Yum

Yum
Monday, March 31, 2014

Tell Me About It Tuesday Linky Party and Features

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday!

Thanks to our hosts!


We had a ton of great entries last week! 




Jacqui's favorite was:

Homemade No Bake Dog Treats by Two Little Cavaliers

April's favorite was:
Strawberry White Wine Slushie by Pink Recipe Box.

Sara's favorite was:

Deviled Chicks by Organizer By Day

The most clicked link last week was:


Thank you for dropping by to link up. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week!
Remember, please follow the hostesses. Link up anything family friendly that you like, except giveaways and etsy shops!

Don't link and run, visit a few links please! Everyone loves comments or shares {hint, hint, wink, nudge}

Please note that by linking up to Tell Me About It Tuesday you are granting the hostesses permission to share your post on our social media accounts and or in round up posts. We may also feature your work in the next party.

Every link in this party will be visited and pinned to our Tell Me About It Tuesday board, so show us what you've got!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow with Coconut

We had another snow storm on Saturday of last week. While I watched the snow blowing from my window I decided to make a dessert that would take no more than 5 minutes to prepare and that would give us a little taste of the tropics to ease the pain of another winter storm.


To make Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Coconut you will need:

1/2 a bag of milk chocolate chips
2-4 tablespoons of shredded coconut depending upon your preferences (completely coated, partially coated etc)
10 jumbo marshmallows
Cooking Spray


Start by spraying a microwave safe bowl with cooking spray.
Add chocolate chips to the bowl. 
Place your coconut in another small bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth.

Dip a marshmallow in melted chocolate. Roll it in the coconut, set aside on a wax or parchment paper lined plate. Allow to harden, about an hour. You can speed this up by placing the marshmallows in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

If you love chocolate and marshmallows- hop over to check out my Double Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Recipe.










Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saturday #201: 940 Saturdays Series

Oh what a rough week we had! On Saturday #201(#21 for Harper) my children and I were beat. We were just waking up as the hubby was leaving for a movie day with a pal a few cities away. The kids and I were seriously exhausted. We took the morning slowly. I chatted on the phone and Roo played with a train track set on the floor.

Around noon I knew I had to clean up the mess that had become the living room. My laundry had accumulated crazily with the sickness in our house. The amount to deal with is so serious that the only option is to face it in bursts. Fold and hang until your back hurts kind of bursts.

So, I tacked about 35 minutes of laundry which with 2 kids means I folded 4 towels and got 2 shirts on hangers. We wore mismatch socks that day... much like every other day that week.

Roo was tired. He wanted to watch the Magic School Bus on Netflix. I complied and we messed around with construction paper and crayons on the floor while Miss Harper rolled around. She started rolling around a few weeks ago and that is her favorite pass time right now.She can scoot backwards and seems to want to skip crawling as she pulls herself up to a standing position if she can grab your hands or shirt.

We tried to keep the house fairly clean. We kind of laid around in various stages of rest for most of the day. I lounged with the kids and worked for several hours. My husband returned around 5, we ordered pizza for dinner and gave the kids their baths. They went to bed and we both fell asleep early too. The week had been taxing for everyone.

Definitely not a weekend to write home about. I spent it with my kids so that was all that mattered to me.
I hope you had a chance to enjoy your family over the weekend. You only get 940 Saturdays with your kids, make the most of them!
Monday, March 24, 2014

Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday!

Thanks to our hosts!



Sara's favorite was:

 Pecan Pie Muffins by Bake Well Junction


Jacqui's favorite was:

Crockpot BBQ Beef by 2 Crochet Hooks



The most clicked link was:



Thank you for dropping by to link up. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week!
Remember, please follow the hostesses. Link up anything family friendly that you like, except giveaways and etsy shops!

Don't link and run, visit a few links please! Everyone loves comments or shares {hint, hint, wink, nudge}

Please note that by linking up to Tell Me About It Tuesday you are granting the hostesses permission to share your post on our social media accounts and or in round up posts. We may also feature your work in the next party.

Every link in this party will be visited and pinned to our Tell Me About It Tuesday board, so show us what you've got!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chocolate Cream with Godiva Garnish

I try to keep a container of heavy cream on hand at all times. I can whip up a batch of butter if I run out, I can make eggs taste amazing with a splash of cream, or I can make a dessert that is heavenly in 2 shakes of a lambs tail.


