A journal

Thanks for visiting me at Experiment MOM (Mother of Multiples). My digital Scrap for Hire business, ScraPicts, is coming soon so please check back with me again or Click the Follow Me button on lefthand side of my blog.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Things 2012

I know you have been waiting with baited breath for my Favorite Things 2012 post.  Well the wait is over..here it is!

13. Game of Thrones - An enthralling series on HBO, infamous for the 6-year-old breastfeeding scene but a great show nonetheless
14. Walking Dead - An AMC series about Zombies and survival.  You cannot start in the middle, a must-see from the beginning
15. A sequined Elbow Patch Sweater.  Saw this on Pinterest and thought it was very cute. Not even sure where you can buy it but mark my words, elbow patches are back, baby!
16. Land's End Starfish Refined Sweatpants - the MOST comfortable sweats out there plus nice enough to wear out of the house.
17. NERDS - yes the classic candy that I have become addicted to since Halloween.
18. The Kindle - I love that it doesn't have too many functions (web browsing is a pain on my older wifi-only version).  When I read, I don't want to have the option to check my email or browse the internet.
19. Canvas prints - Classy-looking and lightweight for easy (and earthquakeproof) decorating. They can be expensive so look out for groupons and the like for discounts at canvaspeople.com or canvasstyle.com.
20. getLoupe.com - a great little program that helped me make this collage easily from my pinterest board. Heart!
(and 21. Pinterest!!  Self-Explanatory!!)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Problem Solver - Hair Tie

If your kids are like mine they are attached to their pacifiers.  I don't know what we would have done without them. They still have the plain old infant pac-ees (Philips Avent Soothie) that they were given in the hospital.

A few months in, we tried some pacifier grips so we could literally attach the pac-ees to the kids because they were always getting lost or falling on the floor.  What a pain. We tried a couple brands of pacifier clips but only one brand had the right kind of connection to connect to the Philips Avent Pacifier and a sturdy metal clip. We found the BooginHead Pacigrip which we LOVE!!  They are so awesome and they have withstood a lot of abuse over the past year.  You'll see from the picture that it has a thin connector that feeds through the small holes of the Soothie.

BooginHead Pacigrip
We also tried the Munchkin Pacifier Grip but we didn't realize until we bought it that there is no way it would connect to the Soothie pacifier.  It has a velcro connector.

Well i didn't want this pacifier grip to go to waste (we have no fewer than 4 pacifiers in rotation at once, what with twins and all)  and so I decided that maybe a simple hair tie would fix the connection problem!

Works like a charm!!!  Brilliant!! LOL

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let's Get Crafty - Reindeer Ornaments

Last night, my galpal Hillary and I had craft night. She wanted to make these cute Reindeer ornaments for her tree and to give a couple as gifts.  Her inspiration was this cutie from Craftelf.

So we took a quick spin over to Michaels and got our supplies for 8 ornaments.  We couldn't find red ball ornaments so we had to get creative and we decided to get some styrofoam balls and wrap them with yarn.  We bought a big skein of red yarn and two packages of 6 4inch styrofoam balls, some black pipe cleaners, brown felt, pop poms and small gold jingle bells as well as some red glitter ribbon.  We also got some googly eyes (in hindsight we should have gotten bigger eyes...)

So basically we (well, Hil) wrapped the balls with yarn.  I cut out the antlers from the felt using the antler pattern from the craftelf website (I had to resize it to make it smaller..) and we hot glued those on. Hil made these cute little corkscrew tufts from the black pipe cleaners by wrapping it around a glue stick and the pinching the ends together to make it round.  We glued one of those between the antlers.  We hotglued jingle bells to the inside of each antler. We strung a jingle bell onto a length of glitter ribbon (getting glitter everywhere, fyi) and tied the ends to make a hanger. That was hotglued behind the antlers.  Then eyes and a pom pom for the nose.  As you can see, we probably should have used larger eyes. But they have a lot of homemade character!!

craft madness

i think i'll call him Felix

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies

In preparation for a cookie exchange I decided to try my hand at making some gingerbread cookies.  I always see those peanut butter cookies with the hershey's kiss stuck in them and I thought that doing that with gingerbread cookies would make a nice festive holiday cookie.  I found this recipe on the McCormick website and thought I would give it a try.  I found that refrigerating the dough is a must and that 1-1.5 inch dough balls make a nice size cookie as these do not spread very much.  It is also a pain in the butt to unwrap 60 kisses so have your little helpers lend a hand (with a few extra kisses to be lost to little helpers' tummies, no doubt).  With a couple of successful batches under my baking belt, I decided to up the ante and try my hand at reindeer gingerbread cookies (and you know you've seen these all over pinterest!)

Makes 5 dozen or 30 (2 cookie) servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes per batch
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons McCormick® Ginger, Ground Advertisement
1 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground Advertisement
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground Advertisement
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract Advertisement
1/4 cup granulated sugar
60 kiss-shaped candies
1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Immediately press a chocolate candy into center of each cookie. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days. 

