Archives for the month of: March, 2012

What first comes to mind when you think of Seattle? Did I hear you say rain? This week’s Science Saturday project is about water and is from Seattle.  Anne, a Seattle mother of three, shares her pictorial  How to: Self-Watering Seed Starter Pots.  Who better to know about water than a Seattlite, right? It’s still a little too early for starting seeds here in northern Minnesota, but I am anxious to give this ingenious method a try. Also with Earth Day around the corner, we’ll  add this to our list of ways to reuse plastic soda bottles.

A few weeks ago the girls and I did a project that I’ve been enjoying every day since.  We repurposed 2 liter bottles and turned them into self-watering planters for starting our tomatoes and cucumbers indoors.  They’ve been sitting on the window sill near my desk and I’ve been watching them grow every day.  It’s been the perfect antidote for the bummer weather we’ve been having here in Seattle.
I’ve tried starting seeds indoors several different ways over the years.  So far this is my favorite method because the soil is always exactly the right moisture level and it’s very easy to see with the naked eye when it’s time to add water to the planter.  There’s no guesswork involved and the plants seem to love it.
Here’s how we made them:
You need 2 liter bottles, potting soil, seeds, thick string or yarn (either cotton or poly seems to work), a Phillips screwdriver, hammer, and a sharp blade to cut the bottle.
Cut the bottle in half.
Use a Phillips screwdriver and a hammer to punch a hole in the center of the bottle cap.
Cut a length of yarn/string about 1′-1.5′ long, double it over and tie a loop on one end.
Thread the yarn/string through the hole in the bottle cap so that the knot is on the inside of the cap.  This will act as a wick, drawing water up from the basin below and into the soil.  The plant will take only what it needs, so the soil moisture will be perfectly regulated.
Put the cap back on the bottle top and nest the top of the bottle in the base. As the plants grow and use up the water, you can just lift off the top to add more to the base instead of pouring it over the soil.  As the soil dries, water will be sucked up through the string into the pot.
Label your bottle so that you remember what you planted.  🙂
Add potting soil and seeds…
You need to water the soil from the top the first time in order to make sure that it is uniformly wet and that the string also is wet.  Otherwise the surface tension of the water will prevent the whole thing from working correctly.
…and wait.

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Anne is also a talented soap maker with a fantastic line of artisan soaps at Seattle Sundries.
Here is her latest, and with a currently very dirty Shop Dog Higgins, must say greatest soap. But really,  you have to take a look at the packaging, each one is more clever than the other. The list goes round and round, like Bitchn’ Kitchen, Potty Mouth, Gender Neutral to Manly Man. You can even  private label soaps for wedding favors, corporate events, etc.
Thanks for all your inspiration Anne!
While I’m still thinking “water” and am inspired – better make it bath time for Higgins.

No, not egg on your face, I mean face on your egg – this week’s Recipe for Fun.

Our little peepers were a BIG hit last Easter. They’re simple to make;  just your favorite deviled egg recipe. Refill the eggs and add cute little chick faces with a bit of carrot and black olive specks for eyes.

Try it for an EZ make together with  younger children. You’ll see how much fun kids can have mashing eggs with a fork and making faces on the little chicks.

You’ll also have a guaranteed hit to take to any Easter gathering.

When it is time to color your Easter eggs, go eco-freindly, with the eco-eggs coloring kit made from natural plant, fruit and vegetable extracts. It includes three natural dyes (orange, blue and purple), a color chart for creating 6 colors and instructions for coloring eggs. Packaged with creature cutouts for the cutest and healthiest Easter Eggs ever!

Join Us
for an Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 7th from  1pm – 3pm

Every child will go home with a
FREE prize.

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys | 7876 Portland Ave. So.   Bloomington, MN    952-881-2425   

Are you accumulating an abundance of empty egg cartons this time of year? Look what Krafty Kat has done with hers!

Check out her blog for step by step instructions on how you too can craft a cheerful Egg Carton Wreath.

Changing Colors!

The Monahan sisters were drawn to these fresh Springtime changing colors. They chose this twin over full loft bed with a twin bed on top and a full size one on the bottom. When their tastes in colors change, the drawer fronts are interchangeable and have the option of  being all white.

It’s that time of year again and if you hear your kids begging for a cuddly little  bunny, think twice.

Quite possibly Hans Wagner gave in to his kids, and just look at what he has now!  A weally, weally big Wabbit weighing in at 22 pounds!

Could this the Easter Bunny’s daughter?

