Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!! A Spooky-Fun Treat!

Happy Halloween from Our Lady of Guadalupe & St. Michael the Archangel!

Need a quick Halloween treat? Look around your house and I bet you have everything you need! Lollipops, Toilet Paper, String in any color, Scissors and Black marker!!

1 square per lolly, tie it up at the neck and BoOoOoO!


Easy and Fun Cookies!

1 large sale at the grocery store = Fun for everyone!

I was shopping super quick for produce to go in lunchboxes this week, when of course I got suckered in to the rest of the store by the sales. Nila Wafers for 1.00, Betty Crocker Confetti Sprinkles for 1.00 and Marshmallow Creme for under .96! This all had my brain brewing and before I knew it, I had a super easy snack for my little ones to help out with! Spread the Creme on 1 cookie with a plastic knife (No need to clean up then!) and then add another cookie on top (Sandwich style). Smash them together, so a little creme oozes out and then roll in a dish of confetti! (I poured the sprinkles in a little tupperware container, for easy rolling!) This is so easy that even the little ones can get involved! ENJOY!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun Tip Friday!

It's inevitable, as parents there are going to be times (okay, every single time) that when we go shopping, our little ones go with us too! The trips to TARGET are the worst, my children always ask to LOOK in the toy aisle and then they end up BEGGING for something. I really don't like looking like MEAN MOM, by saying no all the time, but there is a time and a place. I came up with an idea that has worked WITHOUT fail each and every time! Whenever the children ask for something, I pull out one of the tiny notebooks above (they each have one with their name on it). I ask them to write down what it is that they want and these are their WISH BOOKS. Now they have idea books when family or friends or even Santa ask what they would like for their birthdays and holidays! If they really like it, they sometimes ask to take a photo with my phone and print it out to place into their books. They even enjoy cutting things out of the Toys R Us BIG TOY BOOK every Holiday season! So much fun for all!!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun with Food...

Plain lunches can be dressed up in many ways, a seasonal pick can hold food together and brighten the colors in your box. Small condiment containers can hold samplings of applesauce, dressing for salads or even peanut butter for fruit dipping! A cookie cutter can create a little dimension on a sandwich when used on bread or cheese. Presentation is everything when it comes to little ones!
I always keep small snack sized meals in the fridge for my youngest. He's not in school full day yet, so he still has all of his meals at home. This allows him to snack healthily on a variety of goodies when he's hungry. 

Invest in some fun cookie cutters and you can create so many smiles when your child pops open his or her lunchbox at school!

No time to get some decorative picks? Grab some toothpicks for the same effect and use them to spear fruit, fruit snacks or anything that may need to be held together. 

Create your very own lunchables with a cookie cutter and healthier crackers of your choice. Much much healthier than those box lunches at the grocery store and even cheaper too!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wondering Wednesday

Today, I am wondering why on earth TARGET has over 20 lanes for registers and no matter how busy it is and how long the line is, there is ALWAYS only ONE register open???!!! Just wondering!
Can you believe Halloween is right around the corner? I'm wondering what your children are dressing up as??


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's in the Bag!

Today I am sharing something so simple, you will think to yourself: 'why didn't I think of that?!' When you are heading out to run errands, toss a hole punch in your bag. A fun shaped punch or even the standard circle punch. These keep children so occupied, you will have forgotten you brought them with you to begin with! My only requirement for the one I tossed in my bag, was that it collected the dots in a well on it's own and they didn't just fly free. Let your children punch old receipts in your bag, grocery store fliers as you throw that item in your cart, a notebook, old tickets, ANYTHING! Come on ladies, how much extra paper are we toting in our bags? Expired coupons all the way to Concert ticket stubs!

A simple notebook, hole punch, multicolored pen and a shoelace make the BEST quiet toys EVER! My son had fun coloring some hole, lacing other and creating more! This was perfect when we spent a couple in the hours doing research for speeches that the older children had to do.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

A new feature to my blog will be Menu Monday! On Sunday, I sit and plan out our dinner menu in order for us to have homemade dinners that are well thought out and not thrown together at the last minute or even worse, come from a drive-thru. First and foremost I must thank my husband, who bought me a breadmaker this weekend! It's amazing and I have already become addicted! 
Every Meal is served with a fruit platter for dessert.
Beef Stir-fry over Brown Rice
Homemade Vegetable Soup & Build Your Own Salads
Chicken Penne Primavera with French Bread
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Avocado
Pesto Shrimp Pasta with Garlic Bread

With every meal, I serve a small garden salad with lime dressing, this helps fill up a little on healthy veggies!

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Fun!

Autumn is the perfect season to spend thinking of creative ways to use pumpkins and involve your children too! Clementines tucked away in a lucnbox pack a punch when turned into mini jack-o-lanterns!

