Friday, July 29, 2011

Muffin Tin- Crayons...

Do you have an assortment of broken crayons lying around your home? You are in luck! Gather up those broken bits of crayons and melt them into a new crayons! Your children will be proud of their creations. The larger size, and round shape helps young artist grip them better, they will not worry about constantly breaking the crayons.

  • Crayons –  gather up broken pieces you already have or purchase boxes of crayons ( take advantage of those back to school sales) and break them up into pieces.
  • Mini muffin pan (it would be best to use a muffin pan dedicated to crafts after this, as some crayon may transfer onto the pan)


Preheat oven to 265 degrees F. Remove all the paper from the crayons.Break the crayons into about 1/2 to 1 inch size pieces. You can get 2 to 3 pieces per crayon. Put two to three similar colors in each muffin slot, then bake for 6-8 minutes. Do not over bake the crayons. To know when they are done, they will melt just enough that you can no longer see the shape of the crayon. Remove them from the oven and let them firm up on the counter for a few minutes. To get them out of the pans easier, place them in the freezer until they are firm–this takes about 30 minutes. Then pop them right out!

Use different shaped tins, and make all kinds of themed crayons. You could make red and green Christmas trees, or spooky orange and black pumpkins...the possibles are endless. In addition to  being a handy way to recycle crayons, they make great trinkets to slip into party favor bags, to give as gifts, or to make back to school preparations more fun!

Store the crayons in plastic baggies, paper boxes, or my cookie jars!

May you always look for possibilities!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fairy School Mother...

Each year, list in hand, you hit the stores to do back to school shopping. What would happen if a Fairy did your back to school shopping?

Image if your children woke up in the morning to find a fairy had been there, the evening before...

fairy dust was trickled here and there..
beautiful packages were sprinkled through out your home, each containing a very useful school item. Art supplies, writing utensils, a new blouse, a few hair clips....all thoughtful trinkets left by the back to school fairy!

 Imagine how magical back to school can be!

My husband and I do a gentle "detox/ cleanse" quarterly (every three months.) Since initiating regular cleanses into our lifestyle neither my husband or myself have had so much as a simple cold for over 4 years! We detox strictly for health. For this reason we choose to use a cleanse that is not too restrictive and very gentle on our bodies and our lifestyle. I am not a fan of all juice cleanses, or extreme calorie restrictive cleanses. Remember, stress is not healthy on your body. Your body does not recognize stress of a restrictive cleanse as "healthy" stress, while stress from your busy schedule as "unhealthy stress."
To your body, stress is simply stress.. be kind to yourself!
While reading a recent nutrition publication from a popular medical institution, I came across a Jillian Michaels cleanse. Jillian promotes this cleanse to loose a quick 5lbs and shed water weight. The article expanded on this cleanse, stating it is great to shed water weight, but more importantly, your cells can release stored toxins along with the water. Therefore, improving your immediate and long term health.As it is time for our routine cleanse, we are taking a break from our normal detox and giving the fallowing cleanse a try. I say....drop a quick 5lbs. and improve your health.....sign me up!

** I am still nursing my son. Checked with my Dr. this cleanse is safe to do for nursing mommies!

Improved health will not only effect the quantity of life, but rather the quality. May you  thrive!

Monday, July 25, 2011

FINtastic, Family Fun Night...

What's that lurking in the distance??....Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week kicks off Sunday July 31st! We love shark week at my house. This week's family fun night idea is sure to get your shark week kicked off right. Incorporate the following to make sure you have a FINtastic family fun night:

Dinner and a show:
Make dinner special by having a picnic in your living room, while watching shark week. We are going to lay out beach towels, I will put out a few pairs of goggles for those who would like to wear them and make the show come to life!

Quesadilla shark teeth;

Serve quesadillas sliced into triangles on a plate to resemble shark's teeth.Place salsa and veggies in the "jaws" of the shark!
Shark week Sushi roll:

Use food coloring to tint the cream cheese light blue. Spoon the creamcheese ( or cottage cheese, or plain yogurt) into a plastic bag.Cut cucumber into slices. Snip a small corner from the bag with the cream cheese. Pipe spikes of the cream cheese on top of the cucumber slices to look like waves. Arrange
gold fish crackers onto the cream cheese waves and serve!

