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Cool whip finger painting & more messy play

Cool Whip Finger Paints - edible paints & messy fun for toddlers
As any mother of a toddler knows, toddlers have a short attention span and like to keep busy constantly. They are discovering and learning something new every day, every minute, every second. It is an incredible to thing to watch. It can be uplifting, amazing, funny, heartwarming, frustrating and oh so tiring.
It can be extremely difficult finding activities that will engage & hold my daughter’s interest. She, like her father is a runner. She does not like to stay still even for short periods of time, which is the reason I think I have such a hard time getting her to eat her meals.

One thing my daughter does like is finger painting. Like most children her age she also likes to put everything in her mouth. I found this recipe for edible finger paints last year on Pinterest.

Edible Finger Paint 
2 Tbs. corn starch
4 Tbs. water
food coloring as desired
 
Combine and mix well.

I have made these several times. Here is Mai hard at work.

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The verdict…
This is a great recipe but I found that with this and with other finger paint recipes that they were too soupy.
She would pour out her paint containers within minutes, and that would be end of that.

I saw another idea for playing in shaving cream and I thought this was a great idea but I didn’t want her eating it.

The image of the shaving cream brought to mind Cool Whip. Lucky for me I always have a tub of Cool Whip handy.
I portioned out the Cool Whip into 3 containers and added food coloring and stirred until I achieved the desired color.
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Mai was curious about it right of the bat. I set up her painting area by putting down a drop cloth under her chair and set a piece of poster board down for her at the kitchen table.
Let the paint fly, Mai!

She, of course, had to start off with a taste test.

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It passed with flying colors, now she is ready to paint.

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I gave her a cork and a paintbrush to work with. I was impressed with my little Picasso. She used the brush to paint the cork and then used the cork to stamp the paper.

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Mai’s finished Mess-terpiece.

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The verdict…
The Cool Whip paints worked wonderfully. The denser texture made for a better contained mess & it was much easier to mix than regular finger paints. It tastes better too.

WATER PLAY
Mai loves playing with liquid. One of my daughters favorite things to do is to take her sippy cup and pour her juice, milk, etc into anything she thinks will hold it. I have caught her taking random toys and putting them in her play pots and making soup out of them.

Here is another simple activity. Leave the splash mat out.

I used a small Rubbermaid container and filled it halfway with food colored water. We added some play cups and bath toys. She held on the the paint brush, too. She became really attached to it.

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I also gave her a pump bottle filled with the same colored liquid. She loved this.

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The verdict…
This one was a winner. I was able to cook a whole dinner while she enjoyed her water play. Thank you, baby.

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Cool Whip Finger Paints - edible paints & messy fun for toddlers

Halloween Scrapbooking

I don’t know about the rest of you but Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, even more so since the birth of our daughter.
This was her second Halloween. Last year she was too young to enjoy the whole concept behind it, so we were super excited for this year.

Over the past month, our daughter has made the gradual transition from mommy’s girl to 100% daddy’s little girl, so I thought that it would be cute for her to honor her daddy and go as a police officer just like him.

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As you can see, she was adorable.
It was such a joy to watch her. She was so excited about every aspect of trick or treating, the other kids, fishing out the treats and the costumes. Oh, how she loved the costumes. She laughed and squealed “frog” as a young boy walked by in his dinosaur costume. I wanted to capture these wonderful moments, so of course I snapped a ton of photos. I already have thousands of pictures of my daughter and they are either collecting dust in a box or saved to my computer.

I saw my Pinspiration the other day in the form of a Halloween scrapbook.

I couldn’t think of a better way to preserve our memories. I have scrapbooked before but it has been a long time since I picked up my scrapbooks. Luckily, I still had plenty of supplies handy to get started.

Scrapbooking can be a fun and also expensive hobby. There are so many gadgets, stickers and embellishments that you can purchase to make your pages beautiful. It can add up quickly though but with a little imagination and some inspiration you can make a great scrapbook just using scrap paper, acid free markers, a pair of scissors & some glue.

I chose to do a Halloween page complete with an opening door to greet all the trick or treaters.

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Project complete…

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Happy Halloween all, from our family to yours.
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Up next…finger paints and other messy play

Felt farm forms

I found inspiration for this project from a pin that I found on Pinterest a while ago.

It was felt Christmas tree, with movable decorations.I remember thinking what a fabulous idea, a felt Christmas tree that my toddler can decorate herself. It reminded me of the Colorforms from my childhood. I loved this idea but did not think that it would appeal to my daughter, as she does not understand the concept of a Christmas tree yet. I wanted to take this idea and apply it to something that would peak her interest now.

Felt play farm - fun activity for toddler & kids - felt arts & crafts

Mai is a lover of animals, so I could not think of anything that would grab her attention more than a farm.

Supplies that I used for this project..

Different colored felt

Glue gun

Scissors

Cotton balls

Fabric markers

I use felt on a lot of projects, so luckily I had almost everything I needed already.

I started with a 36″ X 36″ of green felt for my background. I added blue felt to the top for the sky, attaching it with the glue gun. I then applied glue to the sky and dragged cotton balls across it to form the clouds.

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I added a barn with a dirt road to complete my background.

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Mai & Duke helped too.
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I then drew and cut out all of the movable pieces. Our farm included a pond, tree, horse, duck, sheep, pig, cow & a rooster. Mai was quick to point out after I finished, that there was no hop, so I quickly made a bunny.
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Our farm was now complete. Felt sticks to felt, so you can also hang this on the wall and the movable pieces will stick.

