Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Fun Week 1

Each week I will post a photo montage of the previous weeks summer special day activities with a brief description. To see my list again check it out here.

Week 1
Day 1: #9 Pot a plant and watch it grow
We used the treasure pots that we made for St Patrick's Day. And a pot S decorated at a local art class.

Day 2: #30 Dirt Dessert
In the kitchen, the kids made the chocolate cook 'n serve pudding. Topped with "dirt", crushed oreos, and buried sour worms.

Day 3: #34
Water Fight
I was feeling under the weather and things didn't go quite as planned. So a water fight with the neighbors and a lengthy play date were the special activities.

Day 4: unnumbered

I was still sick. S took his kindergarten test and did so well! Instead of miniature golfing as planned we bought a gigantic doughnut and posicles and watched a movie instead. It was a happy compromise.

Day 5: #43
Paint patriotic T-shirts.

Day 6: #48
Memorial Day festivities
BBQ with our friends Dave and Georgia (from Georgia Leigh) and enjoying sprinkled ice cream sandwiches.

I'm excited for this upcoming week. In honor of Memorial Day it's Service week. My goal is to visit with our elderly friends, serve Grandma next door and other service related activities.

Later this week I'll post my summer fun calendar which was featured on delia creates! Plus a photo of our pet rabbit who was featured on A little Sussy! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Fun Ideas 2011

Click on image to see the full list. You can download your own free blank chart from The Crafting Chicks.

I am hoping to make this summer the best one yet in our family! I want to avoid boredom, fighting, watching too much TV and playing too many computer games. My kids ask every single day, "What are we doing special today?" It gets old, real fast.

For the last two summers a friend of mine has used this idea from Chocolate on the Cranium by making a fabric event calender. This year I am finally ready to make my own version (to be shown later...). But today I am showing you our family "Summer Fun 2011" list of 50 plus things to do.

Here are the three main websites I used to get inspiration:

1. The Crafting Chicks: Summer Fun list in jpeg form seen above. I just edited it in Picasa by adding my own text to their blank (free) copy. They also have "60 Summer Fun ideas" here.

2. Chocolate on my Cranium: See her appliqued ice cream cone "cool summer days" calender. Additionally, she has a long list of fabulous activities along with links.

3. The Long Thread: 50 plus summer craft ideas, also divided into year round activities. Fabulous links and photos.

I have to be honest, it's an ambitious list but I really want it to work. And I'm pretty sure my kids will hold me to it :) I'll keep you posted throughout the summer with photos and success (or failures) stories! Stay tuned for the summer chart!

Here are our 50 ideas divided along with some links:

Weekly we'll try going to the library, to a park with friends, and the local water park (we bought a pass).

**Trip to Colorado
**Visit cousins in Richfield
**Lake Powell
**Family Reunion
**Grandma visits

In the Kitchen:

**Dirt Cake
**Mini Jello watermelons
**UnBirthday party prep
**Aroma dough
**Homemade popsicles

**Eric Carle inspired art work here and here.
**Sew church bags
**Paint: Patriotic T-shirts
**Star Fruit stamped bunting, tricky part is finding the star fruit. Maybe a sponge or potato will do.
**Pudding Paint
**Chalk Fun
**Sew summer PJ's
**Paint rocks
**Sea shell creatures
**Water paint sidewalks

Field Trips:
**Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum ($2 Tuesday)
**Thanksgiving Point Gardens ($2 Tuesday)
**Thanksgiving Point Petting Zoo ($2 Tuesday)
**BYU Art Museum
**Bowling, FREE for kids in the summer
**Bean Museum
**Cars 2 movie

**Picnic at the Temple
**Hike the Y
**Hike Rock Canyon
**Walk to the Creamery
**Camp in the backyard
**Movie on the lawn
**Ice melting games
**Nature Walks
**Irrigation ditch boat races
**Upcycyled toys here, here and here.
**Fishing at reservoir
**Plant seeds
**Snow cones in the park


