Monday, February 11, 2013

Mardi Gras - Bake A King Cake

Today, my girls and I decided to bake a king cake in anticipation of Mardi Gras.  It was a great time baking with the kiddos and a wonderful opportunity to connect the history of the king cake to Epiphany.  To read more about the story behind the King Cake click here.
I read all about making a king cake  - it's basically a cinnamon pastry that is baked in a ring and a baby is hidden in the cake.  It is iced with a glaze and topped with sugar colored the colors of Mardi Gras - purple gold and green.
We did our own version - Here is what you need
2 cans of cinnamon rolls with icing.
1 bundt pan
green, purple, and gold colored sugar
1 little baby for hiding in the cake

That's it!
My girls made the cinnamon rolls connect into a ring and we baked our cake in a bundt pan.

 I turned it out onto our cake plate.

 They iced it with the glace that came with the rolls and we sprinkled them with the Mardi Gras colors.

 It was so easy -  they were able to do this without much help from me, and it looks great.
The last step was hiding the baby in the cake - which we did by making a tiny cut near the bottom of the cake and my big girl popped it in. 
She will take this cake to school with her tomorrow to share with her friends. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pinterest steal

I think I stole this idea off of Pinterest. If not I don't remember where it came from but it's not original! I cannot take credit. However it's perfect.

I used a silverware divider bought from the dollar tree to hold the contents of my children's toothbrush drawer- genius- huh? I wrote their names with a sharpie to delegate where they go and voila- simple organization!

Now what do I do with all of this stuff?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chinese New Year

Have you ever celebrated the Chinese New Year?  Well this was our first time, but we had a blast!  There are lots of fun activities and crafts to do.  AND if I had planned better, we would have eaten chinese food - or at least had a fortune cookie.  However, I feel like we did it up right and learned a little in the process!  Here is how we celebrated. 
First we made a chinese firecracker.  My baby girl painted a toilet paper roll red and we intended to draw chinese symbols on it with a gold paint pen, however, we ended up just with a red toilet paper roll - yikes.  Still fun - painting is always a hit with a four year old!

Our next activity was to make chinese lanterns.  We simply followed the tutorial here.  It was a great cutting exercise for my girl.  And since C is for Cutting and China... we were Cool!

The last activity was a snake exercise - since this is the year of the snake.  I found a mask template here.  Printed it, and stapled ribbon to it.  We acted like snakes crawling around on our bellies, and made lots of ssssssssssilly sssssssssssssnake sssssssssssounds.

 I also had a ssssssspiral sssssssnake exercisssssssssse (what?  Too much?) for her to practice her cutting again.

 Throw in a little google images on the ipad - and our celebration was a hit.  I should also add that we did several countdowns (like you would for the new year - not sure if the chinese count it down, but hey... it was fun.) Practicing counting down from 5 then from 10.  It was a good exercise for her and she had a blast!  Like I said, next celebration we plan to have a little chinese food, and maybe some chop sticks :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fostering Creativity with Kids

Today I am going to share some tips on fostering creativity with your children through painting.  You may want to be prepared to take notes - as the information I am going to share will undoubtedly be invaluable.
Step 1: Be sure you have the right supplies.

Egg Crate and Q Tips - Cannot Go Wrong!

Step 2: Make sure you offer a variety of colors.
We literally own Red, Yellow, and Blue Paint - All others get mixed from those!

Step 3: Find a clean place where their art can dry and they can pick their favorites to be displayed.
Yes that is a double frame with only one picture, and peppermint soap - just keeping it real!

Step 4:  ALWAYS create a neat and serene environment to allow their creativity to bloom. 
Panorama is my favorite thing on my IPhone!

Hope you have gleaned much information and wisdom from this blog!
After all, I am here to help!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Saturday Project: Bookshelves

Today I tackled my bookshelves in my den.  I love these shelves.  They are similar to the ones in my kitchen and our playroom.

 They are a simple structure that my husband built, and we painted the same color as our walls so they would blend in.  I, once again, got on pinterest to get inspired by some bookshelf ideas.  What really struck me, though was I wanted to display some of my favorite things, and of course it meet our storage needs!  So, here is what we came up with.  A beautiful combination of things we love, our favorite books and pictures that are special to us!  We are pleased!  Hope you agree!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Ground Hog Day!

Have you ever tried to find snacks to celebrate Ground Hog Day?  It's kind of difficult!  I went to my trusty pinterest and found nothing, so I went surfing and found a couple of ideas that I pinned.  But as pinterest often does, it sparked my creative side and I used a combination of the ideas to come up with these:
They are shadow cookies.  I used my famous 4 ingredient cookies recipe (recipe below)- which in this case only have 3 ingredients, and combined the yellow cookies and chocolate cookies to make the "shadow" cookies.
Picture quality is lacking but you get the idea!
I wrapped them in plastic wrap and made this cute label to go on them.
Voila - a cute sweet treat to celebrate Ground Hog Day!

