Monday, September 24, 2012

Easy Way to Record Recipes

Holla fellow readers :)

I just wanted to share and easy-peasy way to record recipes from friends and loved ones.. 

When my grandmother passed away she left us with a few recipe boxes filled with recipes from my childhood. I have always wanted to keep a collection of favorite family recipes - HOWEVER - the thought of writing down or typing out page after page of recipes made me want a stiff drink. 

(one of the many recipe boxes to sort through)

Telling my very smart mama this conundrum she said "Why don't you just take a Picture?"

It was one of those moments that changed my life.. Well not really... but it sure has saved me a ton of ink and time and made this task of recording recipes a whole lot easier. 

With my iphone ready I snapped away and within 10 minutes had close to 60 of my favorite recipes. Talk about easy!

Top Three Reasons to do This:

1. Time Saver - much easier and faster than writing them out - 'nuff said.

2. You get to capture the persons handwriting - in today's electronic world isn't it awesome to see a loved ones handwriting? My grandmas handwriting instantly brings a smile to my face. 

3. Easy Storage - just print them off picture size and store them in a photo album

so there you have it - Now call up your mamas, grandmamas and girlfriends and get those cameras snapping! 

And as an extra special treat here's one of my favorite recipes from my Grandma.. It is super high in sugar but I loved it as a child...Enjoy!

***I'm starting up a weekly "Make Life Easier" post so here is the very first of the bunch - Don't want to miss out? Join this Site or like us on Facebook to receive an email when a post is up.. 

What the heck are Skylanders? - an explanation from a mama

As a celebration for my two year giving up his "sucky" and becoming a big boy (YAY!!)  we decided that we would take the boys to go get a new video game...

Well being the suckers that we are and the boys having a game loving daddy  - we ended up getting a whole new game system (Xbox 360) and the Skylanders starter pack.

For those of you who do not have children or are not familiar with Skylanders - It is basically a crazy new "Spyro" game -   you collect characters and go on adventures to protect the Skylands...  These weird looking little creatures have taken over the brains of children worldwide! Think back to Pokemon and POGS of the 90's and then multiply it by a bazzilion.

The starter pack that we bought came with the game itself, The portal of power and three Skylander characters. It was around $65 I believe.

So how it works is you place the Skylander figurines onto the "Portal of Power" (Which is like a round disc that lights up and is plugged into your Xbox) and then it brings them to life and they can go into the game and save the world from Kaos (the bad guy) You can put two characters at a time on the portal that we have so both the boys can play together.

A cool thing is that you can actually switch players mid game anytime but just switching figurines.

The "Portal of Power"

There are over 30 of these characters to collect - Each character comes with a cards that explains the Skylanders strengths / weaknesses and also a sticker that you can put on your poster to show what characters you have collected. Along with the characters there are carrying cases for the figurines, pens, t-shirts ect... so when you think of it -  it's a pretty brilliant marketing idea these Skylander folks created.

Overall I think it's a pretty awesome game for kids. It keeps them really involved and being a crazy collector myself I like the collecting aspect of it.

I can see parents not liking to have to buy all the characters -  but I am planning on using them in conjunction with their weekly chores and good behavior rewards. For a set of three new characters it runs close to twenty bucks..

Watching the kids play this game is pretty hilarious. They jump around like crazy and get so excited that they are buzzing.

Thinking back to when I was a kid and how excited I was over Super Mario I can still remember how awesome it was when I passed each new level.

Isn't it crazy how video games have changed? They are like watching HD movies nowadays. How about you - Do have any favorite games from when you were a young one?

Ps. I'm not at all saying kiddos should be playing video games all day long but it sure is nice to have an hour break here and there to get some dishes done :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bug Aprons for boys or Girls

So today I made my little monsters some Aprons.

Both of my boys love to help their mama bake and Griffin LOVES to clean. I made them their own little cleaning buckets filled with supplies that they run around the house "cleaning" with.

So to help keep them interested in cleaning and cooking I though some little aprons would help :)

I followed the look of Simplicity pattern # 1954 but changed it up to make them a bit more easy to sew and also a bit less "frilly"

Later on today I will upload a tutorial for how to make the Aprons but for now enjoy the pics!

little lady bug Sully
Bumble Bee Griff

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For the Love of books...

I absolutely LOVE reading to my boys.

It's such a special bonding time that we share all snuggled in with a blankie and  one boy on either side.

A few years back, for Christmas, my parents gave myself and my brother and sisters our favorite childhood book... My book was "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. I remember this book almost word for word and laying in bed with my mama reading to me..

The best thing about this gift was not only the memories of the book but the inscription she wrote on the book cover..  Love you Mom and Dad!

Speaking of books - Words just can't explain how happy I am with the new book shelves I put up for the boys. I remember reading a blog sometime back where a woman had used rain gutters to build forward facing book displays.