Have fun with numbered pumpkins in a variety of ways! Check out my game ideas HERE! Keep in mind that no matter what kind of games you come up with, your kids will absolutely love it. They enjoy getting creative and spending time with you!
Want a super fragrant candle in the house, that is also fun for your kids to make?

Start with an orange, toothpick, tealight candle,cinnamon sticks, knife and cloves. 
Parents: Cut off the bottom 

of the orange just slightly, so that it sits flat.Cut out a small circle at the top, so that the tealight candle may sit

inside. Scoop out the insides of the orange to make a well for the candle. Poke holes with the toothpick all 

over the exterior of the candle.KIDS: Stuff the orange with cinnamon sticks, poke the cloves into the holes 

made with the toothpick and then place the candle in the top! Group together on a candle plate.PARENTS: 

Light the candles & Enjoy.When the candles have burned and a couple days have passed, take the candle out

 and boil some water on your stove. Toss your oranges into the boiling water (With the cinnamon and cloves 

still intact) and bring water to a simmer. AMAZING Fall scent!

Print out a plain pumpkin page and slip it into a page protector for hours of pumpkin decorating fun! This is one of our favorite activities. We get creative with this too, but using black construction paper and cutting out different smiles, eyes and noses and then mix them up on the pumpkin too. Kids love to get silly!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Week of Photos

Are you always stuck with clean up after playing a game? I try to make it fun for the little ones, so that they learn to clean up after themselves. I put the box in the middle of our play space and we have  a contest as to who can get the most pieces to land in the box when tossed! This makes it a game after the game. For games with smaller pieces, we use a timer and time each other as we each put away certain parts of that game.

Last week  I got my first bread maker! I quickly got to work and made up my first loaf. It was so much fun to do and I'm already hooked! My husband and kids? Couldn't get enough!!

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I felt so stressed out from various factors, that I just had to STOP and think. This quote was so very true and I need to learn to embrace that more.

Do you menu plan? I MUST MUST MUST, or we end up eating thrown together meals that just don't satisfy anyone. I sit down and plan for 2 weeks on every other Sunday. I do it all in pencil, so that I can adjust or switch days if needed. I also put my list on the same page and I take it all to the grocery store with me. I buy most of my groceries every 2 weeks and supplement the fruits and veggies at farmstands, farmers markets and the like.

Math and Counting can be much more fun when surrounded by a puppet show! He sold tickets to his show and snacks, this allowed him to work with money and count out pieces of candy, food, popcorn and also add and subtract. It was so much fun and he didn't even know he was learning!!

Parts of the Body can often be boring for little ones to learn, so I look for as many things that make it more fun! This is a LARGE and Double Sided puzzle by Melissa & Doug. As we put together the pieces we say aloud what part of the body they go to. This helps them retain so much and in a fun environment.

We love to use games in so many ways, not just the way they were intended for. This allows us so much more creativity. Scrabble is more difficult for my younger two still, so we make it easier. Add in sight word cards and it allows everyone to join in. The older people play as normal and then the younger guys pull a car, find the tiles they need from a tile bowl and put them on the card to match them up. NEXT, they find a spot to put their word. The scoring remains the same and it becomes a game that everyone can play. For our version, we use  the Scrabble Tiles from 3 games, this way the little ones can always find what they need out of 2 games worth of tiles and the older people use 1 set and pull 5 blindly as required.
Enjoy your weekend my friends!!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Library Tip!

Looking for a way to keep everyone's library cards together? Punch a hole in them and slip them in a binder ring! This has been a GREAT way for the kids to keep an eye on their library cards, without losing them.

Next, we clip the ring onto the handle of our library tote. This tote is where ALL the library books STAY. When they want to look at books at home, they may take ONE out at a time and return it to the bag straight away. THIS eliminates lost books and those pesky library fines!

We ALWAYS get a print out of the books we have checked out and then we slip it right into the front pocket of our tote. This is a quick reference to see WHAT we have checked out and WHEN it is due! A simple tip for you that has saved us SO MUCH time and money!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun with Food!

Skewers always seem to make food more fun! Wine, cheese and grapes make the perfect snack for everyone!

Don't just serve up plain hot chocolate, add a toppings plate to watch everyone create their own concoction! Not pictured: Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, White Chocolate shavings

An egg mold pretty much guarantees a lunchtime smile!

Keeping fruits washed and easily accessible make them so hard to resist for little and big hands alike! We go through fruit like crazy when it's on display!

An ordinary snack can be made super fun with colorful and seasonal picks! They also take the place of forks! What child doesn't like eating with toothpicks?

Having trouble getting your wraps to stay together? Make them the night before, wrap them in wax paper and  have them sit in the fridge overnight! Works like a charm every time.

Keep your fruit chilled by freezing small containers of yogurt. They will defrost by lunchtime and be perfectly ready to eat!
More fun with fruit? Print out and have your little ones play the FRUIT FILL-IN GAME! Colorful, fun and educational all bonuses in my book!

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