Easter Cake Pops

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Today we had a cake pop making party. The girls love decorating them. I used the same recipe as last time. You can find the recipe here.  Still have some work to do on the decorating part of them. The sprinkled ones are so much easier to do than the animal ones.

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I couldn’t find the stand to hold them up, so we improvised. I used a trifle dish lined with Peeps. In the center we filled it with Jordan almonds and jelly beans. It worked perfectly.

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We made chickens and bunnies. For the chickens we used leaf sprinkles for the wings, feet and hair. We used triangles for the beak. For the bunnies, we used sliced almonds for the ears, chocolate sprinkles for the whiskers, eyes and pink dots for the nose and tail.  I found all of them at Michaels.

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Today’s Leopard Print Find: Reef Women’s Reef Heart Breaker Sandal

Apple Dumplings

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This is one of my favorite desserts. It is even better as leftovers the next day, if you have any left over. I listed the ice cream as optional, but really it isn’t. Add a scoop and drizzle some of the sauce on top. Trust me, you’ll thank me. As an added bonus, if you eat the whole thing it can count as a serving of fruit. :)

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1 Apple
1 can (8 Oz) Crescent Rolls
1/3 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Oz (4 Tbs) Sprite
Ice Cream (optional but highly recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Peel and core apple. Cut apple into 8 slices.

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll and place in baking dish.

Melt butter on stove top. Add sugar and stir just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over apples.

Pour Sprite around the edges of the pan and between the two rows of dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 35 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Servings: 8
Calories 221
Total Fat 9.5g
Total Carbohydrates 31.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 3.2g
Nutrition Grade D

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Havaianas by Lori Jack “Top” Swarovski Crystal Flip Flops (41/42, Black/Leopard)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

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My mom made this for us all the time when I was growing up. It was always one of my favorites. Taylor and Megan have different tastes apparently. You would have thought I served them a plate of snails. It took me forever just to get them to taste it. Megan finally admitted that “it was okay”. Taylor (being the more stubborn one) would never admitted that she liked it even if she did. She picked out the ham and swiss and just ate one bite of plain chicken. She sure was awfully hungry at breakfast the next morning.

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4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, split (skinned)
4 Thin Slices Lean Cooked Ham
4 Thin Slices Swiss Cheese
Parsley/Garlic Powder Seasoning
1/3 cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil

Flatten chicken breasts slightly with a mallet. Place a ham and a cheese slice on each chicken piece. Sprinkle with the parsley/garlic powder. Roll up chicken to enclose ham and cheese. Blend bread crumbs with oil and place on a flat plate. Press each chicken roll into the mixture to coat lightly. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken is tender.

From my Mama.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Yellow Box Women’s Acedia Flip Flop

Glazed Lemon Muffins

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We got a juicer last month and every time I put lemons in it I hated to throw away all of the fluffy lemon zest. So I finally decided to make some muffins with it. If you don’t have a juicer you can still just use the normal zesting method. Trying this with oranges tomorrow.

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups Bread Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 oz vanilla Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 large Lemon (pulp and juice from juicer, or zest and juice if you don’t have a juicer)
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs

Glaze:
1-1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with baking liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. On low-speed, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. Alternate until all combined.

Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Set rack over wax paper. In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar with lemon juice and water until smooth. Pour over muffins, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set for 30 minutes.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 12
Calories 259
Total Fat 8.8g
Total Carbohydrates 43.4g
Protein 2.8g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Grazie Women’s Peacock Flip Flop (I got these in blue & green and I love them!) You can see the other 2 colors when you click the picture.

Must Have Hair Brushes

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Remember Cousin It? Picture him if he didn’t brush his hair for 3 days, that’s what Taylor usually looks like when she wakes up in the morning. It used to be quite an ordeal to tame her hair. To get the tangles out of her hair after she washes it was even worse. My friend suggested The Wet Brush. I was skeptical, but I couldn’t believe how it glided through wet hair. Megan is super, super tender headed so she loves it even more. Bless her heart for going through the first 10 years of her life without one.

Today I found out about The Shine Brush. It detangles AND adds luster to the hair. I love it.

