Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dye-Free Easter Eggs

Personally, I love dying eggs! But here are some adorable alternatives if you want to go dye-free!

Sticker eggs
Words That Stick Use foam alphabet stickers to add playful phrases to eggs for the Easter breakfast buffet. $4; joann.com

Napkin Decoupage eggs 
Beautiful Blooms
For an Easter decoration you can use year after year, have kids cut flowers from paper napkins and d├ęcoupage them onto ceramic eggs.
What you'll need: Floral paper napkins, scissors, foam brush, Elmer's glue, blown-out or ceramic egg, small roll of tape
Make it: Cut flowers or desired design from paper napkins. If using 2-ply napkins, peel away the thin white paper backing from the cutout napkin pieces (this will make it easier to glue to the egg). Use a foam brush to apply glue to half of the egg, then press a napkin flower on top and cover with a thin layer of glue. Add more napkin flowers, one by one, making sure to brush the top of each with glue. Place the half covered egg on the roll of tape and let dry for about 15 minutes, then repeat for the other half of the egg. When completely covered, set the egg on roll of tape and let it dry overnight.

Easter Egg Family
Egg Heads Make Easter a family affair. Disguise shells by drawing on facial features and adding yarn hair and hats.

Easter animals
Funny Farm Transform eggs into Easter icons with a little felt and a lot of imagination.

Funny Farm: Bunny 
 Funny Farm:Bunny
What you'll need: Felt, marker, scissors, craft glue, blown-out or ceramic egg, small white pom-pom, extra small pink pom-pom, pink yarn, hair spray, bottle cap
Make it: To make the outer ear shapes, trace your child's thumb onto pink felt twice. To make the inner ear shapes, trace your child's pinky finger onto white felt twice. Cut all of the ear shapes out, then glue the inner ear shape on top of the outer ear shape, making sure to leave about ¼" at the bottom unattached, and set aside to dry. In the meantime, cut three 1-inch pieces of yarn and spray with hair spray to stiffen; let dry. Rest the egg in the bottle cap and apply two small dots of glue to the top, about ½" apart, and gently separate the unattached part of each bunny ear and press down on the glue dots. When yarn is dry, twist the pieces together in the middle and glue to the front of the egg, about halfway down. Attach the extra small pink pompom on top of the yarn whiskers for a nose. Glue the whit
Chick Easter egg 
Funny Farm: Chick
What you'll need: Felt, marker, scissors, craft glue, blown-out or ceramic egg, bottle cap
Make it: Download, print, and cut out the feather templates. Trace templates onto felt and cut out. Glue the diamond-shaped piece of felt onto the top of the egg. Apply a thin line of glue along the bottom of the pointy piece and press along the length of the diamond-shaped piece; let dry. Cut a small triangle from felt, bend in half, and glue the bottom half onto the front of the egg for a beak. Draw two small dots above the beak for eyes. Let dry completely.
e pompom to the back of the egg for a tail. Use a marker to draw eyes on the bunny, then draw a mouth. (Tip: draw the letter J then add a loop on the other side.) Leave the bunny on the bottle cap to dry overnight.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Etsy.com - Deal of the Day: Sweet Diaper Cupcakes

Today my Etsy Deal of the Day are these adorable Sweet Diaper Cupcakes. What a cute gift idea for a shower or new baby!!

Also, check out this sellers shop on Etsy.com, There is the cutest stuff!!  Mod Diaper Cupcakes


* 8 "Pampers Swaddlers" brand diapers size 1 (8-14lbs.)
* 4 Washcloths.
* Crochet Cherries.
* Cupcake liner.
* White Bakery Box.

