Monday, February 24, 2014

Pot of Gold Rainbow Cupcakes

My boys love making rainbow cupcakes (well, really, any cupcakes), so we decided to make pot of gold rainbow cupcakes tonight to get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit. 

I split a white cake mix into 7 different bowls. I colored each of the bowls a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Then I put a scoop of each color in a cupcake liner. 
When they were baked and cooled, I piped green frosting on the cupcake using a "grass" tip. 

With black sparkle food gel, I drew on a pot. I added gold sprinkle balls to the pot and put on some rainbow sprinkles. 

On some of the other cupcakes, I simply added pastel egg sprinkles. 

This is what they look like on the inside. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


One of our favorite dinners is Meatloaf. Baked potatoes and baked beans make excellent side dishes with this meal. 

2 lbs hamburger (I have also made this with 1 pound ground pork and 1 pound hamburger) 
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped bacon pieces (optional) 
1/4 cup chopped onions
salt and pepper

1/4-1/2 cup Open Pit barbecue sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Mix the ingredients (minus the topping ingredients) together with your hands. 

Place in a baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Meanwhile, mix the topping together in a bowl. 
Drain most of the grease out of the pan. Spread the topping on top of the baked meatloaf and bake for 5 more minutes. 

Some of the members of my family just like the meatloaf plain, so I only spread the sauce on half of the meatloaf. 

St. Patrick's Day Activity Wall-"Pot o'Gold Activities"

The Pot o'Gold Activity wall has made another appearance. It stored pretty well and still looks ok on the wall for a second year.

Every day the kids will select one of the numbered coins from the pot of gold. 

I like to make the kids think about things they are thankful for, or tie this activity to a life lesson of some sort.

Every day, in order to collect their "activity coin", they have to go around the house and find something that they normally take for granted to donate to our "Pot of Blessings". (This could be toothpaste, can food, shampoo, roll of paper towels, etc.) At the end of the season, we will donate these supplies to the local shelter or to the church collection. (This idea is courtesy of the kids' daycare provider--Thanks, Marcy!)

Here are the activities I chose for the coins last year. This year, I have started a St. Patrick's Day Pinterest board. When the kids collect their coin, I am going to let them choose an activity from the Pinterest board. 

1 Make St. Patrick’s Day Playdough

2 Make lucky cupcakes

3 Make jelly bean prayer eggs

4 Make a shamrock collage

5 Take a green bubble bath

6 Paint shamrock ornaments

7 Make bunny handprint cards

8 Make toilet paper roll bunnies

9 Make bunny tin decorations

10 Make sugar cookies for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter

11 Make a leprechaun handprint craft

12 Go to the library for holiday books

13 Make an Easter chick

14 Make a green carnation centerpiece.

15 Make rainbow cupcakes

16 Go on a shamrock hunt

17 Have a “green” dinner

Bonus Easter Coins

18 Go on an Easter egg hunt for privileges

19 Make Mr. Potato head eggs

20 Make a cross suncatcher

21 Make a popcorn lamb

22 Make shaving cream colored eggs and Easter handprint frames

23 Make other colored eggs

Note: The Pot o' Activities is made from white craft paper. The reason it is a little crooked is it is drawn freehand! We colored the pot and drew a shamrock.
The rainbow is made from the same white paper and is colored. The shamrocks are wall decorations we found at Joann Fabrics. The coins are yellow construction paper with the small wall decals placed on them.

Leprechaun Refrigerator Decoration

Last year, our St. Patrick's Day refrigerator decoration was made out of construction paper. (

This year, to make it more reusable, I decided to make it out of felt. I think he turned out a lot better this year. 

I also decided to hot glue on magnet circles so it will stay on the refrigerator better. 

I just cut everything free-hand. Everything is made from felt except the eyes (they are google eyes) and the buttons are yellow stickers. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Superhero Capes

For my second sewing project, I decided to tackle Superhero capes for my kids. The boys like to play "NBA Dunk Contest" with the small hoop in their room, so they thought they could use some capes as props for that. Both boys decided they wanted to be Captain America. My daughter's personality doesn't really fit any superhero, so I made her a cape with her own R (for Rachel) logo. (She is a superhero of her own category!)

To start, I found a free pattern for the Captain America logo on Pinterest:

Using white cotton fabric, I cut out the star. 

The red circles have to be cut on a double fold. This is what that will look like. The large white circle pattern is also on a double fold. 

I used satin fabric for the cape. I got better at working with satin by the time I got to Rachel's cape. The ends fray really easily, so you will want to turn over each of the ends a a couple of times and sew it down so the rough end is not exposed. 

For the cape part, I cut a piece of the fabric about 18 inches by 24 inches. Matt's was a little bit longer, but he is close to 5 feet tall.

To make the top of the cape have the "gathered look", I turned about an inch of fabric down and stitched it. The ends will be open. I slid a piece of ribbon through the newly created hole. When it got to the other end of the hole, I stitched it into place. I went back and forth about 4 times so it didn't come loose.  

Then push the fabric over until it is as wide as you need it to fit across your child's back. Cut the ribbon and stitch this end of the ribbon in place. 

To make sure the ends don't fray, you will want to stitch a hem all the way down the sides of the cape and the bottom of the cape. 

Because my son doesn't like things around his neck, and I feel it is safer if they aren't putting things around their neck, I made these capes so they would fit around their arms. To do this, cut two pieces of elastic. (For my 5-year-old I cut 2 pieces about 6 inches long. The 2-year-old's elastic pieces were a little bit shorter. The 11-year-old's elastic was about 9 inches.) 

Sew the elastic about an inch down from the top and a 1/2 inch over. Then measure 4 inches down from that and sew the other end of the elastic. (Repeat on the other side.) 

