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Monday, October 29, 2012

Odds And Ends

Doing a little house keeping today.
I have this picture sent to me months ago by a follower that used my Noah's Ark cake as inspiration for her own. 
Here is her note:
Hi there. I am a keen cake baker. Just amateur nothing professional. Wanted to make a Noah's ark cake for my sons first birthday and got inspiration from your page so thought I would email you a pic. Had so much fun making the wee animals. Thanks for your help. Will be keeping an eye on your site to see what else you come up with.

Thanks Marion Clark
Ayrshire, Scotland xxxxx
I didn't make this cake, but I can tell you it took hours to put together and was done fabulously!!!

I guess we kinda have a Scottish theme to today's odds and ends :0)  More to come...

I had a couple requests for the ghost trick-or-treater pattern.  Eventually I will have a couple different designs and put the group of patterns for sale, but here is a real rough draft of the little ghostie in case anyone else wants it.  I love to cut the wood out of 2" lumber, but you can certainly use 1" as well.  I would probably just put an extra scrap behind the bottom so you have 2" of wood down there to drill into for the legs.  If you want an emailed version of this, email me at vanessa.cam5@gmail.com.  

And, finally, the only costume I made this year.  My kids were not super excited that I told them they had to come up with their own costumes out of things from around the house this year.  We are just too broke from our forever-long moving experience.  Eli decided he wanted to wear a kilt.  

THIS was the example he showed me.
We all voted and decided he needed to use his muscle man costume from a few years ago...not that he isn't naturally buff ;0)

As you can see here, he looks just like the picture above :0)
I had the exciting adventure of making his kilt without an iron.  That was interesting.  For the life of me, I swear I had the iron in my hand and placed it on some fabulous shelf somewhere in this house.  I still cannot find it.  Have I mentioned that it is a Rowenta iron!?!  I want to find it!!!

Anyway, I decided that I was willing to spend a couple dollars if the item needed for the costume was cheep enough.  That is how Eli got away with getting a new costume made.  I do plan on making the girls skirts like a kilt out of some harvest-colored homespun I bought at Hobby Lobby some time ago.  If interested, I will show you my method later.

We had a very chilly trunk-or-treat this year.  In Arizona we often had near 100 degree weather for Halloween.  Now we are back to wearing snowsuits under our costumes again.  Honestly, I love it!  Here I am from Arizona, and I am the only person walking the streets without a coat.  I can't seem to get enough of the cold!  It is fabulous!!!

Happy Halloween and I will be back shortly with my Frankenstein Trick-or-Treater!!!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Putting The Squeeze on Halloween Sweets

Everyone in our house is getting totally excited for Halloween.  I bet everyone in your house is too.
Since starting the Listerine Smart Rinse, Sweet Smart Challenge a few weeks ago, we have been brushing up a storm around here!  We brush and floss and mouthwash {except for the 4yr old} TWO times a day.  That is a pretty big accomplishment for each one of us.  We were nowhere near that good before.

Now that we have sparkling teeth and the freshest breath possible, I am getting a little worried about Halloween.  I love candy like the rest of the world, but I don't like an endless supply kept in a pillow case under the beds of children around the country.  I have been doing a little snooping around and came up with a couple suggestions that looked pretty Sweet Smart to me.

Before you go out Trick-or-Treating 

1-Eat before you go out.  A full belly is less likely to squeeze in a lot of extra candy.
2- Help other people out by buying lame candy ;0)  People can't resist the candy bars and chocolate, but if your kids come home with a bag of lame candy, there will be WAY less snacking on sugary sweets.
3-Don't super size- Don't impress the neighbors with king-sized candy bars, or even fun sized bars.  Go for smaller mini bars and save them calories.  
4- Skip handing out sweets altogether!  
Here are a couple ideas for an alternative:
Stickers
School Supplies {like pencils, erasers, or tiny notebooks}
Temporary tatoos
Plastic Jewelry or animals {dollar store}
Sidewalk Chalk
Bubbles
Party favors
Juice Boxes
Granola Bars
Pretzels
or My personal favorite***Glow Bracelets***
We have given out glow bracelets the last four years.  I buy the packs Michael's sells for $1.  They have 15 in each pack.  The teenagers were just as excited for glow bracelets as the toddlers.

