Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hanukkah Candle Candy

This is a super simple activity that is completely adored by my girls.  We have also made these chocolate covered pretzel rods and called them magic wands for several Harry Potter parties.  In the past we have used white chocolate chips or melting candy and blue sprinkles for Israel.  This year we just went with what we had in the cubbard.

What You Need:
-  pretzel rods
-  chocolate chips or melting chocolate
-  sprinkles and/or other toppings (shredded coconut, small candies, chocolate chips, etc)
-  waxed paper or parchment paper
-  cookie sheet

What You Do:
-  Place waxed paper or parchment paper onto a cookie sheet
-  Dump the whole bag of chocolate chips into a small to medium pot
-  Heat on low to medium low.  Stir often.  Be careful not to let it burn. 
-  After chocolate has melted, dip a pretzel rod into the chocolate.  Use a spoon to place melted chocolate up higher on pretzel. 
-  Place pretzel on cookie sheet
-  Let kids go crazy putting sprinkles or other toppings on pretzels
-  Place in tray in fridgerator for a short amount of time until the chocolate has set
-  Done!

Take Care!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chrismukkah Countdown

Chrismukkah?  What is it?  It is a the merry mishmash holiday for children and grown children from religiously confused families.  One parent a Christian, one parent a Jew?  Feel an internal struggle at the holidays?  Perhaps I will ire people on both sides.  For that I am very sorry.  But please, don't judge.  Maybe this quote from the O.C. will help: 

Seth:  So what's it going to be, huh? Do you want your menorah or candy cane? Hm? Hanukkah or Christmas?
Ryan: Uh...
Seth: Uh uh. Don't worry about it, buddy. Because in this house you don't have to choose. Allow me to introduce you to a little something that I like to call Chrismukkah.
Ryan: Chrismukkah?
Seth: That's right. It's the new holiday Ryan, and it's sweeping the nation.

Ok.  So with any big holiday, we have to have a countdown.  So this is what we are doing at our happy house:

Each loop has an activity that we will do as a family that day.  I just reused Christmas and Hanukkah wrapping paper. 

These are our activities:

1.  Holiday festival in town
2.  Go to a gymnastics meet
3.  Decorate the tree
4.  Make Hanukkah "candles" - pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles
5. Get hot chocolate and drive around to look at holiday lights
6.  Play Hanukkah bingo
7.  Make Hanukkah cards
8.  Make a Hanukkah crown
9.  Make onion rings (to meet the "fried" element representing the oil in the temple)
10.  Play dreidel
11.  Make holiday cookies
12.  Get hot chocolate and drive around to look at holiday lights
13.  Decorate cookies
14.  Make ornaments 
15.  Go see Winnie the Pooh play
16.  Go to eat fancy brunch and see spectacular Christmas trees at Herbert Hoover presidential library/museum
17.  Make gingerbread houses
18.  Make holiday candy
19.  Get hot chocolate and drive around to look at holiday lights
20.  Sing holiday songs
21.  Watch a holiday movie
22.  Take treats to neighbors
23.  Make snowflakes
24.  Watch Polar Express
25.  Christmas

-  I had to pick activities that I could pull off during the 1.5 - 2 hrs between us getting home at the end of the day during the week and Ladybug going to bed.  I put the holiday lights activity on for the nights that girls  have dance and gymnastics until 8 pm.  We would not have time on those nights to do a more elaborate activity.  

What kind of activities do you do?  Anyone else do the loops?  I think I may have gotten that idea from Family Fun 10 years ago.  

Take Care,


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy Bracelet Gift!

What you need:

(This is called floral wire.  I found it at the Dollar Tree.  I was initially worried it would turn my skin green or something.  That did not happen.  So I made one for someone else and her skin did not turn green either.  So I think it is okay.  I also found some different types of floral wire jewelry through Google.)

What You Do:
 -  Make a loop/circle big enough to slip over your hand and fit your wrist comfortably.  Wrap the end of the wire around the circle.
 -  Keep wrapping the long wire around the circle.  I keep the big end of the wire in the loop it came it and smush it flatish so that I can pull it in and out of my bracelet circle.
-  Keep going.  I start out putting some distance in the                                        wrapping around the bracelet. 

-  Keep going around.  I wrap the wire around the bracelet a second time.  The second time I increase the times I wrap around.  I also fill in the spots from the first time.  There is less space between the wraps.

