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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tired day, but want to share a link...

Hazel and I both did not get enough sleep last night and she decided not to nap today. Needless to say it was a needy grumpy day for both of us. I was lucky to get two breaks--a walk while she played with the babysitter this morning and my mother-in-law took her this afternoon for a bit, so I could run errands.

Anyway, I wanted to share a link to a blog I follow. They always post something about Waldorf Education on Thursdays. Today's post explains one of the reasons I'm so happy we have chosen to send Hazel to the Waldorf School and why I push Steve to enforce the no television (and computers for that matter) rule with Hazel. Discovering Waldorf I hope you will take the time to read this post. I would love to hear your opinions.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fourth of July Crafts

Tomorrow my plan is to do some crafts with Hazel to decorate for our 4th of July bbq. These crafts are adopted from various sources. The first is to make paper flag placemats. I cut 12x18 inch white construction paper to be 9.5 x 18 inches. I cut 3/4"  x 18" strips of red 12x 18 inch construction paper and I cut 7.2" x 5.1" scrapbook paper that is blue with white stars on it. We will glue the papers to make flags and then coat both sides with clear contact paper. I also cut some 7.2" x 5.1" rectangles of blue construction paper so the kids coming to the bbq can make their own and I have star stickers for them to use on it. I figured the stickers would be more fun for all the kids but a pain to do all of the ones for the adults.

Our other craft will be a paper "wind sock". I took this from the Little Hands book on America. The first one we started today. We took a piece of 9x12 inch blue construction paper and glued onto it white stars cut from printer paper (I printed a star out in Word and then folded the paper into 12ths and cut 12 out of it). I used two of these papers. Hazel glued the stars on and then we made it a tube. At this point I realized we did not have all the needed supplies and we went shopping. So now, we need to finish it tomorrow. We are going to glue on red and white streamers/crepe paper to the bottom and tie a piece of yarn to the top. The rest of them will be made with the leftover scrapbook paper. The 12x12 squares looked too big, so I cut them down. I am also going to have this craft for the kids to do at the party with the smaller strips of the leftover scrapbook paper.

Our third craft for the party is to make firework crowns. Again, I took this from one of the books. I bought red duct tape, blue drinking straws and red sparkly, blue sparkly and silver sparkly pipe cleaners, and some alphabet stickers for the kids to put their names on their crown. Use two pieces of the tape to go around the head and between the two pieces space out the straws. Then glue the piper cleaners into the straws and bend them. Then add the names to the front.

Our fourth craft will be foam flags which I bought at Michaels. I also bought some lollipop sticks to be the flagpoles.

I may look into making pinwheels as well. I found many sites with instructions and patterns for the 4th of July.

I will post pictures once we have made some of them.

That is all for now. Good night!

Carrie

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crazy Week

Sorry for not posting earlier this week. I went to Cape Cod to visit my parents for a few days and then have been running around. However, while on the Cape, my father helped me make a toy from Creative Play for your toddler: Steiner Waldorf expertise and toy projects for 2-4s by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol. I highly recommend this book for anyone with a toddler. It has some fairly easy to make toys that will help build your young ones imagination and creativity.
The original use of this toy was to make a dollhouse room Waldorf style. My father pointed out that it would be a good house for Hazel's beloved Ducky. She has told me Ducky is too big for it and wants it to be a dollhouse room, but we are experimenting with other uses still.

I also picked up my serger while at the Cape and finally figured out how to thread it correctly. I used it on the silk on the toy. I have been looking through all sorts of books on sergers and sewing to find the best patterns for clothes for Hazel. I think I will be busy for quite awhile making her and maybe myself a new wardrobe. She is just changing sizes to 3T right now, so a new wardrobe is in store.

My other find this week is a large clothespin to build forts with. Although not as nice as the Waldorf play clips, much cheaper and still usable for the same thing. They were on clearance at Michaels for 50 cents. I cleaned three Michaels out of them.

Well that is all for now. I'll review some more craft books soon. I'm hoping to go through most of them by Monday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

For Father's Day, Steve wanted the morning to go do guy things. So Hazel and I had fun with painting. Once Steve returned we went shopping for a new dishwasher since ours is not working and is very old. Hopefully it will be installed on Friday.






As for our painting, we worked with red, white and blue paint and many different painting "brushes". We used black and white paper. We used sponges, scrub brushes, feathers, and Hazel's favorite a toothbrush. See the pictures above. We started outside, but found the wind to be too much. Hazel does not like the wind and ended up in tears chasing the papers and paints everywhere. Unfortunately the wind blew the papers onto her. Then of course I had to hold her to calm her down so we both were covered in paint by the end. We moved into the garage after that, but still had plenty of fun.
Our plan is to put clear contact paper over some of these to make placemats. She of course wants to give them to our family members, so we will have to make more for the barbeque. Oh, well. At least it is fun.