               Rim a glass with a wedge of lime and dip it in blue sparkling
               sugar used for baking. Fill the glass with a blue beverage, such as
               Gatorade. Garnish with a big blue gummy shark by cutting the belly 
               of the shark to rest on the rim of the glass.

Showtime Snack:
Pretzel fishing poles:
Dip large pretzel sticks in peanut butter or cream cheese and "fish" for toppings, such as raisins, Swedish fish, goldfish crackers, celery
chunks or chocolate chips.

Surf and Turf cupcakes:
 I love these Ocean & beach cupcakes found on Martha Stewart
 Instead of paper fins, I am using pieces of Oreo cookies. For an  
 unexpected surprise, I am making cupcakes that have a 
 red icing lurking inside, (you could also use red velvet cake.) There will be an Erie layer of delicious red when my family bites into them!

Felt shark fins:

Cut shark fins out of gray felt. Cut matching fins out of cardboard(I always save cardboard boxes...they have millions and millions of uses. You can either glue or sew the felt onto the cardboard, glue the fins onto a base cover with felt and pin onto your little Great White's back!
Feed the shark:
Your kids can test their throwing skills by "feeding" a stuffed animal shark sitting in a basket. Give each child five to 10 ping pong, tennis balls, or small rocks to serve as the "shark food." Determine which player can toss the most pieces of food to the shark in 30 seconds. Make the game more challenging for older children by placing the shark in a smaller "tank" or by requiring the children to stand farther away from the basket!

         **Don't forget to play with your " shark tank" bubbles!

 Gold fish make and inexpensive, low maintenance pet....and a great centerpiece for the table during shark week!
(pic via pin)

Use a measuring tape to a measure out how long each of the following breeds of sharks can grow to be. You and your children will be shocked to see just how large the beast of the sea can grow to be!

*The whale shark is the largest shark and grows to almost 40 feet long!
 *The great white can reach up to 20 feet long!
*Bull and Tiger sharks grow to 11-14 feet long!
( thanks google for this pic)

Remember, whether you have children or not, you can incorporate family fun night into your week. If it is just you and your spouse, spread out your beach towels and have dinner together while catching an episode of shark week. Do the learning activity together....have some fun together!

If your children are too young to understand or watch shark week...have an ocean themed night. Even babies enjoy looking at images of fish and romping around on a beach towel!

May you"ATTACK" fun together as a family!

**See last week's family fun under the stars  here!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sprinkles for Sprouts...

I am obsessed with Etsy. I love one of a kind, handmade treasures. For those of you who do not know what Etsy is, it's a place where you can buy and sell handmade and vintage items. Sprinkles for Sprouts is my favorite Etsy shop, for beautifully crafted headbands for babes. Click here to go ga-ga over Sprinkles for Sprouts!

Take a peak at a few of my favorites:


Friday, July 22, 2011

Welcome to food Fun...

 As part of an ongoing series, Food Fun, is a place where I will post ideas and recipes on ways you can turn an ordinary snack into and extraordinary experience. Today's Food Fun; Watermelon Lime Sorbet Slices:

I will  be making this yummy looking sorbet over the week-end. I am going to try to serve it in slices as shown. These would be a cute addition to serve at a backyard BBQ or summertime party. What a fun spin on a classic summertime favorite!

***See the full recipe here!

May you have a fun filled, juicy week-end!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Painting for Babes...

Want a great way to inspire young artist or a fun way to
practice writing letters with toddlers?? Place paint in a bag, use a Q-tip to write, draw, and create! A fun, simple and mess free project for young ones!


Girlfriend, you deserve it...

I don't know about you, but this week is flying by at an alarming pace...I think it's time for a Mommy Time Out:

All that time in the summer sun can cause your skin to look a bit weathered. Give your skin a little pick me up with this simple at home treatment:

Mix a 1:8 ratio of distilled vinegar to water. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to your face, avoiding the eye area of course. Leave solution on your face for 5 minutes, rinse with cool water and apply moisturizer. Your skin will look instantly brighter and refreshed!

(warning...this treatment can be a little stinky...but well worth the stink! )

May that glow inside you shine through!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A collection of Inspired Spaces...

