

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Happy Birthday To You!

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Yesterday, we celebrated my little girl’s 7th birthday.  I am still a bit in shock.  I just can’t believe she is 7 already.  It seems like such a short time ago I was holding this beautiful little baby in my arms.  She’s still my baby, though, and will always be!

So, as is tradition in our family, my little miss got a pancake breakfast…complete with 7 candles.  She went with a slightly more traditional approach than her brother did on his birthday.  She wanted her pancakes topped with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and a big squirt of whipped cream.  Yummy!

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And, of course, we sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl…

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Make a wish and blow out the candles!

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The whole day revolved around my little girl.  She got to play the games she wanted, watch the shows she wanted, and pick the meals she wanted.  It’s nice to be pampered, especially on your birthday.

For lunch, my little sweetie chose a pasta dish I just recently “created”.  It’s a yummy cold pasta with Italian dressing, fresh tomatoes, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, and fresh from the garden parsley and basil.  So very delicious and one of my daughter’s new favorite dishes.

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After class, we took a swim in our pool.  This was the first swim of the year, so it was a special treat for my little girl’s big day.  The water was perfect and the kid’s had a blast splashing around…and so did their momma and daddy!

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My little girl was also in charge of deciding what we would all eat for dinner.  And what did she choose for her birthday dinner?  Oh, just Chicken Tikka Masala!  You know, a typical dish for a 7 year old to choose…NOT!  I’m so proud of both of my kiddos for not being picky and (almost) always willing to try new things.  This dish has been a favorite in our family for years.  And my daughter was not disappointed with her choice, both she and her brother devoured dinner!

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We had a wonderful, fun-filled day, celebrating my little girl’s 7th (boo-hoo) birthday!  Now, on to planning for her party this weekend.  I will be a very, very busy momma for the next 2 days, and my sweet little angel is worth every single minute of it.  I am so blessed!  Happy Birthday to you, my sweet girl!

Operation DIY Reptile Party…The Event!

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The day of the party arrived, all of the planning and creating and decorating was done, it was time to make sure my baby boy had a blast!  And have a blast he did!

Here he is sitting behind his favorite decoration…the cake.  I’ll never forget his reaction when he first saw it.  Makes this momma’s heart happy.

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While everyone stuffed their faces with snake sandwiches, chips, potato salad, baked beans, and bug juice with worms, my son kept asking, “Can we open presents yet?…Can we open presents yet?”  I informed him that his parties have followed the same schedule since his very first: food, cake and ice cream, then presents.  He doesn’t seem to like this routine any longer.  Maybe we’ll reverse the process next year.

Finally, it was time for cake and ice cream.  After snapping entirely too many pictures in front of the cake, we finally lit the candles (all 8 of them…boo hoo!), and sang “Happy Birthday” to my sweet little boy.  He made a wish and blew out the candles.  Then, proceeded to pick a lizard off his cake and lick the icing from it.  Still, he is waiting not too patiently to open those presents!  Eat the cake faster already!

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“Happy Birthday to you…”

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Make a wish!

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And the licking of the reptile.

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Now, after such a long and painful wait, it was time to open the presents.  Oh, how very excited my little boy was to rip open all the packages!

First, sissy got to give him the present she chose and carefully wrapped for him…one of her very own lizards…how giving my children can be.

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Next up, a lovely poster from his cousin.  She always gets him great stuff.

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Money…always a nice present!  And a growing tongue!  Thanks Wilma!

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A fake knife, a pack of turtles, and a dinosaur tooth from the aunt and uncle…very cool!

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I can’t believe he actually took time to read his cards!

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Hobbit Legos and a stuffed Raccoon puppet from granny.  He has wanted a raccoon for a long time, and he loved this one.  It looks so real!

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Grandmommy and Papaw got him a pop-up habitat, a boat to build, and an adorable stuffed “Pack Rat” puppet.

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From mommy and daddy, in a reptile cargo crate, he found tons of stuffed reptiles.  He got a Chameleon, a Leopard Frog, a Gecko, a Burmese Python, a Coral Snake, and an Alligator…and a scoop net to catch more reptiles with…preferably not of the snake variety!

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Also, he got a Deluxe Safari Fort Kit.  This was a wonderful idea I found on Pinterest.  It had a sheet set, clothespins, suction cups with hooks, and string placed inside a pillow case and tied up with a label.  Hours of fort making on the cheap!  Best present ever!  I can’t even walk through my son’s room now because the whole place is one giant fort.  I’d say he liked this present.

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I think he had a very, very “Happy Birthday”.  I love to see that smile!

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Now, onto planning for my little girl who turns 7 next month (boo hoo-ing some more!).  They really need to slow down with this growing up stuff!

Operation DIY Reptile Party…Phase Two, Three, Four…

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Phase One of Operation DIY Reptile Party was a success.  The invites were so fun to create, and everyone loved them…especially the birthday boy.

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However, Phase Two ended up being a total disaster.  I love baking and decorating cakes, so I thought I could work with gum paste even though I’ve never used it before.  I didn’t have any trouble creating the shapes I wanted, but they became dry and brittle after sitting out for only a few minutes.  Clearly, I did something wrong.  Also, gum paste tastes about like fondant, which I am not a fan of.  When I let my son taste it, he thought it was disgusting and proceeded to make puking noises.  I realized the gum paste cake decorations were out!  Luckily, I had a Plan B (pictures of Plan B to follow)!