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The Shine Brush

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The Wet Brush

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You can also get The Wet Brush in prints.

You can find them in salons or here on Amazon….

The Wet Brush…

The Shine Brush…

My only complaint is that they don’t have it in leopard.

Today’s Leopard Print FInd: (I decided to make this flip flop week) Leopard Printed Petals-embellished Floral Strap Women Flip-flop – Yellow

Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Stew

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Sorry, I didn’t take the time to find good lighting for this. I promise it tasted a lot better than it looks. We had such a cold, windy, cloudy, rainy weekend here that I figured I wouldn’t find the right light anyway… I was trying to make something that didn’t require a lot of my time because I also had to make lemon muffins, corn bread and apple dumplings. It took me less than 5 minutes to throw this together. Definitely doing this again for when I need a crock pot meal.

2 lbs Stew Meat
2 (14.5 oz) cans Beef Broth
12 oz bag Frozen Vegetables with peas, corn and green beans
4 New Potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
1 envelope Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1/2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch Pepper
Pinch Garlic Salt

Place meat in crock pot. Add frozen vegetables and potatoes. Add beef broth. Stir in onion soup mix, Worcestershire, pepper and garlic salt.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Servings: 5
Calories 519
Total Fat 13.0g
Total Carbohydrates 34.0g
Dietary Fiber 5.1g
Protein 62.2g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Print Find:  Yellow Box Women’s Lundy Flip Flop

G.W. Exotic Animal Park

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During Spring Break we decided to take a quick trip to Oklahoma to go the G.W. Exotic Animal Park. Of all of the choices we gave the girls, Taylor said this was the only thing she HAD to do. Great choice! She is already asking when we can go again.

It only took us 2 hours from Frisco. The park is located in Wynnewood, Ok. The staff was great. Very knowledgeable and friendly. They are currently working on a reality show. I was worried when we got there and saw the sign that said you could possibly be on tv. Megan was ecstatic, I was thinking why in the heck did I wear my yoga pants.

We chose to do one of the behind the scene tours. It was 2 hours long and gave you all day admission to the park as well.

First stop was the miniature donkey and ponies. We had our picture with the donkey.

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Next stop was Chester the kissing camel. I can scratch that off my bucket list now. :/ (if you are wondering they taste kind of salty) He was actually one of my favorites. He has a goat that lives with him. I couldn’t focus on the donkey and ponies because I was watching Chester play with the goat. They were so cute together! Turns out they raised them together and now if they separate them, Chester cries the whole time. :)

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We saw a leopard! :)

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A black leopard! :)

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Held a baby alligator. (Don’t ask me about Megan’s “glasses” because I have no idea)

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Played with a pack of hybrid wolves.

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Held a python. Taylor wasn’t thrilled with this one but I told her she couldn’t play with the tigers if she chickened out. She survived. (and even managed to smile!) – Speaking of chickens, there was a tiger that is terrified of chickens. That cracked me up.

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Played with Irwin the Kangaroo. He likes to watch Sponge Bob and he posts on Facebook in his spare time.

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We held an albino skunk. He likes to be held like a baby.

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A baby bear!!! He was precious.

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For $10 you got to take your pictures with the mascots. The $10 goes towards saving the rhinos.

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The white tiger cub.

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He was so cute.

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The other tiger. Look at that little tiger butt!! So cute!

The photographer followed us around the entire time and took all the pictures since you can’t take your camera. All of the pictures were on a cd for just $24.99. My only complaint is that the pictures weren’t the best. Bad lighting, bad angles, lots of shadows. But for $24.99 it was worth it. We will definitely be back many times I’m sure.

Today’s leopard print find: Yellow Box Women’s Leopard Parker Flip Flop

Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls

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Not sure how to describe the feelings I’m having today. Happy to say that the Dallas Police Department arrested the 2 suspects in connection to my aunt’s death. One of the arresting officers happened to be my friend. (he’s now my favorite friend) Words can’t describe the relief that news brought me today. But I never knew I could have so many feelings and emotions all at the same time. The best news is that they are being charged with Capital Murder and since we live in Texas, means the death penalty and some closure for us. R.I.P Aunt Ava you will be truly missed.

