Summer Fun and #DOLESaladsParty

21 06 2013

DSCN2110For the first day of summer, we created a Summer Fun To-do list inspired by this one from the Buente family. Everyone got to add their own ideas and decorate the poster. I tried to add some easy ones too, in case of boredom setting in…they won’t require too much work to be able to check those off.

Dole Salad party pack

I’m also excited to be chosen as a host for a Dole Salads Taste of Spain House Party at the end of June. The party pack came this week with these cute red rose hair clips and many goodies for the guests. So much fun!





Just get started already…

28 01 2013

Motivated by the success I was having creating Christmas crafts this year, I have decided to make a conscious effort to become a doer instead of just a planner. I have a hard time putting my perfectionism aside and starting what seems like complicated or involved projects. I never feel there is going to be enough time, I might get interrupted by one of the kids, or that there are other things to be done first (like dishes, or changing diapers). I found a few times over the holidays, that if I just get started, more often than not, something gets accomplished. It may not be perfect, it may not be complete, but something is better than nothing.

I will put up a separate post on the Christmas crafts I did this year. It was fun to turn my inspiration into actuality. And the process was just as fun as the results. For now I will leave you with the project of the moment- my very first sensory tub. It was made on the spur of the moment, using the container that had been housing the toy cars now scattered all over the bedroom (we’ll pick those up when we’re done playing with moon sand).

IMG_4616

It doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive. The kids were playing with the cars and I was reading a blog post on sensory tub ideas. Moon sand- never would have thought it was as simple as 5 parts flour and 1 part oil. I grabbed up their toy bin, mixed up the moon sand (while multi tasking and calling my sister), threw in a few spoons, small containers and some stray dinosaurs.

My IMG_46062 year old has been enamored for over an hour already. We are working on fine motor skills and vocabulary at the same time. Fun, educational, easy set up, easy cleanup- my kind of project!!

What is in store tomorrow??

Jennifer





Fabulous Fall Crafts and Activities

9 10 2012

Fall is the perfect time for outdoor activities like apple picking (been three times now this season!) and fairs. Here’s the three munchkins at at local “touch a truck” afternoon. Don’t they make an adorable fashion statement altogether?


Our latest fall project included black glue to create some spectacular leaf designs. The inspiration came from Mess for Less (the leaf forms) and Robin Mead Designs (the colors). We used watered-down acrylics on cardstock (8.5×11″ cut in halves). I trimmed the excess background after they dried and now they are gracing our front door!

I’m amazed at how interesting leaves are…seriously! I am also very happy the kids never tire of them. We’ve had some nice science lessons learning about different trees and the characteristics of their leaves. How’s this for a leaf identification chart? Up next on our fall arts and craft list are these projects too:

What are you creating this autumn?





Lenten Postcard Prayer Project

18 02 2012

Inspired by the Family Lent tradition shared by the Totus Tuus Family on their blog, we’ve decided to make an extra effort to prayer for our friends and family this Lent. We’ll spend the next few days gathering names on slips of paper in a basket. Then, during Lent, the kids can draw a name out at dinnertime and we’ll say a special prayer for that person.

I think it’s also important for us to share a little note with the people we pray for. I know it will help the kids make a more concrete connection with prayer. And hopefully, it’ll be a joy for the recipients to get a piece of happy mail.

I’ve made these postcards that the kids can personalize by coloring the flowers or even just signing their names. There is also space to write the recipient’s name at the top and the date. Yes, it’s going to be a big chunk of postage, but I think it’ll be worth it.

I invite you to download the file I made here. After downloading, just find some white or colorful cardstock, print the first page, flip it, print the 2nd page on the back, and cut into 4 cards.

{The cards were created with flower clip art from: http://openclipart.org and the Pea Kassidy from Kevin & Amanda at www.kevinandamanda.com/ }

Catholic IcingI’ve added this post to the Lenten Link-Up at Catholic Icing where you will find more ideas for celebrating a meaningful Lent.





Why do I have to pose for pics on my birthday?

29 12 2010

Happy Birthday, Purple Bean!





Pirate’s Cove

18 11 2010

Bean’s been designing miniature golf courses lately. Time for a trip to Pirate’s Cove, mateys?

 





Halloween Cupcakes

28 10 2010

Our Moms and Tots playgroup at church was in charge of bringing cupcakes for the cupcake walk to the Halloween party this year.  I invited people over to decorate today.  Here are some photos of the results…

Everyone thinks I am so creative when in reality I’m just a good copier. Shhh… don’t tell anyone!!

