June 30, 2010

Easy Patriotic Flag Dessert

I made this last year and everyone loved it. I'm looking for something new this year, but this is pretty good that I might just make it again and call it a tradition.

3 cups boiling water, divided

2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

2 cups ice cubes, divided

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin, or any red flavor

2 cups halved strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

STIR 1-1/2 cups of the boiling water into dry blue gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of the ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Pour into 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate 20 min. or until gelatin is set but not firm.

PLACE cream cheese, sugar and half of the whipped topping in large bowl; beat until well blended. Spoon over blue gelatin layer in dish; spread carefully to evenly cover gelatin layer. Stir remaining 1-1/2 cups boiling water into strawberry gelatin in separate bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add remaining 1 cup ice cubes; stir until ice is completely melted. Let stand at room temperature 5 min. or until slightly thickened. Spoon over cream cheese layer in dish. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set.

SPREAD remaining whipped topping over dessert just before serving. Decorate with strawberries and blueberries to resemble a flag. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator

To see TONS of 4th of July recipes, crafts, and decorations, check out the link party at craftaholics anonymous:

June 29, 2010

Prepared NOT scared!

I am featuring this cool new blog that my Mom found. It's called "Prepared NOT scared." It's main theme is about food storage and preparedness. It has food storage meals and menu plans, food storage calculators, and lots of preparedness and storage ideas; but it is so much more than that. It has family home evening ideas, cool chore charts, yummy recipes, gardening, holiday games and ideas, TONS of ideas for kids. You should really check it out!

June 24, 2010


This weekend, (June 25 - 27), here is what is going on:

Sunflower Farmer's Market, (June 26, 12 pm - 2 pm) $1 Ice Cream Social, Highlands Ranch Location

Make a FREE summer fruit basket a Lakeshore Learning Centers,
(June 26, 11 am - 3 pm)
click HERE to see more

Make a FREE patriotic project at participating Michael's Crafts stores
(June 26, 10 am - 2 pm)
click HERE to see more

Make a FREE monster truck at Lowe's build and Grow clinics,
(June 26, 10 am - 11 am)
Click HERE to see more and register

The Cherry Blossom Festival 2010 is this weekend (June 26-27), "Experience Japanese dance, drum performances, art exhibits, Asian marketplace, food and more at this annual Denver event." FREE, click HERE to read more, located at 1947 Lawrence Street, Denver

Lollipop-Looza Kid's Carnival in Highlands Ranch, (June 25, 12 pm - 3 pm) "Join us for this fun and fabulous Kids Event! The Recreation Center at Westridge will turn into a kid’s play zone with everything from special battings cage games, dunk tanks, inflatable’s, games, prizes and more! This is a fun and active way to spend a Friday afternoon!" Click HERE to read more, tickets are $5.

FREE/Low Cost Summer Movies

During the summer, these movie theaters are participating in FREE or low cost children's/family movies (Rated G or PG). Check it out:

  • AMC Theaters: $1 summer movies, every Tuesday at 10 am, click HERE to see the movie showings (locations in Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Littleton, Denver, Arvada, Evergreen, Westminster, Broomfield)

  • Regal Theaters: FREE Family Film Festival: Movies at 10 am every Tuesday and Wednesday, click HERE to see the movie showings (locations in Englewood, Lakewood, Littleton, Sheridan, Longmont)

  • Cinemark Theaters: Summer Movie Clubhouse: $1 per show or $10 for 5, click HERE to see more, (locations in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lakewood, Pueblo)

June 23, 2010

Simple Perfect Enchiladas

(photo from The Pioneer Woman)

I love going through all my favorite recipe blogs looking for new things to make. I have my favorites that I always go to first and one on them is The Pioneer Woman. She is awesome and very funny. Her name is Ree and you should really check out her website. Anyway, I found a recipe titled "Simple Perfect Enchiladas." These are WONDERFUL! Click HERE for Ree's recipe, or see below, I changed it a little. You should definitely try these:

  • Sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 ½ cups Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

  • Meat:
  • 1-½ - 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • ½ teaspoons Salt

  • extras to put in while assembling:
  • 3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ cups Chopped Black Olives

Start by making the sauce:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red and green sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, start the meat:

Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Then assemble them:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and spoonful of sauce in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra sauce over enchiladas. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

*My family LOVES rice, so I make Cilantro Lime Rice and put it inside the enchiladas as well.

June 18, 2010

Gemstone Park

6145 Sapphire Pointe Blvd.
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Basketball, Bike Path (Paved), Climbing Wall / Structure, Multi-use Court, Parking, Paved Trail, Picnic Pavilion (General Use), Picnic Tables, Play Fields, Playground, Portable Restroom, Swings, Synthetic Turf Field, and Tennis Court

We actually call this the Spiderweb park because of this climbing thing
fields behind the park
covered picnic area with big tables and little tables (they are the cutest things)

the climbing wall on the park side

tennis/basketball court
swinging benches, these are awesome

the climbing wall
Going up to the park

June 17, 2010


This weekend, (June 18-20), here is what is going on:

Sunflower Farmer's Market is having root beer floats for $1, and FREE make and take Father's Day cards;
(Highlands Ranch location, 11 am - 1 pm, June 19)

Make a FREE Father's Day notepad holder at Lakeshore Learning Center,
(June 19, 11 am - 3 pm)
Click HERE to read more

Make and Take Father's Day t-shirt at Michael's Crafts (June 18, 6 pm - 8pm)*requires purchase of t-shirt

