Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to another lovely edition of Muffin Tin Monday, the blog link up that has kids smiling everywhere and where we share the Muffin Tin Meals we make for our kids (and shhh, sometimes ourselves) each and every Monday. This summer, we are taking a break from the themes, so if you have been holding out and not participating, now is the perfect time!

I did kind of a half theme this week. Stars in honor of Muffin Tin Monday. A few of us have been chatting via the new MTM facebook page about what we are going to do this week. And, everyone was talking about Memorial Day, so it was on the brain when I put together today's tin!

In this star-shaped tin: carrots and ranch dip, potato bread stars, tangerine pieces, red grapes. This was a snack after a long day. Muffin Tin Girl loved it!

And shhhhh.....I used a playdough cutter for the star bread pieces!

What did you make? Won't you share it with us? Just click on the blue "inlinkz" button to add the URL of your photo or blog post.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

I know you are all in the midst of a glorious 3 day weekend and enjoying your families as you remember our fallen military servicemen and women, so I will get righ to it!

Here are this week's links:

These toilet paper roll clown puppets from Katherine Marie are so cute! And look very doable.

Have you seen these Winnie The Pooh Cake Pops from Bakerella? Ack! So sweet!

I am incredibly inspired by the paper butterfly wreath (by Alisa Burke) featured over at The Crafty Crow .

I enjoyed pouring over the kid's play room photos on Flickr yesterday. So many great ideas!

Scripture for Sunday

Psalm 86:1-7

 1Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
   for I am poor and needy.
2Preserve my life, for I am godly;
   save your servant, who
 trusts in you—you are my God. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
   for to you do I cry all the day.
4Gladden the soul of your servant,
   for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
   listen to my plea for grace.
7In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.

my plea for you plead the Lord for his grace?

Save and Store Children's Artwork with a Photo Book

I have figured out a way to "save" and store children's artwork without actually saving it.

 It's the end of the school year for our family and we have garnered piles of glittery-glued on-painted-handmade craft projects. Each of my children made many wonderful pieces of artwork that we have been able to treasure all year long. In particular, Muffin Tin Boy made a handful of Letter Of The Week craft projects and I have saved them all. But, most of them are 3D masterpieces that well, take up quite a bit of room. I knew we just couldn't keep every single one and yet, I wanted to be able to have keepsakes from the year. Well,  I have figured out a way to "save" their artwork without actually saving it. 

Create a photo "ABC" book. 

I started with an inexpensive photo album from our local big box craft store (Michael's). They are around $1.99. I happened to have mine on hand for this project.

Next, I snapped several photos of Muffin Tin Boy's artwork and letter of the week projects. I printed them out at home using my HP photo printer and slide them inside the album. I then realized that we were missing a few letters of the alphabet.....hmmm.....what to do....I then realized we could make our very own "letters of the week" to fill in the missing ones by tracing out the letters on his artwork.

Cut it out. Snap a photo. 
And there you have it, instant Letter of the Week from your child's artwork.

I snapped photos of the rest of the artwork that I didn't necessarily want to keep, but wanted to remember. We went through most of them together and the kids decided what projects they loved the most, I set a limit of 2-3 and they got to keep the originals in a large flat box. So now, my little 4x6 photo book holds a year's worth of crafts! IT's compact and lightweight and I still get the benefit of off he craft projects without all of the erm, clutter.

For more, visit these great posts on organizing and storing children's artowrk:

Muffin Tin Meals Now on Facebook

Are you on facebook? Well, if you are, then you can join the Muffin Tin Meals facebook page! There I will keep you updated on themes and post exclusive photos and hold exclusive giveaways, and it will be a place for muffin tin mamas who don't blog to come and see what the fuss is all about! Want to join in the fun on facebook? Click on the box below or link above.

I had been debating it for awhile whether or not to add a facebook page, but with FB having over 400 million users...Well, it just seemed like it was time.

I hope you will join me there!

Muffin Tin Monday: Seeds, Plants, Flowers

Welcome the 2nd installment of the Muffin Tin Monday Springtime mini-series: Seeds Plants, and Flowers! This week I had particular fun putting together the muffin tin meal and if Muffin Tin Girl wasn't so hungry, I would have made more of those miniature open-faced flower sandwichs.

On a side note, did you know that playdough tools (washed and dried of course) can make great food shape cutters? Just sayin....

Back to the fun. Here's what I put together:

 Leaves (or grass, take your pick): Fresh Cut Lettuce, served plain.  
Flowers: Miniature open-faced cheese flower sandwich
Flower Petals: Strawberry Slices. Tried to fan them out, but it was a fail
"Smooshed Grass" Miniature Avocado Sandwich on a flower pick.
Seeds on a Bed of Dirt: Chocolate Chips and Graham cracker crumbs

(close-up of the sandwiches...cheese hearts for petals on mini bread circles. So fun!)

The plain lettuce also went over very well. I tried to say it was grass and Muffin Tin Girl said, "No Mommy Lettuce is leaves." And she came up with "Smooshed Grass"for the avocado. I was enjoying it yesterday on a sandwich ans she said it looked like someone had smooshed grass in my sandwich. Cutie patootie.

**Brief MTM update: I will be doing a few more themes and then we will be taking a theme hiatus for the summer. Doesn't mean you can't do them, just means you'll get to come up with your own, if you wish! We will start back up with the themes in late August.

So...What did you make? Still on the fence about joining in? Go read 5 Answers to 5 Reason You Have not joined Muffin Tin Monday
Click on the blue "inlinkz" button to get started

No Need For The Sunday Paper

It happened again, I picked up the newspaper and it was doom and gloom, from page to page. Can you relate? Well, I have the perfect alternative. Links made to inspire, encourage and lift the spirits!

Here they are:

A Pocket Full of Buttons (pictured above): I love the  3D photo family tree craft that stephanie's daughter made. So super cute!

Paper Cakes Finds: "Your Daily Dose of Handmade Eye Candy" They. Aren't. Kidding. Oh, I could spend hours pouring over these links and photos!

The Lunch Punch: Eek! Double eek! These are so clever and take the sandwich punch to a whole new level!

Funny Days With Mommy and Maddie: I love love love Amanda's end of the year teacher gift: chalkboard painted terra cota potted palnts! Personalized, well made and kids can be an important part of the process!

Pretty Much I am dying for this Super Mario Bros/Princess Peach Birthday Party Idea Post from Chico and Jo. To say they went all out is an understatement. I can't decide waht is my favorite - the cake or wall decorations!

Reinvented: A great post on the Top 5 Budget Decor Rules. The patience one is always the hardest for me. :)


Scripture For Sunday comes in the form of these fantastic Godly Character Cards for kids by Sarah's Sweeties,found via  1+1=1 A great way for grown-up to focus on Godly character too.

Stick Puppet Faces

We made stick puppet faces this week and had a blast! 

Here's waht you'll need:

  • Stick Faces (Ours are from Creatology, found at Michaels's Arts and Crafts)
  • Googlie Eyes
  • Yarn for the hair
  • Chenille pom-poms for the nose (super mini size)
  • Glue - regular school glue works great! 

I prepped all the pieces before the kids got involved. 
Assemble at will!
We then took our stick puppets and put on our very own puppet show. There was much silliness involved and it was so much fun!

Egg Cheese and Waffle Sandwich! I have found a deliciously simple and oh so tasty morning breakfast sandwich! The Egg and Cheese Waffle Sandwich via the Incredible Egg website. Special thanks to Jamie of Momma's Playground for inspiring me via twitter to make it! If you haven't checked out Jamie's blog yet, pop on over!

I made it again this morning for our family and everyone but Muffin Tin Boy loved it! For full instructions, follow the link to the Increble Egg site.

And as a side note, when I am not blogging, you can find me on twitter at

Muffin Tin Monday: Birds and Nests

Are you ready for the first installment of the Springtime Series theme for Muffin Tin Monday? I am! This weeks theme is Birds and Nests. If you are new to Muffin Tin Monday, I am so glad you are here! Take a look around, visit the FAQ page for a little more info. 

Here's ours!

Here's the new mini 12 cup muffin tin I got for Mother's Day from Wilton. I love it! 

In this tin: 
bird food: granola & berry trail mix
cheezits: I have no idea how these got there
little birdies: cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
bird poop:  vanilla pudding and mini chocolate chips
trees: broccoli florets

Next week: Seeds, Plants and Flowers

Won't you join us? What did you make? Add your blog post url or photo of a muffin tin meal via the Inlinkz button

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Who needs the Sunday paper with links like these:

Family Fun: they scored big with me recently with their organizing section! so many fun ideas!

Nanny Goat: Adorable spool dolls. I've made something similar in the past, but these are just so cute. and she has a complete tutorial!

I am kind of digging what is all about: printables for just about everything. Bonus: they can

Someday Crafts featured A Place For Us's super charming way to spruce up your hallway at home. chic DIY signs above the doorways check it out!

I love No Time For Flashcards preschool counting and group game using over-sized dice and fun manipulatives (ahem, who doesn't love frogs?). Easy to create and facilitate -this would be so much fun- my only problem-where to buy such large dice?


1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
From the bible

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
*emphasis mine

Cupcake In A Jar

There's something quietly magical that happens when you find an idea on another blog and try it out yourself. I remember last year seeing these mason jar cupcakes and thinking how adorable they were and wanting desperately to do them myself. Fast forward to this week. The muffin tin kids' school is having a bake sale this week to benefit St/ Jude's Research Hospital (a young boy in MTG's class has a brain tumor and was treated at St. Jude). I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to get creative for a good cause.

What do you think?

Hopefully, they will bring in good money. :)

You could even change it up and add pudding, whipped cream and strawberries to make it a "trifle in a jar".

Be sure to check out Joy's Hope for the simple instructions and inspiration.

Spring Series Muffin Tin Meal Ideas

photo by jcandeli

I have been dreaming up what I will do for this Monday's Muffin Tin Meal and I just thought I would share with you a few ideas I have been brainstorming.

When I think about a themed Muffin Tin Meal, I usually start by writing down a bunch of words associated with the theme.

For example, the next theme is springtime: birds and nests

birds and nests
love birds
song birds
bird bath
bird seed

Thinking outside the box:

Different types of birds:
robin, blue jay, finch, love birds
humming bird

  • Then I think about what kind of foods creating the meal might entail:
  • I try to match what I have in my cupboards to that list and see if I can create the theme around what I already have, if not I supplement if needed.
  • I then get to making the muffin tin: sometimes the process is more organic and it just sort of comes together and other times I am planning it out cup by cup what I am going to include.

Hope this  helps you out a little bit as you think about next week's theme

Muffin Tin Monday

It's Monday!! You know what that means. It's time for Muffin Tin Monday. Since yesterday was Mother's Day I thought I would give me you a break from doing a theme this week. As always, you are welcome to come up with your own themes on non-theme weeks. For more on the Muffin Tin Meal blog link up called Muffin Tin Monday be sure to check out the FAQ page.

Here's what we had:

(rolled salami, mozarella cheese circles, and sliced apples)

Jo at A Bit of This and That has a great Muffin Tin Meal themed giveaway going on plus a free printable to make your own food picks. SO cute! She uses the muffin tin button!

Would you like to join in? We would love to have you! Just create a muffin tin meal, snap a photo and/or blog about it. Come back her and post the url of your mtm blog post or photo by clicking on the inlinkz button below.
**some of you have ementioned that my site is not loading for you or is super slow, I am working on getting that fixed**

No Need For The Sunday Paper


photo property of: mama dramalouges

It's that time again...Sunday, where I share links from around the web that inspire! Who needs the paper with links like these?

Here they are:

Make and Takes: While it might be too late to whip up these adorable Chenille Pipe Cleaner Flowers, who says you can't make them together as a family on Mother's Day? Make them for Aunties, Grandma's and Sisters too!

Found in the "Ali": No-sew halter top (found via . I am inspired by the simple and easy contruction of this reconstructed t-shirt. Makes me want to go dig through my t-shirt drawer and resurrect some oldies but goodies.

Mama Dramalogues/guest post by Elegant Bloggery: I am in love love love with these adorable little fairy peg dolls! They are full of whimsy and charm and would make the perfect playmates for any little girl.

Somewhat Simple: I still am baffled when I find a new-to-me blog. I mean, I read a lot of blogs and I can't fathom missing out on all the goodies that are at Somewhat Simple! For instance, this school days paper filing system is perfect for our family! It's functional and creative and an inexpensive solution for an ever mounting school paper problem! (I found Somewhat Simple through the lovely Creative Triplet Mom)

Confessions of a Homeschooler: Erica has compiled a fabulous review of her alphabet activities, complete with links and photos and free downloadable pages. While the kids are home this summer (and maybe before) we are going to be doing a lot of these for sure!


Proverbs 3:5-6 

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
       and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways acknowledge him, 
       and he will make your paths straight.

Orthopedic Cast Tatoo Art by Casttoo

When Muffin Tin Boy broke his elbow last week I knew I wanted to do something for him that would make having a cast a little bit easier to bear. Sharing it with family paid off! My brother-in-law discovered this amazing company! I knew when I saw it that this would be just the thing.

It's called Casttoo. 

Their mission is to provide "happy healing" to those who are mending a broken bone.Casttoo was created by the talented and adventurous Jessica Smith who herself had a broken bone from a bicycling accident and decided to share her passion for happy healing with the rest of us. She is accompanied by a rockin' staff that are all committed to the bringing a little more joy to bone break recovery.

Casttoo's are for everyone and easy to apply with a little heat. They come in a wide variety of options including asian dragons, rainbows, fairies, flowers, sports, unicorns, flames and you can even have a custom Casttoo made of the x-ray of your break!

The pricing is moderate and increases depending on the size of the Casttoo you want. Muffin Tin Boy received the small asian dragon (around $20). Totally worth the smile on his face from ear to ear when he saw it.

Their clever sizing chart made it easy to decide what size who fit a 5 year old boy...

And with step by step instructions that came with the Casttoo and available online, we were set!

Here's ours (He had his cast re-wrapped in blue):

I hadn't completely set it with the blow dryer, because I wanted to snap a photo while it was still light. He just loves it! 

**Disclosure: MT Boy and I did receive a Casttoo free of charge in order to write this review.

Love Gossip

Children love to be told how proud you are of them and how much you love them. They love to hear specifically what they have done that has earned a compliment or moment of praise. Nothing beats hearing "I really like it when you.." or "wow! You picked all your toys without whining or complaining. I am so proud of you. Keep it up." And while that is always a top priority it my book, a little "love gossip" is a great way to well, share the love, so to speak.

What's "love gossip", you ask?

Here's how it works. While your child is within ear shot, talk to a stuffed animal or doll about your child. Maybe your son or daughter ate all their dinner or was kind to friend or sibling. Choose something and share it with that toy-paying careful attention to make sure your child can hear you. Be sure to be authentic and not too "over the top".

Example: (to "bun-bun" the stuffed bunny) What? I know, I saw that too. K was kind to her brother tonight. She shared her treats with him. She didn't have to. What was that? You want me to give her a hug for you and tell her how proud you are? Okay. (hugs). K, bun-bun is really proud of you and so am I.  

This also works in 3rd person when talking to dad, grandma and grandpa, or another friend.

Example: Daddy, did you read K's report card today? Her teacher wrote that she is a very good listener. I agree, she IS a good listener. I am so proud of her. 

