Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chalkboard First Birthday Invitation

I've created a new design for Mary Bobbin's Boutique and this time it's a super fun, very trendy, chalkboard invite. This cute invitation can be customized with any special milestones and/or sayings to commemorate your little one's big day. Please visit our etsy shop to purchase a digital file or message us for a custom printing price quote.

View Chalkboard First Birthday Invitation Listing

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Family Hearts

February is just a couple of days away, so it's time to start on my Valentine's crafts. Okay I probably should have started a few weeks ago so that I could actually enjoy some of the decorations that I want to make, but I am going to give it my best shot over the next few days. As a kid Conversation Heart Candies were a staple to every Valentine's Day. I never really liked them, but I always liked to read them. Now they put all different sayings on them. At the store the other day I was looking at the Valentine candy and discovered that Brach's makes Ice cream Flavored Conversation Hearts. I decided that I was going to give them a try. Here are a few of my favorite sayings.
The new Ice Cream flavors did not impress me, but the candy did inspire today's creation.

Materials Needed

Wooden Hearts

4-6 Different Pastel Paint Colors

Staple Gun

Paint Brush

48" of 1.5" wide ribbon

Letter Stickers

The hearts had barcode stickers on them so I had to use a combination of a razor blade and Goo Gone to get the adhesive off. To make sure that I covered up the slight color that the Goo Gone gave, I had to paint each of the hearts with 3 coats of paint.

After the paint is dry, arrange the name letters on the hearts. To attempt to get the names centered and straight, I started with the middle letter of the name and placed it in the center of the heart. I then placed the letters on either side and so on until all letters were on the heart.

Next I spaced the hearts on the ribbon. The dots on the ribbon helped me to space them equally apart with out having to measure it. I used the staple gun to attach them in place.

I next attached an 8 inch piece on the top heart to form a loop to use as a hanger.

This SUPER CUTE decoration will hang in our house year after year!

Googly Eye Valentine's Cards

Since I'm crafty, i figured why bother buying my kids Valentine's Cards for their class this year, i will just make them. I searched pinterest for cute ideas and came across ones that had glasses on them and then you stuck google eyes from the craft store on the lenses and it said "I have my eyes on you." They were darling but the person was charging like $6 for the digital design. I also liked some others I saw with Valentine's jokes on them and I know how much kids like jokes- so I thought I'd design my own and incorporate the two themes. Even better, I'll put the jpeg up here so you can just right click, save it as a picture, then print out and attach the googly eyes yourself!

I didn't want them all to have the same joke, so i made 4 versions. Here are the files-  (without the eyes of course).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Honey I ate the Pork

Pork tenderloin is my all time favorite meat to cook. You can do just about anything with it. This recipe is simple and includes some other of my favorites- honey and butter! I like to serve with rice pilaf (see previous post with recipe for Better than Rice-a-Roni Rice Pilaf) and a salad.


  • - 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • -Cajun seasoning
  • - 1/2 stick butter
  • -2 tbsp. Honey


1. Rub pork with Cajun seasoning at least 30 min before cooking.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt butter in large, ovenproof pan. Add honey and heat over medium heat.
3. Brown pork in the honey/butter mixture for 5 minutes on each side.
4. Put ovenproof pan with the pork in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until pork is done.

It is so tender and juicy and just delicious. Yum!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Better than Rice-a-Roni (and healthier) Rice Pilaf

I try to incorporate whole grains as much as possible in our house, and that means whole wheat pasta and brown rice. But I love the boxed rice flavors. So I experimented and came up with a great alternative to the preservative loaded box stuff. It's only half whole grain because I couldn't find whole wheat orzo, but it is made with brown rice instead of white, so it's a healthier alternative.


- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cup chicken broth


1. Heat oil in pan and add rice, orzo and onion.
2. Cook on medium heat until mixture is golden brown.
3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until tender.

Easy peaty and much better for you (especially if you have a  corn or yeast allergy- you can't use the boxed stuff).

