Jul 30, 2013

Ladybug Holders

Have you been looking for a fun and easy craft to make with your little ones?  Last week in arts and crafts class we made adorable ladybugs.  They were easy and the kids really liked them.  They enjoyed the fact that they were on sticks and could pick them up and play with them!

Here is what you need:
Red and black paint
Paper plate
Googly eyes
Black construction paper
Popsicle stick

I made this craft with 3-5 year olds.  Many of my little ones don't have much experience with using scissors and get easily frustrated by the process.  I decided to help them out and get the ladybugs started.  Here is what I did before they began:

I got the paper plate and glued a popsicle stick to the bottom.  It was a little flimsy until the glue dried completely, and then it was nice and sturdy.  Then, I took a piece of construction paper and cut out a triangular bottom that came to a point and went up.  I glued that down to the paper plate. Next, I cut a circular head and glued it to the plate.  

Then, I gave the kids red paint and let them have at it!  Yes, some did get on the black construction paper, but not much.  They were adorable anyways!  After the paint dried, we took a finger and dipped it into black paint and added the spots.  

After the spots, we glued on the antennae and legs.  Finally, we put on the eyes!  There you have it...it's easy and fun.  A sure kid pleaser!   I got some inspiration on Pinterest for different ladybugs but nothing specific, I kind of took a few ideas and my own to put it together!  

Tomorrow I have a delicious recipe to share, come on by! 

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Jul 29, 2013

Hair Bows Part 2

Good Morning everyone!  I can't even believe how fast weekends go, and I really can't believe how fast this summer is going....craaazy!  Well, I'm excited for another great week and hopefully more sunshine and some warm weather too!

Back in May I shared a tutorial on making really cute mini bows.  I love the mini bows, especially now for Harper's hair.  I'm trying to grow out her bangs so they are always in her face.  The mini bows are a great way to pull them aside in a cute way (when she will keep them in).

As much as I love the mini bows I was really interested in making larger bows too.  I have to admit I tend to love the big, gaudy bows, haha!  I have found a lot of tutorials online and a lot of them seem really complicated, I'm not into complicated crafting (usually).  Then I found this youtube video.  It is basically my minibows x2.  It was a really easy to understand well-made video on how to make a larger bow.  These bows are not very gaudy at all, but perfect for a little something extra in the hair.

I really love making the bows too, something about it is relaxing!  I plan to make a bunch for the craft show my mom and I are involved in coming up this December!

Here is how they turned out:

Have a great Monday and come back tomorrow for Tasty Tuesday!

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Jul 28, 2013

Toddler Game and Journaling

Hello and happy Sunday!  I'm so excited to have no real plans today, just spending time with my two loves!  It has been a nice weekend!  Last night Matt and I tried a new (to us) local bar, who doesn't love bar food?  It was pretty tasty and then we got to see a movie!  It has been too long since we had a date night; it is always nice to get a break from life!  

Yesterday was rainy and we didn't have any plans during the day, so Harper and I stayed home.  We watched movies and played games all day.  I discovered Harper LOVES to play hide and seek.  I took one of her toys and began hiding it around the family room.  She had to find where I put the puppy each time.  She loved playing this game.  I taught her to run to the kitchen while I hid the dog. Surprisingly she did it really well, she waited until I called her to come back, then she would find it. She really liked looking for it, and I would give her clues if she got stuck!  You could use anything really.  I picked a dog because she loves dogs. 







She really loved this!!

I also wanted to share an idea for your little ones.  Although you really could start it at any age.  One of my good friends got me a journal when I was pregnant with Harper.  She told me she wrote down all kinds of fun memories for her daughter, and she started it when she was born.  I have been journaling once a week (most of the time) since she was born.  Although, when she was a newborn I did it every day because there was so much to share.  I want her to know as much as she can about her little life.  My mom has always told me she wishes she could have asked her mom questions about certain things (her mom passed away years ago).  I decided to include as much as I could about my pregnancy and about myself too. Things that I think Harper might like to know later on in life.  It will hopefully be something she enjoys pulling out and reading as she gets older.  I can't wait to share it with her.  I already enjoy looking back and reading entries from when she was first born!  

