Archives for the month of: November, 2011

Looks like this week there has been a lot of talk about that Tontitown, Arkansas super sized family’s news.

Michelle Duggar announced that she and husband Jim Bob were expecting their 20th child in April 2012.

You may be surprised, but I am not at all. When you have nineteen children with names all beginning with the letter J, it is their alphabetic duty to carry on.

This week, Shauna added the Cass County Bunks for Three to our enormous collection of bunk beds. We posed a math challenge on our Facebook page asking how many of these beds the Duggar family would potentially need. What is your guess? (grandchildren?)

While we are playing guessing games, how much Chex Mix would the Duggars need?

Certainly all of their meals must be planned out well in advance. There must be an art to it. This is a slow cooker make ahead recipe that could be helpful.

 

Slow Cooker Chex Mix

1 cup Corn Chex
1 1/2 cups Rice Chex
1 cup Wheat Chex
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup pretzel stick
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion salt

Combine first 5 ingredients in your slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over cereal mixture; toss to coat. Cook on medium, uncovered, for 2 hours Stir mixture well every 30 minutes. Turn slow cooker to LOW and cook for 2-4 hours. Store in air tight container. Makes 5 cups.

 

Salt dough ornaments are so very easy to make.  Here is a perfect clay recipe for creating little hand impression ornaments giving you head start on Christmas gifts. We like that it is non-toxic, made of food ingredients therefore safe for kids to play around with and squish, mush and squeeze the dough through their little fingers. It’s great for a quick economical, yet treasured gift for grandparents and other favorite relatives.  There may be a new tradition happening at your house too.

This clay recipe will harden when left out for a day or two and can then be painted and embellished if so desired. In humid climates it may take several days to dry out. The drying time will depend on the humidity and how large your ornament is. To speed up the drying process, you can put it in the oven at 90 degrees for 30 minutes, then shut off the oven for it to cure. Remember to leave it inside the oven with the door closed.  You could also dry it completely in the oven for several hours.

Salt Dough “Recipe for Fun”:

  • 1/2 cup of table salt
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of mineral oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all  ingredients together and knead it with your hands. If it is too wet, add a pinch more flour and if it is too dry add a bit of water. For a seasonal scent, add a small amount of cinnamon to the dough mixture.

This recipe yields a good snowball size ball. It is the perfect size for one keepsake hand print ornament. Flatten the ball out and press your little one’s hand into it. Pierce a hole with a drinking straw toward the top of the ornament for a festive ribbon that you will tie through once it has properly dried.

Kellie from This Blessed Nest made these hand prints with her twins.

If you’re not quite ready for Christmas preparations, then, let’s talk turkey.

Turkey Toes if you dare! Tickle the fancy of your Thanksgiving guests with these turkey toes aka what to do with left over Halloween candy corn. This timely idea is provided by Laura Lee Lewis.

Gobble Gobble!

Shauna has been busy this week adding new beds to our huge collection. Take a look at our new arrivals and let us know what you think.

Allison Elizabeth is an antique white full over full bunk bed. We especially like the girly girl details of gentle curves and louvers on the head and footboards.

Below is the Colin Student Loft, a great space saver. There is a place to sleep, study and stow away clothes and precious”stuff”.

 

The value priced Dryden Mid High Loft has a stairway which is so popular on starter lofts. Moms love the security that  the stairs offer. If you are looking for compact sleep and storage footprint, here it is, right here.

Upstairs downstairs in the Lake Placid Bed where there is a twin size bed on top and a standard full size bed tucked underneath. Notice the desk on the left and stairs with built-in drawers on the right. Plus there is a bookcase headboard complete with reading lamp and a storage drawer at the foot of the bed that is extra deep.

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has the largest selection of beds on the planet, taking you from first big bed to college loft. Let us know what type of bed you are looking for and we will help you find it.

How do you teach responsibility?

Turn back the clock to the Christmas of 1975 for a tip.

Gary Dahl, an advertising executive in Los Gatos, California came up with the brilliant Pet Rock.

The first Pet Rocks were ordinary gray pebbles bought at a builder’s supply store and marketed as if they were live pets. The fad lasted only about six months, ending with the Christmas season of 1975; but in its short run, the Pet Rock made Dahl a millionaire.

Dahl established ‘Rock Bottom Productions,’ a company that sold the rocks for $3.95 each. The pebbles, imported from Rosarito Beach in Baja, California, were swaddled in excelsior and nestled in a small cardboard box, similar to a pet carrier.

