Thursday, December 9

The Wizard of Oz Medley

The Wizard of Oz Medley: "

(YouTube link)

The class of 2013 perform a medley of songs from The Wizard of Oz for the annual Nykerk Cup competition at Hope College. Sure, they sing well, but where are they hiding all those props? You can also watch the performance of their competition, the freshman class. -via Buzzfeed


Sunday, November 21

Guess what? It's November! The days and weeks are flying by way too fast! Christmas is fast approaching...which is why I love Sew Mama Sew!'s gift guide. Check it out- every day this month they have a theme with gift ideas. Here are some of my favorites:

Tuesday, October 26

Halloween Countdown

One costume down and two more to go....
No idea who she's supposed to be? You must not live in a Backyardigans-obsessed home (like ours).
She is Uniqua as the Flower Girl with Flower Powers.
"Flower POWER!"

Tuesday, October 19

Halloween Kiddie Crafts

With Halloween coming up soon, we've been getting in the spirit with some of crafty projects.

First up is Mini Pumpkins:
It's still too early for us to buy a big pumpkin (it's hot here, it would be mush by the time Halloween actually came around). So... to hold off the girls for a little while, I bought a bunch of different baby pumpkins. Then I gave them each a sharpie and let them decorate the pumpkins. OK... I couldn't resist decorating one or two... It's kind of fun.

Next up is our Spooky Mobile:
This was actually a present from my friend Joanne. Last year she sent us this great kit with everything you'd need to make Halloween masks (think Zorro not Scream). This year she sent the girls a kit to make this spooky mobile. I love these kinds of crafts because it works well for both girls. Plus who doesn't love bats with sequins and stars glued on them?? It would be pretty easy to recreate with your own bat and pumpkin cut outs. It would also be cute to do bats, pumpkins and ghosts. Just don't forget the sparkly decorations!

And finally is the Ghost Prints:
We actually did this at a community playgroup program that I take our 2year old to. It was super easy, and fun- just trace the hand and foot prints on construction paper, and cut them out, and decorate like ghosts. Our other daughter did something similar to this last year in preschool- except they actually stepped in white paint and made a print on black paper, and decorate with those googly eyes. I love crafts that use hand prints and footprints... without them I would never have a record of how they are growing.
Slowly but surely our house is getting decorated for Halloween! Now if I can just get started on Halloween costumes...

Sunday, October 10

Cake Mix in a Jar

I was first introduced to Cake Mixes In A Jar a few years ago at a class teaching different Christmas present ideas. I've 'taught' other people how to make them a few times since then, including at a "Christmas in October" Night offered at my church last week. I found the recipe that I used this time on . They have a lot of different "Gift in a Jar" recipes. The one I chose was Chocolate Chunk Coffeecake. I made it ahead of time and it tasted great! These mixes in a jar are pretty straightforward, but here is the recipe with some pictures to clarify:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in mixing bowl.

2. Transfer mixture to 1-quart wide-mouth jar. Cover your hand with a paper towel and press the flour down into the jar to pack it tightly.
If you are using a regular-mouth jar you will need to do this with a paper towel and spoon.
When all the flour mix is packed in tightly, use the paper towel to wipe off any powdery dust from the rest of the inside of the jar.

3. Pack in the brown sugar. The goal is not so much to get straight lines as to get crisp lines. You don't want the ingredients to bleed into each other.
Add the chocolate chips and nuts. Screw the lid on tightly.
Decorate the jar with a piece of ribbon (or raffia) and 8”x8" piece of your favorite fabric.
Yes. That's Elvis peeking out of some of my favorite Christmas fabric. If you want more of your chocolate chips to show you can trim the fabric down to 7"x 7".

Attach the following instructions on a gift tag (hole punched and threaded through the ribbon):

Chocolate Chip Coffeecake
Makes 12 to 16 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar Chocolate Chunk Coffeecake Mix
1 cup sour cream

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
2. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until blended (mixture will be lumpy). Add jar mix and sour cream to butter mixture. Stir until well blended.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Easy and fun present to give any time of the year!

Saturday, October 2

Bee-Bim Bop!

A few weeks ago our 5yr old's Kindergarten class read the book Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park. It sounded like a fun book so I borrowed it from our local library. The story is about a girl 'helping' her mom as they go through all the steps of making their dinner- Bee-bim Bop. At the end of the book the author has included a recipe for the dish they are making in the story, along with suggestions on how to divvy the work between the child and the grown up. We decided to give it a try, with great results! Our 5 yr old loved helping out with the cooking,
(especially squishing the marinade into the meat with her hands)
and the dish was delicious! And I was happy because it got my kids to eat vegetables they wouldn't have usually touched with a ten-foot pole (bean sprouts and cooked spinach). Aren't those egg ribbons pretty?
Bee-bim Bop gets a big thumbs-up in our house!
If you don't want to get the book, check out this recipe, it's pretty much the same as the one in the book. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 29

