Archives for the month of: September, 2017

Tomorrow, October 1st is Vegetarian Awareness Day and it continues all month. Are you ready, or scared?

Let us help you with scared…Scare up some Vegetarian Halloween Food.

Monster Food –  Eyeball Caprese for brave of appetite.

Photo Credit: whitneymoss  for this edible Bony Maroney Skeleton. No meat on the bones here. Visually dissect the skeleton for a list of ingredients. Hint: hummus face.

Stuffed Roaches anyone?

Puking pumpkin…… What can I say?

If you’ve just gotta have your meat, disguise it in a Mummy Meatloaf and we won’t tell. Mum’s the word.

This is a little bit more advanced project, but Wow,  how fun would this be to surprise someone with the smashed wicked witches legs sticking out from under the bed?  Diary of a Crafty Lady will show you how.

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What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? Pumpkin pi.

Perk up and celebrate National Coffee Day 2017!

Why not enjoy a cuppa Jo with the girls?

If it’s espresso for your daily dose, this fashion forward single shot pretend espresso machine offers an early start.

Your career may dictate whether you’re more likely to need that coffee fix during the day.  A  Dunkin’ Donuts/Career Builder survey indicates that the top 10 professions most likely to “need” coffee to get through the workday are:

  1. Scientist/Lab Technician
  2. Marketing/Public Relations Professional
  3. Educator/Administrator
  4. Editor/Writer
  5. Healthcare Administrator
  6. Physician
  7. Food Preparer
  8. Professor
  9. Social Worker
  10. Financial Professional

For any of you who may be a bit challenged when ordering your coffee, here is a glossary of terms from the Barista Guide:

Americano: Espresso diluted with hot water to roughly the consistency of drip coffee. Similar to drip, but with more complexity, and the benefits of the espresso’s crema.

Cappuccino: 1/3 Espresso (2oz.) 1/3 Milk (2oz.) 1/3 soft microfoam (2oz.) This drink is always free-poured, and never spooned. If your coffee house spoons their foam, find a new shop. Sometimes topped with Cinnamon or Chocolate powder, but left alone for the purists.

Chai: A spiced Indian tea beverage with varying ingredients, but usually including ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, sugar, milk, and, of course, Tea. There are many variations of this list of ingredients, but most will contain at least this, if not anise or fennel, or maybe even black peppercorns. Pronounced “CHigh”

Cuppa: Short for “cup-of-coffee”

Cappa: (or Cappu) Short for “cappuccino”.

Espresso: A ~1oz (single) or ~2oz (double) beverage created by a high pressure extraction at ~9bar pressure from ~8 (single) or ~15 grams (double) of fine, evenly ground coffee, evenly distributed and compacted into what is known as a puck. The Espresso has three major parts to its anatomy. The Crema, the Body, and the Heart. If your coffee house’s espresso lacks Crema, it’s time to find a new shop.

Flat White: Usually ~6oz. In all. Similar to a cappuccino, but with latte proportions of foam.

Frappe: Common terminology for an iced, blended beverage. Often containing coffee. Starbucks has a well-known rendition of their own known as a Frappuccino Blended Coffee (or Frappuccino Blended Crème, depending on the recipe)

Iced Coffee: Just like it sounds. Coffee, cold, and on the rocks.

Latte: A little bit of espresso and a lot of milk, with a thin cap of foam. Generally anything 10oz. And up. Flavorings may be added to form flavored lattes. (i.e.- vanilla latte, hazelnut latte, etc..). Milk may be substituted with Soy milk for a Soy Latte. A latte made with nonfat (or skim) milk is often known as a Skinny Latte.

Latte Macchiato: A latte made by pouring the espresso in last, on top of the milk and foam.

Macchiato: Macchiato is an Italian word meaning “to mark” or “to stain”. A Macchiato is a single or double shot of espresso, marked with a bit of foam or frothed milk, usually with close to equal portions espresso and foam or frothed milk.

