Tag Archives: recipes

Five Fun Crafts to Try Soon!

We’re back from Nebraska and I’m slowly catching up writing, laundry, gardening and mess making (ahem, I mean cleaning!).

While I’m doing that, here’s a bit of what’s on my crafty radar this week….

Homemade Puffy Paint

An oldie but goodie… Melted Crayon Art

Not a craft but a recipe we made last weekend… Monkey Squares (note that these contain approximately 85 billion calories, so don’t make them much!) 🙂

And two crafts from Filth Wizardry!

Giant painted blocks and tissue paper windows (I’d post some lovely pics of these with the links but she doesn’t allow it).

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a little boy to go play in the dirt with and another to get ready for a swimming test.

Happy Thursday!


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A Little of Everything

First off, thanks for all your fabulous comments yesterday on my mothering post!  Every one of them meant so much.  🙂

Today was a pretty fabulous day.  It was filled with strawberry picking, playing with friends at the park, sitting in the shade on the lawn swing watching the kids play, gardening, talking, tree climbing, homemade strawberry sorbets and lots of other good stuff.

There weren’t exactly bluebirds circling our heads (though a grackle did dive bomb me in the back yard as I was hanging laundry!), but the kids were pretty much happy and nobody stripped down, scaled cars, shouted at me or alarmed the neighbors.  A success in my book.

Now on to other things…

If you’ve been alarmed about the recent news stories concerning lead found in juice boxes, Z Recommends has another side of the story you might want to read.

Yes, there is probably lead in your child’s box of juice. There is also lead in your honey, your salad dressing, your teething biscuits, your store-bought chocolate chip cookies, your pickles, your lettuce, your spinach, and your sweet potatoes (fresh). There is lead in many of the things you – and your children – eat on a regular basis. That’s because there is lead in pesticides, in the air, in the soil… almost everywhere…

It’s good information that puts it all in perspective.

If you’re like us and have an abundance of strawberries (say 55 pounds!) this page of strawberry recipes might come in handy.

I highly recommend making strawberry sorbet with some of it, though.  My easy way is to blend fresh strawberries in the blender with a little water and sugar to taste, and then freeze it in the ice cream maker.  It’s that easy!  Victoria says she likes it even better than ice cream.  You can put the mixture in popsicle molds too.

We also made some jam and syrup but most of it we just froze for later.  If you’re new to freezing berries, the best way to do it is to wash and hull them and then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a freezer until they’re just frozen (1 to 2 hours) and then put them in gallon bags (squeeze out all the excess air to protect them from freezer burn).  Flash freezing them first means they’ll be individual berries and not a solid lump of strawberry ice when you want to pull some out later.  🙂

Lastly, Here’s some sweet little paper dolls of all sorts to print out next time you need a little rainy day fun.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to read “The House of Dies Drear” to a very impatient night owl.

Kiss your kiddos, count your blessings, and don’t forget to take care of you!

Happy Thursday!


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Good Stuff

#1  Here’s a plethora of printable dinner table questions to spark some fun mealtime conversations with your kiddos!

#2  Here’s a whole lot of reasons to love the lowly dandelion and why dandelions make the world more magical for children.  Here’s a bunch of recipes using the leaves and the flowers for everything from cookies to pasta to pineapple slushies.  And here’s a delightful tutorial on how to make dandelion curls from the stems!

#3  I really enjoyed this piece on preschoolers, Patience Comes with Understanding.  I’d say the concept applies to all other ages too (even spouses, I’d wager!).

And with that, I’m out of here.  With a little luck, we’re heading to Nebraska on Saturday and I have so much left to do.  Eating chocolates and yapping online all night are not on the list!  🙂

Happy Friday!


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Art and Crafts and Sales and Such

Here’s a few of the fabulous things I’ve found online to inspire me, add to the to-do list and even spend a bit of cash on recently…

I love this fabulous idea for a family rules sign.  I’m not in love with any project that’s described as one of the most tedious projects ever, though, so I’m thinking that we should try to come up with a lazy version here.  You know I’m all about lazy.  🙂

I’m also loving this idea for making art using plywood and joint compound.  I would love to do this with the kids!  Of course ours wouldn’t be as elaborate, gold framed or hang in front of darling little dogs, but I bet we could have a blast and make something fabulously fun to put somewhere!

