“Tie-Dye” Sun catchers

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We really really really (I mean super duper really!) don’t like rainy, gloomy weather! Being stuck inside sure does put a damper on the day sometimes. Mini Thor loves to play outside and this February weather we are having here at the end of April has made for a little man with cabin fever! But have no fear, mommy is here!!! Mommy to the rescue, with craft supplies in hand! You know, I think I need a cape!

For our rainy day project we made sun catchers! Might as well think about the sunny days, right?! If you have kids there’s a good chance you also have a collection of broken crayons. My “little mister particular pants” does not like to use them once they are broken, because well, they are broken. I have a whole bucket of sad, unwanted crayon parts in the art closet that have been just waiting for their time to shine!

To make theses super cool suncatchers you will need..
– Wax Paper
– Crayon Shavings
– Iron & Ironing Board
– Towel
– Scissors
– Yarn or string for hanging

The how to…

Make shavings from your old crayons

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Mini Thor dug through the bucket and picked out which colors we should use and peeled the paper off. Then, I made the shavings using scissors.

Get out your ironing board and place a towel or cloth on top that you don’t mind some wax being melted on (this is a possibility so it’s better safe than sorry).
Put a sheet of wax paper down and the it’s time to add the crayon shavings!

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Mini Thor added lots of colorful “sprinkles”

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Now it’s time to heat up the iron. I put mine on the heat setting for cotton.
Add another sheet of wax paper on top.
Use the iron to heat the wax paper and crayon shavings! This is cool to watch (as long as your little one understands that the iron and suncatchers are hot and not to touch).
The two pieces of wax paper will melt together sealing the rainbow swirls of magic inside!

(No wax transfer was left on the iron, but if you are worried, you can place a towel over the suncatchers before ironing.)

You will have the coolest window art on the block now!

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I cut one suncatchers into a simple circle and the other into a butterfly shape, per Mini Thor’s request haha.

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To hang them, just poke a hole in the top somewhere and thread some string through. Ta-da!

I can’t wait to see how awesome they look in the window on a sunny day!

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[I didn’t come up with his fabulous idea on my own, I was inspired by a post I saw on Facebook by “The PLAY Group,” a page that is a collaboration of several websites that offer activity ideas for little ones. The post gave a link to the wonderful website Two Daloo. There I found a post about making butterfly suncatchers which inspired the activity you saw here today.]

We will probably be making some more of these in the near future! They would make a cool gift for a grandparent too!

We hope you find some fun even on the rainy days
-Kate

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Color Run!

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When I was a teenager, I lived in the Evansville area so when I heard there was going to be a Color Run there I just had to make the trip back home and do it! My mom, sis, and a family friend registered too! Seriously I was pumped. The run took places yesterday and I just have to share a few photos with you. Mini Thor is just so darn cute covered in colorful paint powder!

He was excited as soon as he got up yesterday morning! “Color Run! Color Run!”

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We loaded up and headed to Franklin Street at an early 7:00am! And by early, I mean early for everyone else on a Saturday. Mini Thor gets up at 6am every morning so it was no biggie to us.

We arrived and got our color packets! At the start of the run, everyone threw their packet into the air.

Mini Thor (and the stroller) ended up with a good amount if paint on them even before we got moving!

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This is Granmomma and PeyPey after the precoloring at the beginning 🙂

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And them with our friend (who might as well be family) Dawn!

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At the first few points of color being thrown I would ask him if he wanted to be covered up or just put his sunglasses on. He ended up loving it! I was worried with his sensory issues that this would all be too much, but nope, he did fabulously!

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After riding in the stroller for the first loop he was ready to get out and join in the color throwing and fun for the second loop!

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It was a blast! This was an excellent sensory experience! Lots of sounds and colors to experience!

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We were covered in color!

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Check out my little sister!

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We seriously went out to brunch like this! (Me, Mini Thor, PeyPey, and Granmomma)

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What a wonderful adventure!!!

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(The event was put on by The Franklin Street Event Association)

-Kate

Update: If you are wondering about the powder, it washed out if the provided race shirts easily but a couple spots did stain Mini Thor’s white shirt that I had purchased at Walmart for him to wear for the run. Our shoes dusted off easily and it washed off if our skin with no problem. If you are going to participate in one of these fabulous fun runs make sure you bring towels to lay down in your car for after the race. Granmomma’s car seats ended up with some color on them haha. It seemed to dust right off though. Overall, it was totally worth the mess.
(Update made on 4/22/13)

Insta-Awesome Wall Art

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Mini Thor and I love to do “projects” together, whether it be drawing pictures to hang on the fridge or doing science experiments (like this fizzing fun). Recently we made a gift for Granmomma, who has been a little stressed lately and needed some cheering up.