The verdict: It was a hit. She loved pointing out all the animals to mommy and daddy and moving the pieces around.

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Since I was still in a crafty mood and had alot of felt left over, I made one more project.

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These should keep my busy little toddler occupied for at least 5 minutes. Sigh!

Fun with Fondant

Fun with Fondant

I have always been fascinated by the art of cake making. It has been something I have wanted to try for a long time but have never mustered up the courage to attempt. The truth is fondant scares me, I have long admired and pinned different cake & cookie creations that I have found, on Pinterest but have also read about the horrors of working with fondant. My daughter’s second birthday is nearing and I really wanted to make her an amazing cake, so it is time to get over my fears.

Here is my first attempt at cake carving and fondant…

I wanted to start with something simple for my first time around, so keeping with the theme of the season, I went with a pumpkin.

I opted to use store bought cake mixes for my experiment. Don’t judge me! I’m not much of a baker.

Step 1. Prepare cake mixes. I used three boxes of marble cake mix. I waited for my daughter to take a nap before I got started on my project. She is such a light sleeper. Her bedroom is just down the hall from the kitchen and I did not want to run the risk of waking her, so I took my electric mixer and cake mix outside to plug into the porch outlet to prepare my batter.
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I am a messy baker.

Step 2. Pour in cake pans. I used 2 9″ round cake pans for each boxed mix. They do sell global shaped cake molds but because as I was looking for a simple project to practice cake carving with I opted to layer and carve the cakes instead.
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Step 3. Cool. Carve excess cake off the top for even layering.
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Step 4. Layer the cakes on top of one another using frosting or icing between layers.

Step 5. Freeze the cake. I found this tip on http://cakedecorating.about.com/od/Constructingthecake/a/Cake-Carving-Tips.htm. I always had wondered how they were able to create those designs without the cake crumbling apart. I froze mine overnight.

Step 6. Cake carving time.
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Step 7. Frost the cake. This ensures that the fondant will stick. It suggests using icing instead of frosting because frosting is too slippery of a surface to adhere to, but since I had a few unused containers I opted for the frosting. I did it in a thin layer and then refrigerated it so that it would harden slightly.

Step 8. Knead your fondant & add food coloring. I used the Wilton’s rolled fondant. It is very hard but after alot of kneading it does soften. Add food coloring a drop at a time to achieve your desired color.
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Step 9. Roll out your fondant. Make sure that you roll it out enough to cover the whole cake. I found some helpful hints also from this site. http://candy.about.com/od/phototutorials/ss/fondant_cake_sbs.htm
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Step 10. Now this part was tricky. Apply the fondant. I did have a difficult time doing this. Be careful when smoothing your fondant down to the bottom. You must quickly maneuver and stretch it so that it does not form creases. Slice off any excess fondant that is pooling around the bottom. If you have any rough spots or tears, rub a little bit of oil on the area and smooth it out.
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Step 11. Use excess fondant to make vines and leaves for your pumpkin. I had to add more food coloring to achieve the green. This is where you can cover up any flaws you may have. I was able to hide a lot of my mistakes with the vines and leaves.

Step 12 Admire your finished product. It is not perfect but I thought it was a noble first attempt.
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“Hi, my name is Kim and I’m addicted to Pinterest.”

It all started innocently enough.  My husband was working. The baby was in bed. I received an invite to join from one of my friends and thought, sure why not. So, I browsed my friend’s pins…  “How do you make a Guinness chicken pot pie?”, “That’s a cute hairdo”, “What the hell is cowboy lasagna?”  Before long, I started pinning to my own boards… recipes, vacation spots, craft ideas. You get the idea. I have boards that just have pins with the color red or pins just showcasing the beauty of a hand. I just could not stop myself. I kept thinking “I can stop at anytime.” Who am I hurting?” “I’m just a social pinner”. Now, with over 200 boards, almost 20,000 pins and 9000 followers, I don’t see an end to my addiction in sight. http://www.pinterest.com/pfchico/boards/

Pinterest has become my new Google. If I am looking for a cheesecake recipe, I search Pinterest. If I am looking for rainy day activities for my 21 month daughter, I search Pinterest.  I planned my daughter’s whole first birthday party using recipes and ideas from…guess where. Here are pictures from her snowman themed first birthday.

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Snowman cupcake cake

Inspired from http://cakecentral.com/g/i/91136/my-first-cupcake-cake-made-for-my-daughters-7th-birthday-in-school-and-the-classroom-holiday-party-24-yellow-cupcakes-with-vanilla-bc-icing-sprinkled-with-white-sparkling-sanding-sugar-the-hat-is-solid-milk-chocolate-this-was-so-much-fun-to-do/

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Snowman cheeseball
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/snowman-cheese-ball-64889.aspx[/caption]

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Snowman pizza

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Rice Krispie snowmen. This was a variation of a few different Rice Krispie snowmen that I saw. Follow the basic Rice Krispie treat recipe & form into balls while still soft. Attach balls & accessories with icing. That hats were made with Oreos & Reeses peanut butter cup minis. The scarf is colored licorice whips. The buttons are made of M&M minis & the nose is just a sliver of an orange gum drop.

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Next year’s party theme is ‘Turning 2 at the Zoo’. I am excited to get started.

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