Saturday, March 31, 2012

French Dip Crescents

Original Post: Mama Loves Food

- Unroll crescents onto a large cookie sheet.
- Spread a small dab of horseradish on each crescent, then place a slice of roast beef and a piece of cheese on each crescent.
- Roll crescents starting from the wide end and ending at the narrow end.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, until crescents are a golden color.

Verdict:  HUGE HIT!  These turned out great and they work REALLY well as snacks when we are on the go to swimming lessons after daycare/school.  Instead of Roast Beef we used Meatloaf (it was on sale) and it still turned out great!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Not a real Pinterest Project today, but a shout out to my baby because we are busy getting ready for his second birthday party!  I can't believe he is two already - his birthday is tomorrow!  I'll never forget the day he was born!
I told my husband around 4am that we needed to get to the hospital.  He had his shower, called his parents (told them "no hurry, have your showers") and FINALLY around 7am we got moving.  Asking if we could stop at McDonalds or Tim Hortons on the way.  Um, no.  Then we get to the hospital, he comes upstairs with me and once I'm in an examining room - he goes to work!  In his defence, I don't think he believed me that it was REALLY time.  Once he got back to the hospital, he did feel bad (a little).  My little man was born at 1:31 in the afternoon on March 31st and he was perfect!  8lbs 3oz and 20 inches long.
Now he's two (24lbs and 32 inches) and he's talking, running, saying (screaming) "no" and has become his own little person.  And I'm so proud of him every single day!
Love you Monkey!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Canvas Tape and Paint

Original Post: Ready Made

Our Story:
I was going to just make these by myself one day when the kids were napping, but I rethought this plan when I needed something to keep my daughter busy over Winter Break.  I bought two canvases from the Dollar Store and we just used regular masking tape.  My daughter got to choose which size she wanted and I ripped her off one piece at a time.  She laid the tape on the canvas by herself, wherever she wanted.  Then she chose the paint colour and painted each canvas.

They turned out SO nice that I may make some more to give away as gifts.  They are handmade by my daughter and they look REALLY neat!  No need for spray paint, just regular kids paint worked for us!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Car Food Tray

Original Post: Amy New Nostalgia

Our Story:
Don't worry, I don't buy my kids McDonalds every day.  But I'm not afraid to admit that I do every now and then.  ESPECIALLY when we head out of town to visit my family.  And we usually do that on a Friday right after work/daycare/school so the kids are hungry.  I found these wonderful baskets at the Dollar Store (where else?) and I think they will work great!  And it's not only for fast food, it can be for when we need those snack suppers on the road once a week before swimming lessons.  A place for the sippy cups/water bottles and all the little snacks and fruit.

This was one of the greatest ideas I've come across so far.  It kept crumbs off the floor, crackers out of carseats and milk spills (ya, those sippy cups aren't spill proof all the time) contained!  Before we left daycare, I just put all the food in their baskets and handed them over.  I took off one of the handles because it was in their faces.  It was a lot safer too, because usually it's "Mommy, I'm done!  Can I have more?" and I'm trying to drive and pass back food at the same time.  This kept them quiet the whole drive and my daughter thought it was neat to have a picnic in the car.  The only downside, when my son was no longer hungry and I wouldn't take it from him because I was driving, he dumped the whole thing on the floor in frustration.  But I will say, it was more frustration than it was just dumping it for no reason.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chore Charts

Original Posts: The Clay Family Blog, 247 Moms, Workman Family, Etsy

Our Story:
This is a new thing for us.  Our daughter has always been very helpful, but we agreed with each other as parents that we would start some kind of allowance for her when she turned four.  Obviously, she doesn't know what she is missing, but we wanted to get her started.  We looked at the ideas above together and agreed that she wasn't quite ready for those yet.  She doesn't understand money and they other ones would be too overwhelming for her right off that bat.  We do currently have a Melissa and Doug Chore Chart that we got a while back so this would be perfect to start out with.  There were a few things that we didn't quite agree with though.

