Thursday, February 28, 2013

How To: Toddler Edition

I think one of the most asked questions that I get from my non-mommy or new-mommy friends is how I get anything accomplished with such an active toddler around...and I always give them a w of the same answers. My son is 15 months now so he's to that point where I can't really toss (gently place) him in his pack and play and he will play quietly, now he wants to run and play with everything that is off limits. So I thought that in would share with you some of my ways that I entertain my crazy, curious toddler.

1. Ball Container- I'm putting this one first because it is my favorite (and RiahMan seems to enjoy it quite a bit too!) I found one of the coolest homemade baby toys while wandering around the blogging world and since it was so simple to make I didn't even bother save the link (I think it was Play At Home Mom but I very well could be wrong...please tell me if I am!) for this toy all you need is a Tupperware container and craft little fluffy balls. what you do is take the Tupperware container and cut a small-ish hole in the top. And that's it! Show your toddler how to push the puff balls throw the hole and it might take a few tries but they will be ecstatic when they finally get it. My son will do this until we run out of fluffy balls! You can even teach colors (if you get colored balls) once your child gets a little older.



2. Teeth brushing- ok, maybe my son is just weird with this one, but if I want him to sit still I give him a tooth brush (or a hair brush) and he will just brush brush brush his teeth (or hair). I especially like this one because it serves two purposes, personal hygiene and "let mom make dinner".



3. Diaper Bag Destroyer! Now I don't haves a picture for this one but I'm pretty sure it's fairly self explanatory...let him/her take everything out of your diaper bag (I have a "fake" diaper bag that has some toys and bowls and such in it that I let him use)

4. Books! Again, maybe this is just my son because most of his cousins aren't as thrilled with books as he is...but you give my little man a book and he is good for at least 15 minutes



5. Food- snacks will keep my little man contained...but not for long, he's a glutton and always wants more so I tend to stay away from this one but it does work, especially if its something super delicious (don't worry, I don't give him cupcakes or any sweets for that matter on a regular basis)


6. Finger painting- this is one of my favorites because not only do I get a minute to do whatever it is that I need to...I also get a very cute painting out of it...I duct tape a piece of paper to the tray of his high chair and mix up some paint (flour, water and food coloring) so it's completely safe if they decide it looks delicious. My only issue with the paint mixture is that I am concerned it will mold over time. I covered his paintings in mod podge so I'm hoping that will keep the mold away (4 months and still going strong!)


Ta-Da

7. Tv- this is my least favorite one...but there's no denying that it works....

8. Nap time- if Uriah is being super grumpy he might just need a nap....that certainly is when I get the majority of things done. Well, nap time or after bed time.


I hope you guys found this little list helpful and if you have any special ways that you like to keep your little one busy please please let me know, I'm always looking for new activities!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bzz Agent

I have something to share with you that I am superduper excited about. I recently became a Bzz Agent....your probably thinking what in the world is she talking about?! But before you tune out let me explain what it is. Essentially I signed up to be a product tester.

When you sign up you take some quizzes about products that you use and your daily life and when a 'campaign' (opportunity to test a product) comes up they will email you and if you want to test this product they will mail it to you.

I just received my first item in the mail today and I got a (full size) Garnier Fructis Miracle Dry Oil. Once you get your item you try it and tweet your feelings then write a review for them and I'm pretty sure that you get to keep the item!

As soon as my package came in the mail I just had to try it out, of course, and so far I like it. I have never used an oil before and this one can be used on your hair, face and body which is nice but I've got to say....my favorite part is that is smells identical to skittles!

I highly suggest signing up to be a Bzz Agent, its free and easy and you get free products! If any of you have done any product testing please let me know how you liked it. This is my first time but I'm not seeing a downside yet! :]


Monday, December 10, 2012

Cricut Mini Review

In preperation for Uriah's birthday party I decided that I needed to finally buy something that I had been longing for. A Cricut Mini. If you don't know what a Cricut Mini is...boy are you missing out. It is a die cutting machine, but unlike other die cutting machines you don't actually have to buy physical cartridges. This particular machine connects to your computer and you can use the Cricut Craft room to create different shapes and then it cuts whatever is on your board.