OK, so once you have your bags of booty, here are a couple ideas to keep you I mean your kids from gorging on candy.  I would not FORBID them from eating candy {it will only make it more tempting} but offer a few creative options so it doesn't all end up in their bellies.

1- Keep it Out of sight- Let the kids eat a few, then put it away, or better yet, give it away!
I have several friends that let the kids have their fill, then put the rest in the freezer for stocking and even Easter Basket fillers.  How about that frugal idea!?!
2- Sell it, A Trade for Money- Many dentists offer to buy the candy.  And if you don't know of any, offer to buy it yourself!  Pay a penny per treat {probably more if it is your teenager} and then get rid of the temptaion yourself.
3- Play with it!  Those candy bars and tootsie rolls can be made to make a mini village or used like legos to build and imagine.  Make cars out of bars and have a little race.
4- Graph your winnings- Valerie from ThisN'That even has a printable sheet you can use to graph with, but you can even use the candy itself and a big posterboard.  Hot glue the candy in place then display it for a week and throw it away.  You can graph by candy type, or even color of wrappings.
5- Make a sculpture or topiary out of the candy.  Again, display it for a week, then throw it way.
6- Save it to decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas.
7-Give it to an organization - there are several organizations that will gladly take the candy off your hands and take it to the soldiers over seas.  They need their days sweetened.  One of those organizations is Operation Gratitude.  
8- Cook with it!  Here is a round up of recipes that use candy.  Check those out at TheKitchn.com.  Make the treat and then go give it to those neighbors that filled the candy bags ;0)
9- Exchange it!  I have read of a couple ladies that started a Halloween night tradition, the Candy Fairy or Pumpkin Fairy.  They set the candy bags out at night, then wake up to a special surprise {a wanted game or toy} from the fairy.  You can read more Here and Here.
10- Have some Science Experiments with it!  Check some out at CandyExperiments.com or google about specific candy brands.

I especially enjoyed reading Sarah's comments on her blog Nourished and Nurtured.  She avoids sugar on a regular basis, so she had a couple extra ideas for making the holiday magical, but healthier for her little ones.
She purchased books, games, and toys ahead of time, then dropped them off at her mother's house for when the kids came trick-or-treating there.  Next, she dropped some healthy snacks in her kids bags as they went around.  Some of the things included honey sticks, fruit leather, fresh fruit, home-made treats, organic candy.

I suppose, if you know your neighbors and are really set on staying away from candy this Halloween, you could make up bags and drop them off at neighbors houses....but that would require forthougth :0)  
Also be sure to remind the kiddos about the dangers of eating too much sugar.

Moment of Honesty
I do just about none of this :0)
Probably shouldn't tell you that.  
I allow the kids to have at it when they get home from trick-or-treating and I have checked over their bags.  I do require my kids to dump their candy all together, then the candy becomes public property.  No one has a stash in their bedroom.  We all have a few, and then in the next day or two, I bag up all the other candy and we send it to work with dad.  I know I am just transferring the sugar from my house to someone else, but at least it is off my back ;0)

I do really like the idea of the Candy Fairy though.  That is fabulous!  I may just do that this year...after we have eaten a few....and brushed, flossed, and mouthwashed our teeth!

I hope that helps you have a couple ideas about how you can face the Sweet Challenge presented by full candy bags this year.  Remember, you can dress like candy, but you don't have to be full of it ;0)





I found great ideas and resources from the following sites:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trick-or-Treat


WohoooooOooo!
I got my hubby in the garage to set up my band saw and sander!
I wasted no time and made a couple of ghostly trick-or-treaters for a late-ish night craft party

Don't you just love them!?!
I made them up all by myself.
I actually have a couple other trick-or-treaters waiting to be made, so if I can get Lindsey and Mary B. back over here, we will get a few more painted.

Here is Lindsey's Ghostett :0)

She used a real brown bag to mod podge her trick-0r-treat bag.

Get a load of her socks!  I want some for me too.

