Friday, November 30, 2012

Milk Art--Pinned it, Did it!

I've seen milk art all over Pinterest and was excited to try it with my girls.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as awesome as I hoped it would be...
I'm not saying it wasn't cool and we didn't have fun...I'm just saying it wasn't as cool as the original post from Pinterest.  Theirs was just so neat and at the end was a really fun video.  Ours didn't look like either of those.
We started by putting drops of food coloring in a thin layer of 2% milk on a plate...
Then we dropped dish soap onto our food coloring drops and watched it react with the fat in the milk.  The food coloring instantly dispersed all over the milk.  It was neat to watch but again, not as cool as the video in the original post.
In fact, my girls had more fun swirling the food coloring with a fork and making the above conglomerate.
I then thought long and hard and took a second look at the original post. They had more food coloring and had it all in one place vs random drops.  So...we tried again...Much better!!  It was quick but cool.  Again, however, the video in the original post was even better and I had hoped ours would do the same.  It just didn't.
Our milk art vs the original post milk art.

Have you done milk art with your kids?  How did yours turn out?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Kid Friendly Creole Treats

Growing up my Grandma owned a house in Grand Isle, Louisiana, about 2.5 hours south of New Orleans.  My sister and I spent a few summers down there with her and we got to know the Creole and Cajun cuisine pretty well.  Today I am excited to bring you guest recipes from Crystal of Momma Blogga.  She brings you two kid friendly (and very tasty!) Creole desserts!


1 Large Tube of Pillsbury Biscuits
Canola Oil
Powdered Sugar

Preheat 2 inches of canola oil in a larger skillet. Remove biscuits and cut in half. Drop biscuits into skillet(be very careful) and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove and place on a plate with paper towels to catch the excess oil. Sprinkle with powered sugar and enjoy!
Bananas Foster

2 sliced bananas
2 tbsp of Butter
1 cup of brown sugar(light or dark)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 pinch of nutmeg
 Vanilla or Praline Ice Cream

Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add bananas and gently move them around so they do not stick for 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Lower heat and cook for 2 minutes. Serve on top of Ice Cream. 

I have yet to try either of her recipes but you can bet we'll be trying them soon!  I'm so excited to try making Beignets (pronounced "BEN-yea") at home!!  I haven't had one in years!  My kids can't wait to try them either.  They know them from the movie "The Princess and The Frog".  My husband however, is drooling over the Bananas Foster!

Bio: Crystal is a mother to four uniquely awesome kids and is married to her prom date.  She and her family live in Louisana.  Crystal is the author of Momma Blogga, creator of the NICU Journal, and the founder of the Gift Of Faith Project.  You can find her on her blog and on Twitter

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fisher Price® Moments of Joy Sweepstakes and Giveaway!

What are the moments that bring you joy with your children?  Have you captured some of them on camera or video?  Do you have a story that will forever be ingrained in your memory?  Fisher Price® would like to share those moments with you.
They have developed a site called "Moments of Joy" where parents can share the real and candid times of childhood.  Playing with Grandma and Grandpa, the first time doing something, caught red-handed getting into trouble...these are moments of childhood joy.
I got a sneak peak at the Moments of Joy site and was able to upload a few of my favorite stories and photos from my children.  It was so fun to go through old photos and reminisce.  It was also a lot of fun to look through other people's photos and videos and to read their stories.  What an uplifting site (and a site that makes me realize that, yes, my children are normal!)  
Now it's time to share your moments of joy!  Fisher Price® would love for you to upload pictures, text, and videos that are candid, sweet, and silly--those times when you just had to run and grab your camera.  

As an incentive, they're running the Fisher Price® Moment's of Joy Sweepstakes!

Five weekly winners selected at random will receive a $100 gift card each, and one grand prize winner selected at random will win up to $1,000 of Fisher-Price toys!

Enter to win directly on the Moments of Joy website or via Moments of Joy on Facebook.

The sweepstakes runs from 11/27-12/20. You will be automatically entered for a chance to win just by uploading a moment.  To be eligible, you must be the age of majority in your state of residence and a legal resident of the U.S. or the District of Columbia.  You can review the Official Rules for the sweepstakes to learn the other requirements for entry by visiting here.

