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Monday, February 27, 2012

Snowy Day = Messy Fun for the kids!

We got quite a bit of snow.
Which usually means some sort of extra messy project for my two lucky kiddos!

We chose playing in JELL-O for this particular snow day!
I kind of thought this would be VERY fun for the short ones and NOT AT ALL fun for mommy (due to the clean up).
I must say I was pleasantly surprised!
We did sacrifice a few old bath towels but I'm ok with that.

Watching Preston was priceless.
He was having such a good time that any amount of cleaning would have been worth it!

He started off by tasting it, of course.

And then giggled....a lot.

She loved it too!

Peighton did lots of measuring, pouring, dumping, and cooking.

He kept on laughing and eating, then laughing some more!

We did have one minor freak out due to there being a little on his leg.

It was just so fun to watch Preston and see the ideas he was coming up with!

This activity ended with a long swim in the tub!
Everyone was happy.

We will for sure be doing this again on the next snowy/rainy/boring day!
The only thing I would do different is to use lighter colored Jello...but all I had in the pantry was strawberry.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sometimes I make things up...

This was one of those times!

I had seen this bag:

And I loved the braided handles and the large tote style!
Small details really make a bag look fabulous.
I **almost** clicked "Buy" on the site...
but then I started looking at it and thinking about how many bags I have made over the past few years....and decided I could totally do this without a pattern!

So glad I didn't waste the money on the pattern!
It was super easy to cut the basic shape that I wanted.
The handles are just 3 strips braided together so that was easy too!
I'm sure if I had actually boughten the pattern I would have been mad at how simple of a bag it really was.

I made mine very lightweight so it will be easy to pack.
I think the size of it will make a great pool/beach tote or a tote for day trips!
And it's even reversible!

Love when I can just make something up and it actually turns out cute!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Drawstring bag for our blocks

Our zippered bag for blocks recently "sprung a leak" according to Peighton.

It was the cheap bag they came in and it was only a matter of time before it broke.

Good thing I had been thinking about what to put them in once it broke!

A super cute Drawstring bag!

I bought the monkey fabric awhile back and didn't know what to do with it-but this was the perfect project!
It's is some of that laminated fabric which made it slightly stiff and the bag stands up on it's own.

Some orange polka dots were the perfect addition to the monkeys!

Here's my two monkeys who thought they HAD to be in a picture.

I think I'll make a few more and do a quick tutorial because it was super simple and I have already thought of so many more uses for this type of bag!

I think I might make a clear window in the next one so we can see what's inside it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Buttermilk Pancake Mix for the pantry

I love having convenient mixes in my pantry.
Things like pancake mix, pizza dough mix and of course cake mix!
They are so useful when I need to whip something up quickly.

But they seem kind of expensive!

I found THIS RECIPE to try my own buttermilk pancake mix!

My kids really LOVE pancakes!

For the mix, you'll need:
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
2 t baking soda
4 t baking powder
1 t salt

Mix them all together and store in an airtight container.

To make the pancakes:

1 1/2 cups pancake mix
1 T melted butter or oil
2/3 cup water (I added a little bit more because it seemed too thick for me.)

Mix all together and start making your pancakes!

I love that it's just a plain mix because we can mix something different in each time we make them!
Some of our favorites include:
Mini chocolate chips
So many options!

They turned out so good!
Nice fluffly buttermilk pancakes and from a mix!!!!
Good thing there's more of the mix left for another day because my kids LOVED them!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Snacks + Learning = Everybody is happy!

Preston is ALWAYS requesting a "NACK" (aka snack) very loudly. 
I think if I provided a 24 hour buffet he would be quite happy!

Peighton needs things to think letters and numbers and math to keep her from causing trouble.
When snacks and learning combine we are one happy crew!

I came across this activity on pinterest and knew we had to do it!
It's much too hard for Preston but he insists on doing anything Peighton does, so maybe he'll learn a number or two while we do it!

I printed them out and we busted out the goldfish!
Such a simple and easy thing to do with the short ones!

Peighton worked on the addition sheet while Preston and I counted out fish on the simple one here:

We also have a box of the Cheez-It letter crackers that I'm thinking could be fun with something similar!

I'll have to see what I come up with!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skinny Chocolate Chip scones

It's really quite fun baking with Peighton.
She's an excellent egg cracker, dumper, and mixer.
And we talk about math while we bake too!

Today we tried out some Chocolate Chip Scones we found on Pinterest.
We love scones.
Peighton has hot chocolate with hers!

The recipe is from Skinny Taste
There are quite a few other recipes on there I want to try as well!

Skinny Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

  • cooking spray

  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

    Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist.

    Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.

    Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.

    Peighton just gave them "100 thumbs up."
    She's into the number 100 right now...

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    DIY Bathtub paint

    Winter in Iowa seems to bring out the best of the messy projects for me!
    My kids LOVE painting.
    And they love bathtime.

    Combine the two and you have 2 very happy and messy (and clean) kiddos!

    Peighton got some bath paints for Christmas....and quickly used them in one bath session.