I had received an email from Walgreens about how their app now allows printing from Instagram (say what?!) and I was pumped! Instagram‘s 4×4 size makes it hard to print without ordering prints to be shipped to you (which may cost an arm and a leg). The prospect of being able to send them to print right from my phone and be able to pick them up an hour later from the Walgreens that’s a mile away from me had me excited! I updated my app and linked it with my Instagram and Wah-Bam, I ordered photos in seconds for a mere $0.39 per photo! (Plus I had a coupon for 25% off!)

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So what does this have to do with making a project…

We used these perfectly sized 4×4 prints to make a photo wall hanging for Granmomma with just a foam board and some modpodge!

Mini Thor helped me pick out which prints to order and then helped me pick out which to use on the project.

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Then we arranged them in different ways to figure out where we wanted each picture.

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Once we had a plan I laid a measuring stick at the top of the board so that I could (attempt) to keep the rows of photos lined up.

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Use a foam brush to paint modpodge on the back of the photo and place it on the foam board. Mini Thor helped me stick them down.

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Since the photos had various Instagram effects/frames the fact that everything isn’t perfectly lined up is less noticeable. If you are really OCD you may want to measure and mark your board so that everything is spaced evenly.

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I’m going to have to make some of these to hang in my house!

This was quick, easy, and inexpensive (especially compared to what a black photo frame with that many openings would cost).

We are so excited to give this to Granmomma!

We hope you are inspired to make something cool with all of your amazing Instagram photos soon!

-Kate

Update:  Granmomma Loved It! It is now hanging in her living room!

Stress less, Snuggle more

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It’s been a rough few months for me and little mister. He has been sick A LOT, I mean basically constantly. This winter we’ve dealt with a horrid stomach virus that landed him in the hospital, 7 (count’em 7!!) ear infections (two after having tubes put in!) three bouts of tonsillitis, two bouts of bronchitis, strep throat, an upper respiratory infection, a couple viral infections, and who knows how many colds (literally I’ve lost count)! This has meant many days of missing work and class for me and many days of being down and out for sweet Mini Thor. This has made me a bit of a stress ball lately, but monday while I was holding my sicky little boy as he fell asleep for a nap I realized I better just slow down and enjoy the moments (sick moments or not). I’m just a few years from being gross..then a few more years and I’ll be embarrassing..then a couple more years and I won’t know anything…and many many years down the line I’ll get the “mom, you were right” moments. But for now, I have a little boy who wants to sit in my lap and I’m going to cherish it. One day I’ll be looking back missing the moments that went by oh so quickly. In honor of my pledge to stress less and snuggle more I give you…

Moments from Mini Thor: A few funny and sweet moments from the past few weeks…

MT: “Mommy’s hair pretty”
Me: “thank you, baby cakes!”
MT: “mommy’s eyes pretty”
Me: “aww, thank you”
MT: “mommy’s nose pretty…wait wait..no..mommy’s nose no pretty”
Me: “ok then”
MT: “mommy’s feet pretty”

MT: “my butt tiny..mommy butt BIG!”

MT: “thank you God for paint, paper, and chocolate milk! Amen”

Me: “mommy has a headache”
MT: “mommy needs coffee”

MT: “mommy me best friend”

Mini Thor ran up and climbed up in my lap…”me toot on mommy” and runs away giggling. I couldn’t help but laugh, little stinker.

Mini Thor was going potty and my phone starts ringing, I dash to grab it and come back seconds later to find him spinning in circles wrapping himself in toilet paper.
Me: “what are you doing, silly butt?” MT: “me cold”
Me: “I think putting your clothes back on would probably keep you warmer.”
And he dashed, or rather hobbled quickly, off giggling still wrapped up like a mummy.

I was attempting to sing the Diego theme song
MT: “No, that not how goes!”

No matter what kind of day I’ve had that little silly goose can always brighten my day. He makes life a magical adventure!

So when things get tough and you get stressed just remember to cherish the sweet moments and forget about the horrible Mondays 🙂

It’s amazing what making a silly face can do for your day. After all, laughter is the best medicine, right?!

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-Kate

Paintbrush-less Painting (ideas from the little man himself!)

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Mini Thor LOOOOOOOVES art projects, and the last couple of days he’s been basically addicted to watercolor painting, filling up a couple canvas panels everyday. I love watching him create!

Recently, I had a pipette out adding a little water to each of the watercolor paints so that it would be easier for him to use them, when Mini Thor asked for more paper. I went and grab a canvas board out of the closet and when came back he was using the pipette to drip paint onto the masterpiece he was working on. Genius!!! Painting with a pipette, why didn’t I think of that?!?!