Have a happy Sunday and I will be back tomorrow with a fun hair bow tutorial!  

Jul 25, 2013

Friday Finds!

It seems like forever since I have done my Friday finds.  I'm excited to share a few things today!  I'm also excited because it is finally Friday!!  Woohoo, this is my favorite day of the week!  The weekend is about to start and life is good!

Up first is something totally cute and really sweet!  My mom and sister were recently shopping at the Christmas Tree Shop.  Who has one close by?  Well they don't actually sell real Christmas trees; I'm sure around Christmas they sell the fake ones though.  They sell a random assortment of things.  Most of which is pretty affordable and useful!  Anyways, they happened to find a princess tent for Harper. It is in the shape of a castle, it's pink and purple, and it is fit for any little princess (or fussy princess in my case)!  Plus, it was only around $15.00, which in my book is a pretty good deal for something like this!  Harper can have hours of fun reading and playing in the tent now!

The next find comes from Michaels.  Holy deals!!  I don't know what was going on at Michaels on Monday but they were having amazing deals!  I got two, not just one, but TWO 16 by 20 inch paint canvases for $3.99.  Yes, that is pretty much the deal of the century for those things!  I have no idea what I will use them for, but I'm going to have fun making something so cheap!  They had tons of other things on sale, jar candles were like a dollar, kids crafting supplies, and the list goes on.  I even left with a few Christmas presents!  So run over to Michaels and hopefully the sales are still going on!

Finally, I have a Flashback Friday Find.  I don't know if I have ever mentioned I have a DVD addiction.  I'm truly addicted to buying DVDs.  Which hey, it could be worst, right?!  I particularly love buying DVDs for Harper now.  I have a HUGE Disney collection going; I'm kind of obsessed with all things Disney!  Anyway, I recently found some oldies that I used to LOVE on Amazon and I had to pick them up for myself Harper!  If you haven't seen either I would recommend both.  

Troop Beverly Hills and Tom and Huck.  Tom and Huck might be a little scary for little ones, but who didn't love Jonathan Taylor Thomas back in the day!  Both were only a few bucks on Amazon!  Both were also as good as I remember them!

Happy Friday everyone!  I will see you Sunday! 

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Pizza Hutish Pizza

There is nothing I really love more in this world than a pizza.  I don't care what kind it is, if it has cheese I'm good to go!  Although I also like onions, mushrooms, and banana peppers too!  I have been on the hunt for a good pizza recipe to pin and then I saw it, Copy Cat Pizza Hut Pan Pizza!  Oh my word, if I could get pizza that I make to taste anything like Pizza Hut then my life is pretty much complete!

So last night I set out to see if I could make this copy cat pizza.  I realized after the process that I wanted to make a few alterations.  I'll mention those along the way!

Ingredients for the crust:
1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk (I got a single serving which was a lot cheaper than buying a box)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 package of dry yeast
1 1/3 cup of warm water (105 degrees f)  *I microwaved mine in a pyrex measuring bowl
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (for the dough)
4 cups of all-purpose flour
**Recipe called for 6 tbsp. veggie oil, 3 for each cake pan....6 was way too much.  I used 1 tbsp. oil per pan and coated each in butter flavored cooking spray (Not the healthiest, but it was a treat)

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 8oz can of tomato sauce (the recipe called for low sodium, I used regular)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 garlic salt
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Click on the link above for directions on how to make the pizza!!  *The only thing I would suggest that I would do differently next time is to cook the crust a little bit before topping it.  My crust turned out a little runny and it would have been great if I just cooked it before hand.  

I can't wait to try it again!  This would be great for a Friday night dinner after a long work week!  

Before the oven!

After the oven! 

Stop by tomorrow for Friday finds!! 