Thanks to Google I was quickly able to find THIS fantastic tutorial. The only changes I made with mine was I did not sand the ends before capping.. We used the Vinyl gutters in a nice dark brown and the boys LOVE them.

I mounted one above their bed for bedtime stories and then a second one in their play area. I really love how organized and neat they look and enjoy seeing all of the different stories we have collected. Since having them up the boys are constantly picking out stories to read - The plan is to switch them out for new stories every month so they won't get bored with them.

Did you know there is a whole "movement" geared towards the benefits and importance of forward facing books for children? I had no clue but I love the thoughts behind it..  If you are interested you can read about the "Rain Gutter Revolution" HERE.

How about you - What was your favorite childhood story? Let's get our children reading again!

Telus Spark Science Centre Review

Today my two little boys, their Auntie Amanda and I ventured out to the Calgary Science Centre. It was our first time visiting the new Science centre since it opened later last year.

We had one free adult admission and ended up paying an additional $39 for one adult, one child (Children under 3 are free) and parking. Parking was no issue at all and we were able to get a space right by the entrance.

Having gone with a 2 year old and a 4 year old we spent most of the time in the Children's creative section. It was filled with beautiful artwork displays from children, a giant enclosed play centre and a ton of centres.

The boys favorite things were the water tables, the building blocks and of course the play centre. I noticed they also have a little theatre room set up so if planning another trip it would be a good idea to check ahead of time if there are any presentations planned.
Griffins creation

Sully Lovin' the Water

We spent about an hour in the children's section and then ventured of to the other areas. I found most of the other areas to be geared to adults and older children  - I also found that the centres that required interaction had little instruction as to what to do and the science behind it.

We had allot of fun playing with our shadows but with the busy boys didn't have a whole lot of patience to actually read or listen to all of the different displays.

Through out the centre they have various displays that ask for guests to write notes or record their own stories such as "tell us about your birth"

The boys answers were pretty cute; when I asked Griffin to tell me about when he was born his story was: " I had my eyes shut in my mommy's tummy and then I just woke up"

Sully (my funny little two year old) answered;

 "I was sleeping and then I had to go through a Jungle"

We had a good laugh about that one ~ Oh the things our children say!

They have a section upstairs called "Open Studio" Which is a hands on section that includes things like crafts, music and sound exploration, animation and drawing..  Some of the tables are definitely not  geared to the little guys as the first table upon entering had plugged in hot glue guns laying out on a table with craft supplies. Griffin was pretty upset with me when I would not let him play with the glue gun.. Lol.

 Overall though it was a good few hrs out with the boys - I think it would be neat to explore without children if the admission prices were not so steep. At $20 per adult it makes for an expensive outing so we will definitely be keeping our eyes out for coupons. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Medicine Organization

I have quite the obsession with labels.. These super cute labels can be found HERE at cupcake express blog. She has some adorable designs on her site that I just fell in love with :)

I picked up the blue bins from our local Dollarama  and laminated the labels so that after use they wont become torn or dirty. 

Here are some more pics of what I did with them.. The titles I used for my labels were: Children's Medicine, Aches & Pains, Cold and Flu, First Aid and Daily Medicine.  It's so much better to have them organized rather than thrown together in a big bin. Happy Organizing!

Necklace / Scarves Hanger

I saw a similar idea in Pinterest awhile back - It was super simple to set up!

Items needed:

* a thin bar (I picked up mine from Ikea)
*  a few packs of "S" Hooks (again I used Ikea's Grundtal "S" hooks.)
* a pack of screws to fit the holes in your bar
* drill/screw driver
* level

1. Making sure your bar is level use a pencil to mark where you are going to drill your pilot holes.

2. Drill your pilot holes

3. Attach the bar to the wall with your screws.

4. Hang you beautiful scarves and Jewelry on the S hooks and enjoy!

The hardest part of the project was just making sure it was level.. other than that the whole thing took about 10 minutes including hanging the necklaces.  The total cost was $14.

I think next up I am going to put up a second one dedicated to just scarves. I love being able to see them all displayed. So pretty!

Super Easy Bath Robe for Children

My not-so-little 4 yr old loving his new snuggly robe
This was a super simple sewing project for a beginner like myself and was my very first sewing project using a pattern.

 From Start to finish It took a total of 2.5 hours (including cutting out the pattern) The pattern I chose was Simplicity Pattern 3575 which you can see here:

I really liked that this pattern included the children / teen and adult sizes all in the one package. The one thing to note though is the sizing of the pattern (for children) was much larger than I was expecting. The package said the XS was comparable to a 4X- 5X and realistically was closer to a 7X -8X.. Not a big deal though as my little 4 yr old will have lots of space to grow into it. The only alterations I made was to shorten the length so he wasn't tripping over it and I rolled the arms so they could be taken out at a later date.

.. More to come soon.