Well, we had a good time. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Baking

I like to bake something on the weekends or make a special breakfast. Usually Hazel helps. She didn't want to help this morning at least not while I was baking. She of course wanted to an hour later. This morning I tweaked my banana applesauce muffin recipe. I've been playing with it to make it lower in fat and WW points. The original recipe was for applesauce muffins from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I got the original 6 point per muffin down to 3 points. And everyone loved them.

Applesauce Banana Muffins


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 ripe bananas and 2 carrots pureed together
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
cinnamon to sprinkle on top
1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.
3. Combine egg, milk, carrot/banana puree, applesauce, oil in large bowl. Then add flour mixture without over stirring.
4. Divide among the muffin pans and sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar on top of each. Bake 18-20 minutes then cool on rack.

Enjoy!
Carrie

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lazy Rainy Day

Well after a rough night of sleep, we got up late and have had a relaxing morning. Our plans have changed since Hazel has an ear infection. She was suppose to go to the library today for the Move and Groove class. My mother-in-law was going to take her since they are suppose to be cutting down my tree today at 10. It is now 11:15 and no one has shown up.

Hazel wanted to "cook" this morning. However since we already ate breakfast, we made homemade play dough. I tried one of the recipes in The Toddler's Busy Book by Trish Kuffner. She has many recipes in the Appendices and it has many great craft and activity ideas for toddlers. Hazel enjoyed mixing and then playing with the playdough even while it was still warm. We made four batches, red, green, yellow and blue. We had to scrounge for enough salt and cream of tartar for the last batch though. It was nice to not smell the typical store bought playdough smell. The recipe says it can last for 6+ months. We shall see.

This afternoon I hope to make some crafts with Hazel to decorate for our Fourth of July Party. I have a great idea for placemats. We stopped at the library yesterday and Hazel made a flag out of construction paper and cardboard. It would be easy to do in a bigger scale as a placemat and put clear contact paper over it to protect it from the food. I also saw a craft in one of my books about painting red, white and blue fireworks. I figured we could try that as well and then after the paint is dry cover it with the contact paper. If they work well, I'll have Hazel make them for the adults and then have each kid make his or her own.

I have also been trying to find a good chai latte recipe to make at home. Of course I have been changing any that I find so it is less Weight Watchers Points, but I figure eventually I will find the right combination of spices and such for me. I have been missing my daily chai, but don't want the sweetened stuff you can find around here or to spend the money on them all the time. I guess I'm spoiled when I go to the Cape and can order it unsweetened.

Well that is it for today. I will let you know how our afternoon crafts go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two More Craft Books from the library

This morning after my dentist appointment I stopped at the library to pick up two of the books I requested from other libraries. Thought I would give a quick review after flipping through them here. And of course I just checked my email to see more of the books I requested arrived today at the library, so it looks like I'll be going back tomorrow.

The Little Hands Nature Book by Nancy Fusco Castaldo--flipping through this quickly, I cannot wait to dive into it and find some good activities to do with Hazel. This book has great activities for ages 2-6 with an educational side to them as well.

Little Hands Celebrate America! by Jill Frankel Hauser--I got this one for craft ideas for my Fourth of July party. It is full of lessons and then a craft on different things in America--pledge allegiance, flag, constitution, so so much more. It looks like a great way to introduce some of the American history topics especially if you home school.

Now onto the other books that I haven't written about:
The Little Hands Big Fun Craft Book by Judy Press--Packed full of craft ideas for 2-6 year olds. I really am loving this series. It is not as educational as the ones above, but does include Celebrations from Around the World.

Kids Create! by Laurie Carlson--This book says it is for 3-9 year olds and definitely is for older kids. It goes through paper and paste crafts to clay crafts and printmaking and seasonal crafts. Lots of great ideas, but I think I want to get it out again when Hazel is a bit older.

Nature's Art Box by Laura C. Martin--looks like a great book, but again is definitely for older kids. Will return with the desire to take it out in a few years.

Crafts for Kids Backyard Book by Greta Speechley--thought this might give me ideas for our Fourth of July BBQ--activities to do with the kids is always a good thing.--It has a few good ideas, but not much that is different from what I have already seen.

Look What You Can Make With Newspapers, Magazines, And Greeting Cards edited by Kathy Ross--a lot of papier-mache and some new ideas, but mostly things I have seen before.

Look What You Can Make With Paper Plates edited by Margie Hayes Richmond--full of easy ideas to make things with paper plates. Some I could do now with Hazel or save them for when she is older. There are animals, holiday stuff, mobiles and more.

Another book Hazel has been enjoying:
The Little Moon Princess by Y.J. Lee--great tale about how the stars became stars
And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel--a new take on Hey diddle diddle with some other nursery rhyme themes thrown in

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Relaxing Morning so here are some Birthday party ideas

This morning we are having a relaxing morning. Hazel slept in until 6:20 (much better than her usual time between 5 and 5:30). She is having fun coloring now, so I thought I would share some of the birthday party ideas I have been gathering.