 -  After the second time around.  I go ahead and just wrap the wire around over the spot where I started.  I then cut the wire leaving a short tail that I can kinda tuck underneath. 
 -  Done!!!  I often make two bracelets from one package of wire.  That makes a .50 bracelet!  Not bad!  Would be a cute gift add-on.  Wire also comes in different colors.  I have made a set of them before as a gift.

-  Sorry about my bad pics.  :(  I know that I really need to get better.  I also am going to put learning HTML as a goal for 2013. 

Take Care,


Monday, December 3, 2012

Bubble Pop Walk Activity

The Bubble Pop Walk is actually an activity that my mother and Grandpa David came up with when I was little.  My Grandpa even once had giant bubble wrap that was so big we used a broom handle to pop the bubbles.  I just taped a strip down on the kitchen floor.  Ladybug and I hopped, ran, and danced on the bubble paper.  Ladybug loved this project and it kept  her entertained for a little bit.

(yes, my house was kinda messy like that!  :(   )


Friday, November 30, 2012

Letter Necklace

This is a project that was inspired by the Ladybug.  So she is obsessed by doggies and puppies.  Has more stuffed animal doggies than real doggies at our local animal shelter.  And that of the next two counties over.  IT IS EPIC.  Right now she also really likes learning about letters.  She really likes these letter tiles and has been pulling out all the D's.  D for doggie and for her name, Diva.  She has actually been going to sleep with a little D tile in her little fist.  Wow - right?  So she was misplacing all the little D's and I was in fear of the day we could not find a D.  So necessity prompted this project.  I think this would also make a great stocking stuffer!

What You Need:
-  a letter tile (ours came from an old spelling game)
-  a round bail plate (the little silver disky thing)
-  glue gun
-  some type of cord (or whatever you want to hang it on)

What I Did:
-  I measured against Ladybug how long I needed the cord to be.  I then cut it to that length.
-  I just used the hot glue to stick the tile to the bail plate. 
- Then I threaded the cord through the loop on top of the bail plate.
-  Finally I tied a knot on top.  I put a bit of the hot glue in the knot for extra strength.
-  DONE!!!

SAFETY -  This is obviously a possible choking hazard.  So if you child puts things in his/her mouth a lot, this may not be a good idea.  Also you may want to be careful about the cord.  I asked daycare to take the necklace off before she went outside or took her nap.

Just 2 More Thoughts:
- This is my first attempt at blogging.  I need to learn more.  My goal for this comming year is to learn HTML.  So please, pardon my lack of style and such.
-  I planned on blogging more this week but the week has gotten away from me.  But please tune back Saturday and Sunday for some holiday gift ideas and a fun kid idea.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Green Friday

So we rocked Green Friday.  We just did a few homemade projects and watched part of a movie on sustainability.  We wore our pj's all day.  We stayed inside where it was was warm.  Green Friday is our kick-off to the holiday season. 

I will be including more information about the projects we completed.  And better pictures but here is some information if you want to get started.

The gold crown is a salt dough ornament.  Please see the tutorial here from Delighted Momma.  The Ladybug must have made a dozen of these ornaments.  I also made a keepsake of her hand (I will show the picture later).  This was a really easy project that kept the Ladybug entertained for a long time.  I think the ornaments will look great attached to presents and on trees!

The cardboard ornaments on the side are from a book.  I will get that information to you soon.

Another thing I wanted to do is spend time on Friday talking to Loki about reusing what we have and our impact on the environment.  I am going to put a disclaimer up later - but I am not the most green person ever.  I drive a small SUV (but I am getting a more fuel efficient or hybrid car next time).  Ladybug uses disposable diapers.  I didn't go to any Black Friday sales, but I really did not need to go.  The girls did not need more movies.  We do not need a new game system.  My computer is going to quit eventually, but I decided to wait.  We have the luxury to have a Green Friday and reflect on sustainability, etc.  I just want to raise children that are aware and good citizens of the world. 

To promote our learning we attempted to watch No Impact Man.

This is a really interesting movie.  You get to see how a family cuts out just about all consumer goods including toilet paper and energy.  They actually cut off the power to their apartment!  However, the parents use language that if Loki repeated, she would be grounded forever.  And ever!  So we shut this one off pretty fast. 

However, Loki and I did watch this movie recently which she seemed to relate to better.  This was a very positive movie about two people who have a contest to see who can throw out the least amount of garbage in a year and not purchase anything.  (There are some pictures of dead birds that Loki said were "disturbing.")