So, on to Phase Three of Operation DIY Reptile Party.  My son wanted party favors in cargo boxes.  How to do this on the cheap and DIY?  I took a paper bag and hole punched “air holes” in it.  Then, I printed off tags that said “Fragile Cargo” and “Live Reptiles”.  Toss in some brown and green tissue paper and some plastic reptiles, and voila, Reptiles in a Cargo Box!  I also ended up wrapping his big present like a cargo box…it turned out really well.

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Phase Four commenced the day before the party and consisted of making all of the party decorations.  I made a welcome poster, and birthday banner, and a birthday card using poster board, card stock, glue, printed clipart, and some twine…all items just hanging out in my office waiting for me to get crafty with them.  And, I thank God for my pinking shears.  They have a way of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary!

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Phase Five…decorating the house…the day of the party!  By now, I’m in frantic mode.  I always stress a bit before parties wanting to make sure everything is perfect for my little ones.  When the party starts, I can relax and have fun with my kiddos knowing a gave them the best I could.  I decorated the table with some moss from Hobby Lobby and a bunch of reptiles belonging to the birthday boy.  I loved using the little mason jars with lime green and white striped paper straws.  We drank “bug juice” in them…with worms!  I put glass vases filled with rocks and plastic plants on the food table.  Then, I floated a couple of frogs in them.  I think I might keep these out for decoration.  They look really cool!

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On to Phase Six…the food.  My son wanted a snake sandwich, bug juice, gummy worms, and chips.  My mom contributed potato salad and baked beans to round out the extremely healthy menu.  The snake sandwich turned out really cute and the bug juice (lime Koolaid) was yummy, even with the gummy worms in it!

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The last, and most stressful, part of planning my little boy’s party was Phase Seven…THE CAKE!!!  After the gum paste fiasco, I was a little nervous about how the cake would turn out.  My son wanted a four layer round cake, half white and half chocolate, decorated with grass and a pond and reptiles.  He didn’t want much, did he?  Well, thanks to Plan B, and the use of plastic instead of gum paste, I think the cake turned out okay.  And when my son saw it, he started screaming and said it was “the most awesome cake ever!!!”.  I don’t need anyone else’s approval when I have my son’s adoration.  Worth all the stress and planning just to see him smile!

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Oh, and here is my son’s contribution to the decorating.  A list of Reptile Rules. He dictated this list of 10 rules to me.  Rules like:  Don’t abandon your home during hibernation, never go north, and stay away from Secretary Birds.  Hilarious!

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And, not to worry, I will post party pictures tomorrow.  So check back!

Operation DIY Reptile Party…Phase One

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I posted a while back that my little baby boy decided to have a reptile party this year for his 8th birthday.  I guess he’s not much of a baby anymore, but he’ll always be my little baby!  Anyway, I was unable to find party decorations for reptiles, so I decided to get creative.  Everything for my son’s party will be DIY, and I’m really enjoying it so much, I may do it for every birthday.

I already make the cakes for my kiddo’s birthdays, so I might as well be in charge of the rest of the decorations, too!

I love being crafty, and I also love being thrifty.  By making my own party decorations, I am able to do both!  That makes me a happy girl!

So, Phase One of Operation DIY Reptile Party was to create an invitation.  I looked for some inspiration on Pinterest, and got to work creating.  I printed clip art reptiles and carefully cut them out, I cut some strips of wrapping paper and tissue paper, and took some leaves from a scrapbook sticker I had, and starting gluing them onto a piece of cardstock.  I printed off a sheet with the party info on it and cut the edges with my handy-dandy pinking shears and glued it on the card.  Then, I made a print version of my pasted together invite.  Oh, so easy, and so fun…and so cheap!  I really like the finished product.  And, most importantly, my son absolutely loved it!

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I’ll be reporting back on Phase Two of Operation DIY Reptile Party soon.  I get to learn to work with gum paste to create cattails and lily pads for my son’s cake.  Wish me luck!

My Little Lizards

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My little boy has been pretty much confined to the couch for the last few days, and for anyone reading this blog who actually knows my son, sitting around just isn’t his thing!

He is so sick of being sick, and just wants to run around and play, but every time he does, he has a major coughing fit…no good.  So, I decided to cheer him up by letting him pick out what he wants for his birthday party.  I can’t believe my little baby boy will be 8 next month.  Just give me a minute while I have a good mommy cry…

He has been saying all year that he wants a lizard/ reptile party.  Do you know how impossible it is to find reptile party supplies?  They don’t exist!  But do you think my son will be happy with a camping party or a shark party?  No way, it has to be reptiles!

So we’ve been looking on Pinterest  to see what other desperate moms came up with so their kids could have a reptile party, and I think we have some pretty good ideas.  There will be no going to the store and grabbing a pack of party supplies for me…oh, no.  I’m going decorator on this party!  Moss tablescape crawling with lizards, vases full of water plants and frogs, bug juice in mason jars, and brown baggies made to look like cargo crates.  It should be a pretty fun adventure!

My son is so excited about his party.  He gave the okay on everything we picked out.  He is most excited about the snake shaped sandwich tray and the cargo crate party favors.  Wish me luck making the cake he picked out…oh, my!

My daughter even joined in the fun when she and her brother asked me to make them lizard tongues from red cardstock.  They look pretty cute…maybe I can throw these in to the party for some added (cheap) fun.

And all this excitement totally took my little boy’s mind off the fact that he can’t play…yet…just you wait until his party.  I guarantee he will be jumping around like, well, a frog!

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