Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monogram Keychain


What? What's that you say? It's almost March? You mean I can't tell you about another Christmas gift? C'mon! It'll be quick. Promise. And then I only have one more after that (one TK (Auntie K) really wants me to post and might be mad if I don't soon...she also informed me that I needed to start blogging more before I lost readers, ay yi captain! so here I am). This was a relatively easy and inexpensive (ya know, cheap, but sometimes cheap sounds, well, cheap) to make. Ok, it was SUPER easy to make.

The Craft: Monogram Keychain

What you need:
2 1.5 inches of felt (any color)
embroidery floss (opposing color from 1.5 inch felt)
1 1 inch piece of felt (same color as floss)
1.5 inch piece of ribbon (coordinating color)

Cut the 1 inch piece of felt into the letter of choice. I did lower case letters because those sisters and I tend to like the lower case alphabet (well, I know Auntie Rosita and I do, TK will have to respond in the comments if she does).

Affix the letter to one of the pieces of 1.5 inches of felt. I used the same color felt as letter, but opposing would fine as well). Place the 2 pieces of 1.5 inch felt together, letter facing out. I used a simple stitch to hold them together (although a whip stitch would work, too).

I started at the top where the ribbon would go and went all the way around, stopping just before the ribbon. Leave the floss threaded and attach the ribbon. I then sewed in the ribbon using the stitch to seal the pieces together. And there you have it, a simple monogrammed keychain!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hellooo?

Yep, I'm still here. Just haven't really had the motivation to blog lately. And you know what I do when I don't have the motivation to blog? I don't blog. Because my blogs would end up sounding, well, a lot like this one right now. So we're still here. I'm just having a blockage on my blogging.

I'll be back soon. Promise. Until then, go read some old stuff.

Oh, and visit my dear friend at Adventure Tykes! (it's over there on the side bar)

And while you're at it, hit up Auntie Rosita, too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Hearts Day!

5 years ago my husband (who was not even yet my boyfriend) left 2 giant hearts made out of starbursts in my mom's garage for yours truly. He pretended they weren't from him. And he was still pretending he didn't like me "like that." And I wasn't sure I liked him "like that" yet either. (Who am I kidding? Of course I liked him "like that," especially after starburst hearts.)

This year when he asked me what I wanted for V-day, I said candy. And not just any kind, Valentine candy and no, not the cheesy kind in the box. I'm talking cinnamon gummies, the soft conversation hearts, sour cherry balls (even though I didn't mention those specifically). And you know what? That's exactly what I got! My super cute husband gave me a card this morning full of word jumbles of all the places the candy was hidden. He had to give me a hint on a few of them, but I found them all.

Do I have a sweet and creative Valentine or what? What did your Valentine do for you?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pita Pizza


Surely you haven't forgotten how much we love pizza around here? I didn't think so. I'm beginning to think I need my own pizza blog. Read on for an easy as pie (pizza pie, that is) recipe:

Too lazy to make your own crust? Don't want to buy store bought crust? Use a pita instead! Pita pizza is super easy and super yummy to make. Prep time takes about 10 minutes (to chop veggies) and cook time is only 15 minutes! Dinner in 30 minutes! Here's what you do:

The Recipe: Pita Pizza
Feeds: 2

What you need:
2 whole wheat pitas
tomato sauce or pesto (or both!)
chopped onions
chopped mushrooms
spinach
chopped black olives
any other toppings you want on top
cheese

Spread the tomato sauce or pesto on top of the pita using a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle toppings, top with cheese and stick in the oven for 15 minutes! And there you have it! Fast, easy and scrumptious pita pizza!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Clay Recipe

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but I picked it because it sounded SO easy and I knew it wasn't going to make 18 tons of clay/dough. Sweet P calls it PlayDoh because that's what it ended up feeling like, maybe a bit harder than PlayDoh, but very similar in texture.

