Friday, January 29, 2016
Hand print crafts are a fun way to remember just how little your child once was. I wanted to have something my son would want to hang on his wall other than a paper hand print craft, so I decided to use plaster of paris.
I bought heart shaped plaster plaque mold. They are pretty inexpensive. We may even reuse it for my daughter to make a plaque for her own room. If you don't want to buy a mold, you could use some kind of plastic tray or bowl (like a cool whip container) that is large enough to fit your child's hand print.
Make the plaster of paris as indicated on the package, then pour in to your mold. Tap the bottom of the mold to release any air pockets and even out the plaster. Allow to dry for a while because sticking in your hand. It's hard to say how long it will take because it depends upon the humidity in your area and how thick your mixture is. The thicker your mixture, the quicker it will set and dry.
I made holes in the top by cutting up a thin straw (like the kind you stir coffee with) and inserting them in the plaster.
Make a handprint when it can still be inserted the plaster and keeps it shape. If it doesn't turn out just tap the bottom and it will make the plaster settle again. Don't tap it once you have a hand print you are satisfied with.
I did it a bit early and so my handprint has the peaks in it, so I decided it was best to paint around once it was dry so that the size of the hand was obvious. I then painted my son's name and age on there. And since he is really in to dinosaurs, I let him dip the feet of 2 dinosaurs in acrylic paint and make prints around the edge.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
How fun would this be to give your kids for breakfast. It's so simple too. It's just 1 1/2 frozen waffles with some whip cream tp give the details of fins and a face. My kids thought I was pretty genius when they saw this.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
This was a fun project that I did last spring with both of my children's classes. For my daughter, it was a project and an opportunity to have an Accelerated Reader (AR) book read to them to be tested on.
The book I read was Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. Mo Willems is a favorite author in our house. Not only is the text humorous, but the illustrations have so many things you have to look at to find even more humor. This is a 4.2 RL that is worth .5 pts.
To make the silhouette project, I had each child paint with sunset colors in water colors on white construction paper. Then, while that was drying they cut traced and cut out the silhouettes on black construction paper.
For my son's class I cut them out for them since it would have been harder for them, but for my daughters class I got a book from the library on how to draw dinosaurs and drew out images on drawing paper and cut those out. The I traced those on to thin cardboard and cut them out so that I had made stencils for my daughter's classmates to use. It was a lot of work on my part to create the foundational parts of this project for them, but so many of the kids thought it was so neat to do a dinosaur project.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Some more recipes I found on pinterest and tried out for myself. All the pictures below are of the ones I made.
I used the recipe from Food.com.
Kinda putzy, but Soooooo Good! The topping actually makes about double of what you need, so I used Ritz crackers on the bottom when I ran out of shortbread. My husband said they tasted good and you couldn't even taste the Ritz; that it was just a holder for the good stuff.
The picture of the plate was only about 1/3 of them. I had 20 shortbread and 20 Ritz crackers that I used.
Oh - I also used half the amount of coconut. 4 Cups seemed excessive and it really would have been. To toast the coconut, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, tossing and stirring every 5 minutes.
My son loved this idea for Vampire Donuts from Mommy Octopus, that we just had to do it for his birthday! He liked old fashioned donuts, so we used that instead of raised ones but we did have an issue of the donuts breaking apart, so I think raised would be better.
Ready for another chocolate and caramel recipe? They try out this Carmelitas recipe from Lulu the Baker. I pretty much love anything with caramel, but once you add chocolate it becomes even better. This is a pretty classic recipe and worth trying. I made these bars with a homemade caramel sauce, but she also tells you how to make them with caramel candies as well. Make sure you factor in cooling time before serving these delicious bars!
This recipe from Made to Be a Momma is super easy and super tasty. It is something festive and appealing to have on the breakfast table for Christmas. I had more icing than she did. Had I made the icing thicker it might have looked even prettier.
Friday, January 22, 2016
I was so pleased with how this turned out. I made it for my son's "big boy" room. And as a dinosaur lover, I wanted to add nice wall decor and art to his room. I know he may outgrow his love of dinosaurs, but hopefully this is something he wants to keep because of the nice quality of a hand built pottery piece and because his mom lovingly made it for him. :)
To start out with I drew out my stegosaurus on newpaper so that I had a template that I could make changes on and get exactly the way I wanted. I then slab rolled out my clay and carved out my stegosaurus. The drying took a while because it was sandwiches between 2 thick pieces of pressed wood, but I wanted to make sure it stayed flat and thankfully it did.
As you can see I added in holes as part of the art design, but this was also meant to be functional as well.Pottery can be quite heavy and I didn't want this to fall off the wall, so I made holes in places so that I could easily hang it from screws that were anchored in to the wall.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
My daughter and I had fun creating some wooden popsicle stick snowflakes as decorations in the cabin. As you can see one of them is created with all the same style of stick and the other uses 3 different types of craft sticks.
