Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snow in the Summer- super easy kid fun!

My little guy has been having a hard time recovering from a surgery he had recently, and unfortunately has not been allowed to be outside and run around and enjoy the summer. So we've been left to find ways to occupy our time and hold his interest when the toys are fun anymore and we've watched all our movies at least 3 times. Time to get creative!
We came up with snow in the summer- and it's so simple and easy. You probably already have everything you need in the house. 
My son received some 'shaving cream' as a Christmas present and has never used it. So we busted that out and sprayed it all over the back of a large poster board we didn't need anymore. We smushed the the 'snow' all around, made snowmen and pulled out some cookie cutters to use in it as well. 

Then we splattered some finger paint into the 'snow' and used a straw to swirl all the colors around.

*i love this goldfish crumb face kid!*

This was a simple, easy but fun project for my little guy. I hope you enjoy it too!

~ Miranda

Friday, June 22, 2012

Water Play Tray

My poor little girl is sick! We usually just mope around and watch movies when we're down with the yucks but I can see that she wants something more today and I don't blame her. So here's what we came up with:

All we needed for this project was a finger painting tray, sand sifter beach toy and some large river rocks (much too large to swallow). All of these things I got at Michaels for $9 and it could be cheaper if you have one of their awesome coupons.

I laid the river rocks out in the bottom of the tray, poured a couple inches of water on top and threw in some different small toys as well for different textures that would interest her. That's it! Just let them splash and discover and switch out the toys often for new discoveries. The best thing about this is that each purchase can be easily used for something else:

-The finger painting tray is obvious, just use it for what it was intended!

-The beach toy can be used on vacation or at the park or even in the bathtub

- & if she gets tired of the river rocks, just use them for decoration!

Happy Crafting!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookies

This cookie is beloved by my Hubby. 

Warning: Do not leave out overnight, there will only be crumbs in the morning!

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup dried cherries

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl, set aside. Cream unsalted softened butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Mix in one egg at a time into butter mix then add almond extract. Add flour mixture into butter mixture a little at a time on low speed until completely absorbed and is a cookie dough consistency. Fold in chocolate chips and dried cherries. 

Set oven to 350 degrees. Drop tablespoon size drops onto a greased cookie sheet or wax paper. Bake  for 10-15 minutes. YUM!


Last minute Father's Day Gift Ideas- great for Grandpa too!

With Father's Day only 2 days away, you may be rushing and stressing to find the perfect gift for your little one to present to their Dad and even Grandfather. Times are tough, so that boat they have been eyeing is out of the question. Why not go the keepsake route?
I made this for my husband from our son, and plan to have it printed and framed. Which I can have done at Walmart all for under $10.00. Great deal! It's going to be something I make for him every Father's Day going forward. 

I used to add the text and edit the picture. Something like this would also be a nice touch for a birthday party on the food or gift table. 

So relax this Father's Day, enjoy the Dads in your life and reward them with something they can keep for years to come!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Craft Dough

Father's Day is sneaking up quickly and if you have a husband like mine, he won't want you to spend any money! Now how am I supposed to show love without money? Just kidding of course, we all know it's the thought that counts...

For this Father's Day I decided a fun project would be a hand-print ornament made from craft dough. It's super simple and fun for the little one too!

Craft Dough:

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
3/4 cup of water

Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes

(This will make a lot of craft dough for multiple projects)

Mix all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and knead until it forms like play-dough.

You can now roll it out with a rolling pin or pinch a piece off, roll it into a ball and then squish it on a flat surface. The latter may be more fun for the little ones :)

I decided to just use the organic shape that was made to have more of a 'kid' feel but you can use cookie cutters or a cup to get cool shapes or a perfect outline.

It's hard to see in the picture above but, yes, that is a hand-print! My little one is too tiny to put a lot of power behind her squish but we can fix that when we paint it! No worries if you have the same issue.

Fact: PB&J covered kids have more fun when crafting

Ok! Now it's time to bake. Set the oven to 300 degrees and I recommend putting these discs on wax paper because they can be hard to remove. Let cook for 25-30 minutes. They should be golden brown like a cookie. Let them set for 10 minutes so they can harden before you start any painting.

I used leftover spray paint from my lamp project: ( and then painted the hand-print with washable purple paint. To finish it up I sprayed it with a spray paint finishing lacquer that I picked up for $3.75 at home depot. You could also let the kids paint it with non-toxic washable paints and then lacquer it!

Don't forget that there is blank space on the back for more coloring or messages...

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pantry raid- Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers

More often than not, I begin to run out of groceries before I have a chance to get to the store again. I'm left having to do a pantry raid to scramble something up for dinner. My little guy has been asking for "Chik-fil-a" for days and I haven't been able to take him lately. So I came up with the next best thing. Chicken fingers. 
But I had no flour or eggs on hand to make the usual. So I had to get creative. I decided to try a honey mustard dredge in place of the egg, and use bread crumbs instead of flour. 

After rinsing the chicken I cut it up into the usual chicken finger size. I poured some honey mustard onto one plate and the bread crumbs onto another. 
*I used panko because it was all I had on hand, feel free to use whatever breadcrumbs you want- this is where you can get creative with your flavors*. 
I dredged the chicken in the honey mustard then tossed them into the bread crumbs. I then placed them into a baking dish and I had sprayed with a little bit of non stick cooking spray. They should look like this:

I then put them in a 425 degree oven. I would love to tell you how long I cooked these for, but since my oven acts up occasionally and for some reason it takes decades longer to make stuff in my oven than it should, just cook them for however long you would normally cook chicken.