I covet Mary's ghost's socks. 
 I had to remind her that our legs actually got switched and those zig-zaggedy leggers are actually mine.  

It got me nowhere.

Mary wins the prize because she went after the task of figuring out eyes and totally rocked it.  I just sat there waiting for someone else to make the decision.  I finally made eyes, the ran my finger through them and had to paint over them....eventually just glueing on googly eyes.  So, round of applause for Mary's braveness...

And
for Mary's sugar cookie bars!!!
These guys were good...seriously GOOD!
I will be getting the recipe.  It is probably something simple like...sugar cookie dough in a pan instead of shaped into cookies, but I am going to take detailed notes because I want to make mine JUST LIKE THESE!  I may have to wait to make them until there are several people at my house though.  Maybe then I won't eat every last one ;0)

Here is my little cutie.  I think she needs a name.  Hmmm...what goes with ghost?  or maybe Boo?  Boomhilda?  Na, I will keep thinking. 

My trick-or-treat bag.  

Don't you just love the fuzzy laces???

Ahhhhh, it feels so good to finally craft again, the woodcraft way.  Now to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Surely I can come up with something fun for both of those holidays, right?
Stay tuned!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

All In The Name Of Bobby Sherman!


Our Grandma came for a visit yesterday with a favor to ask.  She somehow got involved with a service project for some darling kids in Africa, sponsored by the one and only Bobby Sherman!  
Grandma's new Facebook friend volunteered to make 30 quilts for the kids, and somehow...I still can't figure out how, Grandma offered to make two ;0) 

You have heard my stories before about the infamous hot gluing of buttons on shirts and the duck tape hem on my prom dress, right?  Yep, this is the same lady.  Gotta love her :0)


Anyway, Grandma had a couple bags of cute fabric and batting she had picked out before hand.  
I have to say I was actually pretty excited for the chance to create again.  I have been feeling a little deprived lately with all the work there is to do in the new house.  

Grandma also had a sample of how the quilts were to be made.  We checked it out, read all about the the dimensions and then, got started.  We sliced and sorted and stacked 5" fabric sandwiches all over my kitchen.

My nephew Johnathon really loved the fabric sandwiches.  He was rather upset that he couldn't have sandwiches of his own.  Right about then he noticed the scrap pile and decided to make that into his own stash of fabric sandwiches.  Crisis averted and back to work!

I sew*ed and sew*ed...

Grandma snip

Finally, this afternoon we finished!  The cute little kids sleep on cots so the blanket is long enough to reach the bottom and just a tad skinnier than a twin blanket would be.  Grandma has a little bit more snipping to do, but we have that darling quilt sewn together!  
One quilt down and one to go...
all in the name of Bobby Sherman!!!


CopyCat Rice-A-Roni

I came across this recipe this summer on pinterest and gave it a try.  It was so yummy I decided it was a real keeper.  Last night I made it again, home made Rice-A-Roni CopyCat.  

The original post was by Kate over at Cooking During Stolen Moments.  

As usual, I did a couple things differently, but you can always cruise on over and see the original instructions posted by Kate.

CopyCat Rice-A-Roni
1/4 lb box pasta-thin spaghetti, angel hair, or vermicelli pasta work great
1 c. rice
3 cubes chicken bouillon or equivalent
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
4 Tbs butter
2 1/2 c. water
***note-you can replace the bouillon and water by using 2 1/2 c. chicken broth***

First step, break the noodles into bit-sized pieces.  I am gonna be honest, this step can be hard...or at least messy and hard to keep clean.  I used the plate method shown by Kate and had a huge mess on my hands.  My next idea was to put the spaghetti noodles into a ziplock bag and bang on it with a rolling pin.  That was still messy because the bag got holes in it and noodle bits went flying.
Last night, I pulled out my food processor, grabbed about half of the thin spaghetti and broke it in half and threw it into the food processor.  I let the machine run for a minute or so, then checked on the progress.  Half of the noodles broke down like I was hoping, while the other half were still really long.  With the second half of pasta I broke it into thirds or fourths before placing it into the food processor.  The bits did get smaller, though I still had 2" pieces.  I guess, if you have a food processor or blender, I would recommend that route over using a plate to break the noodles into bite sized pieces, but you will still need to break some pieces by hand once you process.