For reindeer decorations, have on hand red (for Rudolph) and/or brown (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen..you know, the normals) peanut M and M's, chocolate chips and pretzels for antlers.  You MUST insert the reindeer face decorations while the cookies are hot otherwise they will not adhere to the cookie.    I had a dickens of a time getting the pretzels to stick in and thus half my cookies are antler-less.  I guess they are female reindeer?? The ones that did stick in are pretty fragile and will be a pain to transport intact.  (After a quick google seach, it turns out that both male and female reindeer grow antlers and that most male reindeer actually shed their antlers by December. Only non-pregnant females usually retain their antlers until about April. Interesting)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mod Podge Thumbtacks

When I was tacking up some of the holiday cards to my new holiday card displays that I made in the last post, I realized how boring my thumbtacks are. After a quick (and really, unnecessary) google search, I decided to use modge podge to decorate a bunch of my thumbtacks.  I got out my large hole punch and started ripping up a couple of my Real Simple magazines that were hanging around, looking for interesting shapes and patterns as well as christmas/holiday images.  I also ended up using Joanne's Fabrics and Michael's Crafts circulars. Once I had a few dozen circles (sorted by theme, in a mini muffin tin), I arranged the tacks on a piece of cardboard. I then dabbed a bit of mod podge to the tack, stuck on the circle and brushed a few more layers of mod podge (with my fingers) over the tack to coat.  The result: cute thumbtacks for cheap!!

select image

select image

circle punch

align image in punch


sorted by theme

This craft was shared with:
Whip It Up Wednesday
The Well Crafted Home
Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Super Easy Lightweight Holiday Card Display

Here's a fun and easy tutorial on how to make a lightweight card display on the cheap.

Corrugated Cardboard
glue stick
Fabric ( I found mine cheap in the remnant bin at Joanne's)

1. Cut the cardboard to desired size.  Mine is 8" x15".
2. Wrap cardboard with fabric and tape as if you are wrapping a present.
3. For Tree, cut two felt squares 5" square in light green and dark green.  Fold on the diagonal and cut to produce two triangles of each color. For snowman, find three circles of increasing diameter to use as tracing guides for snowman body circles.
4. Glue stick on the felt shapes.
5. Hang and use pushpins or tacks to hang holiday cards.

 This craft was shared with:


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vinegar saved my Keurig

So the other day I went to make a cup of coffee in my Keurig. It was the Dunkin Donuts Mocha Mint coffee that I had just bought and I was so looking forward to it.  I stepped away for a minute while it brewed and to my surprise when i returned the cup was only about a quarter of the way full.  Hmm. That's odd, I thought.  So I refilled the chamber with water and tried to rebrew, but again only a trckle of water came through. Oh no, I thought.  My Keurig is done for.  I decided to google "Keurig not brewing" and was directed to the Keurig site on how to maintain your brewer.  Well, we all KNOW we should clean our coffee makers every once in a while, but do we do it? No.  It recommended trying to descale the brewer with white vinegar.  Worth a a try so I found the vinegar (out in the laundry room, of course) and brewed 10oz of vinegar.  And then another 10oz.  After the third round the brewer started to get back to a normal liquid flow.  SWEET.  I repeated it a few more times and then rinsed with several rounds of water to remove the vinegar.  Now my brewer is pretty much back to normal and I am a happy caffeinated camper once again.  PS. I used the hot vinegar to clean and deoderize my kitchen sink. I dumped a bunch of baking soda in the sink (epecially down into the disposal) and the poured the hot vinegar over it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Newest business idea: Recipro-Sitters or Sitter Swappers?

Sarah is my reciprositter.  She is a mama of twin girls that I met about 4 months ago and she has become one of my closest friends here in CA.  She gets it. She knows the struggles and joys of raising twins.   Although our educational backgrounds differ, she understands the frustrations of trying to have a career and be the best mom she can be. We have similar styles of parenting and are going through similar milestones with our kids.  We are both not from CA - she is from Canada and we are from the Northeast so neither of us has a lot of family that live close enough to help babysit.  And weirdly, our twins are very similar.  We both have one headstrong, fearless twin and one feeling, observant twin.  She is also my twins' Music Together teacher, a class where we have no fewer than 3 sets of twins each week.

So the other day Sarah suggested we trade babysitting. Of course we should.  We decided to do an evening sitting swap. She came over on Friday after the kids were in bed, and me and the hubby went out to dinner.  For free.  She even washed some dishes out of the kindness of her heart!!  And then on Saturday I went over to her house after her babies were in bed and they went to see the new James Bond movie. It was the first time she and her hubby had been out to a movie in 13 months - since her twins were born!!  It was great because the kids were in bed and all I had to do was pet her cats, have a cup of tea, read my book and eat some of the delicious mint chocolate cookies that she baked me (she is fabulous, BTW).  I thought, wow this could be an awesome buiness: matching up families with similar aged kids and parenting styles for evening babysitting.  The only catch is you have to return the sitting job and pay me (the business owner) a small fee. I mean, if we get a sitter through a service, we pay 16.50$ an hour plus a monthly fee plus gratuity, and the minimum is 4 hours. So that can make for a very expensive date night!  Nowi am not sure how the business model works after you make friends with your recipro-sitter family. I mean, how do you keep collecting a fee?  But anyways I thought it was a neat idea!