To make them we laid out cardboard on the table to protect it from hot glue drips. We laid out all of our sticks how we wanted them and then started to hot glue them together after our design was created.
Simple and creative fun!
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
#ad Review: #nespressomilkfrother Espresso & Coffee Candy Set with 2 Mugs - Nespresso Milk Frother - Coffee Clip/Spoon
This Nepresso Espresso and Coffee Candy Set with 2 Mugs - Nespresso Milk Frother - Coffee Clip/spoon is a really good set even though I received this at a discounted price to review it. All photographs, thoughts and opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received. I think the current price seems like a good value at under $22. You get 2 mugs in an olive green color. The mugs seems to be a good heavy quality. The mugs are ribbed and have a nice handle. It also comes with 2 bags of candy: Espresso candy which have a soft espresso center and hard coffee candy as well. They have a nice coffee flavor that will be appreciated by any coffee lover, which I am.
I have saved the best for last of this gift set, and it is the milk frother and measuring spoon that doubles as a coffee bag clip. I really wish I knew how to make the fancy froth decorations, but I guess pinterest can help me learn how to do this. You get everything you see in that top photo (well, not the coffee I made.)
It very quickly froths up. I tried it with half and half, as well as whipping cream. I was able to increase the volume of the whipping cream by 4x in just a few seconds. I had a friend over for a coffee date my second time using the frother and was immediately impressed with how fancy our coffee drinks were going to be with froth on the top and flavored syrup in the drink.
I also love the measuring spoon that doubles as a bag clip because I am always losing our spoon in the cupboard and now it will be attached to our current open bag.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
This is easy project to work on the fine motor skills of using a scissors for any dinosaur lover. This was a project my son completed last year while in preschool.
I drew out where he needed to cut on some foam sheets that I picked up from Dollar Tree. He cut out the feet and triangles for claws, but I cut the "I" shape you in the center of each for so that he could slide his foot in there.
Monday, January 18, 2016
This is a quite simple and easy and tasty, you will wonder why you haven't added it to your breakfast recipes before this.
Low Carb Egg and Ham Cups
18 pieces of thinly sliced ham
1 C milk
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (I like mozzarella or cheddar)
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degree
- Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray
- Line 18 muffin cups each with a piece of ham.
- Mix together eggs, milk, cheese and seasonings.
- Divide egg mixture among the 18 muffin cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes before serving
Friday, January 15, 2016
I made these pottery pendant necklaces for myself, 3 girlfriends and my daughter. I started making a piece of jewelry for our annual girls weekend over 4 years ago. I just booked our weekend for this spring yesterday and we are all very excited. So, these are the necklaces I presented them last spring that I am finally getting around to share with my readers. My daughter doesn't come on these weekends, but when she saw the design I had drawn out she asked if I would make her one too.
To make them I simply made a coil that I shaped in to an oval and blended the ends together. Then I made a small clay ball, and for lack of a better term, I smushed it down to flatten it slightly and then scored the bottom and added some slip and smoothed the backside to ensure it stayed joined.
As far as glazing goes, I tend to make us items that all are similar, but personalize it in some way. This time I did glazes in the center ball that most closely resembled birthstone colors.
I strung them together with a faux leather cording and wooden beads. I chose this look because we were on an outdoorsy/active weekend to Eagle Bluff in Lanesboro, MN for that year.
Apparently I never pinned my first set, which was coordinating beaded earrings using all 4 of our birthstone colors. The next year I made these Pottery Pendant Earrings. The 3rd year I made Hemp and Pearl Bracelets like in the link (apparently I didn't take a picture & make a post of this one either.) And this necklace was our fourth year.
Now, we are on our 5th annual girls weekend and I need to start thinking about what I am going to make us. I have done 2 sets of earrings, a bracelet, a necklace. What should be next? Hmmmmm....
Anyways, check out and follow my Handmade Jewelry Board on pinterest. See some of the things I am inspired to make and other jewelry I have made.
WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Eden Prairie, MN. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 17970 East Miller Parkway
Eden Prairie, MN 55347 USA
WHEN: Jan 23rd -March 5th
M - Th: 3pm to 9pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
Sunday: noon - 8pm
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne.
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display.
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.
My readers get to save off admission! Fun and Unique experience with your family at Amazing Ice Castles! UT,NH,MN,and AB! Save 15% off admission! .@usfg USE CODE: USFAMILY
Thursday, January 14, 2016
In 2015 we changed my son's bedroom from a nursery rhyme these over to his "Big Boy" Room. One of his friends had a big chalkboard section on his wall and he wanted one too, but we were lacking in wall space that he could access at his level to draw on it, so I painted the closet door with chalkboard paint. It took 3 coats to get adequate coverage.
