Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rainy Day Rainbows

We don't know about where you live, but around here it has been raining like crazy! Giant thunderstorms, pouring rain, and dark skies! Since we haven't seen the sunshine much, we decided to brighten things up by creating some rainbows with a few simple household items! What brightens a day more than rainbows and butterflies?

What You Need:
  • Coffee Filters
  • Washable Markers
  • Spray Bottle
  • Water
Have your kids color all over the coffee filters with brightly colored markers. The brighter the better!

Then grab a spray bottle filled with water and spray all over th filter, allowing the colors to bleed together. Let it air dry, or speed up the process with the help of a hair dryer.

The results are beautiful circles of rainbow colors!

When they are dry, hang them in the window! And once the sun finally comes out, you can admire your beautiful creations! We we decided to leave some as circles and turn some into butterflies with the help of clothespins!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Miracle Biscuits - Made With Pancake Mix

You ever have one of those nights when you have no idea what you are going to make for dinner. You look in the pantry and hope for a miracle? We call that "Miracle Dinner" - it'll be a miracle if there is dinner. Well Rebecca was having one of those nights. She finally settled on breakfast dinner - a favorite of the kids. She was feeling especially proud of herself because she had everything to make homemade biscuits - AGGHHH!!! - everything except flour!
Maybe pancake mix would work? Apparently other people have been in this same situation because there were several recipes online. She decided to try this one. They turned out so well we wanted to share them with you!

We made small biscuits and were able to make 18.

The Recipe

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups of complete pancake mix (the recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of mix, but we found we needed 3 cups)

  • 1/3 cup of water

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 425°. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Roll out dough on a floured (or in our case pancake mixed) counter. Cut out circles of dough with a floured glass or biscuit cutter.Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the tops are golden.

Dinner turned out great. The boys loved the biscuits! Jonah said he would give them 4 thumbs up! You know they're good when Jonah has to use his toe thumbs!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Car Wash Hedgies

When we first saw this project for making hedgies from Darling Petunia about 2 years ago, we were so excited to try it! Of course, when we went to the Dollar Store to pick up the needed car wash mitts, they were sold out (isn't that always the way?). So when Maggie came across them recently she had to snatch some up and whip up some hedgies her boys!

What You Need:
  • Car Wash Mitt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine and/or Needle & Thread
  • Button or Beads
  • Pom-Poms
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Stuffing Material
First, cut of the cuff and thumb of your mitt (we're pretty sure there is something we can make out of the leftover elastic cuff...).

Guesstimate about where you'd like your hedgie's eyes to go, then sew on your buttons or beads (the boys picked out these buttons for their hedgie eyes)

Next, turn your mitt inside out and draw lines to form the triangle that will become the hedgie's nose.

Sew along those lines, being careful not to sew up the thumb hole.

Using the thumb hole, turn your hedgie right side out and stuff him until he is nice and plump. Then sew up the thumb hole!

With your needle and thread, sew your pom-pom onto the tip of the hedgie's nose.

Grab that hedgie and give him a snuggle! And make weird faces like these guys!

Giving them a good name is important, too. Jack named his orange one "Fire Chog" and Charlie named his green one "Veggie"! How do kids come up with this stuff?!?
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Hair Mask For Dry Summer Hair

Fun in the sun can be so hard on your hair! Wind, sun and chlorine are so drying and damaging. We knew egg, honey and olive oil were good for our skin and used in many homemade facials so we knew we could make a great hair mask. After researching the benefits of different popular ingredients, we decided to use egg yolk - which is loaded with fats and protein, honey - which is a natural humectant, and olive oil.

Our Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup of honey

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • you may also want a shower cap or an old towel to wrap your hair in while the mask sits.

Mix the 3 ingredients together very well. Next dampen your hair and work the honey mixture into your hair. You may want to cover your hair with a shower cap or towel to minimize the mess. After your hair has sat for 20 min, rinse out your hair with cool water (you don't want to cook the egg). Then wash your hair as normal. We were so impressed with the results. Our hair looked an felt amazing! You can use this mask on your hail once a month. If you have super dry summer hair, give this a try!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Febreze....For Less!

With houses full of dogs, cats, husbands and kids we are always looking for new ways to keep things smelling fresh. We like Febreze and have used it for a while now. But, as is the norm with us, we wondered if we could make our own version for less*. Turns out we can!

