Melted Crayon Hearts

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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So this craft is directly from Martha Stewart.  There is a beautiful picture of a lovely melted crayon heart mobile all over Pinterest.  Lovely.  Here is our take:
You need fine crayon shavings.  But no one tells you how to get those fine crayon shavings.  Cheese grater... not the way to go.  I assure you!  I now have red crayon scribbles all over my grater.  Food chopper... bad idea too.  Picture crayon all stuck in the blades.  
So I used a paring knife and shaved the crayons as fine as I could... without loosing a finger.
Now you put the shavings in between two layers of wax paper.  We have way too many shavings in our photo.
Be sure to fold over the edges!  The crayon will melt and run all over the place.
I sandwiched my wax paper between two pieces of craft paper and a towel too.  I'm glad I did.  Did you know that crayon can seep right through the wax paper?  No?  Well you learn something new everyday.
Anyway here's our melted crayon.  You want it to look like the section on the left where you can kinda see the craft paper through.  Very translucent.  The other sections, where you can see pink dots, dried hard and broke into pieces.
Who knew melting crayons could be so complicated?  Isaiah cut out a heart {with some assistance}.
"You have my HEART"
"Now please don't BREAK it"

Thanks for stopping in.
Have an awesome day!

xo Heather

Valentine Potato Stamps

Monday, January 30, 2012

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The kids and I made Valentine Potato Stamps the other day.  It's a really fun way to create your own custom stamps and eliminates having to run to the dollar store or dig through the craft room.  Why yes, those ARE pink skulls.  What can I say?  I have boys!
You will need:  potatoes, a sharp knife, white card stock and acrylic paint.
Cut the potato in half and score a design into the flesh.  Does a potato have flesh?  Anyway...
Cut around your scored design, creating a raised image.
Here we have some lovely hearts, a fun star and skull and cross bones {by request}.
Have your future Picasso's dip the stamp in paint and apply their image to card stock.
Needless to say we have some interesting Valentine's Day cards for Preschool Teachers!

hee hee
Thanks for visiting!

xo Heather

Keeping It Real ~ My Children are NO Angels...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

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but I still love them to bits and pieces!

I recently watched a short clip of a comedian talking about parenting.  She said "what if, before you had children, people told you 'you might not survive this'?"

No one told us that.  
Being naive younger parents we were thinking of lollipops and rainbows.  Would we have strayed from our quest to have children had someone said "you might not survive this?"  

Probably not. 
Had that person plopped twin toddlers in our laps for a month...



To start I have to be clear.  I love my boys.  I wouldn't change them for the world.  I truly look forward to each and every stage of their being.


I can honestly say that I was not prepared for twin toddlers.

Now you have to understand.  My background, and career before kids, was in recreation and childcare.  I managed large facilities, ensuring the safety and well being of up to 80 children.  I would say that I was very confident in my ability to work with children, redirecting behaviors, providing structure and appropriate discipline.

I had it all together and felt that the general public perceived me in that way.  

I was successful.

Enter twin toddlers.

Have I ever learned, and quickly, how different being a parent is from being a manager/facilitator.  I now feel as if my success is derived from how well my children behave.  And I am far from "having it all together". 

What they say about the terrible twos was true for us.  We really had a tough time with two, two year old, toddlers.  Had you asked me how it was, having twins, before they were two ~ I would have said awesome.  Really, we had great babies!  But I am telling you, it was like a switch was flipped when they turned two and we had different children.  We have struggled with bedtime routines, public outings and their behavior in general.

When they figured out that they could crawl out of their  cribs, we were in trouble.  And had I know then about those "tent/cage" things that you can fasten to the top of their cribs I totally would have used them!  They wreaked havoc in their room; playing until all hours, pulling apart their toddler beds, making a giant mess... So after consulting with friends and my sister-in-law {the baby whisperer} we came to the conclusion that we had two options:  separate them or try the Super Nanny Technique.  I decided to give the Super Nanny a go.  It was this.  Follow your normal bedtime routine and put the children to bed.  Turn the lights out in the room and sit in the dark with them.  If they get out of bed, without saying anything or using eye contact, simply put them back in bed.  I attempted this for three weeks!!  Over and over and over again.  And every night I was in their room, in the dark for over an hour!   We all know how I value my time when the boys are in bed.  7pm ~ that's me time baby!  Sitting in the dark for hours was mommy torture!
What finally worked?

Separating them.  
We put one of the boys down in our bed and when they fall asleep we transfer them to their bedroom.

I have always had this idea or image of how a child should behave in public.  And before kids, I was the one to raise my eyebrows at the child having a temper tantrum in the middle of the supermarket.  


That's my child.

The one that is screaming at the top of his lungs in the line up at Walmart?


The one with his finger up his nose, on stage at Church?


The one shoplifting a half eaten roll of wine gums?


The one who just spat on the floor of the Dojo during Karate?

Mine too.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a push over.  When appropriate my kids have sat in time out where ever we are.  I sometimes wait until we get back to the van to "discipline" and talk about consequences and how disappointed I am in their behavior.  
I'm also human.  I'll admit that I don't always follow through and certainly I use bribery and rewards.  In fact, after sitting quietly at the dentist for an hour the other day, I rewarded them all with a lollipop!  Ha!  Now there's some good parenting!
And while one of the boys was driving me crazy this morning and I threatened to not allow him to go to preschool {a dozen times}, he still went.  That two hours a week, where I don't have children, is my time to regroup.  Sure he got to go to Preschool when he really didn't deserve to.  But he was greeted with a Mommy who was well rested and better prepared to be the Mommy that he needs and deserves.

