Easy Snow Globe

This is a fun little project the kids loved making last year and were just as thrilled to pull out of the Christmas decorating box and see them again this year.snow globe
Here are the supplies you will need:snow globe
– Figurine ($3 at local toy store) and tree ($1 for 3-pack at dollar store)
*Note, make sure figurine fits in opening of globe!
– Globe (I used a jar from a dollar store $1)
– Snow (here I used finely shredded coconut and sugar to add sparkle)
– Glue gun
– Marker

snow globe
I am sure it is pretty self-explanatory to do this but here are the steps:

1) If the jar is not even all around, close lid and make a mark on lid where the front of the jar is so you will know which way to place figurine.

2) Open lid and hot-glue figurine and tree to lid

3) Fill globe with snow, close lid and voila!
snow globe

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Halloween: Tissue Ghosts (easy and fun with kids)

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Of all the fun crafts my mom involved my sister and I with when we were kids, this one stands out as my favourite and my kids seem to love it too. It is about as simple as you can get as far as Halloween crafts go and great for all ages.

Supplies:
– Kleenex (tissue)
– White thread
– Marker

1) Take one tissue and scrunch it into a ball.
2) Wrap second tissue around first and twist to form the head.
3) Wrap thread around neck of ghost and tie knot leaving enough tail of thread to be used to hang onto something.
4) Make dots on face with marker for eyes and mouth.

We have hung them from our dining light but are also great in a window or anywhere really. Another great option is to pick a branch and hang them from the it.

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Easy AND Healthy Pie Crust!

I am going to share with you a very old family recipe from my great aunt who was a nutritionist many years ago at a fancy prep-school. I’m not sure where she got it from but it has been the “go-to” crust in our family for decades. To have a crust recipe without lard and/or hydrogenated oils that still tastes awesome and is quick and easy to make is a real find…in my opinion.ingredients

Recipe for 1 pie:

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons cold milk

1) Mix flour and salt together with a fork in a pie plate
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and olive oil until well combined
3) Add wet to dry in pie plate, combine with fork and/or hands and press into plate until it is all an even thickness
4) Use fork to poke holes
5) Bake 425° for 15 minutes

pressing in pie plate and sticking with fork

It is not the fanciest crust but I like the rustic nature of it and when it is yummy and healthy, who cares 🙂
pic of crust

Here are a couple of pics of my fave rhubarb pie which I will post the recipe for soon. The first pic shows after it has been baked and before the filling is added.

July12_2013_4a rhubarb pie pic

Enjoy!

Trying To Stay Sane in An April Snow Storm

It is April 12th and we are in the middle of a snowstorm! Since the kids have a snow day today, I am trying to think of ways to keep them busy and me sane. Here are some fun and easy activities we have tried recently.

Balloon Rocket

Need: straw, string, tape, balloon, 2 chairs
• Cut a straw and put a string through it
• Tie one end to one chair and the other end to another chair
• Blow up a balloon and hold end closed while taping it to the straw
• Slide balloon and straw to the end of the string which has the balloon opening facing the chair
• Let go and watch the balloon rocket fly!
• The kids liked it when one child would let go and the other child would lie under the string so the rocket would fly over them.
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Goo Science

The goo is sometimes liquid and sometimes solid and so much fun! Scientists would call this a “colloid”. You can roll it into a ball but if you hold the ball in your hand, it will liquify and run through your fingers. The kids could probably play with this for hours.

How to make it:
• Put about 2 cups of cornstarch in a bowl
• One child slowly adds water a little at a time while other child mixes with their hands
• Once you get the perfect consistency of liquid/solid it is time to play

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Easter Decorating on the Cheep….er, Cheap!

Since our house is on the small side, I find that although I love to decorate for holidays like Easter, I don’t want to have a tonne of decorations I have to store for the other 360+ days of the year. I also don’t want to have to buy new decorations every year since that can be expensive so we try to come up with creative things that are cheap, or even better, free! Here are a bunch of pics of this year’s collection of decorations.pics of decorations1

The kids dyed some eggs using a wax crayon to draw on them first.

We put the eggs in a glass vase and added a couple of stuffed bunnies the kids had as toys.

The pussy willows were out just in time this year so we went for a hike to pick some.

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I had these dogwood branches still hanging up from Christmas (I am embarrassed to say) and just as I was about to take them down, realized I could hang some eggs on them so there they stay.