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I’m telling you, this kid is going to grow up to be an artist!

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What did he do next? He used the water cup as a painting tool!

We go through a lot of Dole fruit cups in this house, I wash the cups and we reuse them for water cups while painting, dipping cups for ketchup and other sauces at mealtimes, and for small snacks too!

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He used the empty bowl (the water had spilled out a few minutes before) to make circle designs in his painting!

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You can also paint around the edge and use the bowl like a stamp!

He has created some beautiful pieces!

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I will be making one of our living room walls into a gallery wall to display his work! He is just thrilled about this idea and that makes my heart happy 🙂

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-Kate

Strawberry Lemonade Pie

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Everyone in my family has a dish they bring to family events that everyone loves. But me…nope…still looking for “my dish.” Every time we get together for a holiday I bring something new. Finally this Easter…Success!!! I made strawberry lemonade pie and it was a hit, not a crumb left!

I had seen a pink lemonade pie recipe on Pinterest and traced it back to the Eagle Brand Milk website. But you know me, I can’t just leave a recipe as it is. I have to change something, add something, Kate-ize it! I would say that has a ring to it, but it honestly doesn’t haha.

So here’s the how-to for my successful strawberry lemonade pie…

What you need..
– 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
– 1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
– 1/2 a tub of cool-whip, thawed
– 1 (6oz) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
– 5+ drops red food coloring, optional
– 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, divided.
– 2 pack of prepared graham cracker crusts

Except for the strawberries, mix the ingredients with a mixer until completely blended.

Stir in 1 cup of chopped strawberries

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Spread the filing into both the prepared crusts (sneak a taste, this is an awesome filing. Tangy, sweet, and smooth!). Top each with 1/4 cup of strawberries.

Pop it in the fridge and let it set up for four hours before serving.

Top with whip cream if you wanna or just dig right in.

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I took one pie to my family’s Easter gathering and I plaaaaaaned on taking the other to work but it mysteriously disappeared…into my tummy!

I have a feeling I’ll be making this pie a lot this summer!

-Kate

Simple Homemade Biscuits

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I accidentally bought self rising flour the other day, yeah I know, silly me! It turned out to be a happy mistake though, I made yummy homemade biscuits this morning! I used White Lily Flour to make these simple biscuits…

What you need…
– 2 cups self-rising flour
– 1/3 cup butter
– 2/3 cup buttermilk
– dash of salt

How to…

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Dump flour and salt into a medium sized bowl and cut in butter until the crumbs are pea-sized.

Add buttermilk. If you are thinking “Who has buttermilk these days?!” I had it left over from making Black Bean and Squash Tortilla Bake on Monday.

It’s not going to be like your standard dough, but more like globs.

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Grab some globs and mush them together and form into biscuit shape. (If you’re a perfectionist you can roll them out on a floured surface and cut with a biscuit cutter…but ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Place on a greased cookie sheet

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Bake for 8 minutes at 500 degrees.

Brush with butter and return to the oven for 1 minute.

Then they are done and ready to be enjoyed!

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Black bean & Squash Tortilla Bake

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Every week I try and make at least one new recipe. This week we are starting off with a recipe using squash, I’ve been craving some squash lately! This recipe is based on one by Mom Foodie..

What you need…
– Small Zuccini Squash
– Small Yellow Squash
– 1 packet if Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
– 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (We used On The Border tortilla chips, they are so delicious and they are gluten free! I buy them in the big bag as Sams)
– 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 cup shredded cheese, divided
– Salsa for topping

The how-to:

Preheat that oven to 350 degrees

Slice the squash into thin disks and place them in a ziplock bag with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1/3 of the ranch seasoning packet. Work the squash around to coat all the squash with the seasoning and set aside.

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Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spary

Crush your tortilla chips, this would be a fun step for the little ones to help with!

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Reserve 1/3 of a cup of the black beans and add the rest of the can to the chips and mix well. Once mixed pour in the casserole dish.

Whisk together the buttermilk and remaining ranch seasoning. When well combined pour that zesty deliciousness over the chips and beans.

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Top with 1/2 cup of cheese

Arrange squash on top of the cheese alternating types of squash as desired

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Top with reserved beans and then remaining 1/2 cup of cheese!

You’re probably thinking “man that looks tasty,” and you’re right!

Baked for 25 minutes!

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Serve topped with your favorite salsa! I topped mine with Pain is Good Habanero Garlic Salsa, it’s hot hot hot but amazing! Mini Thor’s was topped with a locally made mild salsa.

He didn’t want to try it at first but when he finally did he said “mmm, actually good,” what a stinker!

-Kate