Check it out on Etsy.com!
Shop name: Mod Diaper Cupcakes

Price: $15
Direct Link: Sweet Diaper Cupcakes

10 Things You Need to Know About the New USDA Guidelines

baby looking at vegetables
Dietary Guidelines from the USDA
The USDA just released a document outlining new eating guidelines for Americans. But just what do these guidelines mean and how can we incorporate them in our everyday eating habits?
We break it down for you and provide recipes that will help you eat healthier in 2011.
Check out the full report!
Lower Your Sodium
Lowering your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) is one of the key recommendations. For people who already have hypertension, diabetes, and other illnesses, this number drops to less than 1500 mg a day.
Try our recipe for Low-Sodium Stir FryTry our recipe for Fresh Tomato Pizza
boy drinking glass of milk
Make the Switch to Fat-Free or 1% Milk
Only babies and children under 2 should be drinking whole milk. Everyone else should switch to low-fat or fat-free milk products.
Get the recipe for Real Strawberry MilkGet the recipe for Sunrise Parfaits
Eat More Seafood
Increase seafood consumption (both the amount and the variety should be increased) and reduce consumption of other animal products.
Get the recipe for Mixed Greens and Seafood SaladGet the recipe for Zesty Fish Soup
Assorted grains
Consume More Whole Grains
At least half the grains you consume should be whole grains. Do this by replacing refined grains with whole grains.
Get the recipe for Whole Grain Hummus Sandwich with VeggiesGet the recipe for Five Grain Pancake MixGet the recipe for Whole Wheat Rolls
fatty acids
Cut Down on Saturated Fats
Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids. This means that we need to cut down consumption of animal products, dairy, eggs and also of processed foods (trans fats hide under the guise of hydrogenated oil in processed foods). We need to replace these with good fats like monounsaturated fatty acids (found in walnuts, pistachios, avocadoes and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in salmon, fish oil, safflower oil etc).
Get the recipe for Avocado SalsaGet the recipe for Spicy Hoisin SalmonGet the recipe for Apple Walnut Baby Puree
child eating healthy food
Lower Your Dietary Cholesterol Consumption
Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal and dairy products but not from fruits and vegetables. So basically this means less meat and more plants!
Get the recipe for Hot Vegetable CurryGet the recipe for Greek-Style Roasted VegetablesGet the recipe for Vegetable Medley
Reduce Added Sugars
Read nutrition labels to look for added sugars. Beware! Added sugars often "hide" behind less common monikers. Look for these varieties in your ingredient list: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, and syrup.

Fight Fat
Use oils to replace solid fats like butter, tallow, shortening and margarine.
Get the recipe for Reduced Fat MacGet the recipe for Yam and Jam Muffins
child eating fruit salad
Eat More Fruit
Nearly everyone can stand to increase their fruit intake. The USDA recommends about four 1/2-cup servings of fruit a day.
Get the recipe for Fruit Sundae ConesGet the recipe for Fall Fruit CompoteGet the recipe for Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Assorted vegetables
Eat Your Vegetables!
Increase your intake of vegetables including leafy greens, peas, and other brightly colored veggies.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Source: parents.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Birthday Party Favor Ideas: Homemade Hand-Dipped Chocolate Covered Oreos!

 With my daughter's first birthday party rapidly approaching, I'm in party planning mode and thought I'd share some of my ideas. For her party favors, I'm toying with the idea of Hand-Dipped Chocolate Covered Oreos.  They are so pretty and I can't imagine taste delicious!

Buy these online! $1.45 each

I am going to attempt to do these myself. Here is a "how to" I found:


Things you'll need:

  • 1 # Molding Chocolate (vegetable oil based)
  • 16 Oreo cookies
  • Dipping fork (found at most craft stores)
  • Wax paper
  • Microwave proof bowls

    1. Lay wax paper out on your work surface, and remove cookies from their packaging, removing or eating any broken ones.
    2. Melt molding chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on medium heat. Microwave for 1 minute the first time and then for 20 second increments until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and stir till last small pieces are melted. Molding Chocolate should be around 100- 110 degrees
    3. Drop and Oreo in the bowl of chocolate, and flip it over with your dipping fork.
    4. Lift your cookie out of the chocolate with the dipping fork and shake off excess chocolate by lightly tapping the base of the fork on the side of the bowl.
    5. Place the cookie on the wax paper and allow the cookies to dry till solid. At least 10-15 minutes.
    6. Decorate the cookies by melting more molding chocolate in your color of choice in a microwave proof bowl as per the directions in step two above. Place this melted chocolate in a small snack size plastic bag and cut off a small tip of one corner. Use this bag to drizzle a design across the cookies in your pattern of choice. Have fun with this part and use your imagination!

