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Table bubbles

This is a repost from last year.  One this rainy day this seemed like just that activity to try again.  This time it was much more fun for my now 5-year-old and 2-year-old.  What a simple activity on a rainy day.

Table Bubbles

We had so much fun making table bubbles.  Not only did my 4-year-old have a blast but my 17-year-old nephew and husband played for at least an hour.  My 18 old month son didn’t care for it so much, as it was hard to blow the bubbles.  But he was more than willing to pop them as you blew them.

Table Bubbles

All that you need is:Table Bubbles

  • 1 med. size bowl
  • 1 dish rag or wash cloth
  • 1/2 cup of dish soap
  • 1/2 cup (or so) of water
  • some drinking straw
  • a table

I mixed the water and dish soap in a bowl with my dish rag.  You then wet the table with the dish rag, make sure you cover any area you are going to blow bubbles on with soapy water.  Next dip the end of the straw into the soapy bowl of water.  Using the soapy end of the straw place it on the wet table and blow away.

Table Bubbles

We were able to blow some huge bubbles.  Next thing you knew my daughter figured out that if you blew a bubble and dipped your straw again, you could go back inside the bubble without it popping.  Have fun and don’t put the wrong end of the straw in your mouth!

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Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

With all that Halloween candy to use up we came up with some fun surprise brownies.  The kids had a blast adding in the candy bars.  It was even more fun to see what kind of candy bar you ended up with in your piece of brownie.  Tasty treat with a scoop of ice cream.

Happy little helpers!

Happy little helpers!

Don’t forget how important it is to get kids interested and in the kitchen.  They learn how to cook and be independent.  It is a memory they will never forget.  Recipes and baking are a great way to learn fractions and math.  Foodies are born in the kitchen, I grew up always helping in the kitchen and so will my kids.

Surprise Brownies:

  • 1 box or recipe for 9×13″ pan brownie mix, prepared and ready to pour
  • multiple fun size candy bars or larger ones but into bite size pieces (the more variety the better)


Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by lightly greasing.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the baking dish.

Follow by pressing different candy bar pieces into the brownie mix.  The kids love this part so get some helpers.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Pour the remaining batter even over the candy bars being sure to at least cover each candy.  Spread with a spatula if needed to cover all bars.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Bake as directed on box or recipe.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Cool completely and serve everyone their very own surprise brownie.  You can serve them warm with ice cream as well, but the candy is extra gooey.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

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Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

As a child I loved to make these funny face toasted cheese sandwiches. They are often forgotten in my house until the mood strikes me. My kids were so pleased to not only make their own dinner but to play with their food as well.

We arrived home late last night to no dinner plans.  I offered the idea of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  This led me to the idea of Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.  We had everything and most people do.  Even not making a face this is a tasty sandwich.   I’m not sure if it is tasty because this is a comfort food or actually good.

The possibilities are endless with these sandwiches.  As a child it was always an onion smile, olive eyes, and thinly sliced dill pickle nose.  We worked with what we had and to each person’s taste.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches:

  • sandwich bread, square bread works best
  • ketchup
  • medium cheddar or Colby jack cheese, sliced
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • olives, sliced
  • salami or pepperoni
  • bread and butter or dill pickles
  • Mrs.Dash or Italian seasoning, optional

Place a slice of bread on a baking sheet.  Spread about 1 Tbs of ketchup per piece of bread.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or Mrs.Dash if desired.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Top with sliced cheese and decorate with vegetables.

Broil sandwiches until cheese is melted and hot.

Great served just as a sandwich or with tomato soup.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Is it Bedtime yet?

Bedtime has just not been coming early enough.  With the weather changing life has become a little more rough.
We are adjusting to spending more time inside and a new schedule because my daughter started kindergarten this year.  The first few days of truly bad weather that has kept us in which has been challenging.

We busted out play dough, a movie, and water time in the sink.  It is time to pull some different ideas out for my special boy.
With only a few weeks into the school routine life has not caught up to it.  By the time my daughter is off to school I have time to get a workout and shower in.  Then it is too late to do anything because she only goes half days.  Then it’s lunch and nap and the whole day feels shot.

I feel the urge to wake up even earlier and exercise and shower.  But I have a hard enough time getting up as it is.
To anyone else out there who has never been a stay at home mother it is a lot harder than you think.  There is no me time and we don’t leave our kids very often. Whoever said you get to sit around and eat bon bons must be rich.  They would have to hire a chef, a maid, and  nanny to do my job.

Terrible Twos are now called Testing Twos!

What happens when one of those days is everyday?  We are counting down to less than a week away from my son turning two.  About a three weeks ago his attitude and stubbornness has really changed.  I know it is a phase but this is one heck of a stage.  The crying and whining is enough to put any parent into a crying sobbing mess of their own.