If your kids are still talking rabbits, give making these napkin rings a try.

Hop over to Creativity for Kids and learn how with one white pipe cleaner, a couple of googly eyes, and a pink pom pom nose, you can twist, bend, and glue your way to a sweet little bunny napkin ring.

Another wabbit trick you can learn from Martha. Bunny napkin folds it’s a good thing.

P.S. If you think the giant wabbit is a fake – it’s a nope from snopes.

Or, does your dog look like you?

Contest: Do you or any of your friends resemble your dogs? Send over your photos to share and we will post them here to see if others agree with your perception. Send them to  A winner will be announced.

Higgins, our Shop Dog, goes to work at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys every day. Anyone brave enough to tell me who looks like Higgins? Or, or, or… anyone even braver to say out loud who acts like Higgins? (in the mother dog sense)

And NO, I do not drive an ATV like Higgins.

With all of our Easter Egg posts of late we must not forget our pooches. Pampered Paws Gifts offers these dog-gone special Easter treats for our favorite furry pals.

If you care to DIY it, has a healthy Canine Cookie recipe that you could whip up in time for a Bunny delivery.

Classic Canine Cookies

4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup cooked rice
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Juice from a small orange
1 2/3 cup water

Mix all ingredients together well. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead.

On floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 – 1/2-inch (1 cm) thickness. Cut into Easter Egg shape. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets; bake in centrer of 350°F (180°C) oven until dark brown and crisp, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.

You are on your own rustling up a tasty yogurt frosting. It is out there somewhere and if you wouldn’t mind sharing it with us when you find one – that would be splendid!I

An Experiment With An Egg and Soda a lesson in dental health

For this experiment you’ll need:
a white egg
a dark colored soda
a glass
an old toothbrush
***if desired you can choose other beverages to try
This experiment is so easy peasy.  All you need to do is put a white egg in each glass that you have and pour the beverage  in to cover the egg.

In our glasses we chose to use apple juice and a dark colored cola.  I asked C what she thought would happen to the eggs.  She thought maybe they would change colors.  We mostly drink apple juice in our household so C wasn’t even sure if she wanted anything to do with the cola.

After a couple hours the cola made the white egg light brown…..that fast!

The apple juice made the white egg a light brown too.

A day later the eggs were quite dark so I explained to C how the eggs got stained.  I asked her, “What would happen to your teeth after drinking apple juice if you never brushed your teeth?” My daughter concluded that her teeth would get brown like the eggs.  So I had C take an old toothbrush to see if she could get the eggs clean.

The apple juice came off in brown little chunks.  The dark colored soda had to be really scrubbed. Both were not easy to clean.

Here is the cola submerged egg half cleaned. It makes you really think how important it is to brush your teeth after seeing this.  How would the eggs look after more time? Probably worse.

This experiment is a good lesson in dental health.

On You Tube there is an experiment with a dark colored soda in which they left the egg for one year…365 days. Take a look at the video here and you may think twice about drinking colas or at least it will encourage you to brush your teeth.  The shell of an egg contains calcium, sodium, and phosphorus….and after 365 days the shell disintegrated.

Thank  you Chocolate Muffin Tree for sharing this excellent Science Saturday “Egg and Soda Experiment”.

Look at our fun nighttime plans for the weekend. This glowing idea is from Kaylee at Raising Little Disciples. Kaylee took glow stick bracelets and tucked them inside plastic eggs. Head on over to her blog for pictures of the process.

Thanks Kaylee, a lot of us will be entertaining our little ones with your great glow in the dark eggs.

Keep egging us on!  Win a $25.00 Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Gift Card! Pin your favorite Easter Egg Decorating ideas to our board on Pinterest.

There have been so many super Easter Egg decorating ideas sent to us. Now let’s turn it into a contest!

Win a $25.00 Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Gift Card! Pin your favorite Easter Egg Decorating ideas to our board on Pinterest.


Then oh my goodness, hopping back to thoughts of tomato planting. Can you really believe that fish heads, egg shells and aspirin are the ticket to growing tomatoes? Love Apple Farms has a colorful odorless pictorial of this interesting process.


Thumb print eggs were a rather “handy” idea from Family Fun.


Life Hacker knows “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”.


If you find chocolate inside your egg, you know it is a “good thing“; thanks Martha!


If you’ve been dyeing to find a safe eco-friendly Easter Egg coloring kit – search no longer. Included are dyes made from purple sweet potato, paprika, beta carotene, red cabbage and blueberries plus 2 soy crayons for decorating.