Mocha: Named for the drink made popular by Portuguese traders at the port of Mocha, it’s a drink made with chocolate, espresso, steamed (sometimes frothed) milk, and topped with whipped cream.

So, what is a Grande in a Venti cup soy upside down caramel macchianto with five shots of extra caramel? Ooops add whip to that and a double sleeve please.

For a full pot of Java if that’s what you prefer, this pastel pretend coffee maker will compliment the trendiest pretend kitchens.

No bones about it, might as well add a bit more pretend fun; serve up some bones with your coffee.

Make your way over to Food Mayhem to learn this edible bone making magic spell, or skill.

You fill in the blanks!

The possibilities are endless for what you can frame on your walls with this wallpaper aptly named “Frames”.

Go right ahead, put a photo, drawing, hang your blue ribbons,  paste on a little bling or use your creative skills and attempt to paint something in one of the frames. It’s simply up to you! You’ll love how interactive it is.

“Frames”  by Taylor & Wood for Graham & Brown  is only $50 per roll, so you’ll still have some cash left over for markers and paints.

What do you think? You’re Framed?

THREE DAY DEAL!

Take 40% OFF our Live Butterfly Garden.

Sale Ends at Midnight September 29th or when sold out!

Live Butterfly Garden
Watch them grow then let them go! See one of Nature’s greatest miracles right
before your eyes with our Oppenheim Best Toy Award-winning butterfly raising kit. Raise 3 to 5 Painted Lady butterflies while learning all about metamorphosis. See  the caterpillars’ transition as they mature, change into chrysalides, and finally  emerge as Painted Lady butterflies! The butterflies’ development takes approximately  three weeks, and they’re absolutely safe to release into the environment.  Includes colorful pop-up habitat suitable for hanging or free-standing on a countertop,  special food, feeding kit and complete instructions. Ages 4 years plus.

Pack some butterfly treats in a school lunch. What a nice surprise that would be!

Leave it to Kreative Kellie to come up with such a clever idea.

All you need is a glue gun and the snacks, plus:

-snack size plastic bag
-2 googly eyes
-wooden clothes pin
-Pipe Cleaner

Watermelon Shark

Two days ago we said good bye to summer as we celebrated the autumnal equinox. Today with the unusually high temperatures around the country some of us gladly welcome back summer.

Watermelon is a great way to hydrate and you can’t let the return of summer pass you by without dazzling (or frightening) the family with this shark. Rachael over at Sun Scholars shows you how to make this amazing  Watermelon Shark.

I always like making this for my brother who didn’t take bath for months after seeing the movie Jaws. Lucky for him we had a shower.

Staying hydrated during this heat wave can be a challenge. Evenflo offers 5 tips on how to defeat the heat:

Tip # 1: Either mostly or completely cut out soda from your child’s diet. There is no nutritional value in it, and all it does is dehydrate their body even more than it already is. If your child is going to miss the soda, try giving them water with some fruit slices that will naturally add some flavor and sweetness.

Tip #2: Provide your children with snacks that will not only fill them up, but hydrate them. For example, cucumbers are almost completely made up of water, which makes them a light, refreshing snack. Other good choices are watermelon, citrus fruits, grape tomatoes, and colorful bell peppers. If your child gets turned off by the veggies, try cutting them into fun shapes or providing a healthy dip like yogurt or hummus, which also gives them a protein punch.

Tip #3: This one helps when you have kids who are too “busy” playing to stop to munch a snack, is to make it fun. My daughter almost always comes running when I make fruit caterpillars for her. All you need are toothpicks and fruit (just be careful if you give these to small children). Kids can even help make these, which can be a fun learning activity as well. Your child can make patterns with the fruit alternating grapes, blueberries, strawberries, or kiwi pieces. You can also make veggie caterpillars, which when you add some small pieces of cheese, adds some protein as well. The munching possibilities are endless!
Tip #4: Here’s a simple one, if you know you’re heading outside to be in the sun, try to get your kids to drink some extra liquids before you leave, so you won’t have to worry quite as much once you get to your sunny destination.