So, the first time I made this recipe, I had just cooked a bag of frozen chicken in the crockpot and used the resulting broth as the water in the recipe.  It tasted OUTSTANDING!  I would say that using fresh broth would be the preferred method, but making by the recipe was still a great close second. 

First, get your liquid measured and ready to pour in.  Go ahead and mix the seasoning {chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning) in a small bowl so it is ready to throw in as well.  Just like rice-a-roni, you will melt the 4 Tbs. butter in a skillet and add the rice and pasta to the pan.  Stir on med. high heat until some of the noodles start to brown.  Pour in the liquid and seasonings, stir until mixed, then bring the whole thing up to a boil.   
Cover your pot with a lid and turn the heat down to medium-low heat, but make sure it is still simmering.  The original instructions recommend simmering for 15 minutes.  I did not find this enough time.  I think you need a good 20 minutes to keep the rice from being crunchy...Maybe even 25.  This second time of making the recipe I used more water and added 5 minutes over what I did the first time.  It was much more like the texture Rice-A-Roni should be.  I went ahead and added those changes into the recipe and instructions above.

So, if you are looking to eat a few less preservatives, need a yummy side-dish, or just have a few ingredients in your cupboard and have a family to feed, this recipe fits the bill!  Give it a try.  It might just become a favorite :0)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yummiest CopyCat EVER!

Talk about LOVING PINTEREST!!!
With my craft room still a total disaster and my garage full of boxes, not usable tools, I have turned my creative needs towards dinner time.  Originally I never wanted to put recipes on my blog because I think food is pretty gross to look at up close...
I am hoping you will forgive me.  My recent finds on Pinterest have left me with nothing else on my mind but these yummy meals and an excitement to cook dinner!
I know...I am as shocked as my husband ;0)

Today's CopyCat dinner comes to you from Jamie over at Jamie Cooks It Up

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

I started out following the recipe...
1/2 c. milk {think I used a cup - didn't measure as usual}
3 cups cheddar {or two mega handfuls for Vanessa}
2 rows of crushed Ritz Crackers {I don't bother having to wash my food processor to crush.  I hold one end of a row or Ritz Crackers in one hand, the other end in my other hand, then push my hands together will all my strength {while the crackers are still in the sealed bag}.  Then, when the crackers are as smooshed as I can get them, I crush the sides in, open the row's packaging, and poor it into the bowl...or bread pan.}

You are supposed to dip your chicken {3-4 large boneless chicken breasts cut into pieces} into the milk.  I cut my chicken, putting the cut pieces into my baking dish while I finished cutting the rest of the chicken pieces.  Again, I am too lazy to wash extra dishes.  That was when I decided to put ALL my chicken in the milk, and pull it out one piece at a time.  Do what works best for you.  

SoOooo, take one piece of chicken out of the milk at a time, roll it in cheddar, then set the chicken in Ritz cracker crumbs.   

 Pat more crumbs on top. 

I hope you have realized that, while somewhat adventurous, I am rather lazy in the kitchen.  I patiently dipped four pieces of chicken in the mix as directed above, then lost all focus and changed the game plan.

New plan!

Mix the cheese and crackers together!!!
Do you see where this is going???
I dumped half of the mixture into the pan and spread it around.

Put the rest of the milk-dipped chicken on top, then piled the other half of the cheese/Ritz mixture on top.

After patting the top layer of crust out smooth-like, the pan was covered with aluminum foil and thrown into an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees F.  It was baked for 35 minutes covered, then the foil was removed and it was baked for 10 more minutes.

Here is the result...This left side is where I dipped the chicken individually...

While the right side of the pan shows the chicken baked lasagna style.

My kids LOVED IT!!!  We scooped out chicken, covered it with the sauce and loaded the elevator straight to heaven ;0)

So, side-by-side comparison of the right way vs. the easy way...not too much difference.
The one-at-a-time method gave a slightly more cheesy chicken, but the crackers were awesome on the layered side.  One thing is that the bottom layer of crackers was a titch bit soggy.  If you are anti-soggy, then don't do it this way.  If you just love a blue ribbon dinner with minimal effort, just layer the thing!

