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RED, White & Blue…

9 Jul

A late update on our Fourth of July festivities…

This little guy saw fireworks for the first time and the loud popping and shooting flames made him run…CLOSER to the fireworks, NOT away.  He was a HUGE fan, mommy not so much.

The week leading up to Independence Day we celebrated by tie dying shirts {as seen above}.  I watched a Youtube video to learn how to do stripes for my son and a heart on my daughter’s {not pictured}.  If you want to check it out yourself search tie dye on youtube…you may get lucky like me and hear one of the seemingly professional Youtubers yelling “No, Dad!! I didn’t feed the dogs!!” as the video comes to a close {I don’t know why, but it really made me laugh at the time}.

Next, we {as in my children} decorated strawberries as I had seen on several blogs…they didn’t turn out so beautiful, but my kids had fun and they tasted way more delicious than they looked!

And finally, I share my favorite RED for the Red, White & Blue…THE Strawberry Basil Margarita!  I ran across this amazing recipe one night when I was craving a margarita and I didn’t even have to leave my house for a single ingredient…it was meant to be!!  This is my new summer favorite and I don’t know what I’m going to do when fresh strawberries go out of season…pumpkin margarita anyone??  Kidding!!  Even I think that sounds gross!

Snow day 3…The Great Escape.

4 Feb

Thursday was our third and final snow day.  I broke my previously mentioned New Year’s resolution and booted up my laptop because I was out of ideas to entertain the children and myself. I had several seemingly great ideas lined up after just a few minutes of searching “snow day crafts for kids.”

We started with coffee filter snowflakes.  My daughter has been banned from using scissors since the incident I mentioned a few months ago, but she was excited about the project and promised not to touch her OR her brother’s hair.  I had just bought a new package of the wrong-sized coffee filters, so I started out feeling really great about this project.  Unfortunately my snowflake idea stemmed from an online source that suggested decorating them with glue and glitter.  We didn’t have any glitter in the house {probably because I despise it}, so we used sprinkles.  The mess was outstanding. I will never attempt this project in my house again!

The second project on my list was “crayon cupcakes.”  They took our crayon box from looking like this…

To this…

And, finally this…

I thought my daughter would love this project and from what I have seen her do to crayons in the past, I was convinced she was a skilled crayon-paper remover.  As it turns out, neither of us had the patience and I quickly found myself searching online once again to find an easier way to peel the crayons.  Soaking them in warm water was the trick {where was my common sense?}.  After our crayon cupcakes cooled, the complaints starting rolling in…Who would have thought blunt edges would make coloring within the lines so difficult!!  To top off my disappointment, the wax leaked through the muffin cups and into my muffin tins.  Another mess to clean up and another fail in the project department for the day!

I was going to bring our final snow day to a close in the kitchen stirring up some homemade finger paint {why?  I don’t know.  I must enjoy making my life difficult}, but my husband rescued me from my child care duties an hour early.  So instead, I sat at our hand-print smudged backdoor with my favorite little guy and watched my favorite big guy, little girl, and our clubhouse dog play outside in the freezing cold.  

Later that night after my kids were in bed, I joined some of my neighborhood mommies for dinner and drinks.  House arrest was officially over!

Captivity:day 2 (aka: another snow day)

3 Feb

Sometimes I love days where I have absolutely nowhere to go {I wish I could also say nothing to do, but that never happens}, but the same relaxing feeling doesn’t exist when I have no choice but to stay home…for multiple days in a row nonetheless.

This is what snow day #2 looked like at my house…

Clubhouse/tent/castle/playhouse time.  Any adult who was ever a child knows how to build one of these…drag out the dining room chairs and blankets! We even got out my daughter’s girly little tent to serve as an extra “room” and turned on a movie.  This entertained my children almost ALL morning while I enjoyed listening to their giggles and the soundtrack to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog {seriously the best Disney music EVER!}

When my son went down for his nap, my daughter and I braved the freezing temperatures for some short-lived fun in the snow.  This seems like such an obvious thing to do on a snow day, but it was too cold outside to enjoy even with a million layers of clothes and outerwear on.  We came in and my daughter warmed up with a glass of children’s hot chocolate {warm Ovaltine}.

And, last but not least, after seeing multiple posts by my facebook friends, we joined in and made Snow Ice Cream.  This was not only a first for my children, but a first for me too.  Yes, I ate snow as a child…I also got sick from eating snow as a child, so I made this against my best judgement.  Everyone in my family had a taste and thankfully none of us got sick!

This day also included some other memorable firsts…my daughter’s first taste of fresh snow and thanks to his big sister, my son’s first time to wear a tutu {a pink one to be exact}.  My husband has requested I not share the pictures of this event.  We prefer to reserve it until his teenage years when he is deserving of the embarrassment.

Please refer to Snow Day #1, paragraph 5 for a detailed explanation of the remaining hours of the day.  It felt like Groundhog Day…oh wait, it really was Groundhog Day!!  How crazy is that?!?!

Snow day- numero uno

2 Feb

It doesn’t seem like we got a ton of snow or ice in the area that I live, but all the schools in the area have closed.  My children aren’t actually in school, but our regular weekly activities have been canceled as well, so we have been home with nowhere to go for two days now.

