Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Activities For Children

I was web surfing again, looking for some activities for the kids to do, when I came across the Crayola site. I wandered around for a little while, then I happened upon this activity, called the "African Trading Beads"

African Trading Beads used to be traded for goods way back when...they weren't necessarily from Africa, because I know native americans had a barter system similar to this as well.

Anyways, kids can make these beads out of paper, and then string them together to make necklaces and bracelets!

All they have to do is cut out long skinny triangles out of paper, use a toothpick to wrap them around tightly, then glue the end. Once the glue dries, take the toothpick out and string together with string or thread.

Here is the link to the activity: African Trading Beads

I wouldn't suggest this activity for children under 3, since there can be small parts that can be swallowed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Time For The Sippy Cup

It is time for me to start introducing the sippy cup to my 19 month old daughter. Actually it was probably time quite a while ago, but my husband keeps sabotaging my efforts.

Aren't husband's great like that?! So, I read in my Parents magazine the other day that a good way to start the introduction is to water down the bottle... Meaning save the good stuff for the sippy cup.

I tried this the other day, and she will drink from the sippy cup, she just doesn't like to. Then I came home from work the other day to find my husband once again sabotaged my efforts and gave her a bottle full of milk. Now she is screaming everytime she sees me coming with the sippy cup.

I need to sit down and have a serious talk with my husband about this. We are thinking about having another child, and I certainly don't want 2 on a bottle at the same time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ice Cream Cake Recipe

My oldest daughter's birthday was the other day, and I was searching the web, looking for a good ice cream cake recipe. I found one, on and it was a hit at the birthday party!

Here is the recipe:

Easy Ice Cream Cake

16 ice cream sandwiches
1 (16 ounce) containere frozen non dairy whipped topping
1 (12 ounce) jar chocolate fudge topping, room temperature
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy bar, grated

Place 8 of the ice cream sandwiches side by side in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread half of the hot fudge topping evenly on top of the sandwiches. Spread half of the whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and toppings. Sprinkle with grated chocolate bar.

Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving. Keep unused portion covered and frozen.

I had made a couple of changes to the recipe, here they are:

My pan is slightly bigger than the 9 x 13 so I needed more sandwiches...I also mixed the whipped topping with 1/2 gallon of french vanilla ice cream, then spread half this mixture according to the directions.

I also used butterfinger bars, and milky way bars cut up and sprinkled on top of both layers...On the top layer I squirted chocolate syrup and caramel syrup all over the layer, then sprinkled the candy bars on top of that.

Mmmmm, everyone loved this, including me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

10 Ways To Save On Your Grocery Bill

I posted this on my other blog, The Hodge Podge Blog, but I think it is more appropriate here. When I was surfing the web the other day, I found this ebook. It gives you 10 ways to save on your grocery bill.

We all need to save money every where we can these days. This economy is sucking everything we have out of us. We need to learn how to be frugal, and save where we can.

Just a disclaimer, you do not have give away or resell rights to this ebook. If you wish to purchase resell rights, you may do so through the link in the ebook.

Enjoy! Here is the link for you:
10 Ways To Cut Down On Your Grocery Bill

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Raising A Money Smart Teen

If you are reading this, most likely you are a parent of a teen, or pre teen. All of us as parents hope that we can instill our hard learned lessons into our children, without them having to experience them. We all want our children to learn from our mistakes. Chances are though that they won't learn from our mistakes, and they will make their own. It is just the nature of the beast, unfortunately!

This doesn't mean that we can't try! I found a wonderful little article that can help us show our children about smart money management. I am giving it away to my readers here.

Just a little disclaimer, you can't sell or give this article away. You have no rights to this article, other than reading it.

Here is the link!

Raising Money Smart Teens

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Whole Wheat Pancakes

I have officially found another great recipe on Recipezaar! This one is for whole wheat pancakes, here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 cp. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. oil
1 cp. buttermilk
2 large eggs

Stir honey and oil together in a bowl. Add milk and eggs. Beat well. Mix dry ingredients into the liquid until flour is moistened. Cook and enjoy!

Makes 4-6 servings

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recipezaar Recipes

I am always looking for new recipes to try out on my family. I frequent, and usually find what I am looking for. I only come across a truly excellent recipe once in a while, the rest seem to be just mediocre, or nothing spectacular, but they are edible.

