Monday, July 28, 2008

Face Painting

When I used to go to Circus World as a kid, I LOVED LOVED LOVED having my face painted. Does anyone remember Circus World? Or am I the only weirdo that loves hanging on to nostalgia? I guess that's a topic for another day. But my 4 year old LOVES to have his face painted too, so while we were doing the Rollback at Wal-Mart last week, he asked for face paint that he saw. I got goose bumps when I saw it and I SO wanted to start jumping up and down and say "okay okay - let's open it RIGHT now and start painting away". But no, I had to play "mom" and say "hmmm, let's see, you did help mommy quite a bit yesterday, so let me think about it and we'll see." OH the torture for a 4 year old to hear the words "we'll see". But I'm proud of him - he maintained his composure and said "okay". Lordy Be I wasn't expecting that - but about 3 minutes later, I gave in and said "okay honey, you can have the face paint if you'd like". I thought the sound barrier would break with his shouts of joy. So with that, another day of being, as my 4 year old put it, the bestest mommy in the whole wide world was complete. If $3.47 of face paint makes me the bestest mommy, I'll buy some everyday!

Here's our adventure on the face painting. It came with 6 little jars about the size of film canisters - does anyone remember what film canisters are? LOL. But I got out some old brushes and a bowl of water and went for it and here's how it came out.
Btw, you can look at all kinds of examples of face painting art on the web. I just used Google images and typed in "face painting". I also downloaded a bunch of clip art that looked simple enough to copy.

Good luck and let me know how it turns out for you!!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

"I am Batman"

Have you seen the movie yet? No? Me neither. And I probably won't. If it doesn't have Kate Hudson or Debra Messing in it, I probably won't see it. I'm a weirdo about movies. BUT, my friend Molly DID see it and in honor of her and her kids coming over for a playdate, I made these...batman brownies.
The box that I bought had cut outs that you place on the brownies and then sprinkle powdered sugar all over and when you lift the cut out - tada! you have batman brownies. You'll see below that I got a little crazy and used homemade letter templates. Think of all the possiblities! You could use stencils from your $4,000 worth of scrapbooking supplies that you never use or you could make your own. You could even use those magnetic letters off of your fridge. But have fun and enjoy putting powdered sugar on your brownies - I know I did!!


Monday, July 21, 2008

I hear bells...

What's that noise? Is it my kids? Is it the oven timer? Nope. It's wedding bells! This has absolutely nothing to do with kids stuff but I'm so excited that I wanted to announce the engagement of my dear friend Danielle. This is such a blessing for her and her daughter to have found such a caring and generous man to fill there lives with more of the amazing love that they already have.

Cheers darling and many blessings on your new journey! I love you Danielle!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shrinky Dinks!

Remember Shrinky Dinks! I do I do!! I remember making some that were the Smurfs - man I miss the 80's. Well, I found these sheets at Joann Fabrics that you create and bake yourself - how cool! So, we got out the markers and made key chains for our family members.

Here's what you'll need: Shrink Sheets, permanent markers, scissors, a hole punch, medium weight cardboard and parchment paper.

First, preheat your oven to 325 and then have your little one or yourself draw on the sheet. I laid a piece of construction paper underneath with some designs on it so that my little one could trace over it.
After he finished his Jackson Pollock, I drew two lines separating them into 4 equal squares that would make 4 key chains.
After cutting, I then rounded the corners so that when they were completed there weren't any sharp edges. I used scissors, but you could get out your fancy corner rounder that I know you have for scrapbooking. I know I have one, along with $4,000 worth of scrapbooking supplies that I haven't used since I was pregnant with my first one. My husband reminds me of this frivolous expense every time he sees the closet in the extra bedroom and what do I say, "oh, I'll get to it, I promise". Anyways, if you're making key chains, punch your hole in it now. This is a very important step because once it's been baked, it's thick and hardened and you can't punch a hole in it.
Now, lay your cardboard on a cookie sheet and then lay your shrinky dinks down and cover them with a sheet of parchment paper so that they don't stick to themselves when they curl up. Then put them in the oven, set the timer for 3 minutes, turn on the oven light so that you and your kids can watch the magic happen. With the paper over the shrinky dinks it's hard to see what's happening until they start curling up and then everyone can oooh and aaahh.

