H O M E                     A B O U T                      D I Y                      R E C I P E S                     S H O P

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

nutella cheesecake squares {recipe}

Is anyone else out there a nutella addict? Could you eat spoonfuls out of the jar? 
Join my support group.

Seriously though. This stuff is so good. Jake refers to it as chocolate, which I'm totally okay with. 
And when you pair it with cheesecake? Holy dessert Batman!

I can't even communicate how much I love these. Can't do it. No words. 
But here's the recipe...

: :  Ingredients  : :

 - graham crackers {12 full crackers or three cups of crumbs}
 - 6 tablespoons of butter, melted
 - 1/2 cup of sugar, divided
 - 1 egg
 - 16 oz of cream cheese
 - 2 teaspoons of vanilla
 - 1/3 cup of Nutella

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. 

Next cover your 8x8 pan with aluminum foil and grease it slightly. 

If you are using actual graham crackers, use a food processor to crumble them. Then in a large bowl, mix crumbs, melted butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. 

Press into pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove pan for crust to cool, but leave the oven on.

While crust is cooling, mix remaining sugar, softened cream cheese, egg and vanilla into a large bowl. Mix/Beat for two or three minutes until smooth.

Then poor into the pan over crust.

Finally, warm your nutella until its at a "honey-like" consistancy.

Top the cheesecake mixture with several dollops of nutella. Neatness doesn't count.

{see, no neatness to be found!}

Using a knife, swirl the top of the cheesecake in rows.

{much better}

Bake for 30-35 minutes. You'll want to keep an eye on it once it gets closer to time. Cheesecake is terrible when its under cooked or over cooked. Aim for the center to be set up and the edges slightly browned. 

Once its cooled, make sure to refrigerate it for several hours before cutting it. I love my cheesecake straight out of the freezer, but they're great from the fridge as well!

Pardon me while I go finish off the rest of the batch!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

citronella mason jars {tutorial}

Oh how I love my backyard. It's private, shady, and has tons of greenery since it backs up to the woods. The downside to the woods is the awful mosquitoes {whomp whomp}.

But remember when I bought those fabulous blue mason jars for Jake's end of the year teacher gifts? Well, I had a little something else in mind for the leftover jars...

These are fabulous and so simple to make!

Start with some regular mason jars. I'm super keen on these blue ones, but I've also seen some fabulous green ones at Michael's lately!

Also grab some thick wicks. These bad boys came from Old Time Pottery {talk about a random find!}. Six wicks for $1.99!
And snatch up a bottle of citronella. You should be able to find it at any home improvement store. This is the same stuff used in tiki torches.

I had my dear hubby use a 3/8ths bit to drill a hole in the top of the jar lid. 

Be careful doing this! The metal lids are sharp. J.B. cut the dickens out of his hand. Don't worry, he lived to tell the tale.

After pouring the citronella into the jars, stick a wick down in and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will allow for the citronella to soak up through the wick. 

And finally, light 'em up!

I'm super impressed with how slowly the citronella actually burns down. I've used my jars for several hours already and can barely tell a difference in the volume in the jar.

And thus far, they've worked! No bug bites from my late night book club out on the deck last night.
Awesome summer time DIY project!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

toddler art tuesday {#7}


Time again for another rendition of Toddler Art Tuesday!
Jake is getting so busy {and independent!}. He wants to go, go, go and do every last thing himself. Thankful, he's still in a stage where he follows my directions pretty well. It's so fun to watch him think and create!

We've got spring crazy lately with the weather warming up and the flowers blooming. 
 So its only just to add in some spring paint projects. 

So cute, right?!

For this one, you'll just need some red and green washable paint. 

We started with some random green hand prints for the leaves.

After the paint dried, we used the red to make some fingerprints in the leaves.

Once the red paint was dry, I went back with a pen and added some little lady bug heads, legs and dots. 

I love love love this! 

Jake is all about some utensils and loved playing with them for this fork flower piece. 

We dipped the backside of the fork in yellow paint and created a random dandelion pattern. 

We added the stems by running his fingers through the green paint to make leaves and blades of grass. 

Now that we are covered with spring artwork, its time to take this baby out to play in the mud! 

Happy Tuesday, friends!

