Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Riley is obsessed with snowmen. When we got our half inch of snow the other week, I had Eric gather up all the snow from the yard so I could build a snowman for Riley. It was 10 inches tall.

Anyway, Owen has decided he doesn't need to wash his hands EVERY time he goes potty and even though I tried and tried to set him straight on this (and Eric tried too), he still refuses. So I found some foaming, waterless hand sanitizer. Owen really likes it and uses it gladly after going potty. Riley likes it as well. Okay, he LOVES it. I squirt just a small (penny-sized) amount in his hand and he exclaims, "SNOWMAN!" I love it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting ready for V-day.

I got an idea for making various garlands for various holidays from Jenny at allsorts. But I thought I'd buy the cute little wooden letters and string them together to make my saying. Sinc Valentine's Day is coming up, I decided that would be my first attempt. But when I got to Hobby Lobby I found some really cute little wooden hearts. They came with 10 hearts in the package for right around $2, so I decided to use those for my garland instead and to just put my letters on the hearts after I altered them. I found a cute little set of mismatched letters for under $2 there too.

My original plan was to paint the letters white, but after I finished altering the hearts, I realized they would blend in with the background too much, so I finally decided (with a little help from my friends) to do them brown. It kind of gives a chocolatey feel to them, and what is more Valentiney than chocolate?

I think it turned out really great and if I have the chance to go back, I think I'll get another set try something a little different with.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Kidlet.

I saw this post at JCHomemade with a tutorial for making her Kidlet. A Kidlet is just a large pocket (with a smaller pocket on it) that hangs on the wall. Very cute. Maybe one of these days, when I finish the 6 projects I've already started but not finished, I'll make a few for Owen's room. Seems simple enough that maybe even I can do it.

And while I'm posting links to her tutorials, here's another one that I like of hers. It is for a felt story board. I originally came across this as I was looking for a tute on how to make a felt gingerbread house that the boys would be able to rearrange the decorations as much as they wanted, but then I forgot about it. Yesterday, I was talking with some friends about felt boards like this and we were talking about doing gingerbread houses and nativity scenes on it. I like her snowman idea and would probably do a Christmas tree with decorations too. Maybe some animals and a barn. Cars and trucks and planes and trains and boats.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DIY Puff Paint

I ran across this blog the other day and thought the puff paint looked like a really fun idea. And the best part is that I didn't have to worry about it when my 21 mo kept repeating "Candy!" and ate the paint. Unfortunately I have all-purpose flour, not self-rising, so I looked up the conversion for it and it worked pretty good although our might not have puffed quite as much as hers. I've included my revised recipe below for using all-purpose flour. And my kids are SLOW painters so I nuked it about every 5 minutes and then let them add more to it.

DIY Puff Paint
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
food coloring

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add water until it is a thick paint consistency. Separate into 3 or 4 small bowls and add food coloring to get desired colors.

Paint picture on thin cardboard or on cardstock using paint brushes or cotton swabs (you might try putting in a squeeze bottle to squeeze it on). Microwave about 30 seconds and it will puff up.

And here's our finished product. I'm sure it's not to impressive to most, but as their mom, I'm proud.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

24 Carrot Gold Mac N Cheese

I don't have the new cookbook about "sneaking" veggies into you meals. As a matter of fact, I haven't even seen it. But I have heard a lot of talk about it. From what I've heard, the recipes are kind of hit and miss. Some kids like some of them, but more often than not it seems the kids aren't "fooled."

And for me, personally, I'm a simple gal. There are some things I'll cook from scratch, but for the most part my motto is, "If it doesn't come from a box, I won't cook it!" I did see some of the talk shows promoting the book and they cooked/baked a few of the recipes. I guess the thing that put me off about them was all the measuring. Sure I can measure the flour and sugar and cocoa and...to make a batch of brownies that might or might not turn out right. But I'd much rather buy a box and go from there. Maybe add some chocolate chips or swirl in some caramel, but that's about as fancy as I get.

Well, some time ago I came across a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese with pureed carrots in it. Since mac and cheese is already an orangey-yellow color, the carrots tend to blend in pretty well. It's something I've been doing since well before this cookbook came out and something I'm sure I'll continue to do for as long as my kids will go for it. I tried to find the recipe the other day for a friend. I swear I originally saw it on the kraft.com site, but I looked for it there with no luck. I'd really like to give credit to whoever (or is it whomever???) deserves it, but I just don't know who that is. And since I can't find it, I can't give it to you exactly as it is supposed to be, but I will give it to you the way I make it.

24 Carrot Gold Mac N Cheese
1 box of your favorite mac and cheese
2 ounces pureed carrots
and whatever ingredients required for the box of mac n cheese you're using

Fix mac and cheese according to directions on package. Add pureed carrots and stir until well blended. Eat.

Like I said, I'm a simple gal. ;-D

You might even try adding more carrots depending on your family's preferences.

