December 1, 2009

Homemade Bits & Bites

Making Bits & Bites is a Christmas tradition for us (although I could happily eat them all year long!). Our recipe has been tailored to our tastes, and feel free to adapt it to your liking! Other family members use different seasoning salt, and substitute peanuts, cheese sticks and Cheerios, but this is the version we like best. Enjoy!

Measurements for the munchies are up to you - feel free to add what you like, in the proportions you like! The seasoning for this recipe will cover enough dry ingredients to fill a turkey roaster.

Unsalted cashews
Stick pretzels
Oatmeal Squares (regular flavour)

1 cup canola oil
2 tbsp Worchester sauce
1 tbsp Garlic salt
1 tbsp Seasoning salt (we use Hy's seasoning, regular flavour)

Combine munchies in a roasting pan.
Mix the seasoning, and pour slowly over the dry ingredients, stirring often so that it is distributed evenly.
Bake at 250F for 2 hours stirring every 15 minutes.
Let cool, and store in airtight containers or bags.

November 24, 2009

Who knows if anything is safe? Recalls of cribs, strollers and some Melissa & Doug Toys

After hearing on the radio today about the recall of over 2 million Stork Craft/Fisher Price cribs in Canada and the U.S., I decided to look and see what else has been recalled lately.

Looking at the recalls always bothers me, because it seems that you can never guess what products will be safe (I guess the definition of "safety" is variable, too!). I love Melissa & Doug products, but it seems that some have unsafe levels of barium. And ALL Maclaren/Kushies single and double strollers have been recalled after 12 fingertip amputations. Isn't that crazy?!

Keep your eye on the Healthy Canadians website for food and product recalls, and the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission for recalls and product safety news.

November 22, 2009

Christmas preparations

Today we hung our Christmas lights outside! Granted, we don't have many, but it's still a big deal for us to have any up before December. Having a little kid definitely makes you think about Christmas earlier!

Here are some fun crafty things on my "To Do" list:

Kiddy Crafts

P.S. Canadians, don't forget to write your letter to Santa! Mail it by the second week of December to make sure you get a reply before Christmas!
(You can also email - Santa's become a techie)

November 21, 2009

New spouts for our Klean Kanteen sippy cup

We upgraded to the sport spout a few months ago, and whenever we go out, people ask us where we got it. We got ours at Toys R Us; it's an Avent Brand spout, just like the green ones that come with the Klean Kanteen. Check them out on Amazon.

November 18, 2009

Children's activity envelopes

There are so many great printable activities online, but keeping paper organized is an ongoing challenge for me. While my own piles of paper are towering (I need a solid 24 hours to dig out our office!), I'm making headway with C's paper games. One way I keep things organized is by using activity envelopes.

Whenever I print or draw a game or activity, I laminate it, cut it out, and put it in an envelope. If it already has a picture or visual directions, I print that; otherwise I take a photo, print it and tape it to the front of the envelope. Then I put the envelopes in a magazine holder on my shelf. Voila, organization!

Two of my favourite sites for printable activities are File Folder Fun and Montessori For Everyone.

This post is part of Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

November 17, 2009

Making doll clothes

...not for Christmas, but for C's birthday in February. Her Cabbage Patch doll (my childhood doll) has a couple of dresses, but I think she'd have fun dressing her up in a bunch of different outfits. She's loved diapering the doll for about a year, but her old cloth diapers are too big for it. I found some great links, and thought I'd share them now, in case anyone is thinking of making doll clothes for Christmas.

I love the idea of a re-used and handmade Christmas. I'm sure we'll always have some new things, but we're working towards a "less is more" philosophy. This year I found some small kitchen accessories at a yard sale that are perfect for her play kitchen, and I'm going to make some more felt food for stocking stuffers. I also found her a second-hand Fisher Price Sesame Street play set (which I remember playing with in the 80s!). She fell in love with it while visiting a friend's house earlier this year. I've cleaned it up, and I'm going to touch up the paint on some of the faces and make bedding for Bert & Ernie's beds, because I removed the dented foam. Hubby plans to make C a balance beam.

Ok, on with the patterns! These can be adapted to fit any doll of a similar size.

Doll T-shirt Tutorial
Doll Pants Tutorial
Doll skirts (wrap and patchwork)
Baby Doll Cloth Diaper Tutorial
Dollar Doll Clothes - from underwear!

And some helpful tips about cleaning your Cabbage Patch doll!

Happy sewing!

November 16, 2009

Plans for Christmas PJs

It will be my first time using a "real" pattern - cross your fingers!