After checking my chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure they were done, they were nice and golden brown.  

I will admit, I was worried about how they would come out. This is not something I've made before, and I've never used a honey mustard base for baking. I had PB&J on standby just in case. 
But my little guy took one bite and said "yummm- "Chik-fil-a!", I knew this recipe was a keeper. 
And after seeing this as my husband's Facebook status this morning I was beaming. 

 It's not every day I get kudos for my cooking!

~ Miranda

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Color suds

It can be exhausting keeping a toddler entertained all day. When he has gone through every train, car, coloring book and spoon in the house I have to dig deep to find something that will hold his interest. 

One thing that never fails- bubbles. So how could I top bubbles?
Well, technically these are colored sudsy bubbles made 
from dish soap. Still awesome!

Here's what you do-

Pour some dish soap into a plastic tub 
(I used a larger sized Tupperware container)
Pour water into tub until there are lots and lots of suds
Pour most of the water out until you are left with just mostly suds 
(I had to fill and pour a couple of times to get the amount of suds I wanted)
Put a drops of different food coloring into the suds
Stir, play, enjoy!

*You may also want to put some type of gloves onto yourself and kids- we learned the hard way and had hands and arms that looked like the Hulk for a couple of days after we did this project. But the green eventually came off*

~ Miranda

Lamp Shade Re-do

My little family is currently moving so we're (should I say 'me'?) trying to update our new home without breaking the budget. Now, I picked out a color scheme for my new bedroom that I loved but nothing I already owned worked with my new ideal colors! Would I need to go buy all new things!? I don't think I could convince the frugal hubby that was a necessity so it was time to get crafty. Never fear, lamp shade tutorial is here:

I found this scruffy looking lamp shade/lamp base (a matching set, actually) for $5 which was a total steal because they were just ugly not broken. I then went to my local fabric store which happened to be Joann's and found the perfect fabric for my new bedroom. Now, these lamp shades are large so to be on the safe side I got them to cut 1 1/2 yards.

If I had a drum shade, which is a perfect circle, I could just wrap the fabric around the lamp shade and glue but I have a classic lamp shade and that's a more complex shape.

What I did is made a pattern with tracing paper and it's easier than it sounds:

1. Take tracing paper (OR any paper that can bee seen through like newspaper) and lay it against the  lampshade and tape with scotch tape.
2. Keep taping tracing paper all the way around the shade until it is completely covered.
3. Make sure to tape all of the pieces together so when you pull them off it's all in one piece
4. Take a marker and trace the edges of the lamp, top & bottom.
5. Carefully pull the tracing paper off and secure further with tape if needed.
6. Cut out the pattern but cut and inch or two outside of the lines to give some lee-way.

Phew! That was a lot of explaining!

Now what you should have is a semi-circle:

Ok, now all that's left to do is warm up the hot glue gun (fabric glue would work just as well) and pin your pattern to your fabric.

After pinned, cut it out and adhere it to the lamp shade with your glue of choice, making sure to leave a little overlap of fabric on top and bottom so that you may fold it over the shade for a clean edge.
*You may not line the fabric up correctly at first or need to get out some wrinkles, in other words, it's perfectly normal to do some adjusting. I know I did!*

Here is my finished product:

I spray painted the lamp too! It's 'Rustoleum Metallic: Satin Nickel'

Happy Crafting Y'all!


Friday, June 8, 2012

2012 Summer Bucket List

Typically when you think of a "bucket list" your mind can go in a direction that can leave you feeling down. But when I saw people putting a new spin on it, I decided to jump on board. 
A Summer bucket list!  
A list of all things you want to do, or in my case, my family wants to do before the summer end.

So our list goes a little something like this:

*make stick airplanes (done!)
*make a kiddie carwash
*make homemade lemonade
*ice cream party
*Family BBQ
*have a campfire cookout
*See the waves
*play with water balloons
*watch the sun set
*put our feet in the sand
*watch the fireworks on the 4th of July
*build a sand castle
*play putt putt
*have a picnic
*ride on a boat
*make sno cones

After we've done one of the things on our list, we will drop that clothes pin in the bucket.

I placed the bucket in our living room, so I will see it every day to remind me that this summer is about having fun as a family, and to motivate us to do all the wonderful things we want to do!

I will be updating on our progress as the summer goes on. 

~ Miranda

Pinterest Inspired- Stick Airplanes

I cruise Pinterest often for ideas on crafts and fun stuff for my little guy CJ. He is 2, and when it comes to airplanes boy does he get excited!
When I saw different variations of the popsicle stick airplanes I knew we needed to make some. I had everything we needed already on hand, and CJ loves to color anything with markers. 

While the hot glue gun is heating up, let you little one color the clothes pins and popsicle sticks.

*they will probably get as much marker on themselves as the sticks*

Glue the popsicle sticks to the clothes pins to make whatever type of aircraft you want. We made airplanes and helicopters. 

*Our aircraft fleet*
*the CJ 500*

Let the glue dry, then enjoy!

~ Miranda

Hi, we are new here...

Hi! We are Kelsey and Miranda. We met last year through a Moms organization and instantly became great friends. Combining our love for crafts, up-cycling, cooking, mothering and frugality we decided to start a fun blog where we can share our tips for everyone to enjoy! 
And of course we do all this while remaining fabulous and kinda sane.