The terrible two’s everyone calls it.  From now on I think the terrible two’s is a not an appropriate phrase for this stage.  I know my son is one of the sweetest and most snuggly boys around, not to mention a real joker.  Testing twos is what I am calling this stage.  He is testing his limits with everyone and exploring just how far he can push.  He is also testing my patience, I used to think they were limitless.  Thank goodness for sleep at night so I can recharge and try to start a new day.

Did I mention that we are also beginning the why and what stage.  For those of you who have not experienced this, you are in for a real treat.  I love for my kids to learn and think it is especially important to learn by asking questions.  But at two he is asking why just for the heck of it.  Or if he is curious or I am not talking him to him he needs to ask what, because he needs to be involved in every conversation.

Everything that I thought I knew about discipline and communication is taken to a whole new level with child number two.  Every child is so different and they take a really different approach on how you deal with issues.  I have yet to find one that works well, so again my patience are being tested as I try new methods.   Mr.Picky’s mother tells me, “he is just like his father”.  All I can hope for is that this will pass and look forward to him becoming as great of man as his father.

Car Pillow

When my daughter moved from a car seat to a booster seat she was happy but soon realized that it wasn’t cracked up to be all she thought.  She no longer takes naps and only will fall asleep in the car.  The side of her car seat was where she leaned her head to sleep.  After trying many different style neck pillows but nothing seemed to work, and she was one unhappy camper when she woke up with a sore neck.  This car pillow seems to work better than any I have bought.

I then came across Seat Belt Travel Pillow-Pineapple Mama, with instructions to sew my own car pillow.  I am not one to sew, and was lucky that it was on a basic level.  Personally I think my pillow turned out pretty good for my skill level.  I need to pass this link and idea on to anyone with a similar problem.  The pillow really worked for us and cost little to make.  Thank you Pineapple Mama.

Car Pillow

My 5-year-old is a Foodie!

My daughter was playing kitchen and restaurant the other day, something I did often as a child.  She wanted to make a menu so she got out a notepad and pen.  Although we are learning to read, she can write well if give the correct order of letters.

With no help from me she came up with this menu including chicken, red peppers, anchovy, salt, and pepper.  I hope her palate develops as much as her creativity, she has definitely grown up in the house of foodies.  Not only do all the ingredients actually make sense but could really create something special.  I am so proud of my girl!

Child Foodie

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Imagine a rainy day in Washington State, I know hard right!  Well to keep the kids entertained we cut up some egg cartons and painted them into caterpillars.  Add some pipe cleaner legs, antennas, and some googly eyes.  As you can we had a variety of ages and ideas working away.  Enjoy another rainy day activity to help keep the kids busy and you from going crazy!

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Frozen Banana Bites

Frozen Banana Bites

This is an easy summer treat.  Cool and at least a little better for you than ice cream.  Plus two little banana bites would fix a sweet tooth.  I know I like bananas but believe most people who don’t would like this treat.  My daughter had a blast topping the bananas as I dipped them, so get the kids in the kitchen and have some fun!

Frozen Banana Bites:Frozen Banana Bites

  • 3 large bananas, peeled
  • 1 cup chocolate melts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1-3 Tbs shortening
  • Crushed peanuts,coconut,crushed cookies, or any other topping you can think of

Prepare a sheet pan with wax or parchment paper, and clear a space in the freezer large enough to fit the sheet pan.

Slice bananas in thick slices.  Prepare toppings by crushing or chopping, and set aside in bowls.

Melt chocolate and 1 Tbs of shortening, using a double boiler method or method of melting choice.

Dip bananas in chocolate (I think laying banana slices on a fork worked the best), set on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with toppings.  If chocolate becomes to thick or starts to seize because of the moisture of bananas add a Tablespoon of shortening at a time stirring until smooth.  Continue until all bananas are covered and on the cookie sheet.

Place cookie sheet in freezer for about two hours.  Then transfer banana bites to freezer bags and store in freezer, until you have eaten them all.

Pudding Painting

Pudding Painting

“Did you say we can play in pudding”, asks my five-year-old.  This activity is more geared for young toddlers who wouldn’t know any better than to get paint in their mouths.  Turns out my tidy toddler wanted nothing to do with this but the 3 and 5-year-old ended up covered head to toe.

I prepared as directed a few packages of instant pudding, and placed them in shallow pans.  Put out some spreading tools such as paint brushes, cotton swabs, and popsicle sticks.  In the end the girls were so covered they just finger painted.  The kids either got down to unders or had a swimsuit on, and let them play.  While it was warm outside than they were all ready dirty we had a water balloon fight after the pudding fun. I got a warm bucket of water and a wash cloth to get most of it off before coming inside for a bath.

Pudding Painting

Pudding Painting:

  • A few packages of instant pudding (chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio works good)
  • Paint brushes, cotton swabs, popsicle sticks
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