Jul 24, 2013

Hawaiian Leis and Noodle Necklaces

We have been busy crafters at camp lately!  We made 2 fun and different necklaces last week.  The kiddos really loved making each necklace.  We made the noodle necklaces with the younger kids and the leis with the older kids.  Both were easy to make and cheap too!

Hawaiian Leis 
What you need:
*Pre-cut foam flowers (if you have lots of patience, you could cut out flowers)
*Hole puncher
*Colorful straws (a box from Walmart was 90 some cents)
*String or yarn (I used black yarn)

How we did it:
Cut up straws into inch or so pieces.
Hole punch the middle of all the foam flowers.
Cut a piece of string the length you would like the necklace to be.
Now comes assembling time!  Alternate the straws and flowers.
Here you go, have fun at your next luau!  *I didn't want to show you pictures of the kids wearing them without parent approval, but trust me they looked adorable on!

My inspiration came from: Hawaiian Leis

Noodle Necklaces:
What you need:
*Food coloring
*Rubbing Alcohol
*Noodles-I used rigatoni noodles
*Plastic Bags
*Cookie Sheet
*Wax Paper
*String or yarn-I used black yarn 

How we did it:
First, to add something extra special to the necklaces, I dyed the noodles.  This was fun and pretty easy.  I actually had Harper help me dye them.  Get a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and squirt in some rubbing alcohol (no precise measurements, a few tablespoons maybe).  
Then, add about 6-7 squirts of food coloring (your choice).
Mix the rubbing alcohol and food coloring around and then dump in a handful of noodles.  (I found only doing a handful at a time gave the brightest color).
Then, mix the noodles and food coloring around for a minute or so.  
When done, lay wax paper on a cookie sheet and lay all the noodles to dry.  
Finally, assemble the necklaces.  Again, I don't have pictures of the kids but I will share pictures of the noodles.  They turned out bright and fun!  The kids were really proud of them too!  

There you have it!  Creative, easy, and cheap summer fun for your kiddos!  Stop by tomorrow for a dinner idea!  Thanks for stopping by, happy hump day!  

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Jul 22, 2013

Monday Catch Up

Hello blogging world.  I know I said I was going to try to get back last week but life got in the way.  I also know I have been saying that a lot lately...sorry!  I didn't want to say what was really going on until I knew one way or another.  Well... unfortunately  I don't have good news to report.  I have spent the last 3 weeks or so interviewing for teaching jobs.  I had two interviews in Pittsburgh (for one district) and three here in Erie (for another district).  I made it to the performance interview for each.  That is the interview that you actually teach a small group of children while the interview team watches.  Well, that being said I have spent hours (that is not an exaggeration either) preparing for all 5 interviews, the performance ones took the most prep.  In the middle of all of that I have been working on two different masters classes and taking care of Harper.  I have had NO TIME at all for life.  Last weekend I literally spent the whole weekend (all day and night both Saturday and Sunday) preparing for interviews.  Because of that, I got really far behind on school work and house work.  Therefore, I spent this past week catching up on all of that.  I don't mean to go on forever, and I'm also not trying to complain at all.  I just want to be honest and let you all know why I haven't been around. I'm really not trying to make excuses either, it has been CRAZZZY!  I was so thankful to spend this past weekend catching up on housework and quality time with my baby girl and family!

I wish I could say that I had been offered a job for either of the two positions.  I guess neither were meant to be.  God has a plan, I just don't know it yet!  I'm okay with it, but I'm definitely ready for someone to take a chance on me again!  I know when the time is right, and the school is right, I will have a job once again!  Until then I will focus on all the extra time I wouldn't normally have if I had my own classroom, and spend it with Harper!

Here is a look into what we have been up to lately...

I took Harper to her first amusement park.  We just rode a few rides to test it out.  She LOVED it! 

This was from the Frog Hopper, they told everyone to stick up their hands so they could pull the lap bar down, I love this picture!  This was the only ride she wasn't totally thrilled about.  It went up and dropped down (not too high though)!