1.  Allowance $=Age.  That's fine and dandy if the kids are older, but what does a 4 year old need with 4 dollars?  Right now, we are starting with .25 cents and she's over the moon just getting SOMETHING to put in her piggy bank.
2. The Melissa and Doug Chart has a LOT of use your manners and be nice to people magnets.  Personally, those shouldn't be something that you do to get allowance.  Those are things you just do.
3. The Melissa and Doug Chart also has things like "Set the Table", "Empty Dishwasher", "Get Ready for Bed", etc.  Simple things that in our personal opinion should not be for allowance either.  These are just things you do because you are a part of our family.  Period.  Now that being said, they are good for our daughter who is just learning to help out around the house, but these will eventually be things that she will not get allowance for.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Plans for the Week (March 26-31, 2012)

Week Thirteen!

Chore Cart. . . Our final decision
Car Food Tray. . . Keep that McDonalds from falling on the floor
Canvas Tape/Paint. . . Beautiful Artwork
2nd Birthday . . . Part Two
Saturdays Recipe . . . Fun Snack for a quick lunch

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hash Brown Casserole

Original Post: Bachelor in the Kitchen, All Recipes

In a large bowl, combine hash browns, bacon, 1/2 cup cheese and salt. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk until smooth; pour over hash brown mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes until golden. Top with the remaining cheese.

The original idea came from Pinterest, the first link above.  But I didn't have any evaporated milk, so I went to All Recipes and found another similar recipe and everyone LOVED it!  Now that I have made it once, there are so many different things you could do with this recipe.  From adding different veggies (I'm thinking spinach and tomatos) to adding some hot sauce to the liquid part.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

Original Post: Zimbio

Our Story:
Our little man will be two in a couple weeks and we couldn't be more excited!  His biggest love right now is anything that moves, but most importantly, Thomas the Train.  We just got invitations sent out on the weekend and I made them up after finding this really cute idea!  CHOO CHOO!  Get ready to party!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cords and Cables

Original Post: Apartment Therapy

Our Story:
This is kind of a continuation of a previous post that I created.  I now needed to label all the cords that were currently being used.  But we didnt' have enough bread tags and we garbage ours as soon as we open a bag and use clothespins instead.  So I used the labels that I had bought before.  Same idea, just different cords and cables.  What a fabulous idea!  Now I know what I am unplugging before I do it!  This was originally on my Frugal Living Board, but because I didn't recycle, I don't think it's frugal . . . however, I did use something that I already had in my house!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

7 Day Clothes Organizer

Original Post: Merriment Style

Our Story:
I love the idea of getting the kids clothes ready on Sunday for the whole week.  It stops the drama in the mornings: "I don't wanna wear THAT!" or the waiting for a 1/2 hour before they decide what to wear.  So to avoid all that in the mornings, I take the kids upstairs with me sometime on Sunday (or Saturday), we look at the weather forecast and we pick clothes for the week together.  I have guidelines in my head as to what they have to wear for a certain temperature.  For example, if it's colder than -10, then it's a long sleeve shirt day.  I hold up two options for Monday (shirts) and she picks her favourite.  This way all her clothes get worn more often.  Once the shirts are done, she adds in her socks and panties and I throw in her jeans and there is one day (usually Wednesday) that she gets to pick the pants.  It's Wacky Wednesday of course!  She knows that the top basket is for the first day of the week, and she always picks from the top down, through the whole week.  And weekends are free choice.  She gets to wear whatever she wants - until we go out in public, then I have a LITTLE more say, but not a lot.  So with that said, we like giving the kids choices and they like being included in these things - even if it is small.  So we bought my son a clothes organizer as well so that he can pick his clothes like his sister.  His favourite part is picking his very own socks.  He loves socks.
And while I was doing this, I organized his closet a little bit, so here are the before and after pictures!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Word Clips

Original Post: Creating and Teaching

Our Story:
My daughter is 4 and is just beginning to learn to print all her letters.  Up to this point, we have only really focused on capital letters.  I wanted something that would help her recognize both capitals AND lowercase letters.  Plus this activity would help her in the future with spelling.  So I printed off some clipart, one picture for each letter of the alphabet - just to be sure I included all 26 letters.  Then I opened my bag of clothespins and I wrote the lowercase letters that matched each letter on the cards.  I did NOT make a letter for every card - meaning she can't create all 26 cards without taking some apart, because there are only so many of each letter.  First, it would have taken WAY too many clothespins and second, that would have created a little more clutter than I had wanted. 