What do you think?  Did you ever have any creative ideas for a business ( I also think there should be drive-thru super-markets and craft studios with child-care on-site!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time Savers for Toddler Meal Prep...

So this week I posted on Facebok asking how many people put hot food in the freezer to cool it down super quickly for their toddlers.  I find myself always waiting until the last possible minute to make food for the kiddos and I know I should really start planning ahead but I am just not that person.  So today I went to make them some pasta (Annie's wheat mac and cheese) and I was thinking that I should steam them some carrots, but of course I had that thought about halfway through microwaving the pasta. But then I thought that maybe I could jut throw in a few baby carrots into the boiling pasta water and they would be ssoft enough for the kids to eat.  At about 3 minutes left on the microwave I added about 8 baby carrots and then restarted the microwave.  When it was done I drained the pasta and carrots and added a little bit of butter.  I took about a cup of the pasta and carrots and stuck it in the freezer to cool quickly, and with the rest I made the regular version of mac and chesse for myself.  The carrots were nice and tender and easily cut into pieces for the kids, they got a healthy quick meal and I only got one bowl dirty!  How's that for time saving???

What tricks do you use to get food on the table quickly??

Monday, October 29, 2012

more fun Halloween and Fall things

Just wanted to post a few more cute halloween decorations, treats, costumes and fall photos from the past few weeks.

Here is my Tulle-o-ween Wreath

A cute spider hot dog (just slice each end into 4 sections leaving the center uncut and microwave). I added candy eyes because i had them but you could use raisins for eyes...
 my kids at the pumpkin patch

 Halloween -I am Bride of Frankenstein and Greyson is the monster...
 Daddy is Igor and Jack is Dr. Frankenstein (al la Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein...)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finger food for the toddlers

So since the kids have started walking, they have transformed into little finger-food eating machines.  They are barely letting me feed them by spoon anymore and if I try to,  they each have to have their own spoon and I can only fill it with food and then THEY have to feed THEMSELVES.  This can be quite a mess so I default to finger foods for most of their meals.  I have been trying to get them to eat raw veggies like broccoli but most of the healthy stuff ends up on the floor (where even the dogs won't eat it..lol)

So I found these recipes for easy healthy finger-foods that I thought I would share with you.
The first is a Bisquick based mini-"quiche."  I think it's more of a fritatta but regardless this is SUPER easy and a nice recipe because you can easily customize it to your nutritional needs.  It is also nice because the cheese is just added on top and not in the batter so you can keep the fat down.  I got this recipe from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom (hey that sounds like me!  lol)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups bisquick
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease mini muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, stir all ingredients except filling options until blended. Spoon dough/egg mixture into the muffin cups.
  3. Sprinkle your filling options over the top of the muffins, finishing with cheese.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set.  

I just made a batch and I use my mini pan and my regular muffin pan for more adult-sized portions (that I eat for lunch along-side the kids...).  Here, I added a head of broccoli finely chopped and just sprinkled the tops with shredded cheddar.  These also store nicely in the fridge and or freezer for a couple day's worth of meals.

fill almost the whole cup with egg mix
then add your fillings
ready to go in the oven

baked goodness

The second is a recipe for oatmeal breakfast bars.  I just bought a huge box of those single serving sized intand oatmeal packets and about a third of the box is the apple cinnamon flavor which I don't really care for. And since I'd like the kids to eat more grains in finger-food form, I thought I'd try out a breakfast bar recipe from Food.com.

2 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup oat flour (can be made by pulverising rolled oats in a blender or food processor)
1 cup packed currants or 1 cup raisins or 1 cup chopped prunes or 1 cup other dried fruit
1 cup apple juice or 1 cup orange juice (you could also use 1/4 cup molasses and 3/4 cup water)
1/4 cup white sugar or 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds or 1/4 cup nuts, pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9 inch by 13 inch pan, or two 8 inch by 8 inch pans.
3. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
4. It should be moist enough to form a ball, without extra liquid.
5. Put mixture in prepared pans and spread evenly.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.
7.Remove from oven and cut into squares while still hot.

So I substituted 6 packets (2 cups) of the apple cinnamon instant oatmeal,  1 cup raisins, 1/4cup brown rice syrup and 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds.  For some reason it didn't quite make enough to spread into a 9x13 pan so I just spread it out as far as it would go.  Next time i'll either double it or make it in a square pan.  The baked up nicely and they taste pretty good.  A tad bland for me but it will be good for the babies. I hope they like it!

So what do you think?  Do you have any one-bowl easy and healthy finger food go-to recipes?? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Spider Lantern

Just getting going on some halloween decorations and I'm starting with this cute hanging spider lantern.  Basically this is a black lantern (found in three packs at Party City) with white and black felt eyes and giant chenille pipe cleaner legs.  Getting the legs to stay put with hot glue was a little bit of a challenge but I just gobbed it on and adjusted the legs after the glue was dry. I did poke the end of the legs through and into the lantern just to give them some added stability.  What do you think??

This craft was shared with:

Full Hands, Full Heats


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...