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Easter Dirt & Carrot Trifle
Ok guys I AM BACK. (I’ve actually gone back and blogged all of March too!) Here’s where I lie about a promise to be here weekly, and be the me I used to be. But you know what, a lot has changed in the years since drifting away from lissables.com And I do mean to try and be better but lets face it, its usually life that gets in the way and thats a good thing! But for now, hang out with me here and there. Dont worry I’ll remind you on instagram and facebook when I’ve made a new post! (*insert kiss emoji here, I dont know how to communicate without emoji’s now, insert shocked face emoji here!*)
Onto the recipe! I cant take credit for this. I did find both idea’s on pinterest, my love. I just executed it differently. I LOVED the idea of not baking, after just making a giant zelda cake I was more into the whole non bake dessert. Why have I never tried this!!!! Ok ready for the easiest recipe that makes it look like you put so much thought and care into your holiday portion of the meal?
Easter Dirt & Carrot Trifle
1 package (15 oz.) cookies, I used oreo’s!
2 3.9 oz. instant chocolate fudge pudding
2-4 cups milk (depending on how many packages pudding you use)
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip
1 tub cream cheese frosting
orange food coloring
1 package sour punch straws in green
Directions: Crush the cookies. I used a food processor and got it extremely fine. But my hubby says he wishes a layer had been thicker chunks. But the top layer should be fine to resemble dirt! Make pudding according to package. While the pudding sets in fridge, combine sugar and cream cheese. Fold in cool whip. Once combined, fold in pudding. Layer mixtures, cookie crust first, then pudding and repeat until you run out, BUT make sure you have enough for a dirt layer to finish!
Then mix orange food coloring with cream cheese frosting. Using a sandwich baggie, cut the corner off one bottom side. Pipe small circles making your way up and to the center. Take sour punch straws and cut to make your stems. Leave a small chunk at the bottom to hold them together. Place onto each “carrot” Refrigerate until ready to serve, and left overs.
Voila, I give you the easiest and yummiest dirt dessert! You can also swap the carrots for worms for little boy birthdays! Or top it with construction toys for a worksite theme party. So many creative options for this recipe. I can tell we are going to have to do both of those in this house! I always envisioned ballerina cakes in my house but I am SO glad I get to make this dirt dessert instead 😉
It is especially yummy for breakfast the next morning, and then lunch, and then dinner. Hey its got vegetables in it right? Also this is now what Sawyer considers carrots when he asks for them. Whoops.
I took the kids down to Symphony Park to take some pics of them in their Easter ears. (Before you ask, just know almost everything in my life is from Target. The ears I found the first day they put out the Easter stuff.) I LOVE Symphony Park, especially in photos. The colors lends so much to the feeling of spring. I cannot quite believe Sawyer has started cooperating with photos!
I also rocked some colorful nails this week for Easter and they matched the park perfectly. So I’ll just add them to this post. You know where to get them 😉 Or ask for a free sample. This is Color Crush and its only available until the end of the month!
Happy Easter 2016
Wow the holidays and Birthday’s and fun times are all crammed into one month this year. Yeesh! Have no fear I scoured Pinterest again for more good idea’s! You guys keep thinking I’m this amazing mom who has it all together, but really Im awake at 2am because my 1.5 year old still refuses to sleep through the night, so Im on Pinterest to waste my time. See do you feel better now? I don’t, I would take the sleep over these creative posts ANY DAY!!!
But its Easter now! Granberry was even in town to witness the Easter Bunny’s reverse robbery on our house! Sawyer was so excited. Last year he snuck downstairs and ate ALL the chocolate before even waking us up. We had no idea until a face covered in chocolate opened my eyes and told me about this amazing thing going on. So this year I thought I would outsmart him and lock him into our room, since that’s where he sleeps most nights anyways! But then I learned super early, that he knows how to unlock doors, as he tried to sneak out again!!!
He told me this was the best day ever! I mean if the house was covered in bags of chips, I would freak out too. The Easter bunny just didn’t get that preference memo this year.
I asked Sawyer the night before what color we should make the crepes for Easter. He said “ALL OF THEM!” Side note, don’t ask next time if you are not willing to see through the sides of a child! So while I hold this magic of making all his wildest dreams come true, in the form of food coloring, I will absolutely color each pancake a different color. Also he’s the pickiest eater ever but inhales pancakes like a 300 pound trucker. Which is why he has 5 on his plate! We also roll them up with sugar in this house, so what kid doesn’t want to eat as many of these for “breakfast” as possible!
