Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day Craft for Kids (Door Hangers)

Any  frugal moms out there?

Will the frugal moms in the audience please raise their hands?

Glad I'm not alone! :)

Today the kids and I did some fun Valentine's crafts, but the best, best part of this door hanger craft is that the whole project came from a kit I bought last Valentine's Day at Target, when it was 75% off.  Score!!  That's right, I've been holding on to this bad boy for a whole year, and I'm not ashamed. You know why?

My kids loved it!  Specifically, my 6 year old loved it.  She spent over an hour making all these door hangers for herself, her sisters, me, my husband, her Grandma and Grandpa, everyone she knows!  It was super cute!

Check out some photos:

Cute, huh?  I also had some stickers and glitter foam paper that she used too. I think I bought a pack of foam stickers like 5 years ago, and we still have them. Use 'em up kids!  

Now are your ready for the tearjerker part?  My 6 year old did this whole project herself. By herself.  She didn't need me to glue anything. She didn't need me to cut anything. She didn't ask me to peel stickers or how to use the paper hole puncher or twist the pipe cleaners.  She did it all herself. (Picture sobbing mommy here--my little baby girl is growing up!)  And really, she was so proud of herself.  She wanted to mail them off to Grandma and Grandpa right away, and she hung everyone's up on their door too. What a sweetheart!  And because she did such a great job by herself, I was able to help my 3 year old as well as keep the 1 year old out of everyone's projects! 

So if you are at Target after Valentine's Day this'd better beat me to the 75% or more off aisle! Because I scoop things up!  I seriously find the best things after Valentine's Day. One year I bought all of the favors for my daughter's birthday on Valentine's clearance. I got some cute necklaces, rings, pencils, tattoos and clear favor bags....all 75% or more off!  This girl loves a deal, can you tell?  Another tip: look for things that aren't specific to Valentine's Day.  Those tattoos I found were jungle animals, so you can use them for birthday favors or in Easter eggs or in July when the kids are bored and looking for something to do. Think of the possibilities!  You just need some space to store the crafts, maybe under a bed or in a closet, they don't require that much room and the cost savings is totally worth it! 

The best part is that you'll spend a super fun time with your kids, creating with them--guaranteed to put everyone in a good mood! What are you waiting for?


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Egg Experiment

A facebook friend of mine was having trouble making hard boiled eggs, which I have to admit, I've had trouble making too.  (I like to call them "Hard cooked" instead of "hard boiled.")  Then I found this recipe, and they've turned out great every time.

A handy little fridge magnet I got at the MN State Fair, probably 10 years ago!

So I'm pretty sure I almost fell off my chair when I heard that you can actually bake eggs to make them hard-cooked.

What?!?!  You can bake eggs in the oven instead of hard-boiling them on the stove??  Sounds wonderful! Purportedly, the results would be the same, but even better!! I'm not sure how hard-boiled eggs can get better, but I was willing to give it a try. People also said that the shells would just slide off; now that is something I'd love!

I used this recipe: Bake eggs for 30 min at 325 degrees. I put each egg in a muffin tin and then popped it in the oven and waited.

This is how it turned out after peeling:

Ummm. What is that?!  Why are there brown spots on my eggs?  When I cracked them, the shells did not come off as easily as everyone had said and there was like a little wetness in the bottom of the egg, like there was this little space between the egg and the shell and there was "water" in it. It was weird. Very weird.

My 3 year old, who loves to peel hard-cooked eggs wouldn't touch them. At. all.  

So, although they tasted fine and were a lot easier, I think I'll be sticking to my tried and true method of hard boiling them on the stove.

I think I'll go make some right now!

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Mashed Potato Trick

If your kids love mashed potatoes, but you're tired of peeling all of them (like me), check out this video on a quick way to peel your potatoes:

Looks too easy, right? Boil your potatoes through, pop them in ice water for 10 seconds, then twist the peel off. It can't be that easy, can it? Well, guess what? It is! I tried this last night, and it totally worked. And really, you are just getting the potatoes cold enough to handle by putting them in the ice bath, they are definately still hot enough to eat.  Check out my pictures below!

The one caveat that I see is that the video suggests using russet potatoes, and I usually like to make my mashed potatoes with Yukon golds, so I'll have to try this with the Yukons and let you know how it goes. The other thing to remember is that you have to cook them through, which I didn't and then had lumpy potatoes.

The other thing you might be asking is "Why are your potatoes yellow ?" Well, my husband is on a tumeric kick, which is an awesome spice with a ton of health benefits. We put it in everything, which includes the mashed potatoes, and it makes them extra yummy! Try it!

This is all the skins from the 5 potatoes!

Mmmmmm, so good!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Valentine's Day Easy Craft

So sometimes at night, when I'm pretending to watch tv with my husband, I'm actually searching Pinterest for fun crafts to do.  I have sooooo many that I want to do, but just never find the time.  I also have a bad habit of taking something and trying to recreate it, but somehow I never have the right materials, so it never looks quite right. And honestly, that's ok with me. 

One night I found this photo on Pinterest, which turned out to be just a photo. But after a little searching, I found who made it, and she's totally cute!

So I had to do my best to come up with something similar.....and here it is!

My Easy Valentine's Day Craft:

To make this I used an 11x14 canvas that I bought at Wal-mart (in a 2 pack, so watch out for my next creation! Ha!). I measured out one inch stripes with a ruler and painted them with a foam brush and black acrylic paint. 

I then used a black Sharpie to try and even out my wonky lines. :) 

I found some scraps of light pink felt and made a heart. I used 3 pieces of felt and sewed them all together. Then I found a big stash of buttons that was different shades of pink and hot glued them on, overlapping a bit so I could use them all up.  If I was going to do this again, I would have bought the same exact button and used those, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this project, so I just used what I had at home. After hot gluing the buttons on, I hot glued the whole piece onto the painted canvas.

Lining it up!

Then I used some pink puffy paint to write "family" on the bottom.  The original picture said "Me + You", which is cute too, but there are a few more people in our house besides "me and you" and I was feeling inclusive today. :)

So there you have it! A fun, easy Valentine's Day project! I ended up hanging it up in our living room right next to this photo hanging project that I did awhile back. It looks pretty cool! 


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