Tuesday, October 25, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Here's a random post of what we've been getting into...

Frost season is soon approaching. We've been growing jalapenos all summer, so it was time to harvest them.
Yum! But what to do with all of those? I'm still not sure, I try to add in a couple with everything I make, but we had a huge bounty. This is only about a quarter of what we grew all summer. My friends are tired of me pushing peppers on them. Sorry guys.
Adding them to corn muffins is always delicious. The kids love them. It's kinda funny when they get a really hot one. They describe it as a tickle. But then they want more and more...
Oh ya, the boys own a pair of these. You can get them here. Seriously too cute.
I have these recipes bookmarked to make this week. You can get them here & here. Yummy meringue bones & peanut butter pumpkins for Halloween!

This sounds like a great handmade Christmas gift. I want to try to make these ahead of time, have the boys help, and give them as gifts. (If you're family, pretend you didn't see this!)...

How-to can be found here.
I also posted an awesome Ugly Doll themed party idea. Well this is part two...
Also, I have to give out a mad prop to this... If I had the time, talent & materials, this would be mine. Link. Yes, it's all made from stuff around the house, for under $100.

And last, but not least, if I had a space under my stairs instead of the basement stairs... I LOVE THIS!
Hope you enjoyed this random tour. Hope it gave you some ideas & inspiration. And if you're in need of some organic homegrown jalapenos...


I was browsing the games section at the store one day. I thought I might come across Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Shoots and Ladders or some silly game from my childhood. I can't believe how the market has changed in 20 years (yes, I'm aware of how that sounds). The only thing that was remotely good for anybody under 6 was Twister. It does say 6+, though I'm not sure why. I guess that's the age where one might understand the rules. My 3 year olds could still play none the less. I figured it's a good game for comprehension, following directions, and well, letting them spin the spinner for 15 straight minutes. I'm trying to teach them the difference between right and left, though they're not supposed to figure that out for another year. It's still not terrible to introduce it. They can generally tell me which is which, but had it all backwards when it came to Twister. It's ok, they still had fun!

They obviously didn't figure out that when you call the next move, to keep their other hand or foot where it was. But they still would listen and follow the direction. Or just play hopscotch. At least they were getting up and moving around.
Their home-based teacher had the same idea this week. She brought over Twister. But she came armed with a song telling them to jump from one color to the next. Brilliant! See? It's not just for ages 6+

Halloween Reading List

We seriously love Halloween around here. And we love our Halloween books even more! Here's all of our Halloween books (we need more!) and our reviews on them.
- Lark Carrier
It's a cute turn the flap book, but everything rhymes with "boo." It gets a little silly after a bit, but is still cute none the less.

Clifford's Halloween
- Norman Bridwell
I had no idea how much my kids loved Clifford until their teacher last year read a Clifford book. Great addition. At 28 pages, 1 sentence per page, it's a great attention holder for 3 year olds. It also includes them into the story by asking what Clifford should be for Halloween.
We got this for the twins' 2nd birthday. Somebody knows us very well to get us monsters! It's very cute and colorful. 14 pages of basically tongue twisters. It's silly and adorable. Then it includes the kids by asking who they think won the talent show!
- Roger Priddy
It's a baby board book. A little young for my 3 year olds. But seriously, the most effin cute baby board book in the world. Bats, ghosts, cats, witches, owls & more, done in a not scary way to introduce kids into loving Halloween! And it worked for mine! This is now a family heirloom.
Spooky Hour
- Tony Mitton
It is SO easy to really get into reading this with a spooky voice, as it's almost written in a sing-song manner. It incorporates numbers 12-1 (yes, backwards) and ends with an awesome Halloween party. I really get into reading this, and the kids really get into listening. Awesome awesome awesome. And we got it for just $2! We got more than our moneys worth!
Vampire's Halloween
- John Bianchi
12 page board book, really cute. My kids are kinda growing out of it now, but they still enjoy it. It's about a vampire getting ready for Halloween. Not done in a very scary way, which is good for little ones. We want them to love Halloween, not be afraid of it. Our favorite part is his pet bat, and the end (I won't give it away!)

So those are our favorites every year. I think the only new one we got this year was Clifford. And I do read these even if it's not Halloween. They're just too cute! Do you have a favorite? Send us a comment!

October Reading List, part 2

Here's what we've been reading since the last post. I didn't include the Halloween books, that's going to be a special post. Don't forget to click the title to view on Amazon for synopsis, reviews & more. Did you know at least 90% of our books are used? We get them from Half Price Books, Amazon, Ebay, Thrift Stores, and even passed down through the family. We love giving these old books new lives. Some of these even used to be my husband's when he was a kid! It's a great way to live green.
The Home is Best (ours is in very bad shape!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rice Krispies Pumpkins

I've seen these around before. Everyone wanted some Krispies treats. I figured, why not. The kids are all about Halloween.
What you need:
6 cups rice krispies
1 bag marshmallows
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
food coloring (12 drops yellow, 4 drops red)
black & green icing
Melt butter, add marshmallows & food coloring. Stir until melted.
Remove from heat, stir in krispies. You can form these almost immediately. They're a little hot, and really sticky. Keep rolling into a ball until they cool. We got 9 big pumpkins from this. I gave one to the kids before it got decorated just to keep em at bay.
Decorate with icing. Enjoy!

Total time: ~20 minutes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Link round-up

Here's some cool projects I've found this week.

Sensory boxes from Pink & Green Mama
Sensory box 101
Halloween Sensory Box
Fall Sensory Box
* we made a similar fall sensory box

If you're into party planning, this was a really cool monster theme! Check it out here.

If you liked our chocolate ice cream filled orange jack o'lanterns, here's a similar project that makes them into candle holders. I'd be a little worried about how flammable these are, but they would smell amazing.

 Here's a flash card resource to help with labeling words for preschoolers. There's several themed projects listed.

This is a project that I would like to try in the future. Tinted mason jars. They seem so easy!

Random goodies

A fun little find at Michaels, on clearance for 2.99!
It was my husband's birthday this weekend!
He normally likes red icing, but we had orange... so we added a pumpkin! haha
 Halloween costumes arrived!
I only spend $20 on these, including shipping. Gotta love ebay!
We made this marker & pencil container. I had a leftover bread crumb canister & lined it with black construction paper. Gave the kids some foam stickers that we picked up from Michaels to decorate it with.