Friday, September 23, 2011


Jack created a new game yesterday in the car...needless to say, I have a love-hate relationship going on with it!

He named it "CRABAPPLE"...see the all caps--yep, apparently you need to shout it!  Can you see why the hate portion is developing?  

Anytime you see a speed limit sign, they have to yell say "CRABAPPLE ___!"  the ___ is the number of speed.  For example:  Crabapple 25!

Now, the part I'm impressed with and am encouraging--they are adding up the totals for all the street signs. They need some help as they are getting higher and higher in the points, but for a 1st and 2nd grader, I think it's really helping them think.  They group and add the number and then put them all together to get the right answer--in their head!  I even have trouble doing that sometimes!

So, the love is outweighing the hate (at least for now), so I guess I have some more noisy rides in my future!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes in a Jar...Tips

Last year for Madie's birthday we made rainbow cupcakes.  This year, she wanted a rainbow themed birthday, so I figured we should make the rainbow cupcakes, but when I came across this recipe at Mommy Knows I knew that this was the step up to make them just a little bit more special.  I thought I'd include some tips for those trying it out for the first time.  I thought they were super easy--especially with two little helpers to stir in the colors!

Here are some tips:

I used 8 oz (half pint) jars.  I decided to use a 9 x 13 pan to hold twelve jars at a time.  I thought they stayed in the pan well and I didn't have to worry about them spilling over like on a cookie sheet.

I didn't have enough little bowls clean, so I ended up using plastic cups.  I actually liked it much better than with bowls. I was able to hold onto them easier and they poured quite nicely.

I made a double batch of white cake so that I could get a full 24 "cupcake" jars.  I cooked them both at the same time and it worked well.  350ยบ for 35-40 minutes.  The ones on the right weren't as full, but they still came out great!

I didn't need to scoop any of the cake out, I just frosted and added some rainbow sprinkles.  I thought it was great to stick a lid on them to keep them fresh for the party.  

This group I did a reverse rainbow...just to change it up a bit :0)
Voila!  They looked great and they tasted great, too!  I'll definitely try this out again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rainbow Birthday Parties!!!

Madie turned 8 this weekend.  I can't believe it!  She's growing up into one of the sweetest, kindest little people I know.  I'm so proud that she's mine.  Since she's so special, I couldn't wait to celebrate her birthday!

For her "parties" she decided she wanted a rainbow, this is what I came up with.  She had a family party and a friend party all in the same weekend.  Not sure if I'll do that again!  But, I think everyone had fun...and that's all that matters!

Loved this--so glad it was in rainbow.  Found it on the clearance table at Michaels--It's in the Duff brand of cake supplies.

This was the centerpiece at our family party.  I made rainbow cupcakes in a jar (I'll post later tips for this!)  Madie made the frame at a Daisy Scout meeting and I thought it would make a nice touch.  My nephew's 13th bday was the week before, so he got to blow out some candles too! 

This was for her friend party at the YMCA.  I didn't go too crazy with decorations, but I had to include some M & Ms--the ultimate rainbow candy!  Below are the pics of the items IN the favor bags!

Pens--I attached the feathers with floral tape first.  That left the pen sticky, so I hot glued the ribbon around the pen.  I thought they turned out pretty fun!

I found these cute containers in rainbow colors.  Madie helped me decide what to put in them. We went with a "Warm Fuzzy" feel and added rainbow stickers, hair bands, a warm fuzzy buddy.  I use paint markers to decorate the top of the containers with words like:  Peace, Fun, Smile, Warm Fuzzy, Hugs...

I also decorated headbands for each girl using rainbow/colorful ribbon.  Basically, using hot glue, I wrapped the ribbon around a clear plastic headband (I always buy the bands at Crafts 2000 for super cheap!).  I was going to put a bow, but I ran out of time.  Still fun!

For her friends, she decided she wanted Purple Cupcakes...since I was making them at night after our family party, I was OK with doing purple instead of more rainbow ;0)  The buttercream frosting made these super yummy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Girl Scout Sit-Upons

I am now a co-leader for Madie's Brownie troop.  I think that I have the fun part...I'm going to be in charge of crafts!  I love it!  For our first meeting the girls needed make what is referred to in scouts as a "sit-upon".  I made one when I was in scouts a million years ago, so it's been a long tradition.  Basically, the girls will use a seat cushion of some sort for meetings, camping... anything where they would need to sit on the ground.

Once I found out about this task, I searched online for some ideas.  A lot of people made ones out of old table cloths and woven newspapers.  To be honest--this seemed like more work than I was up for.  The head leader suggested using the recyclable bags you buy at places like Toys R Us, and I thought it was genius.  So, I thought I'd share my how-to for those that are searching like I did!

**Recyclable bag (we used the ones from Toys R Us so that they were a uniform size and they are kind of shiny, so a little more water proof and easy to clean up than others that we found)  The girls each picked up their own and brought them to me early so that I could punch the holes in them before our first meeting.  It worked out great!

**Boon doggle (I have no idea how to spell this, basically, it is that plastic string you find at craft stores) I cut pieces about twice the width of the bag and put a loop knot at the end of each string before giving it to the girls.  Total time saver!

**Good hole puncher.  I invested in a super duper hole puncher--I LOVE it!!!  It took no time at all to punch through the many bags I had to do.

**Foam.  I used one-inch thick foam for the inside of the sit-upon.  I used coupons and purchased it at JoAnn's.  It was WAY easier than weaving newspapers.  My mom (thank you, mom!) cut the foam for us into 12 x 12 inch squares.  This fit perfectly into the bag.

**Hot glue gun/glue sticks.  At the very end, I hot glued the bottom and sides together so that it stayed all in place.

Now, for the tutorial in pictures:

One-inch thick Foam

Here is my awesome hole punch.  I didn't measure, I just went across the same line and eye-balled the spacing for the holes.

Place the foam all the way to the bottom and all the way onto one side of the bag.  This allows you to fold down the other side neatly when you are all finished.

"Boon Doggle"

This is the loop knot at the end of the piece of boon doggle.

Make sure holes are lined up.  The edges are the hardest to get through, but really, the girls did a great job sewing!.

I put the loop at the end like this...

And pulled the other side through so there was a nice knot at the end of the bag.  I didn't want to have all their hard work pull through!

Basically a whip stitch down the entire bag

End of the row, I just tied it in a knot to finished it off.  

This is how I folded down the bottom and then hot glued it so it was nice and tight,

It closed up perfectly...yes, I think it's about time for a new hot glue gun!  You can tell it is definitely Used!

I hope this was helpful.  We did it with a troop of 2nd graders.  They all needed some minor assistance, but basically they sewed the entire bag.  I hot glued them together while they had snack.  Great Fun!  Check out these happy faces!!

Personalized and easy to carry!  Love them!!!