After you pull them out of the oven, flatten them with a spatula. and then it'll take about 5 minutes to cool completely and that's it! The picture below is our completed ones. After my 4 year old got bored of coloring, I just had to make some myself. I had just as much fun as he did!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


My husband came up with this game quite some time ago but it's still as popular today in our house as the day it was first invented. Now, we're not taking the credit on this invention but it's the first we've heard of it - especially of playing it in the house. Man, it's hot in Florida - we stay indoors in July! Anyways, it's Tenn-aloon. It's a game of tennis with a balloon. Here's what you'll need. A balloon of any shape or size blown up. Not with helium, just a few good puffs from your lungs is all you need. And then, depending on how many players you have, each should have a spoon of some sort from your kitchen. I give the kids wooden spoons.
Once you have all your goods, start by having your kids or you or grandma or the kids next door toss the balloon in the air and start using the kitchen utensil to hit it back. The trick is to not let the balloon hit the ground. You could certainly put up some sort of barrier like a tennis court - you could even get out your painter's tape!!!! You know I love a good roll of painters tape! But have fun with this one as it gets a lot of laughs when I try desperately to reach for the balloon without removing my lazy bum off the floor. Yep, you heard that right. I park it right on the floor and have the balloon come to me - I love this mothering gig.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Safety first!

It friend Danielle's daughter got lost on a school field trip for about 10 minutes. And to us parents, 10 minutes is an ETERNITY! Luckily, her little girl went to someone who worked at the museum they were at and all was good. But ironically, Danielle found this brilliant invention that very same day. They're Child Saftey Tattoos and they're temporary tattoos that are personalized with your cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately. So, if you're traveling this summer or going to theme parks, I suggest you invest in these little puppies. What an awesome idea!

Let us know if you purchase these,


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pour some more sugar on me...

I'm back to using my little Domino cinnamon/sugar shaker. My mom came over last night for her birthday dinner and we made these for her. They're cinnamon/sugar chips made from tortillas. It's a great snack and you can even make them from whole wheat tortillas or any other flavor for that matter. I'll have some other variations for you at the end of this post.

Here's what you'll need:

Cinnamon/Sugar combo (make yourself or buy the little shaker pictured below for $0.99 - go ahead, buy it - help the economy, you can use it over again to hold glitter for your kids art projects)
Tortillas (I used 6, but use as many as you'd like)
Pizza Cutter
Pastry Brush
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non stick spray.

3. Use the pizza cutter to cut the tortillas into 1/8ths. Wow, Mrs. Burrell (my 5th grade teacher), did you see that? I ACTUALLY used fractions. You were right, I would need them when I grew up - who would've thought.

4. Lay out your wedges on your baking sheet - it's kinda like doing those tanagram thingies.

5. Use your pastry brush to brush a little water on each wedge. You don't need much, just enough so that the cinnamon/sugar sticks.
6. Sprinkle on your cinnamon/sugar.

7. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Just enough to see the edges brown and get crisp.
Variations: I dipped mine in a chilled chocolate fondue (if you want the recipe, email me), but on any flavor tortillas you could sprinkle taco seasoning and use cheese for dipping. You could sprinkle oregano and parmesan cheese and use marinara for dipping. You could sprinkle some garlic and parmesan cheese and use hummus as a dip. Or you could just brush with melted butter with a little salt and pepper and use any dip you want.
These are great homemade chips without a lot of fuss and the kids LOVE the fact that they helped make them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pick a card...any card

Hi folks! I was cleaning out one of the 127 drawers that I need to clean out in my house and I found my old business cards from when I used to do the working mom thing. Yes, I've been on both sides of the fence; working mom and stay at home mom. Anyways, after I got done having a little laugh to myself when seeing those cards, I decided to do a little recycling project with the kids.

Here's what you'll need: old business cards or even index cards or an old deck of playing cards, or even a new deck, I'll be alright with whatever you choose. And you'll also need a pair of scissors.
Cut four even slits on each card, two on one side, two on the other. (Sorry the picture is blurry, I'm still learning about my camera).
After that you can stack as shown below. It's easier than making the card towers that I used to make because this way they won't fall down as easy. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bean Bags

That picture above my friends are bean bags that I made last night. I was at a school supply store the other day and I saw some for $15 and almost croaked! $15!!! That's just nuts. So, I pulled out some scrap fabric, went to the store with Dawn and while she looked at me crazy while I bought 8 lbs. of pinto beans I explained to her my plans. As the light bulb went off in her head as well, we thought up today's post.

