Friday, September 21, 2012

Homemade Playdough recipe

By request from some of my new friends on the BabyCenter messageboards, I decided to share my homemade playdough recipe with you! This is the recipe that my mom used to make dough for my brothers and I when we were little, and I love using it to make dough for my own son.

It's made of all edible ingredients, so it's safe to eat, but it's so salty, your kids probably won't be tempted to try it more than once (and yes, I know this because I ate it myself as a kid-I still remember the saltiness!)

What you need:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • Food coloring or unsweetened Kool-Aid powder as desired (it'll be sorta off-white if you don't dye it. Yellow was my personal favorite playdough color!)
What you do:
  • Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan
  • Cook over medium heat until it's thick (hard to stir) and starts to come away from the edges of the pan.
  • Plop dough onto some wax paper 
  • When it's cool enough, knead a few times to even out the texture/moisture.
  • Play!!!
My tips:
  • I store it in a large ziplock bag in the fridge until it eventually dries out or I decide it's old enough to be gross (usually a couple of months-I've never noticed any odors or mold or anything, I just figure dough that old wouldn't be good for him to lick!)
  • For kids old enough you know they won't even try to eat any, add glitter for extra fun! I'd probably add it at the very end right before kneading and work it in that way.
  • Babies may not be sure what to do with it, but will like feeling the texture and patting it. My son loved it when I pushed his foot or hand into the dough to make a footprint or handprint, and thought it was hilarious when I made shapes or animals (I'm a terrible artist, so they were pretty funny...)

Next batch I make I'm going to try putting some raspberry or blueberry teabags in the water for a while before making the dough to see how the colors turn out. I'll update this blog post to share how well it works (or that it didn't work).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Catholic Family Fun Book Review

What it is:
Catholic Family Fun is a book of ideas families can spend time doing together. She suggests classic activities, and then also offers her suggestions to modify the activity to fit your family.

Who wrote it:
Sarah Reinhard, a Midwest mom of 3 who has written for Catholic Mom, Faith & Family Live, Catholic Foodie, and more. She blogs at Catholic Family Fun (the website connected with this book) and at Snoring Scholar, runs the Catholic Family Fun Facebook page, and is on Twitter as @PeeryBingle

First Impressions:
At first I was a little unimpressed. Some of the suggestions seemed so obvious-why would I need a book to suggest I tell knock knock jokes?

Overall Impressions:
As I read on, I liked the book more and more. I realized that the simple suggestions are there because they are so simple that we tend to forget them! And I loved how Sarah had suggestions for modifying activities to fit your family better and/or to incorporate faith if you wanted to, (like putting on a play about the life of one of the saints sometimes instead of always doing fairy tales, or looking at the animals in the zoo in the order they were created in the Genesis story!). I thought the book was really fun, and there were definitely ideas in it that I hadn't thought of

The Bottom Line:
A creative book full of ideas for family fun that could work for any budget and any amount of free time. I definitely recommend it for moms, Grandmas, and babysitters!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Family Fun. The Catholic Company is also a great online store for all your Catholic gift needs, such as baby baptism and christening gifts. You can also find a wide selection of Catholic Bible Studies for both parish groups and individuals, as well as a variety of other Catholic Bible study resources.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cure for the Mondays Sept 10, 2012

On Mondays I post ideas I've seen that made me laugh, smile, and want to create. I hope they brighten your day too, especially if you've got a "case of the Mondays".

Brilliant: put a large marshmallow on top of cupcakes the last 5 minutes they bake for super easy yummy frosting!

I love these artistic coloring sheets; there's one for every letter of the alphabet, filled with animals that start with that letter. And they are free to print!

This makes me laugh (temporary tattoos on banana peels):
Source: flickr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

This makes me hungry (pumpkin apple bread):

And this is just amazing: make watercolors out of old markers that appear to be all dried up!

What fun ideas have inspired you lately?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Embroidered Towels-Show Off Time :)

As my mom's Christmas present for 2011 I promised to embroider or cross-stitch a towel for every month of 2012 (I am cheesy, so I made her a little card to go with the first one that said it was a "Towel of the Month Club" membership, lol). Anyway, here are my 3 most recent ones:

Would you care for some escargot?

This one has a long story, but I'll try to keep it short. Basically there's a funny French children's song about a snail who is slow (because he's a snail) and goes to the fair and does other silly things. We all liked it when we were little, so I created a pattern of a family of snails and slightly modified the first line of the song so that it says that the snail family is going to the fair. The snails represent my parents and my two brothers and me (I'm the cute pink one, of course). It's kind of a an unusual design, but it's special to our family!I used stem stitch and backstitch, and I used some old DMC flosses my mom had given me that no longer had their tags, so I don't really know what numbers I used!

They all fall down...
I used the fall leaf pattern from the adorable fall pattern set Mollie from Wild Olive posted on her blog last October, but I left off the smiley faces. I used stem stitch and DMC floss. I may use another of her cute patterns later in the year!
 
 
I scream, you scream, we all scream for...kitchen towels?
I used a pattern from the Split Stitch to make this ice cream cross-stitch towel. My Dad's favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip and my mom likes both strawberry and vanilla with chocolate chips, so I customized it a little to be their favorite flavors. The entire thing is done in cross-stitch in DMC floss. The shine on the bowl and cherries is satin floss instead of cotton.
 
I'm having so much fun coming up with interesting ideas for my mom's towels every month that I think I'm going to be sad next year when I don't feel like I have a good excuse to have to sew all the time.