Monday, August 11, 2008


Hey ladies, I will be going on a 5 day vacation and the computer's stayin'!

When I get back I have lots of plans and ideas, like letting you take a peek into our Classroom/Arts and Crafts room, more Toddler Time activities, Potty Training, Bible activities for kids, and I will dive deeper into our new healthy (eating) lifestyle and my deep hatred for high-fructose corn syrup ;)
Please check back around the 20th!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to School Goodies

I obviously don't have a little one in school, but I'm the aunt to two kiddoes who will be heading back before we know it! I wanted to do something special for them so I got to baking! Yikes... I must warn you, I love to organize, I love crafting and I love baking. Thing is, I'm not so great at baking. Before Rachel Ray, I though there was something was wrong with me! But as she proudly proclaims, "we can't all be bakers!"

Still, I try. :)

I saw the cutest pencil cake in an old copy of Family Fun magazine that I'd been saving.

I was knee-deep in making the cake when I realized, I only had enough butter for half of what the recipe called for. Just my luck. So, here is my version of the "mini" pencil cake.

If you'd like to see how it's supposed to look, check out the recipe here :)

(I made homemade brownies as opposed to store bought and they did not crumble.)

I also made homemade chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies and came up with these little treat baggies for the kids:

Just shape pipecleaners into letters (initials) and tie off with curly ribbon. Make another knot and slip a crayon through. Yepp, creativity as opposed to frosting a cake is definitely more my speed!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Picnic" at the Park

Once a week or so I take my little monkey to the park for dinner on a weeknight. There are many up-sides to doing it this way. One is that around dinner time it's not so hot! Another is that if you wait for the weekend, it may rain, or in our case, it's just too crowded! Usually we brown bag it, but sometimes we splurge and get fast food and she's always so excited to get to drink a "big girl drink"!

This week she wanted to climb the stairs herself...(gulp) and slide down herself. (double gulp) Needless to say, she slid down her way. WHEW!

I usually don't bring the camera, I don't want to take away from the fun and our time together, but this time she was on a roll, so I'm glad I did!
While walking to feed the ducks, she learned "quack quack"! (Up until now it was "duck duck", go figure, lol)

Friday, August 8, 2008

FREE Organic Lifestyle Magazine Subscription

Check out the email I got from Annie's, this is great!

This fall, Annie's fans get a great back-to-school treat -- a free subscription to KIWI Magazine! Simply purchase any ONE (1) of Annie's yummy products, between August 1 and October 31, 2008, and sign up online at www.Annies.com/kiwimagoffer to receive a free one-year subscription to KIWI.

We have a treat for schools as well! Because Annie’s believes that gardening is the tool to connect kids with real food, we’re teaming up with KIWI® Magazine and the National Gardening Association to support garden projects in schools. We’ll donate $35,000 to the National Gardening Association’s Adopt a School Garden Program™, and will give away 100 Organic Garden Kits to schools across the country.

The easiest product to find is their organic macaroni and cheese. Even our po-dunk Wal-Mart carries it. Some of their products include cereal, ketchup, canned goods and snacks like "cheddar bunnies". These can usually be found in the organic section.

Visit Annie's Homegrown for all of the details. While you're at it, take a look at KIWI Magazine. It's an "Organic Family Lifestyle and Parenting Magazine"! I'm super excited about this!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Toddler Tip Time

Sometimes when I have things that just need to get done and I cannot do a craft alongside my daughter, I have to get creative in ways she can do crafts without my help. She loves stickers and I think putting stickers onto paper builds great hand-eye coordination. Problem is, stickers can sometimes frustrate her! I have come up with a pretty simple solution:

I take the background (which is one big sticker itself) off and only the stickers remain. It makes it so much easier for her to peel them off and stick them as she pleases.

This morning I tried to teach her to keep the stickers "inside the box" and I think she did wonderfully!

She was very proud when mommy put it on her "Art Wall" in her classroom!

Works for me Wednesday

I hate, loathe, and dispise cling wrap. The only thing I ever get it to cling to is the cling wrap itself. Seriously. I try, get upset, and end up tossing the darn stuff.

Well, a couple at my church recently had a baby and I made them a little something so they wouldn't have to cook. Out of shear aggrivation, I grabbed a large baggie, cut the zipper of the top and used it instead. The weight of the bottom was just right and I finished it off with a ribbon.

Why had I never thought of this before?!

THAT works for me. Buh-bye cling wrap and the frustrations you have caused me!

Chew on This...

...or don't. I got a bunch of this stuff a while back at CVS for free. Take a gander at the box:


"Strong Heart"

"Lightly Sweetened"

Since when does high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, tons of salt, artificial vanilla flavor, and malt flavoring translate into healthy?? I counted AT LEAST 5 ingredients that are just plain sugar with different names.
Gee, that's really a "smart start" to your day.

I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem fair to me that they could market it this way. I am working on a post about this sort of thing. You would be really surprised what I found out.. it's pretty disturbing! I could have read the box before I "bought" it but why would I have any reason to doubt it? Thank you, Kelloggs, I am now a label Nazi!

Wordless Wednesday

my little doll :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Favorite Things

This week I want to share with you my favorite kitchen "gadget" and it was FREE. It's a rubber-gripper-thingamajig that helps you open stuff. LOL. It has saved my hiney in the kitchen more times than a few. Especially with hubby being gone, it definitely has been my strong arm lately (Miss you baby!)

It can open bottles, cans, sippy cup lids when wet, nail polish, you name it.

I got this in a goody-bag from an Alzheimer's Walk sis and I did (with other sis) a while back. It was donated by a local vendor. When I was looking for a picture of this fantastic invention, I saw that many pictures were for promo items. So that leads me to believe that you can definitely get one free for yourself, too! Keep your eyes peeled! I love this thing!

Check out what others are loving this week at Fiddledeedee!

I've won an award!

Mama Koala presented me with the Blog Award above! I am so flattered, wish I had a speech prepared ;) I am a loyal reader of her blog and to be listed with the other blogs I read (and aspire to be like) on a daily basis leaves me speechless! So thank you so much Koala Mama! You can check out her blog here: http://koalamama.blogspot.com/ She has such awesome tips and links for being frugal, being a mommy, and everything in between. ADD HER to your blogroll, ladies! She's got it goin' on!

I have made many great friends out here on the blogosphere, so I am purposely not nominating any of you gals. ;) Reason being is because I want to turn you on to the blogs that I want you to love, too! Check out these awesome blogs you may never have found if it weren't for reading this post:

I think her daily life is both adorable and inspiring and she has great posts on homemade stuff and some really healthy and yummy recipes.
Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. All I can say is WOW, WOW, and WOW. This gal is my muse! Check out her pantry and recipes. OMW I want to be you, Laura! I am well on my way thanks to this blog.

Keeper of the Home. You got that right, she does it beautifully! Stephanie, you are amazing, girl! All of your posts have transformed my life and the life of my family.

Likely Classroom. Such cute ideas for FREE FUN and teaching little ones at the same time. You rock, momma!

Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking. Ok. I want to be her, too, lol. I love their healthy lifestyle. I have learned so much from reading her blog, it is no less than amazing. She also has such a great way with words when it comes to her love for the Lord. She is very inspiring.

The Coupon Diva. Her name says it all. BLOWS ME AWAY!

Here are the rules for the winners:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.- Don't forget this step. This is great free advertising!
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

(I cheated and chose 6 because technically two are actual sites and I had to nominate them so they and you would know how great they are!)