Friday, September 30, 2011

Rainbow Fish Tie Dye

Here's a fun and easy craft that we got from  DLTK's Grow Together website.  


-Coffee filter
-Washable markers
-Water (spray bottle works best)
-Googly eye


Take a coffee filter and  have the kids color it roughly with various colors of markers.  No matter how sloppy the will still come out beautiful. =)

Next, wet the coffee filter using a spray bottle.  (Or you could try flicking drops of water onto the filter with your hands).

You could set it aside to dry...but we're too impatient to do that.  A hair dryer can do the trick in about a minutes time.

My daughter decided to just make a "gold" fish. 

Once dry, cut out a fish shape from the coffee filter and glue on some small strips and triangles of tinfoil.  Glue on a googly eye and draw on a mouth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 5 Minute Cake

I'm not a huge fan of mug cakes.  The first time someone sent me the recipe, I couldn't hold in my excitement. "Really??? I can make a cake whenever I am having a craving in 5 minutes?"  It sounded too good to be true...and it was.  Mug cakes I have tried come out dry, bland, and very chewy.   But then I stumbled across this recipe:  Nutella Mug Cake.  Now I don't know about you...but I LOVE Nutella, so I decided it was worth a shot to give this recipe a try.  And it passed my test of approval.  It will definitely come in handy for those emergency craving days.


4 tablespoons self rising flour
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Nutella
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil


1. Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 – 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave wattage. Mine was good between 1 1/2-2 minutes.) Top with whipped cream and a little chocolate sauce if desired.

2. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

Note: Depending on the wattage of your microwave, you may have to increase cooking time.

Makes 1 VERY large serving...there's enough to share.

Taste test approved by my son. =)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brown Paper Bag Popcorn

There's no need to buy the expensive microwavable can make your own for much less.  All you need is a brown paper bag and 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.

Put a 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag, and fold your bag twice over.

Put the bag in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Everyone's microwave is it's best to just listen for the popping to slow down.

Spray a coat on the top layer of popcorn with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non Stick Cooking Spray, to give the  seasoning something to stick to and apply your favorite seasoning.  It's as simple as that!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Magic Balloon

This was a fun little experiment to do with the kids.  They didn't believe a bottle could blow a balloon up.

My daughter was worried the balloon would pop.

-Baking Soda
-Water Bottle

Use a small measuring spoon or funnel to put baking soda inside a balloon.  Add vinegar to a bottle, then attach the balloon to the mouth of the bottle.   Try to be careful not to let the baking soda hit the vinegar until the balloon is securely attached.  Lift the balloon and shake the baking soda into the vinegar and watch the magic begin.

Measurements will vary based on the size of your bottle and size of your balloon.  Try and experiment with the ratio of baking soda and vinegar so that you have enough to blow up the balloon but not so much that your liquids start to overflow. (Ours didn't overflow...but the liquid ended up in the you will see in the video below).

Here's a video of our experiment...we put in too much vinegar and baking soda.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Creative Ideas for Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is right around the corner!  Here are some creative ideas to celebrate the holiday.  (Just click on the links for more detailed instructions). L'Shana Tova!

with free homemade printables

Cute, simple table decorations

that you can hang on your neighbors doors

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chalk Drawing Picture Props

I saw this photograph on Pinterest and loved the idea.  The possibilities are endless.  Here are a few that I took with my kids (sorry for the sunglasses...even though we were in the shade my kids complained that it was too bright):

Monday, September 12, 2011

2 Ingredients Cookie Recipe

Fall is right around the corner, which means my favorite flavor pumpkin is starting to return. This recipe caught my eye when I saw that it only had 2 ingredients (one being pumpkin).  I decided to test it out, but definitely didn't have high hopes for it.  Boy did it prove me wrong!  My whole family really enjoyed eating these cookies.  I did put my own spin on it though and added some chocolate chips. So I guess I's really a 3 ingredient cookie recipe (but the chocolate chips won't disappoint!)  These cookies are very moist and chewy.

1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, pumpkin and chocolate chips until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

P.S. Don't expect these cookies to come out looking pretty.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

S'mores Pops

I have camping on my mind...and one of my favorite things about camping are the s'mores!  Yum!  I just couldn't wait until next weekend for these tasty I made these simple S'mores Pops that I saw on Pinterest.

-Chocolate Chips
-Graham Crackers
-Lollipop Sticks


1.Place the marshmallows on the lollipop stick.
2. Crush some graham crackers into crumbs.
3.Then melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler.
4. Dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and then immediately dip them into the graham cracker crumbs.
5. Let them cool and harden before eating.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bath Time Fun in the Dark!

We've all had those days when trying to get our kids to take a bath is like pulling teeth.  But watch how fast your kids will run to the bath tub when you tell them they're going to take a bath in the dark with glow sticks!

Making letters with glow sticks.

Shake them around super fast!

Warning: You might have trouble getting them out of the bath tub! =)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Free Printables: Cool for School

There are so many free printables out there that can help us get more organized, create gifts, party favors, etc.  Here are some that I found that can make the school year run smoothly and make it fun too.

Magnetic Lunch Chart
Let kids help plan out their
lunches for the week.

Cars for boys & Minnie Mouse for girls

A variety of really cute labels.

Have these handy for quick notes to school.

For kids who aren't very vocal
about what they did in school.

Put this list on your fridge for quick ideas.

Information you can use when 
the time comes to get the teacher a gift.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lava Lamps

Remember back in the day when lava lamps were popular? Well here's how you can re-create that fun for the kids in a water bottle.

-Water Bottle
-Food Coloring
-Vegetable Oil
-Alka Seltzer

Fill each bottle about 3/4 full of vegetable oil.  Fill the rest of the bottle with water...but leave about an inch at the top...or it will overflow. Break your Alka Seltzer into tiny pieces and drop them in one piece at a time.

And watch as the magic starts to happen...

Here's a video that my daughter so proudly demonstrates how this experiment works:

Note: You can put the cap back on the water bottle and save it to use on another day.  Perhaps next time we'll do this in the evening and put a flashlight underneath the water bottle to make it look more like a lava lamp.