Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School Books

We read A LOT and we LOVE themed books at our house. Here are a few of our favorite "back to school books" for preschool and kindergarteners.

Dinosaur Starts School - Edwards
Welcome to Kindergarten - Rockwell
Splat the Cat - Scotton
Froggy Goes to School - London
Llama Llama Misses Mama - Dewdney
David Goes to School - Shannon 
My School's a Zoo - Smith
Pinkalicious School Rules - Kann
Kindergarten, Here I Come! - Steinberg
The Night Before Kindergarten - Wing
Pete the Cat The Wheels on the Bus - Dean
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books - Colandro
Fancy Nancy JoJo's First Day Jitters - O'Conner and Glasser
The Kissing Hand - Penn

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Return

Where has the time gone?  That is something I find myself frequently saying. 

3 littles within a 3 year age span will keep you very busy, much busier than I could of EVER imagined!

Maybe this Christmas I will finish up my blog series, at least I have a good start.

Over the past 8 months we've traveled, finished a school year and accomplished a lot!

In January this girl started to eat solid foods.

February, we celebrated the Olympics in "fashion."

In March I discovered that Hamantaschen should absolutely be eaten year round.

Also we made a leprechaun garden for our gold seeking friends.

In April we welcomed Spring with a nice wreath.

Billy and I discovered our new favorite place for happy hour in May.

In June we spent most of our days playing outside.

July, I took on the project of creating and leading craft time for our VBS.

And in August we enjoyed a lot of time at the pool!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Neighbor Gifts

Continuing on with the baking theme, Desiree for The 36th Avenue has an amazing round up of 25 edible Christmas gifts. They all look so good. Any of these would make a great gift for a neighbor or for anyone with a sweet tooth!

My personal favorite from Desiree's round-up is Nikki's Homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix. Nikki is amazing and even provides printables at the bottom of her page to go along with her mix!

Follow Nikki's recipe, write a note, and you have a gift (or gifts) that is ready to give!

Mason Jar Pound Cake

Who doesn't love homemade baked goods during the holidays? For this homemade gift I made pound cake but instead of using a loaf pan, I used mason jars instead for a fun twist!

Mason Jar Pound Cake

1 c. butter, softened         1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sugar                   1/2 t. almond extract
3 eggs                              2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. milk

Cream butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar; beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
Add flour alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour.
Mix in vanilla and almond extracts.
Spray mason jars with non-stick spray with flour; pour batter into jars, filling each halfway.
Wipe rims clean and place jars on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Place jars on a wire rack to cool.

This recipe makes 8 very full jelly jars of pound cake as you can tell from the picture! After the jars have cooled add your lids, and maybe even some red and green bakers twine around the jars. Write a note and you have a gift or even gifts that are ready to give! This would make a great gift for the ancillary staff at your child's school, for last minute drop-in guests, or you could just add some whip cream and chocolate syrup and gift it to yourself, like I did tonight...

For The Dogs

I've gotten a little behind on posting for this blog series, but don't worry (I'm sure you're really not;-) I will get caught up! Today's post, along with several other posts that I will be sharing today (remember getting caught up) revolve around baking.

This homemade gift is for the dogs, literally! Homemade dog biscuits are special treat for your favorite canine. We made peanut butter dog biscuits which is the recipe I will share with you today.

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
adapted from

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to desired thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Our dog biscuits ready to give!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crayon Rolls

With younger artists in mind for this homemade gift, crayon rolls are nice gift to give. Children love them (plus they are easy to make). Now I do not consider myself to be a seamstress, but putting together a crayon roll is a great project for even a novice at the sewing machine.

I need to stop taking pictures at night!

Also moms love crayon rolls too! They are great because you can throw them into a diaper bag or purse and it keeps all your child's crayons in one place. There are lots of free tutorials online. Personally, I really like Kelly's versions at Skip to My Lou

After completing your crayon roll, fill it up crayons, add a sketch pad or coloring book and a note, and you have a gift that any young artist will love!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Star Wars Art Pack

This is another simple homemade gift idea for those of you who consider yourself to be "craft challenged." I made a doodle book and coloring box to go along with the book "Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling." The Origami Yoda series is a fun read for young (and maybe old) Jedi's in training! The Art2-D2 book really encourages you to doodle and to create your own origami figures.

Putting the doodle book together is very easy. I took a black composition notebook and added Star Wars stickers and tape. For the coloring box, I used a Huggies travel wipe case and added stickers and tape to that as well.

For those of you who may not be Star Wars fans... this idea can easily be recreated with different characters to accompany that characters book. Whatever character you choose, whoever receives your gift will definitely enjoy it!