Lunch was special too! I unfortunately didn’t test our eggs fitting into the carton beforehand. Whoops! so I could only fit a couple in for a picture and ended up dumping max’s onto his high chair. Sawyer LOVED it though. He waits all year for these golden eggs to come out. So stretching them into every part of the day was just for him.
We did 2 Easter egg hunts this year because we are so lucky to have people who consider us family even though we are not. It’s hard to live away from grandparents and we are so glad they have adopted our kids as official grandkids and include them in every way! We love you Cindee & John!
I think march marks the month I got the most pictures out of Brandon. Our Staycation certainly helped up the tally. But all these holidays really pushed us over. I hope everyone is taking pictures. These years go by way too fast! The kids are growing at an insane rate. I cant believe how little Max was just a year ago. Someone invent the pause button for them already. Anyways, from my little family to yours, Happy Easter!
The Zelda Birthday!
I like to wait till the last minute to plan birthdays. And then come up with so many over the top idea’s that it doesn’t LOOK like I waited till the last minute! I call it the procrastinators dream! So that’s how I decided to make an entire zelda themed day for Brandon’s Birthday this year! Shhhh don’t tell him that part, he has no idea! 😉
First present, sleeping in. Let’s be real, this is the BIG one, the one that we dream of all year, the one you don’t appreciate until you have 2 monsters in front of your face when you wake up each morning. So while he slept I sneakily made 30 crepes and stacked them with layers of peanut butter and cream cheese. Then drizzled them in chocolate sauce and sprinkles. YES it totally tasted as good as it looked. And I promise the crepe recipe is coming this week! Want to know Brandon’s reaction for this masterpiece? “why didn’t you just make regular crepes?” MEN! But it’s his birthday so I didn’t murder him for that comment.
Moving right along we have the amazing pixel filling heart mug! From amazon if you also have a video game lover in your house! Seriously, amazon is what helps me pull off most of my amazing last minute plans. He also received Zelda socks and Zelda Yahtzee from the kids.
For dinner I really outdid myself, Frozen Pizza! But 2 flavors so kinda of a big deal. I also served them in the triforce symbol. Yup I’m a gourmet chef in the making.
Here’s the thing I ACTUALLY put time and thought into. Every year I make Brandon a giant amazing cake. There was the peanut butter sandwich, the oreo cake, the reese cup chocolate cake. I always go all out. But this year I wanted to make it extra special. So I whipped out the fondant and got creative. I love the way it turned out. It really wasn’t too hard. I used premade fondant. Colored it yellow, printed out the image I wanted to use, and traced around it. I have been making cakes for along time but it gets easier with practice every time. Trust yourself, you are capable of so much more than you think.
We ended up playing Yahtzee with friends all night. It was a great evening. Happy Birthday Bman, we love you so much. Can’t wait to plan your next birthday a couple days before next year too.
St Patty’s Day 2016
This one is going to be very picture heavy! I am a huge fan of the holidays. Basically I have been waiting for my boys to get to this age of fun. Of making special days all about them! I swear it looks like I am putting in this crazy amount of energy into this stuff but I am not. I am just spicing little things up.
I mean I HAD to make crepes. I am the crazy crepe lady. I make crepes for every single special occasion. I actually have a ton of breakfast recipes I make but crepes just feel right. I have been making crepes since I was 11. And I promise to share the recipe soon! I added a few drops of food coloring and sawyer yelled “I’ve never seen anything like this before!!!” I will do anything for that reaction every time.
Sawyer had preschool on St. Patricks Day this year and was sent off pinch proof in his green shirt. He made this 4 leaf clover earlier in the week and I found out they all picked different things to be lucky for. He picked us, the feels were real guys. As a parent you always think you aren’t doing good enough. This was the reminder that he thinks we are the best.
I snuck a green tea frap into my morning. Because it was green. I HAD to! But this is the last one after adding up the bill of my monthly Starbucks runs. YIKES. Don’t do that, its like checking the calorie count on your favorite bottle of wine. Scary.
