Five Daughters Bakery {Nashville}

Recently, we had a Nashville-themed birthday party for my eldest, and since she’s not much of a cake fan, we always look for a different dessert for her birthday. Five Daughter’s Bakery is in Nashville (and a couple of other locations as well) and has rave reviews. I asked people if it was really worth the hype and the price (at around $4.50 a doughnut). EVERY PERSON I asked said it was totally worth both! My sister is one of the most generous and helpful people who you could ever meet. She lives in Nashville and was so sweet to offer to run all over God’s creation collecting things we needed for this party. She went on Saturday morning before the party and got three dozen doughnuts. We got a variety. Since they are huge, we split most into three and everyone got to have a sampling of Five Daughters.  My favorite was the simple cinnamon sugar doughnut. I also really like the vanilla filled doughnut. Now, I can confidently say that they are indeed worth the hype and the price. If you’re ever in Nashville, stop by Five Daughters Bakery and get a doughnut or two. You’ll thank me later!

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Kandinsky {school stuff}

Although I grew up without an art museum anywhere close to where I lived, I have loved art for as long as I can remember. I know that many people who are artistically talented come to love art as they learn more about technique and artistic development. I am seriously lacking in the artistically talented department, but I still love to learn about all things related to art. My children also love learning about great artists. One of my goals for my children is that they will be able to see a piece of art and recognize the artist by the style and details.

In our homeschool, we are learning about Wassily Kandinsky. My favorite fact about him is that he had synesthesia. He could literally hear colors and see music. Kandinsky is considered to be one of the earliest abstract artists.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching about the great artists throughout history. I may not be the most knowledgeable or educated art teacher, but I am passionate.

Here are a few of the things we’ve done in the artist style.

IMG_1523IMG_1524IMG_1525IMG_1536The circles are just plastic cups that the children colored on with Sharpies. We then melted them in the oven. It actually took much longer than I expected and some force to get them to melt.

The other circle picture was done with catalogs. She cut out circles and layered them in top of each other to get that abstract look.

They also drew and painted pictures while listening to music several times.

We are moving on to a different artist next week. I have so enjoyed studying (once again) Kandinsky and his work.

Noodle-less Lasagna {Low Carb}

My girls love all things pasta. Since my husband and I don’t eat pasta, I usually just leave it out of our dishes and serve it on the side.  It’s a little more difficult to do with lasagna, but I still do.

Here’s how I do it:

2 lbs. sausage (any kind you like), cooked and drained

1 large container (usually 16 oz.) ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella

2 cups parmesan cheese

1 package of  provolone cheese slices

2 jars of Rao’s spaghetti sauce (many other sauces have LOTS of sugar. You must read the labels)

Mix the meat with the spaghetti sauce. In a lasagna pan, layer a meat layer then a ricotta/parmesan layer, then slices of provolone. Continue layering. On the last layer, put the mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.

(The provolone is a little thicker and doesn’t melt away like the shredded cheeses.)

Enjoy.

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My Favorite Purchase Ever (At Least So Far)

Last summer, I purchased my ALL-TIME FAVORITE antique ever!! My eldest daughter went wandering around on her own and stumbled upon a 5 year diary. This was a rare find because each day (literally) for almost five full years was filled in. The diary belonged to a Texas teenager. She was sassy and funny. She wrote about days of playing cards with her mother and sister. She also wrote about days in church with the guys from Texas A&M (according to her: they weren’t much to talk about). She also chronicled her love for one boy in particular. We sat around the kitchen table after we brought it home and read all the way through the many entries. There were many laughs and even a couple of tears. After we finished reading, I googled her and her family. She sadly had passed away a couple of decades before. Her family is still in Texas. I wonder how in the world her diary made its way all the way to our home state. I wonder if her family knew about the diary she wrote back in her teen years.  I struggle with the idea that I should contact them and let them know of its existence. I treasure it so very much! It’s a reminder of simpler times. It’s also a reminder that feelings never really change. We all feel happiness, sadness, joy, worry, hope, fear, love, and jealousy. It’s those things that I hold close to my heart when I revisit the pages of the daily writings of a Texan teenager in the 50s.

Pirate Party and a recipe

Since we always have so many games and trivia during our parties, we always have a prize box of some sort. This time I got a styrofoam cooler for about $2.50 at Target. We spray painted it black and it served as the cutest treasure chest!

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I used pineapples to decorate around the house as well. Most of the decorations were from Target and Oriental Trading.

We played a throw a ring around the hook. It was a fun little game, but I actually think the adults enjoyed it more. We bought the hooks from Oriental Trading and hot glued them on to a piece of cardboard box. The rings were glow necklaces from Dollar Tree.