FREE Make and Take Father's Day Card at Michael's Crafts (June 19, 10 am - 2 pm)

Don't miss out on The Meadows Community Garage Sale, (June 19, 8 am - 4 pm), click HERE to read more

And going on the same time as the community wide garage sale will be "The All American Bake Sale" held at The Grange in Castle Rock, (June 19, 8 am - 2 pm), click HERE to read more

FREE: The Classic Rock Cruise In Summer Car show is going on (June 19, 10 am - 3 pm), "Hosted on Wilcox/Main St downtown Castle Rock. Street fest, Live Music, Downtown Shops, Restaurants, Art Guild, and some of the finest rides in the Rockies. Free to the public. " click HERE to read more

The Colorado Renaissance Festival is still going on (Saturday and Sunday, June 19 & 20, 10 am - 6:30 pm) Click HERE to read more

The Greek Festival is going on (June 18, 19, 20), Click HERE to read more

FREE: The 2010 Public Art Walking Tours, (June 19), click HERE to read more

FREE: The Highlands Ranch Classic Car Show (June 19, 10 am - 2 pm), "Great cars, motorcycles, food, music, and more are at this popular and free event. " Click HERE to read more, located at the Cherry Hills Community Church

The Greenwood Village Goose Chase, click HERE to register

FREE: The Summer Concert: Tribute Night in Lone Tree, located at Sweetwater Park, (June 19, 6 pm - 10 pm), "Bring the entire family in for a free night of fun and music at Sweetwater Park. Don't forget your blankets, dancing shoes, and friends, to take part in this summer concert series. On-site features to enjoy include: face painting, clowns, airbrush artists, balloonists, caricature artists, concessions, and the password to culture actives for kids." Click HERE to read more.

FREE: Littleton's Blazing Block Party, (June 19, 9 am - 10 pm) "Antique fire engine parade at 9AM on Main Street; fire muster in the ACC parking lot from 10 AM-3 PM; Wild on Littleton Block Party for some fiery good fun from 6-10 PM; also includes food, music, dancing, games, displays, fireworks, and educational booths", Click HERE, HERE, and HERE to read more.

June 16, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

With summer FINALLY here, this is such an awesome way to have some great homemade ice cream, and a really fun activity for the kids. It's also an awesome way to get lots of different flavors. When I did this, I had my kids and my friend's kids (two four 4 olds and two 2 year olds all together) do this and they did it just great. It says to shake the bag for 5 minutes, and they didn't do it quite that long but it still turned out. I would recommend duck taping the top of the bag that has the ice cream ingredients in it, then sticking it inside the bag with the ice and salt, then sticking that bag inside a grocery sack and tying the top. It's easier for the kids to shake it (doesn't get their hands as cold) and doesn't make quite the mess.

2 Tab. Sugar
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (the bigger the granules, the better. Kosher and rock salt work best)
Ice Cubes (enough the fill each gallon size bag about 1/2 full
1 pint size ziplock bag
1 gallon size ziplock bag

Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint size ziplock bag and seal tightly (I duct taped mine close). Place the salt and ice inside the gallon size bag, and then place the pint size ice cream bag inside the gallon ice bag and seal tightly. ( I put mine inside a grocery sack as well). Shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Take the smaller bag out and add mix-ins if you want. You can put in cups or eat straight out of the bag.

Just FYI:
I made 5 bags of the ice cream and it took this much ice and half and half:
one 7 lb. bag of ice
one 1/2 gallon of half and half

Recipe found at Family Fun, click HERE to see

linked to these parties

June 15, 2010


Matt from Tiepedia is a great source to go to for Father's Day. You can order ties from the site (in all sorts of varieties), and if 'real' ties aren't your Dad's/Husband's/Brother's (whomever) thing, why don't you copy Matt's idea and make them a 'TIE CAKE' instead...here are some examples:

Click HERE to go to Matt's Tiepedia post to see some more fun ideas and great Father's Day Gifts.

June 10, 2010


This Weekend (June 11-13), here is what is going on:

Kid's Night Out at Sunflower Farmer's Market (June 11, 5 pm - 7 pm)
"Bring the whole family for food, face painting, and fun activities out on the patio"
Highlands Ranch location, click HERE for more details

Make a FREE portable storage pouch at Lakeshore Learning Centers, (June 12, 11 am - 3 pm)
click HERE to see details

Make a FREE Father's Day Picture Frame at Lowe's (June 12, 10 am - 11 am)
click HERE for more details and to register

Make-it-take-it Father's Day Frame at Michael's (June 12, 10 am - 2 pm)
click HERE to see details

Make-it-take-it Father's Day Mug at Michael's (June 13, 1 pm - 3 pm)
click HERE to see details

Summer Roundup in Cherry Hills Village, (June 12, 9:30 am - 11 am)
"This free event has something for everyone whether you want to ride your horse through the Village, or bring the kids to the park for games, horse pictures and horse demonstrations. The morning will be packed full with laughs and entertainment including: Equestrian Demonstrations, Barn Chore Relay Race, Kid’s Haystack Treasure Hunt, Pictures with Ponies, Coffee and Donuts"
Click HERE for details

Visit Olde Town Market (a whimsical artisan's emporium) in Downtown Littleton
(June 12, 10 am - 4 pm)
Click HERE for details

2010 Parker Days, (June 11-13), at O'Brien Park, there will be a carnival, entertainment, marketplace, parade and food
Click HERE for details

The Colorado Renaissance Festival starts this weekend in Larkspur. Click HERE for details


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