Monday, February 28, 2011

March Sensory Bin(s) and Play Dough






Yes you read the correctly Sensory BinS
This month I have decided to split the month into 2 separate themes. St.Patrick's day and rainbows. The reason I picked rainbows as a second theme is because leprecons are always trying to find gold at the end of the rainbow.

see that nice wooden scoop? yeah well it's a goner! Our Puppy, Cooper decided it would make a great snack:(


Nothing fancy inside just some noodles I dyed with food coloring and a few scoops and a green liquid laundry cap. To tell you the truth this was a trial run for my Easter sensory bin but the colors turned out way too bright for what I wanted. So as to not waste the noodles I decided to use it in a rainbow theme.


And this is the other sensory bin for St.Patrick's day.

There is green split peas, shamrock foam shapes, pipe cleaner pieces, Green gems, ribbon, and rocks painted gold. The whole point of the sensory bin is to sift for the gold. I have a slotted spoon to give the children to sift with. In total there are 10 pieces of gold in this bin.
St.Patrick's day in all honesty isn't a big deal with the kiddos but it's still fun to decorate with the green and gold colors. This bin is about half the size of our regular bin and has a lot of green stuff in it.




And our Rainbow themed play dough


I just realized that I forgot to make a red one. Oh well still fun colors:)
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St.Patrick's Day Chair Covers


Sorry the pictures are so dark. We changed the location of the table and chair set to the daycare in the basement.


I made these with extra fabric from Jada's rag quilt I made her. You can read about that Here. When I was finished it just didn't right so I dug out my trusty green paint and traced around the shamrock. I cut the Lucky letters out of dark green felt and hot glued them on. You may notice that they are shorter than all the others I have made. I actually cut one pillowcase in half this time around. Really it's for the kids and they don't notice the difference in the hems. If they did I would be in shock ha-ha!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Going Green!

I try to do my part to keep the earth a little greener. I recycle, reuse things as much as possible, donate toys and other household items to thrift stores, I also buy from thrift stores. The one area I a was lacking in was chemical cleaners. I HAVE to use bleach for toys and other child related cleaning due to the Child Care regulations here in Canada. However, for our household cleaning I wanted to try and cut back on those nasty chemical filled detergents.



So it's almost March and everyone is decorating in green for St.Patrick's day, I thought we could share some of our Green Earth friendly detergent recipes. And it will save you lots of green $$$$$$$$$$$. I was a bit skeptical at first but I tried it and it works! first I made my own dishwasher detergent using this recipe. You just need 4 ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards. Vinegar, borax, salt and baking soda! that's it. You must watch the how to video I just love her accent!
This is the container I use to store my dishwasher detergent in. The scoop inside is from a baby formula can. I use 2 scoops of the powder for each load of dishes. I also add vinegar to my rinse instead of the expensive jet dry that I used to buy. The vinegar helps prevent your dishes from becoming cloudy.





(This Container came with Jelly Bellys inside)

The other recipe I want to share with you is the laundry detergent recipe from Here again super easy and cheap. We have a front load washing machine so it works out to about 2cents a load! can you believe that!?? I should get around 640 loads from this batch. Sorry I didn't take any pictures while I melted the soap for this batch. Trust me it's easy just follow the recipe and you will be fine.


My 5 gallon bucket that I make and store the detergent in. I just place the cover on and store it in the corner of my laundry room.




What it looks like after it sits overnight. (It becomes pretty jelly) stir and as the recipe states I fill an empty liquid laundry container half full, then add water to fill the container the rest of the way. Shake well before each use. I use 1/4 cup for each load as I have a front load washing machine. If you have a top loader you use 1/2 cup.

I have to tell you it smells so good!!!!! I changed up the recipe a bit and used 2 bars of ivory soap instead of the soap listed in the recipe. At first I was useing way too much detergent per load because I was so used to useing the store bought stuff. You will need to do a few loads before you get the right amount for your needs.
Here is the bottle I used.

