Monday, April 30, 2012

Plates In The Dryer--Sponsor Spotlight 2

Our Plates In The Dryer event is this evening and we are SO excited!  Today Jamie will be running around picking up last minute things such as the cheesecake and coffee, Lindsi will be attempting to keep her kids in line, Julie and Stephanie from Color Me Mine will be setting up the studio, and Rod from The Imagery will be preparing his camera and other equipment.  

We wanted to take today's post to send a shout-out to the sponsors who have joined our Plates In The Dryer event since we did our first sponsor spotlight post on March 1st.  If you haven't checked out our first sponsors, please do!  As a reminder, here they are again:

First, we're excited to be offering up a great prize in the giveaway! It's from Scentsy! Lindsi is an Independent Scentsy Consultant and she is offering one of our lucky guests a fabulous plug in and bar of wax. How cool is that? We sure hope you will swing by Lindsi's Scentsy page and check out the wonderful items that are available for purchase. Scentsy products are parabin free and phthalate free too!

We've added some fun to our swag bags thanks to these new sponsors:

Serenade Natural Products is providing us with lip balm for our swag bags!  I don't know about your kids, but my girls LOVE lip balm.  Serenade lip balm is perfect for them because it is 100% natural!  They use only high quality natural oils & butters, natural herbs, essential oils & phthalate free fragrance oils, and natural waxes like soy and beeswax in their products.  Serenade soaps make my skin feel soft and hydrated when I get out of the shower.  I don't need to use the lotion when I get out, but it does add icing to the cake of my soft skin!

Skateville in Burnsville is giving each family a 2 for one pass to their rollerskating rink!  Rollerskating?  Yes!  I hadn't been rollerskating in years but I took my girls when my 5 year old had a school night at Skateville (you saw pictures if you follow us on Twitter).  Let me tell you, it was a TON of fun and we will definitely be going again!  What a great thing to do with your family! is providing hand sanitizer and note pads for our swag bags.  I frequent because it has GREAT info on it for moms.  It also has a lot of the good local news without all the depressing things.  If you are looking for family related news in Minnesota, this is the site to find it!  As a bonus, their site has recipes at the bottom if you're looking for some new food to try with your kids!

Again, please check out all our sponsors by clicking on their logos above. Show them some love by liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter. Without our sponsors, we would not be able to host this event! We'd love to be able to do other events in the future and in order to do that, we need to show sponsor love!

Friday, April 27, 2012

15 Ideas for Getting Rid of the Mommy Grouchies

Let's face it, we all get cranky at times.  You wake up thinking the day will be great and then find yourself constantly yelling at the kids.  Nothing is going the way you think it should and you just want to pull your hair out.
We've got 15 ideas that might help brighten your mood when you've got the Mommy Grouchies!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Myths About Signing With Your Baby

Today we are pleased to have Kristy from guest posting for us.  Hear My Hands recently became one of our sponsors and we are so thrilled to be working with her!

Jamie has a special place in her heart for ASL (American Sign Language).  She started learning it in First grade when her elementary school partnered with a school for the deaf a few miles down the road.  Years later, Jamie took ASL as a second language in college.  Unfortunately Jamie has not kept up with her ASL skills and has lost most of it.  She was hoping to teach her girls sign language at a young age but her husband wouldn't let her due to popular myths.  We now have Kristy guest posting for us so that others don't fall into those same myths!

Check out Kristy's website  She's got some GREAT info on there and has frequent signs for words up on her blog.  If you're in her area, check out her classes!  Without further ado, here is Kristy...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pipe Cleaner Dragonfly

I was inspired to have my girls make dragonflies when I came across this craft activity.  Obviously I don't have all those supplies on hand, nor do I want my girls playing with pins...
so...we adapted that idea with what we hand on hand...pipe cleaners, markers, and coffee filters!  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate-Peanut Butter "Dip"