For lunch we had rainbows with gold coins at the end. I found these little gold plates at target earlier in the week and they really sparked all these idea’s. Dang target! I cut up their favorite fruits to make the rainbows. Guess who’s is who’s? To be fair, Sawyer’s would have been a single color up until recently, so this is HUGE progress!
We hit up the library for St. Patricks Day books. Apparently very limited, but they had this lovely little book! Its even worse inside haha. Someone was definitely pushing some limits!
Here’s a couple pics of the boys in case you forgot how cute they are!
And lastly, my nails were festive as always! Your nails can be too. Just shop my link, they are always buy 3 get 1 free. You can hit me up for a free sample too if you want. Head over to my Instagram and drop me a DM to do that.
No One Brings An Addict Dinner
We’re going to go from a super happy post to a super serious one. Isn’t that how life goes, you celebrate and then get a call and it wipes out the happiness thriving inside. When this blog was a happening place it was because I was blogging from my heart. Something you all said you appreciated hearing. So let’s start that again. Hi my name is Alissa, and my sister is a drug addict.
You wouldn’t know it if you saw her on a good day. Might not even notice if you saw her on an off day. Because Drug addicts don’t always look like the movies tell you. She doesn’t come from a broken family, in fact against all odds my parents are still together when the majority end in divorce. She excelled in school, she was on team’s, she had close friends. But someone asked her to try it and she did. That’s all it took, was saying yes. That was almost 10 years ago now.
Here’s the thing though, with most times you find your life struggling, in sickness, death, bringing home a new baby, moving, or other typical situations, people rally behind you. They bring food, they help clean up your house, they pick you up for rides, they give without thinking. But no one brings an addict dinner. More over no one wants to gather around the family and help at all. Cancer isn’t contagious, neither is addiction, but you would think it was. Don’t let your kids near the addict because they’ll become one too. And if that doesnt keep them away the judgement surely will.
Im sure I know people have judged my parents. They must have done something to cause her to reach for drugs instead of normal things. It’s an incredibly unfair thing to do to her, but more so her family who would give anything to have those 10 years back.
But here’s the other thing. We dont wish we could change her, we just want to help her. We can accept her and love her through this. Because we remember what she was like those 10 years ago, and we still see glimpses of that person in between dark days. In fact its easy for me to forget she is dealing with inner demons when she’s on a good streak. Those good streaks can last hours, days, months, or years. This is NEVER going to not be a part of our lives. An Addict is in recovery for the rest of their life. And thats why when those calls come in, they can catch you totally off guard.
Like that time I got a call on Christmas day. Only an hour after the last time I had seen her. I had been so mad because I knew she was using. I didn’t even say goodbye because I wanted her to know I was mad. And at almost midnight I ran through a house crying for my husband to watch the kids while I threw a sweater over my pjs on the way to the car. I drove out to my parents house, it was a 15 min drive, it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. Have you ever wondered if someone was going to be alive when you got to your destination? Its the worst feeling in the world, I was making plea deals with God to forgive me for not saying goodbye when I left earlier, but I couldnt lose her with that being the last time. It was just starting to snow, that Christmas miracle snow, the soft barely falling thick pieces of snow. It was beautiful. The image of that snow falling against the lights of an ambulance will forever be burned into my memory. And when I went inside we got to pretend everything was happy for my nephew who was awakened by the commotion. Too young to know, we all sat with him and smiled while tears ran down our cheeks.
Do you know what happened next? Nothing, no one rushed over to hug my mom as she sat with utter shock as my dad accompanied my sister to the hospital, and I left to go back to my own kids. No, she tucked that little boy into bed and cried herself to sleep in the early morning hours after Christmas day was officially over. No one made her dinner the next day when she couldn’t force herself to prep and cook food while entertaining a grandchild. No one calls her to ask how she is handling it now, no one asks what they can do to help. That’s the thing about addiction, it doesnt only affect the addicted, eventually it touches everyone in the family.
Why am I writing this now? Because I got that call again yesterday. And like so many before, I answered unexpecting the news on the other end. Now I go through the struggle of emotions. The understanding, the anger, the questions of why that will never make sense to her or I. A hurricane of emotion that can hit you when you least expect it, or leave you feeling empty and raw in the next second. There is no right way to deal with this and unless you have lived it you wont truly understand what I am talking about. And if that’s the case I truly hope you get to stay one of those lucky few who never have to experience this.
