Mummy Paper Plate Craft

I wanted to include a craft during Halloween week here on Sew You Think You Can Cook. 

I couldn’t find any sewing mummy crafts that weren’t a pillowcase and since I did one during Candy Corn week I continued my search. 

Next thought was to make a wreath. Unfortunately I didn’t make one before heading to Alabama a couple of weeks ago so that idea had to be scrapped. 

Firecracker loves making crafts, it’s probably his favorite thing about homeschooling. 

I found a cute and simple mummy paper plate craft on handy dandy Pinterest and knew I could manage that with everything we already had on hand. Mission accomplished last minute!

I made one the night before to have an example for the boys. 

Mummy Paper Plate Kids Craft | Sew You Think You Can Cook
This craft is great for fine motor skill development and if strong enough, they can use the hole punch to punch a ring of holes around the plate.

Mummy Paper Plate Craft (toddler)

Firecracker just liked gluing eyes onto his mummy face and threaded the string over the face just twice. 

Mummy Paper Plate Craft (baby)

I was surprised at how much more Treat did than his older brother! He did a great job inserting the string into holes and loved pulling the string all the way through. 

Here’s what you need to make your own mummy paper plate:

  • White paper plate
  • Hole punch 
  • Eyes (googly eyes, buttons, or a marker)
  • Glue, if needed
  • White yarn, string, or thin ribbon 
  • Tape, if needed

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Punch holes around the edge of the plate. 
  2. Glue or draw on the eyes. Let dry. 
  3. String the yarn through the holes, going across the face in a haphazard manner. Tie ends of the string behind the plate and tape down if desired. 

Mummy Paper Plate Craft (3) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

#MuffinMonday: Butternut Squash Raisin Mini Muffins

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It’s time for another Monday filled with muffins!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin! (A big thank you to Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for helping organize everything this month.)

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Recently, my husband and I have been getting in the money saving habit of constantly making breakfast burritos. He takes these burritos to work with him on mornings he’s hitting the gym. An act which is saving us about $9 every other day!

He likes filling his burritos with meat (I’ll use leftover chicken/steak from the week or the typical breakfast sausage or bacon), cheese, eggs, and some sort of vegetable medley. The latest vegetable inclusion has been butternut squash. I grab the pre-cut squash from the produce section of the grocery store.

We used about half a tub for his burritos and the other half I used to make mini muffins. And guess what, Firecracker inhaled them! Hooray for sneaky veggies. These muffins were perfect for rounding out a balanced breakfast.

I think next time I’ll try freezing the leftover squash and toss it into their smoothies.

This recipe makes 4 dozen mini muffins.

Butternut Squash Raisin Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 3/4 C mashed butternut squash
  • 3/4 C raisins
  • cinnamon sugar, for topping

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and milk together. Add in the squash until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in the raisin.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, 3/4 full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with cinnamon sugar. Bake 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Becky at http://www.thetwobiteclub.com/2015/01/cinnamon-crunch-butternut-squash-muffins.html*

Butternut Squash Raisin Mini Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Ackee and Saltfish Muffins from Passion Kneaded

Apple Cinnamon Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Bacon Gruyere Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Butternut Squash Raisin Mini Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Lemony Olive Oil Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Swiss Almond Vanilla Muffins from Food Lust People Love

Zucchini Walnut Muffin from Palatable Pastime

Leprechaun Lunch Bag Puppet

I’m just popping in today to share a super quick and adorable St. Patrick’s Day craft you can do with you little ones. (If your kids are older than mine, they might actually make a Leprechaun with the crafting supplies.)

I had saved a few ideas on Pinterest and showed them to Firecracker to pick a craft to do and he immediately chose this Lepruchaun Lunch Bag Puppet. A trip to the Dollar Tree shortly followed for some large googly eyes and brown lunch bags – we already had everything else we’d need.

Here’s what you need: brown paper lunch bags, construction paper (green, black, yellow, orange), large googly eyes, marker, buttons.

Firecracker had been looking forward to crafting all week long and the first thing he wanted to do Friday morning was make our craft. Turns out those brief moments were the best of the day, as a trip to the doctor’s office shortly followed to discover that between my two boys, they had 3 ear infections.

With Treat having just woken up as well, he got to join in the crafting fun. For him, that meant pulling all of the buttons and googly eyes off of the paper bag, but he seemed to enjoy himself. IMG_2712

Firecracker just wanted to glue a bunch of googly eyes on his Leprechaun[‘s hat] and a few buttons. He had no interest in creating the orange beard.

The night before crafting day, I cut out the paper hats, buckles, and strips for the beard. I then glued it together to ensure that my trusty liquid Elmer’s glue would work. Spoiler alert: it works perfectly.

Leprechaun Lunch Bag Puppet | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Garbanzo Sweet Potato Mash

I had so much fun working with OXO Tot on their sippy cup campaign over the summer and was honored when asked to help them promote their newest products: Food Masher, Glass Baby Blocks, and Feeding Spoon Set with Soft Silicone.