When I was a young girl, I had an extensive collection of beautifully polished rocks. I adored my collection, problem was, I never had a great place to show it off. Today's inspired space is places to house collections. I currently collect vintage Santa's. I will use some of the following ideas to display my collection during the holidays. I hope these images will inspire you to house collections of your own....or better yet provide a great place to display your children's beloved collections. After all, a child's collection is a physical representation of personality and love....display it proudly!

Love idea of framing collectibles according to color...I could see this being great for a child's sticker collection!
A cheese plate and dome... plastic figures have never looked so demure!
* I see cheese plates at thrift stores and flea markets all the time...keep your eyes open for them!

 A small vintage shelf would be great over a bed or in any nook!

Love the series of corked bottles...can you imagine a marble collection, or coin collection in these?
 Vintage class jars are inexpensive and beautiful
 I love sectioned off shelving...I see them all the time at flea market for under $5....I think it would be great over a child's bed to showcase some of their favorite items.
Take a piece of cork board and wrap it in brown on all your lovelies....I am thinking perfect for a collection of vintage brooches, or love the idea of a  seasonal collection ( I'm going to make this seasonal botany collection this fall!)

Is this not a darling way to display scrapes of vintage fabric?

A sprinkle of collectibles on a blank wall....perfection! How cute would this be with a collection of children's tea set plates and saucers?!

**TIP: some collections may be too large to fully display... display your only your favorite items. Allow your children to pick their favorite items and rotate their display every now and then. They will be so proud of their collections and excited to show them off! Their simple collections can easily turn into a fond childhood memory!

May you all have a large collection of happy memories!
                                               (* all pics via pin interest)

Follow up on Tactile play...

A reader sent me an e-mail asking me what I put in my sensory box for my baby when he was between 6-10 months. I thought I would post an answer, as a lot of time we simply do not know what to do with our wee ones...hopefully this inspires a few of you to see all the possibilities for fun you can have right now with your little ones.

What to Put in your Sensory Box for babies:

- plastic ice-pack ( they love to feel the sensation of wet and cold.)
- cheerio type cereal ( heaven knows they use their sense of taste often)
- swatches of fabrics with different textures ( I got a foe fur, velvet, and tweed swatches)
- bubble wrap ( they find the crunching sound interesting)
- a fake feather from the craft store ( I clipped off the sharp end and glued a piece of felt on the bottom
so no sharp edges were exposed.)
- balls of all colors, textures and sizes
- cooked spaghetti noodles
- foam shapes ( or cut your own shapes out of felt.)
- bells ( Love to provoke the sense of sound)
- Silk scarf
- a few brightly colored ribbons
- tiny boxes ( I would stick an object inside each box for my little guy to find)
- a maraca ( or rattle of some sort)
- A small mirror

Happy exploration!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tactile Play on a Warm, Warm Day...

Looking for an indoor activity to keep your toddler entertained on a warm summer day? Set up an activity to promote TACTILE PLAY;

Touch is the sense young children learn most from in their early years. The skin contains millions of sensory receptors, allowing young children to interpret countless sensory experiences every minute. These receptors allow children to learn about their world through texture and sensation. The experience of different textures on the skin sends information back to the brain and helps integrate the sensory system. Tactile play allows children to learn about size, shape, texture and length—information which may help them as they develop a sense of their bodies and space. Messy sensory play is also a foundation skill for fine motor development—as it helps children develop muscles in the fingers and hands.

My go to tactile play activity....SENSORY BOX;

A Sensory Box is a container filled with any kind of tactile material that kids explore with their hands. With a Sensory Box children are using their sight, touch and smell to experience their environment in a new way.
Zoo themed

How to make and use your sensory box:

For the Sensory Box you will need a container to hold all the tactile materials you collect. I use a medium size storage container that has a lid ( this makes storage of your sensory box easy.)   Put down an old sheet or drop cloth to make clean up easier.