After making the bean bags (by the way, if you want some, email me, or check out my etsy site), Dawn suggested that I pull the 'ol painters tape out and make shapes on the ground to aim into. Thus learning large motor skills as well as shapes. My 4 year old knows them, but the 18 month old was intrigued. You could also draw out a hopscotch grid, but I was running low on tape - btw, Jason, are you reading this honey? Would you mind picking me up a small truck load of painters tape on your way home today? Thanks. Love, your wife. Now, back to the plan. As you can see in my picture below I also laid out paper plates that we had leftover from 4th of July (yes, they're unused, but have been decorated with markers by my son). The plates made it a little more tricky which we liked because they slid once you tried to aim your bean bag at them. Very cool in the eyes of a 4 year old. So, make or buy some bean bags and have at hit!
Oh, other variations are that you could use different color buckets to aim into for a points system or you could also draw numbers or letters on them as well to make it a triple learning experience.



Saturday, July 5, 2008

Scrabble Jr.

Hi All! I hope that everyone had a fantastic 4th of July - I know we did - we're still recovering! In leu of my creative brain taking a holiday I decided to post a game that my friend Molly loves to play with her kids and she swears it helped her kids with learning to read. I'll be picking up one today at WalMart (they seem to have lower prices on toys, and you know how much I love to "rollback"). It's Scrabble Jr. and I'm so thankful that they decided to make a children's version. I'm not so good at the adult version, so maybe I can kick my husband's rear in the kids version LOL! Anyways, I hope you find this product/toy helpful. Let us know if you have this game and if you like it. Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pour some sugar on me...cinnamon sugar to be exact

Ahhhh, the smell of cinnamon & sugar toast. It's one of those smells that'll take you back a few years. My mom wasn't into buying anything processed in our house, so when it came to sweets and treats - you made it yourself...and trust me, it was worth it. So, today for a snack, we made this heavenly toast and both kids ate it up! I wonder why they don't get that excited for meatloaf? But this is a really easy and quick treat that the kids can help with and they look forward to.
Here's what you'll need: Bread; I use whole wheat, but any sandwich sized sliced bread will work. A baking sheet; I covered mine in aluminum foil just because it's easier to clean up. Butter or margarine; as you can see I've purchased the Omega enriched margarine spread. I only bought this because I have a coupon for it, and those of you who know me know that coupons are my second best friend. You'll also need a knife to spread your butter with. Yes, you can use your fingers if you want to make clean up easier, but do you really want to...I didn't think so. Also in the picture is a pink kids knife from IKEA. I know I've bragged about their plates before, but the cutlery is the shizzle to my nizzle for the kids. And here's the best see that little plastic jar next to the bread? That's the magic that'll make your life that much easier. It's by the Domino Sugar company and it's a perfect mixed blend of cinnamon and sugar in a little shaker bottle (I bought it for $0.99). Of course, you can mix the cinnamon and sugar yourself from scratch, but I NEVER get the right consistency. I either get too much cinnamon or too much sugar. My mother always got it right, she still does - and since I'm not able to - this little clever invention is right up my alley. It's perfectly sized for little hands as you'll see in the following picture.
So, first preheat the broiler in your oven or your toaster oven. Then spread a light coat of butter on your bread. I stress the words "light coat"; you really don't want a lot of butter here - it's just to help the cinnamon and sugar stick nicely. Then have your little guys sprinkle on as much or as little of the mixture that you'll let them have. I wouldn't lay it on thick or anything, but if that's what you want, I won't be a dog in that fight - I say enjoy! Anyways, after you've got your mixture on, pop it in the oven and turn on your oven light to watch the magic happen. The kids LOVE this part. It doesn't take long, about 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how charred you like your cinnamon and sugar. I do want to stress the fact that you really need to watch it closely because burnt sugar smells like...well, really nasty and all the Glade candles in the world can't cover it up. Not that I know that for a fact, I'm just assuming that that's what would happen...I mean, I've never burnt anything, I always make my toast perfect and those of you who do burn things, well shame on you (insert sarcasm here).
Here it is! The most perfect, quick, sugary snack for the day. Oh, btw, my 4 year old wanted me to tell you that the best way to wash this down is with a big glass of milk. Yeah...I taught him that (insert proud mom patting herself on the back here). Enjoy and let me know of any variations that you have!