Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Cookin' -- Honey Ginger Carrots

I took this recipe from here.  Very easy and different than the typical sweetened carrots.

Honey Ginger Carrots

1 pound carrots, sliced
1/4 cup butter (use dairy-free margarine to make dairy-free)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 pinch ground ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet over low heat, melt butter with honey. Stir in ground ginger and lemon juice. Stir in carrots and simmer until heated through.

For more great recipes check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Fun Link

I have been using some file folder games with my toddler lately that I made years ago.  She just loves playing them.  I did a quick search to find more.  File Folder Fun is a great site that has file folder games.  Hint:  When printing you may want to scale the size back to 95 percent to make sure they fit on the page.

**You can also find books with patterns for file folders at the library.**

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reading Blogs

Okay, maybe I'm just behind the technology, but I just found an easy way to read blogs without clicking a hundred times.  It started out with me wondering how many subscribers I had.  I subscribed to my own blogs in Google Reader. By showing details I could see how many subscribers I have.

Then I realized that if I put all the links to all the blogs I read every day, I could check all my blogs with one click.  Talk about time saving.  I love reading blogs and several blog authors update throughout the day. You just don't want to miss anything, right?  Now I can just check my blogs in minutes and step away from the computer.
I hadn't subscribed before because I had some misconceptions.
1) I thought subscribing would saturate my e-mail, and I just didn't want a million e-mails a day.  I get enough garbage and sometimes I miss things that go to spam. No e-mail involved at all
2) I thought it was really hard to set up and time consuming to do.  So easy-- see steps below.
3) I didn't think I would be able to click links.  You can see the blog as it appears on the website.  Comments aren't viewed or Mr. Linky.  But that's not an issue because you can just click on the blog title and be taken to the "actual" blog. 
 4) I thought I might miss something.  Just the opposite happens.  I catch everything and those posts that I could care less about I sift through even faster. 
5) Not every blog I have is "google."  Well, actually of all the blogs I read, only two weren't linked up or had a feed.  But I could manually create a feed, so nothing missed.

Steps for setting up Google Reader.
1. Click "add subscription."
2. Add link. Click "ok."
3. Repeat with as many blogs you would like.
4.  When you first add a blog it will give you the 10 latest posts as unread or new posts to read.  Just scroll through or click "mark as unread."
5. To check Reader, just click on Google Reader and any unread posts will be under "all items." Those are the posts that are unread.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Big Letters and Small Letters Matching

When making games for my daughter (or any child), it's really fun to use different textures and the senses.  In this game I used bottle caps from water bottles and a plastic container.  Shake that up and it's just plain fun for a 2-year-old before you even get started with the "learning."  I must preface that this activity is for any child 2 to 5 who is learning upper and lower case letters.  My daughter is really interested in letters, but not al 2-year-olds are ready for this one, yet.   But you never know.  I didn't think she was ready or would be able to do the whole thing and she surprised me.  I advise not pushing, just do what they are interested in.

26 water bottle caps
Plastic container (or bag)
ABC stickers upper and lower case
File Folder or sturdy cardboard

1. I made 26 circles on a Open Office (MS Word works, too).
2.  I placed a lower case letter sticker in each circle in order.  You could write the letters, too.  I used stickers because there are different fonts that children will see once they start reading.   It also was more colorful.
3.  I attached the paper with the circles and letters on a file folder. I used box tape to secure it.
4. I placed a upper case letter sticker on each bottle cap.

4. On the inner part of the bottle cap I wrote a self-correcting lower case letter. This will help children learning to correct themselves while playing alone.  Be sure to put a line under letters, such as b, p, q, d, n, u, etc.  That way there is no confusion.

To play: allow child to pick a bottle cap and match letters.
Variations of play

  • Hand letters to child if you want to asses learning. 
  • Have child find letters in order and then match. 
  • Find vowels first, then match others.  
  • Find letters in name first, then match others.
  • Say sounds as they match
  • Sing ABCs

Skills focused on:

  • Learning that letters have upper and lower case letters.
  • Distinguishing between letters that look similiar, b,d, p, q, m, w
  • Self-correcting skills
  • Following directions
  • Letter sounds
  • Letter recognition
  • Problem solving
  • Learning Alphabetical order

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Buying Spices

The question: Can you tell which garlic powder has ounces?