Shake container and measure 1/4 cup for front loader. I used a bit more for Jada's soiled t-shirts.



You can't see the suds very well, especially in cold water and that is hard to get used to. I assure you that your clothes are getting cleaned. I smelled them when I took them out and they smell as clean as regular detergent. And more inportantly they are as clean as if you used store bought detergent.

To make the laundry detergent it cost me about $15.00 after taxes. And I still have plenty of ingredients left over to make many, many more batches of detergent! I don't think I will ever go back to buying the chemical filled store bought stuff. Now, if I could just find a way to make my own bounce sheets. If you have made any of these I would love it if you would share your experience with them and any recipes you would like to share:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Postman Knock Game ****Video***



This game is soooo addictive and fun. I learned it at a workshop for children's literature a long time ago. I meant to post it with our Valentines activities but we play it all year long. All you need is 4 envelopes each with the number 1, 2, 3 or 4 printed on the outside.
Ask one child to stand at the door and get ready to knock (he is the postman and holds the letters). Start singing the song and the children listen for cues so they know what they have to do.
Song:
Early in the morning around 8 o'clock you hear the postman knock. (child at door knocks)
Up Jumps (Jada- name of child) to answer the door,(child goes to the door and the post man hands over the letters one at a time)one letter, two letters , three letters, four.
Continue the game/song until everyone has had a turn.
A video example below
(I hope this works):

This has always been a favorite with children. In the video this was only the third time these children have played so they needed some guidance along the way. When I stopped filming they were playing the game all by them selves by listening for the cues. This is really fun with a larger group but we played this before the rest of the children arrived for the sake of filming. It can get pretty crazy with noise and excitement with larger groups. Give it a try you will see what I mean:)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lucky Charm Treats

So yummy! I made them with the Rice Krispie square recipe. Instead of the Rice Krispies I used Lucky Charm cereal. I also tinted the marshmallow mixture with green food coloring. I did put a few charms aside so I could top the squares with them. I don't usually go all out for St. Patrick's day but when I saw Lucky charms on sale last week I knew I had to find something to do with them. When I was mapping out my menu plan I had rice krispie squares listed so then this idea came to mind. Unfortunately it's not that original of an idea because I googled Lucky charms this morning and wouldn't you know it, this has been done before. Oh well it was my idea for like .5 seconds lol UPDATE: This post has been featured on One Pretty Thing Linking up with:
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Blog Birthday


I can't believe I have been blogging for a year! Really, it doesn't feel that long. Probably because I didn't become serious about blogging until last fall. A huge thank you to all who are followers all 60 plus of you! It makes me feel better about posting if I know someone out there is actually reading it:)
have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dinner time Routines

We added the mini pitcher of milk to help Jada with her poring skills and we hoped this would keep her away from the heavy container of milk until she is ready to handle one.


Well it worked SORT of.... She is really, really good at pouring her milk, the problem is that she then pours her glass of milk back into the pitcher. I figured out pretty quickly that once she fills her glass the pitcher needs to be put away until her glass is empty.
Now a UPDATE on this post. I heard back from THIS seller and she agreed to ship to Canada! Hooray!!! now we just wait for our new place mat. She has reasonable prices too! Don't get me wrong Jada is perfectly happy with the one I made but I'm not. HA! Also it would be nice to have two in case of a spill or two or ten??
I only fill this tiny pitcher half way. Next week I will fill it and the next week we will move to a slightly larger pitcher. You get the idea. As she masters one skill we extend the activity to create a larger task to master and complete.
Another Update: My back is now only sore on the left side when I reach for something. So when i said that I probably wouldn't be posting much because my back hurt I didn't realize that sitting and taking it easy would be so boring! so I had lots of time to write up a few posts and read Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear a few hundred times to my little love.
Oh and in case anyone was wondering I do Jada's hair in pig tails every morning and she pulls them out in the first 20 minutes. One of these days I will get a picture with her hair done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Montessori Inspired Place Mat

"Me do it Mommy" a common sentence heard around here with Jada. She has been pulling things out of the refrigerator and even trying to pour her own milk from the heavy full carton. You can guess what that results in, a nice puddle of milk on my kitchen floor. So after weeks of similar things happening I thought I better listen to the not so subtle request of "Me do it Mommy". Seriously, where did my baby go? sniff, sniff.



