Dying Easter Eggs with Food!

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So Liam, my 5 year old, saw this on Creative Galaxy which is a cute kids show on Amazon Prime. Of course we had to try it! We used coffee, turmeric, onion skin, frozen spinach and beet juice. It’s a great science experiment to get kids involved and to show them what else foods can do! We had so much fun!

The only thing is it takes a lot longer to dye the eggs than traditional food coloring. We actually let them soak for an entire movie length, so about 2 hours. You can let them soak for even longer to get more color if you want, just know ahead of time that it’s a long process. But afterwards you can let your kids decorate them! Liam enjoyed writing on them with crayons and putting stickers on. So, if you are interested in this fun craft, here is what you need to do and what you’ll need…

Notes:ย Beforehand we wrote on some of the eggs with a white crayon. We also wrapped an egg with a rubber band to get different effects.

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What you will need:

Hard boiled white eggs
Vinegar
Glass or plastic cups
Cookie sheet for drying (or you can just use your egg carton)
Food for coloring; we used brewed coffee, 3 tablespoons of turmeric, beet juice from canned beets, frozen spinach and the skin of a sweet onion.

Spinach: boiled for an hour and then drained into a colander over a glass cup
Onion: boiled for an hour and then drained into a colander over a glass cup
Coffee: brewed from the morning pot
Turmeric: 3 tablespoons stirred into a cup of water and then boiled in the microwave
Beets: easiest one, I just opened a can of beets and poured all the water into a glass cup.

Once you have all your colors in their cups, pour in 1 tablespoon of vinegar into each. Now you are ready to dye your eggs! Carefully drop an egg into each color and let soak until they have reached the desired color.

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Above are the 5 eggs we did. Starting from the top and going clockwise is coffee, spinach, onion skin, beet juice, and turmeric.

Here’s Liam having so much fun!

And the final, finished product ๐Ÿ™‚

Have fun and Happy Easter!

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Gingerbread Play Dough

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Attention all parents, nannies, and just anyone who loves play dough! Make this over winter break. I repeat: make this over winter break! It’s so easy, super fun, and smells delicious! You probably already have all the ingredients on hand and it’s hours of fun for your little ones (or you). Liam made this at school and his teacher gave him the recipe to make at home.

Here he is having a blast rolling it out…

We had a ton of fun playing with it, probably a good hour!

A while back we made regular play dough which was also fun. There’s just something about making “Christmas” play dough that’s special ๐Ÿ™‚ So here’s what you need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Mix in a bowl and knead until smooth. Have fun! Store in a ziplock bag.

Traveling with Kids

What? You’re going on a trip WITH your toddler!? Yes, yes I am and I’m here to tell you that our trip to Puerto Rico with our 3 year old was the best! You can do it, too! I’m going to tell you how amazing it is to create memories with your kids via vacationing because we had an extraordinary week in Puerto Rico and I cannot wait to do it again!

At first, I was VERY hesitant to fly with Liam who is 3 1/2. In a car he is great! When he was 2 we drove to New Orleans and it was awesome. But flying is a whole new ball game and I am already anxious just in day to day life. The stress of packing and dealing with people and airport security and a 5 hour flight, etc… You can come up with a million excuses NOT to go on vacation with kids. But what about the excuses TO go somewhere and share the experience with them!? I’m going to share my experience traveling from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico with my husband and 3 year old son. We chose Puerto Rico because it’s a tropical island and you do not need a passport to travel there! (for now)

To start, I did a lot of research online about flying with kids. Let me just say, it is not nearly as bad as you would think. Actually it’s quite better because you get priority for everything! TSA security line, boarding, you name it, if you have a kid, it’s like VIP. We flew with jetBlue which was absolutely perfect! No delays, flight crew was so nice and it’s unlimited free snacks on the plane! Hell yes! Here is Liam’s first boarding pass and the pin JetBlue gave him:


So fun! Also, we decided to bring his car seat on the plane. Why? Because our son LOVES his car seat, he’s comfortable and familiar with it, and most importantly it’s safe! Yes, it’s big and bulky and heavy ย (there are airport carts you can get for walking to/from your gate). But you are going 500 miles per hour at 36,000 feet. Turbulence can be bad and takeoff and landing is pretty rocky. So in my opinion, if you are traveling with a kid 4 or under (even babies!) bring the car seat.

See? Here he is happy and comfy eating some McDonalds hot cakes ๐Ÿ˜‰


And… Here he is fast asleep mid flight

Another reason we brought the car seat was because we wanted to rent a car for the day to explore the island ourselves. Sure you can rent a car seat, too but it’s so much nicer having your own!

Ok, moving on to where we stayed. Embassy Suites in San Juan. Close to the airport, awesome pool with a kids area, free breakfast AND happy hour and a beach. I’ve stayed at multiple Embassy Suites in various locations and all have been great. The price is right especially if you use all the facilities they provide. This one in particular had a casino for adults and a game room for kids. They have a special pool area for the kids with a slide and a play house. And, when you are going to the beach, they have beach toys that you can bring and use so you don’t have to pack your own! Then, when you get to the beach, they have chairs, umbrellas and towels free of charge for guests. So great! I mean, you really can’t ask for anything else. They make it so easy and convenient for you.

Next up, what we did while we were there. Besides the obvious, pool and beach, we also did a tour of the rainforest called El Yunque National Forest. I wasn’t sure if Liam would be able to handle it since it was from 8 am to 2 pm but it was great. If you have a 2 year old or younger, wear them. But 3 years old and up can definitely do the hike if they are physical like my little guy is. The tour was very educational and the forest is beautiful! Here is a picture of us:

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After the hike we had lunch at a tiny little place just off the side of the road. Probably one of the best meals we had. Then, Liam fell asleep in the taxi ride back to the hotel so… major plus.