There was a door knob on here, but we wanted to make it more fun. I sawed the head off a triceratops, which was really the one dinosaur that has a big enough head to serve as a doorknob. I cut off a portion of a wine cork and hot glue it inside the hollow head. Then I used a screw and placed the screw through the hole for the doorknob hardware and screwed on the doorknob dinosaur head. It has been on there for almost 9 months so far with no issues.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
This Dock and Bay Microfiber Towel really is an excellent product and I am not just saying that because I was asked to review this product at a discount price (all thought and opinions and photographs are my own). The first thing I want to mention is that I love the large size, the large is a 63x31 size which is significantly larger than other microfiber towels we have. They even offer an extra large size that is 78x35, which I totally want to get for my 6'4 husband. This is a nice smooth microfiber so that sand can easily be brushed away or shook off. I love that there is a loop in the center to make it easy to hang, which is great for use in the locker room and you don't have to worry about it slipping off a hook on to the went shower room floor.
We also plan to use this to pack in my daughter's swim team bag. It rolls up quite nicely and is more compact than the cotton towel that she had been using, plus it dries out much more quickly that her cotton towel. It comes in a variety of striped colors, I just liked the blue best.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
This is such a fun science project to do with kids. We have done this several times and they love it. They even ran to get a neighbor kid to come over and watch too. You can see the video of how it works below, but all you need is whole milk, dish soap (not a natural kind) and food coloring. As an adult who never did it before, I thought this was really cool.
There are a couple of things happening here, the first is differences in density of liquids. Food coloring is less dense than the whole milk, so it just sits on top. The second thing is surface tension which both water and milk have, but when you apply soap it reduces the surface tension and causes the liquid particles to move.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Clean Eating Carrot Cake Oatmeal
1 3/4 C milk (whichever variety you enjoy)
1 3/4 C water
3/4 C carrots (chopped or shredded)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 C old fashioned oats
4 packets stevia
Top with nuts, raisins, or homemade whipped cream, if desired
- Bring to a boil the milk, water, carrots cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.
- Boil for 5 minutes to soften the carrots
- Stir in old fashioned oats and stevia
- Cook for 5 minutes until oats thicken
- Scoop in to 4 bowls and allow to sit for 5 minutes, it will thicken as it cools
- Top with additional toppings if desired
Friday, January 8, 2016
Here are just a few small pottery trays I have made in the last year.....I have actually made several more than this. Some of them I made specifically for someone, but in other cases I use these trays (about the size of a butter dish) as a way to try out glaze combinations or texture techniques and if they turn out I have an actual piece I can give someone rather than just testing out on flat pieces. So, at Christmas this year, several of my daughter's teachers received small trays (not an of these pictured) with candy on them.
I agreed to review this product and purchased it at a discount (no monetary compensation was received, all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own) because I have really enjoyed using the other microfiber products I have and wanted to start trying out towels that we will need for upcoming travel adventures.
This is the Go Nature Microfiber Travel and Sports Towel that you can purchase on Amazon. It is currently priced at $14.99 and that seems like a decent price for a microfiber beach towel. The size is 30"x50". I have quite a few microfiber cleaning cloths and hand clothes and had a hooded baby blanket that I bought for a much higher cost that this towel.
Here I wanted to show you that the towel folds up and goes in to a case that is about the height of a quarter, so it really is ideal for traveling. You can see in the other 2 pictures just how big the towel is and how small the case is. It folds up quite small and I have folded it up several times already and zipped it back in the case easily, so it does fit back in the case.
Don't be fooled by the beach ball.....it is a mini one, probably about 1/4-1/3 the size of a normal beach ball. I was starting to get ready for our winter vacation to a beach destination and am gathering up everything we need to pack and the kids will need a ball or 2 to play with. There are beach towels for us where we are staying but I am not sure how many and I like that this is a smooth microfiber and sand is not going to stick in the fibers.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Do you still use K-Cups? Or have some you are using up until you start switching to the ones that bio degrade? Just cut a narrow slice our of your K-Cup and you have a card holder for kids. It's hard for kids to fan out their cards and now you can repurpose something and give them a way.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Man, I wish I had typed up the instructions for this when I made it last summer. I love this hat and wear it all the time when it is cold here in MN. I did use the yellow Knifty Knitter loom to make this and you can see I made it 15" long so that I could get the length necessary for slouchiness, and I added a brim. But other than that I can only tell you that I did a couple different stitches, mostly the wide figure 8 stitch to get the looseness needed for this type of hat. I worked hard and for a long time on this hat and wish I could tell you how to replicate it, but at least you can see it for inspiration.
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Monday, January 4, 2016
Healthy breakfasts can often be quite simple. As simple as some Homemade Artisan Bread topped with mashed avocado (just mash with a fork in a bowl) and topped with poached eggs served with a side of tomato slices. Delicious, pretty and healthy!