In addition, Toys In The Dryer is giving away an additional $100 AMEX gift card!

That means you have a chance to win a total of $200 in gift cards and/or $1000 in Fisher-Price toys if you enter both contests!  

You may enter one or both contests if you want.  The gift card giveaway will run from 11/28-12/12.  Entry into the AMEX gift card giveaway does NOT enter you into the Fisher Price® Moments of Joy Sweepstakes and vice-versa.  
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I received an AMEX gift card for promoting the Fisher Price® Moments of Joy Sweepstakes.  The opinions in this post are 100% mine.  The Fisher Price® Moment's of Joy Sweepstakes and the $100 AMEX gift card giveaway are two SEPARATE contests.  Toys In The Dryer is NOT part of the sweepstakes nor are we responsible for choosing the winners.  We are simply promoting it.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!--Giveaway

Have you seen the commercials for The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas? Did you watch it when it debuted on TV a few days ago?  If not, you are missing out!
Lindsi--Let me start by saying my daughter does NOT watch TV.  I can't get her to sit down and watch an entire show (so I can get things done) for the life of me (or her!).  I put in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas for movie night for my kids and all of them (including my daughter) were enthralled through the whole thing!  They even asked to watch it again!

Jamie--We watched The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas the night we received it in the mail.  Both my girls loved it and were dancing along to the songs.  The only complaint my 4 year old had was, "Mom, it's not close enough to Christmas to watch this."  Thanksgiving we went to my in-laws house and it was on TV.  My girls went on and on about how they owned the movie so they could watch it again.  My nephew was jealous!

Both--We loved the movie because the kids loved it and they didn't realize they were learning while watching it!  It was cute and is tolerable for adults to watch along with their kids.  Even our husbands didn't mind it!  

Official description of the movie: Sure to be a holiday favorite for the entire family for years to come, this adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas. On the way, the Thinga-ma-jigger breaks down, and they depend on a variety of animals – from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs – and their remarkable abilities to help them make an amazing journey home.

Overall impression:  Definitely worth watching and buying because your kids will want to watch it over and over again.  Yes, it is sure to be a holiday favorite for the entire family!

Win a copy of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas on DVD!

Yes, one of our lucky readers will win their own copy of this movie!  Just enter below.  Please note, the giveaway entry form does not work on some mobile devices.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

500 Holiday Craft Projects for Kids

Thanksgiving is over and that means it's time to gear up for Christmas!  In honor of that, we've gathered up 500 fabulous holiday craft ideas for you and the kiddos!  500? Yup, you read it right! 500!  Enjoy and be sure to tell us which project you are planning.

11 fabulous finds at Kidspot

40 cute crafts at Family Fun 
20 awesome arts at Parents
49 super Stewart inspirired ideas
100 lucious long thread ideas
205 Marvalous Michaels creations
12 Spoonfulls of sillyness and fun

27 crazy cute crafts at Amazing Mom's 
14 Adorable arts and crafts at Apples4theTeacher
7 creative crafts from Circle of Moms

15Terrific ideas HERE!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Cartoon from

Happy Thanksgiving 
from our families to yours!

There will be no Pinned it, Did it! tomorrow as we are spending time with our families.  We hope you are doing the same with yours.  Join us Monday for our regular schedule.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make Your Thanksgiving Easy with P&G and Katie Lee--Giveaway

Thanksgiving is only one day away are you ready?  We've got some last minute tips and products to help your Thanksgiving and the rest of your Holiday season go as smoothly as possible.
I had the great privilege of conducting a phone interview with the famous food critic, best selling author, and entertainer Katie Lee last week.  It was a fun interview filled with ideas not only for making things easier on yourself during the holiday time, but also for getting your kids involved in the process.

Kids can easily help you get ready for your celebrations using P&G products that Katie Lee uses herself!