What You Need:
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup liquid fabric softener
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
Simply mix these three ingredients together in a spray bottle, shake well, and get spraying! The great part about this recipe (aside from how well it works and how much money you can save) is that the scent isn't terribly strong or overpowering. Our home smells like clean laundry for a short time, then the scent quickly dissipates taking any bad smells with it!

*We can't remember where we originally saw this recipe!
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Monday, July 11, 2011

From Pouf To Pouch!

So the day has come when we announce the winner of The Great Pouf Challenge! Thank you so much to those of you who entered your ideas! We know it was a tough one and we were so thrilled with your creative suggestions!! It was this same creativity, though, that made this such a hard choice! In the end, we had to take our pouf apart and see what project idea fit the actual size and shape of the dismantled pouf's meshy material. And the winner is.....Amber! She had a couple of great suggestions, but the one that really spoke to us was turning part of the long, mesh tube into a bath toy bag! Here's the how-to:

What You Need
  • 1 dismantled bath pouf
  • scissors
  • bias tape (optional)
  • sewing machine (optional)
  • pins (optional)

With your scissors, cut the mesh tube to about the length you want. We made ours a little longer than an arm's length, but it really depends on how many bath toys you have. Then tie a knot at one end (which will be the bottom), closing it up.

At this point you could simply tie a ribbon or string to the top and call it a day. We decided to cuten ours up a bit by adding a little bias tape to the top.

Lay your bias tape down, then lay your mesh on top of it. Fold it over and secure it with a pin. Stretch out the mesh, lay it down on your bias tape again, and pin. Stretching it out will allow you to get those bigger bath toys of yours into the finished bag, since the bias tape will eliminate stretch at the top.

Keep stretching, folding and pinning until you've gone all the way around your bag.

Then sew it up, pulling it straight as you go.

Next we added two ties made of additional bias tape to either side of the top of our bath bag.

We even added a little bias tape to the bottom, covering up our knot.

The fill it with your kids' bath toys and you are all set for bath time!

Thank you so much to all of you for sending in your ideas! It was so fun to see what you guys came up with! And a special thanks to Amber for her winning idea! We will be contacting you so that we can send you a little thank you gift!
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Homemade Pop Tarts!

The other day we stumbled on this idea for making homemade
pop tarts while visiting Flexible Dreams. You know we jumped on that! We looked at other recipes. They were more complicated then we wanted to get - homemade crust and and fillings. Sometimes you just want a quick, rewarding and of course delicious treat that the kids can make with just a little help from mom! The kids loved getting creative with the filling, so premade pie crust dough got us to the fun part faster! These are so quick you and the kids could make them for breakfast.

What you need:

  • refrigerated pie crust dough

  • filling (sky's the limit!) We used seedless strawberry jelly, milk chocolate chips, coconut. Cinnamon sugar, cream cheese, fruit, nuttella would also be yummy!

  • bowl of water

  • fork to crimp the edges

  • a little flour to keep dough from sticking

First we unrolled the dough on a lightly floured surface. We cut the dough in half. Each half made one pop tart. Next time we will try using a quarter of the dough for each. They were a little big.

Then the boys filled half of the dough with the toppings of their choice. They

both used chocolate and coconut. Then they rubbed the edges with a little water.

(Jonah insisted on cooking shirtless - what a goof!) Then they crimped the edges with a fork to seal the tarts.

Mom made two strawberry pop tarts.

We pricked the tops to let out the steam. Then we baked them for 10 minutes at 400° until they turned lightly golden. The hardest part was waiting til they were cool!

While we were waiting we had dinner. Made us laugh. The Pierogies looked an awful lot like dessert.

Finally it was time to eat!


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Monday, July 4, 2011

Kid-Created Placemats!

Happy 4th of July to our readers here in the U.S.! We hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend! We wanted to have a more festive and patriotic post, but the kids came up with this one all on their own. We recently had a sleepover with all four boys, during which they found some contact paper and decided that they wanted to make place mats (don't all kids ask to make place mats at sleepovers? haha!). While they were creating their masterpieces Rebecca's oldest said, "You should put this on Homemade Mamas." How could we refuse?

What You Need:
  • paper
  • markers, crayons, paint, stamps, etc.
  • contact paper
  • a group of creative kids
First, have your little artists draw works of art on the paper. Let them get as creative as they want! Some of the ones our kids made were double-sided for twice the fun! Even the littlest of artists can get in on the action!

When their pictures are done, simply cover both sides with the contact paper! Simple, fun, and a great way to preserve and display the wonderful works of art your kids create! And they will be so proud to have dinner served on their very special place mats!

Happy 4th!
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