Now, let me say this. I was a little bit mislead.  When I had origionally purchased the machine I was under the impression that I would never have to buy a cartridge and that all of the images were included in the cost of the machine (I think my  confusion was from my own stupidity and not reading into the product as intesly as I should have). So when I got the machine in the mail and tried to cut an anchor that I chose from the millions of shapes that they had I was confused and quite angry that I had to purchase the right to cut that particular shape. After I thought about it, I understood. But really? I had to spend $40 on a 'catridge' that I only wanted one shape off, and that I would only use for this one event. Nope, I found a way around it :]

I found that you can use some of the basic shapes that they give you to make just about any shape! I used many many little rectangles, circles, and triangles and eventually ended up with what looked exactly like the anchor that I almost spend $40 on. It did take me quite a while, but I think that my time was totally worth it.

Overall I absolutely love my Cricut Mini and would definately purchase it again. I think it is so much better than other comperable products because it does have the Craft Room. Using the Craft Room you can distort and resize any of the shapes that you buy, or you can create your own (such as I did). You can also utalize more of the paper becuase you can see exactly what is going to be cut on your paper (see the picture at the bottom)

After racking my brain for a few minutes I have come up with two negatives:
1. It is kind of loud while cutting (enough that it will wake my sleeping 1 year old if he is near it)
2. The cutting mats don't last as long as they claim to. I used mine only to cut things for my sons party (maybe 50 sheets) and I have already had to wash it once and it has lost enough stickyness that I have to very vigorously press the paper down and for added security I do tape the edges becuase I have had a few papers come unstuck and get ruined.

Here is a picture of my screen. I was able to use the Craft Room to fit my letters close together and add the anchors (that I made out of shapes) on the top and bottom. I also decided to not waste any paper. I used all of the blank space that was left over to make confetti.
 
Have you ever used a Cricut Mini or any other die cutting machine? Let me know what you thought!
Also, let me know if you have any other questions that I didn't address in the comments or you can email me at hangingwithahousewife@gmail.com
 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Uriah's First Birthday Party! (desserts)

Alrighty guys, so as you might know, my son turned 1 on November 23 and his nautical themed birthday party was the next day. We were torn on whether to just do a smaller (mine and Trevor's parents and siblings) or go all out and invited everyone we have ever met :p

We decided to go all out. We invited about 180 people...yea, that's more than we had invited to our wedding! We figured about 70 that would probably not show, plus there was a nasty bug going around our town that week so we were down a decent amount of people. All in all, I would say only 75ish people actually came. I was glad that there was only a smaller amount of people who could make it (yes I wish they could have been there, but it took a ton of stress off of me).

Because this is my first time throwing a party I underestimated the amount of effort it took and I decided to make most of the food and decorations. Since I was totally overwhelmed my mother-in-law bought pizza and set up a candy bar, my sister-in-law brought a taco dip and brownies, my mom made a cheese and cracker platter and a friend made cookies.

 
 
This is a picture of SOME of the desserts. The cookies that my friend made are Cream Cheese Cookies? Sour Cream Cookies? something like that. The cookies in the bottom corner I made, I used my family's Christmas cookie recipe and just used nautical themed cookie cutters. I also made chocolate molds and chocolate covered pretzels, I used regular candy melts bought at my local grocery store and molds bought at Joanne Fabrics . Some of the cupcakes were made by Shell's Sweets, and then I made the ones that have the grey shark fin ..not sure if you can see that from this far away. Shell's Sweets also made Uriah's smash cake...ISN'T IT PERFECT?!
 
I also made these chocolate pops (the ones in the back are ugly! don't look at them! hahah)
 
 
I made two of these jello oceans (find out how I did it here)
 
 
I will be the first one two admit...I did not do a very good job documenting all of the things that I made for Uriah's party...I only took 4 pictures at his party! So I am relying a lot on other peoples pictures unfortunately. I am hoping to find more pictures of the food soon!
 
Dessert Recap:
2 plates- cookies from friend
10 dozen- nautical themed sugar cookies
?? -chocolate melts
70- Chocolate covered pretzels
4 dozen- chocolate pops
2 dozen- cupcakes by Shell's Sweets
4 dozen- cupcakes by me
2 punch bowls- jello
1-full sized sheet cake (not pictured)
1- Smash cake by Shell's Sweets
Candy bar (not pictured)
2 sheets- brownies (not pictured)
 
This was waaaaay more than enough for all of my guests, I had pretty much half of everything left...so much for being worried about running out of food :p
 
If you guys have any questions about how I made anything let me know and I will do my best to answer your questions!
 