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness and our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu. Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes on these menus!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Loaded Potato Topping

Our family likes to put this on just about any potato- including Baked Potato, Potato Wedges, Flattened Redskins, and Waffle Fries.

  • 1/2 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Hormel Real Bacon Bits
  • 2 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk (use more or less to adjust desired consistency)

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix with hand-mixer until ingredients are well mixed. Add milk to adjust consistency.
Enjoy on top of any type of potato!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Flattened Redskin Potatoes

These potatoes are the perfect side dish to accompany just about any main dish. I usually make them when I already have something in the oven, because they easily adjust to any oven temperature.

  • 5-6 Redskin Potatoes (I usually make 1-2 potatoes per person depending on size of the potato)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Put potatoes in water, bring to boil.
Once boiling cook 7-9 minutes or until they are tender enough to stick knife in with ease. Remove from water.
Preheat oven to 400. Place potatoes on foil lined baking sheet. Lightly press with bottom of drinking glass. (Be sure to do this slowly so potato does not go everywhere).
Melt butter and garlic in bowl in microwave.
Brush over potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until skins are slightly crisp. These potatoes are good on their own, but even better when served with Loaded Potato Dip (see other recipe)

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Maple Dijon Chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken Last night’s dinner must have been good because there were no leftovers today for my lunch! I tried something new- Maple Dijon Chicken. I made a few variations to the original recipe and I think it turned out great! My Father-in-law (who likes to give his “feedback” about everyone’s cooking) said that he LOVED it!

  • 6-8 Chicken Thighs ( I used Boneless/Skinless)
  • ½ cup Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup (I used Breakfast Syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Rosemary (I didn't have any on hand so I used dried)

Preheat oven to 450. Combine Dijon Mustard, Maple Syrup, and Rice Vinegar together in a bowl. Arrange chicken in 8X8 baking dish.
Salt and pepper the chicken to your taste and then poor the mixture on top.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes. Baste the chicken with the liquid in the baking dish after 20 minutes. To make sure that chicken is cooked all the way through, you can use a meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.
I am sorry that I don't have a picture of the finished dish, but it smelled so good that we gobbled it up as soon as it came out of the oven! Oh and I forgot to sprinkle the rosemary on it. Ooops!
I served this chicken with Flattened Redskin Potatoes, Loaded Potato Dip, and Steamed Broccoli.

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness and our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu. Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes on the menus!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"You're going to Disney World again?"

The two magical moms are deep into planning our next Walt Disney World vacation. We just took one 4 months ago and are planning on going back this June (so yes, if you do the math that's not even a year between the two trips). Most of our friends and family think we're a little obsessed with Disney World, and even though I don't believe we owe an explanation for our love of all things Disney, I'm going to take a minute to tell you a few of the reason why we enjoy it so much.

1. Escape- Walt Disney World is truly an escape from the real world, and since we know that all of us parents are stretched too thin and have more on our plates than ever before, this escape is what keeps grown adults (even some without children) frequenting Walt Disney World on a regular basis. Disney has gone to great lengths to keep the outside world out- you will not find any McDonald's or other chain restaurants here. Aside from the scarce Hess gas stations and the soon to open Starbucks, none of the outside world creeps into your magical vacation when you're at Disney World. You can truly escape it all and just enjoy the magic.

2. Service- You really will not find many places with the level of service Disney World provides. They even have a division called The Disney Institute that trains other organizations to adapt a similar customer service culture. And they take it that extra mile- I vividly remember my daughter wearing her "Happy Birthday" button while watching the afternoon parade at Animal Kingdom. The button also had her name on it and at least 10 times during the parade the cast members shouted "Happy Birthday Mallory!" Her smile stretched from ear to ear, with just a hint of embarrassment.

3. Traditions- Traditions create memories that last a lifetime. We do this all the time during holidays. Children know exactly how Christmas morning goes because they experience it every year. Well our yearly trips to Disney World create those same traditions with our children. My daughter races to Dumbo as soon as we get to Magic Kingdom and she always has to ride it with her daddy because that's just their tradition. All of the traditions we have at Disney World are creating lasting memories of magical family vacations for our children.