The Recipe: Homemade Clay Dough

What you need:
1 cup flour + 1 tsp flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Mix 1 cup flour and salt together, then slowly add the water, stirring as you go.
After I stirred it a few times and it started to mush together (like my technical terms?), I dumped it all out on the counter and kneaded it for about 5 minutes (which was hard because Sweet P was yelling PayDoh! PayDoh! asking me for it). It was a little sticky so I added about 1 tsp of flour.
Roll out and cut out shapes, smush for awhile or sculpt!

You can leave your shapes to dry for 48 hours, but we baked ours at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

We painted them with tempura paint, although I'm sure acrylic works better (it just doesn't wash out!).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Wreath

Finally, finally, finally. My Valentine wreath is complete and I'm posting it for you to see. I'm not in LOVE with it, but I really like it. If I'd done this project in one afternoon, it probably would've taken about 2 hours to complete. However, it was done over the course of a week or so.

I chose the yarn and when I got home I realized I didn't have any felt that matched it and none of the felt options at Hobby Lobby matched either! So while these pieces may not match perfectly, I think it still looks pretty cute.

I also wasn't impressed with the cost. I wanted a circular foam piece and it was $5! Add the $3 for the yarn and it's already an $8 project. I know, I know I couldn't get a cute wreath for that price, but I was still a bit shocked at the price of foam pieces. Oh and I had the felt and buttons, so no cost there. Anyway, here it is!
I framed the wreath in a frame I found in our attic when I moved in. I've been looking for things to hang over our couch and this is the first piece. There is a twin frame and 2 brown wooden ones I found up there as well that I'll be filling up next.
I learned to make those cute flowers from Auntie Rosita, but I must say hers are much cuter!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine's Day Sensory Bucket


Here is our Valentine's Day Sensory Bucket and it's contents:

Valentine themed erasers from the Dollar Tree
Valentine themed stamps from Hobby Lobby
Red sparkle hearts from Dollar Tree (I removed the stick on half of these and left the stick in on the other half)
Valentine themed foam stickers from the Dollar Tree
Homemade clay hearts
Purple, red and pink pompons
1 large purple pompon
February wooden tile from perpetual calendar
I love you wooden tile from perpetual calendar
A pair of red Mardi Gras beads
A few pieces of crinkled hot pink tissue paper

She loves to dump out the contents and we'll use the stamps and erasers for matching activities this week as well as for making Valentine cards!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tot School: Groundhog Day


Sweet P is 21 months old

I actually made a lesson plan this week! I'm quite proud of my organization this week, even if we didn't stick to it exactly as it was laid out. Sweet P got sick on Wednesday so we've been spending lots of time at home playing and learning.

This week we focused on Groundhog day for the first part of the week (until Feb 2), then we transitioned to Valentine's Day! And we'll stay on V-day through this week. Here's what we did this week:

Monday:
Playdate at a friend's house in the morning
Library with daddy for 2 hours in the afternoon!
Started talking about Groundhog Day and discovered Starfall!

Tuesday:
I made the Pop Up Groundhog before she woke up and gave it to her after breakfast. Read more about it here.
Then she colored the groundhog from ABC Teach that we later made into a TP roll groundhog.
After naptime and lunch (notice the bib), she worked on the letter G is for Groundhog, putting beans in the circles. She's not really into this, yet, but she loved playing with the beans! She did this while Skyping with Gammie!
After our Skype session we worked on a few different puzzles. Auntie Kannon gave Sweet P Melissa & Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks for Christmas and they are such a great learning tool. They teach shapes, colors and gross motor skills. It comes with 5 puzzles that you can flip over so there are really 10 of them!

She also received this puzzle for Christmas (it was from the $1 spot at Target during the back to school months) and I hadn't gotten out, yet because I thought it was too hard. While some of the pieces are hard for her, she does a really good job, especially when she knows where the letter goes. It's been a great way to teach her more of her letters and what starts with those letters. And the examples are fun things to teach her.

