Monday, December 22

Merry Christmas



I can't believe it's Christmas week.

Wow.  That went fast.

I hope you all all have much laughter, joy, family, food, and peaceful moments this week and on Christmas Day.  I will be busy with my own family and won't post again until the new year.

I have lots of Fearless Creativity planned for January, including Party Tuesdays and a few other projects.  Don't forget to come back and check on me.

I can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus  and Face Book as Dapoppins.  You can follow me, stalk me, and convo me anytime. I'd love to hear from you.

God Bless and have a Fantastic Christmas!

Thursday, December 18

Nannylife And Parenting - How Do You Know Who Is In Charge




I've been leading a double life.  Wait.  No.  Make that Triple.  Not only to am I trying to post here weekly on Dapoppins about my passions (paper, art, children's books, craftiness, color, family, and story telling) I've been posting over at Care Academy and NannySheCanDo.  I can't tell you how thrilling it is to have these fantastic websites want me to write for them.

If you're a Nanny or in the Child Care Profession, you might want to check them out.

 If you are a Mom or a Grandma you might want to check them out.

 If you have anything at all to do with children and you're holding a cup of coffee in one of your hands and clicking with the other, you might want to check them out!

This week I posted about the Nanny and Work At Home Parent Dynamic.  I gave some really incredible information (if I do say so myself) about how to navigate the waters of Who Is In Charge.  This info also comes in handy when there are kids about and parents and grandparents in the room who love them.  Do you still have your mouse handy - grab it and click here to read how to handle challenge of more than one person raising a child.

What do you do when the children ask the same question to each adult because they are hoping for a better answer?

What do you do when the toddler only wants one specific adult in the house?

What do you do when a child won't clean up after themselves because an adult in the home told him "he didn't have to?"

The answer to these questions and more are on the Care Academy Blog Right NOW!

Monday, December 15

Christmas Links



I've had a couple of busy weeks.  Some of it is just out of the blue unexpectedness, schedule changes due to work, and just general December-ness going on.  I tried very hard to follow my own advice and not over-plan for December.  But some things I just can't say no to.  

I wanted to take a post and share some fun Christmas links.  There are lots more.  But I can't go a year without sharing The Carol of the Chins site...it's become a tradition.  

If you haven't gotten enough Christmas songs, here is a fun link to visit:


And here is a sweet little interactive Christmas Card, if you have the time:


Merry Christmas


And this, which came out last year from Orla Kiely




Do you have any favorite web links you'd like to share?  Please leave a comment and let me know.   I'd love to add some more to my list. 



Tuesday, December 9

Winter Snacking - Recipe for Cranberry Oat Bars For a Treat Pot-Luck

I love oatmeal.


Even loaded down with brown sugar it still 


feels healthy when I eat it or feed it to the kids.

The other day the family went to 
my 

fourteen year old's first piano recital which had

 a pot-lock treat table set up for after the 

event.  I didn't notice the "pot-luck" part until 

the morning of the recital. 

I didn't have a lot of ingredients in the house t 


to make something, or a lot of time to be fussy. 


So, I whipped up a batch of  Cranberry Oat bars to take along.

The Fourteen Year Old Being Awesome


Super Awesome Music Teacher in green behind the boy


A couple people liked them and requested the 

recipe. I am posting the whole thing, as I came

 across it, which is actually the full flavor one and  

a really healthy version.  

(Note- I have made these bars with 1/4 cup less butter and brown sugar and they are still really good.  I have also made them and forgotten the flour; they still taste good, but don't really come out as bars. I usually make them without nuts because pecans are expensive and I have a kid who doesn't like them anyway. I've also used quick oats instead of old-fashioned and it still tastes the same.)






November 15, 2006

Dear Jeanne,
Enclosed is a cookie recipe I received last Thanksgiving. It is one of the best I have ever eaten; however, with 1¼ cups of butter and 1½ cups of brown sugar, I would like your version of lowering the calories. Thank you very much.
Joyce Peterson
San Diego

CRANBERRY  BARS
1¼ cups butter, divided
1½ cups packed brown sugar, divided
3½ cups old-fashioned oats, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 can 16 ounces whole-berry cranberry sauce
½ cup finely chopped pecans
In a large mixing bowl, cream 1 cup of the butter and 1 cup of the brown sugar; stir in 2½ cups of the oats and the flour. Press into a greased 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Spread with cranberry sauce. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining butter; stir in the pecans and remaining brown sugar and oats. Sprinkle over cranberry sauce. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 3 dozen




.
Dear Joyce,
I cut the fat by more than half, and it's still a delicious bar cookie. I found that by grinding 1 cup of the oatmeal in a blender, I could keep all the goodness of the oatmeal and not have to use so much butter to hold it all together. I also used fresh cranberries instead of the canned sauce. It's very easy to make the filling, and it tastes so much better. If you would rather use the canned, there is only a 1-calorie difference. You could also substitute any other fruit or fruit spread that you like.

LOW-FAT CRANBERRY OATMEAL BARS
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup applesauce
1/3 cup pecans, toasted

Place the rinsed cranberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries burst and the liquid is thickened. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Take 1 cup of the oats and blend in a blender or food processor until you can't see whole oats anymore. Add to the butter and sugar. Add the rest of the oats, the flour, honey and applesauce. Combine until mixed and crumbly.
Take 3½ cups of this mixture and press it firmly into the prepared pan. Spread with the cooled cranberry sauce. Add the pecans to the remaining oat mixture, combine and sprinkle over the top of the cranberries.
Bake for 25 minutes. This may be eaten warm or cold. A little nonfat vanilla yogurt and a hot cookie make a nice combination.

