Category Archives: At Home

ICED COFFEE ~ Detroit Style

I love iced coffee. I have become particularly focused on (some would say obsessed) creating the perfect iced coffee brew.

Here’s my version of perfection:

Cut a 5X5″ square of cheesecloth

Dump 1 cup of your favorite ground coffee into the center

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Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together, twist and tie tightly with cotton thread/twine.

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Fill a large glass container with 5-7 cups of cold purified water.

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Place the cheesecloth pouch into the water. Let sit out on your counter or in your refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.

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Voila!

Keep in your refrigerator with the black gold for up to a month. Enjoy ice, cream, sugar or just plain, like me, for up to a month.

If you do not love strong coffee, use less coffee to water in your brew and take the cheesecloth out after the first “overnight” brew.

Cheers!

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Faux Snow

It’s snowing!!!! Big beautiful fluffy flakes, look look!!!

5 minutes later

It stopped. Nooooo 😦

We live in Michigan, so there is a certain amount of snow expected. However, for the past three winters we haven’t even gotten enough to build a snowman in Wayne County. We plan on heading to some snow hills this winter but my child is ever-increasingly interested in playing in the snow (I can’t blame him).

So, like all good parents, when presented with a challenge, I turn to the Internet 🙂 Here’s what I found and what we did:

Make your own snow! Just mix equal parts baking soda with shaving cream.

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I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil and blue food coloring. Voila!

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It was bath time so I let B mix and explore while in an “arctic adventure” bath. The mixture is surprisingly cool and when mixed fully it really does feel like snow!

We will definitely be exploring this again. Next time I plan to do it in the kitchen sink and then add a few glugs of vinegar to get an “exploding” action.

Simple, easy, fun and really cool, my kind of activity!

What activities have you been doing with your little ones this winter?

Rite of Passage

There are certain things you remember, big moments that, upon reflection were turning points in your life. Learning to tie your shoes, ride a bike, pour your own milk and using sharp objects to cut. Scissors were first, then butter knives, then real knives and now a pumpkin saw. You know you’ve arrived when you can be trusted with sharp objects.

First, you’ve got to choose the right pumpkin. B had three that he had chosen in early October and have been lying in wait on our front porch deflecting squirrels daily just to get the chance to be chosen as his FIRST carved pumpkin, quite an honor! We opened the fancy pumpkin carving kit, examined our tools and decided on a template. For obvious reasons, we went with “beginner” level for the carving.

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Daddy guiding B’s wee hand along the top cut.

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Okay, so we didn’t totally surrender cutting this massive squash to our (almost) three year old. We’re not totally crazy, but B got the V.I.P knife talk and he definitely sawed that gourd.
He did seem to enjoy the gutting part the most however.

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He cut, rolled and tapped his pumpkin head until the design was done. Then we set it out on the front porch with the others. I had purchased some “safety” battery operated flicker lights, much to B’s sadness. Knives were a lot for one day… be patient my son… one day we will teach you to command fire too. You have much to learn little one. For now, just smile at the camera so mommy can commemorate (sniff, sniffle) another milestone.

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What are your favorite family traditions on Halloween?

Costume Police!

You might get ticketed by the costume police when you’ve got a matching vehicle as a part of the design. We “spared no expense” as they said on Jurassic Park… Oy! I justify the expense by telling myself, “I only have one child and there are a finite amount of Halloweens…yadda, yadda”, you know the lies we tell ourselves.

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I fell in love with it at first sight! I love the hat, the boots, the badge, I love it all! Not to mention, B seems to like it too.

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A tip ‘o the hat and my heart swooned. No warm blooded mommy could say no to this, right?

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There he goes, having stolen my poor heart!

What costumes are your kiddos wearing this year?

Veggie Toddler Cookies?!?

I couldn’t believe it when I read the Spouse in the House blog this morning. Veggie cookies?!? Since all my little guy does is bite a carrot or broccoli and spit it out, I needed a new way to add more vegetables into his day. I’ve been using Deceptively Delicious for macaroni and cheese, meatballs and sauce as well as morning pancakes but a “cookie” really kicks it up a notch. So, I walked straight into the kitchen and started pulling ingredients out. I didn’t have zucchini or carrot but I did have puréed apple and a small bag of frozen kale left over from our CSA basket.

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Here is what I did:
2 cups oatmeal (or more to get a cookie dough consistency)
2 bananas (the browner the better)
1/3 cup apples (I had a ton from apple picking so I just used a few cubes that I had puréed and frozen)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup kale (I minced it in my mini food processor)
3 Tablespoons Raw honey (mine was from a hive at a raspberry farm – yummy)
1 pint blueberries (had them around, so I figured I would toss them in)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I added everything into one big bowl and mashed it with a potato masher. It was a little watery so I added about a half cup more oatmeal.

I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and patted twelve “cookies” into shape. I wasn’t sure if they’d be spreading or staying put, so I spread them out.

Bake for 15 minutes

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They did not spread at all and came out of the oven in 15 minutes firm on the outside and cake-like on the inside. Perfect.

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I “shared” three hot out of the oven with B. He said they were yummy too!
Thank you Spouse in the House, please go to their blog and check out the original recipe I found that inspired me to write two blogs in one day!!

Do you have a healthy veggie recipe that’s a hit at your house?

Light Catcher

We are attempting to do no reduced screen time and we found such a quick, easy, cute craft for these gloomy days at the Dollar store! Everything was included for $1.00. The paintbrush, paints and the light catcher.

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We popped open our learning tower, tossed on our apron, laid down a drop cloth/towel and set to creating.

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B loved getting messy!

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Amazingly, we finished our craft and the sun came out!


What are you doing with your little ones as you strive to reduce screen time?

Schmutz the Dog, our new favorite pet

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Schmutz the dog is our new favorite pet. He looks like our doggies, smells like our doggies, but lives in a book on the activity table. He’s inspired us to get bits and baubles from our craft trunk and create some of our own family portraits.

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Covering the table with our pirates booty of treasures we laid out the book for inspiration. Once we decided our base would be a paper plate we squirted glue where the necessary body parts would be adhered and discussed the function of those parts (eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, mouth for tasting). B was deep in thought as I started using scissors to cut strips from some yarn and ribbon.

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Voila! Our masterpieces!! (Sort of) I am still working on mine. We had a great talk about body parts, senses and buttons. B used his fine motor and decision making skills. I would say we made the best of this gloomy day…