Tip #5: When your kids have their hydrating snacks and drinks, make sure you join them! It’s just as important that mommies take care of themselves as well. You set the example for your kids, so if they see you taking care of yourself, chances are they’ll follow!

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Want to know when a Watermelon is ripe?

There’s an app for that!

The Melon Meter claims to help you choose a ripe watermelon using the microphone on your iPhone!

BEEP BEEP – you can sleep in a jeep and one safari ready at that!

Make the transition to a big boy or big girl an adventure with our Zebra Striped Jeep.

Taking That BIG Step!

Which approach is best for you will depend on your reasons for making the change, your child’s personality, and the size of his room. Here are a few ways to help him make the transition from crib to bed:

1. Big-kid bed hoopla: Some children enjoy having an official Big Kid Day party. Set up the bed, decorate the room and add a few sleep-related gifts, such as books and stuffed animals.

2. One-step-at-a-time: Take the mattress out of the crib and place it on the floor in the same location. This gives your child the same sleeping surface and the same view of the room that he has grown accustomed to. Place guard rails around the sides to create a crib-like enclosure. Keep the same bedding and crib toys. This is a mid-step between the crib and a real bed.

3. The gradual introduction: Set up the new bed in the same room as the crib. Allow your child to play on the bed and nap there. Do your bedtime reading in the new bed, but allow him to have nighttime sleeps in the crib. This will help your child get used to the bed gradually.

4. Patience and encouragement: No matter which path you choose, be patient. Big steps toward growth often happen in spurts and your child may be excited to welcome the change one day, but wary of it the next. Maintain your nightly bedtime routine and help your child develop a positive association with his new bed, since he’ll be sleeping there for many years to come.

Talk like a Pirate

Yarrr, that be right: today Tuesday, September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017, a celebration of all things pirate.

Pirate Toddler Bed

Avast, all you young little Scallywags  sleep like pirate!

Now, if you wish to brush up on your pirate speak, try this useful English to Pirate translator.

Also offered is some advanced lingo once you’ve mastered the basics. like beyond “Aarr!”.

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”

Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

Dress like a pirate all year long.

Here is our all time most favorite seasonal decoration!

This DIY Halloween Garland idea may become your favorite too. So, go ahead and “cut that out”.

Templates for the cut outs can be found at Paper Crave

spider-deviled-eggs

Every year these Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs are always a huge hit. You might want to try making them with the kiddos for a fun cook together time.

Try laying (out) special spider eggs to creep out some of your friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Before we had kids, my husband and I would eat out all the time and enjoyed our time together discovering new foods and restaurants. Now that we have two little boys, eating out isn’t so easy or enjoyable. We are now mostly limited to kid-friendly dining and even at the most kid-friendly restaurants, we are susceptible to melt downs, whining, crying, and restlessness among other things. So I made a list of restaurant table games to play while waiting for your meal, or even during meal time when the kids are done eating but the adults aren’t. These fun little games can be played using items found at your table and have really helped us keep the kids busy and calm while dining out.

1. Origami Fortune Tellers. I used to make these all the time when I was younger and they were always a camp favorite. If you don’t know how to make one of these, HERE is a step by step tutorial.  All you need is the kids menu and crayons. Colors go on the outside, numbers in the center, and a fortune on each of the 4 inside flaps. Here is how to play: First your child chooses a color. If it’s red, then spell out R-E-D while moving the fortune together and apart with your fingers 3 times. Then choose a number from the center. Again, count while moving the fortune teller. Then pick another number and whichever number they choose, lift up the flat and that is their fortune. Here are some fortune ideas: “You will have good luck today” or “You will go to a party soon.” Or they could be a direction like “Give someone at the table a hug” or “Make a silly face.”