To get kiddie craft ideas and see more Toddler Art Tuesday posts click the photo below:


Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 summer to do

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The days are getting warmer and the kids are getting out of school for the summer. And this momma gets to plan some awesome summer fun for her little family. The possibilities are endless, but we do try to keep our ideas within reason for a two year old.
So without further ado let me introduce you to... 

Yup, I'm stoked.

It's funny because a lot of these things made our summer list last year, but Jake is practically a different kid a whole year later.

 {summer 2013}

 He now learns and remembers things at a crazy speed. He's gets bigger and more and more fun every time I turn around. {How is that even possible? Slow down time!!} Essentially, he can just do so. much. more. So I'm super excited about all the fun new things he can experience as a two year old.

Basically, this summer should be a blast!I can't wait to start checking things off this list!

What do you guys think? Did we miss anything?

Cheers to summer, friends!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

mason jar teacher gifts

One of Jake's favorite things is to go to his Mom's Morning Out class at our church.
Each Thursday he brings home a positively adorable art project, can sing a new song, and is completely exhausted from all the fun with his little friends. 
His teachers are so kind and I love how much fun he has!

Since his last day of school is already here {we get out so early in the south!}, I decided to whip up some teacher gifts to show these two ladies how thankful we were for them this year.

Decorative mason jars with a gift card inside!

I adore how these came out! And they were super simple!

I grabbed my blue mason jars from Target. 
{They came in a 6 pack - just wait until you see what I did with the other four!}

Then I lined each of the jars with some folded tissue paper and tucked a Target gift card inside.

 I used these adorable mason jar tags from Twigg Studios to personalize a jar for each of his teachers. 

Then I used these adorable mason jar tags to personalize a jar for each of his teachers. 

We sure are thankful to have such sweet ladies that teach Jake. I think teachers are seriously under valued and I love planning a little creative something at the end of the year to show my thanks for all their hard work. 

I sure hope they loved them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

favorite photo apps

Like most folks, I have a nice camera for the big moments in life. And while I love using it, most of my every day photos are actually taken with my iPhone. I always have it with me and honestly, there's no telling what Jake is up to at any given moment.
Lots of you guys follow me on Instagram {sarahwilder1} and you see the final product.  But what happens before those sweet photos get posted to social media.

Since I use my phone for so many photos, it seems only fair to have a ton of fun apps to edit photos with. Some for practical purposes and some just for fun.

So today I give you...


1. Afterlight - This is a no holds bar editing app. It's my complete go-to app for editing any iPhone picture. Well worth the $1 at the app store. Lighting, cropping, filtering, it has it all!

 2. Cropic - Ever wonder how those folks post pictures on Instagram that aren't actually square? Well Cropic is the answer. This app takes your regular size photo and quickly adds it to a white background. Post without cutting anything out. Plus, it's free!
{This app actually does a lot more, but that's my favorite function.}

Photo Ad Ons...

1. A Beautiful Mess - I've enjoyed playing on this app for quite some time. It's a great way to add doodles, text, extra filters, and whatnots. Super fun for $1!

2. Picstitch - I love this app for creating any type of collage of photos. It's easy to use, has a ridiculous amount  collage options, and you can even do slight editing within each photo.
Another free one!

Just Plain Fun...

1. Waterlogue - Y'all, this app is seriously addicting and super neat. It takes any photo and immediately turns it into a water color painting. Awesome right?? You have several filter options and the possibility of making some really neat prints out of it! All for $2.99.

I love to watch it "painting" as it creates the new image.

2. Cuptakes Frames - Do you like to customize you iPhone with custom backgrounds or photos? Cuptakes Frames might be for you. This fun app has hundreds of fun frame patters. Just add in your personal photo and save to have a fun new lock screen or home screen! $2.99
{And if you're looking for various fun patterns, quotes or even cute calendars that don't require the addition of a personal photo, check out the original Cuptakes for $1.99}


I'd be remiss if I didn't add a few apps that include some video options as well.

1. Crop & Zoom - Ever need to crop a video down from the original iPhone size down to a square? This app does just that. It will allow you to find the center of your video and crop the entire file.
$1.99 at the app store.

2. Flipagram - Love those adorable collaborative videos? Use Flipagram to stick a ton of fun pictures together into a video. Add text and music! I love this for quirky video about a day at the zoo or a fun holiday. And this app is another great free one!

Seriously, where would we be without technology?

Hopefully there are a few apps here that you enjoy too. Or maybe some new ones to try!
Have fun playing around with your pictures!