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The food masher is a fun, easy to use product. It’s easier to clean than a food processor or blender, and more convenient, too, when working in smaller batches.

Both of my kids are veering away from the pureed food stage (unless we’re talking applesauce pouches) but I knew I could come up with a simple recipe that can be prepared using the food masher. My boys absolutely love beans, so that’s where my inspiration started.

This OXO Tot campaign is  titled “Do The Little Monster Mash with OXO Tot” and we were asked to create a seasonal recipe. It’s fall and that means pumpkin. Unfortunately a pumpkin allergy means no pumpkin. No pumpkin? No problem! I always use sweet potato in place of squash this time of year and it’s perfect.

I mashed some canned garbanzo beans and cooked sweet potato. Mixed them together with salt, pepper, and some paprika pork rub. (I even recruited my 2 year old to help!)

My garbanzo sweet potato mash is easiest to spread when warmed a little bit, and that’s where the glass baby blocks come in handy – perfect portion size all ready for the microwave!

Hands down, my favorite item in the box are the glass food storage cubes. My husband has already claimed he’ll be “stealing” them to pack his lunches for work. These borosilicate glass containers are thermal shock resistant, so unlike your typical glass containers and dishes, there’s no need to bring them up to room temperature from the freezer before heating. For the busy (maybe forgetful?) mom or dad, that’s an incredible life saving feature; no need to worry if you forgot to pull the baby’s food out of the freezer and into the fridge the night before. Come to think of it, it can help prevent food waste, too!

The blocks come with a nice tray for keeping them together, and are also stackable for space efficient storage. They even have measurement lines on them so you never have to guess how much your baby is eating.

One of my favorite features is that the lid doesn’t go into the container meaning you can fill the block all the way to the top! The folks at OXO think of everything.

While my 1 year old tried the mash as is, my 2 year old wasn’t that interested. No problem! How do you get my picky eater to try just about anything? Put it on a “pizza”! I spread the mash onto a tortilla, topped it with leftover barbecue, and cheese. Baked in a 350 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes, and lunch is served!

Garbanzo Bean Sweet Potato Mash      

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and loose skins removed
  • 1/2-1 tsp paprika pork seasoning

Steps:

  1. Poke sweet potato with a fork all over. Microwave 5 minutes. Flip. Microwave another 5 minutes. Allow potato to cool enough to touch. Remove the flesh from the skin and mash in the OXO Tot Food Masher, work in two batches if necessary. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Working in batches, mash the garbanzo beans in the OXO Tot Food Masher, add to the sweet potato.
  3.  Use the masher to help combine the two ingredients. Stir in paprika seasoning and S+P to taste.
  4. Serving options: spread on a toasted bagel, serve in a pita pocket with fresh veggies, or use as a pizza “sauce.”

Garbanzo Sweet Potato Mash | Sew You Think You Can Cook

What’s my next plan for these OXO Tot products? Mashing some fruit for mixing into my son’s morning Greek yogurt! Making my own “fruit on the bottom” yogurt for my guys will definitely helps save money!

Bottom line. Would I recommend these OXO Tot products to my friends? Yes. We were already satisfied OXO Tot customers and I’m happy to report that the love with their products has only increased after reviewing these items.

Disclaimer: I received these items from OXO in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.

Tuesday Tattles #18

Tuesday Tattles

It’s time for my next Tuesday Tattles Library Edition. A couple of weeks ago I shared our favorite bed time and nap time reads.

Because it would be too overwhelming to put all of our favorites in one post, I’ve been struggling with how to break up the “day time” books. I’ve thought about educational versus just for fun. But, really, just about every book falls in that first category.

I then thought about categorizing the books between infant and toddler, but I don’t really believe that books aren’t for every age and stage at the under 4 mark.

13939534_10103960364290081_3975369332799635853_nMy book list keeps growing, too! As soon as I hit “publish” on the bed time books post, Firecracker decided to add even more books to our night time routine. He’s really putting my poor vision to the test by reading not as popular books by the nightlight’s glow.

Treat’s favorite activity is pulling books off of the bookshelf in their room, and now that he’s walking like a champ he’ll bring me a book or two. I’m not sure if he really wants me to read them because as soon as I crack open the cover and start reading he toddles away!

Okay, enough dawdling. Here’s what I’m picking to share with you today and there’ll be more to come soon.

10 of the Best Books for Babies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com


The Very Hungry Caterpillar
 by Eric Carle

tvhcI begin our library catalog with a classic. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great book for teaching days of the week and counting. I actually can’t read this book without, in my head, reciting Joey Tribbiani’s days of the week monologue “Wednesday – when? what day? Thursday – the third day!” Ironically, this book became a favorite teething toy of Firecracker’s…

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle

I continue with another board book by Eric Carle. The Very Lonely Firefly is a cute book that works for bed time due to its repetitive writing. It’s a hit with my kids because the last page lights up. Firecracker learned the words “owl” and “eyes” from this book.

