Monday, March 25, 2013

Pinterest party

Since Mother Nature has decided it isn't time for warm, spring weather, regardless of what the calendar or Punxsutawney Phil might have to say about the matter, our spring break was less than springy and spent indoors.  One day The Artist and a friend decided it was high time to finally have a Pinterest-inspired get-together.  We threw together a few activities and had an enjoyable afternoon.

The first item on the table for the teens was melted crayon art.
 We didn't really follow a specific tutorial for this, they just hot-glued the crayons on a canvas.
Then hit the whole thing with a hot blow dryer to melt the wax. (One note of caution, the wax can splatter off the canvas and the force of the air has a tendency to move the melted wax around, so some experimentation is probably a good idea.)
The girls tried using masking tape to leave a blank area to add an inspirational word.  That didn't work out so well.  I don't know if something stickier would work, or vinyl or just what.

Little Miss Sunshine and Princess wanted a project, so I pulled out some rick rack and attempted making roses.  The original plan was to try this tutorial from the Crafting Chicks.  However, I was too lazy to pull out my sewing machine, so I used Kadie's no-sew tutorial here.  We used medium rick rack in 12-inch lengths and it made the perfect size roses to put on barrettes.
Some opened up better than others.  For the multi-colored one, we put the white, wrong-sides of the two strips together as we twisted them so there would still be some color when it was opened.  However, Little Miss Sunshine decided she wanted it to stay closed.  It works, either way.
Our last project was a batch of the BYU Mint Brownies that can be found all over Pinterest. To be honest, these were ho-hum.  Granted, I didn't realize there was a difference between mint extract and peppermint extract, so maybe that makes a difference in the final outcome.  I've never had the original from BYU, so I can't say how ours compared.  However, we did have some "cool" brownies.
Have you ever had a Pinterest-party?  What did you make?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Friday

Today I thought I'd join Megan in sharing 5 random facts about me:

1 - I've never traveled outside the continental U.S.  Someday I hope to visit my sister in Canada and vacation in Hawaii.  A Caribbean cruise would be fun, too.

2 - I can't stand the texture of marshmallows.  They must be melted for me to eat them.

3 - I hate mopping floors.  That really why I've taught my kids how to clean the bathroom, and the kitchen, and the tile entry.  Or maybe I just hate cleaning in general.

4 - Someday I plan to go back to school and get a masters degree.

5 - I've always wanted to play the flute and violin.

Come join the party at and here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Parenting: I need help

Okay, maybe some people would look at me and say I'm doing a great job as a parent.  I certainly hear it from my kids' teachers all the time.  However, I can always use new ideas to help tweak my parenting and make it better (just ask my kids, or maybe not, that could get ugly).  I was thrilled to see that Andi of The Hollie Rogue is starting a faith-based parenting book club.  To start things off, we're reading Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel.
The first discussion will be April 8, and cover the first two chapters.  That gives you plenty of time to place a library hold, etc.  Won't you join the club?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pins worth trying

I'm great at pinning things to try later.  Problem is, "later" may never actually come.  So, I decided to remedy this affliction for a couple of my pins.  If you love cinnamon rolls (or even if you don't), these pancakes need to go on your "to-try" list ASAP.  They were so good, I didn't even get any photos of my version, so you'll have to let your mouth water with the original.
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes pinned here
I used fresh ground whole wheat flour and instead of a cream cheese glaze just did a vanilla glaze (3/4 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla).

Another "tried that" pin is these no-rise rolls.
No-rise rolls pinned here
We demolished the recipe for dinner and snacks throughout the evening.  I whipped up another batch for use in lunches when I realized we didn't have any bread in the house.  Those didn't last very long, either.  I subbed whole wheat flour and added 1/2 cup flax meal.  My next attempt will be replacing the sugar with honey.

While I can in no way take any responsibility for the original posting, I highly recommend both of these recipes.  Let me know if you try them and what you think.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday 10 - Favorite Picture Books

Since I'm chairing the book fair at our elementary school this week, I thought I'd compile a list of my 10 favorite picture books.  Some are favorites from my childhood and some are favorites for my kids.
(All the images have been borrowed from

1- "I can't" said the ant is the first book I ever remember getting from a book order.  My first grade class read it together and the teacher encouraged everyone to order a copy.
2- The Little House was a childhood favorite.
3- The Poky Little Puppy - another childhood favorite.
4- Love You Forever - Somehow I was in college before I heard of this book.  I got a copy for myself when my oldest was a baby.  I can't read it without tearing up at the end.
5- The Monster at the End of This Book was a favorite when my younger siblings were little.

6- Another Monster at the End of This Book was a discovery when my kids were little.  Our copy got all beat up, so I need to find another one.
7- Guess How Much I Love You - we didn't own a copy until I found a "Baby's First Year" calendar for one of my kids.  Then I had to get the book to match.

8- Stellaluna  was another college discovery.  I've used it with my own kids to help them learn that bats aren't scary.
9- Are You My Mother?  is one I remember having my aunts read to me when I was little.
10- Winnie the Pooh is a classic from my childhood.  I remember reading how to play Poohsticks and thought it was the best game ever.  I even created a version with toothpicks in a cake pan for a group project in my college Children's Lit class.

I'll be linking up with Mindy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Blog Angel reveal

Is it just me, or did February fly by?  It seems like just yesterday I was typing my half-way blog angel post and the day before that was when I started this last round of angelling.  Without further ado, it's time for the big reveal of the blogger I've been supporting this past month . . .
I've been secretly helping Ang of Juggling Act Mama.
If you're looking for yummy recipes, search no more.  Just this past month she shared recipes for Biscoff Buttercream, Sweet Potato Muffins that this sweet potato hater just might try, and Sinful Sweetheart Brownies.  She also has some awesome craft tutorials like these adorable suncatchers and pinwheels.
Won't you stop by and check her out?

If you think you can contribute a couple comments a week or more, you should consider joining Blog Angels.  It really does make a difference even if you're not a big name blogger.
Sign-ups for the next round start March 15.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pinterest just improved

Okay, maybe the post title is a little misleading.  Pinterest didn't really do anything, but I figured out how to make it better for myself.

I love Pinterest.  I use it regularly to pin things I want to refer back to.  But, one day I opened up my email with one of my older daughters standing by me.  I had several Pinterest notifications that I immediately deleted.  She asked if I knew that I could set my account to not send those notifications.  Actually I didn't.  Now I do!
I used the tutorial on this site and now my inbox will no longer be inundated every time someone repins or starts following me. I won't have to be quite so delete happy.  Whatever will I do with all my spare time?