24 July 2012

52 Weeks of Pinterest - Project 5

My big plan was to make this a craft project.  K and I would gather all her old crayons, sort them by color, and watch as they melted.  Things didn't go as planned at all!  First off I didn't realize how long it took to peel the wrappers off, I think because these crayons were moved from Ohio to Texas in the middle of summer in a moving truck and the wrappers were somewhat melted into the crayons.  K's interest was immediately lost!  One page suggested cutting down the sides of the wrappers with a utility knife to make it easier, but my stubborn self refused to take such an easy shortcut.  So I removed the wrappers at night and broke them into pieces.  Morning rolled around and I though K could help me sort through them and make piles of color groups.  Again she would have nothing to do with it, but she did play with the crayon bits quite a bit, mostly making faces on plates with the pieces.  So, again I waited until bedtime to sort them.  Then I filled the silicone baking sheet I had with little people shaped designs.  I got the baking sheet at Walmart in their party area with cake decorating supplies.
I thought about waiting until morning to let K watch them melt, but she has camp this week and making it out the door is tough enough, and I'm impatient and couldn't wait to see how it worked!  I started out by putting them in a 250 degree oven (suggestions ranged from 200-275 so I just went around the middle) and setting the timer for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes about half of the crayons were melted.  THe crayons were a mixture of Crayola, Rose Art, and restaurant crayons and they did not all melt at the same time.  I keep setting the timer for 5 minutes and checking.  By the time they were all melted it was close to 40 minutes in the oven.  They definitely cooked for too long, but it was the only way to get them all to melt.
 The finished products:
 The colors separated and there is a milky layer at the bottom of each crayon that doesn't write.  It frustrated K for a minute until she learned to hold the crayon the other way.
 Each crayon turned out with just a little concavity on the bottom, which makes for perfect stacking!  K stacked crayons for a very long time while I prepped breakfast this morning.
 I'd say this was a pretty successful pin!  I can't wait until B can get his little hands on these!

20 July 2012

52 weeks of Pinterest - Project 4

Today was another food pin.  Taco Stew in the crockpot.  Super easy to make, just brown the meat first then dump all the cans of stuff into the crockpot.  No fresh veggie prep (perfect for days like today when the kids are sick!)  I did forget to buy a can of corn so it was cornless taco stew.  Everyone except K ate it and liked it.  But she's almost 4 and doesn't like anything other than chocolate milk!  We put a dollop or sour cream on top and some shredded cheese.  J added some dried chiles to his for some kick.

It was not spicy at all, in fact it was a little sweet thanks to the packet of ranch dressing mix.  And it turned out nice and thick, not at all soupy.  We all really liked it and it's a keeper recipe.  It is basically chile so I made some cornbread to go with it.

52 Weeks of Pinterest - Project 3

Writing to Snow White!!

It will take a few weeks before we know if this pin works or not, but today we wrote to Snow White.  K dictated to me:
Dear Snow White,
 I want to come visit you.  I wish we could be friends and I can see the seven dwarfs.  I want to see the castle but I will be scared and then we'll see the dwarf cottage.  Snow White, come to my house one day!
Your Friend, K

What did I learn from this little task... I have no stationary that doesn't say "thank you" on it.  Time to go shopping for some blank cards.

16 July 2012

52 weeks of Pinterest - Pin 2

I can already see keeping track of what week I'm on is going to be a disaster!  So instead I'm just hoping for 52 pins done by July of 2013.

My second pin to try was a recipe.  With an almost 4 year old and a very active 18 month old, prepping dinner is like war time in my house.  Trying to keep the little man from getting into everything, jumping off the back of the couch, burning himself on the stove, etc while trying to keep from ignoring my older child, who wants nothing more than to help with EVERYTHING, can be overwhelming, hectic, dangerous, and exhausting.  I'm in some serious need of easy to do meals, enter the crockpot.  And then say hello to crockpot freezer meals!  You prep all the veggies, meat, and seasonings for a whole bunch of crockpot meals all at once (only one mess to clean up!) then freeze them.  Defrost the day before, dump in the crockpot in the morning and a nice healthy warm dinner is ready when Daddy walks in the door.

I tried the Sausage and Peppers recipe from Ring Around the Rosies.  I did not make a bunch of recipes and freeze them, yet.  I figured I'd try a bunch, see which ones were keepers and then do a big prep day one weekend.  The resulting meal looked beautiful and smelled great.  I served it on a tortilla instead of over pasta or on crusty bread.
The overwhelming consesus was "Eh."  The taste was great and it wasn't spicy (I hate spicy food although J would rather a whole lot of spice).  The only problem was it was very watery.  I guess you need all that water to cook the sausage, but the sausage was overly waterlogged.  J said he'd much rather just grill some sausage and have me pan grill some peppers and onions, which would be a great option on the weekend, but it doesn't help my weekday cooking dilemma.  J did concede that if I made this during the week instead of another night of sloppy joes, he wouldn't complain!  In fact it would probably be rather nice on top of plain pasta where all that watery, tomatoey goodness could work as a sauce.

13 July 2012

52 weeks of Pinterest

I'm sure everyone is well aware of what Pinterest is, but if not here's a quick overview.  Instead of making bookmarks in your browser of websites you like, you pin them to a virtual corkboard.  With one quick glance you can see pictures of all the sites you like.  And you can break it down into many different boards.  I've been pinning like crazy the last few months but tend to just let them hang.  Well, I'm going to start doing some of these great ideas.  My goal is to do at least one thing from my pinterest boards each week.  Hopefully it will not peter out and I'll keep this up!  Welcome to week one:

We've been stuck in the house for the past week because of non-stop rain.  The kids and I are getting a bit of cabin fever and needed some new things to do.  I pulled something from a list of activities to do with toddlers.  I put towels on the bathroom floor, filled the sink with water, and sent the naked kids in there to play!  They had a blast.  No one wanted any toys other than their toothbrushes.  They were entertained for about an hour!  Eventually B started running around the playroom wet and naked and the fun had to end.

The kids really enjoyed themselves and the only down side was how much water ran into the drawers next to the sink.  Luckily just a bar of soap and an old digital thermometer were damaged!