Last week my son was sick and time was a precious commodity. I felt stressed. When life hands me messy situations I find solace in chocolate. I had my phone in hand. I was going to call {Mr.} Adam and ask him to drop by the little grocer in town but I knew he would end up with stale donuts again. (We had been down that road earlier in the week when life demanded chocolate... $7 for 3 stale donuts. Yeah no thanks!) I grabbed a metal mixing bowl and stashed it in the freezer, with the perfect dessert in mind.


To make chocolate cream you will need:

A chilled metal mixing bowl
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4  cup of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Godiva Chocolates (Yes get the good stuff!)

Pour the heavy cream into a chilled metal mixing bowl.
Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Begin mixing the cream, powdered sugar and cocoa powder on a medium setting. I use the second speed on my mixer. 

Using a rubber spatula scrape the sides of the bowl frequently. Mix until the cream begins to to thicken and soft peaks form.  Serve in small cups add a Godiva Chocolate as a garnish. Serve within 15 minutes for best flavor and be sure to keep this chilled until you are ready to serve it.
Friday, March 21, 2014

A Clean Home: How to Use a Magic Eraser

The greatest inventions in the history of the world in my opinion is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. As a mother I wouldn't dream of making a shopping list that didn't include a box of these handy dandy cleaning tools. They are amazing. They take the effort out of cleaning most anything. Crayon mess? No sweat. Microwave explosion that got baked on? Easy as 1,2,3. I use them in every room of my house. If you come over and offer to help clean up after the kids or a meal. Guess what? A Magic Eraser will find its way into your hands.


In all of the times I have handed over one of these magical cleaning wonders do you know how many people have used it correctly? 

Zero. None. Zilch. 

So, if you have never used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or if you have... please read. You might be doing it wrong and driving people like me crazy. If you have not used one, you will want to read this. Get the idea and pick up a box because you will know how to use them.

First, there are many different kinds of Magic Erasers. They are all lovely. Some have additional cleaners added, some are scented. You can select a size with some varieties. Any will work great! I get the extra strength ones normally.

Open the package. You will see a lightweight foam like sponge. This is going to change your cleaning life forever. Take a moment to process this experience. 




When you gather your wits about you and you are ready for the beginning of the rest of your life hold the magic eraser in your hand. Hold it under the sink and run water on it. Squeeze the water out of the Magic Eraser. You have activated the magic!

Don't spray any cleaners.
 Don't add soap to the sponge. 
As it is go find a mess. 
Scrub the counter, go over your stove top. 
Find crayon marks on a wall. 

Wasn't that awesome!? When it is really dirty, rinse it out. Squeeze it. Resume cleaning. Repeat as needed. When the magic eraser is down to a thin little sponge, it can be thrown away.

I hope that this helps you to understand what makes this product super awesome if you didn't know about Magic Erasers. If you did know about them, but weren't using them properly. Now you know. If you use them like the package tell you and you have encountered others adding sprays and soaps to them like they are sponges, I hope you will share this with those people, casually of course.






Wednesday, March 19, 2014

5 Minute Cardboard Craft

I might get a little silly about wanting to hoard cardboard, but I seriously see possibilities and an invitation to play when I see cardboard.

My son has toys on top of toys to play with, but I like it when I can inspire his imagination. It is interesting to see how he plays when presented new options.

We had an empty Similac box and I decided it would be a fun to see what I could do with it as a  5 minute project.

 I started with an empty box.  I carefully opened it up along the seam.


Then I put it back together, printed side in, brown side out. I tore of the flaps on one side so we had an opening. and I used a few strips of tape to secure the box.



I grabbed a handful of crayons and asked Roo what he wanted me to make.


He said "The Library!"

Now, don't you dare laugh at my art work!


I colored the building red and made simple windows with stick people and books.
He got the hint.



He stopped playing cars for a moment and kissed his sister. Then he realized I had in fact made the library.


 He dashed over and got the Mickey Mouse gang and took them to story time. This project took me less than 5 minutes. My son had a blast with his library and he played with it for 2 and a half days. It doubled as school and a garage for cars, then a cave for dinos.

How do you create fun activities with your kids with items you would otherwise throw away or hopefully recycle?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tell Me About It Tuesday 3/17

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday!

Thanks to our hosts!