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The egg garland we made here and the tablecloth I bought for my daughter’s birthday from the fabric section at Ikea for $6/m.
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The nest/branches in the vase I actually bought at the dollar store and the eggs in the bowl we collected from the cousin’s hens.
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Total cost for this year’s decorations:
All branches = free
Kid’s paper egg garland = free
Nest/branch = $1.50
Eggs/dye = $3
Hanging eggs from passed year.
Total: $4.50

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The final pic shows more eggs my daughter made and put in her window to decorate her room and a deer came to visit in the morning. 🙂

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter!!

Fun, Easy Easter Egg Garland

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This idea is entirely thanks to my 8 year old. She wanted to decorate for Easter and loves cutting out snowflakes at Christmas time. She combined the two ideas by drawing and cutting out an Easter egg shape, then folding it in half twice and cutting out shapes as you would a snowflake. Be sure to only cut the shapes from the two folded sides. We finished by putting ribbon through a hole in each of the eggs and then hanging them up. So easy, fun and looks great! Such a clever little monkey 🙂

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Best Cookie Recipe for Baking With Young Kids

I have been making this recipe since my kids were toddlers because it is about the simplest cookie recipe possible and it has some fun “hands-on” steps the kids love. Oh yeah, AND the cookies are delicious!

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Thumbprint Jelly Cookies

1 Egg yolk
1/2 Cup white sugar
2 Cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat)
1 Cup butter melted
jelly or jam

1) Preheat oven to 350F (177C).
2) Mix all ingredients except jelly and form into a big ball.
3) Break off small, meatball-sized pieces.
4) Have child roll piece into ball, then flatten ball with palm of hand.
5) Ask child to show you his/her thumb by sticking it into the air, then push thumb into centre of each cookie.
6) Fill each thumbprint with jelly or have child do this depending on how old he/she is.
7) Bake for about 10-15 minutes. That’s it, have fun!

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“Ok Daisy, lets do a puzzle while the cookies bake.”

Simple, Inexpensive and Fun Valentine!

I got this idea from a Design Mom post last year and we had tonnes of great feedback from the kids and families who received them. They are simple, and inexpensive costing only $3.50 for 20 valentines (10 cents per print plus $1.50 for 20 suckers at the dollar store).valentine

valentine

Take a photo of your child holding out their hand like they are holding something (obviously).

valentine

I made the title in Photoshop which I tried to set up as a download for you but for some reason WordPress wouldn’t allow me to upload a .psd file. Anyway, you can easily make your own or even just write on the front of the photo with permanent marker.  The kids helped cut holes in the card for the suckers and wrote their names on the back but since their faces are already on the valentine, they don’t even need to do that if you are to strapped for time.

Admiring their valentines before handing them away.

Admiring their valentines before handing them away.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Steak Wraps with Aoli Sauce

Here is a wrap we seem to be making pretty frequently these days because it is easy, healthy and the whole family loves it.

First make Aoli Sauce from recipe found here.

Then we wrap up the following ingredients in a whole wheat wrap and chow down:

Red pepper sliced thinly lenghtwise
Thinly sliced Barbecued/grilled steak
Spreadable Cream Cheese
Organic Romaine lettuce
Aoli Sauce (here is that recipe again)




Easy and Delicious Aoli Sauce

This sauce is quick, easy and adds a tonne of flavour to sandwiches, wraps, or even use it as a salad dressing. My sister taught me this recipe except her version had lemon. Once I added lime instead because I was out of lemon, and I now do it this way all the time. I find lime has a stronger flavour so you don’t require salt.

ingredients

Ingredients:
1 Clove garlic minced
1/8 Cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons (heaped) of mayonnaise (I like the canola mayo best)
**note: don’t use mayo that already has olive oil in it or it will coagulate.
1 Lime  (freshly squeezed juice of)
May need salt to taste but probably not.

Heat oil on stove and add garlic. Cook until garlic is just golden brown.
Next, rest pot with oil in another pot containing ice water (to cool the oil-garlic mixture).

Once cooled slightly, add the mayo and mix. The sauce will now start looking like this but don’t worry!

Once you add the lime (which is now), it all comes back together again to form a nice smooth creamy texture like this.

That is it!  “Easy, peasy, lemon lime squeezy!” (As my daughter’s teacher would say).

Just remember the goal is to taste salty and sour equally. If it doesn’t, you may wish to add some salt and/or olive oil and/or more lime to taste until you get it just the way you like. Enjoy!