 
 


Jello Ocean Tutorial

When I was a little girl my mom and I had a mission to make a jello ocean and needless to say we failed miserably. I should probably give you some background for this huh? I was invited to a sleepover and each girl was asked to bring a movie and a snack to go along with that movie. I chose The Little Mermaid and my mom thought that we should make blue jello put Swedish fish in it so that it would look like they were swimming. We tried everything. letting the jello harden then push the fish in, make the jello in layers and put the fish between the layers and our grandest idea.... tying the fish to a string that was tied to a wooden spoon that was on top of the bowl. The only one that looked somewhat decent was the last one....until we tried to get the strings out. I don't even remember what I ended up bringing to this sleepover, I only remember the frustration of trying to get this jello to work.

When I decided that I was going to do a nautical themed party for my Son I knew that I HAD to get this to work so naturally I googled. and guess who had the smartest idea of how to do this? duh, Martha Stewart. Find here tutorial here.

Pretty much all I did was cook the jello normally (but adding a little extra water) and put it in a large punchbowl to cool. I ended up using about 10 jellos per punch bowl. Right before I put it out to serve I did as Martha said and cut slits in the jello using a knife and pushed the fish down into it...hello, its that simple, why couldn't I have thought of that when I was little?! My husband also had the idea to dye my homemade whipped cream blue and use that to make waves then put a boat on top (what a genius).

This is what my final outcome looked like:
Isn't it cute? :]

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Peppermint Whipped Cream

As promised, here is my homemade peppermint whipped cream. This goes perfectly with a delicious crockpot hot cholocate reciped (find it here).

It s a very simple recipe, but takes a bit of work if you do it by hand.

Regular Whipped Cream:
1cup heavy whipping cream
1tbsp confectionary sugar
1tsp vanilla

mix all ingredients and whisk (alot) until it gets creamy and begins to peak. you want the peaks to bend over when you take the whisk out. be careful not to over whisk or else it will get chunky and you will be well on your way to making butter.

Peppermint Whipped Cream:
1cup heavy whipping cream
1tbsp confectionary sugar
1tsp peppermint extract
a couple drops of green food coloring (optional)

same process as regular whipped cream


Please let me know if you try this or the hot chocolate out and what you thought of them...I would love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Currently.....2

So I did this back in April but I thought that it would fun to do an updated post following the same outline and questions

I came across this idea from My Green Pen who got it from Digging Deeper Into Design and I thought it was a super cool idea!


Currently December:
Currently Super Proud: I have managed to finish Christmas shopping BEFORE thanksgiving! I have no idea how this happened but I am so excited that I won't have to brave the malls during the crazy holiday season
Currently Reading: Seven Up: Janet Evanovich LOVE this series
Currently Thinking: I LOVE THIS WEATHER (same answer as the last time I did this....something about fall weather is just so cozy!
Currently Saving All My Pennies For: a house!!
Currently Wanting To Travel To: NYC I've never been, but I have always heard how beautiful it is and lately I've been pining to go!
Currently Wanting To Learn: how to knit! (Again...same answer as before, I have everything I would need but I just can't figure it out!)
Currently Drooling Over: A Rose Gold watch from Michael Kors
Currently Obsessed With: makeup!
Currently 1st Place Comedic Genius: Tim Hawkins (duh!)
Currently Show I can not miss: I'm not watching a show right now....I think that I have watch every good show that is on Netflix!
Currently Addicted To: watching YouTube videos!
Currently Fantasizing About: again....a Rose Gold watch from Michael Kors
Currently Dreaming Of: getting rid of this cold!
Currently Yearning For: Hibachi!
Currently Want To See In My Closet: Sweaters, any and all types of sweaters
Currently Enjoying: Baking and playing with my little man!
Currently Working On: trying to get Uriah to actually eat real foods.
Currently Uriah's Favorie Thing: ANYTHING 'Cars' related....except for what we got him for his birthday.....

Doesn't he look thrilled :p