This is one of the recipes I found to be exceptional, with a couple of tweaks for my own tastes!

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (link to original recipe- has nutritional facts)

1/2 cp. butter
1/2 cp. flour ( I uses whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper ( I used about 1 tsp.)
3 cps. milk ( I used skim)
3 cps. ham cubed and cooked
1 lg. green pepper ( I used about 1/4 of one chopped finely)
1 lg. onion ( I used about 1/4 of one chopped finely)
1/2 cp. cheddar cheese ( I like cheese so I used about a cup)
5 cps. potatoes pared and sliced ( I used red potatoes, and left the skins on)

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat, blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 min. Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk. Return to heat, cook until thickened and bubbly. Fold in ham, onion, green pepper, and cheese. Pour over potatoes in a large bowl. Stir gently then move into a buttered 13x4 inch baking dish(I used an oblong baking dish), cover with foil. Bake at 350* for 30 min. Uncover and continue for 1 more hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I baked for 1 hour covered, then took foil off for about 15 min. to brown top. I'm sure everyones oven varies.

Serves 8

Monday, April 6, 2009

Funky Soul Vinyls Blog

I came across a blog today that brought back some memories for me, and maybe for you as well! It is called Funky Soul Vinyls Blog.

The author talks about his adventures growing up, and all his memories of the music he loved. I especially liked his post about the time he met his wife.

If you want to bring back some memories from the 70's, definitely check it out!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Choosing The Right Mutual Fund

In this day and age of economic hardship, some people are thinking about investing their hard earned money. Yes, in a time of hardship, people are thinking about this! It is because stocks are at an all time low right now. If you have never invested in mutual funds before now, then I have some tips for you.

The first step is to figure out what you want to accomplish with the investment. Is this for your child’s education, or for your retirement? Maybe it is for a second home.

This will help determine step number 2. How long you have to invest. Do you only have 20 years to make the money you need? Maybe it is 30, if you are lucky 40 or 50 years!

These two steps will help you determine what kind of portfolio you are looking for.

If you are looking to get the most growth out of your money, then an aggressive growth mutual fund or an international growth mutual fund is the way to go for you. These kinds of funds invest in stocks that have a great chance at becoming big. There is a down side. That is that there is an extremely high risk in these funds as well. As fast as they can go up, they can come down!

The next step down in risk is growth mutual funds. There is still a high risk for losing funds, but not as high as the previous choice.

The next lowest risk group is growth and income mutual funds. The risk level is ranked high to moderate, and they invest in common stocks that have a good possibility of dividends and appreciation on your money.

The next level down is fixed income mutual funds and equity income mutual funds. Their risk is considered moderate to low, but the possibility for income is very high.

The decision to invest in mutual funds is a very important one, not to take lightly. Make sure you have a clear picture of your goals, and you will be well on your way to success!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vtech Rhyme & Discover Book

The Vtech Rhyme & Discover Book was given to my youngest daughter as a Christmas present. She was just over a year at that point in time. She has just started to use the book, and absolutely loves it now. It has 6 of the classic nursery rhymes and is very easy for her to use. And very durable, I might add, with how many times she has thrown it!

The buttons are as big as the palm of her hand, so they are easy for her to use. Also the bright primary colors keep her intrigued.

Over all, the ease of use, along with the durability, I would definitely recommend this for someone else's child!

2-Pack The Gripper Cup

I bought these gripper cups in hopes that my daughter would soon be off the bottle and onto a sippy cup. I was drawn to them because of their simplicity, and the fact that they are supposed to be leak proof. I was wrong... on all levels! She does use these occasionally, but they have started to leak if left tipped over. I have a feeling it has to do with the nipple portion of the cup being washed so many times in the dishwasher. She also likes to chew on it, which I'm sure is not good for them either.

Over all, they are a good simple cup, but I wouldn't put too much faith into the leak proof portion of it.

First Post

This is the maiden post for this blog. I am hoping this blog becomes popular with all the mothers and fathers out there that are looking for information on "family oriented" items and services.

This will include anything from financial planning, to family planning and anything in between!

You need not worry about finding anything "adult oriented" on this blog. I want to make sure that children are also able to read it.

Also feel free to let me know if there is anything you want me to research and review!