Friday, January 29

A New To-Do!

I am on a never-ending quest to get organized. A few years ago, I came across this book which really helped me learn how to keep house, and be somewhat organized about it. I pull it out every now and then to get back on track. It's been a while since we've been on track. Which is why I was so excited when I came across this "Master Weekly Checklist" on Simple Mom. It reminded me a lot of the checklist I had made based on the book, except I liked the layout of Simple Mom's checklist a lot better. So I've made a new one! It incorporates my old list, and some suggestions from Simple Mom's, including her layout. I will print it out, laminate it, and stick it on my fridge. Then I can cross off my to-do list with a dry-erase marker, and not have to print out a new one each week. I also love the idea behind her Daily Docket, especially her 3MITs and will definitely be putting that to good use! Next up is re-doing the kids' chore chart...

Thursday, January 28

Toadstool Table and Chairs Set

Toadstool Table and Chairs Set: "Toadstool Table and Chairs SetInvite three best friends, or dolls, to a garden tea party held on the Toadstool Table and Chairs Set ($450). The four little stools and spotted mushroom table are made of resin, so they’ll hold up to outside use, though they’d make a lovely place to play or draw inside, too. ...

Visit Playgrounder for the full post."

Tuesday, January 26

Fifty Dangerous Things

I really wish my Mom had this book when I was growing up! I also bet I could add to the list.

The idea of this thin book is that danger is something kids need to learn to handle by experience. The 50 small experiments in this book can potentially cause a minor injury (although they are unlikely to), but are never really seriously dangerous. In fact most of them aren't dangerous at all, but at least they are fun. There are no special techniques, secret formulas or exclusive knowhow here that everyday knowledge or a quick internet search would not turn up. The activities are the kinds of things kids will sometimes do on their own -- at least in the past. It's too bad a book like this is needed today, and maybe you, or folks you know, don't need it, but if the kids in your life live a very structured and constantly supervised existence, this is a way to supervise a little danger. The book is designed to be read either by parents or kids. Most activities have clear instructions. We've been going through the book, letting the kids choose. It encourages them try stuff, and to see the trade off in risks and gains in many things. Mostly we use this as a primer for more dangerous things to try later on.

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)
Gever Tulley
2009, 130 pages

Available from Amazon


Sample Excerpts:



Sunday, January 24

Tomato Soup

I tried another Pioneer Woman soup last night. It's delicious! Click here to get the recipe. Or you could do what I did and just buy her cookbook. Last night's soup was the Sherried Tomato Soup. Here's what I did differently though... I left out the sherry, swapped the heavy cream with half and half, and used dried parsley and basil instead of fresh. I also pureed the onions and diced tomatoes, because I like my soups smooth, not chunky. And it was still delicious. I served it up with grilled Gruyere cheese sandwiches, and it was SO GOOD. Even Josh, who isn't much of a soup eater, liked it! It's super easy, quick and yummy. Make it. Tonight!

Thursday, January 21

Animal Hands

Animal Hands: "Animal HandsNo matter where you are, if you have Animal Hands ($7), you have an instant source of entertainment. Put them on yourself, or put them on the kids, these temporary tattoo-style critters take advantage of the natural shape of your hand to create hungry alligators, sharks, giraffes, and more. ...

Visit Playgrounder for the full post."

Staying Still Too Long Hurts You, Even If You Exercise [Health]

Staying Still Too Long Hurts You, Even If You Exercise [Health]: "

Maybe this is why 6 hours of studying for months and months makes Joshie a grumpy Boy! 5 Days with 3 tests to go!!!!1

If you take laziness just as seriously as exercise, you're still at a higher risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, or other illnesses than those who stay moderately active throughout the day. That's the latest out of the journal for the American Heart Association, which examined people who had long periods of inactivity (TV watching, computer use, or the like). Regardless of whether they also got out and got real exercise, researchers found that keeping your muscles inactive for long periods of time hurts your health. Assuming you don't take that as a call to abandon exercise entirely, consider some tips on halting a sedentary lifestyle and getting active throughout your day. Photo by oddsock. [Los Angeles Times via Slashdot ]

Wednesday, January 20

Three blogs... checkout today!

She doesn't post very often, but I like to check it out because I love her fabric designs! And she has just come out with a new collection- through Michael Miller who happen to make some of my absolute favorite fabrics. I bought some of her Green Climbing Lantern Pods to make some pillows out of. She also uses one of my favorite color combinations- turquoise and bright red.

I am not a quilter, but someday when life slows down a little I hope to become one. In the meantime I check out these two blogs and daydream...
2. Oh Fransson and
The styles are kind of similar, fresh and happy looking. I love it!

Happy browsing!

Friday, January 15

That Green Tape

I have great memories of listening to this green tape as a kid. I've held on to it all these years... thinking someday I would transfer it over to a cd. Imagine how happy I was to discover this at my local library a little while back! It's amazing how 25 years later you still remember all the lyrics. And how much fun it is to watch my girls "running around in circles, running and running..."

Wednesday, January 6

French Onion Soup

Cue music, "At last.... my love has come along..."
now take a look at this:
If only they'd invented a smell-the-photo feature on computers, you could smell these sauteed onions simmering in broth, white wine, and a splash of worcestershire sauce.
And even better, you could smell this:
after it had been simmering for over an hour, and was topped in gruyere cheese which was then broiled
until it was toasty brown.
Get the recipe at the Pioneer Woman's website.
The woman is my new favorite genius.
Seriously my pictures don't do it justice.

p.s. Just for the record it took me about 3 hours start to finish. I think she lists 2 hours, but she probably chops and preps alot faster than I do.

Tuesday, January 5


Before I move on to 2010, I just have to post about two Christmas presents my kids received. We are VERY blessed with family and friends who are generous with our kids, and every year we are excited and grateful for the great presents our kids receive from them. This year we got a great mix of store-bought and homemade presents.
Here are two examples:

Cheese and Mouse
My sister made this for our 2 year old, but we all play with it. Basically, a wedge of "swiss cheese" made of wood, complete with holes, and a little "mouse" on a string to thread through the holes. My sister got the idea from this friend of hers, and I love it! Great for fidgety fingers! I think it's pretty simple to make- if you have the right tools, although I'm baffled as to how the string is attached to the cheese and mouse. Glue? She also used food coloring to dye it just incase it gets chewed on. Thoughtful huh?

Next up is: Doodle All Year by Taro Gomi.
This book is awesome. I want one for me! The book is broken down into seasons- and it has just enough prompts to get the 4yr old started, but still enough room that she can go beyond the simple instructions if she wants to. Thanks to my sister-in-law for this one...

This is just a taste of what my kids' Christmas was like, and I think in the next few weeks I will post more samples of fun stuff we like.
Just want to say a big THANK YOU once again for all the fantastic goodies we got!!