  • Swiffers are much easier to use than a bucket and mop and kids find them fun!  Let them wash the kitchen floor before your guests arrive!
  • Let them help out washing the table cloths and/or the place mats with Tide Pods.  Katie said that not many of her friends knew how to do laundry when they moved out of their parents' house.  "Teach your kids how to do laundry early!"
  • Let your kids spray Febreze on your furniture.  "Don't forget the welcome mat too!"  "The welcome mat?" I said.  "Yes, it gives your guests a nice smell as they walk in the door."  P.S. Febreze has a great holiday scent out now called Cranberries and Frost!
Speaking of making your house smell nice, Katie said to spray Febreze on your furniture and welcome mat, use a Febreze candle in the bathrooms, but use unscented candles in the kitchen.  The smells can clash with the food you are cooking.  I am totally guilty of making that mistake!

In the kitchen, have your kids help out making appetizers.  One recipe she suggested was 

Store-bought bread sticks wrapped in prosciutto.  

Even little ones can easily wrap the bread sticks and stick them in a glass bowl to display as an edible center piece for the table!

Last, let your kids help make a guest basket filled with things your guests may have forgotten if they traveled to your house. 

I told Katie that my mom used to have a basket in the bathroom for my sister and me when we came home from college!  Katie suggests putting these things in the basket:

*I asked Katie to tell me her 3 favorite P&G products.  She said she, "buys Tide to Go in bulk", "loves, loves, loves the Venus Olay Razor" (really, she went on and on about it!), and likes the Swiffer 360 Dusters.  "They are great for mini blinds."

P&G themselves also has some AWESOME tips and tricks for the holidays at home and on the road!  

Check out what they advise HERE!  After you check out their fabulous ideas, enter to win a Have You Tried This Yet pack filled with products from their suggestions!
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P&G reached out to Lindsi and I to try some of the products mentioned above and to interview Katie Lee.  We received a prize pack of our own.  The opinions expressed are our own or that of Katie Lee's where noted.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Four More Thanksgiving Activities for Kids and Adults

Last year we did a post on four Thanksgiving activities for kids and adults to do together while you hang out and celebrate as a family.  This year, we bring you four more!

1.  Pin the Feather on the Turkey 

This game is played just like Pin the Tail on the Donkey but instead you are pinning the feather on the turkey!  We found a great turkey template that you can print and color.

2.  Cornucopia Game

Similar to musical chairs but Thanksgiving related!  Players sit on chairs forming a circle. There should be one more player than there are chairs. Pick an adult or older child that is not playing the actual game to be the leader. The leader points to each player to give them a name, such as "Turkey, Pilgrim, Cranberry," anything related to Thanksgiving. After names are chosen, the leader calls out two names, "Turkey and Corn." Those two players must quickly switch places. The leader keeps calling at a quick pace, until suddenly they say "The cornucopia has tipped over!" Everyone, then scrambles for a new chair. The player without a seat is out of the game.  The last person sitting is the winner!  For more fun, the leader can assign the same name to more than one player.

3.  Hand Thanksgiving Wreath

Have each guest trace their hand on a fall colored piece of paper and cut them out.  Glue the hands together in a circle to make a wreath.  The wreath will be unique as each family member has a different size hand!

4.  Thanksgiving Bingo

A.  Write a master list with at least 24 family Thanksgiving related phrases such as "hates cranberries", "always falls alseep after the meal", "is shopping tomorrow", or personal memories of guests from past Thanksgiving celebrations. 
B.  Make a set of Bingo cards on your computer (one for each guest).  Using a word processing program, design a grid with 25 spaces and randomly fill those spaces with the phrases from the master list.  Make sure to leave the center space blank as a freebie.  Each card should have a different random pattern of phrases.
C.  Throughout the day, each guest asks the other guests if a phrase applies to them.  If it does, that person signs their name over the phrase.  The first person to get five different names in a row wins!

What types of activities does you family do on Thanksgiving?   

Friday, November 16, 2012

Reindeer Made From Corks--Pinned it, Did it!