Wednesday:
Wednesday was a snow day for mommy (even though I don't teach until 8pm) and the Farmer didn't have to go in until 1pm so we had a great morning playing together and making a Groundhog pancake. I let her stir in all the ingredients.
I have silicone cookie cutters that are for pancakes and eggs and one is in the shape of a teddy bear so I used that since it looked enough like a groundhog to me! I decorated his face with yogurt and raisins. Yum! She gobbled him right up.
After breakfast we colored a Happy Ground Hog Day picture and Skyped with Gammie (can you tell we just got Skype?) since she was home from work because of an ice storm in Texas! (and all over the US just about!)
We sang about Groundhog Day that we found at ABC Teach.
Then we learned about Groundhog Day on Starfall. When I first heard about Starfall I was skeptical because I didn't want her to use a computer or even sit in front of one, but I have to say it is a pretty cool program! She sat in my lap and she repeated the words when I clicked on them. We've also read a few shorts books where I'll read it once through, then say the words one at time and point to them and she repeats them back to me reading the book to me! We'll see how long that lasts!

We finished up our TP Groundhog, too. I cut out the pieces and she helped me glue them to the TP roll. Then we had a 2 second puppet show with the TP Groundhog and the Pop Up Groundhog.
We stayed in our jammies most of the day, can you tell?! But then we made a trip to Hobby Lobby and the $ store to pick up some goodies for our Valentine sensory bucket.

After we got home from running errands, she had a snack and sorted puffs into a egg carton.
Thursday:
We got this coloring page last week at the Healthy Living Expo. She colored it several times throughout the day and it's full of color now! I'm going to laminate it and use it as her placemat. There's an onion (or maybe a bulb of garlic), a potato and a carrot.

We went back to the library and grocery shopping Thursday morning after breakfast. We picked up 15 books and our library now has self checkout! Too cool! We got several books about snow and a few about Valentine's Day.

After naptime, we FINALLY made homemade clay. I've been wanting to do this with her FOREVER and did it on Thursday. We had a lot of fun smashing, rolling and using cookie cutters to make hearts, stars, crosses and a P! I'll have the recipe and directions in another post this week.
When daddy got home we were in the basement and the bowl the dough had been in was on the counter. He came downstairs and said, "That sugar cookie dough sure is salty." And we laughed and laughed. She watched a few minutes of a movie and played with an foam alphabet puzzle while we were down there.

Friday:
While I went to workout, Sweet P and the Farmer played with her Pattern Blocks again and she stacked them in the box they come in.
Gammie was home from work again so we talked to her at breakfast, lunch and dinner! And more coloring of the veggie page. We also got to Skype with Auntie Rosita on Friday!
That afternoon, we painted our clay pieces. Well, Sweet P painted the wax paper and her hands.
I gave her a quick bath afterward and then we opened 2 packages from Gammie and Auntie Rosita. Gammie's had a fun I Spy Hearts book and Auntie Rosita's had new plates! Sweet P LOVES the plates and was putting cotton balls on them. Then she decided it was time to feed her baby. This might have been the cutest thing EVER. She brought a plate into the kitchen and put it on the table, then she went and got her baby and put her in her seat. She put on the safety belt and tray, then said, "Bib!" and ran to get a bib out of the cabinet. She asked me to help her put the bib on, then she fed her baby! I gave her a few unpainted clay pieces and she pretended to give them to her baby. It was so DANG cute!

Saturday:
I fixed up her Valentine sensory bucket and she went to town! A grumpy and mean lady at the $ store said to me when I picked up a package of V-day erasers to show Sweet P, "Oh those will be great. Put them in her mouth, chew them up and swallow them." I was in such shock I simply said, "She doesn't put things in her mouth." Too bad, I spent most of yesterday telling her to take the red sparkle hearts out of her mouth. Go figure. But hey, it wasn't the erasers! I also have a February tile in the there from a perpetual calendar and listening to her say February is too cute!
Then, she dumped out all the contents of the bin and made it her baby's bed.
We read lots of books this week, but I took the first 1/2 back to the library and can't for the life of me remember what they were about!

Whew! That was our week. How was yours?!