Fill your sensory box with all kinds of shapes and textures. Some of my favorite sensory box fillers include:
-dry beans
-foam packing peanuts
-squares of bubble wrap
- measuring cups
- Dry or cooked pasta ( pasta shapes are always more fun..)
-Colored rice
- Small rocks ( you pain rocks gold and silver and tell your kids it's treasure.)
- foam shapes
-Party streamers
- Small blocks and toys (small animal figures are always a hit!)
- plastic shovels and pails
-Sand toys
 * you can choose anything with a fun texture for your box. You can even get messy with pudding, shaving cream, or small pails of water....the possibilities are endless! Just make sure to watch your little ones carefully, as they do have a tendency to put everything in the mouth when they are young.

Rainbow theme (colored rice)

Place the box on top of the sheet or drop cloth and allow your child to get messy and explore.  Every once in a while, change what's in the sensory box to curb your wee one's curiosity. Lately, our sensory box has been ocean themed with sand, water, and beach toys. As I am getting ready to plant my fall garden, a garden themed sensory box is about to make it's debut.Filled with beans, a small shovel, small rake, a watering can, garden gloves and plastic fruit and veggies my little one can garden right alongside me!

Ocean themed

Garden themed

You will be surprised to notice that once the activity begins, hardly a word is said. The kids will be so busy focusing on what they are feeling, that they hardly pay attention to you. This is a wonderful indoor activity for a warm day or rainy day. Sensory boxes are great for toddler age kids, however, my little 10 month old has been enjoying his sensory box for months now. As long as the filling is age appropriate, children of all ages can enjoy sensory box time!

May your senses be overjoyed!

check out this cute ice-cream themed gave me an idea to do a cooking themed box, that way my little one can cook up his imagination while I cook up a meal!
(pic via pin.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Shine" on Family Fun Night:

Happy new week to you all, as it is Monday it is time to plan your next Family Fun night for the week. This week's theme is Star Gazing: Have a backyard star gazing night with your family. Whether it is you and your significant other, or you and a house full of kids, simple star gazing is a fuss free way to have fun on a warm summer night. Spread a blanket out and observe the evening sky together!

How to have a night fit for the stars...
            Have a dinner fit for the starts, make grilled sandwiches cut into the shape of stars or 
            if you do not have a star shaped cookie cutter make cut the sandwiches into a circle a.k.a a full
           moon! Serve sandwiches with chicken and stars soup. ( to make your own fallow this recipe)

        * Use dark, construction paper, a white colored pencil, glitter and glue to make your own
          creative version of star finder chart, like the one seen here.
*Learn about the constellation by printing and using this simple star finder chart to spot popular constellations in the night sky.

*  Don't forget to sing Twinkle -Twinkle Little Star!
*  Who really is on the moon? Click here for all the story telling fun!

Feeling really Curious?:
*Satellite Tracking: SpaceWeather has a dirt simple satellite tracker; just enter your zip code, and it spits out what’s passing over that is of interest tonight!

Want to send your kids over the moon? Own a star in the sky, and name it after your family! Find out more by clicking here ( prices start at $14.95 so it's not too expensive but sure to get your kids excited!) In case you are wondering...yes, there is a Buhl family star out there!

* Note: it is never too early to star gaze as a family whether your children are babies, toddlers, or a  happy thought in the future you can all lie under the stars and enjoy the evening sky together!

(I am thinking I need one of these gazing towers!)
 pic via pin

May you all remember to wish upon a star!

*****See last week's  family fun night  here !

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chic for Cheap!

When I first saw the Marc Jacobs Simone dress it was truly love at first sight, but after my double take my infatuation died quite a bit due the outstanding price tag! But much to my joy and surprise I stubbled upon this adorable Ruche look-a-like for under $50! So whether you're going to the county fair or the local farmer's market this dress is the perfect amount of bold to show your confident side and turn a head or two!

{Simone Striped Silk Dress - & Summer Festival Striped Dress -}


Friday, July 15, 2011

Trending: "Mommy Basics"

Do you ever get in that "Mommy rutt" wearing the same thing repeatedly, or feel like you have lost your sense of style. Take your "mommy basics" ie. white shirt, blue jeans and  slap on a fun pair of sandles + a few accesories. You will be ready to walk the catwalk, and chase your kids down the sidewalk.!
The Mommy Basic

 Like this look? Find everything here, and nothing over $50!
Old navy t shirt
$13 -

Jane Norman cropped jeans
£32 -

Forever21 t strap sandals
$19 -

ASOS cross body handbag
$26 -

Rock necklace
£23 -