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Green Friday Is Tomorrow!!!
We have been working on a tradition the last several years of not shopping on Black Friday, but making gifts instead.  We try to upcycle items into crafts.  I am not the greenest out there by far, but this is something my family does.  So tomorrow, I will have a list of our Green Friday craft projects.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving.!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Glitter Nails

Glitter Nails

Yup.  It is official.  Glitter is everywhere this season.  Went to Target this evening and there were so many cute glittery accessories in the girl's section.  So many inspired projects to make!  I got this glitter nail idea from Henry Happened.  Wow!  So brilliant!  Se easy!  So flippin' cute!  Please try to check out this idea and others at Henry Happened. 

I thought it was a perfect project for Loki to try out with her sleepover with her bff, Dragonfly.  Glitter and nail polish - yuppers, perfect for 12 year old girls. 

This is how it turned out!

Take Care,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Said Momma Saturday

It was just me and the Ladybug today.  So these are the things that we did: 

We did some jelly bean sorting.  She really liked this and kept asking for more beans.  When I told her were going to do a project with jelly beans, she asked "Beans made out of jelly?"  We eat a lot of kidney, black, and garbanzo beans around here.  I found this and other ideas for small motor and cognitive development activities from Hands On: As We Grow.

We also tried to make a bracelet out of jelly beans.  (I found an old package from the spring in the pantry).  I had difficulty getting the needle through the beans.  So I had Ladybug hand me beans and tell me the name of the colors.  I found this idea over here at A Thrify Mom.

We also made these bird treats.  Loki had made them a few weeks ago so Ladybug and I thought we should give it a try.  Was a very easy project.  It involved a lot of spooning the seed mixture into the cookie cutter, which is a good 2 yro activity.  I think we might make these as Christmas gifts.  I am going to put one out to see if the birds fancy it.  I found this activity over at eighteen 25.
We also took a walk to the playground.  Ladybug seemed to enjoy the swings which she has not wanted to really try in the past.  It was a great, busy day.  Picking up the Loki from Bubbe's house today.  May catch a movie with the girls. 
Finally, here is Selkie!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I just wanted to wish everyone a happy election day! My little family worked hard on the campaign but not nearly as much as others. I am especially proud of my mom who works hard on every campaign.  It was a really good experience for us to learn about the process but also meet different types of people that live in our neighborhood. I feel really positive that now we can move forward with hard work to make change for ourselves and our community.

So we had to do a little something for today.

So we had some election outfits:


We also had some election treats.  Anna decorated some pumpkin muffins.

Anna followed along with the poll results on this map:

And here is a Selkie picture.  Not sure what her thoughts are about the campaign.  I hope to have a meaningful conversation with her on Sunday.  I am also sending out a prayer for K and N to come home safely.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best Halloween Ever

Right now the key phrase in our house is "best ever."  That is the Ladybug's favorite expression.  Yesterday she told me I was not the best ever when she was sent to time out.  So today was the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!

Of course, I tried a new recipe!  As part of our post trick-or-treating Halloween feast, we had chocolate fondue.  I was intimidated.  So I found the easiest recipe on the web here.  We used marshmallows and balls of frozen chocolate cookie dough for dippers.  Crazy good. 

We watched Vampire Dog.  I recommend this movie highly because both my girls were totally into it. 

Katniss from Hunger Games
A princess
And of course, Selkie!
Catch you later!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Chicken Soup For Slackers

Yup.  Homemade chicken soup for slackers.  Because I needed a quick-n-dirty recipe for soup.  I truly believe that chicken soup can cure the world.  I have threatened to make my kids eat chicken soup weekly to stave off illness.  After recovering from a terrible cold that hit me and the Ladybug, I think I will consider making good on that threat this year.

So here it is:

-  1 can chicken broth
-  2 frozen/fresh chicken breasts
-  noodles, cooked
-  frozen peas or any other randome frozen veggies

What You Do:
-  Put the chicken broth and 2 cans of water in large pot.
-  Put checken breast in broth/water and heat on medium heat until bubbling.
-  Turn down heat to med low, like 3. 
-  Let cook for approximately 20 minutes.  Chicken is done when cooked through and tender. 
-  Add noodles and peas.
-  Cook another 5 minutes.

-  Done.  Return to the couch to watch cartoons.