For the logo, I found it easiest to sew both of the red circles on the white circle first. Then I cut out the center white part. (See the next picture)

Sew the circles on the cape. Then sew the star on top of the circles. 

The kids put their arms through the elastic and they are set to fly. 

For Rachel's, I just cut a black heart out of cotton fabric and an R out of the satin scraps. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Easy Chicken Quesadillas

Start by dicing boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. I sprinkled my chicken with a garlic sea salt combination. Saute the the chicken in olive oil until fully cooked. 
The worst part about quesadillas is trying to flip them while they cook. So, using a trick I learned from my mom, I only use one tortilla at at time. I spread half of a tortilla shell with salsa. Place cooked, diced chicken on top of that.

Sprinkle with cheese. (I usually use a combination of mozzarella and sharp cheddar.) For added flavor, I also added cooked bacon pieces.  

Fold over the top of the shell. Spray a saute pan with cooking spray. Cook on medium-high heat. While the first side is browning, spray the top of the tortilla with cooking spray. (When you make quesadillas this way, it is so much easier to flip and the ingredients don't fall out of the shell.) 

Brown both sides and cut into triangles. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or ranch. 

St. Patrick's Day Wreath

Today I created a St. Patrick's Day wreath using the same technique I have used in the past to make holiday wreaths out of tulle. 

I bought some glittery green, white, and dark green tulle. I used a styrofoam circle as the base and bought some Shamrock ornaments from Joann Fabrics. 

Start by cutting 18 inch pieces of tulle. (I ended up using 20, 18 inch, pieces of each color.) I use a piece of cardboard (pictured below) to measure the tulle. I wrap it around the cardboard and then cut the ends.

To see a picture showing how to tie the tulle, click on this link:  

To finish, I tied a piece of string through three shamrock ornaments and hung them around the top of the styrofoam ring. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toddler Sorting Activity

My two-year-old loves to sort, scoop, and dump. After doing something like this activity at her Grandma's today, we had to stop and get something like it. I found some colored "sauce cups" and mini dixie cups at the dollar store. I placed them in a muffin tin. Then I gave her a big box of puff balls. She used her cooking scoops to make "soup", stir, sort colors, dump, etc. She had a great time. 

Log Cabin Craft

Our second President's Day craft was making Lincoln's log cabin house. 

The boys started by painting popsicle sticks brown for the base of the house. 
 When they were dry, they placed the sticks on their choice of scrapbook paper. 

They painted smaller popsicle sticks green and cut them to fit for the roof. 
The finishing touches were to paint on a chimney, door, and windows with puffy paint. 

President's Day Suncatcher

The kids had a lot of fun making heart suncatchers, so we decided to use the same idea for President's Day. First, I cut hearts out of construction paper. Then I cut the middle out of all the hearts. 
Place the heart outline on a piece of contact paper. The kids put small pieces of red, white, and blue tissue paper on the contact paper inside the heart. 

We placed another piece of contact paper (sticky side down) on top of the tissue paper. Then we cut out the  sealed-in star. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Crab Pasta Salad

1 lb of cooked pasta
1 1/4 cup miracle whip
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz. package of imitation crab meat

My mom makes this pasta salad all the time. It is one of my favorites and doesn't take much time to complete. She uses the same dressing for tuna salad. 

Put your cooked pasta in a bowl. I like these ruffles or bow ties the best. 

Mix the Miracle Whip, milk, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper. 

Chop the crab meat into bite size pieces. Add to the pasta. 

Stir the sauce, crab, and pasta together. Chill and serve. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt #2

The first scavenger hunt I did for the kids was one year ago, on Valentine's Day ( They have so much fun that I created hunts for other holidays throughout the year. 

Here is the second round of Valentine's Day...

The clues (Had to make the clues a little easier this year because David and Rachel would be playing without big brother's help): 

It’s Valentine’s Day, Hooray! Go find your first clue in the room where you start your day.

I hope this hunt isn’t making you mad, go find your next clue where you plug in the ipad.

Valentine’s Day is so much fun, go get a Kleenex in case your nose runs.

Valentine’s Day sees no crying; find your next clue where the clothes are drying.

Let’s hope Rachel doesn’t mind… in her room is the last clue you will find.

You did it!! You are such a sweetheart, now go and eat your poptart! 

Yes, clues are pretty cheesy, but he will like them.

Start by making a Valentine for the kids. 

Cut it up into 6 pieces. (One piece will be attached to each clue. At the end of the hunt, they will be able to put the pieces together to read the Valentine. 

I found some heart balloons at a craft store. I attached a clue and a Valentine piece to each of the balloons. The first saying is sitting at his spot at the breakfast table. 

Along with each clue, I put a "treat" next the the hidden balloons. The kids will each take a basket, and following the clues, will find their Valentine pieces and treats. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scratch-off Valentine's Day Cards

The scratch-off activity cards we made for snow days this year were such a big hit, we decided to follow the same theme for Valentine's Day.  (

We are already taking "treats" to the Valentine's Day party, so we decided to make a seat belt cover pillow for each of the daycare kids instead of giving more candy.  David picked out fabric all by himself for each of his friends. ( 

To go with the pillows, we made these scratch-off Valentine cards. I just cut pieces of cardstock and wrote the message with marker. We wrote, "Guess who (loves) you? Inside the heart, we wrote the kids' names. I covered the heart with contact paper. If you don't have contact paper, you can color over the message with white crayon. 

Mix 2 parts gray acrylic paint with 1 part Dawn dishsoap.  

Paint over the contact paper. When it dries, it scratches off like a lottery ticket to reveal the names inside the heart. 

While we were at it today, we also made cards for the grandmas in our lives. 

We wrote a message on the front. 

And decorated a message in the middle. We also painted over these hearts. The grandmas will reveal all of the kids' names.