Make Christmas Ornaments from Dollar Store Finds

I am guest posting this week over at Dollar Store Crafts. Heather graciously allowed me to share my idea for Christmas ornaments kids can make using dollar store items. It's a simple kid's craft that children can make for less than a dollar each. Head over to Dollar Store Crafts to check it out!

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to another wonderful Muffin Tin Monday! Are you having trouble getting your toddler, preschooler, child to eat healthier? Are you looking for creative lunch ideas for your kids? I will unashamedly recommend Muffin Tin Meals. It is a fantastic way to bring fun to mealtime!

Every Monday, here at Muffin Tin Mom, we celebrate kids, creative food and eating healthy with Muffin Tin Monday. Sometimes we do themes.
This week there is no theme!

here's what we had today!
green apples, sliced bananas, fish crackers, yogurt with sprinkles, carrot sticks and ranch dip

A few important notes about MTM this month:

*Christmas is the theme for the next 3 weeks!!
That means you get to come up with your own varation on the theme: Christmas stories, Christmas ornaments, Christmas morning...let your imagination go! 

Now It's your turn. Would you like to participate in Muffin Tin Monday? Make a MTM for your kds, snap a photo and upload it to a photo sharing site and link it up here by clicking the blue "add your link" button. If you have a blog, post your photo on your blog and link it up here. Remember to include a link back to

No Need For The Sunday Paper

This weeks Links....

{photo credit: giver's log}

Creative Kismet: Make fall leaves from paper bags -love this idea! found via the Crafty Crow

Tangarang: free printable baking labels...perfect for Grandma's cookie recipe. Found via

Giver's log: love this sticky note advent's easier than you think!


From the Bible
Ephesians 3:14-18

 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Friday Find: Hello Kitty Lunchbox at Old Navy

Um, can you say AWESOME?! 
Kello Kitty "Be Green"
Old School Tin Lunchbox
$10.00 Old Navy

Dollar Store Homeschool Math Learning

My kids love learning activities. Maybe it's because I have done them with the kids since they were in preschool. Maybe it's because God created them that way. Either way, I love it. And although we don't homeschool (but clearly see it's many benefits), I like creating hands-on projects for them at home to reinforce early learning concepts.

We use simple items (often found in the craft box or around the home) for our learning activities like chenille pom poms, craft beads, etc. The Dollar Tree has some festive holiday table scatter that is perfect for learning activities! I drew up the templates with white paper and a marker and then the kids used the table scatter pieces to fill in the boxes with the right amount.

My 1st grader also insisted on coming up with the equations herself, so I left blanks where the numbers go:

 My kinder-gardener worked with counting and sorting.

You might also like:

Promoting Language and Literacy in Young Children

Sorting and Graphing Candies

Preschool Math: Early Counting With Game Pieces

Muffin Tin Monday - Theme: Thanksgiving

It's time for Muffin Tin Monday! I'm keeping it short this week. It's been one of those weeks.
The theme is 
We chose to do Foods We Are Thankful For. And we are oh so thankful for 
ice cream! We've done dessert for MTM before and of course, it's always a hit.

The muffin cups are a perfect way to let the kids have a little sweets and still maintain kid sized portions. They shared this ice cream dessert muffin tin and it was a definitely a treat!

Now it's your turn! What did you make for Muffin Tin Monday?

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here are this week's lovely links. I hope you enjoy!

Miss Priss: I want to try this delicious Cranberry-Lime Salsa It would pair well with some homemade tortilla chips.

Katherine Marie Photography: She's at it again with her theme of the week, and this week's Turkey theme ideas and photos are delightfully adorable.

Muffin Tin Advent Calendars: Two words: Google Images. The one above is from Frosted Designs.

Scripture For Sunday

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— 
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD, 
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip— 
   he who watches over you will not slumber; 

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel 
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you— 
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 

6 the sun will not harm you by day, 
   nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— 
   he will watch over your life; 

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going 
   both now and forevermore.

Good Stuff

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. 

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. 
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. 
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." 

Muffin Tin Monday - Eating Healthy

Welcome to another wonderful edition of Muffin Tin Monday. It's hard to believe that Muffin Tin Meals have been going strong for over 2 years! Make my heart happy that so many families are enjoying this as much as we are. To find out a little more about Muffin Tin Meals, be sure to read the FAQ page.

This week's theme is all about 
Eating Healthy/Food Pyramid 

Sliced turkey wrapped in a tortilla, broccoli, lowfat blueberry yogurt, honeydew melon, carrot sticks, red apples. I went for the "half your plate" concept as mentioned below.

I am the first to confess that my muffin tin meals have not always been healthy. A few of them have been glorious candy-filled concoctions that my kids have loved. However, for the most part, I aim to bring a healthy balance to my children's diet. That's one of the reason's I love muffin tin meals - the separated muffin cups make for a great visual reminder of what I am feeding them.

