Thursday, May 31, 2012

Graduation Hat

It's the end of the year. After two years of speech therapy, OT and early intervention, Hailey is graduating to Kindergarten in the fall. I am going to miss this class so much, they are so wonderful and have helped Hailey immensely.  Since this is her last year and a couple of other kids we decided we were having a graduation party. I needed these ready first so that I could make all the other treats later in the week. Excuse the different colors- I'm making 6 all together.

What you'll need:
Construction paper
yarn or ribbon
lightweight cardboard (like a cereal box)

First thing I had to do was measure two pieces of construction paper to make 21 inches. You'll have to glue them together to get the right length. I also added a bit of packaging tape to make sure it's secure. When they were dry I folded it in half horizontally and cut them- this makes TWO for around the head. On "raw side" Clip 1-inch slits around the top of the tube and bend them inward to create tabs, measure around your childs head and tape together.

I used a cereal box (again you get two if you use both sides) to get the top of the cap to be sturdy. I didn't have construction paper right right size ( 10x10) and so yet again I was gluing two pieces together and then wrapping it around the piece of cardboard.

When everything is dry,  glue the  bottom tot he top, and tape the folds down to keep it secure. I weighed ours down to make sure the glue stuck.

    "Make a tassel for the cap by winding yarn four times lengthwise around a ruler to create 12-inch loops. Cut a 24-inch piece of yarn and tie it through the top loops of the tassel to secure. Slip the loops off the ruler. Clip open the bottom loops. Glue the tassel to the center of the cap."

    If you found these helpful, cool or funny- please follow me. I'd appreciate it. It gets a little lonely over here.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Teacher Gift

    Saw this on pintrest and a mom from a group I'm in also made them, she used a mason jar.

    The last day of speech therapy is tomorrow, I can't believe that two years and over 300 new words, Hailey will be a kindergartener the end of the summer!! We had to get our small gift bags ready. I didn't have mason jars and well, I had to make eight total this year for the teachers. I did however have the Avery printable bag toppers with bags from when I was going to sell things on eBay.

    I wrote the little poem (one part on each side) and printed them out. Then distributed a 54oz bag of
    M & M's between 8 bags. Then I sealed the bags, and added the labels.

     "Green is for the inspiration you give each day
    Blue is for the patience to show me the way
    Orange is for your warm and caring style
    Yellow is for the way you make me smile
    Red is for my life that you have touched this year.
    You're a very special teacher and like this bag (or jar) that's clear"

    On the other side:
    You're a "Magnificent" and "Marvelous" teacher
    Thanks for being my "M & M"
    Love, (or from)

    Then they each go into a bag, with the card we printed and the cross stitch we made

    If you found these helpful, cool or funny- please follow me. I'd appreciate it. It gets a little lonely over here.

    Saturday, May 26, 2012

    Microwave pop corn in bag

    This afternoon was "movie day" and  we needed some popcorn. I used my last store bought microwave popcorn the other day. Now, I could pull out the popcorn maker my husband thought we needed, but last time we used it he over flowed it and I thought we were going to have a whole room full of popcorn. I remember a couple years back I asked "Why can't we just pop the kernals in a brown bag?" my mom told me some crazy reason and, well...I believed her. Then I saw this pin and had to try it.

    Using a plain brown paper bag and a half cup of kernals I put them into the microwave for about 2 minutes and kept a watchful eye on them.

    When it was done pop-pop-poppin' I poured it into two small mixing bowls and sprinkled some salt.
    Verdict: Good! and healthy!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    The Boredom jar


    The two words I think most moms cringe at hearing are "I'm bored!" or "There's nothing to do!" Quite frankly I feel like there is a lot to do, but my six year old digresses. I saw this on pintrest this morning and said, "Yep. I'm gonna make that!"

    This morning over breakfast the girls and I talked about fun things that they liked doing. We made a list and with some fun ones from the website we wrote on (with a pen, not a sharpie, they bleed) the popsicle sticks. I was going to print them, but the words would have been small and I'm running out of ink.  Our popsicles include activities like:

    Take a walk, go on the patio, color a picture, play with toys, play a board game, write a story, clean your room, draw a picture with your toes, have a fashion show, lego building contest (using no__ or height requirement) do a paper craft, bake something, watch a movie, etc...