Also, I recommend using half the cheese and crackers.  I think that will cut down on soggyness and give you a whole 'nother batch of cheesy chicken next week with the cheese and crackers we saved.

  If you want to read over the original recipe, you can check that out over at Jamie's site.
If you wanna have a go at the lazy way, the recipe is below.
Enjoy!!!

 Layered Cheesy Chicken 
{note the different amounts of cheese and Ritz}
Preheat oven to 400.

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into portion-sized pieces
1/2 - 1 c. milk
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1 row of crushed Ritz crackers {even Saltines will work great}

Pour the milk into a bowl or bread pan.  Place the chicken in the milk.  In a separate bowl, mix the shredded cheddar and row of crushed crackers.
***Optional: add 1/2t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, and 2t. dried parsley to the cracker/cheese mixture.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray for easier clean-up.  Pour 1/2 of the cheese/cracker mixture into the baking dish and spread out evenly.  Take the chicken out of the milk and place it evenly across the cheese/cracker mixture.  Now pour the rest of the cheese/cracker mixture on top and spread that around evenly.  Cover the whole dish with aluminum foil, then bake at 400 for 35 min.  Take aluminum foil off baking dish and bake the layered cheesy chicken for 10 more minutes.  

While the chicken cooks for that last 10 minutes mix the following sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup {or follow the recipe for CopyCat cream of soup}
2T. sour cream
2T. Butter
Heat on med-high until hot, stirring until mixed.  

Serve chicken hot, topped with the sauce. 
The chicken was a total hit served with leftover mashed potatoes, like ours was, or would be great with a side dish of pasta and some freshly steamed veggies.





CopyCat Cream of Soup

I have seen a couple recipes for "Cream of" soups floating around out there.  Years ago I came across the recipe put out by Mayo Clinic.  While I can't seem to find it on Mayo's website anymore, I do have it here in my own recipe collection.

Cream of Anything Soup
2c. powdered milk
3/4 c. corn starch
1/4 c. low-sodium chicken bouillon 
2 Tbs. dried onion flakes or 1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper

Blend ingredients.  Store in airtight container at room temperature.  When ready to use, combine 1/3c. mix with 1 c. water to equal one can of soup.

If I am making soup that calls for canned cr. of something soup, I just throw the mix into the water.  For more complex recipes, I will heat up 1 c. water and whisk in the 1/3 c. mix.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes, until it thickens.  Then you are ready to go.

Pros-  All recipes that you make with the substitute are healthier and cheaper to make

Cons- more effort and one more pot to wash if you have to constitute the soup first.

I still like the soup mix over the convenience of the canned stuff.  If I need cr. of mushroom I will just throw in a tsp. of beef bouillon.  Add celery powder for cream of celery soup, some frozen broccoli for cream of broccoli soup, a chopped up baked potato for cream of potato soup, etc.

I made this recipe a couple times and realized I ran out way too quickly.  
I set out to multiply the recipe so that it was mixable, plus fit into my handy dandy no.10 cans.  
The original recipe makes the equivalent of 6 cans of soup.  My batch of soup mix makes more like 24.  That means it is equal to 24 cans of soup mix and cost almost nothing.  When I say almost nothing, I am talking about all my relatives spontaneously offering cans of powdered milk to me.  With the milk free, the rest of the ingredients cost a few pennies.  
Here is my recipe:

Bulk Cream of Soup Mix
8c. powdered milk
1 box corn starch
1 c. bouillon
1/2c. dried onions
4 tsp. basil
4 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. pepper

Wanna know some recipes I use this in???

Here you go, the mother load :0)  I just happened to have saved this emailed list of recipes I typed up for my husband one time.