November 15, 2009

November, so far...

What we've been up to lately...

Making poppies (kind of!) for Remembrance Day:

Sorting with Mickey:
Learning patterns with Mickey (I love the Disney paint chips from Home Depot - they're cute and colourful, and no cutting or laminating are required!)

Spelling (with cards, on the fridge, and in songs). By herself, C can spell her name, her Dad's name and "mop" (thanks to the song "Rag Mop" on her new favourite CD, Jazz For Kids). She's doing really well with letter sounds too, so we should do some more games with that while she's interested!
Making our own stickers - and this is inevitably what happens whenever we play with stickers!

And baking! We started our pre-Christmas baking a couple of days ago. We've been listening to Christmas music, which has increased C's interest in Santa Claus, so we broke out the Christmas books too. This is unprecedented for me - usually I'm a not-before-December kind of gal! Speaking of baking, I went to a Pampered Chef show last night - they have such nice kitchen gear!
We have totally cut out C's naps due to unusual bedtime crankiness recently, and things are going much better (although Mummy is very tired by the time 2 or 3pm rolls around!).

That's all for now!

November 11, 2009

On Remembrance Day...

Thank you to everyone who has served, with the hope of peace.
My step-grandfather, Maxwell Bursey - Newfoundland, WWII

A good (but sad) Remembrance Day book for children:

A Bear In War - Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat

Based on a true story, this book tells the story of a teddy bear who traveled to the front lines of France in 1916 with a Lieutenant in the Canadian army.

November 1, 2009

Halloween costume

C's Little Red Riding Hood cape turned out rather well, if I do say so myself!
I hope you all had a great Halloween, and that your children's crash from the sugar high wasn't too bad!

October 28, 2009

Lead in face paint... and some personal news!

I just threw out a package of Alex brand face paint crayons after reading this report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics!

Pretty Scary: A Report on Heavy Metals in Face Paints

We've been told for years to avoid putting masks on children at Halloween because most don't have eye holes big enough to allow for good vision on dark, busy Halloween streets - paint was the way to go. But with the scary results of this report (lead was found in all 10 products tested; nickel, cobalt and chromium in some), I won't be painting C's face until I can find a face paint that doesn't have any lead or nasty chemicals - does anyone have any good homemade face paint recipes? Luckily her costume this year doesn't involve face paint. She's going to be Little Red Riding Hood! I made her cape, and I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I'll post a picture after Halloween.

And as for the personal news... Hubby and I are expecting another baby! I'm 3 months along, and I'm feeling pretty good, besides a bit of queasiness. I was extremely tired for a while, but that's starting to subside - which is good, because I've been traveling the country for work! I've been banking a bunch of hours (I'm only supposed to work 2 days a week), so I plan to take some time off in December or January, when things at work slow down. I think we're going to keep the sex of the baby a surprise, and C is pretty excited to be a big sister someday.

That's it from my neck of the woods! have fun with your Halloween prep, and pray that it doesn't rain (or snow, depending on where you live)!

Graphics problem fixed!

It looks like I've been without a blog header for a few days - my image hosting site went kaput, but I've uploaded it to Flickr, so it's all fixed now - yay!

September 23, 2009

Organizing with Recyclables

When you're desperate for organization in small spaces, and on a budget, what's better than reusing and beautifying things that are in your recycling bin?

We eat a lot of raisins at our house. The PC Organics raisins are my favourite, so we end up with a lot of cans piling up around the house. They're about 4.5 inches high and 4 inches in diameter - perfect for storing small things! But, they're kind of ugly...

Voila - look what scrapbook paper, scotch tape and an hour can do!

I use them as pen jars, to hold scrapbooking supplies, put them by my sewing machine to store fabric scraps and bits of thread, and I even have a few in our craft closet to hold collage supplies.

Other ideas:
  • barrettes and hair elastics
  • crayons or chalk
  • stickers
  • dinky cars
  • coin bank (just slit a hole in the lid)
  • squares of notepaper (cut up paper that's been only used on one side)
  • candy jar

This post is part of Works-For-Me-Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

September 21, 2009

Super simple activities for lazy days!

I'll admit, sometimes I just feel like being lazy. I use the slow cooker, put as many dishes as possible in the dishwasher, and don't feel like getting out paint or lots of supplies for activities for C. During the summer we traveled a lot, and when we were home we spent a lot of time outdoors. When we were inside, I just didn't feel like I had a lot of energy for activities (as evidenced by my lack of posts on the blog!). On some of those days, here are a few super simple, low-prep activities we do:

My gal loves to sort. Mostly by colour, but also by shape and size. Alphabet letters have always been a big hit, and recently she's been into my button jar and a jar of beads.