While doing a little research for this week's theme on eating healthier, the food pyramid and nutrition, I came upon several important resources I hope you as useful and interesting as I did:

  • It's Not About Nutrition: Forget the Food Pyramid: I loved what this post has to say about eating healthy and helping parents and kids make healthy eating choices. Her comment to "Think ratios instead of servings and your kids will automatically start eating better." really resonated with me. She advocates the CDC's reformed approach of "half your plate" for fruits and veggies instead of "5 a day".
  • Today I Ate A Rainbow: I know many of you have already heard of this amazing concept/product for families and I can see why - it's full of helpful tools and colorful charts to get your kids eating a wide variety of foods along the rainbow spectrum.
  • Nourish Interactive: Free online kids games geared towards promoting healthy eating in kids. My kids love them, especially the "whack-a-snack" game and the coloring pages.
  • Local Grocer: Have you taken the time to find out what kind of vitamin's and nutrients are in your kids foods? I was delighted to walk into my local grocery store and find in the produce section, clear labels over every food detailing what each was "known for".  

Now it's your turn! What did you make for a Muffin Tin Meal? Won't you share it with us? YOu know the drill. click the blue "add your link button" to add your post or photo of a muffin tin meal you made this week for the kids!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Miranda Made: It's never too late to be thankful. Check out this beautiful Thanksgiving countdown wreath from Miranda made.

Fiskars: love this subtly gorgeous Thanksgving place setting using cardstock. Fantastic round up of DIY puppet theaters and puppets on the cheap (featuring our friend Sycamore Stirrings' tension rod version)

Muffin Tin Meals - Featured!

Hi friends! Muffin Tin Meals have been  featured on some super cool sites. If you have a moment check them out:

Post-its + Sharpie = Help My Children Put Away Their Own Clothes

Recently, after spending a good portion of my day doing copious amounts laundry, I devised a simple, yet effective way to get my kids to put away the stacks of freshly clean clothes. Armed with a stack of post-its and a black sharpie pen, I labeled each dresser drawer with the corresponding clothes item (and I drew a little picture to go with each word).

Here's why it works:

  • My kids learn independence
  • Helps hone their sorting skills
  • Helps my new reader learn words
  • Helps my emerging reader with letter recognition
  • Post-its are temporary-perfect for dresser drawers that always seem to be in transition
  • They know where every clothes item is and where it goes
  • One item off my to-do list
  • My kids love it!

Muffin Tin Monday

It's that time again, the time for muffin tins and Mondays and for the weekly blog link up Muffin Tin Monday. Muffin Tin Mom is the official home of the Muffin Tin Meal. What is a Muffin Tin Meal, you ask? Simply stated, it's a meal served in a muffin tin (typically for kids, but also for grown ups too!)  Every third week, we try and do a themed edition of MTM. If you want to know more about MTM, be sure to check out the FAQ page and previous MTM posts.

This Week: No Theme

Here's what we had today. My camera is on the fritz, so I borrowed my husband's camera phone-not bad.

Strawberries with panda bear picks, honeydew, pineapple, bear shaped cheese sandwiches, yogurt in a little bear cup, and cantaloupe.

Now, it's your turn! What did you make? Won't you share it with us? We (and by we, I mean our awesome community of muffin tin mamas) share blog posts and/or photos of the muffin tin meals we make and link up here each week. be sure to click on the blue "add your link" button to started.

No Need For The Sunday Paper - The Plate Spinning Edition

I feel a little bit like this guy... only the plates are things in my life...more on this later.

Muffin Tin Meals: Add a some color to your child's diet

The same food, shared two different ways in a muffin tin meal:

lunch time...

snack time...

After seeing my tins, I realized that most kids aren't going to eat orange bell peppers in that large of a quantity.

Tips for getting your kids to eat more veggies without sneaking it into their food:

  • Start small, offer small bite sized portions, so they aren't so turned off (something I did not do today)
  • Cut it into cute shapes: there are a wide variety of cookie cutters that you can use to make it look a little more appetizing
  • A little dip goes a long way. Offering small portions of ranch dressing, hummus, peanut butter, or your own healthy option is a great way to ease kids into veggies.
  • Keep trying. Research has shown that it can take kids up to 10 tries to "like" a food. Also, re-introducing when their older is important as their taste buds and preferences may have changed.
In today's muffin tin meals: 
  • lunch time: Heart shaped whole wheat sandwiches, cheese circle, orange bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, ranch dressing 
  • snack time: orange bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, ranch dressing
For more muffin tin meals and ideas be sure to check out Muffin Tin Mondays at

What other tips do you have?

Framed Vintage Magazine Cover

My grandmother bought me a subscription to Good Houskeeping for Christmas last year. And I have loved pouring over the pages of each monthly issue during my few chances to sit and relax. It was during one of those rare times that I happened to flip to a page in the May issue that read "Every month of our Anniversary year, we'll share one of our favorite vintage covers with you." 

You had me at vintage.

From then on, every month, I would search immediately for the vintage cover. I was able after a few months to surmise that the vintage cover was always placed after page 100 and somewhere around the cover story. I would find it, drool over it and save the issue.

I had a plan.

 I have loved all things vintage for a very long time. And I knew I wanted to save each issue and then frame them to hang in my home. It would be a fantastic and inexpensive way to preserve them and I didn't have to go out and purchase a framed print for hundreds of dollars. I started with a $5 frame.

Then  it was bye bye, Michelle Obama ( a recent cover feature)

and hello vintage!

the cover just barely fits inside an 8x10 mat. 

One word of advice, tear out the page very carefully.