I get frustrated when people assume that we don't have structure or discipline in our home because of the boys' behavior.  Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.... all the time!  I feel like a referee with a dash of drill Sergeant most of the time.

When I told their preschool teacher {who is wonderful} about the tough morning we had had she said this...

"you have two, very busy boys.  They are always up here {she gestured above her head} when most children are here {she gestured to her waist} and it is hard for other parents to understand what that is like."  

She always has great things to say about them "they are polite and listen well in class".  And she told me about her daughter, a well-mannered teenager now, who was also a very busy child.  I love that she gives me perspective and can see that we are honestly doing our absolute best to parent our twin toddlers. 

I try not to announce to the world that I too, am a Preschool Teacher when I am out with the boys.  They are not the best reflection of my work.  Being a parent is very, very, different from being a facilitator.  Sometime I feel like we're in the trenches, fighting the good fight.  Struggling every day to maintain our sanity, maintain our sense of self, maintain our relationships and just get a chance to shower... uninterrupted!   We don't have family in town and I have to admit, I am terrible at asking for help.  I gain strength from those who don't judge but support me in these efforts.  This is honestly the hardest job that I have ever had.


All of these things don't ever deter me from taking them all out and at least getting a totally fake "we have it all together and had a great time" photo.....

I took all three children {who have never learned to skate} skating!  

By myself.  

Might just be a little crazy.

{Fake, totally posed photo using Timbits as bribery}

Here's what it looked like: 
1:00 arrive at rink
1:10 finally sit on a bench after hauling in all of their gear (inc training chair thingys)
1:15 finish lacing up child one
1:20 finish lacing up child two
1:30 push/drag and leave child one and two on the center of the ice
1:35 finish lacing up child three
1:36 save child two from the center of the rink crying, drag to the bench
1:37 assist child three onto the ice with chair
1:38 assist child three from the ice, back to the bench
1:40 assist child two onto the ice with chair
1:41 assist child two from the ice, back to the bench
1:45 save child one, who's been treading ice the whole time and not moved an inch, from the center of the ice and back to the bench
1:46 take photos that look like we have it all together, praise the fabulous efforts and reward with timbits {the Canadian version of a doughnut hole}.
1:47 unlace all skates and load children and gear back into the vehicle
2:00 nap time for Momma

Lets make a pact.  

When we become those well meaning older ladies at the supermarket let's avoid the "they grow up so fast" and "enjoy every moment" statements and instead say {as shared in this fab article}:

"Carry on warrior.  It's only six more hours until bedtime."

Let's also support one another.  One of my favorite random quotes is from the animated Robots movie.  

"See a need ~ fill a need."

Allow a busy mom in line, in front of you.
Offer to bag her groceries.

Smile and make funny faces at her child in the cart.
Take her hand and tell her "everything will be alright".

I can guarantee that we will make her day.  Just putting these thoughts and this pact in writing has me choked up. How touching would it be to be blessed by someone in this way, when we are buried, deep down in the trenches of parenthood?

"Carry on warrior."

If you actually read my ramblings ~ leave a comment!
I would love to hear from you!

xo Heather

The Year of Turquoise

Friday, January 27, 2012

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I love the color turquoise!  
My favorite hoodie is turquoise, my latest Upcycled Knit  Sweater Cowl is turquoise and I'm always trying to incorporate turquoise into my primarily gold and red toned home.
Here are a few of my favorite turquoise posts from last year:

In March I painted a new blog header {still lovin' it}.
Summer Rag Wreath

Fun right!?  
Makes me long for spring!

Thanks for stopping by.

xo Heather

Custom Party Murals

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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I am so excited to be offering Custom Party Murals in my SHOP!
They are just the perfect thing to add a touch of whimsy to any party.

Please visit my Etsy Shop to check them out!

xo Heather

S'more Bars

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I have had S'more Bars on my baking to do list for a while now.  
Having a Living Room Camp Out for the kids gave me just the excuse to try them.  
Holy Cow Batman!
Amazing!  Seriously so good!
Evil even.  Especially when you're on a diet!
I used this recipe as my inspiration.
Start with:
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Add to sugar and margarine mixture.  
Combine into a soft dough.
Press 1/2 the dough into the bottom of a greased 8x8" pan. Top with:
1 package {270g} milk chocolate chips
1 container {200g} marshmallow fluff
The marshmallow fluff can be challenging to spread.  Try greasing the back of a spoon and spreading the fluff around with that.  Top with the remaining dough.  It may be helpful to flatten the dough first, then place it on the fluff.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Definitely a keeper at our house.  Too much so.
I brought left-overs to work and basically forced the girls to try them or take them home.
I could eat these allllll day! lol


xo Heather

Potato Chip Supper

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

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A round of applause for this Potato Chip Supper!  
I've combined my mom's and my mother-in-law's tuna casseroles into one recipe.  It that taboo?  I don't know.  It sure is yummy though and got a "can you make that again?" from Darcy.
The goods:
600 g large shell pasta
10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 x 120g cans of solid white tuna
1 large onion, diced
12 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
250 g cream cheese {room temperature}
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
About 6 handfuls of Lays potato chips, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on bag or box.
Saute mushrooms and onions until opaque and tender.
Combine pasta, tuna, soup, onion, mushrooms, cream cheese, 1/2 of cheddar cheese, milk and salt and pepper.
Place mixture in a 9x12" casserole dish.
Top with chips and remaining cheddar cheese.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the casserole is bubbly.

xo Heather