    We took an empty and clean soup can and covered it with the label "The Bored Jar"  and Hannah drew a duck on it.

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Paper Mache Pinata

     Okay what better way to spend two weekends than making your very own pinata?? Here is what we did.

    Blow up a balloon to the shape and size you want.  We as always chose Mickey Mouse. Cut/tear strips of newspaper.

    Mix together 1 part flour to 2 parts water. You will want it to be the consistency of thick glue, but you also want it to be runny and not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary. Mix well to remove any lumps.

     Dip the ripped newspaper into mixture and wrap around the balloon. You're going to want several layers (as we learned later my husbands 20 for Mickey Mouse was too many). When you're done wait for it to dry. Ours took about a day and a half, but with school and work we had to wait until this weekend to finish.

    May 20th
    This morning I sketched out Mickey Mouse's face and then spray painted the parts I needed to black. With peach acrylic paint we painted his face and let him dry--2 1/2 hours. When we came back from Sunday shopping I added his eyes, nose and mouth. Let him set while we ate lunch.

    Then we cut a hole in his head and added some candy, because what is a pinata without it?? Attaching the string was hard. We actually had to put a hole in the front and one diagonally in the back of Mickey's head to get him to hang.

    Then the girls took a whack at him

    and again...

    This is about where we learned the 20 layers was too many and we really should have done less.

    ME: Eh, let's just toss him in the air... So we did. And we got candy!

    Poor Mickey. He never saw us coming.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Emotion Chart

    In order to help the girls express their feelings a little better, I've printed off the cute emotion chart and fake laminated it (I used packaging tape) This way when they are feeling a specific way they can circle the emotion with a dry erase marker and either be left alone for a while or talk about why they feel that way.

    This will also be great for kids to identify other peoples facial expressions.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    ABC and 123 matching game

     So originally I was saving milk caps to make an upper and lower case letter matching game for Hailey. Then I saw the ice cream scoop one and thought she would like it better. Now I have 21 milk lids with nothing to do. I decided we'd make a number game out of it, using the same general idea. What I originally did was print a page with numbers on it, but realized it wasn't going to let her match everything  up because they were too close together. So I had to re-write it by hand, leaving space. Then I added the dots with a sharpie to the tops of the milk lids.

    Hailey isn't as in awe over this one as she is this one:

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Chewie Chocolate Chip cookies

    This is by far the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever made. I typically can't make a cookie to save my life. They always fall flat- which is as I found out later because I would use salted butter or regular butter. Now I use unsalted and all is well with the universe.

    The Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 egg
    1 egg yolk
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). line with parchment paper.

    Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
    In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

    Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet (Or just put a dang ball of dough on the cookie sheet!). 
    Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not over bake.

    Breast Cancer Awareness

    This post is to help raise Breast Cancer awareness, and donations. Every woman should be regularly screened for lumps and abnormalities. I myself went through a scare about 3 years about when the doctor thought she felt something "move" I did not have the fiances to pursue anything and look farther into it. I went to my regular OBGYN visits every year and thankfully nothing was ever felt again.

    This image belongs to Lu and Ed- it is a copy written pattern. Please don't be a monster and steal it. 

     A fellow mommy and friend of mine makes these amazing Mon Stors. This year she has made a Breast Cancer awareness Mon Stor and the proceeds will go to the Susan G Komen foundation to help raise money for the women in our world to get the help and screenings they need but cannot afford. Please follow the link above  to make a $2 donation and be entered for your chance to win the Mon Stor and other ways to enter (Please note the $2 donation must be made in order to enter any other way). I would really like to bring this mon stor home to hold my bras- so I'm hoping I win....but good luck to you too.
    She also makes an Autism awareness plushie and many, many more.

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Cheesy Bread stick


    1 cup warm water
    2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
    3 cups bread flour

    In small bowl add water and yeast (and a pinch of sugar to activate) yeast- let set for 5 minutes. In mixer, combine flour and everything else. Once your yeast and water has foamed add it to the four and knead until you can form a ball. Let it set in a warm area until doubled in size (about an hour)

    On a floured surface, roll out dough onto upside down parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Add butter and garlic (optional) Sprinkle top with cheese (mozzarella and Parmesan)-- for a dessert, why not sprinkle one with cinnamon and sugar?