**Volcanoes (mentos and diet coke)
**Ice Melting Games

Themed Weeks:

**Cultural Week: learn about a different culture each day. Invite our International friends over for a lesson/food exchange.
**Pioneer Week: July 18-24. Learn Pioneer stories, go on a hike, make pioneer games, attend parade, etc
**Service Week: visit an elderly neighbor
**Water Week: water fight with neighbors, neighborhood water party, homemade popsicles

I know there are so many great ideas out there! Each family has customized activities for the age, size and shape of your own family. What does your family do? Do share! Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bittersweet growth

My son has had a momentous week. He completed one year of kindergarten and lost his first tooth. I am starting to feel like Claire on the most recent episode of Modern Family!

After he lost his tooth, which he was so brave about doing, I thought a tooth monster should be made. Together we sewed this little guy.

My proud 6 year old was the head designer and even helped sew it a bit. I found this one after we made ours and he is sad that his did not have more sharp teeth. I also regret not making the pocket mouth a tad bit bigger so the dollar bill doesn't fall out. Oh, and he wanted to add the little cape/wing thing on the back ;0

Along with the last week of kindergarten I gave my son's teacher a little paper sack of mini pencils and a bag of these adorable mini-apple treats from those smart Crafting Chicks. Well, actually, we gave them to her during Teacher Appreciation week, but they would work for thank you's for a great year as well. I used mini nutter-butter cookies because the oreo's were sold out (it was the last day of the sale, I should have known). And they were still cute and tasty!

I tried sewing the wax bag of goodies shut. Sadly though, the "s" in Mrs. didn't come through so I had to pencil that in. haha. I really wanted to re-sew it but I was already running late so that wasn't an option. It's the thought that counts, right? It doesn't have to be perfect.

Sigh, my first born is done with his first year of education. At least he held my hand after his T-ball game on Saturday. He initiated! That melted my heart! I look forward to a great fun filled summer which I hope to blog about this week. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sarah Jane & Michael Miller fabrics

I had the pleasure of making two pennant flag buntings for my cousin Sarah Jane. She designed over 50 fabrics for Michael Miller's new line, Children at Play.!

I am so excited to get my hands on more of this fabric later this summer.

She just attended the Quilt Market and she asked me to make some flags. Here is a little shot of the flags and her awesome booth!! I love the wall art!

I made her a little bag to keep the flags in too.

They were so much fun to make that I got a little excited and made two of children shirts with the scraps. I am telling you this fabric is beautiful! Seriously, I can't wait for it!!

Love these trousers made by this friend of Sarah's.

What would you make with her fabric?

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pork Pitas

While we lived in Paris our wonderful chef friend shared this recipe with us. At the Monoprix you could easily purchase these ingredients. They even had skewers with little pork portions, onions and peppers already assembled with a little packet of Herbs de Provence. All ready to fry up and serve with warm pitas, fresh hummus and crisp cucumber. This recipe is what made me fall in love with those herbs!

It is now one our families favorite recipes! Okay, so maybe I say that about a lot of my recipes. But this one really is likeable by all picky eaters. Though, I have to admit that the kids don't eat the veggies. I tried making my own hummus because I was disappointed by all the American brands. But my version was even worse. So now I stick with the store bought versions. It's a great source of protein and a great snack when craving something salty or savory.

Pork Pita's
Serves 4-6

2-3 thick pork loin chops, trimmed of fat and bone
1 cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small package hummus
1 red pepper
1 small onion
Herbs de Provence
Pita bread, pocket or flat

1. Cut pork into 1" cubes. Repeat with pepper and onion.
2. Saute veggies until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
3. Empty veggies into bowl, set aside.
4. Fry pork. Sprinkle with desired amount of Herbs de Provence.
5. Meanwhile, chop cucumber into tiny little cubes. You can make a raita or tzatziki if you wish, but really, it's just fine without it! Cucumbers do the job just the same!
5. Heat pitas in microwave.
6. To serve, slather pita with hummus, add a spoonful of cucumber, pork and vegetables.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother's Day Brunch

I love my mother and grandmother's. I love my mother-in-law too! It's so wonderful to be able to have such loving, supportive and helpful women in my life. I am proud to be their daughter. To show them my love I decided this year I would cook for them and give them a special brunch.

