Thursday, March 31, 2011

Terrible Twos...already!?!

The past week has tested my parenting skills and patients unlike any other time in my life.  We have officially entered the terrible twos and all of the tantrums and melt downs that go along with it.  Liam has begun to assert his independence by throwing himself on the floor, screaming until he becomes a sweaty mess.  He does this if he doesn't want to come inside, if he doesn't want to go outside, if he wants a snack, if it's the wrong snack or if I put the wrong socks on him that do not have dinedines (dinosaurs) on them.  I realize that this "phase" will probably last until he's about 18, although I'm sure he won't throw himself on the floor if I don't give him the car keys, but WOW!  It's like he has the strength of 20 men and I can't even pick him up. 

Now I don't want you to think that my child is bad because he's not.  99% of the time, he's and angel.  He loves to read, do crafts, kick balls, color and run around.  He's usually in a good mood, even when he wakes up in the morning.  If you saw him laugh or smile, you'd never believe that he was capable of these types of melt downs.  So what I do is walk away ad let him calm down.  I almost ignore the tantrum and let him compose himself.  This seems to work pretty well, even though it can take up to a 30 minutes for him to calm down.

So do any of you have advise or tips for the terrible twos?  What do you do when you little one has a tantrum?  What I do, have a glass of wine after Liam goes to bed.  Cheers!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prickly Cactus

A fun little project for your munchkin.  You will need:  rice, green food coloring, zip top bag, scissors, construction paper or cardboard and glue. 

Draw and cut out a cactus shape from the constriction paper or cardboard.

Put some rice in a zip top baggie with a few drops of green food coloring and let your little one shake, shake, shake. 

Next, spread some glue on the cactus cut out. 

Put the cut out in the box (glue side up) and then dump the green rice on top. 

Put the lid on the box, add a rubber band to be safe, and let them shake the box. 

Open the box and shake off the extra rice.  Let it dry and there you have it, a Prickly Cactus.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't waste your money!

Tonight for dinner, I thought I would try something different.  I purchased Philadelphia Cooking Cream because I had a high value coupon and because it looked pretty good on the commercial.  Do not be fooled!  In a word. it was GROSS.  Inedible would be another good way to describe it.  Here's what I did (following the package instructions).  I cooked 2 cups of pasta.  Then, I sauteed a red pepper and 2 cubed chicken breasts with a little Pam.  After the pasta was cooked, I drained it and transferred it to the saute pan.  Lastly, I scooped out the Italian Herb and Cheese Cooking Cream and mixed it in until everything was covered.  The three of us sat down to eat and after a few bites my husband and I decided to not eat any more and threw out the rest of what was in the pan.  Liam ate a few bites too, and then threw his fork at me!

I want to try to describe why it was so bad, but it's hard.  My husband said how can you blog about it if you can't describe it, so I will try.  The flavor was so strong and overpowering.  There was too much of the sauce, but it was still dry.  I did not add any salt to the meal and it was much too salty. 

There are alot of high value coupons out there for this product, but trust me, save your money!  Do not buy Philadelphia Cooking Cream.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The BEST Banana Bread EVER!

This is my mom's recipe and it's my favorite banana bread.  It's pretty basic and a great way to use those over-ripe bananas.

1 3/4 cup of All Purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup of margarine (I have used butter and it turns out the same)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
3-4 ripe bananas (smashed)
(You can add nuts, if you want to ruin it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt) in a bowl and set aside.  Mash bananas and then add the margarine, sugar and eggs.  Mix to combine.  Gradually, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly before the next addition.  Grease a standard sized loaf pan and pour in batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes (when a toothpick inserted, in the middle, comes out clean).  In my oven, it takes about 58 minutes.

It's really hard not to cut into it as soon as it come out of the oven and slather it with butter and jam it into my mouth, but I wouldn't do that. ;)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Re-purpose a glass jar into a vase.

I saw something similar to these re-purposed jars ,but I don't remember where.  I've been saving various sizes of jars for a little project for Liam's birthday (you'll have to wait until May) and this particular jar was screaming for me to do something with it sooner.  It's round, but square in the middle and has little squares raised in the glass around the top and bottom.  So here it is, my version of a spaghetti sauce jar turned into a vase.

I used wrapping paper that matches the color scheme in my front room (for those not from Chicago, the living room), ribbon, glass jar, paper cutter, glue and scissors.

