About Me

I'm a teacher turned stay at home mama. I love finding things to make and do!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Making Valentines

We made Valentines this week.  We used white cardstock cards, a bingo dotter, and sparkly puffy heart stickers. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

bow holder tutorial

I found a square frame at The Dollar Tree and decided to make A one of those cute hair bow holders.  It was so easy!  Here is how I did it.

 Using a frame mat as a template, trace around handprint, artwork or photo that you will frame.

 Trace around scrapbook paper or fabric for background.

Cut two pieces of ribbon (mine were 22 inches long) and glue to back of frame.

Add bows and hang.  

I added A's name on the little piece of paper under her handprint.  You could also use a piece of ribbon at the top to hang it from.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We're going on a LONG trip

We are going on a long trip in a little over a week.  A REALLY long trip...on an airplane...more than one.  So, I made up some toddler activity bags for A to keep her busy.  All you really need to do is google "toddler activity bags" and you'll get a TON of ideas.  Two really great sites are:

Here is what I have so far:
-farm animal velcro scene on felt
-mini Play-Doh
-animal lacing cards
-pill box with mini pom poms
-Animal Bingo (matching game)
-bag with stickers, sticker book, mini notebook, markers, paper
-easy reader books
-travel Magna Doodle

I'm not sure which activities I'll take and which ones I'll leave.  I also have a beading activity with bubble straw pieces and want to make a button snake.
  I plan to put all of A's activities in her own carry on backpack, along with some snacks.  We also have videos and games on Daddy's ipad, and Dziadzia and Gramma will be along to help out.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have Annabel Karmel's ice lolly molds.  I'm not a huge fan, since there is a well at the bottom, so the popsicle pieces get stuck at the bottom and A ends up sticking her fingers all around to try and get every last bit out.  Also, our set broke quite easily where the pieces connect to each other.  However, I do like that they have handles A can hold on her own.
We make popsicles using baby food.  We started doing this when A was much smaller, teething, and not eating very much.  We found that when she wouldn't eat anything else, she'd eat a popsicle!  And, knowing that she was eating baby food, allowed us to give her more than one without feeling guilty about loading her up with sugar.  With these molds, one container of store-bought baby food fills all four molds.

If you know of any better popsicle molds with nice handles for toddlers, please let me know!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Here is A, using an old box with a hole and hinge cut out of it as a mailbox.  I gave her some index cards and she carefully puts them into the box.  When she is finished, she opens the box and takes the mail out.  We could have decorated the cards and put people's names on them too, but we used blank ones.  She really loves the in and out games. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring.

This activity came from the book Games to Play with Babies ,by Jackie Silberg.  I gave A a paper towel, had her rip it into pieces and place them into a cup.  Then I would slowly sprinkle the pieces onto her head and sing, "It's raining, it's pouring."  We refilled the cup and did it again and again.

Although it sounds pretty boring, A loved it at 15 months.  I haven't tried it lately, but I'm guessing she'd still like it today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here's the latest of my craft endeavors.  It's a little croc made especially for my nephew on his first birthday. 

It's a keeper!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The double pacifier

This is one of the best tips ever...and it came from Daddy.

It's the double pacifier.  YES!  
A still likes her pacifier and she especially likes to switch them out.  I was getting so tired of having her throw her pacifier on the floor of the car and ask for another one.  Not giving her one after she threw it did NOT work...she just cried...loudly.  So...Daddy suggested we use a pacifier clip and put TWO pacifiers on it.  That way, A can have one in her mouth and one to hold/switch out.  It has been such a great thing for us when we are in the car. Now...if only we could figure out how to get RID of the pacifier?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting those veggies in.

I know I've mentioned before how A is a picky eater.  Well, one of the ways we've been able to get veggies in her body is through the green smoothie.  It's so easy to make and really good for you.  I found the recipe through this blog.

The original recipe calls for:
one banana
handful of frozen strawberries
handful of frozen blueberries
fresh spinach (about 10-15 leaves)
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
water (about 1 1/2 cups)

Throw all ingredients in blender.  That's it!  It might seem weird not to add milk or juice, but you really don't need it.

You can go anywhere with this recipe.  I've used carrots, pureed pumpkin, frozen mango, frozen raspberries, etc!  I also don't use ice since I use all frozen fruit.  A drinks it up every time.

*TIP--I only use 1/2 banana.  I slice up bananas and freeze them so I always have them on hand.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We don't live in Florida

Snow has fallen in 49 of the 50 United Stated (well, at least it did last week.)  We took full advantage.  Although I'm not a fan of frigid temperatures, I'm a sucker for snow and blizzards.

A is a pretty big fan too.  We even slid down that little hill in front of the house a few times.

I hope everyone enjoyed their snow and stayed safe!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Giving Thanks

This week we made thank you cards for some friends and family who gave A Christmas gifts.  I had blank cards and just had A color on the front of them with two different colored markers.  She had a lot of fun, and  I think they turned out great!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine crafting, anyone?

If you're anything like me, you are thinking weeks and months in advance for something perfect to make for your little one.  OR, maybe you wish someone would just give you the ideas so you didn't have to go looking for them! 
I saw these adorable Valentine chair backers on an episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 one year and LOVED them!  Pottery Barn used to sell them, but not anymore.  I searched the internet and found the perfect pattern and here it is!