To make these last longer, you could laminate all the cards, but I'm not too worried about that.  She had a lot of fun matching the letters and I could tell it was a little bit of a challenge for her, which was great. I am storing the cards and clothespins in a large baggie and I have now placed some baskets on a low shelf in the kitchen which are called "Supper Games".  These are games that my daughter/son can play while I or my husband is making supper.  They are mostly independent games, but if she needs some help, I'm right there.  I created some other "Supper Games" that I will tell you about later.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plans for the Week (March 19-24, 2012)

Week Twelve!

Word Clips. . . Uppercase/Lowercase
Days of the Week Storage . . . FINALLY went through that closet. 
Cords and Cables. . . Organization AND Labeling
2nd Birthday . . . Part One
Saturdays Recipe . . . Breakfast for Supper?  Sure!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Original Post: Salt and Turmeric

- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray cooking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Put biscuit mix, cheese and milk in a bowl and mix well to form a sticky dough.
- Using spoon, drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheets 1.5in apart. Bake for 10min.
- In a bowl, melt butter and mix with oregano and garlic salt.
- When the timer goes off, take them out and brush with butter mixture and bake 5min at 400F and another 5-6min at 350F.
- Transfer into a plate and serves immediately

OMG These were delicious!  I can't even begin to explain how yummy these were!  The kids loved them, I loved them and even my husband loved them!  I love getting compliments from him when I cook (he's a chef) - cause I feel like I did something really special!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Upstairs Bathroom Part Two

Original Posts: Martha Stewart, Starter Home to Dream Home, Lodging for Vacations, Clean and Scentsible, Sundance

There were lots of ideas that I found on Pinterest, but not all of them (I quickly found out) would work in our bathroom.  We have no floor space for shelving and we really wanted a shelf above the door, but a shelf with braces would not fit and the floating shelves just weren't wide enough for us to make it worth it.  But we got it painted, added a couple "spa like" touches and that was really all that mattered!

This though was probably my favourite addition.  I originally thought it would be neat to have all four of our handprints, but I had to quickly throw that idea out the window because our adult sized hands wouldn't fit and my son THREW a fit because he didn't want to get his hands dirty.  So my daughter did it all, chosing colours that represented each of us.  She was brown, her brother was orange, I was red and her dad was blue.  To make the tree and words, I just typed up the words on a word document, printed it off, then cut out a tree trunk from black construction paper.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Upstairs Bathroom Part One

Original Posts: Martha Stewart, Starter Home to Dream Home, Lodging for Vacations, Clean and Scentsible, Sundance

Our Story:
Our upstairs bathroom is the only room in our home that has not been painted and is still the original colour, a yucky yellow.  I have always wanted to paint it, but bathroom painting scares me.  So we found a Groupon for a local painted and hired him to come in and do the job for us.  I was very impressed with how fast they were and they did a really good job.  But here are the before pictures (we are still waiting on the after pictures because we can't hang anything yet and we still haven't found everything we need).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

First Dance Lyrics

Original Post: Etsy (the link no longer works)

Our Story: I really liked this idea.  I thought it was a great reminder of a very important day in our lives.  I bought the frame from the Dollar Store and then simply wrote the lyrics (starting from the beginning of the song and stopped when I ran out of room) with a small-tip Sharpie on the matting.  I printed the picture and VOILA!  Only thing, make sure you buy a frame with a larger matting (something that I don't normally like to do because it's a waste of precious picture space).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bathtub Painting

Original Post: The Idea Room

Our Story:
I love doing things with the kids that are fun and create great memories!  This was a HUGE hit in our house - even though the look on my husbands face when he came home in the middle of us making it was priceless.  He is really afraid of mess, so he didn't like this at all - until he saw how much fun the kids had and how clean the bathtub got!  I just followed the recipe and made each cupcake holder a different colour.  My daughter even helped me make the paint. 