Websites I used for inspiration
http://www.bakerella.com/halloween-cupcakes/
http://media.cakecentral.com/gallery/505883/normal_1256227545.JPG
http://www.legateaux.com/images/halloween_cupcakes2.JPG

Hope these inspire you to be creative too!

Jennifer





Mother’s Day weekend in Seward

10 05 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.  We had been planning for a few months to go to a bed and breakfast in Homer but when we called to make sure our reservations were OK the owner said the facilities were not ready (still 2 feet of snow and no electricity yet).  We just bought a new (well, new to us) camper so we decided to take it out to Seward.  It turned out to be one of the most beautiful weekends.

On the drive down Friday afternoon I saw a few beluga whales on Turnagain Arm.  We ended up in a camping spot right near the water.  And we couldn’t have ordered better weather- there was not a cloud in the sky for two days!  We got to walk around Seward, meet new friends, play with the kids at the park, go to Mass at a new church, and see all the wildlife (sea lions, otters, bald eagles etc). 

Hopefully you can tell by the photos below how beautiful it was and how much fun the boys were having.  What a great way to start off the summer!

Jennifer





Meal Plan Monday- AK

7 12 2009

Christmas, Christmas time is here. Time for joy and time for cheer!

Happy Belated St. Nicholas Day!  Sorry kids- no chocolate in your shoes.  Somehow that seems a lot more exciting when you’re a kid, now it just makes me think of stinky flavored treats- maybe keep an extra pair of unworn shoes for the occassion?  Plus I always forget until Dec 7!  Hubby had to work Saturday but took yesterday off and we spent the day relaxing and putting up the tree and outside lights.  We bought some white and blue LED snowflake lights that make our house look a little more sophisticated!

Last week was a lot of pulling out Christmas decorations and trying to really clean the house.  Today I have a little more cleaning to do and I have to put the empty boxes away.  And then the rest of the week it’s on to more fun stuff!  Christmas crafts and COOKIES!!!  I talked to a nearby friend who also lives far from family and we’re going to get together and bake.  I’m looking forward to having some company while baking this year (company that helps, not the boys who just hover and taste test).

holidaympmBecause I’m going to be super busy with all I have planned this week, I have some easy/crockpot meals planned…

Monday:  salmon (from freezer- already in a lemon dill marinade), broccoli, brown rice
Tuesdaybeef stew , croissants
Wednesday:  pulled bbq beef (cook roast in crockpot until really tender, pull apart with a fork, add your favorite bbq sauce), baked beans, corn bread
Thursday:  leftovers and/or bbq beef pizza
Friday: date night- eat out
Saturday:  burgers?? depends on what’s going on that day
Sunday:  ham casserole (ham, peas, egg noodles, cream of something soup, french fried onions)

And as always, for more inspiration to plan meals this week, head on over to OrgJunkie.com.

Happy Christmas Time!!!

Jennifer 





Christmas Cookies Dilemma

5 12 2009

I was of the mindset that I wouldn’t bake too much this year since I’m trying to cut back on the extra calories.  HaHa!  Yeah, right!  Me?  Not bake Christmas cookies?  Who am I kidding?  I have a list a mile long of people I’d like to bless this Christmas with a little something. And who can resist browsing the hundreds (or thousands?) of Christmas cookie recipes?  So now I’m trying to make a list of ones I’d like to bake. 

My mother and I had a tradition of spending an entire weekend in early December making dozens and dozens of cookies.  We had a list of the ones we made every year as well as a few new recipes to try.  I’d bring almost my entire kitchen over to my parents’ and we’d spend hours mixing and baking and talking (and shooing Dad and the siblings away from cooling racks of yummy treats!).  I wish we were in the same town still because it’s just not the same baking by yourself.  Plus I have two rugrats that won’t let me mix one batch of dough let alone do an entire day of baking.

But alas, here I am by myself.  What cookies do I bake now?  I know I can’t physically do the same amount of recipes we used to, so I need to narrow it down to about five.  But they’re all so GOOD!!!  I can’t choose!!!  I mean there’s at least 5 sugar cookie recipes alone I’d like to try. And I have to make sugar cookies so we get more moments like these

Any tips on baking mass quanities of cookies by yourself (and not being tempted to eat them yourself) would be appreciated… and any tried and true family favorites to help me choose would be nice too.  Thanks!

Happy Baking!

Jennifer

A few links I am enjoying browsing:
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies
Betty Crocker (the Chocolate Marshmallow Pillows may make the list- and they have coupons)
allrecipes.com (cookie mixes in a jar- you can give the gift of cookies without the hours of baking!)