We love real maple syrup around here and sometimes I make up a simple syrup (sugar and water, boiled together) to add in to make it last longer.  Sometimes I also make up fruit syrup with fresh or frozen berries and some sugar.  But when we don’t have the real stuff or time to make up a batch of fruit syrup, I hate to buy the high fructose, artificially flavored, chemical laden stuff.  This recipe seems like a perfect substitute!  This is definitely on the list of stuff to try soon and keep on hand.

In the market for some adorable, organic clothes for your little ones super cheap?  Happygreenbee kids’ clothes (from the founder of Burt’s Bees) is having a steep clearance sale right now with some items fabulously affordable.  I bought a bunch of their stuff for two-year-old Alex and reviewed it all (for good and bad) here.

And with that, I’m off to discuss playwriting with a very patient husband and read some more about square foot gardening.  And sleep!  I have to work on doing more of that soon!  🙂

Happy Sunday!


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A Few Good Links

I have a date with a hubby, a bowl of ice cream and a show on tape so I’ll be quick!  Here’s a few fun things around the net that we’ve done or mean to do soon!

Made overnight french toast with strawberries and bananas

Doing super simple activities for lazy days (you all know simple is my favorite word!)

(Although this would require a much cleaner floor than I presently have!)

Making Valentines Day paper mache boxes

Talking about chores for toddlers and preschoolers

Making Chinese New Year crafts

And now, chocolate chip cookie dough awaits me!

Please do something fabulously wonderful for yourself in my honor.  You deserve it!

Happy Thursday!

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Five Fun Links

Here’s five fun things we’ve done or want to do soon!

1.  This fun alien laundry hamper…

2.  Deviled eggboats

3.  Ice cube tray color mixing

4.  Recycled promotional magnets as fridge art from Creative Jewish Mom

5.  These sweet “why I love you” Valentine pillows (or my lazy version!)…

What has inspired you lately?

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Hot Vanilla Milk!

Here’s a super easy and tasty treat you can make next time the kiddos come in from the cold.  Hot vanilla milk is quite a bit like hot chocolate, except (obviously!) it’s made with vanilla and it’s also way easier!

To make:          

Heat a cup of milk in the microwave or on the stove until very hot.  In my microwave, that’s about 1 minute.  Stir in a dash of vanilla (I just pour about a cap full, it doesn’t take much) and sugar to taste (try about a teaspoon and tinker to your child’s taste, you could obviously use honey too).  Stir and serve! 

I have an aunt who only sends me pink things (don’t ask, and no, I don’t particularly care for pink!) and she sent me some junky pink marshmallows recently so we topped our hot vanilla milk with some of those last time.  You can also go all out and dollop whipped cream on top.

For a different taste, you and the kiddos can experiment with other extracts (butterscotch, peppermint, etc.).  Enjoy!


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Good Things to Make

This glitter playdough

This cranberry sauce

This on top of hot chocolate for the kids

These 10 second ornaments with the kids

This origami Santa hat for the kids to wear

But mostly make…

…The kids laugh.

…Some special memories.

.…Time to enjoy the season.

…Tea or hot buttered rum or whatever makes you feel pampered.

I’ve lost track of the days.  Happy Wednesday I think!

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This, that and the other

Cooking for vegetarians or kids with allergies? 
Here are some sites with recipes to make sure nobody is deprived of goodies!

Vegan holiday cookie recipes
(vegetarian with no eggs or dairy)
allrecipe.com’s gluten free recipes

I love this wine wrap made from the sleeve of a recycled sweater!
I even think I could handle the sewing part.
It makes me wish I gave wine to people as presents.  😉

And if you have boys, you might relate to this.
(Thanks Claire)

For some reason all of my formatting is disappearing
and running my lines together
but I have a sick little guy, so I’m off to snuggle him.
Happy Saturday!

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Gingerbread Making Day

One of the perks of being married to someone who writes about cooking with kids is lots of goodies.  Today was no exception.  Today was gingerbread making day.                  

For the recipe and more pictures of our gingerbread pirates and skeletons and gingerbread fun, click here.

If you’re still looking for fun gifts for the kids, the Crafty Crow has 40 great gifts that parents can make for kids here.

Happy Friday!

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