The other fun thing we did was rent a car and drive to Old San Juan and then to Ponce for dinner. I highly recommend renting a car at least for a day if you go to Puerto Rico because it is a fun adventure. Old San Juan is a must as well. I mean… just look at this view:

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Gorgeous! While we were here we parked the rental car in a parking lot for maybe 4 hours and it only cost about $3. We saw the 2 forts and took advantage of the free trolley ride. I’m not sure what the forts were actually called and I’m too lazy to look them up right now but it’s probably the #1 thing to do in Old San Juan. The history here is amazing so I highly recommend.

Then, we drove to Ponce which is on the south end of the island. We didn’t have much time here, only ate dinner but I’m so glad we made it to another city. The drive through the mountains was so breathtaking, it was so worth it. When we got there, we found a free parking spot on a street and quickly looked up on TripAdvisor a restaurant for dinner. Here is Liam with his Shirley Temple:

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We went to a place called Lola and ate outside (while also getting eaten by mosquitoes). The best part-ย Liam was able to create his own cupcake and of course I freaked out when our server brought out mini pastry bags!! OH MY GOD THAT IS SO CUTE!

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He ended up giving it to us free of charge which may or may not have been because of my freak out but who cares. So cute. We then drove back to the hotel and left the next day.

I want to go back so bad! When Liam is older there will be even more to do but for now, this was honestly the BEST vacation. I hope you get inspired by reading this post to take an adventure with your kids because in my opinion it is so worth it. You come home refreshed and have a new outlook on life. Seeing other cultures really opens your eyes and makes you appreciate the little things that we so often forget. So get out there and travel, my beauties! ย You won’t regret it ๐Ÿ™‚

 

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As a stay at home mom I feel I need to do something fun and creative for all holidays. Yes, it’s so stressful and I hate doing crafts. So, then why do I do it?! Because seeing my little guys eyes light up in wonder is the best. As a parent, we are the magic makers. And as a baker I always like to try new things. Being creative is great and it helps pass the long days. So here are some things I did this St. Patrick’s day. Let me know your ideas and if these are helpful to you!

First, I made green chocolate chip cookies. Super easy, just add a few drops of green food coloring to your cookie dough.

Next, we made these leprechaun binoculars! They are made from toilet paper rolls and construction paper. Really easy but also really tedious. I was going to make 5 for all of Liam’s friends. But… I made 2 and was done!

Here are the supplies I used. It was easier to use Elmer’s glue than a glue stick in my opinion. Or you can use tape.

The binoculars are to see and find leprechauns! I printed out these cute little guys,


colored them without Liam knowing, and then used painters tape to stick them around the house so he had to find them in the morning! So fun. I also colored the toilet water green and told Liam that the leprechaun had to use the bathroom and didn’t flush ๐Ÿ™‚


We had some friends over to share in our festivities and we had a blast!

Don’t worry, the bubbly was for the moms ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Homemade Bath Paint

My 2 year LOVES the water. Swimming, bath time, running through sprinklers, you name it, if he can get wet, he’s in. At bath time, he will stay in there for…ev….er. So I needed something for him to do besides splash water all over the place. I’ve seen homemade bath paints before, mainly Pinterest, and finally decided to give it a try. In this post I will do my best to explain everything I did so you can try it, too!

Oh, and this activity is also good for those kids who hate bath time. Now maybe they will enjoy it…? Always worth a try.

Ok, here we go:

What you will need:

1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup baby wash/shampoo
Food coloring
Paint brushes
Some type of bowls/ tin to hold the paint. I used a muffin tin. It worked great to separate the colors.

Feel free to double this recipe, but I found it was enough. I made three colors but could have easily made 4.

In a bowl, mix together the corn starch and soap until smooth. Divide into bowls or tin, however many colors you want to use. Stir in for coloring until you get desired colors. Super easy. Paint away!

I was worried about the food coloring staining my bathtub but it comes right off.

Here are some pictures of my little guy having fun!

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Will I do this every bath time? Hell no! Too much mess and it uses too much soap. But it was really fun. My guy had a blast! I think he was in there for almost an hour. Pruney hands and feet!

So, try it out and have fun with it ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Easy Homemade Play-Doh

Sorry guys, this is an un-edible recipe. Well, I guess you COULD eat this, but it would be nasty :p Liam got Play-Doh for Christmas and at first I was like, “great, now our carpet and floors will be ruined!” But I got over that thought pretty quickly because Play-Doh is so fun! My son will play with it for hours, as he has been while I wrote this post ๐Ÿ™‚

We got 3 colors; blue, red and yellow. For some reason I wanted to try to make our own. The days are long. I hate winter. Why not?! Liam wanted green, I wanted purple so away we went. I put half of this recipe in one bowl and the other half in another bowl so I could make both colors and not have a ton. So here we go… Let’s go make some Play-Doh!

What you will need:

3 cups flour
3/4 cups salt
3 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Food coloring of your choice

In a large, heatproof bowl, mixย flour, salt and cream of tartar. In the hot water, add oil and food coloring, stir, then pour into dry ingredients. Tip: I put the water in a big coffee mug and heated it up in the microwave. Then I added the oil and food coloring to that, stirred and poured over the dry ingredients.

Mix until everything is moistened. Knead for a minute or two (careful, it will be hot!) on a lightly floured surface. Store in an airtight container NOT in the fridge.

Pictures of my son, Liam, playing with our Play-Doh!

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