    I had pinned this recipe on Pinterest and my friend Erin had made some with her kids.
    So, we decided to make a batch instead of buying more!

    DIY Bath paints recipe
    I didn't really measure anything.
    I poured about 1/2 a bottle of baby shampoo in a bowl and dumped in some cornstarch.
    I divided it into 4 bowls.
    I put 2 drops of food coloring into each and we quickly had pink, purple, turquoise and lime green bath paints!

    Then we went straight to the tub.
    I put them in without water so the paint wouldn't just go into the water.

    He usually does not like things on his hands....and didn't love this at first but he got over it!

    Peighton went right to work creating a masterpiece!
    We also drew letters. numbers and shapes.

    I love a messy little boy!!!!!

    They had a blast.
    Good clean fun at it's best!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Popcicle sticks and velcro

    Another project of things around the house!
    I took popcicle sticks and put velcro onto each end.

    (I saw it on Pinterest but now I can't find the pin to link back to it!)

    We've been building shapes, letters and a bunch of randomness out of them.
    Peighton was making her princesses "walk the plank" that she built!

    I like that it's an open-ended fine motor activity that Preston can do with us.

    I think I am going to expand on it though as Peighton becomes a better reader.
    If I wrote words in the middle of each stick we could put together simple sentences!
    OR I could write numbers on the sticks and make simple equations too-so many ways to do it!

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Chicken Pot Pie Soup

    We tried a new soup for lunch.

    Peighton gave it "5 thumbs up."
    It was pretty good!
    And it didn't have all the fat and calories of a real pot pie because there was no crust.

    I got the recipe from Skinny Taste.
    There are LOTS more recipes on there that I plan to try!


    Chicken Pot Pie Soup
    Gina's Weight Watcher RecipesServings: 9 • Serving Size: 1 cup Old Points: 3 pt Points+: 4 pts
    Calories: 169.2 • Fat: 1.2 g Protein: 18.5 g Carb: 21.2 g Fiber: 2.3 g

    Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 bowl (1-1/2 cups) • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 6 pts
    Calories: 253.8 • Fat: 1.8 g • Protein: 27.7 g • Carb: 31.9 g • Fiber: 3.4 g
    1/4 cup flour (to make gluten-free use 2 tbsp cornstarch instead)
  • 2 cups water 

  • 4 cups fat free milk

  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped

  • 1/2 medium chopped onion

  • 8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms 

  • 2 chicken bouillons

  • fresh ground pepper

  • pinch of thyme

  • 10 oz frozen classic mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed small

  • 16 oz cooked chicken breast, diced small

  • Create a slurry by combining 1/2 cup of the cold water with flour in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

    Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, chicken bullion, thyme, fresh pepper, frozen vegetables and return to a boil. Partially cover and simmer on low until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, and slowly whisk in slurry, stirring well as you add. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until soup thickens, add salt and pepper to taste.


    Friday, February 3, 2012

    New boutique in North Liberty!

    I am very excited that there is a new boutique opening very soon here in North Liberty!

    There is of course going to be lots of cute clothing and baby items from the Posh Petunia in it!

    But what I am most excited about is that the majority of the store is going to be locally, handmade stuff!
    What a great idea for a store.

    I love to buy unique handmade things for myself as well as gifts for others.
    She is planning on opening it mid-February.
    I can't wait!

    Here are some of the things I finished up yesterday for this super cute boutique:

    It's really just the tip of the iceberg though!

    Stay tuned for more details!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Mickey Mouse Cinnamon Rolls!

    As each day passes we get closer and closer to our trip to meet Mickey!

    Peighton is very excited (and so am I!)

    For breakfast this morning we made Mickey Mouse Cinnamon Rolls!

    So easy and Peighton was very impressed!

    All you need is:
    1 can pillsbury cinnamon rolls

    I unrolled 2 of the rolls and rolled them back together as one to make the face part of Mickey.
    Then stuck 2 ears on top.
    Bake for 12 minutes and frost.

    Preston tends to dig in no matter what is served!

    Peighton had 2 ears for breakfast and we talked about all the things we are going to do while at Disney!

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Sight words and clothes pins

    Once a teacher....always a teacher.

    Peighton has been working on sight words at school lately.
    She also loves to spell just about any word she can think of.
    I am in a 24 hour spelling bee around here.

    I saw a version of this on Pinterest but it required a bunch of printing...and we're about out of ink.
    So, we just made our own and I think they are pretty cute!
    We gathered up a bunch of stickers (good thing we have a LOT of stickers at our house!).
    I also dug up some plain note cards and clothes pins.
    (love a project that I have all the supplies for!!!!)

    I made lots of cute cards with the stickers and the word.
    Then I wrote each letter onto the bottom of the clothespin.

    Now, Peighton has to spell the word with the clothes pins!

    I also did some words that don't have a picture, such as: is, the at, for, of, that, with, etc.
    She is working on these sight words at school and I thought it would be good practice to reinforce them at home!

    I love that this activity combines letters, words AND fine motor skills!
    Peighton tells me it's fun too. ;-)