Thursday, May 30, 2013

Father's Day Craft

Hi Everyone! Today I am sharing a quick and easy Father's Day craft over at The Taylor House. This cute little keychain will keep Daddy smiling wherever he goes! Be sure to stop by and check out the full tutorial!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Salsa in a Pot!

This spring I've been reading a lot about container gardening. I have a vegetable garden that I seem to overfill every year, so I thought I might try to spread things out a little!  While checking out some great gardening blogs I found a few posts that used one large pot to grow a variety of plants, and some were even meant to be used together in one recipe... what a great idea! Tomatoes seem to be the most popular for container gardening and I have read that peppers can also do quite well. This information lead me to the idea of "Salsa in a Pot"!

My plan was to find an inexpensive pot, decorate it and plant everything needed for homemade salsa. I found this plastic pot at Target and thought that the colour and finish were very similar to a chalk board, so I decided to use the chalkboard markers that we use on our chalkboard table to add a little colour. Once I had finished having fun with the markers, I planted a plum tomato plant, a hot pepper plant and some cilantro... add an onion and we'll have everything we need for a fresh salsa!

Friday, May 24, 2013

*#%* My Three Year Old Says...

This afternoon, as I was struggling to help him out of his car seat (while holding a a few grocery bags, a diaper bag and squirmy 20 pound baby) Andrew held out his hand and said...

Andrew - Here Mommy, can you carry Oktivus Pri?
   *Optimus Prime is a transformer, and Andrew's latest obsession, for anyone needing translation!* 

Me - Andrew, you carry your own toy. Mommy's hands are really full!

Andrew - I know what's a good idea! You should transform to a Octopus... then you could carry more!

Ha! After doing a quick google search for "transformer octopus" I found this!  Perfect!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Outdoor Games for Preschoolers

This spring, the boys and I have been spending a lot of time playing in our driveway. The weather has been great and I am happy to be soaking it all up before it becomes too hot to play! Now that Andrew is 3 he is beginning to enjoy structured games, as long as they move quickly and aren't too complicated! Most of the outdoor games we enjoy involve sidewalk chalk or bubbles, so when he lost interest in the ones we had been playing I did a quick Pinterest search and found some fun new games to try!

outdoor games for kids

One activity I've been excited to try for a long time is Sidewalk Painting. Jessica from Prairie Girl to Southern Belle shared her recipe for Sidewalk Paint a few weeks ago and it looks quite simple (I think I'll have more fun with it than Andrew)!

outdoor games for kids

I was happy to find some great Sidewalk Chalk Activities that help with the recognition of letters, numbers and colours...

outdoor games for kids

outdoor games for kids

outdoor games for kids

...and here are some awesome ideas for keeping cool when the heat of summer strikes!

outdoor games for kids

outdoor games for kids

outdoor games for kids

outdoor games for kids

I think Andrew, and some other neighbourhood kids, will have a ton of fun with these outdoor games this summer. What games do you and your little ones play in the driveway??

Looking for more learning activities that are great for preschoolers? Check out these posts:


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mermaid Tail Tutorial

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week! Today I am sharing a Mermaid Tail Tutorial at Mimi's Dollhouse! This is the mermaid tail that my friend Jenn gifted to all of the little princesses as they arrived at her daughter's birthday party. The "Under the Sea" party was an amazing success. Jenn never fails to go completely overboard with food, decor and games. She used fun custom printables from Mimi's Dollhouse for her invitations as well as banners, cupcake circles and thank you notes. I will be back later this week to share a few more of Jenn's creative Mermaid Party ideas, but in the mean time, take a minute to check out my Mermaid Tail Tutorial!

Isn't she adorable!!

Here is a link to the Christmas Craft Party that Jenn and I hosted together. I just loved collaborating with someone who loves throwing a great party!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vegetarian Curry Soup

My husband and I absolutely love Indian food and this Vegetarian Curry Soup is one of our favourite choices for a vegetarian meal.  The health benefits of living a vegetarian lifestyle are extremely well understood, but I just don't think we would be able to fully commit to the limitations of no meat. However, when we have the opportunity to eat authentic Indian cuisine, I think it could be a possibility! For now, I try to stick to planning at least one vegetarian meal a week.

This Vegetarian Curry Soup is a great Veggie night option. It has a dark rich broth, a full aromatic flavour and is surprisingly filling. I use a pre made curry paste for seasoning, which makes it much less complicated than your standard Indian stew, and the majority of the ingredients can be a combination of whatever you have in the fridge!

Vegetarian Curry Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can of chick peas
1 can diced tomato (with juices)
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups of baby spinach

To start, heat a couple of table spoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini and red peppers to the oil and sauté for a few minutes. 