To start I don't believe in going broke for a birthday party. I believe in an at home party with friends and family. I like to have a theme, but that is because I like to go a little crazy planning it. Hazel's birthday is New Year's Eve. We usually have a party for our friends and family on January 1st. When she is a bit older we are  hoping to have a small kids' birthday party for her half birthday as well. I tend to make most of the food and cake myself and I buy the appropriate paper supplies, but often buy special napkins and solid color everything else to save money. It is not about how much you spend but how much fun you have.

For her first birthday party we did a cupcake theme. We made invitations with pictures of Hazel saying "Our Little Cupcake Is Turning One". Needless to say instead of a cake we served cupcakes. I also made paper cupcakes and filled them with candies for favors. Of course this was before cupcakes were so in so I had trouble finding cupcake related items. Right after her party cupcakes became the very in thing. Resource: I bought a template because I couldn't find anything for free, but this site looks like it would work: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/templates-f143/cupcake-box-templates-go-linseys-card-t350478.html.





For her second birthday, we did a tea party. Our theme was "Tea for Two". Since it was still mostly an adult party, we served many different flavors of tea and typical tea time treats. I made a birthday cake and had my nephew paint a miniature tea set for the top of it that I bought at Joanns. I also had a bigger paint your own for everyone to sign so Hazel has a memory from the party of who was here. For the older kids that came we had white mugs to paint. I also had put together a bag of kids activities including a coloring book with pages I found on line with crayons and stickers. For a favor, I found garden teacups and saucers at Micheals on clearance in the fall for 39 cents each and bought them up knowing we were going to have this theme and put two tea bags in a nice bag and attached a tag that said "Hazel's Tea for Two" on one side and "Thanks for Coming" on the other. I attached the tags with a string to the bag and had them hanging out of the tea cups. Resources: http://www.coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com/tea-birthday-party.html, http://www.coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com/free-coloring-pages.html, http://familyfun.go.com/parties/tea-party-704536/#lollipop; http://hubpages.com/hub/Tea-Party; Pink Princess Tea Parties by Barbara Beery (I borrowed it from the library), Come to Tea by Stephanie Dunnwind, Let's Have a Tea Party by Emilie Barnes, The Totally Tea-rrific Tea Party Book by Tanya Napier. I borrowed all of these books from the library, but found I wanted to own some of them because of the many themes they had in them. From these books I took decoration ideas, recipes, etc. I also got many facts about tea and the history of tea and tea parties and printed them. I stuck them into my centerpieces and decorations so the adults could have something to read in case they got bored.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's Adventures

So it was a typical Monday for Hazel and I. We ran errands (grocery shopping and the library). Hazel loves going to the library. She likes to see the children's librarian and play with the toys there. I however wanted to check out some kids' craft books I found on line last night. I of course found many more than the two I had written down. I'm still going through them, but here is what I found:

My Very First Nature Craft Book illustrated by Anna Curti and published by Little Simon--I flipped through this one already. The crafts are simple, but age appropriate for Hazel, so we may try some in the next few days or whenever the rain stops for us to go out and get the supplies.

Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen by Carol Odell--this looks like a great book especially for older kids or for a literature party or cooking/literature class. Also would be good for homeschooling. It gives a recipe with part of a classic story (including Little Women, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and many more).

The Little Hands Big Fun Craft Book by Judy Press--haven't had a chance to really look at it, but it was on my list to get--love the Little Hands Fingerplays & Action Songs by Emily Stetson and Vicky Congdon.

Kids Create! by Laurie Carlson

Nature's Art Box by Laura C. Martin

Crafts for Kids Backyard Book by Greta Speechley--thought this might give me ideas for our Fourth of July BBQ--activities to do with the kids is always a good thing.

Look What You Can Make With Newspapers, Magazines, And Greeting Cards edited by Kathy Ross--figured it never hurts to have more ideas to recycle things.

Look What You Can Make With Paper Plates edited by Margie Hayes Richmond--I keep finding different wreaths to make so I stocked up on paper plates, now I have some more ideas.

June 13, 2011 First Entry

I am starting this blog for a few reasons. I would like to keep track of books I like, crafts I hope to do with Hazel or by myself (and for her), ideas, etc. And I would like a place to share these ideas and finds and hope others will be able to share them with me.

Now a bit about me and what I'm doing...I am a 40-yr-old stay-at-home mom of a 2.5-yr-old. We have decided to send her to a Waldorf School, so I'm in the process of learning more about Waldorf education and finding natural toys (Waldorf toys). I also am doing several different things with her to fill our time. I am trying to be true to the Waldorf philosophy of no television. This is a struggle with my husband and his mother, but we are trying it. Our daughter fell in love with Elmo and Caillou before we made this decision. I want to share books, ideas, places, etc. and hope this will help someone and hope to hear from you.

This weekend, I bought a serger and hope to figure it out so I can start making clothes for Hazel faster. I have been playing with knitting as well. I'm allergic to wool, so I have been doing most of my knitting in cotton. I'm working on a dress and a sweater for her.

Ok, enough of this info for now. Will share some of the books I have been reading for my own knowledge and the ones I have been reading (over and over) to Hazel.