No Need For The Sunday Paper

Are you ready for some awesome links? Here you go!

Just A Night Owl (photo cedit above): I love the simplicity and whimsy of this crafty wood wall art. I think she had me at "play". She has instructions to make your own!

I want one of these canvas wall photos by GeeZees on Etsy. So amazing! Write out your vows, a special quote, or lyrics from your "song" and add it to the photo!

Fancy Pants Prints: Cah-uute! Free Lunch Box Note Printables. I just want to squee! when I look at them!

Do you have a Cricut Cutting Machine? Imperfectly Beautiful shows you how to cut fabric with it! I have always wanted tolearn how to do that!

Scripture For Sunday:

Psalm 119:17-20

Do good to your servant, and I will live;

I will obey your word.

Open my eyes that I may see

wonderful things in your law.

I am a stranger on earth;

do not hide your commands from me.

My soul is consumed with longing

for your laws at all times.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss: Fish Craft

Dr. Seuss's Birthday this year, is this Tuesday, March 2nd. And to celebrate, we are reading his books and making these simple tissue paper fish (after One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) using just a few items.

  • 8 1/2x11 clear plastic sleeve (like the ones used in binders)

  • Colored tissue paper (blue and red specifically).

  • Marker (for tracing).

  • Stapler

  • Cardstock/Carboard (to create fish template)


Prep: cut out smallish squares of each desired color of tissue paper (1 1/2 inch-ish)

1. Using a marker, trace a fish body onto the cardboard and cut it out.

2. Lay the fish template over the plastic sleeve, tracing the outside. Be sure to butt the fish tail up against a closed edge of the sleeve.

3. Cut out the fish. You should now have a back and a front attached at the tail

4. Staple all the way around the perimeter of the fish, and then trim off the closed end of the tail. This is where you will stuff the colored tissue paper inside.

5. One you have stuffed your fish full of tissue paper, staple the tail closed and using a marker, draw an eye and mouth if desired.

For optional fun: attach a large craft  popsicle stick to the back and when you read the story, have the children hold up the appropriate fish.

Laundry Intervention: A Day of Reckoning

There it was. The mile high pile of clothes that had taken on a life of it's own. I swore mildy under under my breath at the thought of tackling this beast. What was I going to do? How was I going to tame the wild monster that had so easily taken over the master closet?

I sat there, scratching my head with the tip of my index finger...wondering how it was going to happen. There were a few road blocks to success in my path:
  1. Our bedroom is upstairs. Anyone who lives in a 2 story home knows what the pain of lugging large quantities of clothes up and down the stairs does to a person's soul. It makes you. Never. Ever. Want to do a load of laundry again.
  2. We had one of those canvas and aluminum "laundry sorters": a.k.a. "The Pit of Despair". Sure it might work downstairs, in an actual laundry room- but I thought somehow it would work upstairs in the closet, since we didn't have room near the washer and dryer. Big Mistake. Big.
  3. 4 people in our family + a week's worth of clothes = 9 loads of laundry. Do I need to say more?
  4. The Sock Monster: He lives in our dryer. And eats socks for lunch. I can never get the same amount of socks that go in, to come out.
  5. Getting them in the wash is enough of a chore. But, get them out, fold them and then put them away? You have got to be kidding me.
I stood there for a moment and wished that Beverly D'Angelo from Maid To Order would swoop down, snap her fingers and it would just magically appear clean, folded and in the drawers....

That moment came and went.

I needed  a laundry intervention. I needed to intervene on my own behalf. I was just going to have to figure this out on my own. And needed a lot of strength from God. Because I sure didn't have it in me.

Here's how the intervention went down. There was lots of self talk, some internal grumbling and eventually, by the end of the day, I heard the voice of Giselle from Enchanted singing "Happy Little Working Song".
  1. I decided the cornerstone of my my epic laundry failure was that hideous excuse for a solution called the laundry sorter. It had to go. Now. I picked up a simple vertical hamper from Target. The less laundry it held the better. I would be less inclined to let the clothes pile on top, creating a veritable Mount Olympus.
  2. And instead of lugging heaping piles of clothes down the stairs, I just threw it all over the side of the stairs. Problem Solved.
  3. Along with the new, smaller (albeit taller) laundry basket, I purchased a 12x12 inch mesh laundry bag. Every sock we own goes in there. When I want to do a load, I throw the bag in with the other clothes. Magically, the same socks that go in, come out.
  4. I then purged excess clothing that I no longer need, want or wear. Repeat with husband's clothes. Donate.
  5. Next up, I try and do a load every few days or every day. Usually, we don't have enough of the same kind of load (i.e. darks, etc.) to do an entire load. And I hate doing little kid clothes with grown up clothes. And really, who wants to do laundry every day? Call me weird. So, it's about a two day turnover for us.
  6. When I must do multiple loads of laundry, I try and alternate the types of loads. I do a load of darks, then a load of towls, then a load of lights, then a load of jeans. Thereby, alternating the amount of items needing to be folded and allowing me to catch up.
  7. My husband's stinky running/coaching clothes get their own separate, small basket, away from everyday clothes. Underneath that I stack extra sorting baskets, for days when there are multiple loads.
  8. I also keep a small  basket on top of the washer for dish rags, hand towels, and the odd piece of child clothing that mysteriously makes it's way downstairs.
So far, I am on week 2 and it's working out. Less clothes + smaller hamper size = less overall laundry. And the laundry I am doing, has a working system.

It feels good.

*photo by antwerpenR

Muffin Tin Monday - Color Series: Orange!

Welcome to another fine edition of Muffin Tin Monday! Muffin Tin Monday is a weekly blog carnival here at Muffin Tin Mom where we come together via linking our blogs together vis Mr. Linky and share the yummy Muffin Tin Meals we have made for our kids (and on occasion ourselves). Still holding out and haven't yeat decided to take the MTM? What are you waiting for? I promise, your kids will LOVE you for it.

This week's them is Orange! The second installment as we work our way thematically through the rainbow. (Blue and Purple will be grouped together - blue foods are definitely hard to come by.)

For more info on Muffin Tin Monday and Muffin TIn Meals, be sure to visit the MTM FAQ page.

Here's our offering for today:
  • Carrots
  • Orange tinted Ranch Dip
  • Cheese
  • Orange Froot Loops
  • Canteloupe
  • Clementines

No Need For The Sunday Paper

I've been a little MIA recently. Everthing is fine around here, I am just taking on some real life challenges that are requiring more of my time. One of those challenges, was a Laundry Intervention. More on that coming this week. I also have some stellar reviews and crafty projects coming up. So, stay tuned.

On to the linky goodness. Who needs that depressing Sunday paper, when there are links like these:

Mayhem Studios: Practical steps for protecting your blog content from those that would steal it and claim it as their own.

bkids: oh my word. I about died when I saw this foam letter and wooden block printing activity on The Crafty Crow. so doing this!

Confessions Of A Homeschooler is one of my favorite reads. She has excellent letter of the week printables and much much more. Even if you aren't a homeschooler, a lot of her activities are great for anytime. For example, her "One Another" post about talking to her children about how to love one another (using scriptures from the bible) - so simple and yet conveys some core biblical/moral concepts. How did she know I would need this?

Kabooze: Mother/Daughter Togetherness Ideas -spend time with your daughter celebrating her special unique gifts and bonding over some of the age appropriate activities listed.

**I was unable to locate a particular link from earlier this week,due to some compute "issues", if that's you, I apologize. Look for the link in next week's links round up.

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow's muffin tin monday theme is orange.

Scripture For Sunday

2 Peter 1:3-9

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

100th Day of School Ideas

Did you know that there is a special celebration that happens at schools across the country on the 100th day of the school year? Well, there is! The 100th day celebration is a great way to mark a milestone in the school year, to celebrate learning, and to have fun! It is typically celbrated in the lower grades (K-5).

Muffin Tin Girl recently celebrated her 100th day of school with these fun and simple ideas:

Make "100" Glasses out of carstock or other heaveyweight materials. I know you mamas can get creative!

Count out 100 snack pieces to eat at home or take to school.

Make a "100th Day" Placemat for snacktime with 10 stars counting up to 100...10, 20, 30...etc. Have your child divide here 100 snack items 10 by 10 on each star.

*These ideas provided courtesy of Muffin TIn Girl's Kindergarten Class

Easy Peasy Recipe - Orange Spiced Tea Marinade

I recieved a delicious Spiced Tea Mix as a gift over the Christmas Holiday. And a gracious friend shared this easy chicken marinade recipe to use with it:

  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Dollop of Honey (really, can you ever have too much honey?)
  • 2 Tablespoons Spiced Tea Mix

Mix OJ and Tea Mix. Stir. Add Honey. Stir. Pour over Chicken Breast. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

* don't have the tea mix or don't want to make it? Add just some of the ingredients: It's made up of tang, white sugar, ice tea mix, ground cloves, cinnamon, and ginger

Easy. Peasy. Lemon. er...Orange. Squeezy.

Muffin Tin Monday - Theme: Color Series Red/Valentine's

Happy Monday! I realized that this week might also have been a great opportunity to have done a Presiden't DAy theme. So, if you did that, wonderful!

Here's what we did!

Our tin, or liners this time around consisted of: Strawberries, Diced Red Peppers (this will be be our 8th time introducing this food), Cream Cheese on Heart Shaped Bread with a dab of frosting on top.
I faked out my daughter pretty good with the cream cheese and bread, she tought it was a cookie!

What did you do for Muffin Tin Monday? Won't you share it with us? Leave the url to your blog post or photo in the form below.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Such a wonderful holiday, Valentine's Day! I absolutely love blogging about all things hearts and love. I even love making a heart with my index fingers in mid air. And right now as I type this I am making that "sign" with my fingers to say "I heart you!" Let me tell you dear readers how much I appreciate you. Let me. Some of you I have met in real life and have devloped lasting friendships with, some of you are family (that's you mom!) and some of you I only know through the tip tap of the keyboard. Thank you for stopping by as you do, I would not be writing if it weren't for you. Well, maybe I would, but it wouldn't be as fun. Your comments and emails, and our back and forths every day are a treasure. I hope to keep blogging long into the future.

What is it about Valentine's day that brings out the "crafty crazy" in me? I seriously. Can't. Get. Enough. Cuteness!  This week I have found some real gems. I hope you like.

Katherine Marie Photography: Upcycle an empty box of chocolates - put lunch in it a la "Muffin Tin Meal" style. Soooooo awesome. Makes me think: Why didn't I think of that! Special Thanks to The Masked Mommy for letting me in Katherine's awesome photos!

Kaboose: How adorable is this cotton ball "powdered wig" craft for President's Day? Go see for yourself!

Everyday Mama: Christine recently posted a great round up of crayon inspired artwork ideas.

Between The Lines: I love this 3D paper heart garland with  it's unique design and charming colors

Lastly, I'll point you in the direction of both The Crafty Crow and One Pretty Thing for further crafty love!

*photo by helga


Scripture For Sunday
1 Timothery 6:9-11
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

flee = turn the other way and run!

Heart Flower Lollipop

This sweet lollipop heart flower is simple to make and sure to bring a smile to anyone who recieves it. Why not make a few this spring for a special someone?

When I say simple, I mean reeeeeally simple.

You'll need:
  • Heart Die Cuts- about 2-3 inches in size (or hand cut them out too)
  • Small Lollipop (dum-dums and charms lollies from The Dollar Tree are the perfect size)
  • 4 inch Leaves (cut out using my paper flower tutorial)
  •  1/8 inch hole punch (see below)
  • Ribbon

this is the 1/8 in punch. super teensy.
How to:
  • Gather the heart and leaves together, punch a hole through each piece at the bottom of the heart andone end of the leaf.
  • Thread them through the end of the lolly, pushing them all the way untill the paper meets the lolly.
  • Fan the hearts and leaves out to make a flower.
  • To hold in place, tie a ribbon under the paper.

  • my flowers were exactly 2 1/4 inches size (cut from my cricut)
  • Don't have lollipops? Use a chenille pipe cleaner instead and attach a pom-pom to center of flower.
  • PERFECT for Valentines Day, Mother's Day, or any special occasion!

Valentine's Preschool Activity

I'm over at Blissfully Domestic with a Guest Post on a simple Valenitne's Day Conversation Heart Tracing Activity
So simple. Check it out!

Valentine's Day Game For Kids: Guess How Many

Who first came up with the idea to put things in a jar and guess "How Many"? Well, whoever they were must have had kids. This activity is perfect for little and big minds alike. Here are some early concepts guessing How Many promotes: 
  • Introduction into estimation (we first estimated how many we thought were in the jar)
  • Team work (we talked over our answers)
  • Decision making ( we made a decision as to how many and wrote it down)
  • Counting (counted out loud together all the lollies in the jar)
  • Togetherness (we did the activity as a family, encouraged the importance of being happy for the winner, and shared our winnings)

Guessing and Writing...

There were 22 lollies in the jar.

Muffin Tin Monday

It’s Monday! That means around here it’s also Muffin Tin Monday. What is Muffin Tin Monday you ask? It’s a weekly blog gathering here at where a bunch of us parents get together and share the Muffin Tin Meal we have made for our child (and on occasion for ourselves:) ). And what’s a Muffin Tin Meal? Simply put: It’s a meal served in a muffin tin.

The State of the Muffin Tin:
This Blog, Muffin Tin Mom (formerly Her Cup Overfloweth - yay for makeovers!) is the Official Home of Muffin Tin Monday and the Muffin Tin Meal. Others may try to emulate this concept, but is the real deal. MTM originated with the blog Sycamore Stirrings and when Katy moved abroad, she passed MTM helm on to me. MTM is the cornerstone of this blog and a joyful tradition I have enjoyed every week with my family.

Muffin Tin Monday has simply exploded across the web over the last 18 months. Over 100 blogs and parents have participated, ensuring a brighter more cheerful Monday with each Muffin Tin Meal made. There’s even a Flickr group dedicated to MTM (come on over, I’m the moderator!). I am also working on a MTM Blogroll, I'll keep you posted when I am ready to compile the list.

This Week:
There’s no theme lined up for this week’s link up. (Upcoming themes can always be found in my sidebar (over that way -----> ). If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my tweet about scoring these adorable butterfly silicone cups for $1. That’s right, friends, just one dollar!

Muffin Tin Monday

In The Tin:
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Peach Yogurt with Sprinkles
  • Celery Sticks
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Mozzarella Cheese Circles
  • Shredded Turkey On Toothpicks

Want to join in on the fun and link up with all of the other Muffin Tin Mamas? SImply enter the URL of your Muffin TIn Monday Post in the form below. Not sure what to do? Check out past MTM Posts here and on all the participating blogs as well as the MTM FAQ

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Happy Sunday to you all. I hope you are with the ones you love today.

Here are this week's links. Fresh "off the press". Who needs the Sunday Paper with links like these:

Found this super cool video on how to curl your hair without rollers or a curling iron! Iris shares the video tutorial on via Kind of a morden pincurl...

Pink and Green Mama: Crayon Valentine Heart Cards. Simple. Personalized. Handmade. Colorful. I just love it!

Do you enjoy pouring over all the photostream's on Flickr that feature Playrooms? Check it out!