     Preheat oven to 500 degrees and bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly

    Verdict: Delicious

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Teacher Appreciation Week

    One of my jobs as room parent, is to take care of teacher appreciation week. This year (2012) that's May 7th- 11th.

    Monday: When the children line up for class, quickly hand each one of them a flower, or have them bring a flower from home. Be sure to have extras on hand in case someone forgets. When the teacher comes to collect the children, hand her a vase so that the children can drop the flower in as they go. You can also just buy a potted flower- they last longer anyway.

    Tuesday: Decorate their door. This is fun because so far in the last two years I've been able to rhyme their last name with something. Our first year we decorated the door with paper coffee beans  and cups. On it it read, "A latte thanks to Ms. U we want to espresso our gratitude for all you do" and this year we have a bunch of flowers and a butterfly and the saying, " A 'bunch' of thanks to Mrs.__oy. Who fills our days with learning, fun and joy"

    Wednesday: The staff lunch. Where we are told by grade level what to make and bring in. We're bringing in a side dish of pasta salad. (cook pasta, add Italian dressing and veggies, served cold)

    Thursday: Gift basket. One inexpensive thing I've done is make a book of memories. Last year we bought the book. This year we collected construction paper from the office and made the book in there, saving us money from the class donations to use toward her big end of the year gift.
    I made this little coffee cozy, instructions on my other blog, here.

    Friday: I'm having a parent bring her breakfast and a cup of coffee.

    Easy Peasy Crepes

    A looong time ago  either before I was born or when I was really little, my oldest sister came home from a friends house and showed my mom how to make crepes. I've altered the cooking method because I've never been good at cooking them in a frying pan with the melted butter. My way works just as well and they taste great. Mind you these are probably more of a dessert crepe than anything, but for special occasions I like to make them for breakfast (oh who am I kidding- they are always made for breakfast!)

    1 cup Milk
    1 cup flour
    2 egg
    1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)

    Butter and powder sugar
    whip cream and strawberries
    yogurt and berries

    You will probably have to add more milk to make it a very runny consistency (this way they are thin). With the skillet on and ready, add a little bit of butter.

    pour batter onto the hot skillet

    cook both sides

    Once they are done, I take them off the skillet and immediately add butter and powdered sugar

     or berries

    and roll them up like a jelly roll. Sprinkle a little powder sugar and maybe add a strawberry or two and you're good to go. Is it unhealthy? Yeah, probably... but it tastes really good and I know it's okay to indulge once in a blue moon.

    Hey, if you found this useful or delicious feel free to share me on facebook and follow me! I could use some extra friends ;)

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    DIY Icee

    It's getting hot here in California! it's been 80+ this whole week already. That means drinking lots and lots of water. Hailey hates water (go figure). While shopping at Wal*Mart we saw those Mio water enhancements on the drink isle. They are a little steep ($3.25 for the little generic baby thing!) But you're supposed to be able to add as much or as little as you want. They are also sugar free- which is a plus to me.

    We took all 12 ice cubes into my smoothie maker and a little bit of plain water. We blended them until they were crushed enough to the girls liking (they like a little bit of chunky ice pieces). I poured them into two different cups and THEN added the flavors. Because of course they can't like the same flavors! ;)

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    PVC sprinkler

    It was one hot weekend here in California. What better way to beat the heat than to cool off in the sprinklers? My sister just had her baby, so while we were visiting her my husband went out and bought:

     3 PVC pipes,
    3 stoppers,
    2 elbow pieces,
     2 of those pieces that have 3 holes
    1 that has a hole connecter 

    What we already had:
    a drill with a bit
    PVC cement
    PVC primer


    I recommend starting with an idea of what you want to do. PVC is fairly inexpensive, and easy to work with. You'll want to make sure you have everything ready. First cut PVC pip to ideal size (my husband did this while i was getting the girls ready). Next drill holes into the top PVC piece. Don't add too many or the water pressure may not make it shoot out.

    Add the PVC primer and cement, push into the right connecting pieces. These are my side pieces
    Add remaining pieces and let set for at least 5 minutes before trying it with water. You can add more holes when you're ready. We added two to each side (at different heights) and two on each bottom side (total of four) at an angle.

    I was super impressed with how it came out. It is a lot of fun for the kids (at I admit, grown ups ;)