2. Sugar Packet and Penny Trick. This is a restaurant table version of the old cups and balls magic trick. Take three of the same color sugar packet and a penny or small coin. Show you child which packet the coin is under and then quickly mix them up while they are watching. See if they can follow which sugar packet the penny is under and when you are done mixing, ask them where the penny is.

3. Guess Which Hand. Hide a sugar packet/piece of a napkin/coin (or other small table object) in one of your hands. Make a fist with both hands and have your child guess which hand the object is in. My son likes to play this game on us! He (not so) discreetly hides something in one hand and then we get to guess. Of course I like to humor him and pick the wrong hand :o)

4. Straw and Sugar Packet Tic Tac Toe. Here is a fun way to play Tic Tac Toe. Ask your server for a couple extra straws and use them to make the game board. Use sets of two different color sugar packets as the markers for each team or player. Three in a row wins!

5. Straw Wrapper Worms. When you are unwrapping your straws, scrunch the paper up. Lay it on the table and drip a drop of water on it. Watch it wiggle and grow! See our Straw Wrapper Worm video:

6. I Spy. Choose an object at the table or within view of your table and using the phrase “I spy with my little eye, something ___” Provide a descriptive word about what you see and let your child guess what it is. Then let him/her pick something and you try to guess!

7. Dot Game. This is also called Capture the Squares. The object of the game is to connect dots to get as many squares as possible. Start by drawing a grid of dots and take turns connecting two dots at a time with a vertical or horizontal line. When a person is able to finish a square, put your initial in it. When all dots become squares, count the initialed boxes and whoever has the most wins!

8. ABC Spy. Using the kids menu, or in this case we used the fry basket liner, ask your child to find an “A” and so on. Each time they find the letter, they can circle it. This seems too simple, but believe me, this kept my 3-year-old occupied for a good chunk of time and he really liked searching for each letter I called out.

9. Disappearing Objects. Arrange a group of objects together in the middle of the table. Tell your child to look closely at all the objects on the table then tell him to close his eyes. Take an object away and see if your child can tell you which object is missing.

10. Table Football. There are actual rules to this game (that we don’t follow). We just like to make a paper football and enjoy flicking it around. To make the ball: Start by folding a piece of paper in half longways and fold the corner down into a triangle. Continue to fold down, making triangles until you get to the end of the paper. Tuck whatever excess paper is left on the end into the “pocket” on the top of the ball.  The object of the game is the flick the football across the table and if it is hanging over the edge when it comes to a rest, you get a touchdown. We like to hold our hands up into a field goal and try and flick between the posts (aka fingers and thumbs).

Thank you Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me for sharing these entertaining ideas.

Make-Your-Bed-Day

When you wake up today, September 11, be sure to make your bed, Why today you ask, because it is Make Your Bed Day!

Pointless exercise you think. Well maybe not, here are a few reasons why:

1. Me Time
Smooth out those sheets and comforter. Slow down, take a few deep breaths and plan your day. Think of this morning bed making ritual as getting a little “me time”. Okay, just keep telling yourself it is “me time” and in no time your bed is made.

2. Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness.
By taking just a few seconds to pull your bedding up over the pillows does a great deal for cleanliness. It will prevent dust from getting under your covers during the day. Plus, who knows what you could find hiding under the bed or on the floor. This discovery could be a big help when it is bedtime; lack of cutter could create a more peaceful slumber.

3. Winner winner.
Making your bed which requires so little effort could make a huge impact on your day. You know how good it feels when everything is neat and tidy. Start your day off with success and feeling like a winner. See where that first step will take you throughout your day.

4. Happiness
Hunch.com surveyed 68,000 people and found that 71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy while 62 percent of non-bed makers admitted to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. So why not join the happys? Make your bed!

Idea! Possibly a brand new bed could bring a little inspiration. Check out all of the super fantastic bed choices at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys.