Monday, March 27, 2017

It's Play-Doh time again!

So in my last post, I wrote about how Big E played with Play-Doh on Friday. Well...Saturday I decided to make my own using essential oils and it worked out amazingly! And it was quicker to make it than the instructions said. It said to stir continuously over the heat for 5 minutes and it took about half that time. It turned into a dough super fast. I may have had the heat on a little high, but oh well. It still turned out great! I used food coloring to color it and Young Living essential oils to make them smell wonderful! You can find the recipe I used here.




If you'd like more information about how you can get these wonderful oils for yourself, just comment below or send me a message!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekend Recap- 3/26/17

We had a pretty good weekend, so sad that it’s over. Friday night I was going to go out and do some karaoke with my mom but it was a rough afternoon so I decided to stay home. My sister-in-law’s friend (and now my friend) came over and we just hungout in the dining room just talking and drinking. We had a fun time and can’t wait to have another girls night with them soon!
Saturday afternoon we had some friends come over for a playdate. It was actually really nice out on Saturday so we got to enjoy some time outside!
Little E looking out at Dada who was cleaning up the yard a bit.

Big E playing in the sandbox and making a huge mess!


They both love going on wagon rides!!





Then today we went to McDonalds for breakfasts, which was pretty late because we didn’t wake up till 9:15! I can’t believe the kids let us sleep in that late! And I don’t wanna jinx it, but Little E woke up only once a night, two nights in a row now!!
After McDonalds we went to Walmart because my hubby wanted to get a haircut. So while he waited on that, I walked around the store with the kiddos. Big E told me 3 different times that she had to go potty, so 3 different times we went to the bathroom but she didn’t go any of those 3 times. But each time we went, we had to go to the handicapped stall and sit Little E in this seat attached to the wall. I’m pretty thankful it was there because it would have made it a lot more difficult if it wasn’t!

Then this afternoon I started planning out Big E’s learning activities for the week and I decided to go through my construction paper and sort it by color.

This will make it much easier when I go to create little activities for Big E, which is something I’m going to be doing more often now! I’ve got a bunch of activities for her for counting and colors, but now I need to work on alphabet activities!
Be on the lookout for my post on either Friday or Saturday about this weeks’ activities! I’m going to start making that a weekly post so you can see what Big E has been up to!
Well, that’s about it for our weekend. As I write this, Beauty and the Beast is on in the background so I’m going to go watch the rest of it with my hubby, Big E, and Little E before putting the kiddos to bed! Have a great rest of what’s left of your weekend!
Much love,

Nicole

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Play-Doh fun!

Friday we went to a friends' house for a play date and Big E and her friend played with Play-doh. We have some Play-doh at home but we hardly ever play with it. And I'm not too sure why we don't because Big E loves playing with it! One thing that does drive me a little nuts though, is that she only plays with the same color for what seems like 30 seconds! I don't like her having more than one color at a time because I don't want her to mix them. It's a great activity for her to do at the kitchen table while I try to get some cleaning or cooking done.



We even turned it into a little learning activity by practicing cutting! I've never given her kid-safe scissors and she never played with the Play-doh ones so she didn't know how to use them. After showing her how to use them and placing them on her hand the right way, she was starting to get it!




She also had me make little snakes with the Play-doh and then I had her practice counting with them. I definitely think that Play-doh time needs to be added to our daily schedule because it can be very educational. Plus it lets her use her imagination and create things! I'm going to look into getting her a Play-doh activity set for her birthday, maybe a Frozen one since she loves that movie!

I also think I'm going to look into making my own Play-doh. I can't remember if it was on Facebook or Pinterest, but I recently found a recipe for Play-doh that uses cream of tarter and having just baked my rainbow cupcakes for the March cupcakes in my A Year of Cupcakes series, I now have that ingredient! I think I may try adding essential oils to my homemade Play-doh to add a lovely scent to them! Be tuned on a post about that in the future!! Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Year of Cupcakes- March

So as I wrote in this post, I'm going to be making one batch of cupcakes each month from the article I found in the Food Network Magazine. This month it was Rainbow Cupcakes. And let me tell you, it was very time consuming!! But I will say, they turned out tasting very good! Luckily they didn't taste like they look. One thing that I think I was missing and was a big factor to how nice the frosting turned out: a hand mixer. I used to have one but then one day I plugged it in and it didn't work so I threw it out. If the other cupcake recipes say to use a hand mixer, I'm definitely going to have to go and buy one. The "frosting" on my cupcakes doesn't really look like frosting. It's more like icing. But oh well, it still tastes good.

So without further ado, here is how my cupcakes turned out. I took a few pictures while I was making them.






And here is what they were supposed to look like.



Also, the recipe called for lemon juice but instead, I used Young Living's Lemon Vitality essential oil! It was my very first time cooking with essential oils! It called for lemon juice in the cake mix so I used 3 drops. And for the frosting it called for lemon zest so I just did one drop of the oil.

I also don't know how they got their colors to be so bright. The lighting for my picture did kind of stink, but even in person it doesn't look as bright as Food Network's cupcake is. Oh well. I never said I was a professional baker!

So there you go, my first attempt at one of the cupcakes from A Year of Cupcakes!! Next month instead of just doing the one for April, I'm also going to make January's cupcake. I can't forget about January! Have a great evening everyone!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

School is now in session!

Last week I did really good at doing educational activities with Big E Monday-Thursday. We got behind on Tuesday so we doubled up on Wednesday and got back on track. But then we missed Friday and got a day behind again. Two weeks ago I was at the Dollar Tree and I found this. I knew it would be perfect to help me visually see what activities are planned for the day and then to cross them off when they get done.


The board hanging above it with the letters is something I made for my hubby as a gift for something one year. I think it may have been our anniversary but I can't remember. It's supposed to be so we can have an ongoing game of Scrabble but my hubby doesn't use it. My sister-in-law (who is currently living with us) and I have been using it though. When the kids are older, I'm sure they'll use it with me!

Last week we did a bunch of color activities. Big E has been doing really good with her colors! We need to focus more now on the alphabet and counting! She can count to 10 at times, but only when she wants to. She won't always do it on cue.






She also did a really good job using the tongs!! Working on those fine motor skills!!




I've been slacking and didn't plan any new activities for this week, so I think tomorrow and the rest of the week we may just repeat last weeks' activities. I need to have a set time each week that I switch out the bins with new activities so that each week will be something new and different. Or at least something we didn't do the week before. Now that Little E is older and not as dependent or clingy to me all the time, it's a lot easier to do these activities with Big E. I have so many ideas saved on Pinterest that I wanna do so again, I just gotta make the time to get them ready!!


A year of cupcakes!

Not sure if you ever heard of the app Texture, but if not, and you read a ton of magazines, you have to check it out! For just $9.99 a month you have unlimited access to a ton of monthly and weekly magazines!! When I first signed up I was paying $14.99 a month for the premium membership (standard was $9.99) and the only difference was that the premium membership got you access to the weekly magazines. Just recently I found out that you can get a free trial for 14 days, then after that you can get 3 months for $9.99. And that includes the weekly magazines, at no extra cost! So I emailed customer service and I was able to get this new pricing! They said after the 3 months it would be $9.99 per month, but their website doesn't say anything about that pricing, so I'm not 100% sure on that. But still, $9.99 a month for unlimited access to hundreds of magazines is a great deal! I currently read 21 magazines! I may not always be up to date with them, but I eventually read every issue of all those magazines!



Anyway, the whole point of telling you that (besides telling you about a great app) was to tell you that in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of The Food Network magazine, there was an article called A Year of Cupcakes. Yes I know, it's almost April, and I only got to read the Jan/Feb issue now. But hey, better late than never, right? I've decided that I'm going to make each months' cupcake and then post about it on here! I'm already 2 (almost 3) months behind but don't worry, I will make the cupcakes for January, February, and March! I'm sure my hubby won't complain about that! So be on the lookout for that post! I look forward to making the cupcakes and sharing how they turn out with my readers on here!






Disclaimer: All thoughts in this post are my own. I was not asked or compensated by Texture to write this post about their app or service.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee!

I have to say that my favorite website (and app) is definitely Pinterest!! I've been a member since it was released back in 2010. And since then, I've created 65 boards and pinned 2,371 pins! I'd say that I'm pretty obsessed! But how many people out there, like me, have a ton of things pinned, that they've never tried to do or even looked at again? I am definitely guilty of this!!

A little glimpse of some of my boards. Click here to see more. 



So what I've decided I'm going to do is go through my boards weekly and pick 5 things that I want to do that week. I'm also going to try to delete up to 10 pins a week of things that I know I'm never going to do. I've pinned so many things that let's be honest, I'll never, ever go back to or consider doing.

Like this one. My youngest is going on 10 months and he's about 18 pounds, so unfortunately, he's too heavy for me to carry him in a carrier anymore. I really enjoyed the time that I got to carry him in my carrier though. There were plenty of times when it was just me and the kiddos and it was so nice to have Little E attached to me and have my hands free. So this just got deleted from my Pinterest account. I didn't make it before and I never will because I don't have the need for it anymore.


There's even some boards like my "Newborn Ideas" board that I can delete completely because I'm never going to have another newborn in my life. (Well, not until Big E and Little E have kids of their own, but we've got a LONG way to go for that!)

So are you as addicted to Pinterest as I am? What are some things from Pinterest that you've tried recently?