In hopes of helping Jada gain more Independence I made this Montessori inspired place mat. We are also going to incorporate the small pitcher into our dinner routine for Jada to practice pouring her milk into a cup. I'm not sure why we haven't done this sooner?
I know I should be using a "real" cup but we aren't there just yet with cup skills. To tell you the truth I am more upset that I didn't make her a cloth napkin to match. It's on my to do list for this week. Luckily we can put our used paper napkins in our green bin.
Be warned I really butchered this project. I was going to sew it by hand but with this sore back I just wanted to get it finished quickly.

It's not pretty but it works. As soon as I find one I like on Etsy this one will do. So this is our new routine: First getting Jada used to seeing where the plates, cups, etc go for the week then the next week giving her the freedom of setting her own place at the table. We actually started this last night and it helped tremendously with Jada's attention to eating. We encouraged her to put her cup back to the correct spot instead of at her elbow like she always does. I am happy to report no spilled milk at dinner! yahhhhh!
When I set out to make one of these place mats I found some awesome blogs that have made their own and some printable ones like This one. One Hook Wonder has a pretty easy to make one. Anyway you can google Montessori place mats and pages and pages come up. It was a lot of fun reading through each list.
ETA: Here is a really cool way to make a Montessori Inspired place mat with Bleach

As always thanks for reading and I appreciate your comments:)
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Mail Box Winners

I held a little competition for the children this year. You can read about it Here.
Here are the top two mail boxes:


First prize for a Fairy princess box


I love all the details especially the red lips



I like to call this one the groovy bling box
Both boxes are very creative and I am very impressed with how much thought and effort went into their creations. We will be doing this again next year:)
On a side note I won't be posting that much this week as put my back out somehow or another and I am in a lot of discomfort. Guess I won't be going to the gym for a bit either:( I spent my valentines sleeping off main meds. I went to bed at 7:30 and got up at 6:30 this morning. My back is a bit better but not by much. Does anyone have any advice for a sore back?



Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Our Wedding pic from 2006
Well we are home from Montreal and
We survived the trip:) For Christmas I got Hubby NHL tickets to see Toronto Vs Montreal. Apparently it kind of a big deal?? Anyway it was a very quick weekend but lots of fun. Jada had a blast at her Nannie's house so it was fun for everyone. Today is our Valentines Party at "school" so I better run and get ready. Oh and the mail box contest is today as well. I will up date at some point today with pics of the contest.
Just wanted to stop by and wish you all a very Happy Valentines Day. Oh and P.s. Jason loves the heart print. You can see it on my sidebar:)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Chocolate dipped Marshmallows and the Stressful Week


I know you have seen this done all over many blogs but we wanted to give it a try. I fist saw this idea last year but can't remember what blog it was. Sorry:(
This is So sinfully easy! you will need marshmallows, chocolate chips (melted in microwave) sprinkles and sandwich bags. Oh and skewers too. You probable already know that you need to put the marshmallows on the skewer, and dip them in the melted chocolate and then sprinkles.


(I hate our kitchen. Just saying lol)

I let Jada do her own activity with some extra marshmallows. I totally forgot to put our aprons on. Darn!

These are Jada's creations


my creations



you will need to snip the skewers in half so they aren't so long. I didn't do that yet in the above picture.
Then you cut the Ziploc closures off the sandwich bags.