The most popular link last week was:


Jelly Bean Trail Mix by Crystal and Comp

Sara's favorite was

Homemade Gummy Candy by Growing Up Gabel

April's favorite was:



Cinnamon Roll Cookies by Organizer By Day

Jacqui's favorite was:


Peeps Jello Cups by Modern Christian Homemaker

Thank you for dropping by to link up. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week!
Remember, please follow the hostesses. Link up anything family friendly that you like, except giveaways and etsy shops!

Don't link and run, visit a few links please! Everyone loves comments or shares {hint, hint, wink, nudge}

Please note that by linking up to Tell Me About It Tuesday you are granting the hostesses permission to share your post on our social media accounts and or in round up posts. We may also feature your work in the next party.

Every link in this party will be visited and pinned to our Tell Me About It Tuesday board, so show us what you've got!




Time Out Jar

I saw a really cute idea on pinterest for a meditation jar for kids and I wanted to make it. But then I realized... oh yeah! I live in absolute craziness...meditation? Yeah, never going to happen! And  is giving my son a large mason jar a good idea? He is going to throw it. At me or at a wall? Depends on the mood and the day I guess.

Well I loved the idea, but we live in the real world here. We yell, we make messes and we take time outs.
There is no such thing as quiet meditation in my house!

I decided to take the idea and run with it, modifying it slightly to meet my needs.

First I cleaned out a Tree Hut Sugar Scrub container and peeled the labels off. This gave me a durable container to use for the TIME OUT JAR.

Next I heated 2 cups of water in the microwave. Don't aim for boiling water- but warm steamy water is ideal.




Next I squirted about a tablespoon of Glitter Glue in the container. You must use glitter glue! White glue and glitter will not work! Trust me on this one, I have a blog post in the works to prove it!


Pour the warm water in the container with the glitter glue.


Add a drop or two of food coloring to the glue and water.


I lined the lid of the container with glue and firmly sealed the jar.


And here you have a TIME OUT JAR.



When my little boy is getting out of control or having a meltdown I hand him the Time Out Jar. He shakes it up and sits it down. When the glitter has fallen to the bottom he can get up from time out and resume playing. Sometimes I need a time out too and I shake the jar and watch the glitter swirl for a moment, it is relaxing and soothing. It helps me regain my composure to make it through the day when things are very hectic.

This was super easy to make and it has saved us from dramatic time outs. How do you make time out work for your kids?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday #200: 940 Saturays

On Saturday #200(#20 for Harper)  my son and I woke up early. We played in the living room, we had breakfast.When the dogs were ready to go out I was greeted by a warm 40 some degree morning. All it took was one breath of fresh air to have me hooked.

I quietly gathered clothes and shoes. I placed the baby monitor by my husband and whispered "We are going for a walk. I have my phone." Sleepy Adam said "Please bring me home a Monster Coffee..."


I dressed quickly and went to Roo. He said "Roo get in car seat?" I shook my head no. His lip started to quiver. He said "Mommy! Stay!" I whispered "Shhh, don't wake Harper." I helped Roo change clothes, I brushed his teeth and brushed his hair. Sensing that this was a secret, Roo played along whispering "Shhh Mommy!" We tiptoed out of the house and headed down the street.

My son and I have only had one walk together, just the 2 of us, since Harper was born. Before Harper we walked a lot, but my son would fight me every step of the way. Now, he recognizes that this is special time for us. He held my hand tightly and chattered to me as we walked.

My son with his big blue eyes asked me if we could get juice. I decided why not? We headed downtown and got juice and the requested Monster Coffee drink. As we were checking out my son smiled his sweetest smile and asked for a cookie. We compromised, he got a cookie with the understanding that he could not have it until after lunch.

We walked around, we met a cute dog. The dogs owner came out and tried to give me the cute dog. We saw squirrels and we saw the train. On the way home we took a street we normally wouldn't and looped around. We saw a neighbor and stopped to visit. Before I knew it we had been gone almost 4 hours, walked 3 miles and chatted for a few hours.

We eventually made it home. We had lunch, changed clothes and went out again, I needed fabric for a project I am sewing and Roo loves tagging along. Harper doesn't enjoy the car at all! She cries as soon as she sees her car seat. That made for a long ride, but I was glad to have her with me.

