Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#657 - handprint calendar 2013

I've been wanting to do a handprint calendar with my boys for a while and I finally got up the courage/energy to do it!  I've been pinning ideas for a while and this past week, I spent a few days getting the boys hands and feet messy to make this happen.

We celebrated Christmas this past weekend with my parents, so my mom already got to open her hand print calendar, I think she loved it.

I let the boys choose (from a couple of ideas) the hand print or foot print they wanted to do, so it was fun for all.

We did (see pics above):

January - penguins.  You could also do snowflakes, fireworks, snowman or 3 kings for this month.
February - hearts.
March - four leaf clover and leprechaun.
April - Oster wanted to do a bird (the kingfisher) and then write his name.  You could also do an umbrella, rain drops, Easter eggs (although Easter is in March this coming year).
May - flowers.  You could do a flower pot, butterfly or caterpillar.
June - rainbow fish.  You could do any type of fish or some kind of beach thing.
July - crab and sunshine.  You could do fireworks or a flag.
August - bees and sunshine.  You could also do more beachy things or a back to school theme.
September - tree with leaves turning/falling and a birthday cake (since it is the month of my mom's birthday). You could also do a back to school theme.
October - candy corn and spider.  A pumpkin or bat would be cool too.
November - turkey and pumpkin pie.  Any Thanksgiving thing would work (corn, etc.)
December - Christmas tree with presents and Santa.  You could also do Christmas lights or a Baby Jesus.
I used this free calendar template (I had to squish it to make it work for an 8 1/2 by 11 format) for my months and has the calendar bound at Staples. (here's another 2013 free calendar download that looks hip/cute)

It's not a fast project, but the end result was way cool!  Here's another mom's thoughts on making these calendars.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

#656 - muddy buddys, reindeer chow, puppy chow you know you love it whatever it's called

Muddy Buddies, Reindeer Chow, Puppy Chow,
1 12 oz box rice chex cereal 
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup peanut butter 
5 tbsp. butter 
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (16 oz. or 1 lb.) powdered sugar

1. Pour out cereal into large bowl and set aside.
2. In 1-qt. saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture slowly over cereal while stirring with a spatula to evenly coat. Pour into a 2-gallon resealable plastic storage bag or grocery bag. Add powdered sugar slowly. Shake until well coated. Spread onto wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. 

recipe via
picture mine

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#655 - 5 year journal

 I found this five year journal at the thrift store (unused, although a used journal would be really fascinating)  and bought it for a $1.  It's the perfect journal for me because I can write a few lines and be done.  Can't wait to look back on this every year.
Here's to hoping I'll keep it up.  If you can notice, the only downside is this is from the 70's, so I have to cross out the "19" and put in "20".

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#654 - gifts from Oster

 I'm not the best at getting my Oster to bed early, so he'll stay up late with me working on stuff.  In the picture above he decided that he wanted to send his cousin some stuff, so he packed up a shoe box with anything he could find that would fit.  He said, "the more I give away, the more Santa will bring me."  He's slowly starting to get it.
Then tonight he wanted to do a craft for "his cousin".  He kept asking me to tear off tape for him.  And I was starting to get a little annoyed by how many pieces he wanted.  Then he said that he actually made this bracelet / necklace for me.  He was so proud (and so was I.)  It reminded me of this talk below from the LDS Christmas Devotional.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#653 - The Great Pumpkin or Friendly Neighborhood Witch

Have you heard about the Great Pumpkin?  I know it's long past Halloween, but just wanted to share this great idea I got from Natalie Norton's blog.

I told the boys after they did their trick or treating, they could pick out 5 candies to eat and then if they wanted, they could leave their candy on the doorstep for the Great Pumpkin who would leave them a present.

Oster was very skeptical, but he did it.  Since the Great Pumpkin didn't plan ahead, he left them money instead with a note.  And ironically enough, our neighborhood real estate agent also left a note with a cute little scarecrow on our front door, so when Oster found the letter from the Great Pumpkin, he also discovered this gift from our neighbor.

He said, "Mom, the great pumpkin didn't come, it was a witch".