Then we took two paintbrushes (one for each kid) and they painted the bathrub.  If your kids have sensitive skin, you may want to rethink this activity because there is a LOT of soap that ends up in the water.

The Verdict:
Now we have a huge tub surround, so I didn't have to even worry about the walls.  Make sure your kids know the rules about ONLY painting on the tub/surround before you get started.  I can't guarantee anything if this stuff gets on the walls.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Plans for the Week (March 12-17, 2012)

Week Eleven!

Bathtub Painting. . . TONS of fun PLUS I have a clean bathtub!
First Dance Lyrics . . . I Love this song
Upstairs Bathroom . . . Part One of a Two Part Series
Upstairs Bathroom . . . Here's the finished product!
Saturdays Recipe . . . THESE will make you drool.  I promise!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Original Post: Screaming Sardine

Put all ingredients in crockpot, except for refrigerator biscuit dough. Fill with enough water to cover. Cook on high for a couple hours, or until hot. (If you have raw chicken, cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, or until done). About 90 minutes before serving, tear up the biscuit dough in small pieces and place on top of the chicken mixture in the crockpot. Cook until dough is no longer raw in middle

We didn't use the biscuit dough, instead we just made some dumplings and threw them in.  It was good - a regular stew with dumplings.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Fork Frame

Original Post: Etsy

Our Story:
I thought this was a really cute idea, but I was so lazy to dig out those pliers, that I just wasn't getting around to it.  Finally one day I made myself.  The first fork I pulled out was a good, expensive fork.  It didn't work.  They don't bend.  So I found a cheap fork in the drawer and started moving the parts.  If you don't have a cheap fork at home, check the Dollar Store!  I will admit, my husband put the finishing touches on this, as I could NOT get it to stand up properly.  I had a picture of the kids that I wasn't using (4x6) and I placed it on the fork.  Finished!  It's now sitting on our bookcase in our bedroom.

I would NOT put this picture holder in a young child's room.  It really could be used as a weapon and I wouldn't want anyone losing an eye!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

St. Patricks Day 2012

Original Posts: Secrets of a Super Mommy, Lesout, Chicka Bug

Our Story:
Normally, we don't do much for St. Patricks Day.  Maybe dress the kids in green and have some green milk.  Or make shamrock sugar cookies.  But this year, it's on a Saturday and for some odd reason, my daughter is SO excited for it.  So I have come up with a little plan for the day and I'm kind of excited about it this year!  Mainly for the kids, but still excited!

Of course, first things first, we must wear green!  Everyone!

Our day will start out with a special breakfast - I haven't decided which yet - but either some Lucky Charms or some green pancakes.  We have both things in the house, so it will be a matter of how much work I feel like doing!  And while at the Dollar Store, my daughter found these plates that she wanted, so everything will be served on special plates - hey, just means no dishes for me!

After breakfast, we will do a scavenger hunt!  I bought this foam shamrock shapes that I will write all the clues on and at the end will be a pot of gold treasure!

For lunch we will have green kabobs.  Different foods (probably mostly fruits and veggies unless I can dye some other foods green) on sticks - the kids will love it!  Or to make it a little easier on myself, I may switch it up and go the way of the Rainbow kabob.

After lunch we have some shamrock painting planned!  Green paint and peppers cut in half.  What a great idea!

And before bed: a green bubble bath!

