Archive for February, 2013

February 13, 2013

Love Note Journals

This morning my friend and her older daughter (in the “tweens”) noticed the love note journals I have with my two daughters.  I explained we just write each other notes back and forth.  YesThe daughter said, “That’s cool!” And her Mom replied with, “Should we start to do that?”  That’s when I realized this idea might be worth sharing.  I’ve been doing this with my girls for a few years now, and this is what you do:

* Buy a hard-bound spiral notebook.  Our first journal was flimsy and didn’t last very long.

* Every few days, weeks, months or whenever, write your child a note.  It helps to end your note with a question.  Be sure to date your note because it is fun to look back on.

* Place the journal open to the latest entry in a place your child will find it.  Make sure there is a pen nearby.  I find that I usually think to write a note late at night before I go to bed and leave it waiting on the breakfast table.

Enjoy the sweet notes from your babies.  It really is the simple things in life.

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February 13, 2013

Homemade Play Dough

IMG_2291One of the best party favors my girls ever came home with from a birthday party was homemade play dough. It was bright yellow with glitter in keeping with the space theme of the birthday party. The colors were very fun, but what really impressed me was the texture. It was awesome to play with. It didn’t come apart, it did not smell, and my girls absolutely loved it. When I asked my friend how she made it she gave me the recipe, and I realized that you can indeed make your own play dough. I always double the recipe:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 T cream of tartar
2 t food coloring
1 T vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir over low/medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until play dough starts to form a ball and is no longer sticky. Don’t worry if mixture looks lumpy. Cool slightly, then knead several times until smooth. Store in an air tight container or Ziploc.

February 8, 2013

Rice Krispie Apples

Today is my daughter’s V.I.P day in kindergarten, and she gets to bring any treats she wants to class (without peanuts, of course). She has been looking forward to this day all year.  I was thinking we could make pink rice crispy treats since they had no peanuts, and they would celebrate uIMG_2760pcoming Valentine’s day.  We searched together online for recipes and I came across this very cute and creative recipe. First things first, I’m not going to tell you this was easy or even fun to make.  It can better be described as sticky, messy, and I think I need to say sticky one more time.  But I will tell you it was a total hit with my daughter.  And even though they really look nothing like the original picture, she thought they were pretty great.

This is a once or twice a year kind of treat (because I think I am going to use this recipe to make pumpkins with orange Jell-O for my other daughter’s birthday in October).  And I’ve got to say, they are pretty darn tasty.  Adding Jell-O to Rice Krispie treats is nothing short of a revelation.

Here is the recipe with the changes I made:

– ½ stick of butter (4 Tablespoons)

– 1 bag of large marshmallows

Put the above in a large microwave-safe bowl and warm for 2 minutes.  Stir, and if it still needs more melting time, put it in a little longer (mine only needed 2 minutes).

– Stir in one small package of Jell-O (I used Cherry )

– Add a few drops of food coloring if you want to make a specific color, like a darker red

– Once you have the desired color, pour in approximately ¾ of a bag of Rice Krispie cereal.  Add a bit at a time and stir until it is the consistency you want.  The less sticky the mixture is, the easier it will be to make the balls.

– Roll out some parchment paper.

– Spray your hands with Pam or oil spray.

– Roll the mixture into balls a bit larger than golf balls.  This is the incredibly sticky part.  You may have to wash your hands a few times in between and put on some more spray.  I was able to make about 32 balls.

– Squash the balls down a bit and use your thumb to create space for the stem.

–  Use unwrapped Tootsie Rolls for the stem. I cut green licorice to look like a leaf, but you could use frosting, green air heads, green fruit roll-ups, or whatever you want. I kind of put them together in the hole and pushed the Krispie mix around them.

– Let the apples sit for a few minutes to harden.

I know we like to trick our kids with real fruit and call it “dessert,” but this time they will actully believe you!