Thursday, January 31, 2013

While at School...

Guy always asks me what I'm going to do while he is at school.  He usually offers up suggestions too - usually clean the house and let Nels watch TV.  Glad he knows what we enjoy most.

I'm not sure if he'd approve of what Nels does while he is at school...

Ate the rest of the chocolate cake...
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Fell asleep while cartoons were on...
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Train Tables

My kids can play with a train table at a toy store for hours.  The train table at home?  It's usually used to pile up stuff and then push it on the floor.  Makes for a good seat too.
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I decided to take a tip from the toy store and glue the track down.  We lost a lot of use out of the table and the tracks by doing this but so far it's been nice not have to clean up.  Plus it's actually getting used, for how long I don't know but I like it so far.

Glued down!
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Friday, January 25, 2013

January PopSugar Review

My referral link: PopSugar $35/mo. Use code REFERFRIENDS to get $5 off.

I got my January PopSugar box.  As it was with the last month, anonymous blog and forum people are complaining.  I guess they didn't cancel their boxes after that last super awesome "old lady" box.  I guess this time the big complaint is everyone bought a yoga ball 10 years ago when they were cool.  I've never been cool so that doesn't apply to me at all.  My husband already invented a game called "bowling over children".  The kids have found their own use for the ball.

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 The teeny marshmallows had a Hot Cocoa Cookie recipe on them. That link has better pictures than mine.  I think we over-mixed our cookies.  I just had the KitchenAid mixer running while we slooooowly measured out everything.  Next time I'll remember to turn it off.
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Nels says "Chocolate?  Yeah, I can force it down."
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Toddler Homework

Nels gets really jealous when Guy does homework. And who would blame him?  Just look at how much Guy is enjoying this.  He might be asleep.
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I try to just have Nels draw during homework time but I guess worksheets look too exciting.  He's only 21 months old so there is no worksheet in the world he would enjoy and do correctly.  But, I found some that he enjoys and does incorrectly.  Works for me!

Let's Sticker and Paste! Nels tore the wings off his bird stickers.  He hangs out with the cats too much.
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Let's Create I showed him how to draw seeds on the watermelons and he said that's silly when you can color the whole thing black.  He has a point.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wildtree Freezer Food

I went to a Wildtree Freezer Cooking Party last night.  It was pretty swell.  Before I went I just put some meat in baggies and chopped some veggies.  At the party we just put spices and things in the baggies and ended up with 11 meals to freeze and cook later.  Perfect for when baby gets here.  I always read about cooking one day and freezing it all but it always sound like work.  This didn't seem like work.  Pretty spiffy idea.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

January Kiwi Crate

This month's Kiwi Crate was game themed.

Guy making his board game.  We played one round.  He won and said he was done.  If he had lost he would have made me play again.  Once we had to play Candy Land 3 times in a row because he wanted to win so bad.  I keep telling him it doesn't matter who wins but I guess that's a personal decision. (Guy slipped on some ice at recess.  I don't know how he did that to his face in the fall but it looks like it hurt.)
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Nels decorates the instructions.  He wanted to help so we told him this was an important job.
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Guy made the comet toss game for little Nels to play.  We played a round of comet bingo which Guy won and said we were done playing, probably forever.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Not That Enthusiastic

Despite my rambling on about subscription boxes being the best I wasn't too thrilled by these this month.

Love With Food 
You mean I have to eat this stuff?  My favorite thing was chocolate with poprocks.  Watching the kids eat it was the best.  My major problem was the biscotti.  Not like it's a huge portion of this box.  I'm offended they sent it.  What am I?  A starving pigeon in a rain storm?  Maybe people eat biscotti... 

Citrus Lane 
Nels was so excited to get his Citrus Lane box, he was trying to tear it apart as I was bringing it in the house.  
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It came with a Skip*Hop plate and bowl (cute), a paperback book and CD, disinfecting spray (keep out of reach of children!) and some lotion.  Nels wasn't excited about anything (aside from the tissue paper) and I guess it rubbed off on me.  I would have saved the tissue paper but Nels got some lotion on it.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Crunchy Chocolate-Peanut Stix

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Saw this recipe in the February issue of Family Circle magazine and thought it was worth a shot.  Not the prettiest things and whenever I use crackers to make candy I feel sort of trashy but they taste good - like Twix bars.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving a few extra inches on each end. 

Line bottom with about 25 rectangular butter crackers (such as Keebler Club). 
In a medium saucepan, melt ½ cup unsalted butter over medium-high heat. 
Add ½ cup milk, 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar. 
Bring to a simmer and gradually stir in 2 cups finely crushed honey graham crackers. 
Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. 
 Pour 1 cup of the mixture over the crackers in the pan and spread evenly. 
Place another layer of crackers in pan and spread remaining cup of sugar mixture over crackers, top with another layer of crackers.
Place 1 ¼ cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips in a medium bowl over a small amount of simmering water in a medium saucepan over low heat. 

Stir until smooth. 
 Spread evenly over top layer of crackers. 
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set. 
Carefully lift out of pan (by the ends of the foil) and place on a cutting board. 
Cut into 1 x 4 inch bars with a serrated knife.

Would I make these again?  I don't know but I do know of one little boy who will be sad when we run out.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Glitter Paints!

The kids received a special package from their uncle & (soon-to-be) aunt!  I don't know if they know when a package is for them or if they just attack every box that shows up.

Nels says he has this one covered.  This was after he threw a fit he couldn't open the box.  He figured looking pathetic would get mom's help. 

So, I did end up opening it.  Glitter paints! (Something totally new to us!)

