Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hogwarts and Robots!

At Harry Potter Attraction at Universal Studios!
I've got a confession to make -- I'm a nerd, not only am I a nerd, my kids are nerds!

We just returned from a "whirlwind" trip to Orlando to compete in the BEST World Championship Competitions! Our team was 3rd in the nation last year. They came away this year with some awards and made it to the semi-finals but didn't place. They are not discouraged though -- they are already talking about next year!

This is a great program that our school promotes. It is an advanced science course. The teams have to build a robot to specs and it has to accomplish specified tasks. Every school in the world is given the specs on the same day and they start working immediately and competing in the fall.  They also have to create an engineering notebook, design marketing tools like t-shirts and a website, do presentatios, be interviewed and have LOTS of spirit. They get points for everything! Check out Wetumpka Robotics Website! Our team competed successfully in War Eagle BEST and South's BEST and qualified to go to the World Championship. We are very proud of them.

As a side trip, we went to Universal Studios and got to tour Hogwards and Hogsmeade! We rode broomsticks with Harry and Ron too! It was so much fun to see their interpretation of what we've been reading in the books all these years!

Needless to say, I haven't done much crafting this week. I did create some adorable Easter Labels. I printed them on white cardstock and used a scalloped circle in a pastel paper behind them. Since I layered them with other paper, I was able to use whatever colors I wanted and I was also able to get the size I needed for projects.

These fit nicely in the tops of mason jars. My friend took it a step further and used these in the top, glued a ribbon around the lid and filled the jars with Peeps and Easter Grass! It was adorable. She's using them as party favors.

We also painted Easter Eggs at the  Hometown Specialties Shop The moms got to paint the ceramic eggs and Miss Cindy handprinted the little ones. The kids got to paint an Easter ornament as well. They made bunnies out of fingerprints! All the eggs and ornaments turned out great. It was lots of fun too!

I've got some great Easter ideas for this coming weekend. We always paint eggs with our neighbors and cook out. I can't wait, it is so much fun to see the Easter eggs that these kids create.
I took a picture of my Pretzel Crusted Lime Bars. I will definitely be making them again. YUM!  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Redneck and loving it!

Spring is in the air!

The past week has been great. I've made some new things and had a blast doing them. My first new love is the redneck wineglass. These are just fun!

I figure they will be great conversation pieces this summer at cookouts. I did them with jewels, vinyl and ribbon. I have some that are red, white and blue and some that are Auburn or Alabama. War Eagle!

My favorites are the summer colors though. I've put several of these in the Hometown Specialties Shop in Wetumpka.

So today, I played off the wineglass idea with a friend of mine to create lanterns too. I used wire and beads to make the handles and put tealights in them. I really like playing with wire and beads. This is my set of pink/green lanterns and redneck wineglasses!

I have orders for 6 more glasses that I need to make this weekend. Can't wait to get started!

We've also found some really cute plates and cups at the local thrift store so I've been working with them too. This is a piece that I put together and put by my coffee pot. A friend suggested putting sugar cubes in the top (notice my little sterling silver sugar cube tongs, also a thrift store purchase), and sugar packets and substitutes on the plates. I put green tea bags on the bottom plate and the substitute in the cup but the effect is pretty much the same.


The new recipe I am going  to try this weekend is
Pretzel Crusted Key Lime Squares
They sound really good -- salty/sweet lime. Kind of Margarita flavor maybe?
UPDATE: These tasted awesome! I think I could have done a few things better though. The crust didn't "stick" together like I thought it should. I will definitely grind my pretzels smaller and maybe add a bit more butter before pressing into the pan. Also the white chocolate should be added to the squares AFTER they are cut. I added it before and it was pretty but when we cut them the white chocolate drizzle just crumbled into they lime filling and didn't make a very pretty presentation. I will make them again just because they tasted so darn good!

1 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp sugar

2 large egg yolks
1 - 14 oz. can fat free sweeteed condensed milk (I'll probably used the real stuff)
1/2 cup key lime juice

Optional white chocolate drizzle:
1 oz. melted white chocolate

preheat ove to 350

spray 8x8 square pan with cooking spray. in a food processor grind pretzels until they are a fine crumb (not dust). in a bowl combne your pretzel crumbs, butter, salt and sugar. press firmly into your prepare pan and bake for 10 minutes. let crust cool.

now combine yolks, sweetened condnesed mile and lime juice. stir until well mixed. pour into crust and bake 12-15 minutes until its set. cool completely and drizzle with white chocolate. refrigerate until ready to eat (at least an hour). store in refrigerator.

I'll let you know how they turn out ;)

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