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2/28/2012

Flogging Molly!

Last Sunday, Craig and I saw Flogging Molly at The Fillmore Charlotte!  We had never been to this particular venue and we were really curious to check it out. 

charlotte-greek-wedding-photographer-53(picture above found here)

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The music hall was simply amazing!  Small.  Cozy. And beautiful! 

The show opened with The Devil Makes Three who we had never before heard, but were certainly impressed with.

“Black Irish”

We were a little underwhelmed by the second act, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.  They performed a little longer than we would have liked, but it was worth the wait to see the headliners make their way to the stage!

I was beyond excited to see Flogging Molly!  I have been a fan of this Celtic-punk group for many years… and their performances most definitely did not disappoint!

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“Drunken Lullabies”

“If I Ever Leave This World Alive”

“Whistles The Wind”

“The Sun Never Shines (On Closed Doors)”

What a fun way to spend a Sunday night!  Wish we could do something like this every weekend!

2/14/2012

Valentine’s Day Crayon Hearts

No doubt you’ve seen crayon hearts flying all over the internet in recent weeks (here, here, here, or here just to name a few of the sites).  But nevertheless, I thought they would be a fun alternative to the typical candy given out at Valentine’s Day… especially considering Bailey’s classmates Valentines are all still under 2 1/2 years old.

This was a super cheap and easy project.  The total cost was about $1.  I found a pair of silicone heart-shaped ice trays in the $1 section at Target.  Since they were designed to be ice trays I wasn’t sure if they would work, but I figured for only $1 it was worth a shot.  Then I dug through the crayon box at home and at work and gathered a small bag of old, broken crayons.  And that was it.  No other real supplies needed other than a baking sheet and a small piece of aluminum foil. 

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Next I removed the paper from the outside of the crayons and snapped them into small pieces.  I piled a mixture of colors into each heart and then placed the silicone ice tray on a baking sheet.  As an afterthought I added a small piece of aluminum foil under the silicone tray, just in case it wouldn’t hold up to the temperature of the oven. 

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I stuck the crayons into the oven at 250 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.  I just kept a close watch on them and took them out once it appeared that all of the crayon pieces had melted.

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I set the tray aside for about 10 minutes until the wax was able to “set up” just a bit.  At that point I stuck the entire tray into the freezer to speed up the cooling process.  Once the tray was completely cool I popped the new heart-shaped crayons out and voila!

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I enlisted the help of Bailey to bag up all of the crayons in treat bags I bought on clearance after Valentine’s Day last year.  She had fun counting the crayons and the bags as we did this!

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Next I opened Microsoft Publisher and whipped up an adorable Valentine’s Day card to attach to each bag of crayons.  The card read “Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Crayons Make Me Happy, And So Do You!” on one side and had a cute little elephant coloring page on the other.

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I printed the cards out on cardstock and cut them to size.  I punched a hole in one corner and used ribbon to tie one to each bag of crayons.  Wouldn’t you know it… I forgot to snap a picture of the end product. 

Bailey took them into school today for her class’ Valentine swap and I’m pretty sure the kiddos loved them!

2/12/2012

Valentine’s Day Lovin’ From the Oven!

I decided to do a little Valentine’s Day baking for Bailey and her pre-school class.  After scouring Google and Pinterest for various treats I decided to try to make these (originally from here):

windowpane cookies

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but the basic concept is the same.  First things first, I gathered all of the necessary supplies:

  • Wax paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking sheet
  • Rolling Pin
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes (I bought the entire pack of 6 cookie cutters at Wal-Mart for under $2)
  • Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (I decided to cheat a bit and buy the pre-made dough)
  • Hard candies (I had Life Savers lying around, so I decided to work with what I had)

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Then I placed the cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper and used a rolling pin to spread the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

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Of course, as with any baking job, this step is so much easier if you enlist the aid of an eager, apron-wearing helper.  Thankfully Bailey was more than happy to lend a freshly-washed hand!

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Once the dough was rolled out we removed the top layer of waxed paper and began cutting out our hearts.

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After cutting out the large hearts I used a spatula to place the cookie dough on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Then I used a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center heart.  I removed the dough at the center and set it aside to be rolled-out and reused.

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The next step involved breaking the Life Saver candies into small pieces and then pouring them into the center of each heart cookie.  I used about 1 1/2 Life Savers per cookie.

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After this was done I baked the cookies as the directions on the tube of dough instructed… 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (or until the edges of the cookies are slightly golden-brown and the candies are melted).  Once the cookies were done I removed the baking sheet and let it cool for about 5 minutes before removing the cookies and placing them on wire racks. 

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And in the end we were left with a lovely plate of heart-shaped windowpane cookies!  Talk about yummy!

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What a sweet Valentine’s Day treat for the kiddos (and the adults) in Bailey’s classroom!