Oops!  totally forgot the recipe!
1. 1 box of cake mix (you pick the flavor)
2. 1/2 cup of oil
3. 2 eggs
Mix - scoop out into small spoonfuls - bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  - SUPER SIMPLE
In this case, I used one yellow cake mix and one chocolate cake mix. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Letter C - Introduction - sort of

Today was a busy day!  I had to work the book fair at my big girl's school this morning.  So my baby went to the home of the beloved Ms. Kathy and Mr. Jackie.  She played all morning while I worked at the school.  When I picked her up at noon, it turns out Ms. Kathy's friends were about to play a game of cards and were short a person.  I joined in and we had a wonderful afternoon of cards!  It was a nice surprise, but put a kink in the school day I had planned with my baby.  We ended up doing a quick introduction to the letter C after we got home.  Basically we did a tracing and coloring exercise.  And then threw in a letter C scavenger hunt.  It was a success!  As you can see from the picture above we got creative with the letter c.  She found a dinosaur that Chomped, a pony that my baby had named Cotton Candy, and a bandanna that Covered her basket.  The rules were flexible - just like the days.  That is what makes it fun.  I even have time to do some light cleaning and cooking before the hubs arrives home.  YAY! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Saturday

Today's blog was going to be about a couple of projects I had planned to knock out this weekend. I was going to take pictures of my handy husband installing quarter round in our den. Me sewing a curtain for our bathroom-

not out of this fabric. But instead, I got up- with a ginormous headache due to a complete lack of sleep( my big girl slept with me and literally thrashed all night!) . Made pancakes for my family, garlic chicken Alfredo for a friend's birthday party and then noticed that the rosy cheeks from my tired thrasher never faded. I touched her forehead and ... You guessed it- fever!
Time to regroup- so E took my baby to soccer registration. I took my big girl to the dr.

After a sub sandwich for lunch we all came home and crashed. Wanna know the kicker? It was awesome! Saturday afternoon naps are second only to Sunday afternoon naps! So enjoy your Saturday! Take time for a nap!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 25, 2013

My life as a stay at home wife

Today I tied on my apron, put on my pearls and did some Donna Reed style cleaning! I tackled my baseboards in our bedroom, threw the curtains in the dryer to "fluff" and cleaned our ceiling fan! It only took about 30min. It's amazing how we build things up to be too big to tackle but when we tackle them- it feels so good!

These are my before baseboards- that grey is a layer of dust-yuck!

Clean as a whistle!

Looking good :)
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Casserole of the Week - Beef Enchiladas

Every Thursday, I make a casserole.  I email it to my friends  - they decide if it appeals to them - if it does, they email me back and I make them one too!  Helps them, helps me! Anyway, I thought I would start sharing my recipes with you!  After all, why hold on to something yummy when you can share! 
Here Goes:
1 lb ground beef
2 cups of rice - cooked in taco seasoning (I just use the packets or my homemade recipe found here.)
2 1/2 cups of Enchilada Sauce
4 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 Flour Tortillas (10")

Keep in mind, I'm making mine "to go" but the recipe makes 8.

Brown beef and drain.
Cook rice in taco seasoning
Assemble, top with enchilada sauce and cheese.
Not rocket science - but oh so yummy!
Bake at 350 for about 30 min til hot through.                             Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Years learning project

Today we did an art project old school style. And you know what? It was a success! Supplies needed:
3 colors of construction paper
Glue ( we used a glue stick because my big girl had used all the Elmer's making a cardboard gingerbread house- long story- and it worked great!)

I cut the construction paper into four pieces. In hind sight my little one could have done this too, but you know- live and learn!

I told her the letters to write ( and helped her when needed) then she traced them with glue, added glitter and viola.

We used three colors and repeated them in an abc pattern. Each time I asked her which color came next. We stapled the finished letters to some scrap ribbon left over from Christmas. And hung the banner in our playroom.

Yes- she is in an ariel night gown.  But for those of you who know this girl - are you surprised? 

Some other activities I am going to use this banner for are:
1. Counting: letters in each word, total letters, and specific letters - like ( how many a's do you see?)
2. Letter recognition: using a pointer I will call the name of the letter and she can point to it.
Them I will point to the letter and she will name it.
This activity was simple but packed with learning! And even better- she loved it!

Some tips with glitter:
I spread a sheet out on our playroom floor and let her glitter on a cookie sheet. That made clean up a breeze!

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