Re-Doing Blog Roll !

Share Your Blog !

I am going to start breaking my blog roll up into categories , there are so many just outstanding blogs and I don’t want other moms and readers to miss out just because they are lost in the long list. Here are the categories:

Family Blogs
Adult Crafts
Kids Crafts and Learning
Product Review Blogs
Recipes and Cooking

All you need to do to be included is email me a link to your blog, with the category of choice. Even if you have been included in previous blog rolls please send me an email with your category choice. Thanks! Our new blog roll will be up next weekend.

[email protected]

XOXO Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

last minute valentine's day cupcakes

If you are concerned about red food dye ( which I wasn’t when I wrote this obviously but now restrict as much as possible  ) use this  Natural Color red dye instead!

  1. Gather your ingredients. I cheat when it comes to baking so, a cake mix and it’s ingredients, some rope licorice ( I used pull and peel twizzlers) , icing , the above mentioned red and pink food coloring, and a few extra bowls.
  2. Make the cake mix, separate it into two bowls one red and one pink. If I did this again I would make the pink lighter so there was more contrast.
  3. Fill the muffin cups with the red first , then at the pink, I used a toothpick to swirl it a little.
  4. Bake and let cool.
  5. While they cool add a little more pink food coloring to the white icing.
  6. Ice the cupcakes when cool.
  7. Start creating with the licorice, write names, messages or just hearts! The licorice is really easy to work with!
  8. Have a treat!
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Crafting with Toddlers – Be Flexible.

Crafts don’t always go smoothly, paint and glue are eaten daily and yes tantrums happen, usually him but sometimes me too! I try to roll with it, sometimes we take a break half way through crafts we just walk away and go back when the time is right. Here he kept pulling up the newspaper I had taped down with painters tape and putting the tape in his mouth. Not to mention the green paint everywhere, including up his nose!

I can’t remember what craft he was supposed to be making here but as you can see he wasn’t doing it. Instead he was carefully placing the chalk onto his beloved John Deere tractor. A perfect example of why I try not to do crafts when time is limited.

I have framed this picture for family because it is my son in a nutshell, he celebrates his “exploration” with abandon. He knew I was too far away from him to stop him from pouring the lentils everywhere. He was right. I found lentils in my kitchen for months, usually with my feet. They hurt.

This was a post that never made it up. I was going to do a post about an airplane “Busy Bag” and all the fun things in it to keep him busy. It never got posted, he wouldn’t take it off his head and I gave up.

Does this look like a kid who is having fun? It was probably past time for me to give up and grab our coats.

As you can see we are not perfect, far far from it! I try to keep my expectations appropriate but I mess up , miss the mark and have bad days. Sometimes it’s better to abandon the craft , run outside and come in for a nap.  So if a craft tanks, or a pretty art project gets ruined , so what?! Try to follow your child’s interests and know that messes will be made and the goal isn’t a perfect project, it’s an interested and engaged child.

Light A Candle

A few months back I posted a link to

Jenny’s Light

It is an organization that is devoted to helping families struggling with Post Partum Depression. Exactly a year ago Jenny Gibbs Bankston and her infant son Graham tragically died . Now through this foundation her family and friends are making sure that their lives however short were not in vain. On this tragic anniversary I hope that this post reaches someone who needs it and makes a difference.

To see the memorial video
click here

Parent’s Corner

My Art Closet

Let me start by saying this is NOT what my art closet looks like right now the holiday craft bonanza has not been kind to it, come January I am cleaning it up again! I have been flooded with questions lately about how I keep my supplies organized so here it is!
  • Gather your materials. I use a shoe hanger from Ikea , and I slide in it baby wipes and Gladwear containers they fit perfectly! Inside those I keep markers, crayons, cotton balls, pencil crayons, paint, glue etc…
  • Then on the bottom few slots I keep newspaper ( just a few sections at a time) toilet paper rolls, and other recyclables that I can use for projects.
  • Also the top section has foam sheets, they fit perfectly, and pipe cleaners in it.
  • Now onto my cheap shelves that in June broke and I used some pipe cleaners to hold them together, call me McGuyver ! Anyway on those shelves I have white paper construction paper and card stock on top. As well as scrap printed paper in the silver box.
  • On the shelves I have one with tissue paper and paper bags, the one bellow it has my son’s easter basket with all the fun big sponges, bath poofs etc.. for free painting.Under the basket are a few brown paper grocery bags.
  • The square closest to the door has a large box for scrap paper. It also holds my magazines I use for crafts.
  • The square above it has all the specialized things- like googly eyes, pinking shears, buttons, sequins, sparkles etc… in a container so I can grab all the non kid friendly things fast if need be. It also keeps my paper plates close at hand.

I hope this helps !

**Also a reminder – send in or leave a comment with your favorite activity **
we did this year for our
Best of 2008 !