Nothing boosts a child's self confidence more than a parent who believes in them. And to be clear, telling someone else about your child doesn't replace telling them yourself, that should always come first. "Love Gossip" is just a great way to add to it. :)

**I first read about this concept in  Dr. Karp, MD's The Happiest Toddler on The Block Although he doesn't call it "love" gossip.

*photo by aussiegal

Perler Beads and Chenille Pipe Cleaner Bracelets

Making bracelets with perler beads and chenille pipe cleaners is a great way to work on fine motor skills with your child as well as patterning and counting, and still have fun. They wont even know they're "learning".

Perler beads and chenille pipecleaners can be found at your local craft store or online. Both typically come in bulk, so be prepared for hours of fun!

DIY Dollar Store Photo Memory Game

Add a twist to the traditional game of memory match-up game gets a using family photos! Use a deck of playing cards from the dollar store as an easy backing. I made this simple and creative game in about 20 minutes using a only a few supplies.

You'll need:
  • A deck of cards from the dollar store (The Dollar Tree to be exact).
  • Glue Stick
  • Small paper cutter or scissors
  • Pre-printed photos at home from my HP Touchsmart Web Printer

Here's How:
  • Print out 2 sets of photos of your choosing. (I printed mine on 4x6 photo paper "wallet size" - they came out 2 per 4x6 sheet. hint: I use Picasa free photo software.)
  • Cut them to size: 2 1/4 x 3 1/4
  • Using your glue stick, adhere them to the face of the playing cards, one by one.

Enjoy and play! It's that simple! 

Tips, Hints and Tricks:
  • Works great as a gift (ahem, mother's day) for families and friends who live far away.
  • Might be a great way to commemorate a family vacation.
  • Would be a fun "dining out only" game to take to restaurants
  • For toddlers: print out a single set to use for helping baby become familiar with family and friends.
  • I printed my photos at home. I can't recommend it enough. It has changed the way I craft and create. But. it's not required for this project.

Muffin Tin Monday - Theme: Cinco De Mayo/ Mexican Heritage

Happy Muffin Tin Monday! Every week we share the muffin tin meals we make for our kids and link them together here - and we call it Muffin Tin Monday and sometimes "MTM" for short. :) Muffin Tin Mom is the "Official Home of the Muffin Tin Meal and Muffin Tin Monday" and I am so glad you are her to join in the fun by either submitting a link to your blog post about your MTM or just here to browse all the other submissions. For more on Muffin Tin Monday be sure to visit the MTM FAQ page.

This week's theme is Cindo De Mayo!/Mexican Heritage.

Here's what we had:

Fresh Mango Slices, Mini Quesadilla, Tortilla Chips, Salsa, Sour Cream, Rice

The Salsa and Sour Cream were both foods I was trying to reintroduce. They were recieved fairly well, Muffin Tin Girl enjoyed a few bites of each and I think it's a step in the right direction towards expanding her palette.

What did you make?

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here are this week's links!

Lunchville: Chic and eco-friendly lunch bags, containers and drink bottles. They even have cloth sandwich and snack bags! Some of the lunch bags are so cute, they look like purses!

Tuesday I will be giving my presentation on cyberbullying. During my research, I found this cyberbullying PSA from the ad council to be riveting.

Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, beginning on May 3rd. Our school isn't celebrating for one more week, thank goodness. However I want to encourage you to offer up a token of appreciation that is, first and foremost from the heart - A meaningful handwritten note or picture from your child is always nice. Consider your child's teacher and what they might enjoy. And if you are your child's teacher, by golly, treat yourself to something special! For you creative types that love to use your gifts, consider Tip Junkie's comprehensive list of posts on teacher appreciation ideas!

Did you know that offers up ideas for cupcakes? They have samples for everything from baby showers to graduation! I spent for-ev-er browsing though all the ideas!


Scripture For Sunday

A dear friend shared this with me after I was feeling discouraged this week.

2 Corinthians 12:9

9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I don't boast about being weak very often...