I used the paper cutter to get clean, even edges on all four sides of the "wrapper".  Just wrap the paper around the jar to see how big you want it.

Spread glue on the back of the paper.  The type of glue that you see in the picture is from Michaels and is what I use for most crafts.  It is permanent and sticks to most surfaces (paper, glass, metal, plastic, fabric).

Wrap the paper around the jar and smooth out any bubbles.

Cut a piece of ribbon so you will have about 1 inch overlap.  Glue one end of the ribbon and fold over the last quarter inch so the ribbon will not fray.

Now, spread glue all over the back of the ribbon and stick it to the first wrapper.  You will have a little bit of time to slide it around if it is not perfectly straight.  Just make sure that you put the folded over "clean" edge of the ribbon on top of the cut edge when they overlap.  Also, try to make sure that the seam of the paper and the seam of the ribbon are in the same spot when you stick them on the jar.

Here is the finished product with some pretty spring daffodils.

You can use the same technique to make a make-up brush or q-tip holder (think olive jars), pencil/pen cups (jelly jars) for your desk or anywhere that you need a jar but want to add a little bit of color.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Brought to you by Tomato Soup!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cotton ball Easter Bunny!!

It's a rainy, cold day here and all Liam wants to do is go outside and play.  Trying to explain that to a 22 month old.  I thought it would be a good day for a little project and since I need some Easter decorations, I thought we could make one.  Liam LOVES bunnies.  He hops around saying "Bun, bun, bun".  As soon as he saw the big pile of fluffy cotton balls, he forgot all about outside (for a little bit anyways).  You will need glue, cotton balls, construction paper bunny head (click if you need a template), buttons for eyes and a button and thread for the nose and whiskers.

I drew a bunny on pink construction paper and then Liam spread glue all over it.  Stick the cotton balls on the paper.  Leave a little space so the pink will show through for the middle of the ear.

Add two of the same colored buttons for the eyes.  Be careful with the buttons, since kids like to put things their mouth.  For the nose, I took a pink button and glued 3 strands of black thread to the back and let it dry.  Then it's ready to glue to the bunny.

I "hop" you like it! (I couldn't resist)


Monday, March 21, 2011

Does your highchair wear slippers? Mine does!

We have hardwood floors throughout the house and I quickly noticed that the wheels on the highchair were making marks on the floor.  NOT GOOD!  I had some scrap fleece from making a few other things so I though I would use that to cover the feet of the chair.  It's very durable and in two years I have only had to replace it twice.   Here is how I do it:

Put a strong rubber band around each foot

Next, fold a scrap into fourths so it is the size of the bottom of the foot (my scrap was about 12x8in)
Then, take another scrap and place it under that to cover the foot and the pad (about 12x10)

Fold the left and right side of the fabric over the foot.

Now fold the back around the leg of the chair.

Fold the front flap of fabric up over the foot.

Stretch the rubber band over that fabric.

Lastly, fold the fabric down over the rubber band to hide it.

And there you have it.  A scratch proof slipper for your highchair.  And in case you were wondering, it does not make the chair unstable in any way.  I have had these on my chair from the beginning.  Hope this helps someone else save their floors.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Few Yummy Recipes!

We have a St. Patty's party to go to tonight so I offered to bring a few things.  I wanted to bring green food so I made green Rice Krispie treats with rainbow sprinkles and cucumber pitas.  I won't bore you with the details on making the Krispie treats, because I think we all know how to do that.  I did, however,  add a few drops of green food coloring into the melted marshmallows to make them a little more festive and added rainbow sprinkles. 

The cucumber pitas are one of my favorite appetizers.  They are very easy to make and require only 5 ingredients.  One package of pitas (white of whole wheat), one cucumber, a package of cream cheese ( I used light), an envelope of Italian dressing powdered mix and dry dill.

Soften the cream cheese and mix in the dressing powder. 

Spread the cream cheese on each pita (there are usually 5 in a package).  Now peel the cucumber and slice it into 1/4 inch disks. 

Place the cucumber slices all over the cream cheese topped pita. 

Next, sprinkle with the dried dill. 

Lastly, cut the pitas into 6 wedges.  Serve on a beautiful cut crystal serving tray (Kidding!  It's plastic from the $ store!).