As for responsibility, a Pet Rock Training Manual, with instructions on how to properly raise and care for one’s newfound pet (notably lacking instructions for feeding), was included. The instruction manual contained several commands that could be taught to the new pet. While ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ were pretty easy, ‘roll over’ usually required extra help from the trainer. ‘Come’ was found to be impossible to teach reliably.

That was the Christmas many of learned responsibility when given a Pet Rock to care for.

Pictured above, the colorful Pet Rocks, not lacking personality, are the brain child of Coco Bean. Would you be interested in the care and well being of them?

Today, if you wish to teach responsibility beyond the care of a Pet Rock, the Magnetic Responsibility Chart is most popular.

There are 134 wood magnetic pieces, depicting chores, behaviors and rewards. Kids love choosing their own magnetic stickers and there is ample room for multiple children to participate.

Right? Happier with a Hoover.

Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Didja know?

Today is  National Sandwich Day and if you are like many other folks you eat sandwiches while completely oblivious to their origin.

John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich is credited with inventing the concept of sandwich; two pieces of sliced bread with meat fillings.

Today is Montagu’s 293rd birthday  so let’s celebrate with a BP&J or whatever you may.

Legend has it, the 18th century English nobleman, Earl John Montagu, a prolific gambler, was involved in a  24-hour gambling tournament and requested that his servants bring him two slices of bread with meat between them so that he could hold his lunch in one hand without getting his cards greasy.

Since Montagu was known as the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, his friends began to order “the same as Sandwich,” giving this lunchtime staple its name.

The good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the most commonly eaten in the United States today. The PB&J gained popularity during the Great Depression because this American classic is highly nutritious while also extremely inexpensive to make.

Satisfy your little chef’s appetite for food play with this sandwich set, complete with all the fixin’s.

Stack your sandwich the way you like it, with these 16 wooden sandwich fixin’s that make a satisfying “crunch” sound when the included wooden knife slices the pieces apart! Wooden storage tray included helps keep it all organized.

Are you that parent? The kids are now  sound asleep so you know it’s a safe time to rummage through their stash for the “good” candy.

Our Facebook survey results are in. The candies that top the theft list of the most likely to be stolen by parents are: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at the top, closely followed by Snickers, M&Ms, Kit Kats, Twix, Milky Way, Butterfingers, candy corn, Three Musketeers, and Skittles.

If the candy jar at your house runneth over, or you have a Halloween fear of dental bills, there are cures for the candy coma.

Have you heard about the Switch Witch?  A child grows in Brooklyn shares this disappearing act for all of the sugary stuff you may not care to have around for you or the kids.

The story goes like this: a child gets to eat all the candy they want up through Halloween night.  On Halloween night, before the child goes to bed, s/he lays out all their candy for the Switch Witch. The Switch Witch comes when they are asleep and takes the candy and switches it for a toy. Ta da! Cavity-creating candy is gone and a sugar free desirable new toy is there instead!

For the more curious:

The Switch Witch lives in Hallow Heights which is a little island in the sky by the moon. The Switch Witch loves candy.  All witches love candy, but the Switch Witch loves candy the most and she has the biggest candy stash of all the witches.  Do you know how the Switch Witch gets her gigantic candy stash?  The Switch Witch gathers most of her candy for herself and all the witches and cats on Halloween night. (Did you know that witches’ cats love candy too? They only eat milk chocolate though as it has delicious milk in it! –this is true only for witches’ cats though!).  So, here is how the Switch Witch gets her candy: late Halloween night, when all the children are sleeping, she visits the houses of children who choose to switch their candy for a toy. How does she know which ones are switching their candy in? A child puts a piece of candy on the door (of their room or house) to let her know that they want to switch.  The Switch Witch flies from building to building on her broom, with her black cat Corn (as in Candy Corn) on the back. They come in through a window. They fly in through the window with magic- the window does not need to be open.  She takes all the candy the child puts out and puts it into a sac that Corn holds open for her in his mouth.  Then she ties the candy bag to the end of the broom.  She takes out a shiny black bag that is full of toys. She leaves one toy for the child to thank them for the candy.  Then she leaves just as quickly as she came: on her broom, out to visit other children and perform more switches. By early morning, she and Corn return home to Hallow Heights where she sorts all the candy into large glass jars. That night, all the other witches come to visit and the Switch Witch doles out the candy they want.  They eat their candy with her, share stories of Halloween, hear about what toys she brought to the children and come back night after night for a treat.  You know how most pictures of witches are flying near the moon?  That’s because they are on their way to Hallow Heights to visit the Switch Witch and share in her gigantic candy stash.  By next Halloween, the Switch Witch has run out of candy and goes back out to do her switches.

I’m not sure about this one, but to each your own.