Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 
from the Creamers!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Sugar Plum Princess

I have wanted to take Mary Grace to see the Nutcracker since she was a baby, and at the ripe old age of three, I thought now was the year to start that tradition.

She had to have a new dress for her first ballet!
This gorgeous gifted red embroidered satin fit the bill perfectly and I used the Geranium Dress pattern to sew it up.  I used vintage gold buttons (from my prized stash) to finish off the back.  It turned out so cute that I think it will double as her Christmas Mass dress, too!

Nana came with us to the ballet, it was 
'Girls Night Out' afterall. I love these pics of Mary Grace! 
In every one of them her eyes are darting to the side.  There was so much to take in that I'm not sure if she was amazed or scared to death!

Here's what you get when you try to take a selfie 
with a squirming toddler.

I was worried that a two hour production would be too much for her, but she LOVED it!  She followed the story and sat mostly still, going between my lap and her Nana's.  And during the car ride home, she talked all about the Nutcracker fighting the Mouse King and "cutting his tail off!"

I think we've found a new Christmas tradition!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Paint and Brush

John Paul is a self taught artist. 
He started with some watercolors 
and a YouTube video.

As his love of art grew so did his desire to use different mediums, and that's when we found a local artist who teaches classes a few days a week.

The studio contains a wonderfully eclectic mix of artists and 
they have embraced him whole-heartedly.  
John Paul feels free to let his creativity come out 
with his paint and brush.

They say that creative people are messy...

Then John Paul must be the most 
creative person in the universe!

It drives his "Type A" mother a little insane.

But I think for now, I'll look past the mess
to see the beauty.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wisemen ADVENTures!

The Wise Men are back at the Creamer household 
and are in search of the baby Jesus!  
Follow me on Instagram 
(link at the top right of the blog page) 
to see their daily ADVENTures:

Happy Advent!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hot Chocolate

It has been mighty cold here in south Texas,
and by cold, I mean in the 50's.

People are acting like it's the next ice age,
and by people, I mean my kids.

So I've warmed them up with an 'All You Can Drink' 
hot chocolate bar...

Creamer Family Hot Chocolate Mix

Mix together equal quantities of:

Unsweetened Cocoa
Dried milk
Powdered coffee creamer 
(I like a flavored one like French vanilla)

Mix together and store in an air tight container.
Put 2-3 teaspoons of mix into warmed milk or water.

Just remember to drink responsibly!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just call me Lady Marmalade

The very first fruit tree I planted in our backyard was a Satsuma Mandarin orange tree.  We've only gotten 2-3 oranges the past couple of years, but this year we are up to our eyeballs in oranges!
 I thought a great way to preserve them would be in a batch of marmalade.

About 9 medium sized Mandarin oranges
Juice of two lemons
Approx 2 cups of water
3 cups of sugar

Peel oranges. Scrape the white pith off the peels using a butter knife or edge of a spoon. Cut the peel into fine strips. The amount of peel depends on whether you'd like more or less of it. I used almost 2 cups of cut peel. Place cut peel into a large pot and add the 2 cups of water. (If you're using more peel, add enough water to cover the contents of the pot).

Boil peel until soft, about 10 minutes. Measure out the liquid that's left (I had about 1 cup) and replace with the same amount of fresh water. Do this to lessen the bitterness, you can always omit this step if you like your marmalade more bitter. 
While the peel is boiling, pick off as much of the white pith and membranes of the oranges segments as you can. Also remove any seeds. Place fruit and lemon juice in a food processor and puree til an almost smooth consistency. Add this mixture together with peel and water into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.

Add sugar. Stir often until consistency thickens, about 30 mins. depending on how juicy the fruits are, or until a candy thermometer reaches 220˚F (104˚C), that's the gelling stage.

In my batch below, I decided to just thinly slice my lemon instead of juicing it.  I like the look of "slices" in the marmalade and it also added a nice texture.

Fill into sterilized jars, seal with their lids and allow the jars to sit in a hot water bath for 10 mins. Remove and let cool at room temperature until you hear the "pop" of the button on the lid.  That means it's sealed properly and those jars will keep on the shelves for months. Those that don't seal properly can be kept in the fridge.

This is seriously good stuff!

It might even make you sing, 
"Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween, just a few days late!