Recycled Crayons

Do you have a lot of broken crayons? Do you have a child like mine- who delights in peeling the paper off crayons? Don't despair! Hold on to them and you can make...... Recycled Crayons! :)
A couple of weekends ago, my girls were BORED so I decided I'd finally saved up enough broken crayon bits to try out Recycled Crayons. The 'recipe' I decided to go with is this one from Make & Takes. I had a cheap muffin pan that I decided to sacrifice, but there are lots of different ways to make them, like this one that uses a microwave and candy molds, or this one that uses a heart shaped silicon ice cube tray. The hearts are really cute- especially if you used them for these Valentine's Day cards! Ok... enough tangents.
Here are the crayons all melted (note: in the Make & Take instructions she said to cook them about 7-8 minutes, ours took almost twice as long to get completely melted). To speed up the re-hardening process I filled up the bottom tray and empty cups with ice cubes.
Here are the finished products: (after a couple of them got broken from super vigorous usage). We love them!
And's the Crayon Peeler using her new recycled crayons.

Thursday, September 16

This is Peedie.

Peedie is a gosling.
A small, yellow gosling who sometimes forgets things.
This is our 2 1/2 yr old's favorite book right now. It's called Peedie by Olivier Dunrea. She can recite the whole book by heart. It's about a small yellow gosling. He has a lucky red baseball cap. He also forgets things sometimes.
Peedie has some friends.

BooBoo who likes to eat things.

Gossie who likes to wear bright red boots.

Gertie who likes to wear bright blue boots. Gossie and Gertie are best friends.

And Ollie. He's kind of stubborn. And he stomps around alot.

Here's why we love these books: Olivier Dunrea's illustrations are simple and beautiful. And the stories are short, funny and sweet. For a look at all the books in the Gossie & Friends series go here. (plus the pictures are much much better). For some biographical info on Olivier Dunrea go here. We can't wait to meet the latest friends- coming out Spring 2011!

Thursday, September 9

Dream Dinner

I've just been drooling- I mean looking around The Pioneer Woman Cooks and had to share.
First up is her Layered Salad recipe. I was looking through the comments, and liked some of the changes people suggested, like switching out red bell peppers for the tomatoes, and red onions for the green onions... Not so sure about the mayo/sour cream dressing- it seems really THICK, but since I've liked every PW recipe I've tried...
Then there's the Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce or even better the Pasta alla Vodka which was my favorite dish at my favorite Italian restaurant in NYC Angelo's (they add Pancetta and it is delicious).
And finally for dessert... check out the Pretty Little Brownie Bites. sigh. I like to torture myself by visiting the Brownies & Bars post. Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies. Need I say more?
If someone makes those Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies please tell me. I'm saving them for my birthday in December.

p.s. sorry about the lack of pictures... I'm still fuzzy on the rules about when it's ok to post other people's pictures. It's time for me to do a little research!

Monday, September 6

You are the Winner!

A few days ago I got up and checked my email, and was greeted by this message:
"You are the Winner!". And the best news is- it was for real!! I won a giveaway!!! And it was an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!
It's full of beautiful pictures...
a little sewing history...
and 25 awesome projects!
The best part for me (being an instant-gratification kind of a sewer) is all the one day projects!
If you want to see a full list of all the projects in the book, go to Amazon and check out the Table of Contents! (I love that Click to Look Inside feature). Now the book in itself is a great prize, but to top it all off- Kathy Miller from Michael Miller Fabric added 5 (!!!!) yards of the fabric of your choice to the giveaway. Narrowing down which fabric I wanted from their amazing collections was not easy :) but I finally did it, and a couple of days ago it all came in the mail.
First up is Climbing Lantern Pods by Laura Gunn. I have the green version and have been wanting the turquoise version...
then Poppy Silhouette- also by Laura Gunn
Hummingbirds by Patty Young (you can't tell from the bad lighting in my picture, but the background is white)
And finally two coordinating Christmas Prints from MM's Funky Christmas collection. I've been eyeing this since last Christmas, and decided it will be perfect for some cute Christmas outfits for the girls!
Santa Yule Trees
and Santa Play Dot
And finally just because they are nice over at MM they threw in one of their cute gnome bags:
My kids especially love the baby gnome on the back:
A BIG thanks to Judi Ketteler and Kathy Miller- they totally made my week!

Tuesday, August 31


I've never done a Quilt-a-long, but I love the idea. I've come across a couple of them that have just started up, and are very tempting.
Check out the first one a Baby Clothes Quilt Along over at Vermillion Rules. I'm not quite done with all of our baby clothes, but will definitely bookmark this for a someday project! This quilt along is only on week 2 so it's not too late to join in.
The second quilt-a-long is just getting started at Oh Fransson and it's a Tokyo Subway Map! It would be great (I wouldn't even know how to start) to be able to adjust this to your subway map of choice. After living in London I would definitely choose this one:

Saturday, August 28

I know what they say about TV and couch potatoes...
And it can definitely be true in our house...
But sometimes, you've just got to get up and dance!