The kids were ready!  Unfortunately it's been really cold here so anything outside turns to ice and their paints were no different.  Next time they paint will be a larger success since the glitter will not be frozen to the bottom of the bottles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Conscious Box Review

I won a free month of Conscious Box from This Bliss Life.  Super nice of her to offer this and I was excited to win.  I've heard lots of good thing about this box but hadn't tried it yet.

January Conscious Box
It's been a very interesting box.  I had only heard of 3 of the things in the box, so totally new stuff to me.  I haven't had a chance to try everything yet but the Q.Bel Minty Mint cookies are already a favorite.   Next time I go to a store that sells them (might take awhile) I'll be on the look out for them.  I'm not going to subscribe to this box yet but I'll be watching for what they send out in the coming up months.

More Lowe's...

We went to another Lowe's Build and Grow event.  Guy was so ready!

Nels was ready, too!  We gave Nels a project to keep him busy.  He hammered away at it and when it was time to leave Nels' project was 100% incomplete and he was covered in sawdust.  He likes to pretend he works hard.

After such an active morning we took Nels out for breakfast.  He ate everyone's food and half the ketchup at the establishment.  (This is him sitting on the chair itself - no booster.  It's easy to forget this kid is only 1 year old.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

More Humpty Dumpty magazine fun...  Guy made his strawberry muffins!

  What You Need:
  * 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  * 1 cup all-purpose flour
  * 3 teaspoons baking powder
  * 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  * 1/3 cup sugar
  * 1 egg
  * 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  * 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
  * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  * 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
  * 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped
  * Turbinado sugar or table sugar
Adult: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin pan. Do not use paper liners.

What You Do:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set the bowl aside.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, milk, vanilla, zest, and strawberries.
3. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are combined. The batter should be thick and lumpy.
4. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to fill all 12 muffin cups.
5. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of sugar.

Adult: Place the muffins in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Take muffins out of the oven and let them cool for five minutes before removing them from pan.

We used all a/p flour instead of half whole-wheat.  And we used whole milk instead of low-fat.  We also used paper liners.  The muffins are kinda sticky so I think that's why they said no paper liners.  They turned out.  Strawberry muffins are just kinda weird since strawberries are gooey.

Guy & his trusty muffin. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cravebox Review

Cravebox is like a box subscription but you only sign up for the boxes you want.  I think they usually cost between $12-15.  Last month I signed up for "Winter Favorites" and this month I signed up "Resolutions".

Last month's Winter Favorites
*belVita cookie/crackers are super yummy and I was very hesitant to try them.  I have been buying these for my snack food lately.  I used to buy Clif Crunch bars.  Those are still good.
*I love Heinz chili sauce.  It tastes like ketchup and Worcestershire sauce mixed together but it's good.  I like it on my fries.  I was also hesitant to try this.

I told the kids they could help me open the box.  They were so excited!!!! AhhhHHHhhhhHHhh!  As soon as they saw the soda they went running for some cups.  I made them yelling "MESS!" in this photo, wonder why?
*SunRype FruitSource bars = fruit leather in candy bar form.  It was super good.  It wasn't as annoyingly chewy as regular fruit leather.
*Didn't really like anything else, but that's okay.  It's still fun, minus the vacuuming.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guy's Ring Box

Guy received his first issue of Humpty Dumpty magazine.  He has been totally into it.  He quickly did all the worksheets despite them looking pretty similar to his homework.  I guess things are twice as good when they come in color.  We've read all of the stories several times.  He made a grocery list of the things we need to make the recipe, strawberry muffins.  And he made the craft, a ring box.

Final product! He emailed this picture into Humpty Dumpty. The egg, not the magazine - in case he asks.

He realized he didn't have any rings to put in his ring box.  We quickly make some out of pipe cleaners and pom-poms.  All is well.

With his magazine instructions...  He was mildly upset that I didn't have natural colored mini craft sticks like the magazine pictures.  I guess my theory about colorful being better is not always correct.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Favorite Kitchen Stuff

For Christmas my husband gave me a Wolfgang Puck griddle/grill and it is the best thing to happen to my kitchen in 2012. 
I use it mainly for breakfast so I can make bacon, eggs, and pancakes and have them ready all at the same time.  Scrambled eggs stay on the griddle and clean up is super easy.  The grill side is spiffy too.  It really does put those tasty looking grill marks on your food. 

Since my food looks better with the use of my new griddle I want better looking dishes.  My husband gave me super cute and just the right sized milk glasses and one set of trial Fiestaware.

So cute!

I love the Fiestaware.  It's nice & sturdy while being bright & cheery.  I plan to replace all of my drab dishes with this but a little at a time.  Plus I don't know how many different colors I want yet. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Yay Fisher-Price!

The only thing Guy wanted for Christmas was Bucky, Jake's Pirate Ship.  Santa brought him one and Guy was overjoyed!  Until he realized the sound was broken.  He still loved his ship but he would say stuff like "I wish the sound worked" or "Dad, fix this!" 


I felt bad about his toy and called Fisher-Price with no real expectations.  I just knew I wasn't willing to buy a duplicate $50 toy just for the sound.  Well Guy got a surprise in the mail today.  He is running around yelling "Santa gave me a new ship!" and "Hey Nels, you can have my old, broken ship."  So kind.  Not as kind as Fisher-Price, though.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Promoting Bad Habits

Nels started climbing out of his crib in October at 18 months old.  We took his crib away because he was getting wounded.  Anyway, getting a toddler to nap without a cage is tough so I started letting him nap in front of the TV.
From October, after the crib falls...

When he is ready for nap time he excitedly fetches me the TV remote and gets cozy on the couch.  Oh well... it works.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Picture of Baby

We bought a new picture frame so we'll be ready to hang up a picture of baby.  I asked Guy to draw me a picture of what he thinks the baby looks like.  Now I have a uterus hanging on the wall.