Vegetarian Curry Soup

Then, stir in one or two tablespoons of your favourite red curry paste (I usually buy patak's) and sauté for an additional minute or two. Stir in chick peas, tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add sour cream and stir until the soup broth thickens slightly. Just before serving add baby spinach so that it wilts, but does not fully cook.  

Vegetarian Curry Soup
*Tip* - when I make this soup, I ladle the soup I know we will eat into a 
smaller pot before wilting the spinach. When reheating leftovers 
I add a handful of spinach to the bowl, stir and microwave until hot.

Vegetarian Curry Soup

This is one of those recipes that really keeps getting better as it sits in the fridge... so make a big batch and enjoy it all week!

Pinterest Power Party

Friday, May 17, 2013

Henry is 9 months!!!

Henry is nine months today and after reading his last update I cannot believe how much he has changed.  It really seems like he went from a little baby to mobile little man over night! He is crawling all over the place, pulling himself up on anything he can grab and beginning to cruise around on the coffee table and couch. Just this week, Henry has started to wave his little hands and clap them when we cheer "Yayyyyy!!".

Henry now has six teeth and I think he is working on a few more. He can eat small pieces of food all by himself, and is even starting to eat some of the food from the family table.

Silly faces with Nana!

This past month, Henry enjoyed some fun trips with his friends and family! We spent a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, in Niagra falls, where Henry had lots of fun splashing in the pools and chillin' on the Lazy River. He experienced his first of many trips to Story Book Gardens, with his pals Jake and Abbie, and he met all of his extended family in Kingston at a Youngman family bbq!

Every child in London needs at least one picture a year in front of this miniature church!

He is growing so fast, which makes me excited for what comes next, and a little sad that some stages have been left behind. However, I know this is going to be a fabulous summer, full of picnics at the park, and trips to the pool. I can't wait to watch both of my boys enjoy these fun experiences together!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Early Mother's Day Gift...

It's been a busy week around here, and I haven't been able to find a whole lot of time for any new projects. So,  I thought I would share this adorable Mother's Day Painting that Andrew made at daycare. He was so proud to present me with his work... "I made this for YOU Mommy!!" with a huge smile! I absolutely love any craft that involves hand prints. It is such a great way to remember just how small those little fingers were!

Hand Print Painting

Thank you Andrew, for the beautiful painting, and Thank you Jackie for everything you do!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guest Post - Painted Wooden Spoons!

Today I am happy to have Jessica, from Prairie Girl to Southern Belle, back to share a simple Painted Wooden Spoon project. The colours she has used are so fun! What a great way to add some flare to an everyday task! I'm thinking I need a wooden spoon upgrade!

Hey there! It's Jessica from Prairie Girl to Southern Belle and I'm so excited that Leanne asked me to share one of my favorite things with you!
The other day I dipped my spoons. And you know what? I love them!
I ran to Lowe's and picked up some of those cute little paint samples. I plan to use them for lots of projects around the house, so stop by my blog and see if you can spot these colors around my place. These colors make me happy!
painted wooden spoons
I painted the handles of my wooden spoons and then stuck each one upside down
a glass so they could dry.
painted wooden spoons
So far I haven't needed to seal the paint in any way. The paint isn't ever in the food and I always wash my wooden spoons right away. No problems to report! And they look so cute sitting on the counter by the coffee pot in an old blue Mason jar! (Which, by the way, they are producing again this year for their anniversary...go get some when you find them!)
painted wooden spoons
I love these spoons!
Why not make the things and spaces you use every day pretty?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY Herb Markers

herb garden

One of my favourite things about summer cooking is the availability of fresh herbs! I love to grow our favourite herbs in our garden so that we always have what we need on hand. For us, Basil and Cilantro are tops, but we also enjoy Dill, Rosemary and Mint. In the off season, I like to keep a pot of basil in the kitchen to add to salads and pasta. Now that the warm weather is coming, I thought I would put together a small herb garden that can easily be moved outdoors for summer. This little garden would be a great gift idea of Mother's Day or even for your child's teacher at the end of the school year!

I found this adorable galvanized steel planter set at the dollar store and knew that it would be perfect for the project. I had an idea for some DIY herb markers as well, so I purchased one sheet of small white tiles from The Home Depot. The other supplies included clothespins, washi tape, a sharpie and some potted herbs.

herb garden

To make the herb markers, I cut out letter stencils with my silhouette, spray glued them to the tile, and filled in each letter using a black sharpie. The stencils peeled off of the tile easily.

herb garden

Next, I carefully wrote the full name of each herb along the bottom of the tile and then used hot glue to attach them to a clothespin. 

herb garden

I added some washi tape to the planter tray, popped the plants in the pots and attached the herb markers!

herb garden

herb garden

I am absolutely in love with this little herb garden! I had planned on gifting it to someone, but I think I may need to make a few more! The whole project only took about thirty minutes! I'm wondering what other items could use a new little tile label!

herb garden

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