    So, we'll see how they turn out! 

    As for packaging them, I'm going to buy Plain white or pink take out boxes, put a colorful sticker on them and use my other theme colors (bright blue, lime green and pale yellow) as tissue paper, topped with a cute ribbon, I'm hoping they will turn out cute! I'll post pictures when finished!

Etsy.com - Deal of the Day: Infant Pique Dress Pink w/ White

Today, my Etsy Deal of the Day is this cute custom pink dress! Just in time for Easter!

Lightweight cotton pique and rick rack trim make these dresses perfect for a picnic or a portrait.
Add a monogram for a perfectly classic look.

Complete your outfit by adding the matching diaper cover.

By Princess Linens.

Choose a size:
0-6 months up to 26", 12-17 lbs.
6-12 months 26-29", 17-22 lbs.
12-18 months 29-31", 22-27 lbs.
24 months 31-33", 27-30 lbs.


Check it out on Etsy.com!
Shop name:
Lilly Kat's Apparel
Price: $40
Direct Link: Infant Pique Dress Pink w/ White


Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools! 15 April Fools' Day pranks for your family

In honor of April fools day, here are some ways to fool your family...all in good fun!

© iStockphoto

Got (Blue) Milk?
Put a few drops of food coloring in a pitcher of milk (choose your kid's fave shade). Make sure she's watching when you nonchalantly fix her morning bowl of cereal!

Breakfast Bait and Switch
Swap out sugar for salt and watch Dad put it in his morning cup of coffee. (Have a second, non-salted cup ready to go though).
For more morning fun, take out cereal bags and put them in mismatching boxes. See how long it takes for everyone to find their favorite cereal.

Bedtime Switcheroo
Moms, wait until your kids are asleep, and then switch them in their beds. Or, quietly swap around their dresser drawers. Make sure you're there when they wake up in the morning to take in their surprised expressions.

Really, Really Cold Cereal
Put water in a cereal bowl, and freeze overnight. The next morning, offer to fix Dad or your kids a bowl of cereal. Pour the cereal on top of the ice, completely covering it, and watch them try to dig in.

Mouse Malfunction
This one's good for the kid who checks his e-mail first thing every morning: Put part of a post-it note over the tracking ball on a computer mouse -- it won't work! (Make sure to write "April Fools!" on the note).

© Kenneth Chen

Backwards Dinner
Serve up a topsy-turvy dinner to throw your kids for a loop: bake meatloaf in a 12-cup muffin tin and frost with mashed potatoes for a "cupcakes" dinner -- bonus if you add food coloring to the spuds. Then toast strips of pound cake for a dessert of "French fries". Don't forget red-tinted frosting for ketchup!

If the Shoe Fits
Bunch up TP and stuff it in the toe of the victim's shoes. They'll wonder why their shoes suddenly don't fit.

Drink Up Mix-Up
Add a squirt of lemon juice to a glass of water when your kid's not looking, then wait for his sour face. Or, color water to mimic fruit punch or juice, and switch out the real drink for the dyed H2O.

Disciplinary Action
For an older kid who can handle it: When your kid comes home from school, tell her a teacher or the principal called to discuss your kid's bad behavior. Let them know the gag's up when you see them start sweating.

Drip, Drip, Drip
Use a pin to make a few small holes in a plastic disposable cup, and make sure to put it back on the top of the stack. Watch as Dad gets a drink and it ends up all over his shirt.
P.S.: Make sure it's a drink that doesn't stain, or the joke's really on whoever has to do the laundry!