Then later on in the day, we got another knock at the door, Oster ran to check it and said, "Mom, the Great Pumpkin came again".  This time it was for me :)  Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#652 - 20 questions for your kids during bedtime & our christmas tree

I saw this list of questions below on pinterest and decided to ask Oster them before bed tonight...I highly recommend it.  He's only 4, so I modified the questions a little for him.  Also, we decorated our tree today while Oster wore his Spiderman costume, so you'll see how that influenced his answers.
  1. What do you like to dream about? - Spiderman/Star Wars
  2. What is your best memory this school year? - playing with cousins
  3. Who is your hero? Why? - Spiderman
  4. How would you describe your family? - they help me (Dad - found/made the thing I put my tools on, Parker - shares with me, helps me, Mom- no answer)
  5. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be? - nothing, maybe I could be Spiderman
  6. What are you most proud of yourself for? - decorating the Christmas tree
  7. Who is the kindest person you know? Why? - Parker (his brother)
  8. What do you like most about your best friend? - he shares and plays with me (pretty sure his brother is his best friend)
  9. What is one thing you would like to learn to do well? - read (made me proud to hear this)
  10. If you were an animal what one would you be and why? - myself, even more than Spiderman
  11. When is the last time someome hurt your feelings? How did you react? - no one has
  12. Do you know someone who is going though a hard time?- Parker, he didn't want to go to sleep tonight How can you help them? - clean our room
  13. What is the scariest thing that happened this year? when you turned off the lights and shut the door 
  14. If you could keep only one thing, out of everything you have, what would it be?- Spiderman costume
  15. Who do you think is really important? successful? Why?  - me
  16. What’s the best thing about your teacher this year? - playing games
  17. When do you feel misunderstood by grown-ups? - when I'm mad
  18. What three words best describe you? - I like last Christmas when I dressed up as an elf and Parker was Santa.  I like myself.  I like Spiderman.  I like decorating Christmas trees.
  19. What’s something that makes you angry? - when I get in trouble
  20. What’s the best compliment you ever received?  - not sure

Sunday, November 18, 2012

#651 - Diddy Riese - best ice cream sandwiches ever! in LA

 I've only been here twice (my sister introduced me to it), but Diddy Riese is such a fun place to visit for the best ice cream sandwiches ever.
 You get to pick two cookies (I like the oatmeal raisin walnut and white chocolate macadamia nut) and then choose your ice cream flavor.  Oster and his cousin are here looking at all the cookies.
 Oster got 2 M&M cookies with strawberry ice cream and Parker got 2 chocolate chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream.
I got my two favorite cookies with mint chocolate chip.  All for $1.75.  Yum!

Plus, they sell a dozen day old cookies for only $2.  I wish I had bought more cookies to bring home as souvenirs for family (but maybe I would have eaten them first, so maybe it's a good thing I didn't!)

It's in LA next to UCLA.  And if you want to park for free, just park in the Target parking lot about 2-3 blocks away and buy something there, they validate for 2 hours.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

#650 - a picture of Jesus

We visited my family last month and the room we stayed in had this picture of Jesus.  A picture of Jesus is important, but it brings on a whole new meaning when you have kids.

Every morning I woke up to my baby boy Parker snuggling with me (because he ended up crawling into my twin size bed (Pepe and Oster were in the other twin bed)) and saying, "there's Jesus" or "I see Jesus".  The first couple mornings I was taken off guard, but then I started looking forward to it.

 I hope he never forgets to see Jesus every morning of his life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

#649 - Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Have you read this book?  You should.  It's hard to read in places, but it leaves you with a sense of hope that we can change the world.  They've turned it into a tv show on PBS and I can't wait to watch it tonight.  I think it is airing tomorrow too...check your local listings.

Here's a preview:
You can read more about it here:  http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

"The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

Friday, September 28, 2012

#648 - Invisible Painting (with 2 simple ingredients)

2 posts in 2 days...what!!!

I've been doing preschool with the boys at home.  Sometimes it is formal, but most the time I'm just always looking for learning experiences and stuff to keep them busy (to keep us all sane.)

I checked out a bunch of preschool books (mostly art ones) from the library and Oster chose this invisible painting  (it's called "mystery paint" in the book) project from the book Preschool Art by Mary Ann Kohl.  Although the pictures aren't super flashy, I think it is my favorite art book of the bunch (I'll let you know if that changes.

So super duper easy!
 You just need equal parts baking soda and water for the invisible paint.  Then water colors to reveal the art.

Invisible Paintings
Mix 4 tablespoons baking soda and 4 tablespoons water.
Use a paint brush or cotton swab to paint onto white paper.
Let artwork dry (next time I'll try to have some dry ones on hand.)
When dry, paint with water colors to revel the picture.

This was super cool when it worked, but a few of our pictures didn't turn out.  So, I think the key is to have a good amount (but not too much) of baking soda when you do your first painting.  Then when you do the water colors make sure the water colors aren't too watery or too heavy with paint (see the black paint on the face below  (to the right) sort of obscured the painting, but the lighter black paint on the left turned out great.).