After I had seen this lovely brunch set-up on OCP's blog I realized that I could create a simplified version! My mom was already in town for the weekend to arrange flowers for my cousins wedding. It was perfectly timed. And I already live next door to my grandma, like across the driveway! Here is a photo from our adjoining yard. Sadly this lilac tree is no longer here. The roots weren't strong enough to handle my 6 year old monkey.

I quickly ran to Sunflower Market to buy some fresh fruit on Friday night. I asked my mom, who was quietly reading a novel, if she could watch my two oldest while I took the little one to the store. Sadly, though, I didn't think I'd be gone more than 40 minutes while the make-ahead manicotti was baking in the oven. My mom had no idea it was in there and in my haste I forgot to look at the time when I left so I didn't call her to check on it. Needless to say now we're stuck eating dried up crusty leftovers. Such is life.

So anyway, back to the brunch. I invited my mom and grandma over along with J, my oldest daughter.

I loved the citrus theme. It felt so summery. I gave up the idea of sleeping in and woke up and got to work. This was a day that I wished I had two ovens. I thought about using my grandma's but I didn't want to to spoil my surprise!

The menu consisted of homemade quiche similar to this recipe (and I made the shell this time!), orange rolls (Rhodes with zest and glaze added), poppy seed bread and citrus drop cookies.

We ate outside on my Grandma's patio. It was perfectly warm and we had a lovely and brief time chatting and eating. Two of my favorite things to do! And with some of my best friends!

On a side note. I was messing around with Picnik and I'm not sure if I like the effects. It was a bright beautiful day but you can't really tell with the film grain effect I added. I like the vintage look to them for this particular shoot anyway. But the original photos were so bright and shadowy. What is your opinion? Do these photos still look edible? Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bake Sale

I have a few topics to cover today. All doing with school! This is the last week of school for my Kindergartner! I can't believe the school year is over already!

Yesterday the school had their biggest fundraiser of the year, the only one in fact. A huge extravaganza. It was fabulous! The kids and I had non-stop fun for 3 full hours. And that beats selling candy bars door-to-door!

I signed up to bring a food item for the bake sale. And I brought something that I didn't actually have to bake but I knew would be popular. Marshmallow pops! Here is a tutorial, FYI. I was trying to think of something that would hold them while they dried and that I didn't mind donating along with the goodies. I thought about using $1 store floral foam. But I wanted to save time, money and to recycle. So then I thought of an egg carton (not styrofoam...not sure that the paint would stick as well). The perfect marshmallow pop stand! It's sturdy, simple, inexpensive, raised like a little cake stand, and it's recycling.

It's simple! All you need to do is tape the lid, on both sides, with masking or packing tape so the sticks don't fall through the holes when you flip it over. If the sticks lean over too much, then scrunch a paper towel inside before closing to act as filler.

Then cut a hole or "x" on the bottom of the center of each cone where the egg rests. Lastly, you or your children can paint it. I've used acrylic paints and spray paint, and the acrylics coat better. It does absorb a lot of paint, but it still uses a minimal amount. Be sure to let it dry completely before placing the pops inside. I blow dried mine to hasten the drying process but I did not dry it inside so when I placed the sticks inside it was still a little wet and got some paint on some of the sticks. So let it dry and then it's all ready! Just place each pop in the hole. It fits 1 dozen perfectly!

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, May 2, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week (May 2-6th) is Teacher Appreciation Week. This is the first year I've heard of this as my first child is in Kindergarten. I've found some fabulous ideas on Skip to my Lou. Just click on the photo for the link. These are all easy projects and fairly inexpensive. The hardest part is deciding which one to do!

Print Friendly and PDF