And if you're wondering, "Where/how do I get pureed carrot?" Well you can cook and puree it yourself in a blender or food processor (add water as needed to get it well blended). If you do it this way, I recommend doing a large batch, spooning it into ice cube trays, and freezing it. They you can pop them out of the ice cube trays and into a freezer bag for storage until you need them. Each cube (if filled to the rim) is approximately 1 ounce.

The other way to get pureed carrots is in the baby food section of your local grocery store. I actually needed 22 baby food jars for Christmas gifts for my oldest to take to school, so I bought carrots (and some squash and green beans) baby food and froze the purees in ice cube trays as mentioned above. That way I killed two birds with one stone.

I guess I've rambled on long enough. I do feel the need to weigh in though on the debate that seems to be going on about the aforementioned cookbook. There are some people who criticize the cookbook for being sneaky and deceptive and these people are saying it is wrong to lie to your children. Well for the record, I've never lied to my children about this. I don't sneak around adding carrots to things so they won't know. But they're kids and too busy playing to notice what mom is doing in the kitchen and they've never asked me what's in the mac and cheese. If they asked, I'd tell them, but as it is, they don't have a clue what is or isn't in mac and cheese anyway. In all fairness I should point out that I've also never told them that there are tomatoes in spaghetti sauce either. Shame on me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dishtowel crafts

I found these two little tutorials for ways to use dishtowels to make something useful...not that dishtowels aren't useful in and of themselves, but this just allows them to become even more useful and versatile. ;-)

They both come from the same blog. The first idea is to use the dishtowel to make a little library tote. The second is for a kid-sized apron out of a dishtowel.

I haven't had the chance yet to try either of these, but I did buy some (rather plain) dishtowels the other day along with some bias tape, so all I need now is TIME to sit down and do the aprons. They look like they should be fairly quick and easy, but still, time is time and I'm short on it.

And of course, having boys, I need to find some cute, boyish dishtowels. Maybe some with trains or bulldozers? Anyone know where I can find those? No? Me neither.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I know this is a little late, but...

...I'll post it anyway. Back after Thanksgiving someone (I can't remember who) directed me to the cutest little Advent Calendar I think I've ever seen. I looked at it and thought, "I can do that!" So I did. Of course by the time I finished it, December was half over, but Owen really enjoyed it and we'll be able to use it for years to come.

The original calendar I copied was by Jenny at allsorts. I did mine almost the same as hers, but, of course, we can't have anything at our house that is ALL red and white (War Eagle!) so I alternated red and white pockets with green and white ones. I think it turned out pretty good.

I made the little dangles using my circle and star scrapbook punches. The dangles go inside the pockets (along with some chocolate or little trinkets) and each day when you open the next pocket, you hang the dangle on the button. I also used some of the scraps to make a little tree that we actually used to help Owen be able to identify exactly which day we were on since it was larger than the dangles and he could see it more easily. You can see the tree hanging on the last day in the second photo.

He loved it and became obsessed with moving the tree each day and opening the pockets. And it made my days a lot easier since it helped answer the questions of, "Is it Christmas yet?" and, "Is Nana (or Aunt Whitney) coming today?" It was so handy that I'm actually thinking about making some for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the boys' birthdays. All I have to do is find the time...

Friday, January 18, 2008

The 365 Challenge

I know myself well enough to know that I just won't be able to do the 365 challenge EVERY day, but it's a good idea and has inspired me to just take more pictures this year. So today we went to BK to have lunch with friends and let our kiddos play and took my camera along with me. I got several good pics and here's a few of them. Unfortunately Owen can be a little camera shy, so I only got one decent one of him...and of course he's not smiling or looking at the camera, but it does capture his personality. Riley on the other hand LOVES to have his picture taken. "CHEEEEEEEEESE!" he says.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Let it snow!

We had such a blizzard last night! Well, it was a blizzard for the south anyway. I was afraid Owen would sleep through it at first because he'd just gone down for a nap (at 5:30!!) right before it started snowing. But it was still snowing when he woke up and we all went out for just a little bit to enjoy it.

Riley has been obsessed with snowmen lately (and Santa and Mater and McQueen and the King and helicopters and trains and...), so I had Eric bring some snow up to the porch and I made a little mini-snowman. Riley LOVED it. "SNOWMAN! SNOWMAN!" he kept saying. ****Sorry Owen stepped into the picture at the last second!****

I think we got a total of about half an inch, so like I said, it was a blizzard! This was Riley's first snow and the first one that Owen can remember and I think they really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This blog will contain a little of everything.

I guess it's time to jump on the bandwagon and get myself a blog, huh? I'm not sure exactly where this blog will take me, but I think mostly I'll use it as a place to keep everything together, from cute, adorable stories about the boys to scrapbooking (when I can find the time) to random crafts and activities I squeeze into my life. I figure I'll be loading this blog up with everything imaginable...even the kitchen sink, so to speak.

So bear with me and hopefully before long I'll this thing set up just the way I want it.
Designed by Lena Graphics by Melany