Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: April 2015

Happy April! Thank the LORD we may actually have Spring within our sights now.

Here is a second installment of a little series I call “What I’m Into,” where I divulge what either me or my family members are currently into.

wildchaild

I am one of those rare people who enjoy coffee AND teas. Recently I discovered this wonderfully strong blend of Chai tea and loved it. I never thought I liked Chai, but apparently I had only experienced the wimpy kind until now.

party invite

My baby girl is turning 10 next month! We let our kids have a special party at 1, 5, 10, and 16, so we are planning a cute little party for her and some friends and family. This is a pic of some invites I threw together today.

Heidi fabric

This is a shot of my girl in the fabric store, picking out a cute cupcake fabric for her party’s goody bags. We love us some fabric.

Like mother, like daughter. It’s a little frightening!!

Though we have read this book aloud before, I am reading it again to the crew when we can before bed. I love the fact that though they are all pretty strong readers, they still enjoy being read to.

Know what this is?

Yeah, I didn’t either until a couple weeks ago when my sister-in-law discovered triangle loom weaving. She and her husband (my husband’s brother) made a couple of triangle looms and I inherited one that they made! What a nice surprise! Since then I have learned to actually use it and enjoy it. Once you get the hang of it it’s rather relaxing and easy to do.

Image result for busy schedule

I didn’t take a picture of my actual calendar, but this is the time of year where it’s looking a bit ugly and full. A little too full for my liking.

I feel as if every school event, field trip, concert, play, birthday, and any other activity we are even remotely involved in is crammed between April and the beginning of June. Lots of extra stuff going on right now and it makes my head hurt a little.

Though we had a terribly rough winter in many ways, none of us had been physically sick at all. That is, until 2 weeks ago when 6 out of 7 had a stomach bug. Then we had a week’s reprieve. Now it has came back for a second round. Ginger ale and crackers are a staple here at the moment.

With warmer weather starting to creep in, we took our first hike of the season the other day. It was glorious! Looking forward to many more this year. (FYI–no one was sick at the moment in this pic, though my one that’s not smiling got sick that night.) Also, this was taken at the bottom of a pretty steep hill. It may have been amusing to see an “after” shot of everyone once we dug in and made it to the top. Probably not such a cute picture at that point, haha.

Right now I am loving  song from Brandon Heath called “No Turning Back.” If you haven’t heard it yet, go ahead and give it a listen!

Here is the link to an acoustic version: No Turning Back

Yes He does!! I have this exact quote on a chalkboard in my kitchen right now. (Mine doesn’t look quite this pretty…)

This Easter season I was once again reminded of what Jesus did for me on that cross. Our church had a “Stations of the Cross” on Good Friday, which our family participated in. Near the end there was a picture on a screen of Christ on the cross. One of my twins stared at it with a troubled look on his face. I asked him what was up. He whispered, “But Mom, He didn’t do anything wrong to deserve that punishment.” No He didn’t, but He went through it anyway because of His great love for us.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Homespun Easter Bunny Wreath

To help usher in Spring, I made a new wreath, this one wrapped in homespun yarn.

easter wreath, chocolate nobake bars 013I was really fond of the blue and green color palette of this yarn, as well as the nice fuzzy texture.

easter wreath, chocolate nobake bars 018

To make this not just a Spring wreath, but an Easter wreath, I added this sweet little felt bunny that I made and stitched together. I added a layer of stiff interfacing in between two layers of felt to help give it structure.

easter wreath, chocolate nobake bars 021

I also made up a bunch of these felt flowers in light neutrals, along with a navy blue and one shade of green for pops of color.

easter wreath, chocolate nobake bars 015

easter wreath, chocolate nobake bars 014

Happy Spring everyone!

–Rachel

Craft/DIY Ideas

Plain Turtleneck To Easter Cardigan

There’s a mystery that I ponder every spring: Why do clothing companies make little girls’ Easter dresses either sleeveless or short-sleeved when Easter is usually still cold?

This bugs me every year! Sure, my little cutie can wear a pretty new Spring  dress, but I usually have to cover it up with a white sweater.

Well, this year her white sweater is too small.  Instead of buying a new one, I revamped a white turtleneck that’s been lying around in the back of her shirt drawer. (Hence the wrinkles in the first picture!!)

H easter cardigan 001

My first move was to trim off the ends of the sleeves and get rid of the turtleneck portion. I then cut up the middle of the front the whole way.

H easter cardigan 003

After that I hemmed up all of those edges that I just trimmed up, turning each in about 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and sewing.

H easter cardigan 005

To add some finishing touches, I made a flower embellishment using a flower trim that I cut apart (found at Wal Mart in the ribbons and trims section, sold by the yard.)

H easter cardigan 011

I also added a white grosgrain ribbon around the neckline.

H easter cardigan 012

The result is a pretty, “new” white cardigan that my little girl can wear with her Easter dress, or as a layering piece with other spring items.

H easter cardigan 009

Craft/DIY Ideas, Recipes

10 Colorful Uses for Kool Aid

Were you a Kool Aid kid? I sure was, back in the day.

You gotta love those 10 cent packages!

Today I am sharing some other uses for good ole’ Kool Aid.

What a cute little gift these would make! Check out Meet the Dubiens for instructions on how to make your own Kool Aid flavored lip gloss.

Get ready to bust out some straws and little paper umbrellas to go with these Kool Aid Slurpees. An easy recipe is shown for this on My World Made by Hand.

These would be a great treat to make for any type of party, or just for a family movie night at home. Tasty Kitchen shows you how!