Next week's theme: Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Felt Coffee Collar


We decided not to exchange gifts this year unless they were homemade. (the rest of the gifts you bought yourself and showed to everyone else, sounds silly, but really we did not need one.single.thing.) Since I've often thought of myself as the least crafty of the 3 of us, I had to dig deep ya'll. Real deep (that's Texas talk). But in the end, I made some stuff I think they all liked (at least they said they did...). I also made these items for Gammie as well.

There were 3 things and the first of the 3 was a Felt Coffee Collar. I was super proud of these and super mad at TK (Auntie K) for figuring it out (okay, I was making them with her nearby). She'd already guessed "bracelet?" "headband?" and then in the car on the way to pick up Auntie Rosita and Unka Will "coffee collars?! Are they coffee collars?" to which I scowled, "NO." Meh, I guess it was scowly enough for her to believe me because boy was she surprised on Christmas morning, "They ARE coffee collars?! I was kidding!" Yep. Whew, I'm long winded today. Without further ado:

(the CC pictured is Auntie Rosita's. She was kind enough to take pictures of hers (although TK offered as well) and send them my way since I was a ding-a-ling and forgot to do it myself. There are no pictures of the collar lying flat, so I did my best to explain the process.)

The Craft: Coffee Collar

What you need:
1 rectangle of felt (as in the large rectangles they sell at Hobby Lobby, Joann's or Michael's, in color of your choice)
1 small piece of felt (in different color of your choice)
embroider floss (1 or 2 colors)
1 cute as a button, well, button
1 small piece of ribbon
scissors
embroidery needle

Cut a small bird, heart, star, any doodad of your choice out of your small piece of felt. Put to side.

I used a Starbuck's coffee collar for measurement since I wasn't about to freehand that bad boy. I doubled up the piece of rectangle felt and cut 2 pieces for the collar. I pulled the pieces apart and stitched the bird onto the front piece of the collar. I used a regular stitch on the bird.

Then, pressing the 2 collar pieces of felt together, I sewed a whip stitch around the edges, stopping at each end (leave the needle/floss attached...don't tie off because you'll keep going with it) to put on the button and the ribbon.
I had a grande sized coffee cup on hand to measure around it to make sure I got my button and ribbon in the right place. Pull the collar tight around the cup and mark where you want put your button. Sew on your button using embroidery floss. Sew up that end and keep whip stitching until you get to the other side. Then, put the collar back around the cup to decide where you want your ribbon. I made a loop in the ribbon, attached it around the button and then cut it where I needed it. Sew the ribbon to the inside of the collar (you'll see some embroidery floss, but it's still cute. Stitch up that end and Wah-la! Coffee collar! Simple as that.

Use it with your favorite cup of coffee.

Did you make this? Tell me about it.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pop Up Groundhog

I was looking for groundhog day activities for Sweet P and I to do and found this fun idea here. With a few modifications, we created our own Pop Up Groundhog. Just in time for Groundhog Day!

The Craft: Pop Up Groundhog

What you need:
1 small dixie cup
1 popsicle stick
green construction paper
brown cardstock
white or cream cardstock
black sharpie
glue

I used a Starbuck's coffee collar as a guide for the green I wanted to go around the cup. Then, I cut it to size. Use a gluestick or double stick tape to attach the green piece to the dixie cup.
Use a bottle cap or circle punch to create a small circle on the brown cardstock for the head. Next, draw a large oval and 2 small ears on the brown cardstock and a smaller oval on the white/cream cardstock. Cut all your pieces out. Before you glue it all together, draw eyes, a nose and a little mouth on your groundhog. I gave ours eyelashes so we call her a "she."

Using a glue stick/elmer's glue, glue the ears to the head, the small oval on top of the large oval and the large oval to the head. Then glue the entire groundhog to the popsicle stick.
Use a knife (for mom only) to poke a slit in the dixie cup. Slide the popsicle through the hole and there you have it! Your own little pop up groundhog!

We named ours Gina. What did you name yours?

Please feel free to post any other groundhog ideas you have!