Our mischievous, yet caring, leprechaun accidentally baked his rainbow and left it for us as a St. Patrick’s Day treat!
What you mean St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday?!? And I am just telling you about this NOW? Well, yeah. Think of me as really early for next year. [This is part of my new blogging attitude....former blogging me used to try and do activities at least a month in advance so that I could blog about them in time for readers to do them too, but I discovered that we were basically celebrating the holidays months in advance and then we were burned out when the real thing came around. New blogging me figures I'll write 'em as we do 'em and maybe you can find some clever way to do the activities now----say a rainbow birthday perhaps---or you can tuck the ideas away for next year.]
I saw this idea for a rainbow cake at notmartha.org. She cleverly made it a leprechaun trap (and clearly has some icing piping skill that I lack). Anyway I have vowed repeatedly to never make a plain ol’ white cake again so when I saw this I knew I had to give it a try. I’ve made a rainbow cake before but this time instead of just having all the colors of the rainbow, I wanted to actually try to make them arc like a rainbow too. You can read through the linked tutorial if you’d like to know how. I will admit that I did not measure out my batter as precisely as I could have. Which probably (ok definitely) lead to a little less rainbow-like cake than what I would have desired. Also as I was pouring all the layers I kept thinking, this surely isn’t enough batter. And I will admit it was a pretty shallow cake, only 2 inches or so…..I guess I had visions of a tower. Perhaps next year I’ll make a double batch. I will also try to spread out the batter in wider ribbons and aim to get each consecutive color more in the middle of the previous ribbon of batter. But here’s how mine looked:
Looks pretty tasty so far!
Here is where I began to die of curiosity to see what the inside looks like….
Managed to overcome my desire to cut into it right then and there to check for a rainbow, frosted it in white (yes green would have been lovely, I convinced myself white was “cloud-like”…it was late) We have an ornament that I used in the center (that’s a leprechaun diving in to a pot of gold) and then I circled the inside ring with gold chocolate coins.
I’d give it a strong B. My daughter was thrilled and there definitely is a rainbow, although all the arcs aren’t “perfect”….because that’s what kids really want in a cake is pretty color arcs. What mostly annoyed me is the fact that I iced the dang rainbow upside down….
For my birthday I inexplicably asked for a sewing machine. Yup. A sewing machine. Goes right up there next to the year that I was ecstatic over receiving a vacuum cleaner. Namely because I have no idea how to use one.
I am not exaggerating when I say that my 4 year old daughter has been asking at least once a week since that fateful day in November when I opened the gift about when we are going to make something with it. A month ago I even went so far as to get the directions out. Who knew that the thing could make 25 different kind of stitches (who knew that there were 25 different kinds of stitches?!?)? Late last night, when any person with a shred of common sense would have gone to bed I decided to tackle threading the beast. And while I was at it, why not make the curtains for the playroom (as opposed to have the material taped to the window as its been for the past month *cringe*). And while I don’t think my curtains will win any awards for style or depth of skill, they work! Of course no curtain rod = no pictures since new curtains are now taped back to the window frame….what can I say, I’m one classy lady.
Today with my whopping 20 minutes of free time and leftover curtain fabric I decided to tackle pillow covers. Thank you I heart naptime for such a wonderful and easy tutorial!!! (front on left, back on right)
I love it! It was super easy to make and looks fantastic! I see a whole house full of fabulous little pillows in my very near future. Perhaps then my 2 year old son will stop running in to things…
Why is it during a week of complete and total chaos, one in which the kids have been trying to outdo each other with sleep deprivation (there isn’t enough coffee in the world) and I’ve generally been late for everything I’m going to, I have the sudden urge to blog again?
I started this blog months ago as a way for me to share my ideas and activities with other moms and as motivation for me to do new and fun things with my own kids. Well, it’s worked! We are so busy doing fun things that writing about them (and photographing them and promoting them) has taken a temporary backseat. In addition to all the wonderful things the kids and I are doing, and gearing up for the marathon that is late October thru January, I discovered that I love crafting and have even opened a wreath shop on Etsy called The Crafty Sugarsnip (come check it out!)…..I’ve always said I’m a fan of wreaths . I was managing to pull all of this off for awhile but I noticed my bedtime getting later and later and my coffee consumption going up and up, something had to give!
Given all the things we do, and how much of a (completely amateur) shutterbug I am, I have posts to come! If you want to see what we are up to be sure to check back and/or follow me on Pinterest for ideas!
