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
Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together, twist and tie tightly with cotton thread/twine.
Fill a large glass container with 5-7 cups of cold purified water.
Place the cheesecloth pouch into the water. Let sit out on your counter or in your refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.
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.
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.
I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil and blue food coloring. Voila!
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?
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.
Daddy guiding B’s wee hand along the top cut.
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.
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.
What are your favorite family traditions on Halloween?
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.
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.
A tip ‘o the hat and my heart swooned. No warm blooded mommy could say no to this, right?
There he goes, having stolen my poor heart!
What costumes are your kiddos wearing this year?
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.
We popped open our learning tower, tossed on our apron, laid down a drop cloth/towel and set to creating.
B loved getting messy!
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 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.
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.
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…
Size 8 toddler shoes (and toes) all around. The swing was full of laughter and crumbs, the best seat in the house! One of B’s friends has a little sister who invited us to her 1st birthday party, we were happy to join in the fun! Rain showers threatened and then dribbled but not for long. Every child there was eager to share the cake AND presents. The birthday song was the cutest chorus I’ve ever heard. It was a perfect backyard party, until…
B decided to wipe the patio with his face. I mean when does the instinct to put your hands out in front of you as you fall begin? I know toddlers are top heavy with their wobbly legs and balloon shaped noggins but, seriously!? Apparently he was playing with an excavator (no longer just a truck, these kids are specific and discerning) when he started to run to show it to someone and tripped. The excavator was completely unharmed in this incident. B on the other hand may be scarred for life.
He cried one of those cries that starts out as long silent inhale, mouth agape, but ends up as a blood curdling horror film worthy screech. My heart dropped. I heard the thud of his over- sized head clunk the pavers like a ripe melon. After we calmed down and wiped him clean, all was well. One of the fathers there is a physician and examined B. No stitches or MRI’s needed, “just keep it clean and he’ll be fine”. In the end all he needed was a hug and a lollipop. I wish all troubles of the world could be as easily solved.
Have you had any bad “ouchies” with your little one?
My husband hates this monstrosity. He is only going along with my romantic idealism that having a rain barrel makes me a conservationist so I don’t bother him about buying more signage for his man cave (seriously, that’s another story all together). He drilled a hole into one of our gutters and now this massive barrel sits in wait for me to fill up my watering can seven times (yes, I counted) to water every single potted plant and herb in our yard every day.
It would be much easier to use the hose, but I am stubborn and want to prove to my neighbors (a.k.a my in-laws) and my friends that I’m not just taking up valuable deck space with this thing but actually benefitting the earth. As I do this routine each night I offer B to hold the can and pour the water (you know, teach him how things grow). He was into it the first week or so, but two months in, he’s OUT. I’m beginning to wish I had just stuck with my original plan of paving my entire yard.
I am hating my plants right now. They are so needy. I even had to beg someone to come over and water them when we went away for the weekend. I secretly hoped the person would forget and they would all die and I could be released of my nightly obligation. Why can’t I commune with nature? I want to be “earthy”, but I’d rather be doing almost ANYTHING else. I’m beginning to see the allure if that green grasslike indoor /outdoor carpeting. Am I losing my mind?
I like Pinterest. Just like I enjoy going on a shopping website, filling up my cart and then leaving the page. I just like the idea that I could if I wanted to, but have chosen not to. At least that’s what I tell myself.
After pages and pages of well organized “pins” on how to make a delicious-easy-family-meal-everyone-including-the-toddler-will-lick-off-the-plate-that-is-nutritious and low in sodium alongside creative bath activities to inspire your toddler to looooove getting that hard won dirt from their crevices, I just started using my own brain. I came up with a fun game of my own where I didn’t have to buy water beads, ivory soap or baking soda.
We are so lucky to have a local dairy still in business in our area that delivers their fresh milk to your door every week in glass bottles. I love, love, love them! Thank you Calder Dairy in Carleton, MI (I swear I have a point). The glass bottles are returned weekly, but the caps are not. So, of course I wash and save them. All of those hours on Pinterest weren’t totally wasted, see?! I also have a few plastic wash bins from the dollar store because my child looooves pouring water. Well, that’s what he calls it. It could be called spilling, spitting or even spraying water by an onlooker, but, those are just semantics. I am trying to
delete reduce screen time (rather abysmally) so I try to have tasks games readily available that B can engage in.
Here is my little game! My crappy handwriting and black magic marker in all its’ glory! I used a ping pong ball (ummm, no I don’t have a ping pong table but I have been known to play a mean game of b___r pong) and B loves throwing things as well, so I thought it would be a hit… I was correct!!
Points to consider:
1. If you get hit with a ping pong ball it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting hit with a golf ball.
2. You could write any thing (letters, draw shapes, colored dots or put pictures of family) on the bottom of any tray/bin with tape.
3. The fun part is throwing the ball and trying to “score” (which is what we yell when B sinks one).
He’s learning how to recognize numbers up to twenty. The white and pink are divided into odd and even numbers although that is something we have yet to start talking about, I was being ambitious.
What games have you and your toddler created?