The answer: The garlic powder on the left is 3.12 oz and the one on the right is 2.5 oz.

Recently, I've been replenishing my spice supply.  I purchased garlic powder from Target.  When I brought it home, I was surprised to notice that the smaller container I bought had more spice in it than the larger container that was in my cabinet.    I can't remember the cost of the one I had bought a few months ago, but I thought it was a good lesson learned.  Even when choosing which spice to buy in the store, check how many ounces per price.  You can't determine best cost by just looking size of container.

Oh, the tricks company's play...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's Cookin' -- Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Sorry for no posts so far this week.  I have a post for a toddler game, but my camera's battery died.  So, I'll get it up by the end of the week.  Here's my recipe for the week. Yummy!

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
6 medium potatoes, peeled
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil potatoes for 30 minutes.
2.  Add sour cream and cream cheese.
3. Mash.
4. Add salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with chives.

**Adjust for more or less potatoes.  Just use equal parts of cream cheese and sour cream, but if you use less of one or the other it will still taste really good).

Check out more recipes at the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

M & M Cookies

I made M & M cookies for Valentine's Day for my husband (and me).  Best cookie.  Here's a link to the recipe.  Don't change a thing!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deal of the Day

It's was actually "deals."  I've been meaning to hit the BOGO sale at Payless for a while now.  But snow and sickness have limited out trips out.  Today I went to Shopko, which has a Payless store.  I went there because I also got a $10 off $40 coupon.  My daughter seems to typically have one pair and wears them to the end.  So, I figured I'd buy two pair for now and two to grow into making the best of the BOGO sale and the $10 off.  After it was all said and done I spent less than $9 per pair of shoes.  Not a bad deal.

I had to walk through the toys because they had a buy 2, get 1 sale.  So tempting.  As we searched the deals, I saw they had Barbie dolls on sale.  My daughter just loves the Barbies at the daycare she attends. I picked up some High School Musical dolls after Christmas at Target for dirt cheap.  I'm not sure I'm ready for the Barbie invasion, so I'm holding off until she's officially 3 years old.   But I found a Christmas Carol Barbie today for $2.99 (no that's not a typo -- originally $15).  It's so pretty and fun and absolutely perfect for a little girl who loves Barbies.  The corresponding Christmas Carol Kelly (oh, she's so cute, says my daughter) was also only $2.99.  I put both both in the cart without her knowing.  There was also a 3 Musketeer Barbie that was only $5.99, so I snuck that one in too.  Since they were clearance, I didn't get the buy 2, get 1 deal.  Instead I got three Barbie dolls for $12.  They will be so much fun to give to her at her birthday and Christmas.  Then the invasion begins...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Surprise Box -- Penguins

Here's a simple surprise box.


  • March of the Penguins, Luc Jacquet
  • Penguins 123, Kevin Schafer
  • Penguin Pete and Little Tim, Marcus Pfister 


I took foam penguins and put numbers on each one.  Then I made a corresponding "snowball" to make this a matching game. We focused mainly on number recognition 1 to 20.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Have you been in Michaels lately?  I was in there last weekend buying craft sticks so I could make these.  As I was walking around I noticed that in several sections of the store there were bins filled with $1 items.  Items such as crayons, craft projects, pads of paper, games, pencils, etc.  It seems they have a lot more than they used to. I noticed they have seasonal bins with items for $1, too.  After Christmas, I picked up several things from the dollar bins for 50 percent off or more.  Just another place to get some inexpensive gifts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's Cookin' -- Dairy-Free Candy

I am now a contributing author to Must Follow Recipes.  I posted a really yummy dairy-free recipe for valentine's day chocolate.  Check it out here!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Potty Training Activity

I read this somewhere online, but I don't remember where any longer.  This was a fun activity to do with our daughter who is just starting to potty train.

  • White underwear
  • fabric paint
  • stencil (if desired)
  • paint brush

1. Stencil paint on underwear.  Or just let your little one paint at will.
2.  Follow fabric paint drying directions.
**I did one side and let it dry and then did the other side later in the day.  I also placed a piece of cardboard between so the paint didn't leak through to the other side. **


Related Posts with Thumbnails