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As our guests arrived, they were asked to get a pirate name. I had two cups with silly names. One cup was the first name and the second was the last. They then had to wear a name tag with their pirate names on it.  It was fun to see the funny  combinations.

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We played a cannonball game that was the hit of the party. I had my parents bring all their newspapers that they’d normally recycle. The teams were to make balls out of it and throw them to the other side. After 5 minutes we counted who had the most and that team won. Both teams cheated by not making them into balls but it was so fun no one really got too upset about it.

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I made a new dish for the vegetarians. It was a black-eyed pea dip. I made it very spicy, but it was so delicious!

Black-eyed Pea Dip:

one can drained black-eyed peas

1 small can diced jalapeños

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbl. Hot sauce

1 cup hot pepper cheese

1 to 2 cups cheddar cheese (for topping)

Put ingredients in a blender and blend until just incorporated. You don’t want it too smooth. Pour into a greased baking dish. Put reserved cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  I served it with chips, but ate it plain. It was very spicy but so good! We named it Blackbeard’s dip for the party.

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Overall, this was one fun party!

Pirate Party

We had so much fun at our little guy’s birthday party.

IMG_0724One of the games had four teams with two buckets and sponges. The bucket at the top was full of water and the goal was to fill the bucket at the bottom with water first using only a sponge.

IMG_0513IMG_0519IMG_0706The photo booth was a fun way to capture the people at our party. I got the whole set from Oriental Trading.

IMG_0585IMG_0586The party was divided into two teams. They each had to design and create a team flag using Sharpies, pillowcases, and their imaginations.

I loved being able to bring out my Halloween stuff to use as decorations!!

The menu was:

fish and chips : Goldfish crackers and chips

Blackbeard’s bean dip : Spicy black-eyed pea dip

Don’t whistle–hummus : hummus

Boats : hot dogs

Peg legs : pretzel rods

Gold bars : cheese cubes

Fresh Catch : tuna salad

Polly’s crackers : crackers

Tastes like chicken : chicken salad

Gemstones : strawberries, blueberries, and grapes

Devil’s Caviar: spicy deviled eggs

Treasure Map: pizza

Crocodile punch : pineapple-lime punch

I hope to share more about our pirate party soon.

Vanilla Cake {keto}

Originally posted on livingandlovinglowcarb

One of the things that can make a person who is living low carb feel sad is not being able to enjoy dessert, especially on special holidays like Memorial Day. I wanted to make a cake that I could throw some berries and whipped cream on top and feel like I was enjoying a decadent treat. I can hardly wait to share this super easy recipe with you!

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Low Carb Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup softened coconut butter

1 1/2 cup Splenda

1 cup sugar-free vanilla Torani syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. meringue powder

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together all the ingredients. Pour into a greased cake pan. Cook until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Remove from pan and enjoy so many different ways!

 

Scotch Eggs {keto}

This was originally published on my other  website, livingandlovinglowcarb, which is wholly dedicated to the low carb  lifestyle.

On our last trip to Disney World, we tried Scotch Eggs for the first time. They were very good and I knew I would have to try to make a keto version when we got home. Last weekend, I had everything I needed. It was way less intimidating than I expected. Everyone absolutely loved them, and have already requested that I make them again! In my personal opinion, they’re better than the original.

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Keto Scotch Eggs:

Boiled eggs

sausage

oil

parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

First, boil your eggs to your personal preference. ( I personally cannot eat them even a tiny bit runny). Beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl. Begin heating the oil. Roll sausage around the boiled eggs. Dip into the beaten eggs. Drop into a Ziploc bag with about 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Shake gently, making sure the egg and sausage is completely covered. Drop into the hot oil. Turn as it browns. Completely cook. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. These can be served hot or cool. My family liked them hot,

I hope you like these as much as my family did!

Foreign Language {need advice}

Our state requires three foreign language credits in the same language. My daughter has to begin learning another language this year. I took four years of Spanish in high school and tested out of it in college. I almost never use it, and my daughter wants to learn French or Latin, so I am at a complete loss. I need some advice on excellent programs for her to become proficient in one of these languages. I’m open to any and all advice. Thank you in advance!!

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt Selfie Style

Now that nearly everyone I know from the ages of 10 and up has a smartphone, the treasure hunt at our last party was a selfie variety. There were ten things that people needed to find and take their selfies with. My parents are the only people I know who still have flip phones. My dad partnered with my mother-in-law. Their pictures are my favorite because my dad doesn’t really know about selfies. It was such a fun little game and everyone really enjoyed the hunt. The first three teams that finished received a treat out of the treasure box.

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