I don't know about you but Hubby and I love wine and we drink it frequently.  I have saved all of my corks, thinking one day I will make something out of them.  I have an entire large box full and have yet to do anything with them until now!
I saw this super cute cork reindeer on Pinterest and thought this was perfect for my girls to make and a perfect use of some of my corks!
The original post does not have any directions so I had to guess a bit.  We also didn't have the same things on hand so we improvised...
We quickly discovered that regular glue just won't work so we used our hot glue gun which worked much better!
Two and a half corks, some pipe cleaners, "google eyes" as my girls call them, and a pink jewel (because we didn't have red) and we've got a cork reindeer!
Ours vs theirs..what do you think?

P.S.  The original post has some other super cute things to make for Christmas out of corks so I highly suggest you check it out!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Minty Chocolate Love

Christmas candy

One of my favorite "seasonal" beverages is a Ho Ho Mocha. Kind of a silly name but a fabulous drink for the chilly air! This beverage contains two of my favorite flavors: mint and chocolate. I have finished decorating for Christmas (yup...I'm that person) and I was thinking up some new ways to enjoy the tastes of the season.

What you will need:
mini candy canes
wax paper
dark chocolate chips (you can use milk or white too)
festive sprinkles

Lay out your unwrapped candy canes on the wax paper in a heart shape, making sure to leave space between each heart.
Christmas candy

Melt your chocolate chips in a microwave safe container in 30 second intervals...stir between each 30 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic bag and snip off a TINY piece of the corner to allow the chocolate to be squeezed through (like a piping bag).
Christmas candy

Fill each heart with chocolate and add sprinkles. Let the candy hearts set (this should take about an hour) without being disturbed until the chocolate hardens again.
Christmas candy

Remove from the wax and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Spirit of Giving With Your Kids

The holiday season is a great opportunity to spend time together as a family and create teachable moments of giving.  There are so many opportunities to give back, especially during the holidays.  Below are just some ideas on how to start a holiday giving tradition in your family.

You can begin by thinking about the interests of your family and research ways to give to related organizations.  There are organizations related to literacy, animals, homelessness and so much more.  You may want to reference my recent post on finding a legitimate charity to support.  You could also ask older kids to research their own organizations and present them to the family for a vote.

Here are a few specific suggestions for giving during the holidays:
·         Frequently local social service agencies offer an opportunity to adopt a family or a child during the holidays. 
·         Donate toys your kids no longer use to Second Chance Toys or a local organization serving children.
·         Donate gently used books to an organization such as Read Indeed or Adopt A Book.
·         Deliver a meal to a neighbor or via Meals on Wheels
·         Donate excess diapers, clothing, or food to a local food shelf or shelter. 
·         Incorporate a collection drive for your favorite organization into your holiday parties or events.

Another great resource for family volunteering is Doing Good Together.  I would love to hear your family giving traditions in the comments! 

Stacy Pearson writes The Blogunteer, a blog dedicated to inspiring volunteerism, giving, and kindness by highlighting the many organizations already making a difference and individuals who give their time. She is a Project Manager by trade and a volunteer at heart.  She has a husband and two young children.  You can follow The Blogunteer on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Advent Calendar Making

Advent Calendar

I remember when I was a kid that I had an awesome felt Advent Calendar to use every year during the month of December. My grandma made it for her kids when they were young and it was passed down to me. Sadly, I have no idea where the calendar ended up (I sure wish I knew). I was thinking to myself that it would be fun to have one for my kids to use every year....and maybe pass it down to their kids. So I got to work!
I Google-searched 24 images of items I wanted for the calendar and printed them out on paper, then cut them out and used them as templates for the ornaments.
I made 2-3 ornaments each week during the summer and really tried to add as much detail as possible to the ornaments to make them extra special. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. What do you think???
Advent Calendar
I made a stocking for each one of the kids
Advent Calendar
Santa, Christmas bag, Cardinal (for my grandma), Candy Cane
Advent Calendar
Christmas Tree, Hot Cocoa, Gift, Bell

Advent Calendar
Gingerbread Man, Ice Skate, Baby Jesus, Holly

Advent Calendar
Poinsettia, Snowflake, Light, Frosty the Snowman

Advent Calendar
Angel, Mitten, Wreath, and Rudolph
Advent Calendar
Decorated Tree
Advent Calendar
undecorated tree
Did/Does your family do an advent calendar?  Do you have special memories of it growing up?
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