Day One’s activity itinerary ended up looking something like this:

9am: Salt-dough ornaments.  Yep, the same ones we made for Christmas only this time we cut out shapes with the Valentine cookie cutters and used some letters from this cookie decorating kit to add messages to our dough.  I would include a picture, but they may be Valentine’s gifts, so I can’t completely ruin the surprise.  Little AJ even enjoyed mashing out some dough, but his privileges were soon revoked after multiple attempts to taste-test our project.

12pm: Baking with my 3 1/2 year-old while my energetic 1-year-old caved to a one hour nap.  Olive and I turned our favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe into something more healthy….all whole wheat flour, no white sugar, and no butter.  {I know at least one friend of mine is smiling}.  They were surprisingly great…chewy and soft.  Even the husband raved about them!  I love that baking not only kills time and provides a snack, but it’s also a great lesson in measuring, counting, and patience {for all involved!}.

2:30pm: Painting.  Olive painted our baked and cooled ornaments from our morning activity, then painted paper on the new Christmas easel {thanks, Ganny!}, then moved to finger-paining {I didn’t even suggest that last activity…imagine that!}.

That may not seem like a full day, but when you add in preparing, serving, and cleaning up breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; wrestling a little guy for multiple diaper changes, preparing and cleaning up the aforementioned activities, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, picking up toys, making beds, pouring countless cups of milk and other beverages, reading books, outfit changes and the million other little things I won’t even mention…it was a full day.  I ended it with a workout while watching some of my favorite trash tv on E! followed by a shower and a glass of red wine.

It’s hard to believe we have survived 2 days and a third snow day appears to be in the works….NoOooOOoo!

Another Holiday…another craft!

18 Dec

I have been so busy lately…just living life…trying to read, trying to squeeze in an occasional workout, playing with my little ones…it has been hard to find any extra time to blog.  That’s okay though…blogging is something I enjoy doing for myself and everything that has taken its place is for me too…so, it all evens out.

This may be shocking, but last year {and the year before} I did a Christmas craft with my little ones.  I’ll spare you all another painted footprint craft, {although I do have one of those for Christmas as well!} and move on to the traditional handprint/footprint imprint ornaments!  

You can find the recipe here.  These ornaments are made out of ingredients that everyone always has in their home, so it’s nice to not have to plan ahead…this can be a spur of the moment type of craft.  { A little nursing note: If you want to save a few pennies you can use un-iodized salt for this recipe, but the salt that you consume on a regular basis should be iodized…for thyroid health!}

I followed the recipe instructions, but instead of poking a hole in the dough {so it can be hung as an ornament} I cut a paper-clip in half and pressed into the back of the the dough before baking.  After the ornaments were done baking and cooling, I painted them white {the dough itself dries a light tan color), then painted the actual imprints and used a spray shellac to seal the entire piece after all the paint was dry.  My favorite ornament turned out to be the one I made with an extra piece of dough and squeezed both of my babies’ footprints on together.  I kept one set of ornaments for my family, and the others I gave away as Christmas presents to Grandparents.

This is what my daughter was up to while I was busy making Christmas gifts…

Same recipe… I just helped my daughter use cookie cutters for the shapes and handed over the paint, sprinkles, and glitter.  After they were dry, I used a spray shellac to seal these as well.

Enjoy!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

24 Nov

We have been busy making Thanksgiving crafts today.  I remember making handprint turkeys when I was little, but I actually think footprint turkeys turn out cuter and are sooOOoo  much easier to do with infants since it’s difficult to keep their hands open.  I originally planned to host a playdate to make these cute little turkeys, but my kids were sick and the playdate never got rescheduled.  It would have been fun to have had feathers flying, markers rolling, and googly eyes stuck all around my house.  Oh well, maybe next year!

We have so much to be thankful for this year and every year.  From things that are sometimes easy to take for granted like food and clean water to the more serious things like our health, I feel very blessed.  And, the greatest blessing of all…my family {of course}.

Tonight as I was tucking my daughter into bed we started discussing the meaning of Thanksgiving.  When I mentioned that some children don’t have enough food, have winter clothes, or even have toys to play with Olive said in a very concerned and serious voice, “what can we do?”…..”If kids need toys they can call us!”.  She is such a gem…only 3 years old and somehow she seems to have such a deep understanding of situations and others’ feelings.

I’m looking forward to shopping for a family in need with my little ones.  I hope that they will learn that giving is so much more fulfilling than receiving.  Happy start of the holiday season…this is truly “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Boo!

26 Oct

Every Halloween since my daughter was born (this year will be Halloween #4!) I have made a simple little Halloween craft with her that I have saved in her baby book…  

I paint the bottom of her foot with white washable paint, then stamp it down on a piece of Halloween-colored construction paper {I prefer to do this on my kitchen counter right by the sink, so I can quickly rinse her off once we’re done playing in the paint}.  After the paint dries, I add ghostly eyes and a mouth with a black marker, my daughter’s name, and the year.  I love looking back and seeing how much her little foot has grown over the years.

This year I had two precious little feet to do Halloween crafts with.  Here is a peek at my son’s not-so-little ghostly footprint and my daughters not-so-white ghost!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween this year!  My little ones are celebrating All Hallows Eve in Snow White and Lion attire.  I couldn’t follow through with my original idea of Snow White and one of the seven dwarfs.  My little guy is too handsome to be Dopey!