Do you know someone who is dealing with addiction? Please go hug them. If they are an addict, or a parent of one, a sibling of one, a friend of one. Show them some love, because for some reason in our society we’ve left them to deal with it alone. Which is probably the saddest of all the things affecting the families of addicts. For so long I have kept these stories to myself. Afraid I too would pass on the judgement on her behalf. And yes there is going to be those people who read these words and have that opinion still. But it might also touch someone who has dealt with a similar situation. It might make you pause and take the time to love someone instead of judge someone next time. We didnt think we were going to deal with this in life, you don’t get to pick and choose the trials you go through. But the conquering the unexpected hardships is what makes your family stronger. Get familiar with how big of an issue drug addiction actually is. http://luxury.rehabs.com/drug-abuse/ And this will definitely not be the last time I bring this up. Transparency is the start to healing and this is a way for me to heal, and hopefully help the person I love heal. And next time you hear of a loved one dealing with addiction, take them dinner and tell them you are there to support them with love.
Max | One Year
Max didn’t get a smash cake session like I wanted to do, but these photos more than make up for it! I shot them on 2 different days, on 2 different sides of Mt. Charleston. Beware, this is going to be a lot of photos in this post, because how could I possibly just choose a few with this amazing little face.
I did this shoot 1 month before his birthday so we could use them for his Birthday Invitations. If you were one of the lucky ones who got one, you know there was a special request on them. In lieu of presents we wanted to do a donation instead. We did the same thing with Sawyer’s first Birthday and gave to the Cranio Carebears foundation, who were a huge support during his surgery & recovery. We are so lucky Max is a completely healthy happy baby, but we still wanted to give back. So I thought about what played a big part of the year September 2014- September 2015, and I knew just who we needed to honor. Evanna is only a couple months older than Max, so her little face was always in my mind when we celebrated milestones at home and they celebrated totally different ones in a hospital. Since the day we came home from the hospital with Max, they went in and never got to leave. She has spent over a full year in the hospital now and I cant even begin to imagine how hard this is on her family. One week for us in the PICU still seems like forever, and its long gone. Evanna has 22q11 or DiGeorge Syndrome. She has had multiple open heart surgeries among others. She is a fighter and has braved through some really low days. There is no one I can think of who deserved this extra bit of love more. You can read more about her journey at www.theirvinefamilyblog.com
And lastly I have to share these 3 from our other last minute shoot. Alexie from Alexie Jane Photography who I love working with, helped me climb a mountain carrying a chair, balloon, my camera, AND a baby! She is a lifesaver in all things photography and my life. I could not have gotten these photos without her and they will live on as favorites for many years to come.
Photography Lissables Photography
Both Knit Crowns Cloud Co. Clothing
Wild Pants Little and Brave
Shirts, Wild Things from Target, Max from Amazon.
Happy 1st Birthday Max!!!
Well this seems like as good a time as ever, to revive the blog I let die a long time ago. Whoops, turns out, when you have kids they suck your time dry! But then they also bring joy and fun birthday parties which inspire you to bring it all back. Wish me luck on that one.
It has been over a year since I blogged. I left you high and dry on a heavy noted post about my second pregnancy trials. Well that little monster came into this world and changed it forever. I’ll have to do a recap of his amazing first year, it flew by in a blink. And suddenly I was planning his first birthday party which has come and gone. Max was named in memory for my Grandpa, Marinus. A good Danish name I didnt want to burden a child with but still wanted to honor the memory. Max was his nickname when they immigrated to Canada and no one could pronounce his name properly. Which made it the perfect name to give this hilarious little boy. It’s also the name of a the character in a favorite book of mine, Max – King of all the wild things, ever fitting. So we celebrated him with a Wild Things theme. I hope you enjoy all the little details as much as I did.
Our little cake display area was my pride & joy of the party. I may have only gotten 2 hours of sleep because of this party falling on the same weekend as my annual scrapbooking weekend. We got home at 7pm and I baked all night and set up so that it was all ready to go by 11:30 the next morning. Might have been the reason this is one of my less elaborate cakes! haha
The wooden cake stands are from Indigo in Canada, I found them this summer, fell in love and ran with the whole theme based on them. I found moss at Michaels along with some light up tree’s that will circulate into my thanksgiving decor later this year. The pine cones are from our Mt. Charleston one year Birthday shoot with Max the week before. The steel lanterns are from target, and I get asked about them from every guest.