Here’s a nifty and practical tip for you, courtesy of Krazy Coupon Lady–use lemonade Kool Aid as an easy dishwasher cleaner. The citric acid in the lemonade variety gives your dishwasher a cleaning boost.

Can’t get enough cool treats this summer? Well, here’s a recipe for Kool Aid sherbert.  (Looks yummy, doesn’t it?)

If your kids are getting bored, then this blog has a fun recipe for Kool Aid Play-Doh to help them get un-bored (at least for a little while).

This idea makes my crafty heart go all aflutter. Did you know that you can use Kool Aid to dye wool? Yup, you can. This post gives you the specifics on how to dye wool yarn. Oh, and I also just read a tip in The Tightwad Gazette (one of my favorite books) that you can use it to dye old wool sweaters.

Though it’s not anywhere near Easter, I still had to include this one. Kool Aid Easter eggs! Click here to see the instructions.

These twisty straws with cute Kool Aid packages attached would be a great summer party favor or treat to give classmates. I love this idea! Check out Fakin’ It for the easy directions.

Give your frosting a color and flavor boost using Kool Aid! Chocolate Chocolate shows you how. I can’t wait to try this one out as I am a total frosting girl.

There are more ideas I could have included, but I’ll stop at 10. Who knew Kool Aid was so versatile?

Hope you’re having a Kool summer 🙂

Rachel

Craft/DIY Ideas

Easter Bunny Specimen Art

This is my first attempt at making any kind of specimen art, just in time for Easter!

This was a really easy project to do and I like how it turned out.

First, I took a thrifted mirror in which I had spray painted the frame a cream color some time ago and hadn’t found the right place for yet.

Then I took out the glass and covered the inside cardboard insert with a piece of burlap.

For my “specimens,” I decided on a peeps-style bunny shape. I cut out one to use as a template and then replicated it many times over using printed scrapbook paper scraps.

I mounted the shapes in rows using double-sided adhesive foam dots to not only adhere them to the burlap, but to make them pop out a little bit.

What do you think? After making it I wondered whether solid colors would have looked better. Oh well, it’s done now and if I wanted to do another I now know how easy it is.

Happy Spring!

Rachel

Recipes, Uncategorized

Easter Nest Candy

Easter is quickly approaching! Not only is it my favorite holiday, this year it falls on my son Andrew’s 8th birthday. I have been gathering some bought candy to put in baskets, but wanted to do some homemade candies as well. Not too long ago a co-worker of my husband’s gave us a version of this candy for my kids. I thought they were too cute and the kids loved them as well. So, Linda S., here is my little version of your Easter nest candy.

For starters, here are all the ingredients you need to make this treat. It is very simple, kids can definitely help make them, and it is no-bake!

Gathering my ingredients...

Peanut Butter Easter Nest Candy

8 oz. marshmallows

2 TB butter

1/4 cup peanut butter

5 oz. chow mein noodles (1 can)

1 cup pastel M & M’s, chopped

Pastel Peanut butter M & M’s (whole)

In a glass bowl, microwave the marshmallow and butter together until melted completely. Stir in the peanut butter until well mixed. Add the chow mein noodles and chopped M & M’s. You may need to mix by hand at this point in the recipe. Just try not to crush too many of the chow mein noodles! When all are well mixed, form into nest shapes by hand. Lay on cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Allow to cool for @30 minutes. After cooling, top your nests with M & M’s, arranging them as “eggs”. Cute!

A colorful trio of sweet tweets!

This recipe made 9 nests, but you could easily make them a bit bigger and just make @6. As long as they are big enough for your candy eggs, you’re good to go.

Gooey sweetness with just the right amount of crunch.

 

I realize that using peanut butter is not an option for some families, so here are a few variations:

*Chocolate Nests-follow the same method as above, just use 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 TB shortening.

*White Chocolate Nests-same idea, just use white chocolate wafers, a bit of coconut, and some food coloring if you want a bit of color.

*I have also heard of people that use butterscotch chips.

*Top with jellybeans instead of M & M’s.

*Use little pretzel sticks or potato sticks instead of chow mein noodles.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Chocolate Felt Rabbit

Do you like to eat your bunnies ears first? Or maybe you like to chomp off an arm or leg? Do you make it last for a couple of days or do an Easter binge and eat that bunny in one or two sittings? By now you either think I am crazy OR you have figured out that I’m talking about chocolate Easter bunnies (not the cute fluufy kind!).

I am a big fan of Good Housekeeping magazine and saw a sweet idea in the April 2011 issue that I wanted to try.   It was a chocolate bunny silhouette made of felt. You know I love to copy things, but I usually add my own little twist to it. In this case, I made it reversible so you can flip it over for a different look/color.

First things first–I printed out the rabbit silhouette from the Good Housekeeping website (go to goodhousekeeping.com/purpleeaster). I chose a chocolate brown felt and white felt for my rabbit.

My original inspiration and materials

Next I cut out one silhouette of each color of felt using the rabbit template.

A conga line of rabbits!

I stacked my two rabbits and hand-sewed around the outline of the shape using a light blue embroidery floss. I imagine you could stuff it with poly-fil if you wanted, or use a heavy interfacing to make it a little sturdier.  To embellish my rabbit I stuck to simplicity–a white grosgrain ribbon around the neck. Doesn’t he look dapper?

Getting my chocolate fix--the no-calorie kind!

To mix things up a bit, I can flip him over to the white side and changed out my ribbon to a blue organza. This side looks equally sweet!

The flip side of Mr. Rabbit

There you have it–a fairly quick, cute, easy decorating idea for Easter. You could also punch a hole near the top, thread a ribbon through, and hang. Or, like they showed in the mag, have him holding a little basket bouquet of spring flowers. He would make a charming gift as well!