Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gift Bag: $0

Empty boxes
Wrapping Paper

Cut the tabs off the box and start wrapping your paper of choice.
With a hole punch, punch two holes of each side string your ribbon through and knot on the inside.
A gift box for any party and it cost $0. 

I am not sure the link is working but I shared the idea at: Full of Great Ideas: $0 Budget Party

Activity: Hammering

An easy activity to do with little ones and great practice for hand-eye coordination.
block of Styrofoam (the white kind doesn't crumble as easily but I already had this one on hand)
plastic/toy hammer
large head nails or golf tees (I would have normally used gold tees but couldn't find them)

Noah hammered away for quite awhile and there was very little mess or prep.  Pretty easy activity.  If you have older ones let them use a scrap of wood, nails and a small hammer.  Just watch out for those little fingers and you might not want them hammering on your dining room table.
If your little one has their own tool belt that would be a fun addition to role play a carpenter/handy man!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dresser Redo

 I have seen this idea several times out in blogland and fell in love with the idea instantly and I was never really happy with how I painted the dresser before Noah was born so Noah's dresser got a redo.
It really was an easy redo after we got the dresser painted.  I measured the drawers and cut the maps with about an inch overlap, to wrap around the sides.  I used Modge Podge to adhere the maps to the dresser fronts and the pulls were original to dresser that we had saved.  So really my only expense was the paint!

 I used maps of places (states and cities) that we have lived.  So Noah and I have fun time finding those places on the maps.

I did the dresser redo in Noah's room, made new curtains and put a new cover on the chair.  I wanted to replace the carpet with a new one and put the green rug in the nursery but Noah wasn't willing to give that up for his little brother so it is what it is.  I am happy with how it has all turned out.  The chair cover is temporary.  To be honest with myself I don't have the slightest clue about where to start with a whole upholstery job and I don't want to pay for it.

What the dresser originally looked like - the colors were horrible.  I can not pick out paint colors - I can picture it all in my head but when it comes to finding that paint chip that matches what I am envisioning I totally lose it.  The pulls had jungle animals on them.

Here is the chair original color, which was actually in pretty good shape I just wasn't too into the 70's orange.  Someday I will get the upholstery done the right way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Day: Freezer Paper Stencil

I have seen the idea all over blog land and I finally gave it a try.  I have been holding on to a t-shirt of Noah's because it still fits him but he had gotten a big grease stain on the front and I just knew I could save the shirt somehow. Check out what I came up with:

It was super simple and I am happy with how it turned out being my first attempt.  
For the Shamrock:
I simply found a shamrock clip art in Microsoft Word, printed it on cardstock, cut it out to make a pattern and traced it onto my freezer paper.  *Remember shiny side down.
For the 'No Pinching':
I used my Cricut and Lyrical Letters font, I cut a piece of freezer paper to fit on my mat and let the Cricut do the work for me.
Once I had my stencils ready I ironed shiny side down to the shirt and painted with acrylic paints.  I let the shamrock dry over night and then ironed on the 'no pinching' on painted and let dry.  It was super easy and I plan on doing more freezer paper stenciling.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Octopus for Lunch!?!?

A blog that I check almost daily is Shannon's What's for Lunch at Our House she makes some fun and creative Bento lunches for her two kiddos and Noah and I try out an idea every now and again, we just wanted to share our muffin tin lunch with you.

hot dog cut to look like an octopus, strawberries, cubed string cheese, pretzels, pumpkin doughnut muffins Noah loved the surprise and thought it was so funny to tell his Dad that he had octopus for lunch!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Can I just say YUM-O.  
I found this little recipe in a magazine and I just had to try it out.  Our little guy will go for anything that has doughnut in the description, okay I'll admit so will I!

for the batter:
10 T. unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the pan
3 cups flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (I used a 15 oz. can)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs

for the sugar coating:
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour muffin cups.  Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture (alternating a couple spoonfuls at a time).  Beat to combine.
2) Spoon into muffin cups and bake until toothpick comes out clean.  Meanwhile, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and melt butter in another bowl.  Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Working with one at a time, remove muffins and brush all over with butter, then toss in sugar mixture.  Store in an airtight container, up to 1 day.