I'm really looking forward to this fun day with the kids!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Front Entrance

Original Posts: Finding Fabulous, Mud Pies and Strawberry Shortcake, Bens Better

Our Story:
When you enter our house, you come right into our living room.  It's kind of a pain, but I find that if we keep it somewhat organized, it doesn't seem that bad.  All we had for all their toques, mitts, scarfs, hats, sunglasses, etc. was a small plastic bin.  Not big enough.  And for their jackets, we just have small plastic hooks.  We are looking into buying a new one as their jackets get bigger and heavier, but for now, this will work.  But the small plastic bin - it was not.  So we went to Lowes and bought this nice book shelf and we took three baskets from our upstairs storage unit.  Now each of the kids has a basket, as well as mommy.  In the summer, mommies will be filled with sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray - along with anything else that we need!  The kids have really been using it well.  They know which basket is theirs and they clean up their stuff.  And the only one that takes things out is the cat.  He is known to play with mitts every now and again, so we just blame him when we see random mitts hanging around.  These are the before and after pictures.  Not a HUGE diferent in looks, but a HUGE difference in functionality.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Hallway Pictures

Original Post: Young House Love, Crafting Chicks, Russell Life, Flickr
This was a combo effort.  We looked at all four ideas and had to figure out something that would work for us.  And because it's in a high traffic area, I THOUGHT it would be nice to get my husbands input . . . he's so difficult.

Our Story:
Five years ago now, my husband and I went on a fabulous trip to the other side of the world.  We travelled, lived and worked in South Korea for our first year of marriage and we loved EVERY minute of it.  It's a very important part of our life that we love to remember, talk and laugh about.  At the top of our stairs, we have some pictures in frames from our trip that I change every 3 months.  This IS working, but three things
1) I want a change (don't tell my husband that's a reason)
2) The clips on the back of the frames are breaking from opening/closing them too many times
3) I want something more permanent so that I don't have to do this every 3 months.  It's a pain.

So I went to the Costco Website (LOVE it, they know me at the photo counter by name and have my stuff waiting when they see me walk in) and ordered a HUGE 24x36 inch collage.  I put my pictures in and sent it away for printing.  I can't wait to go pick it up!  These are pictures of what the area looked like before:

And I FINALLY got around (well, my husband did) to hanging it and I love the new look.  I love change!

The Costco Website is really easy to use, it's cheap and they have GREAT results.  We used to print all our pictures from Walmart, but the quality sucked.  We have NEVER had a problem with Costco.  They lost an order of mine once that I ordered during a sale, and when it showed up 2 months later, they still gave me the sale price - which was great!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Plans for the Week (March 5-10, 2012)

Week Ten!

Hallway. . . A special time in our lives worth remembering
Front Entrance . . . Baskets + Shelves = Organized Chaos
St. Patricks Day . . . It's on a Saturday this year, so I have lots of plans for the kids.
Fork Frame . . . Just had to find the pliers
Saturdays Recipe . . . More Comfort Food!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Pasta with Five Cheeses

Original Post: Family Go

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Boil pasta two minutes less than the package directs in plenty of well-salted water and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the cream, crushed tomatoes, basil, 1 1/2 cups of Italian cheese blend, and gorgonzola cheese.
- Add cooked pasta to the cream and cheese mixture. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of Italian cheese blend. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is browned slightly and pasta is bubbling hot. Serve immediately.

Honestly, it was really runny and in the end it was really just a basic Mac and Cheese Recipe.  But the kids really enjoyed it and that is all that matters.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Kids Game Storage Unit

Original Post: Creative Organizing

Our Story:
This was a continuation of the card game strorage.  We have two drawers on our TV stand that would be great storage if we just used them right.  They were sitting - half empty - with things that were SUPPOSED to be somewhere else, but we were just too lazy to find them their homes. 

So I sat down, went through those drawers and made room for all the WII games and DVD's that were taking up space in the game storage unit.  That gave us a whole shelf and a half of extra space. 

Now we just have DVD cases that I want to get rid of, but I'm not sure if people even use them anymore.  I will have to put them on usedeverywhere and see if I can get rid of them - even for free!  And these are the before and after pictures of the game cupboard.