So yes, we are going to Walt Disney World again. And we will go again next year, maybe even twice, maybe with a Disney Cruise thrown in. And we will find a way to incorporate our upcoming trip into just about any conversation :) Actually, please know that we try extremely hard to NOT incorporate our upcoming trip into every conversation because we get it, you are sick of hearing about it. That's why we post recipes and crafts on this blog too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Striped Rag Quilts

My newest craft obsession is rag quilts. They are fairly easy to make and very snuggly! I prefer the stripes ones because they don't look as "old-fashioned" as the traditional quilt squares. These are perfect for baby quilts (make awesome shower gifts), throws and kids' quilts.



What's even better- we will be adding custom quilt orders to our Etsy Store- Mary Bobbins boutique! You can purchase one of these handmade quilts for yourself or a gift. All quilts are custom and handmade. Please visit our Etsy Store at

So cozy!

Here is another one I made for a boy. You can see how snuggly it is because it put him right to sleep!

We can make themed or character quilts for your little one too. Below is a Star Wars quilt for our biggest Star Wars fan, Evan (see the Who Wants to be a Jedi? post).

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Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

This is hands down the best way I've learned to make roasted potatoes. As with most of my recipes, you can change around the ingredients, but the prep stage is what makes these potatoes.


  • - 3 large potatoes (you can easily double this recipe to feed more)
  • - 4 Tbsp. Crisco shortening
  • - Parmesan Cheese
  • - Sea Salt


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place your baking sheet in the oven to heat it up.
2. Cut potatoes into half then quarter the halves.
3. Place potatoes in pan with cold water and salt. Bring water to boil and immediately drain the potatoes. The trick is not to cook the potatoes just get them warm.
4. Return potatoes to the pan and cook over medium heat just to get them dry.
5. Add crisco and heat and stir until the potatoes are evenly covered in the oil.
6. Arrange potatoes in single layer on baking sheet and top with Parmesan and salt to desired amount.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, turning potatoes halfway.

Mouth Watering Pot Roast

For dinner tonight, I am making my husband's favorite- Mouth Watering Pot Roast. I actually think the recipe title is Mississippi Pot Roast, but we call it mouth watering because the flavor is so good our mouths actually water when we think about it!

The best thing about this roast is that it's super easy and since you make it in the slow cooker, you can make it in the morning and forget about it until dinner. You can use a lot of substitutions as well, in fact I'm using one today because I do not have one of the ingredients.

Ingredient List:

  • 1.5/2 lb. Chuck Roast
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet Au Jus (I am out of the Au Jus so I'm substituting for 4 cubes of beef bouillon)
  •  3/4 stick of butter (adjust this according to your taste, original recipe calls for entire stick)
  •  4 pepperoncinis

One of the most important things I would like to point out is that you DO NOT add any water or broth to this. The beef drippings and butter create enough.


1. Put chuck roast in slow cooker
2. Empty ranch packet then Au Jus (or in this case bouillon cubes) on top of beef
3. Put butter on top
4. Place each pepper around the butter
5. Cook on low 6-7 hours until meet is tender.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Wants To Be A Jedi?

Who hasn't dreamed about having Jedi powers and using a lightsaber as a kid?  During our latest trip to Disney World in 2012, our son Evan was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios.  I used my iPhone 5 to take some video of the training and did a little editing to keep it short.  This is a MUST DO activity for anyone that is in to Star Wars, but it is a very popular attraction so here is my tip to make sure that your son or daughter gets to participate in this Jedi right of passage.

Top Tip:  Arrive at least 45 minutes before Hollywood Studios open with your running shoes on.  Make sure that you have the young Jedi with you that want to participate(ages 4-12 can participate) in Jedi Training Academy.  Once they open the gates go directly to the ABC Sound Studio to register your Jedi not the Jedi Training Academy stage.

After you're done battling Darth Vader with your newly learned force powers, you can make your way to the Tatooine Traders gift shop to build your own custom lightsaber or you can choose to build one from your favorite character.