Makes 36 bars 2 inches by 1½ inches.
Each bar contains:
Original recipe: 164 calories; 8 gm fat; 17 mg cholesterol; 71 mg sodium; 22 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


Revised recipe: 100 calories; 3 gm fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 22 mg sodium; 17 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; 2 gm fiber.



I can't remember what website I snagged this 

off of, but if you know who Joyce and Jeanne 

are, let them know, we love these BARS! 

(If the formatting is quonky for this post, let me know please- argued with my computer about it for a couple of hours.  The computer won.  I don't know if it is my the old dinosaur of a computer giving me issues, my browser, or blogger. But when i read this post all the sentences are scruched together. )

Monday, December 8

Playing with Paper with Dapoppins


Welcome to Party Tuesdays!

You didn't know it was a Party Tuesday?  Well it is!  On Tuesdays I get to share my design example for Party Time Tuesdays - On Tuesdays I get to explore my inner creative and be fearless!

Decembers sponsor for Party Time Tuesdays is Heather Hudson of  My Artistic Adventures.  She has a really fun selection of vintage-ish downloads and I couldn't wait to play with them.


My Artistic Adventures


                               Digital and Paper Designs





This download was a set of tags.  I just printed, embellished with a  bit of embossing powder and inked edges, made a little fabric flower with some gold leaves and that little heart, added ribbon and done!

If you like playing with paper, give Heather a visit, and hop on over to Party Time Tuesdays where there is a weekly challenge with wonderful prizes (like something form Heahter's store!)



Now if you have been visiting my blog at all lately you know that I committed to sending out Christmas Cards this year.  Maybe never again.  I decided to use up some of the supplies I had on hand - here is some more proof that I have been following through!










Every card is different.  I've just looked  what was in front of me, and start putting things together.  Some of them I like better then others. But after the 15th 50th card, it no longer matters how close to satisfied I am with them, it's more about just getting them done and in the envelops.  

So far I have about 10 that are not fitting into envelops.  But that's okay, I can just make envelops.  Right?  

Well, maybe.

Well, it's the thought that counts, right?

I hope to have the ones I committed to send in the mail by this Saturday.  Then, I can work on the family ones.  I don't have a big family and friends list, but since I gave cards to strangers this year, I kinda feel obligated to do something for the relatives and the friends that are still sending me cards. 

Is there something you feel obligated to do during the holidays?  Something that you might enjoy, but you feel like you should do anyway - even if you don't enjoy it? (Like decorating?) Let me know I'm not alone in the comments!





The Easiest Way To Entertain KIDS


(sharing again if you didn't see...)

Are there children in your life?  Do you work with kids, have kids in your home, or have kids come over and visit you?


What is the numero uno, NUMBER ONE, easiest, most awesome, crazy-beneficial-to-their-lives, activity that you can do with the kids in your life? 




Have you seen the studies about about the benefits of reading aloud to children as young as newborns?  So much so that articles have shown up in The New York Times and CNN.com.  As a Nanny and Mom I've seen again and again the long term benefits of routine story times.

I wrote a series over at  Nanny SheCanDo   You can find the whole series HERE.  Click the link and go read.  I'll wait here. 

Do you read aloud?  Did someone read aloud to you? What obstacles do you face when reading aloud? Leave a comment and let me know! I might have some ideas on how you can read aloud too. 

Friday, December 5

Do You Like To Decorate for the Holidays?

Every year, after Thanksgiving, I am presented with a problem.

It's a difficulty.  

It's a challenge.

Some people look forward all year to it - but not me. 

Not really.

But, I bet you are one of those people who looks forward to it...

I enjoy Christmas.  I enjoy the food, the baking, the family, the church time, the public decorations, the music, the colors, the feeling, the whole reason for the season and celebration of a Savior. --Yep Totally enjoy that.

But...I have a confession to make.  I don't enjoy the decorations, that is, I don't enjoy putting up my decorations.  

Oh people. Seriously.  Am I the only One?  It is just so much work!!!

And there are so many other things I'd rather be doing.  

Maybe I just look at it the wrong way?  Maybe it's just a simple attitude adjustment?


From last year...

I am making gingerbread right this moment.  The smell is wonderful.  I made it last year for the first time, then I made it again and again and again.  The loaf kind, not cookies, or anything that I have to chill and roll out.  Because that kind of gingerbread is risky for a person like me who doesn't do precise.  

I am listening to Christmas music via a Christian Radio station that plays some of my favorite stuff old and new.  

I worked on Christmas Cards today and will have pictures to bore I mean, excite you with in the next week to prove that I finished a project!

But the idea of cleaning my living room and then diving into my deep closet after the SIX boxes of Christmas decorations does not sound fun at all.  

I'd skip it...well most of the decorating part...if not for the kids.  Because they love it. Well, they seem to love it.  

Every year after Thanksgiving they start asking, "When?"  "Now?"
"When?"  "Can we?"


Also from last year...The kids always decorate the tree. 

Then we spend a week putting them up and they are all over that like butter on toast.  Or frosting on cake.  Or red on Santa. They handle everything, tell stories about everything, just enjoy it.  And it is really lovely because  kids their age are often  disinterested, bad-attitude, teenagers,  while I've been blessed with rather awesome, wonderful, sentimental teenagers who really enjoy traditions.  

For the first week or so - but two days after Christmas they are all OVER IT.  And who gets to put all that stuff back in the SIX boxes, like fitting puzzle pieces together, or playing Jenga in reverse?  Who?

Not them.  NOT those awesome kids.  Well - they could but you know what that would look like.  Not so much a puzzle but just a mess.  

Sigh.  

What's a Mom to do?