Picture This
Take a screenshot of the desktop of Dad's computer, and leave the image open. Sit back and let him freak out for a few minutes, believing the computer is frozen.

Hands On
Tell the kids you are banning all utensils -- hide them the night before, too. Then watch as everyone has fun eating with their hands. Little kids especially will love a break from being told they must use their fork.

Chain Reaction
Sneak into Daddy's underwear drawer and safety pin all of his undies together side by side. When he pulls out one pair, they all come out!

Backwards Day
Your kids know: tags go in back -- but not today! For April Fools', let them have a backwards day, with tops, pants and dresses all worn reverse-style.

DIY Daylight Saving Time
Set all the clocks in the house an hour or two early -- then ease the blow of an early wake-up by taking the kiddos out for breakfast.

Source: Parenting.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrity Parents of Twins!

So, the twin trend is crazy lately in celeb world! Is there something in the water?  Here are 13 Celebrity parents of twins...

Julia Roberts

Roberts, who gave birth to Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia in November 2004 (singleton son Henry arrived June 2007) may be Hollywood's glam girl, but with her kids, she's just Mom. Proof in point: the streak of pink hair she sported to a charity in late '08, which was the handiwork of little Hazel.

J. Lo and Marc Anthony
 Giving your twins names with shared initials isn't new, but we like the twist taken by Marc Anthony and J.Lo, who named their twins, born February 2008, Max and Emme. Emme, while not an "M" name, is tied to Max in a unique, subtle way.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

SJP used a surrogate to welcome twin girls Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge Broderick in June 2009, joining big brother James Wilkie, born in October 2002. It only seems right that the style icon has daughters; can you imagine the dress-up sessions in this mom's closet?

Ricky Martin

La vida loca got a little more loca when Martin welcomed twin sons Matteo and Valentino via surrogate in August 2008. The boys did more than just make him a dad; they also inspired him to be true to himself and come out of the closet in March 2010.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

It's easy to lose track, but somewhere in that big Jolie/Pitt brood is a set of two. Fraternal twins Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon were born in July 2008, bringing the family head count to 8.

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell

Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell welcomed twin girls Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip into the world in late December 2008, but say they're drawing the line at two. "We feel like the world was made for pairs. Four feels like the perfect number," Romijn told People magazine.

Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete

Not only do Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete have double trouble with twins Rodney and Ryan (in addition to daughter Ryan and son Robinson) -- they found out they had a bit more on their plate when Rodney Jr. was diagnosed with autism.

Julie Bowen
Modern Family actress Julie Bowen has mastered the "double football hold" to breastfeed her baby boys John and Gus simultaneously. Bowen, who also has an older son Oliver (2) with real estate investor husband Scott Phillips, captured a shot to show the audience of The View, but the producers nixed it. Fortunately, George Lopez was more than happy to show a blown-up version in the background of his interview with Bowen. "Those twins are lucky," he told her.

Lisa Marie Presley

After struggling with infertility, the King's daughter says she took blood thinners and instantly conceived daughters Finley and Harper with husband Michael Lockwood. The twins, born in October 2008, join half-sibs Riley and Benjamin.

Marcia Cross

While many celebs stay tight-lipped about fertility treatments, Cross has been open about the fact that she used IVF to conceive twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, born in February 2007.

Kate Gosselin

When most people think of Kate Gosselin, they think sextuplets. It's easy to forget, though, that Gosselin and ex-husband Jon were once parents to just Mady and Cara, born in October 2000.

Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra

It doesn't necessary take the energy of a world-class soccer player and professional baseball player to raise twin daughters, but it sure doesn't hurt. "There are challenges," she told People magazine. "In the early morning, you're thinking 'Man, I could really use another half hour of sleep.' But you go in and it's those smiles; they look at you like you're a superhero."

Diana Krall and Elvis Costello

We bet these kids get some awesome lullabies. Twin boys Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlem James were born to the musical duo in December 2006. Krall (not pictured) told People that twins run in her family -- and that she's not into dressing them in matchy-matchy outfits.

Source: parenting.com