Friday, May 24, 2013

Shaving Cream Bathtub Paints

We made these super duper, super fun, super easy, and super clean paints today in an attempt to beat the rainy day blues and it worked!  In fact, my 2 1/2 year old spent an hour and a half in the tub painting the tub, the walls, her toys, her body, and then cleaning everything up with washcloths and sponges.  It was the perfect rainy day activity!

You probably won't believe this, but I did not have any shaving cream in the house, only shaving gel which according to every google search I did would not work.  But, desperate times call for desperate measures and I was determined to make it work.  A good stir turned my shaving gel into nice foamy shaving cream in no time.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Shaving Cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Tongue depressors, fingers, or whatever you want to use for painting

Here's what you'll do:
  • Stir shaving cream together with a couple of drops of food coloring
  • Paint, paint, paint
  • Clean up with a wet cloth or sponge
  • If you use shaving gel instead of cream just give it a good stir first to get it foamy.  Mine even had a blue tint and it still mixed up nicely with the food coloring.

So easy, so fun, and no stains on my tub or child!

I found my inspiration for this project here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Milk Jug Bird Feeders

Daddy gets all the credit for this recent outdoor project... I just provided some art supplies and took some pictures!

This was an easy and fun craft that was easy to put together with things we had around the house.

If you don't have a milk jug and need one, let me know!  With as much milk as we go through we could make one of these every few days and feed all the birds in the world right in our own backyard!

Here's what you'll need:
  • empty, rinsed out, milk jug
  • string for hanging
  • scissors or sharp tool for cutting holes
  • markers (these BIC Mark-It™ Permanent Markers I got free from smiley360 were perfect!)
  • whatever decorations you have and want to use
  • 2 sticks
  • birdseed

Here's what you'll do:
grown up jobs:
  • cut 2 small holes at the top of the jug for hanging
  • cut 4 small holes, one in each of the jug sides, to insert sticks for perches
  • cut holes in sides, large enough for birds to come in for a snack
kid jobs:
  • decorate, decorate, decorate 
together jobs:
  • insert sticks into holes
  • attach string for hanging
  • fill with birdseed
  • hang from a tree (we used a broken hanger)

I may have missed some steps to this since I wasn't the one to do the project but just follow the pictures and you'll be fine!

The birds (and squirrels...) love this feeder and we love watching them!  My wakeup call the day after this project was a 2 1/2 year old running into my bedroom at 6:00 AM to inform me that there were birds at her new bird feeder (which hangs on a tree branch right outside her window).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Free fruit for kids at Shaw's

We are big fans of the Shaw's Healthy Eaters program!  I think if my 2 1/2 year old could type, she would probably write up this blog post herself.  Every time we visit Shaw's she is able to pick a banana or apple for herself and pay for it (get it for free) with this coupon.  Not only does this reinforce her love of fresh fruit but also gives her something to look forward to on every shopping trip.  And yes, I am proud, when she asks if she can pay for her own food with a coupon!  If you haven't picked up one of these cards from your store, you should!

Also thanks to Shaws in Burlington, MA for always having stickers at checkout!  My daughter has started asking at the register (loud enough for us all to hear), "Mommy, do you think they have any stickers here?"  She says she is "too nervous" to ask directly, but we appreciate the sweet generosity just the same!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shredded BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot

I typically use my crock pot more in the fall and winter than in the spring or summer but honestly, on a beautiful day, who wants to be inside cooking when they could be outside playing?  Yesterday I threw together a super easy crock pot dinner definitely suitable for warmer weather.  I got my inspiration here but was a little lazy and didn't add the extras... it still turned out delicious!

  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds frozen boneless chicken breasts (If yours are thawed, just decrease the cooking time, similar to the original recipe found here.  I used 1.8 pounds frozen.)
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce (I used 18 oz Bull's-Eye Original)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chicken/turkey broth (I used two frozen cubes, see below)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

  • Place sliced onions in bottom of crock pot
  • Place frozen chicken on top
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Cover with barbecue sauce
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours (chicken should cook to 170 degrees)
  • Remove chicken from crock pot
  • Mix 2 tbsp chicken broth with 2 tbsp corn starch until dissolved
  • Add to crock pot, stir, and heat on high for 10 minutes to thicken up the sauce
  • Shred chicken with fork, stir it back into crock pot and continue cooking on low for 45 minutes
  • We served ours on buns with coleslaw on top and potato salad on the side!

A couple of other things to note:  
  • There are lots of recipes out there for homemade barbecue sauces you could use for this but I went the easy route and just dumped in what we had.  I'm not sure it matters a whole lot but I can definitely tell you from experience that KC Masterpiece does NOT cook up well in a crock pot.  The Bull's-Eye tasted just fine.
  • I keep frozen cubes of turkey broth in the freezer and used two in this recipe.  The next time you cook up a chicken or turkey, boil the carcass and save the broth!  You can freeze it in ice cube trays and store the frozen cubes in a zip lock bag in your freezer.  This is a huge time and money saver!  I still have tons left over from our Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
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