Monday, October 29, 2012

This Weekend

Our goal numero uno was getting everyone back on their feet.  Ladybug was sick with asthma.  But she mended and we were finally able to go on an outing to the library and the playground on Sunday.

So what did we do, stuck at home as we were?

We tried a pin for slime/flubber.  We started dissolving an egg in vinegar and read some interesting info on that chemical reaction as well as osmosis and such.  We made treats for the birds too.  Finally we finished Sunday with a big bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, the slacker version.  All full descriptions and pics to come later on this week.

We also made play dough from strawberry jello.  This was totally brillant.  The color is pretty.  The smell is wonderful, not that weird salt or chemical smell.  It was very soft and pliable.  I even mixed in some glitter because what else goes with pink?  You can find it here:

Ok, and here is today's Selkie pic.  She was feeling a bit arty today.  A little film noir, if you will. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fire & Ice

I am actually going to start with the ice part.  My sister is actually iced in at Palmer Station, Antartica.  She was supposed to be home at the end of October but the boat that came to get got stuck.  Wow, right?  She will have to be there an extra 30 days!  So, I am not sure if she will be able to read my blog a lot because she has limited internet time but I am going to try to post almost everyday to give her a glimpse of what we are doing back here in Iowa. 

Okay, for the fire part.  I made "Girl on Fire" nails for Loki to go with her Katniss costume.  She is still obsessed with all things Hunger Games.  When Ladybug saw the nails she said, "Oh.  Pretty nails.  Let me see.  Let is shine!" 

I have always looked at those super fancy nails on Pinterest and thought no flippin' way.  But these were super easy! 

-  I painted 3/4ths of the nail black
-  Then I added orange to the top 1/4th
-  I then painted yellow flames over the tops
(I let each color dry between coats).



This is my sister's dog.  We miss you, K! 

Till Next Time - See You On the Flip Side! 


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bagel Sandwiches - Super Yum!

I saw some different types of breakfast sandwiches on the web.  I decided to give it a try.  Any way to make a hot breakfast easy in the morning.  We are generally not good in the morning.  So this seemed ideal. 

I started here: 

(I really liked his tutorial!  Pictures are great and he is funny.)

But I used bagels instead of English muffins.  It worked well for us.  I also used sliced cheese instead of shredded.  We did not add anything to the eggs this time but would next time.  This is the final product:

This was a total success! 

Till later,


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Easy Summer Toddler Activity Idea #1

Washin' Dishes

- This is an easy to set up good-for-the-kid sensory activity.  And finally a use for that old baby tub in my garage.  Just a few squirts of baby soap for bubbles, a dish rag, and some dishes from the play kitchen and we were ready to go.  This is a good exploratory activity.  And may keep him or her entertained for a bit.  Especially good for a hot day.  Could also wash cars or babies or whatever.  As you can see, this was a hit with the Ladybug and LuLu dog. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Wind Down

Yay!  Long weekends rule.  So this is a wind down of our week and weekend.  I will try to post any different activities we try over the weekend.  Recipes too.  Because I work all week, most of the special activities I do with the bugs is on the weekends.  So cut the chit chat cathy and get to the point.

This weekend -

We made frozen yogurt blueberries.   To find out how go  here.  Found this sight through Pinterest.  It is called - The Caffeinated Chronicles of a Supermom.  (Love that).  So easy and awesome.  Loki who usually will not eat Greek yogurt - no matter how much this momma begs, ate a ton and asked for more.

Mustache you if ya love this?  So we made these awesome mustaches.  Again found on Pinterest.  Came from this awesome blog - Easy Makes Me Happy.  Try it.  All I can say.  Brilliant, cheap, easy, fast.  Who doesn't love that?  Espeically since the Loki's best friend came to visit from out of state and is totally diggin' pretend mustaches. 

Worked hard on the garden.  Radishes are really taking off.

We had a D.E.A.R - Drop Everything And  Read afternoon.  For more information on D.E.A.R go to    Books and popcorn are magic in this house. 

 Ladybug and Loki spent time yelling down to the Mantis through the spaces in the upstairs.  Meanwhile, all the poor man was trying to do was transplant our tomato plants on the patio below.  Ha ha.  This just cracked me up.  Also, Ladybug kept yelling down to him through the spaces - when he was up on the deck next to her. 


We went to our local children's museum.  I had totally forgotten how much fun and discovery waited for the bugs there.  May get a membership! 

That is just a few ways we had a fabulous weekend.  Hope you did too!