I followed their non-ruffle design and put A's name on the flap between the two buttons.  I cut them out of fabric, used wonder-under and then sewed to reinforce the letters.  It's very durable and oh, so cute!  I put this on the back of A's dinner chair and stuffed it with a few goodies for Valentine's day.  I plan to make it a tradition.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creative snacking

When I got this ice cube tray at IKEA, I wasn't exactly sure what I'd be using it for.  Well, it can be pretty tough to get A to eat.  This sometimes comes in handy.  This photo just shows cereal, but I've also done deconstructed trail mix, where I put a different type of snack in each row.  Sometimes, presentation is everything...sometimes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Go make these now.

Oh...this picture just doesn't do these peanut butter balls justice.  No, really.  They are SO good.  You know the peanut butter eggs that come around Easter time?  That's what these are.  
Now, before I give you the recipe, I must tell you, they kind of take a while to make.  I mean, you have to make a lot (I mean, a lot) of these balls out of crumbly peanut butter dough...THEN you have to cover them in melted chocolate.  I suggest having help and maybe waiting until the kiddos are in bed or out of the way to do it.  

The original recipe is
here, but I did a llittle tweaking after reading some of the reviews.  Here is the recipe I used:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I used the whole jar)
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  •   2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pancake syrup
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips


  1. Combine the butter, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and maple flavoring. Cream well and knead well.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips over low heat. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Dip into melted chocolate chips.
  3. Refrigerate overnight (or at least for about 15 minutes) on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
It's a Keeper

Monday, January 10, 2011

Letter identification charts

When I taught kindergarten, I used these cute little letter identification charts with my students.  I would point to a letter and if they could correctly identify it, they would get a stamp, if not, it was left blank.  They took them home so their parents knew which letters to be working on.

Since my daughter has started identifying letters recently, I wanted to print a chart out for my own records.  I don't use them in the same way.  I don't point to letters and see if she knows them.  I just make a mental note whenever I hear her say a new letter when she sees one (in a book, on a sign) and then use a bingo marker to mark the ones she knows.  I'm so impressed with the ones she already knows!

I printed the charts at Making Learning Fun.  I have one uppercase sheet and one lowercase sheet.  I wrote the months I would be using them in the upper corner.  I plan to print out different ones with the seasons and just tuck them away in a folder until she has a set of filled up ABC's!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sundae Scoop

I'm joining Sundae Scoop this week at I heart naptime.  You should stop by and check it out!
I made these cuties for A for Christmas.  I would have liked to sew a little house/purse to put them in, but just didn't have the time.  Maybe a cute little house is in their future?  Anyway, you can get the full tutorial here.  Read carefully because it does not tell you exactly when to paint the face on the doll.  Do it BEFORE the varnish.  :)  I'd love to see any dolls that others have made!  You can use the "email me" button on the top left to share.  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011


I love this can.  It's a baby oatmeal container that I wrapped scrapbooking paper around.  But it's not the outside that makes it wonderful, it's what is on the inside.
I really admire the Montessori method and how children are treated with respect and taught how to do things at a very young age.  I came across this blog recently and I love her idea of the "monti-jar."  (You MUST go visit for yourself!)

Inside are slips of paper...activities to do whenever you have a few extra minutes in the day and need something to do.  You just pull out an activity and do it!  

Some examples:
-handling a book
-using a zipper
-cleaning up spills with a sponge
-putting materials away neatly

I'm excited to start using this with A.  I think it will be a great way to teach her skills in a fun way.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cloth doll and dress

 For A's first birthday, I made her a cloth doll and matching dress.  I made the doll pattern based off of the black apple doll   pattern, and her dress pattern is the "sweet little dress pattern" from the etsy store, Leila and Ben.
Her doll seems to be a hit with other little girls who come over to play.  One of them lovingly called it her "girl" rather than her "baby."  I think because it looks a little grown up.  :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Out of reach box

There are some activities we do frequently, but they need to be supervised.  For such things, I made an "out of reach" box.  Right now, the contents of the box are:
-pop-up book
-seasonal non-board books
-additional letters for A's  Fridge Phonics
- Monti-jar (LOVE this...more to come!)
-Christmas Tree golf tee game
-letter identification chart (from Making Learning Fun)
-bingo dotters for the letter id. charts
-folder with songs

I'll probably add a puzzle in here and will switch the contents every now and then.  It's a great way to have things at an adult's fingertips, but out of reach of tiny hands.  That way, there aren't any missing or broken pieces and we are able to enjoy them over and over again!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Farm Animal Pancakes

I got these Farm Animal Pancake Molds and Pancake Pen from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas.  They are too fun!

You just pour any old pancake batter into the pen, squeeze the batter into the (greased) mold...

remove mold...flip pancake...done!  Now, I realize the final pancake is a cow...I forgot to grease the first one...oops!  They were so cute and yummy!

I really like the pen by itself too.  A wouldn't eat the animal pancakes (future vegetarian?) but I was able to make tiny circle ones that she would eat!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fridge Phonics

While we were visiting family, A spotted two magnetic letters on the floor.  She immediately said, "o" and then "i".  I couldn't believe my ears.  We asked her over and over and she continued to get them correct.  We showed A her older cousin's magnetic word builder and she continued getting letters correct!  She said about six.
We decided to get her the  Fridge Phonics to practice with at home.  I put five letters in a bin (so as not to overwhelm), along with the little dog house.  I made sure that she knew three of them to keep interest.  I'll switch letters out here and there as long as she stays interested.  I like it in the bin because at least for now, when things like this are on the fridge, they just end up on the floor, not played with.