Ok, this is going to seem like kind-of a cop-out post for a Tasty Treat, however, I kid you not, my girls (and I) LOVE this "dip"!
One day when I was younger I was craving Reece's Peanut Butter Cups but couldn't go to the store to get them (because my mom wouldn't let me).  I dug through our cupboards and found chocolate chips and peanut butter and decided that would be close enough.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gardening with your kids

For Earth day the kids and I decided to plant our veggies for the summer! It was GREAT fun! Last year was our first year growing our own veggies and we learned a lot. We learned that weeding is VERY important, we learned that the deer will not leave our garden alone without a little electricity (insert evil snicker here) and we learned that we did not plant ENOUGH of anything.
This year we decided to add a few more (OK actually 24 more) crowns of asparagus to our crop. This time next year we will have asparagus coming out of our ears and I cannot wait (and neither can my kids)! We just finished planting three varieties of lettuce, radishes, onions, red potatoes, green beans and peas....and to top it all off we have room left over for a few tomato plants! I am....oops I mean the kids are, SO excited!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Stuff Friday #19

*We apologize that this is published later than usual.  We've been having issues with auto-publish lately*
Welcome to Fun Stuff Fridays. We love seeing what our readers have been up to and cannot wait to share some of our favorites! Wanna know more about our linky? Click on "Fun Stuff Fridays" above, then "about". We wish we could feature all of them! Can't wait to see your amazing submissions this week! Feel free to submit as many ideas as you want over that time. And remember-spread the word!

One thing we've added is something that we hope you will like. We've been pinning each weeks featured picks into their very own Pintrest board! We hope it brings you loads of linky've earned it! You can find our Featured Pintrest Board HERE!

Our joint favorite pick was Squash Sibling Squabbles submitted by Creekside Learning. This is GENIUS!!! With six kids between us this offers some amazing advice and great ideas for cuttin' out the chaos and arguments!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Evolution of the Dandelion

So my experience with my kids reaction to dandelions is similar to the way life changes much like the dandelion changes. Last summer my oldest brought me a handful of "flowers" for my kitchen. How could I resist such a sweet gesture?

First, you see dandelions as pretty flowers you can pick for your friend, teacher, or mommy. As a child reaches the age of 3 or 4 they soon learn that life is about love. They want to share their love and show it to you by picking pretty dandelions for you. You drive in the car and hear them joyously shout out "look mom!!! Lots of pretty dandelions." They have yet to be tainted by the evils of the world and and they see things in such an innocent way.
Next, you see dandelions as these beautiful fluffy things that blow in the wind. They are different and often they don't see them as the same flower as they once were. Much like a child grows, they change and become a little person, rather than a kid. Its different and often the change evolves into something beautiful and totally different than they were. Often they see this phase as a time to watch the wind blow them in the breeze and find much enjoyment in that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Celery Rose Stationary- Mother's Day

mothers day crafts
Not too long ago I was chopping up some celery for dinner. I grabbed the stock and sliced off the base of the celery and set it aside. A few minutes hours later I looked at that left over end of the celery stalk and saw a rose. A rose? Yup, a rose! I've seen people use potatoes as stamps for projects so I thought that maybe it would be alright to use some celery, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cookie-Ice Cream Pizza

A few days ago I got it in my head to try making a special desert pizza so the girls and I  made cookie-ice cream pizza. We had a ton of fun both making and eating this treat!
A few things to note before you make this yummy desert pizza:
1)  It takes a few hours to make
2)  Plan ahead as you'll need to let your ice cream thaw a bit
3)  It is SUPER filling so a small piece goes a long way!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Paper Beads

A few weeks ago I saw a girl at work making something interesting during her down time.  When I asked her what she was doing she said, "I'm making paper beads.  You've never heard of paper beads?!?"  Nope, I had never heard about them nor had I seen them until that day.

She showed me how to make them and told me my girls should be able to do them too.  So...we tried it!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Ultimate Blog Party 2012!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Fun Stuff Fridays to bring you the Ultimate Blog Party 2012 by!  Don't know what the #UBP12 is?  Click on the button or link above for more details. Looking for Fun Stuff Fridays?  Hold on to your links, we'll be back next week.