The walk dominated the day, but it was a wonderful way to spend a morning.
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Making Traffic Lights Preschool Craft




My son and I have a routine. In the morning he has free time, he can play as he like or watch cartoons. He can color or grab a stack of books to look at. While he has free time I work. At 10 a.m. He gets his notice that we will clean the living room together when am finished cleaning the kitchen. 

Roo takes advantage of that notice and plays as hard as he can while I work in the kitchen. If it appears that he is having a especially good time I might dash in to make beds and start a load of laundry so that he can extend his fun.

When the chores have been taken care of Roo and I pick up all of the evidence of his morning fun. 
When the blankets, pillows, toys and books have been put away and the carpet has been vacuumed it is craft time. Harper likes this part of the morning because it is her chance to get on the floor and roll around.


Each week I have 2 planned crafts and I offer Roo the chance to choose the other 3 activities for the week. Last week he told me he wanted to make a "red light". 

Hmmm. That is easy peasy! Even I can manage this one without incident!

To begin the craft we got out the disposable plates I keep in our craft supplies for projects like this one, and 4 sheets of construction paper in red, yellow, green and black. I grabbed a tube of glue and we sat down to create.

I had Roo help me tear the paper into small pieces. I thought this was a good way to work on fine motor skills and develop his pencil grip.


 

Next I tore the black paper into 2 strips.

I made 3 circles of glue on each paper.


I demonstrated what I wanted Roo to do. Place the little bits of paper onto the glue. At first he wasn't sure why I wanted to keep the colors separate. 

But then he saw what we were doing! How cool! We had 2 "red lights" and he was ready to play. There was no waiting for the glue to dry!

And yes, that is a spider riding a motorcycle on the tracks!

2 "red lights" were not enough. With big blue eyes Roo begged "More Red Lights Please!" So we made another one with bits of paper on one of the plates we had used earlier.

I had a happy little boy who was very interested in daily craft time and who found inspiration in our craft to jump into a serious session of imaginative play. I felt accomplished that we had a smooth craft session, we worked on fine motor skills with a high interest creation. 



I am thinking of a better option for red lights for Roo. Maybe painting them on clothes pins so he could set them up by the train tracks. What do you think? What would you try?
Friday, March 14, 2014

940 Saturdays: Saturday #199

On Saturday #199 I woke up to a hot mess of a child. My son is obsessed with a certain dvd (The Snowman and the Snowdog) to the point of sleeping with the case at night. He couldn't find the case when he woke up. Long story short? Mom moved a bed in the wee hours of the morning to make a little boy smile. In the process of the drama the baby woke up, she was fussy too.


Yeah... it was one of those mornings.

The day was busy. By the time the kids were fed and dressed it was closer to noon than I wanted it to be. How is that even possible?  {Mr.} Adam agreed to go shopping for a new sofa. I was determined to find one this week. But we had other obligations that day, so there wasn't a lot of time.

But...I found the coolest sofa. It is classy, it is comfy, it is gorgeous. Pictures to come soon!

After sofa shopping, we dashed to the grocery store. We had been hearing all week a major storm was headed our way. The prospect of being snowed in without diapers, formula and all of that was not appealing at all. The craziness of WalMart was intensified by the threat of bad weather.


We rushed through there so we could make it home. We had to get the kids fed, bathed and dressed to go to the sitter. We had a Saturday night out planned. In the end, the baby went with us, as I am not ready to let go yet. We went to a fundraiser and had a great time. I made a new friend and went home happy.

Despite the rushed pace of the day we had a great one! New sofa, supplies to weather the storm (that instead of dumping 12 inches as preached left about 3/4 of an inch- oh well!) and we had a night out.

I hope you had a great weekend too!



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Squash Casserole Recipe

Last week when I went grocery shopping I saw Kroger had a display of crook neck yellow squash. In my neck of the woods fresh yellow squash in the winter is unheard of. The squash were small, but they had a nice color and they were firm. I couldn't resist purchasing 2 pounds.

If you told me I could only have one side dish for the rest of my life, I wouldn't hesitate to request nothing but Squash Casserole. Whenever I make this dish {Mr.} Adam recognizes the aroma and make a face of pure bliss. This is a very simple recipe that is delicious to the point of addiction. It combines absolute comfort food, (think a mix of mac and cheese and scalloped potatoes- but without the pasta!) and the flavor is as close to a taste of summer as you can get on a snowy night in Ohio.