The following recipes are using half a quart, or large jar, of meat or
one whole pint, or small jar, of canned meat.  Just use 1 lb. of cooked chicken or beef in place of the canned meat if you don't can :0)

 You can freeze any of these meals.  Just try and remember to take out of the freezer the night before otherwise it takes at least an hour to cook.  If frozen simply cook at 375 for the first 30 min, then at 350 for the next 30 min.  Check to see if the middle is hot.  Cook longer if needed.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Mix in bowl- 1 lb. cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared
one large can of Green Enchilada sauce
one large can green chilies 
one pint sour cream

Layer like lasagna, starting with just a little sauce to get the bottom wet.  Sauce, corn tortillas(I use about 6 per layer-one in each corner of the pan and the other two in the middle), cheese.  Stop when you get about one inch from the top-end with cheese.  If there is extra sauce just freeze it for next time.  Bake 350 for 30 min.

Chicken Enchiladas
Mix in bowl- 1 lb. cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared


1/3 c. sour cream
 can of green chillies
cheddar
Use about half of mixture to fill flour tortillas.  Cover filled tortillas with rest of mix and cheese.  Bake 350 for 30 min.

Chicken and Stuffing
Mix up instant potatoes, {or use fresh or leftover mashed potatoes} and spread in bottom of a 9X13 pan.  In one bowl mix stuffing and 1  1/2 C. water and set aside for 5 min.
  In another bowl mix -1 lb. cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared
1 C. sour Cream.  
Spread chicken mixture on top of potatoes and top with stuffing.  Bake 350, 30 min.

Poppyseed Chicken
Cook rice-a-roni or 1 cup rice(2 cups prepared).  When cooked add 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup sour cream and chicken.  Pour in 9 X 13 pan.  Use a glass bowl to melt 1 c. margarine or butter.  Crunch two rows of Ritz type crackers and pour in (I don't open the  package, hold one end of the row in one hand and one end in the other  hand then push my two hands together compressing all of the crackers.  It crushes them and keeps it all in the bag.  I crush both, then open  both and pour them in at the same time so they soak up the butter equally, probably doesn't matter, but I am strange that way).  Stir in 1 Tablespoon of poppy seeds and spread crackers over rice mixture.  Bake 350, 30 min.

Chicken Curry
1 lb. cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared


 1 1/2 c. - 2 c. shredded cheese
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix in a baking dish that has the higher sides.  Cover with lid and bake 350, 30 min.  Serve over rice.

Crock Pot Chicken
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared
one package or 8 oz cream cheese
tablespoons ranch dip/dressing mix
Mix together.  You can heat this up on the stove, stir in canned chicken and eat over noodles without using the crock pot, or add 2-3 chicken breasts not cooked and bake on high four hours.

Tatertot Casserole
Line bottom of 9x13 pan with tatertots.  Mix 2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared and pint or pound of cooked hamburger.  Spread on top of tots.  Cover with cheese or leave off to reduce calories.  350, 30 min.

Stroganoff
2 cans worth of cr. soup mix, prepared
1 c. sour cream
one packet
onion soup mix
1 pint or pound of cooked hamburger
Heat and serve over noodles.  You can make this casserole style, pour cooked noodles in pan, cover with sauce and freeze.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Pattern!

I don't know how many of you remember this little Manger Centerpiece I made a while back, but I have some good news!  After a little prodding I have finally finished the pattern!!!  Yea!

I have it available for purchase on my Etsy site.  Feel free to stop by and check it out :0)  Christmas will be here before you know it!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

RIP Hair Clip

I saw this little sticker in Micheal's and thought it would be pretty cute as a hair clip.  Go ahead, blame it on my clippies.  A couple of years ago I NEVER would have seen a sticker and thought clip :0)

I purchased this sticker from Micheal's, like I said before, then added some tulle and feathers for spunk.  I glued the whole mess to black felt, then cut around it with scalloped fabric scissors.  

The sticker is extra cute because it is layered on springs.  That means when she turns her head, the tombstone wobbles.  LOve it!



Madison is stuck on the sloppy bun on top of your head thing, but the clip works with that hair-do too.

A couple of you requested pics of Mads wearing her mini marching band hat, so here you go.  She really loves it.  Her friends keep asking for me to make them hats too.  I think I just discovered how we will fund Madison's trip to the Rose Parade in January ;0) 

Here is a picture of the witch hat too.  Madison might have been sick of me taking her picture, but Eli was just getting started.  I love my kids.  What would I ever do without them!!!