** To freeze:  freeze muffins after cooling for up to 3 months.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven, then coat in butter and sugar.

Recipe says is make 12 muffins and to bake for approx. 30 minutes.
I made mini muffins and it made 55 mini muffins and I baked them for 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Family Night

Recently a friend posted on her blog a fun idea to shake off those winter blues and do something a little out of the ordinary for the kids and let's face it for us parents too!  So I decided to make/compile a list of ideas for a Family Evening together.
  • Camping
    • The whole family can camp out on the living/family room floor: pillows, sleeping bags, we have even pitched our tent in our living room, don't forget you flashlights and pj's
    • String some white Christmas lights around the ceiling fan for star gazing.
    • Serve hot dogs, make s'mores in the oven (place graham crackers on a cookie sheet, add chocolate chips and mini marshmellows cook until melted)
    • Tell/read stories and/or play a board game
    • Go on a bear hunt around the house. (Have you read the book?  Check out this Youtube video with the song)  Hide a child's stuffed bear, pack a flashlight and don't forget your camera and lead the way as you imagine going through a field or tall grass, swimming across a river, stomping through the mud and then finding a dark cave.  
    • Night at the Drive In Movies (I saw this idea  for custom cars in a Family Fun magazine about a year ago, and I thought it was way cute - but we haven't made any...YET)
    • Family Potluck
      • Let each member of the family choose a food/dish to bring to the 'potluck' (dinner) before hand and get the groceries you need for the night.  Younger kiddos will need help in the kitchen preparing their dishes.  Don't worry if the kiddos just decide to make sweets you and your hubby can pick up the nutritional slack.
      • American Idol
        • Compete with song and/or dance, each members votes for their favorite.  
        • You may have a Wii with Glee or other music/dance games, or maybe you have a karaoke machine, if not let each member of the family make their own microphone.
        • If this family night is a favorite and the kiddos want to have a rematch you could also, as a family, create a trophy or medal for the winner.
        • Don't forget to dress up like a STAR!!
      If I think of anymore I will be sure to post them!!  Have fun spending time together.

        Wednesday, March 2, 2011

        March Menu

        That's right I made a menu for the entire month!!!  Plus did a HUGE shopping trip and I will only have to go to the store to get fresh produce and dairy - I did buy some produce for the month and already chopped it and froze it for upcoming meals.  I am excited about my planning, and it makes me much more comfortable when counting down the weeks/days until baby arrives.  Here you go...I do have a few days to fill in but I figure there will be a couple of eating out nights and that would move those meals later into the month so it all works out.

        1 - Chicken Enchiladas (already made and in the freezer, here is the recipe)
        2 - Leftovers
        3 - Slow Cooker Pulled Pork w/ BBQ (similar to what Kerry at What Am I Cooking?, check it out)
        4 - Shredded Pork Tacos
        5 - Homemade Chicken Nuggets
        6 - Ham
        7 - Salsa, Beans and Rice Quesadillas (Meatless Monday)
        8 - Leftovers
        9 - Sausage and Peppers
        10 - Taco Soup
        11 - Beef Stir Fry
        12 - 'Dressed Up' Rice a Roni (using a box of Chicken Rice a Roni I add cut up chicken, carrots and peas)
        13 - Pine Nut Chicken Parmesan
        14 - Cheesy Rigatoni (Meatless Monday)
        15 - Leftovers
        16 - Meatloaf
        17 - Chicken Salad
        18 - Pizza
        19 - Saloman
        20 - Out
        21 - Fried Rice (Meatless Monday)
        22 - Lemony Garlic Chicken Thighs
        23 - Leftovers
        24 - Chicken Pot Pie
        25 - Sloppy Joes
        26 -
        27 -
        28 -
        29 -
        30 -
        31 -

        Some Sweets for the Month:
        Fruit Turnovers (another freezer friendly recipe)
        Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
        Bran Muffins (this makes a huge recipe and you can keep the mix in your fridge for up to 6 weeks and make them as you want/need)