Welcome #UBP12 party people!   We are Lindsi and Jamie otherwise known as "Toys In The Dryer"!  Wow, where do we begin with this intro post?  So much to tell you, so little space/time...

We think we'll start with our vlog from our very first post on this blog "Introducing Toys In The Dryer" on September 5, 2011.  Yes, we've only been live for a little over 7 months!  One thing to note before you watch this vlog is that we've gotten rid of the Mom of the Week meme and replaced it with Fun Stuff Fridays.  That's about it:

Hope you liked watching us make fools of ourselves our vlog. If you want to know how we came up with the name "Toys In The Dryer" read the politically incorrect version on our about us page.  Want to know a little more about each of us individually?  Hover on the "about" above and you'll see our names to click on.  While you're at it, spend some time hovering over our "topics" and check those out too.

To start you digging into our content, we'll let you know our favorite posts.  Definitely hard to choose but...

Lindsi's favorite post of ours is:

Acorn Races

Jamie's favorite post of ours is: 

 Make Your Own Treasure Hunt

All right, we know you've got a lot more partying to do and we've taken up enough of your time...we'll end with the fact that we're providing one of the prizes for the #UBP12:  A Doodlebud full-size Scentsy warmer and 2 scent bars--Sunlit Morning and Cerise!

Contact/Follow Info:
Email: info {at} toys in the dryer {dot} com
Twitter:  @toysinthedryer

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Discipline Gone Wrong

Have you ever caught yourself doing exactly what you said you'd never do? Or saying exactly what you swore you'd never say? You know what I am talking about.....that one thing your mom always said that irritated you that you swore up and down you would never be caught saying.....until suddenly, you do!

courtesy of Ahh! Parenting

Well here is a funny (and TRUE) story about discipline gone wrong. When I was a preteen and teenager I cleaned to let off frustration and steam. Whenever my mom would upset me (which was frequent- let me tell you two ladies with raging hormones- run for the hills!) or if we'd get in an argument, or I'd even been sent to my room (ack!!!), I cleaned.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pipe Cleaner May Day Baskets

may day baskets

May Day is coming up soon. Some people celebrate it and some people don't. In making these May Day baskets with my kids I learned that some people even celebrate it differently than I remember. For me, it was a day where you left candy in a basket at the door of a friend or neighbors house. For Jamie, it was a basket filled with flowers. Two different versions of the same idea. Just to brighten someones day and to make them smile!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Unique Smore's Bites

Smore's treats are all the rage on Pinterest.  People seem to love Smore's!  In fact, this isn't the first Smore's treat our blog has made.  Remember our Gimme Smore Cookies and Smore's Croissants?  Well, this is yet another version of this tasty American treat.

These came as an idea to me when I was craving a Smore's type treat but didn't have the "proper" ingredients.  Ok, so I had chocolate and marshmallows but no grahm crackers.  Plus my marshmallows were mini and my chocolate was chips, not exactly right for making Smore's...I looked through my cupboards and found Vanilla Wafer Cookies--perfect!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Make Your Own Kites

We've had some beautiful spring days over the past few weeks. My girls have seen some kites flying around during these nice days and have expressed some interest in having a kite of their own. I decided that now was the time to make a kite with them that might actually fly.

We've made kites in the past...small ones of computer paper, straws, and ribbon. None big enough to attempt to actually fly...until now...

Fight Hunger Together

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Walmart Foundation. All opinions are 100% mine.

More than 50 Million Americans don't know where their next meal will come from.  People tend to remember that around the winter holiday time, however we forget that those 50 Million Americans go hungry year round.  Springtime traditionally brings a decrease in food and charitable donations to food banks around the country.

Inbox (16 messages, 1 unread).jpg

To Help bridge the Spring hunger gap, Walmart is working with Feeding America and four of the most recognizable food brands in America- ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg's - in a nationwide Fighting Hunger Together initiative from Monday, April 9 through April 30. Our Toys In The Dryer readers can join the fight against hunger in-store or through Facebook.