Yesterday we spent the day with our wonderful friends from NC, which we miss dearly!!  They were up visiting family in Pittsburgh, so we all met up and went to the Children's Museum.  We were excited to head back there again! Harper had so much fun!

This child LOVES water, she can't get enough!  She was actually trying to put her mouth under this pipe to get a drink.  It was funny!

Here are my plans so hopefully you will be back...I plan to blog a Tasty Tuesday treat for everyone tomorrow, a fun activity for you and your little ones on Wednesday, a delicious dinner on Thursday, and Friday finds!  Catch me all week!  I'm excited to truly be back!  Thanks for sticking around! :)

Happy Monday!

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Jul 11, 2013

Baked Fried Chicken

What's for dinner you ask?  How about some easy baked fried chicken??

My husband loves fried chicken, he would request if all the time if I actually knew how to make it.  I have never actually made fried chicken.  When I saw the recipe for baked fried chicken I thought it sounded like something I could do, I have baked lots of chicken in my time!  

Here is where the recipe came from:  Baked Fried Chicken 

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 stick of butter
1 gallon-size Ziploc bag (optional)

For directions on how to make it, please click on the link above!

There you have it, easy and tasty chicken!  We served it with spinach and potato planks.  Have a great Thursday!!

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Jul 10, 2013

Crafting with Kids

I have a few minutes of spare time today....yay!!  I wanted to share two cute crafts we made in Arts and Crafts class this week!   These were easy crafts and the kids really enjoyed making both!!  As always, they were both Pinterest inspired!

Dream Catchers (here is my inspiration!)  *Made with 6-9 year olds

Materials we used:
Paper Plate
Tissue Paper
Construction Paper
Hole Puncher
Pipe Cleaner (or string)

Click on the link above for step by step directions.

Handprint Crabs  (here is my inspiration!)  *Make with 3-5 year olds

Materials we used:
Blue Construction paper
Red Paint
Googly Eyes
Cotton Balls

Here is how we did it:
First, paint one handprint red.  I found it easiest to use a paintbrush and paint right on the hand.  Then, lay down one handprint with the thumb going up.  Make sure the thumb is in the middle.  Then, paint the other handprint and lay it down (with the thumb) directly next to the other print.
Let the paint dry and use the paintbrush to brush on Elmer's Glue.  I find it is SO much EASIER to paint  glue with little ones, rather than squeezing from the bottle and getting gobs everywhere!
Then, get some sand (we did it right over a bucket) and have your little one dump sand all over the glue.  It was easy doing this over a bucket and dumping the extra right back into the bucket when we were finished!
Next, place your googly eyes at the top of the thumbs!
Finally, paint on some glue for the clouds, unravel some cotton balls, and place them at the top for the clouds!  They turned out so stinking cute!!  I might have to make one with Haper!!

I hope to be back tomorrow with an easy and tasty dinner idea!  See you then!!

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Jul 9, 2013

Sticky Toffee

Hello!!  Wow, I'm late on posting this tonight, but it still is Tasty Tuesday for another half hour!!

I was hoping life was going to slow down a bit after I finished my huge project; however, I have had a few things keeping me really busy this past week.  My schedule is really crazy for one more week (hopefully that is it).  I'm REALLY REALLY hoping to get back on track.  I miss blogging every day.  I miss finding cool things to post about....I need creativity in my life....soon!!!

Anyways, my intention was posting an easy dessert I made the other day.  It turned out okay, but nothing I was over the moon about.  Therefore, I don't feel comfortable posting it.  I only want to post things I really love so I have an alternative!

For my dad's birthday in March I made this cake.  It is from one of my favorite bloggers, Mix and Match Mama.  This cake got rave reviews, it was spectacular!!  Probably one of my favorite desserts of all time.  The funny thing is the fact that I thought I wouldn't enjoy it without frosting.  This cake didn't need frosting.  It was so moist from the pudding and the flavors were to die for!  I can't tell you how much I love this cake!  I think it is time to make another, now I have a major craving!