Last weekend I shared some of the very first decorations to be put up and today I am going to share two more.
I discovered this brilliant Halloween village on a blog called The 36th Avenue using Christmas houses from the Dollar Tree (on sale now….already…sure, Christmas is two months away, why not?). All you have to do is take the kinda creepy Christmas houses and spray paint them black. So far this is what I’ve managed to accomplish (and I wish I had thought to take a picture before spray painting so you could see the before picture). I think they look pretty spooky as is, but the original idea was set up gloriously. I just a) don’t have any room for such a display in my house (sadly) and b) haven’t had the time to do such things. But I think after I add a few more things around the houses I’m going to be pleased as punch with my Haunted Village.
* Note: Don’t go looking for something packaged. These are small houses that are not in any sort of container or wrap, and at my store were located near the check out at the end of one of the aisles.
The second decoration is a fun way to dress up a dinner table. Originally I had planned to make witch legs coming out of my house (a la Wizard of Oz). I had heard or seen how you can just put tights on pool noodles and add shoes and thought that was clever. But as I played tug of war for the tights with both my kids, got them on the pool noodles, only to hear “but where is the rest of her body?” from my 4 year old I somehow pictured that trapping her under the house wasn’t going to go over too well. So plan B, which admittedly I like even better. I cut my tights in two, ran them up two legs of the table, and tucked on some old black shoes. My kids thought this was hilarious. My plan is to get a black or orange table cloth (nothing fancy) and we’ll call that her skirt. Who knows, we might end up with an entire witch for a table .
Have I mentioned our pumpkin patch recently? No? Well let me give you the update. We have 4!!! Two gigantic pumpkins (ok gigantic as in the size of a small child) and two small cute ones. Only one is orange and the others better get with it quickly otherwise we’ll be making green monster pumpkins this year . I have to admit that given the amount of time and space (no joke the “patch” has taken over our backyard) I had high hopes for a plethora of pumpkins but I’ll take what I can get, and hey there are 4 of us and 4 pumpkins. Perfection! Given that we planted seeds in June we’ve had pumpkins on the mind for the past 4 months (!!!). So what better way to celebrate Halloween and the culmination of our pumpkin growing efforts than with the Perfectly Pumpkin Contest?
We’ve already done quite a few pumpkin activities (some to be posted, so check the linky or check back here!) from glitter decorated pumpkins to making salt dough pumpkins, and perhaps my favorite making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! See? A little bit of everything. Pumpkins. Everywhere.
It’s official, I’m a Fall girl. The glorious weather has finally arrived! And now, of course, it’s raining. And I don’t mean sprinkle, I mean someone is throwing buckets of water from the sky. Well we can’t let being stuck inside prevent us from having fun or from exercising! (Gotta get the crazies out somehow, right?) We decided to have our very own indoor road rally this afternoon and while the layout of the house (we rent) drives me bananas it turns out it’s perfect for racing. One perfect loop around the chimney takes you from the hall, into the family room, through the kitchen, and back. So we cut some ribbon and taped it between one entry way for the starting line and we took another ribbon for the finish line on the other side, the kids picked their vehicles (“J” chose his beloved plane and “M” chose the CAT truck), started their engines, and they’re off!
[Disclaimer: You are about to get a glimpse at the chaos that is my house....I like to go with the theory that the messier the house the more fun we are having.]
The plane is admittedly harder to maneuver, “J” is smaller and a little (although not much) slower, and “M” has a definite competitive streak…..so, we had a clear winner. Not that it mattered the kids were just having a blast going round and round.
In fact I put back up the finishing line just so that “J” could know the glory of crashing through it and….
He wanted none of it. If you don’t happen to have a kid size plane and/or giant CAT truck don’t despair, the kids actually ditched the vehicles after awhile and took it by foot. Going so fast you could hardly see them!
The glory of victory!
And last but not least once the kids were tuckered out but didn’t want to stop racing, we let the toys do the work for us (just in time for the rain to stop!).
What kind of activities do you do inside when you need to do something active? I’d love to hear from you!
I’m so glad you are back for another Weekly Kids Co-op Linky party!
This week I am featuring two wonderful toddler activity posts and one my preschooler no longer naps but mommy needs some alone time while my toddler naps activity for preschoolers that was shared last week.
Mummy Musings and Mayhem included a whole list of 15 wonderful easy fine motor fun for toddlers using things that you already have or could easily make available. I also love how she explains how each activity helps your little ones develop.