You will need:
2 pounds of yellow squash, cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium scallion cut finely (you can use a yellow onion if you don't have a scallion)
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs or buttery cracker crumbs
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon black pepper

Spray an 11x14 casserole dish with no stick cooking spray.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place squash and scallion in a medium sauce pan. Cover it with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then allow the squash to simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the squash. Place the cooked squash in the casserole dish. Using a spoon, smash the squash up a little.

Beat the eggs with salt, pepper, heavy cream and 1 cup of the bread or cracker crumbs. (Reserve the other half cup for the topping.) Pour this over the squash.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cheese over the squash, eggs and cream.

Top with the remaining bread/cracker crumbs. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of this. Cover it with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until set. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for about 8 minutes.

Allow this casserole to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


I serve my Squash Casserole as the main attraction for my husband whenever I make it. This time I paired it with a lightly breaded boneless pork chop and Brussels Sprouts with butter. It was definitely not the healthiest meal with all of the cream, cheese and butter, but it was without a doubt the most delicious thing that I have had in months.

How do you prepare squash?




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sensory Boxes for Beginners

For months I have been admiring sensory bins created by other bloggers. Sensory bins are an invitation to play if I have ever seen one. I decided I wanted to make a sensory box too! But other than a few cool photos to gather a general idea from, I knew nothing about what a sensory box really was.

I am close to wrapping up a developmental psychology degree, so I have a good grasp on childhood development. As most everyone knows, kids learn best through play. Jean Piaget, a cognitive childhood development theorist, best described children as "little scientists", because they form theories about the world, they test these theories actively, then they process the information they have acquired. Essentially kids are preforming the scientific method over and over again by exploring their world, forming a hypothesis,then testing it to form a conclusion.

Kids learn best when they are exploring with their senses engaged . A sensory bin offers children a chance to explore a contained environment while engaging the senses. A sensory bin can help build math skills, enhance imaginative play, develop fine motor skills. When we encourage children to learn by playing and we incorporate their senses in play we are helping kids develop the ability to use their senses and they are building the neurological pathways associated with each sense.

Sensory Bins promote learning by engaging the senses, so a sensory bin can involve touch, sound, sight, smell or taste.

To begin a sensory bin you need a bin, like a plastic storage shoe box and a base. You can use rice, sand, popcorn kernels, water beads, paper, or whatever you like as a base. Be sure to use materials that are non toxic and that you are comfortable with your child having access to.


In this St. Patrick's Day sensory bin I used green and clear water beads and small decorative green stones to provide a base of different textures.

I added green coins and reusable ice cubes in a shamrock theme. I had a large replica of a golden coin I use as a paper weight so I added that too.

I wanted my son to feel the smoothness of the stones and the moist, jelly like texture of the water beads. And to notice how they felt together.



I asked him to find all of the shamrocks and to count them. This was something he was happy to do. He loves to count. I asked him to count the green coins, he happily plucked them out of the bin and counted them off.

Before we could go any further my son had a few of his action figure guys, the "dudes", in hand,  he gave me a smile and started making them jump from the ledge of the box into the sensory bin. He laughed happily and gave the dudes a bubble bath.

This St. Patrick's Day sensory bin incorporated fun things to touch, we worked on our counting skills and it inspired my son to jump into an imaginative play session. It also kept him busy all day long. It is always nice when he is playing with a toy that doesn't have batteries or a screen.

I hope that this post will be helpful if you are new to sensory bins. Kids of all ages will enjoy the chance to have a sensory play session.
Monday, March 10, 2014

Tell Me About It Tuesday Linky Party!

Welcome to Tell Me About It Tuesday!

Thanks to our hosts!

The most popular link last week was:

St. Patricks Day Printables: L is for Leprechaun by 3 Boys and a Dog

Jacqui's favorite was:

April's favorite was:



Lego Themed Birthday Party by Lifestyles of a Stay at Home Mom

Sara's favorite was:
A Manicure at Home by a Wonderfully Messy Life


Thank you for dropping by to link up. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week!
Remember, please follow the hostesses. Link up anything family friendly that you like, except giveaways and etsy shops!

Don't link and run, visit a few links please!

Please note that by linking up to Tell Me About It Tuesday you are granting the hostesses permission to share your post on our social media accounts and or in round up posts. We may also feature your work in the next party.

Every link in this party will be visited and pinned to our Tell Me About It Tuesday board, so show us what you've got!