Tres Leches Cake

Delicious for any occasion

Homemade Watercolors

For homeschoolers, or just fun at home

DIY Toothpaste

Great for good health, and a happy pocketbook

Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Even picky kids will love these meat-less dishes

Sewing Projects and Tips

Even more tutorials to come soon

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Behavior Charts

Like many families, we're once again trying a new system for encouraging our kiddos to "behave". We've tried all manner of charts, signs, points, etc, and none seemed to be a perfect fit for every member of our house. Then I thought about combining methods to create our perfect, or near-perfect system.

Our oldest does well with points, our second-oldest does well with the "color" system at school. He'll strive to "stay on green" mainly because he dislikes the colors orange and red. Hey, that's a good enough reason for me, it gets results! ;-)

So here is our newest chart:
You can click for a bigger/better view...

Instead of writing "BEHAVIOR-ALERT, BE CRABBY WITH MOM" [;-)] across the top, I simply provided a reminder. "How are you doing today?" There are clips for each member of the family, with their initials, to mark their progress. I used a foam-cutout letter for each initial. Show here are plastic clips I got in the dollar bin, I had clothes pins, but the little one kept stealing them. She likes to use them for crafts, but these plastic ones she's never used- so she doesn't want them. =-)

The system is easy to use. Helped your sister? Please move your marker up to green. Aren't doing your chores? Please more your marker to orange. It this one of those days I wonder if you're my child or a body-snatching alien? Dude, welcome to the black square.

When a member gets 25 points, they get to pick a prize from Mommy's lovely box of $1-and-under goodies.

I also like that you can make the colored places as big or as small as you need for your family. You can use a tiny index-card sized piece for 1 or 2 kiddos, or a whole sheet for several. I have a friend I adore who might need more than a sheet-sized place! The ones I have here are 3"x6". I also laminated them and attached them at the same time by putting them together with clear contact paper.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homemade Fun: Finger Paint

Yellow looks orange in the jar- but it's not!
Perfectly thick and glossy finger paints are easier to make at home than you may think.

In a medium sauce pan, heat over medium heat-
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of cornstarch
Stir or whisk constantly.

Remove from the heat immediately, and let cool until just warmed. (The food coloring spreads and mixes easier if it is still a little warm, but you can totally let it cool all the way without worries...)

Pour into separate containers with lids. Stir in several drops of food coloring. I chose to just make the primary colors so we can work on mixing colors. Let cool completely before using.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Ingredient Treats

On Facebook I was reading some of the pages I follow, and Crystal from Suzie Homemaker had shared with us a link to some cakes with two ingredients from Hungry Girl. Being that I love, LOVE canned pumpkin, I decided to go with that one. With the little Princess in tow, I went about making one with a box of "spiced" cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree. THAT IS IT. It was so easy, that after I dumped the two in a bowl and started stirring, the three year old took over. She was super excited to be making a cake "by herself!" It was delicious! The spice and the pumpkin went together beautifully! I also didn't need to worry about all the tastes she snuck because there were no eggs! A great first cake.

Hungry Girl suggested to try it with a chocolate cake mix, and of course I love chocolate as much, if not more than pumpkin. So even if it still tasted like pumpkin, a total win! This time I made them into cupcakes, and put a few chocolate chips on top for some prettiness/extra chocolate. Is there such thing as too much chocolate!?
These treats are moist, delicious, and have a little extra fiber. I think I'll even try a few of the other ways to make them!