Then you just bag and tie a ribbon around each





I think they turned out pretty cute



It's been a crazy week so Wednesday night would be no different. It all started out fine, I went to the gym got home fed Jada supper and put her to bed. Got caught up on laundry and was ready for bed. Hubby went in to check on Jada and he called me into her room. The smell hit me as soon as I got to her door.....you guessed it, vomit! Stripped her bed while hubby bathed her. While I was in the laundry room Jada vomited on my bed. Oh yeah baby, good times. So I was up until midnight with Jada holding a bucket in front of her. So why am I telling you this? well because we are supposed to me boarding a plane in about 6 hours and I'm on my 5Th load of laundry and I have one more to go. Luckily Jada is fine now but I thought we were going to have to cancel the trip to Montreal. Jada is going to Nannie's house and Jason and I are going on a mini vacation. Our first time away from Jada as a couple in 2.5 years!

So now off to finish packing and washing and folding laundry.

Thanks for reading my long rambling post:)
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Etsy Favorites


I thought you might be interested in seeing what I love from Etsy. These are my purchases from the past year! I am almost embarrassed to admit I bought all this stuff in one year. I bought more things but I won't waste anyone time posting them. It's only 2 items but they turned out to be crap!!!!! Anyway I love Etsy and I buy almost all my gifts from there. I also love buying things from EBay but that's a whole other post:)
I shop online because I have next to no alone (hubby works wonky hours) time to go shopping and concentrate on each item. Online shopping can be done 24/7

To start I thought I would post my favorite item I bought for ME! It's a queen sized rag quilt. I love, love, love it! it's a nice heavy blanket that I snuggle up in every night. I can't describe just how much I adore this blanket.

Next up is a slight variation of the actual mug cozy that I bought but basically the same. Mine has a heart button. I just got it yesterday and it's awesome!

And of course most of you remember the print I bought Jason for Valentines. My actual print is on my side bar.

For the new Puppy Cooper. Still waiting for this one. I'm sure it's excellent!




I bought 2 of these. 1 for Jada and 1 for the little girl who I have had in my care sense she was 11 months old. She turns 5 next week! eeek where did the time go?




I bought these because i was tired of making my own. I thought i was going to use them for valentines gifts but they turned out to be too small. Oh well next year right

Rag Numbers for Jada from this past Christmas



This is actually my friends order. She sent me the link and I fell in love with it and bought it for me and Jada. of course Jada's doesn't say Isabel






You must remember me posting about the awesome matching discs

They came in this adorable bag




We use this a lot in our sensory tubs. Great quality


And our peg people that show up in the least expected places. the children love these to bits

We haven't used these yet as they are very small. Maybe this fall?

And I bought myself a necklace with a J for Jada and a Z for Zoe with wings coming out of the Z

And my hunbby's favorite: his reads Jada's Daddy. I gave him this last year for father's day

And another father's day gift

And yet another father's day gift

A tissue holder for my purse

And a sandwich bag from the same seller as the blankets



Mother's day gift for Jason's mom



This seller was awesome! so awesome in fact I went back and bought 3 more!



Jada's rag blanket



My mom's mother's day gift



And another sandwich/snack bag



And another (hmm I haven't seen this in a few months. Monkey must have hid it)



For Jada's birthday last fall.



o.k. this item is just genius! I had all my knitting needles in a plastic grocery bag and they kept poking though. I searched for a solution and found this:



the outside looks like this:



Again the same seller as the rag blankets (crayon wallet)



Advent calendar. This was my very first Etsy purchase that started the addiction



This is not the one I got as I had it especially made to what I wanted. I picked out lots of flowers in purples and pinks



So now you probably want to know where to find all this stuff on Etsy???


Here you go:


Blankets, Crayon wallet, snack/sandwich bags


Mug Sweater



Valentine heart print


Jason's Father's day t-shirt


Valentine gift bags


Peg people


Mommy and child apron set


Jada's necklace

Wowzers that took a lot of work to post all that! blahhhhhh time for a rest lol. Hope I have inspired you to browse Etsy:)
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