Scripture For Sunday
Psalm 118:24

This is the day the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Friday Find: Cupcake Divided Plate From Target

Don't you just adore this divided cupcake plate? Such cuteness! These can be found at Target right now for around $2.00 according to Stephanie of A Pocket Full Of Buttons. And they have blue ones for boys! Ack! I want some.

Valentine File Folder Sight Word Match Up

I made this simple file folder matching activity for the Muffin Tin Girl today. She is learning sight words right now and I thought this would be a simple way to practice and reinforce what she is learning in school.
To make this you will need a few items you may or may not have on hand:
  • 8 1/2 by 11" Manilla Folder
  • Black Marker
  • Glue Stick/Adhesive
  • Heart Die Cuts or Heart hand cut from construction paper
  • Con-tact paper for laminating (optional)

    Divide hearts in half ( I used two sets of fourteen). Adhere one set of hearts to the inside of the folder. Write desired sight words on each heart. Copy the same sight words onto the second set of hearts. Now your child can match one set of hearts to the other. Laminate if desired.

HP C6380 vs. Kodak ESP 7 Closing Comments (Part 6)

I just returned from sending the Kodak ESP 7 (the one on the right in the photo) back to the folks at the HP Virtual Focus Group. When all was said and done, I chose the HP C6380. Late last fall, I posted the majority of my feedback via vlogs, tweets, and blog posts. However, I just wanted to officially wrap things up a bit and share a few key points from my experience.

There are three aspects that were of utmost importance during my side-by-side comparison and determined my eventual choice. 1) Photo Quality 2)Reliability 3) Affordability.

Photo Quality
I was consistently impressed with the HP's photo quality. If I only had seen the Kodak photos, I would say they were decent photos, printed on a decent printer. However, seeing the photos side by side, it is apparent that the HP's quality is more authentic and "truer" to the original image.

I also did a little research through the Kodak manual/website and learned that Kodak programs their printer to "enhance" and "brighten" photos using their technology. Okay, fine. If that's what you want out of your photos, then great. For me, the color was off and they were unnaturally sharp.

The ink and paper test I did, as part of my comparison pretty much sealed the deal for me and I was blown away by the results. The HP, after having been submerged in water for 1 minute, came out looking as if it had just been printed. The Kodak, not so much.

When I print photos from home, it is going to cost me more money than if I were to have them printed off at say, Costco. So, when I print from home, I want to make sure there are as few problems as possible. When the Kodak printed sub-par photos that I didn't want to give away or frame, that was money down the drain. When the Kodak printed out blank paper or half of the photo, that was money down the drain. That never happened with the HP. I could always count on the HP to print quality photos and documents every time.

Kodak's claims of $110 of savings per year on ink doesn't hold up, in my opinion. I've seen the infomercial. Cheap ink begot lesser quality photos in my experience that did not hold up under rigorous testing. I also was able to find the HP C6380 on sale for a considerable cost savings up front, as well as saving through Staples Rewards program which gives a $3 staples credit for each ink cartridge no matter the size. Why would I pay the same the amount for a lesser printer and lesser quality ink?

**Please check out my other posts and vlogs on the VP Virtual Focus Group. They give a more in depth look at my experience.

Muffin Tin Monday - Theme: Dr. Seuss

Good Morning! Muffin Monday is here!

The theme this week is Dr. Seuss!! It's his birthday next month, and one of us Muffin Tin Mamas thought it might be a great idea to do a Dr. Seuss theme. Thanks Jamie!

  • A "one fish" sandwich
  • "two fish" gummies
  • Blue Ocean water
  • A school of "glad" Fish
  • "new fish" fish eggs
  • Stars (some of them have stars of their bellies!)
There were so many stories and books to choose from! I almost did "The Cat in The Hat", but this seemed to fit the most with what I had available in the cupboards!
What did you make for Muffin Tin Monday?