I made a monthly banner and if you are counting, yes I did end on month 10, always a month behind but consistently, so that counts for something right? And that beautiful blue highchair that has had color identity issues is going to stay this mint color for the rest of its life because it caused major heartache while trying to cover the last shadows of pink. For some reason the paint kept spraying out a different color when I went to cover the last spots. Driving me INSANE. But I finally did it and its beautiful and so worth all the cursing.
My mantle is one of my favorite places in this new house. We had the tv outlets removed and moved, and a mantle custom made so I could decorate it every month. I have loved watching it change this last year. So September was all about this Baby’s 1st Birthday. Some throwback photos from my pregnancy, and his first days. And his brand new photos from his one year shoot. The big canvas is from his nursery and one of my favorite quotes. The letters are Heidi Swapp Marquee letters from Michaels. I obviously didnt add the marquee lights for the party but I will for his room! I ordered a book just to destroy for this party. Sorry book gods! Top it off with a banner & it makes it hard to pull it down for Halloween decor next!
If you know me, my decor is usually centered around photos. They are my love and life. We took these a week before his birthday and they sing to my soul. They are everything my heart dreamed of with his shoot. I will share the actual images in another post! I added a custom banner, I got the letters from target in a banner kit. Way too cute and easy!
My cake took a backseat this time. And that still is bothering me. But when its 3am and you know your baby is going to be awake in 3 hours, you just slap some frosting on that thing, add some sprinkles and call it a day! And besides, it tasted good and that’s all that really matters! I made 50 mini cupcakes too! Because you can never have too many cupcakes. And they made their way home with a lot of guests too!
Here’s where procrastination will never teach me a lesson. I had these elaborate favors in my head. I let it go until the last minute, and instead whipped these babies up. Thank goodness for my hubby and putting up with my endless, “Can you make me this in photoshop?”
The food was awesome and incredibly easy!! And you know what, it was the most recipe requests I’ve ever gotten! So here they are in all their easy peasy glory, but with no pics because I just wasn’t that on top of it!
- 12 oz pasta (I used rotini)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 package (1.4 oz) vegetable soup mix
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 can water packed artichokes
- 4 cups chopped & lightly packed fresh spinach
- Cook pasta el dente according to package directions.
- In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise and dry soup mix.
- Drain artichokes well and cut into quarters.
- Toss pasta with sauce. Gently fold in spinach, green onions and artichokes.
- Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
SWEET AND SPICY SLOW COOKER KIELBASA BITES
- 3 packages kielbasa, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups BBQ sauce
- 1 (10.5 ounce) jar red pepper jelly
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or more if you want it extra spicy)
- Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low 6 hours, increasing to high for the last 30 minutes of cooking (or on high 3.5 to 4 hours total)
- Stir every 30 minutes to make sure the bottom kielbasa isn’t burning.
I mean seriously two of the easiest things I’ve ever made and SO delicious that we thoroughly enjoyed the left overs! I made the pasta salad the night before so it had lots of time to set. We also had brushetta, chips, carrots & dip too. And gourmet PB & honey sandwiches for the littles.
And then we sang Happy Birthday and let a little dude go to town on a BIG piece of cake! He was ready for a nap but decided he could spend some extra time destroying this thing. For never having cake before, he sure knew he
liked LOVED it!
And then he went off and slept a solid 3 hours! His best nap yet. So do I just bake him a cake everyday for that perk? #sugarcoma
Max loves his new chair from his GB&PopPop. He was stealing Sawyer’s a lot recently, and with 2 kids you know you need 2 chairs! We were so lucky to celebrate this birthday with both Grandma’s in person. When you live in another country from family, this isn’t a given, its a privilege and these boys are constantly spoiled with visits, their biggest gifts on birthdays! So we had some traditional Birthday video chats with our other long distance families, Auntie Kimmy and Braxton entertained Max right up until bedtime. Making it a chalk full of perfect happiness for this little boy!
Thanks to everyone who came and wished this favorite one year old of mine a Happy Birthday! It was a delightfully perfect day spent with friends and family. I’m sure I’ll blink and be posting his 2nd Birthday.
And stick around, I’ve already got a couple blog posts scheduled for this week! Im back, and I hope you are just as excited as I am about that!