MamaOT gave four great ideas for sensory bags. (….conceptually I know these are the easiest things in the world to make, and yet I have yet to make one. But I’m stockpiling posts like this and one day I am just going to go sensory bag nuts. You’ll see.) She also mentioned that she was doing a sensory bag roundup this week so you should check it out for more ideas!
All our days made this wonderful list of ideas for things that you can put in to quiet time bins (which, admittedly, is a work in progress in our house….). I’ve been actually making craft supplies and coming up with new things for “M” to do during quiet time, and while I know she loves these activities it does add yet another thing for me to do. I am inspired by the idea of just putting some of her toys in the bin and letting her pick something to play with. Not that I don’t plan on throwing in a bin of new crafts or activities from time to time, but once a week is a lot easier than every day.
Also I wanted to mention that I guest posted at The Golden Gleam today. Come check out our glorious pumpkin experience (lots of sensory and learning fun just in time for pumpkin picking!).
Now on to this weeks linky party! As always, I look forward to seeing what fun, exciting, and educational things you share. I am off to gather wonderful toys for tomorrow’s alone time (fingers crossed).
I’ve begun to notice (and secretly love) that our “craft” closet is growing exponentially to include all sorts of food pantry items, like baking soda and vinegar for our science experiments, flour for cloud dough, I should just go ahead and buy food dye in bulk considering how much we use it, and salt (to name a few). You can do so many fun things with salt (who knew?), including making your own playdough, and today we used it for two Halloween themed crafts.
First, I found adorable salt dough ghosts on Familyfun and knew instantly that we had to try to make them. ”M” loved the entire process, especially being in charge of pushing the buttons on the microwave (I figured this was a little number recognition bonus). I loved watching her think of all the various expressions that her little ghosts would have (I think she was equally excited by the fact that I gave her an adult marker).
To make the salt dough ghosts mix:
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Then form in to little ghosts and microwave a few at a time at 20-30 second intervals for ~ 2 minutes total. Once cooled dry on faces with black fine point Sharpie (although any marker will do).
Also at Familyfun (same link as the salt ghosts) was this frightfully cute brown bag tree. To make the tree start with a rectangle of brown paper. You can either cut a large paper grocery bag into one long strip or we happened to have some wrapping paper from when we moved. Then I used a plastic children’s glass to initially mold the trunk by placing it in the middle of the flattened brown paper and gathering it up and giving it a few twists around the cup. Once the bag trunk was sort of shaped I took the glass out and put in flower arrangement stones to weigh down the tree. Then you just twist back up the trunk and keep going. After a few twists cut a few long strips into the bag for the branches and start twisting them individually. After a few more twists make more cuts for the smaller branches or twigs and twist again. Keep going until you run out of bag and have the perfect spooky twisty tree!
Our second salty craft was a whole new approach to painting. We brushed watercolors on salt…stuck on glue. First make shapes with glue on paper, I would highly recommend placing the paper in a baking pan, now sprinkle the glue liberally with salt. If done in a pan or large container you can gently shake off the excess salt and use it for the next painting without a huge mess (in theory). Then dip a paint brush (or small dropper) in water color paint, touch the salt, and watch the color spread along your picture!
We made pumpkins…
And spider webs!
What fun spooky crafts have you been making recently? Let me know, I love to hear from you!
Want a hauntingly easy Halloween treat? Make these Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats!!! (decorated as, not made of)
I’ve found that the key to coloring marshmallow (and white chocolate coincidentally) is to add the food coloring before you even begin to heat it. That way you can be mixing it in as it melts. If you wait and add after melting it doesn’t mix all that well, and in the case of white chocolate it begins to harden quickly and may seize if you mess with it too much. So just add it in the beginning!
Second tip: Once the Rice Krispies and marshmallow have cooled to the point that you can touch and mold them (but not so cool that they have set) you want to slather your hands in butter. Yup, this may result in your kid licking their butter-y goodness hands. Ugh. Wash, and try again. Then roll the treats into balls and start decorating.
We added inverted chocolate chip eyes and noses, that is until “M” discovered my black glitter food gel. Then everything was covered in food gel. These pumpkins went to the hair salon multiple times, I was actually lucky to get this picture before they were drenched (you can even catch of glimpse of a toupee’d pumpkin in the middle). And we added tootsie rolls that were cut in half for the stems. Although we quickly realized that no one here likes tootsie rolls. So today’s surprise giveaway is a mainly full opened bag of tootsie rolls!!! Kidding, we already sent them to grandpa.