Let me know if you try this...we've already done it twice and we'll probably do it again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

#647 - Sarah's Key

I watched Sarah's Key awhile ago, but it was great.  Makes you think.  It's on-demand on Netflix, so check it out if you get a chance.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#646 - mini ice cream cones

 These are super tiny, but the perfect size for an ice cream cone for my kids.  In fact, I don't mind i they have a second.
 I had a hard time trying to find these a few years ago, when I first saw these mini cones at a restaurant, but luckily, our local grocery store now carries these mini ice cream cones.

I didn't think my other pictures showed a good size comparison, so I decided to take a pic next to a blueberry and grapefruit.  Aren't they tiny?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#645 - Homemade Spiderman Cake

 My boys are all about Spiderman lately, or more like for the past 6 months.  For example, when I put Parker down to bed he requests the Spiderman theme song, Iron Man (the Black Sabbath song), or the A-Team theme song, not Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. 

Then Oster requested a Spiderman birthday cake.  I googled, youtubed, pinterest"ed" ideas, but all of them involved lots of red food dye.  I'm not opposed to red food dye, but I also didn't want to spend hours mixing to get the red color and really, who wants to ingest all those chemicals.

 So, I decided to go a little more natural with strawberries.  It actually turned out pretty good.  In fact, I think it looked even better.  I made this graham cracker cake I saw on pinterest (not my favorite to be honest, but everyone else liked it.)  Then topped it with melted chocolate spiderwebs.

I made half of it with chocolate graham crackers (that was better than regular graham crackers).
As I was cutting the strawberries I noticed they looked like Spiderman masks/faces.  Oster loved it!
In fact he loved it so much, he wanted the whole mouth of the Spiderman mask.  And I just saw the new Spiderman movie...sort of loved it!  My favorite so far.


Monday, June 4, 2012

#644 - homegrown berries

 Blueberries from our bushes - we got so many more this year because Pepe tossed some pine needles on top of the bushes and around the soil of the bushes a few months ago (maybe last fall?)  Have you heard of this before?
Parker eating a strawberry from our garden.  We did a taste test with Costco strawberries, and while the Costco strawberries are ginormous, home grown strawberries are so much better!
 And I thought I'd share our carrots we dug up (we planted them last year).  I wasn't brave enough to eat them though.  I cut up some carrots from the store and feed them to the boys.
Our basil plant...yum!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#643 - Vintage Wool Kids' Coat and matching Hat

I saw this at a thrift store and almost didn't buy it, but with a price tag of $4 I thought..."why not?"

Well, I love it! (notice that's a theme of my blog).  Everyone that sees my little guy in this, loves it too.  The coat even has a snap on the inside to store the hat so it doesn't get lost. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#642 - Avocado Bean Salsa - for a nutrarian

Ok, after my unhealthy post, I want to share one of my favorite foods. 
 It is a bean/avocado salsa, that I eat as a main meal. 
Inspired by my friend Shelia's yummy Avocado Salsa.

One day I didn't have all the ingredients for her yummy salsa, so I made up my own version.

Basically, it's cowboy caviar.  But I think it fits in perfect to the nutrarian lifestyle (I'm trying to adopt - more on this later).

Avocado/Bean Salsa
1 can unsalted beans (or better yet, make your own)
1 can or 1/2 bag frozen sweet (organic) corn
1 avocado diced
1 tomato diced
1/2 can olives chopped up
3 green onions chopped up (or 1/4 sweet onion chopped up)
juice of 1 lime

Mix all together.  I can just eat this by the spoonful, no chips.  And you can add more or less of what you like, but I do think that the lime is a key ingredient and also the green onions.


ps, my picture above doesn't have all the ingredients I like to use, but you get the idea.

Monday, February 27, 2012

#641 - Chocolate Therapy - part 2

Remember when I posted about the best ice cream ever!!!  Chocolate Therapy by Ben & Jerrys...well, almost 2 years later, you can now buy this at the grocery store.  
    Chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies & swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream...you'd think this would be too much chocolate, but it's not, it's the perfect combination. 

 Have any of you tried this?

This is so dangerous because I'm trying to eat healthy, but maybe I'll take a little break and start up again on March 1st :)

*picture is from Ben & Jerry's website

Sunday, February 26, 2012

#640 - watercolor with vinyl letters

Ironically, I didn't really "think outside the box" to make this...or maybe I did...I don't know.  At least I didn't think outside the box for the quote :)

Basically, I took some vinyl letters I had and put them on some nice (read: thick) water color paper.  Then I gave the boys some water colors and they loved it.  
 We also did their cousins' names.
 Here's what they looked like before we took the vinyl letters off.

 And the finished projects...

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