Happy stuff….

The girls love cinnamon rolls. They love bunny cinnamon rolls even more. We made these last Easter so this will have to become a new tradition. You can let the kids design their own bunny.

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1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls
12 Raisins
8 Sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Separate dough into 8 rolls. Press down 1 roll to flatten slightly (for bunny’s head). Cut down the middle of next roll to create 2 ears. Press and firmly pinch ears to the top of the head. Shape cut halves into straight or floppy bunny ears. Place bunny on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining 6 rolls to make 3 more bunnies.

On each bunny, firmly place 2 raisins for eyes, 1 raisin for nose and 2 almonds for teeth.

Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Spread icing on bunnies. Serve warm.

From Pillsbury

Servings: 4

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Grazie Women’s Leonora Leopard Animal Print Sandal

Easter Bunny Bread

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I’m going to attempt to get my life back to normal again. For those of you wondering…no, they still haven’t caught the murderers. In case you need a reminder of what they look like…here is the story. Someone has to recognize them soon though so I still have high hopes. Thank you to everyone that shared and passed along to others. My family and I really appreciate it.

Now on to happier things….

Somehow between last Easter and now, I lost all my step-by-step pictures. :( This little guy was so much fun to make. Last Easter the girls made me a list of everything they wanted to make for Easter. Their list would have taken me a year to get through. So we had to narrowed it down quite a bit. This was one of their priorities.

2 Loaves Frozen Bread Dough, thawed (1 lb each)
2 Raisins
2 Sliced Almonds
Black Olives
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Several Lettuce Leafs
Ranch Dip
Assorted Fresh Vegetables

Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut off 1/4 of the dough from 1 loaf and form into a pear-shaped ball for the bunny head.

Form the remaining 3/4 loaf into a fat oval shape for the body.

Place the body onto the baking sheet and attach the head by pinching the 2 pieces together.

Make narrow cuts, about 3/4 in deep, on each side of head for whiskers.

Cut second loaf of dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll 2 of the pieces into 16-inch ropes. Fold each rope in half, and pinch the ends to the head to form ears. Cut the third piece of dough in half and shape into 2 ovals about 3 1/2 inches long for back paws. Attach the paws to the bottom sides of the body. Make two 1 inch cuts on the paws for toes.

Cut the remaining dough into 3 pieces. Form 2 pieces into balls and pinch on sides for front paws. Divide the remaining piece of dough into 3 equal pieces and roll into 1-inch balls. Press the dough balls onto the face to form two cheeks and a nose.

Press raisins onto the face to make eyes.

Press almond slices close together onto face to make bunny teeth.

Fill ears with black olives.

Cover and let dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush the loaf lightly with beaten egg.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Lay bunny on serving platter. Hollow out tummy and line with lettuce leaves. Fill tummy with dip and place vegetables around bunny.

Adapted from Rhodes Bread

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Scarfand’s Leopard Infinity Scarf

Help Needed in Dallas Murder

Avanell-Cowgill

I haven’t quite felt like blogging this last week because of a tragedy in our family. I know this isn’t the kind of stuff I normally blog about, but I’m hoping that one of you might possibly recognize one of these horrible people. And maybe this was the reason I was meant to start this blog in the first place.

My wonderful Aunt Ava was murdered in her Dallas home last week. The police have released these pictures of two people using her credit cards.

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One man (or woman as some have pointed out as a possibility because of the small hands, narrow feet and possible Keds), has been spotted wearing different clothes in two stores, stands 6-feet tall and weighs about 250 pounds. The second man is about 5-foot-8 and weighs around 160 pounds, (wearing a horrible shirt that should be easily recognized). Police say they were driving an older model silver four-door compact car with a back right hubcap missing.

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The video shows the first man, wearing a blue baseball cap and a tan hooded sweatshirt, walking through a Walmart. Police also released two photos of the second man wearing a black, yellow and red striped shirt.

Anyone with information on the persons-of-interest is asked to call the Dallas Police Homicide Unit at 214-671-3674. A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Thank you,

Beth