I'm sorry about not having pictures, and being so absent lately.  I will get back on track, I just need one more week!!   I will be back sometime in the next few days!!  Don't give up one me just yet ;-)

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Jul 7, 2013

Shutterfly Books

Have you ever made a Shutterfly book?  Let me tell you, they are great for special gifts.  I made my first two after Matt and I got married.  I took all the pictures of my family and his at our wedding and made books for each of our parents.  We gave them the books for Christmas.  It was such a nice gift and one they can keep forever!

Then, one of our good friends showed me a book she had made for her son's first year.  I LOVED that idea, how cute to put all his first year memories in one nice book.  I knew when I had kids I wanted to make them too, so that is what I did.

I'm going to share three different books I have made for Harper.  I really enjoy making the books and I hope that she will enjoy having them when she gets older!  Oh, and another great thing about Shutterfly is they are always sending discounts to their products, and occasionally free things.  The first two books I made were free, I just had to pay shipping!  Can't beat that!  This weekend I also got an email for 101 free prints.  I LOVE Shutterfly!

Here is a link to get you started on your own photo book! http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books

The first book I made was "Where Is Harper".  This is a Where's Waldo for Harper basically.  I set her up hiding in a bunch of different places and took pictures.  Now that she is older, we have actually used the book once (she loves seek and find books) and she actually found herself on all the pages!  I think she really enjoyed it!  It turned out pretty fun!  I have taken some pictures of the pages below.

Hiding in a dresser.

Hiding in the garden.

In a laundry basket.

In her car seat with lots of toys around her.

Hiding among her stuffed animal friends and reading a good book!

The second book I made was an All About Harper as a baby.  I wanted to highlight some of her favorite things and what she has done so far in life.  Again, I have shared a few of the pictures below.

This page lists all her favorite toys.  I have her point to the toys as I read them!  

This was just a fun page I had to include.  It is the many fussy faces of Harper.  I literally had tons of pictures of her crying from every occasion.  I wanted to include them in the book somehow.  Won't she just love it when she gets older!  :)  

This is a few things about the month she was born on.  Birthstone, Zodiac symbol, a heart for Valentine's Day because that is when she was due, and a picture of who was playing in the Super Bowl because she was born during it!  

This page tells her the story of how the family found out she was on the way!

This is all about how curious she is and how she LOVES to get into everything!  

The last book I have made for her is the Harper's first year book.  This has tons of pictures of her first year, pictures from all holidays, events, and so on.  There isn't much writing in this book, just lots of pictures!

The first page, it has her name, birthdate, time, and weight.  

I thought it would be fun to include pictures from the months I was pregnant with her.  

This is one of the few pages that has writing on it.  I loved all the little embellishments you could add to the books.  When I saw the sun that said, "On the Day I Was Born" I knew I wanted to add it to her book.  I thought it would be fun to write down a quick note about that special day.

I also put pages for each month in the book as well.  You can pick all your own backgrounds and add all the embellishments that you want, plus they have idea pages you can use (I used some, they were really cute).  

We took her to almost all of the North Carolina Lighthouses before we left, I thought that was special event I should share in the book.  

All her first holidays, here is Halloween.

First Birthday-I loved the balloon embellishment!

The final page, just a few of my favorite pictures to finish the book! 

I also should mention, you can pick the size of the book you want, the kind of cover (they don't have to be hardback), how many pages you want, and what you want each to look like.  If you want 10 pictures on a page, you can do that.  If you only want 1 you can do that also.  Shutterfly is really pretty easy to work with.  I loved making these books and will try to do them for all my kids, although I hear once the second one is here you don't have much time to do all of these kind of things!  I kind of believe that already, Harper has kept me so busy lately! ;)  

Her first time riding the carousel at the zoo yesterday, she loved it!  I sat her on the ape because I thought it was pretty fitting for her spunky little personality! 

I hope you have a relaxing Sunday and thanks for stopping by today!  I will be back on Tuesday to share an easy but delicious dessert!  See you then!  

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