Between April 9th and April 30th Walmart will be hosting Vote to fight spring hunger with Walmart on Facebook.  Fans can rally support for communities in need of hunger relief. Vote among 200 communities with the highest unemployment rate as determined by a Department of Labor Report (unemployment is one of the principle causes of hunger).  Walmart will donate a total of $2 million to the 21 communities receiving the most support: $1 million to the winner and $50,000 each to the 20 runners-up. Winning communities will be announced May 1st. 

No cities in our home state of Minnesota have made the unemployment list, however, our neighbor to the west, Racine, Wisconsin is on it with a 10% unemployment rate.  We would like to encourage our readers to vote for Racine and spread the word in the Vote to fight spring hunger with Walmart between April 9th and April 30th.  Of course, if your own hometown is on the list, vote for them! 

Don't have a Facebook profile?  No problem!  You can go in-store between April 9-30 and participate in Fighting Hunger Together!  By purchasing select products from ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg's, you can donate meals to Feeding America or Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit fighting childhood hunger.  Check out in-store signage and packaging to make a purchase and help make a difference.

What are you waiting for?  Let's help fight hunger!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun Stuff Fridays (#18)

Welcome to Fun Stuff Fridays. We love seeing what our readers have been up to and cannot wait to share some of our favorites! Wanna know more about our linky? Click on "Fun Stuff Fridays" above, then "about". We wish we could feature all of them! Can't wait to see your amazing submissions this week! Feel free to submit as many ideas as you want over that time. And remember-spread the word!

One thing we've added is something that we hope you will like. We've been pinning each weeks featured picks into their very own Pintrest board! We hope it brings you loads of linky've earned it! You can find our Featured Pintrest Board HERE!

Our joint favorite pick was Body Paint Slip and Slide submitted by Train Up a Child. We think it's awesome that she just let her kids go and have fun.  Not sure if we could give up control and be OK with the mess.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wee Gen - Seventh Generation Diapers- AWESOME!

Going green, when it comes to diapers, can mean lots of different things. You could interpret it to mean "I am going to cloth diaper and use cloth wipes" or "biodegradable diapers and biodegradable wipes" or even "disposable diapers that are chemical free." Either way you look at it, it involves a little bit more effort on your end but in my honest opinion totally worth it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

25 Unique Non-Basket Easter Baskets

Are you tired of putting your child's Easter goodies in baskets every year?  Do you have piles of old baskets lying around from previous years?  This year, how about doing something different and practical with non-basket Easter baskets!?

OK, OK, so we know that Tuesdays are always craft ideas at Toys In The Dryer and this post isn't exactly a craft.  We feel, however, that you do have to have a bit of a crafty thumb to put these basket ideas together.  Plus, we think it's OK to make exceptions to our rules for holidays.  So, without further ado...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bunny Cakes

OK, OK so I know I'm tooting my own horn here but I'm impressed with how cute they turned out! I made "bunny cakes." I actually made the cupcakes from scratch, the batter, the frosting and the decorations! Yup!
Aren't they cute? You don't have to go all out and make the batter and frosting from scratch like I did but you totally can if you want to! Either way, have fun and enjoy!
Easter cupcakes

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mancala Easter Style

Mancala is a game that I loved to play when I was little, and still love to play today.  I didn't know the name of it however, until a few years ago.  My family always called it "The African Stone Game".  I have yet to get a real Mancala board for my own family but I do think Nutty is old enough to learn how to play.  That's where this Mancala Easter Style comes in!

I was playing with an empty egg carton and some jelly beans working on another project when suddenly I realized that the egg carton and jelly beans looked like a Mancala board!  I tripple double counted the holes in the egg carton and on a couple of Mancala boards I found on the internet, and yes, they did match!  Yahoo!  I can now teach Nutty how to play Mancala!

Here's what you'll need to teach your kids how to play:
  • Egg carton
  • Jelly beans (24 to be exact)
  • Glue (optional)
  • Paint (optional)
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