Daddy's trying to raise a future golfer! Our putting machine (kind of like this) is a hit, and we have a nice long hallway to keep the balls contained! I remember my brother and I spent a lot of time rolling balls into my Dad's machine when we were young - it was fun to watch them roll back at us!

 Bead Designs
C loves Mardi Gras beads, but she doesn't wear them very often. She prefers to sit on the floor and watch me make letters and shapes with them. She'll tell me what to make, or I'll make it, and she'll guess what it is.
Shapes are fun because we can jump back and forth in them!

Beanbag Toss
Throwing beanbags into a basket is also a fun and easy activity. I just stick a piece of masking tape on the floor for C to stand on - otherwise she stands right over the basket! I keep moving the basket farther and farther away (until she gets frustrated and asks me to move it back!). If you don't have beanbags, just use small stuffed animals. Beanie Babies and Happy Meal sized toys are perfect!

C is also very into spelling right now, and we use alphabet letter fridge magnets to spell our names, and any other word she can think of. We're working on identifying letter sounds, but some of them are tricky (especially vowels)!

So those are a few things I do when I want to be a good Mom, but I feel too tired or lazy to organize a big activity or craft! What super simple activities do you do when you're having those days?

If you like these ideas, also check out Super simple activities for busy days!

August 26, 2009

Trip to Newfoundland - we came, we saw, we caught fish!

We had a wonderful trip to Newfoundland earlier this month. We stayed with my parents, and I got to visit some old friends, my Grandma (in Newfoundland, most grandmas are called "Nanny" or "Nan"), and some aunts and cousins. The time always seems to go by so fast! Hubby and I got in some time to ourselves though, and some of the festivities at the George Street Festival.

A few highlights of things we did with C:

Playing in the water while we watched the capelin come in. It's pretty amazing. Millions of fish come close to shore to spawn and "roll" up on the beach. You can just pick up handfulls of fish, or wade out and use buckets and nets to catch them. It was my first time seeing them, and it was quite an event - there were a ton of people on the beach!

C thought they were amazing! She liked the dead ones better though - the wiggling ones made her jump!

On one of our inside days, she enjoyed filling up her Grandma's pop bottle bank!

We went to one of the coolest parks I've ever seen - this is outdoor exercise equipment! Weight machines, elliptical machines, rowing machines, stationary bikes... it made exercising fun!

We went for a walk on the St. John's waterfront (that's a navy boat in the background).

C thoroughly enjoyed "getting a home run" on a big compass at a tourist spot...

...and visiting a castle (Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received).

In St. Lawrence, where my Dad is from, we took C fishing. She caught a fish right away, and my Dad caught a bunch, but after many unsuccessful attempts by me, C looked at my Mom and said "Poor Mummy. Mummy didn't catch no fish!"

She didn't mind the worms either!

All in all, a great trip!
(I love this picture - C and Grandpa, off on an adventure!)

August 25, 2009

It's 1970, and children, this is your life!

This is from a 1970s children's book. Yikes! Click on the picture to read more about what boys and girls can be when they grow up! (via The Blog of Record)

I know it's been a long time since I've updated this blog, but rest assured that we're still alive and healthy here! Our vacation to Newfoundland was wonderful, and since we've been back we've had many days where it's almost been too hot to move (summer finally arrived!). Things have also been going full tilt at work, so I've been avoiding the computer in my free time. Besides, it's summer, and I always kind of feel like unplugging in the summer, don't you?

I've also been kind of stressed out and crabby over the whole potty training adventure (any good tips to share?), but I'm trying to take deep breaths and remind myself that C will become consistent one day!

So that's it, just a little note from me, but I will post trip pictures soon, along with a few easy-peasy activities we do when I get lazy. :) Hope you're having a great summer!

August 5, 2009


We're midway through a two week vacation in Newfoundland, so that's why I haven't been posting lately. We're having fun visiting family and friends, shopping, seeing the sights and festivals, and enjoying the outdoors. Trip report when I get back!

I hope you're having a great summer!

The beautiful photos are from the Bitstop blog.

July 22, 2009

Painted Ladies

These little ladies have popped up all around my garden, and C and her friends like to collect them.

Rocks + red, black and white paint = ladybugs! A quick and easy mama craft!

July 20, 2009

Summer fun

We finally have sunshine here, so we've been out enjoying it instead of spending time on the computer. I hope you're having a great summer!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
design by