We had a super fun day on All Hallow's Eve starting with pumpkin carving.  The boys did great jobs on their pumpkins 
(and freaking out Mary Grace with "pumpkin guts!).
Kyle carved this awesome skull in a cave:

We stopped buying costumes years ago because I insist that we make them, I think it's sooo much more fun that way!
We had watched, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" a few days earlier and Danny thought it would be funny to be Charlie Brown in his ghost costume.  There really is nothing better than a plain white sheet and black paint for a ghost costume!

"Did you get anything good in your treat bag, Dan?"

"I got a rock."

John Paul totally embraces the 
guts and gore of the season:

A little face paint and LOTS of fake blood 
and we have the "Turtle Creek Slasher!"

Last of all is the 

I made this princess dress without even asking Mary Grace what she wanted to be.  After raising four boys, I was going to get my pretty pink princess, dag-nabit!  
When I revealed her dress to her she was totally disappointed.
"I want to be Cookie Monster!" she said.
"Too bad, sister!  You're a princess THIS year!" I said.

And once she realized people give you candy, 
she was OK with it.

Now time to raid my kid's candy bags,
but not Danny's, 
all he got were rocks!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

October birthdays

This past week was book-ended by birthdays!
Mary Grace and John Paul's birthdays are just a mere six days apart, which means lots of cake, presents, and celebrating...heck, it might as well be called 'Birthday Week!'

Mary Grace turned THREE!
I can't believe our sweet little baby is a big girl now!
We celebrated with a shopping trip to Build-A-Bear.  Mary picked a pink ballerina bear, complete with tutu and pink slippers. Pizza, cake, and ice cream were on the menu that evening as we had a book party for the birthday girl.  
She absolutely adores books!

A few days later, John Paul turned THIRTEEN!
He's very happy to finally be a teen ager now, and reminds us of his status quite frequently.  All he wanted to do on his special day was go to Barnes & Noble for books and then to the craft store for painting supplies. 
I cannot tell you how happy that makes me!

You might have noticed that the cakes look the same.  I found an awesome recipe on Pinterest for 'Crack Cake' because when you're thinking of a cake for children, you want to hear the words "crack" and "wine" right?

Crack Cake

**1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix 
1/4 c brown sugar 
1/4 c white sugar 
**1 box vanilla pudding instant mix 
**2 teaspoons cinnamon 
4 eggs 
3/4 c water 
3/4 c oil 
1/2 c white wine (really any kind) 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix the above ingredients by hand or hand mixer. 
 Grease a bundt pan. Pour into pan. Bake for 50 minutes.

 When cake comes out of the oven... 

 Melt 1 stick butter into 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup wine.
 Pour over hot cake. Cool. Flip out of pan onto plate and serve.

**JP wanted a lemon cake so I used: 
1 box lemon cake mix
1 box lemon pudding mix
2 teaspoons lemon zest

This cake is delicious and super moist!
It gets better the longer it sits,
so make it the day before!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dark Ocean Dreams

Our son, Ryan, works for the salon Visible Changes.  Each year they offer up a hair show of up and coming talent.  Ryan and his partner for the event, Michael, competed along with 50+ other stylists in this year's theme:

 'Dark Ocean Dreams.'

From left to right: Ryan, Brittany, Michael

Their creation was this stunning
'Calypso Sea Goddess'

Unlike the other contestants, Ryan and Michael painted their model head to toe in beautiful sea green tones of make up.  They didn't use wigs, but the model's own hair which they molded around a balloon (then later popped to create a hollow shell of hair) that resembled an octopus.  Ombre green and blue extensions were curled into tentacles, and pearls and sequins framed her face along with lovely patina jewelry.  Her dress was completely hand made.

And as gorgeous as she is, 
the pictures just don't do their work justice!
She was truly a work of art.
She was also a favorite among the crowd, 
receiving deafening screams each time she walked the runway.

The guys had a great show and came in among the top ten, although, they were the winners of the whole show in my opinion!  We are so proud of Ryan and I am simply in awe of his talent.

He's only been with the company for three months.

I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him, 
great things I am sure!

Congratulations, Ryan and Michael!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

Mary Grace is turning 3 this weekend!
She received a cute fabric crown on her first birthday (Thanks, Mrs. Janet!)
but the poor thing is so worn and won't fit her anymore.

I figured it was time for a new one.

I followed this tutorial
and in about half an hour 
she had a brand new crown.

And of course she needed 
a matching dress to go with it.

The Geranium Dress from Made by Rae
is the perfect party dress.

Turning three is going to be awesome!