new year’s cleaning: toy organization

More fun with the Silhouette….

This time I used vinyl and cut words to label the toy bins. Pretty much, all of the kids’ toys are out in the open and no one knows where anything goes. They have too many toys (and yes, we’re donating some of their toys, too). Now, they can’t claim they don’t know where things go.

And yes, it gives the kindergartener a chance to practice reading.


Holiday Recipes

As we bid good bye to 2014, I thought I would bookmark some of the recipes we used to celebrate.

Egg cups or egg muffins with veggies, which varies depending on what’s in the fridge. We like this one because I can make a dozen and have a fast, protein rich breakfast in the morning. Also, it was a good breakfast option for when we invite friends who can’t eat gluten.

For Hannukah, I made apricot glazed chicken. It’s good for parties because you marinate it the day before and put in the oven before guests arrive.

Bellini Bar. This morning, we started the new year by inviting friends and neighbors for brunch. Adult guests had an option of either mango or blueberry bellinis. I liked the blueberry bellini better than the mango and next time, I’ll make raspberry or peach. Make the syrup the night before and it is a very easy drink to offer guests.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful start to 2015! May your year be filled with joy and good fortune in health and friends and family.

overheard at my house: the five year old on Santa Claus

Yesterday, I let the five year old and her baby sister watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town, one of the old stop animation movies like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  From the kitchen, I could hear big sister tell baby sister, “Santa is a good guy. You’ll like him. There are scary guys in here but I’ll protect you.”

And baby sister says “ok.” Her voice is so little right now.

I gotta hold on to those moments because although they are sweet at heart, they fight. A lot. And they don’t hold back.

Later, as I prep dinner, the 5 year old wanders through the kitchen and talks about Santa.

5 year old: If you don’t have money to buy gifts, then maybe Santa will give the gift.

Husband: Or you could try grandma and grandpa.

5 year old: But, Daddy, they’re the same!

So, on the one hand, the 5 year old understands that her holiday gifts are from family – even the one we tell her is from Santa – but on the other, she really, really wants to believe in Santa and would be delighted if he were real.

sight word cards

I bought a Silhouette Cameo dye cutting machine a few months back and life has been so busy that it is only this week that I’ve had time to figure out how to use it. Yesterday, I made sight word flashcards for my kindergartener, who has been a little depressed because there are kids in her classroom who can read chapter books on their own and she knows only a few words.

She is very much into playing cards right now, so she likes to play with these and even brought them in for show and tell. She also likes that she can tell me what additional words she would like to learn to read. I like them because they’re easy to make and as the pile grows, she can see how many words she’s learned.

Words that she has asked I add to the set: on (a sight word she’s learned that I missed), superhero, mermaid, Batman, Black Widow (not the best role model, I know, but she only knows that Black Widow is a female superhero), and unicorn. You can see she likes fantasy and adventure.

overheard at my house

The five year old speaking to her dad:

I’m a good person. Daddy is a good person. Mommy is a good person. [Baby sister] is a good person – she’s just mean.

And what the two year old says:

I want to be [big sister] for Halloween!

ah, siblings….

cake pops

I didn’t make a turkey this year but my 5 year old and I learned how to make cake pops.

So, no one is going to ever hire us to make cake pops for them, but we were happy enough with the result to take them to Thanksgiving dinner and to give to friends and neighbors. The balls are a little lopsided so we’ll work on shaping them next time round – this was actually a trial run for my daughter’s birthday party next month – and two useful skills I acquired were how to make ganache (these cake pops are filled with ganache rather than frosting) and how to temper chocolate.

We made our cake pops based on this video by My Cupcake Addition. If you want to make cake pops, I’d recommend her videos because they’re very clear and she has a lot of fun ideas. BTW, how to temper the chocolate is not in the video – she simply refers to melted chocolate so I was trying to microwave the chocolate chips and it wasn’t working – but once I figured out what I had to do, I pulled out the double boiler, melted  chocolate discs rather than chips, and it was smooth sailing from there.