Favorite Books for Babies | Sew You Think You Can CookDr. Seuss’s A B C

This alphabet book is the one I grew up on! My mom had (still does) this book memorized, and I do too. It’s definitely one of my all time favorites to read to my kids.

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

If you want to be constantly impressed and amazed with how much your toddler knows, get him this book. My aunt gave us this book for Christmas and it’s gone with us on every vacation. As kids get older you can transition to quizzing them on vocabulary, asking them to point out different words/pictures. Eventually, they’ll be “reading” it to themselves.

Put Me In the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

My mother-in-law grew up on this book and introduced it to us. It’s a cute book that teaches colors, but also has an underlying theme of rejection, wanting to belong, and finding the perfect place to be yourself. We have the mini board book, which I know leaves out some of the fun, I’d be curious to find the full story and read more about Spot.

The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz

This book version of the classic song has been in instant favorite with both of my boys. Firecracker still loves to read it and when I start reading it to Treat he comes running saying he wants to see, too. I never sang along with the book because I don’t need the song stuck in my head! The one exception is when Firecracker wants to read it before bed; I then turn it into a ballad and rock him back and forth as I sing.

Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

Another fun Karen Katz book, this one has flaps to lift to find baby’s eyes, mouth, and belly button. It’s a cute way to teach basic body parts as well as a little game of peek-a-boo. Surprisingly, it’s one of the few books that the boys haven’t completely demolished. Once Treat learns how to lift the flaps and play along with the book, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it gets torn. Are any one else’s kids completely aggressive towards their library!?

Peek-A-Zoo! and Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden

Books for Babies | Sew You Think You Can CookPeek-A-Zoo was given to Firecracker for his first birthday and he loved it immediately. It was a book I could hand in him the car and he’d enjoy flipping through it. Because it was such a hit, before our last flight I bought the original for Treat. I’d venture to say it’s his favorite book! He actually laughs out loud at each turn of the page.

The Little Engine That Could

I’ll round out this book list at ten titles. This abridged version of the classic tale of never giving up was Firecracker’s favorite book when he was 16 months old. As his train related book collection has grown it’s been set aside. Not that it stops him from enjoying it on occasion. He even has the first four pages memorized. When he’s playing pretend with his trains I’ll hear him reciting “puff puff chug chug ding dong ding dong the little train rumbled over the tracks. happy train.”

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday Tattles #17

It’s come to my realization that I haven’t actually shared our favorite kids books! I know I’ve sprinkled them into some of Firecracker’s monthly favorites – a series that’s gone the wayside as he approached and passed 2.

As I started to list all of the books that we love I gawked at how long it was and yet how much I was leaving out. So, I’m going to do a few book series during Tuesday Tattles over the next couple of months.

I’m going to start with the best bedtime books. These are books that have helped lull my kids into naps or have become cemented into the bedtime routine.

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Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

This title might seem like a strange one to include on a bedtime book list, but between 19-22 months I had this book engraved into my memory. Our bedtime routine always concluded with my son falling asleep in my lap while I rocked him and read Green Eggs and Ham. Not only is it a book to encourage trying new foods, its very rhythmic and repetitive script transforms into the perfect “lullaby.”

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat isn’t quite as repetitive as Green Eggs and Ham but I did develop a rhythm in reading it that turned out to be just the ticket I needed for nap time. (Back when Firecracker took naps.) It’s a long book for an active boy to sit through and we’d often only make it halfway though, never venturing into the part of the story with Thing 1 and Thing 2, before he’d drift off to sleep in my lap in the rocking chair.

img_0497Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

Danny and the Dinosaur was one of my husband’s favorite books as a kid and my in-laws gave us the Danny and the Dinosaur 50th Anniversary Box Set before our cross-country move. I remember it being the first book I read in our new home. Just like The Cat in the HatDanny and the Dinosaur quickly became associated with pre-nap reading.

Steam Train, Dream Train Colors by Sherri Duskey Rinker

My mom found this book and Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3 for my boys for Easter. I used to keep them both in the car (the books, not the boys) and Firecracker would happily “read” through them, often finally falling asleep. I’m not sure when it happened, but the colors book found its way inside and is now mandatory bedtime reading. He even has the first page memorized. He doesn’t fall asleep reading this book, though. We often read it 2-3 times. Graduating from color recognition, he states all of the letters in the words at each turn of the page. I can recite this book for memory and can “read” it in the pitch black of night.

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img_2950Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres

Here’s another gem given to Firecracker by my mom. It’s a book that he was immediately drawn to. It’s a great book for little train lovers. The book describes different bed time routines for each style of train in two line poems about parent and child engines. My son loves finding the mouse “hidden” on each page.

The Goodnight Train by June Sobel

There had to be a unique train book that didn’t come from my mom, right?! We found this one in a cute children’s boutique nearby. I love the illustrations and whimsical feel. The Goodnight Train gets rotated with Where Do Steam Train Sleep at Night? at night. As a result, neither of them are memorized making it difficult to read when bedtime procrastination has left me not even a glow of sunlight.

img_3005Goodnight, Dragons by Judith Roth

Not every book can be about trains! I do have a second child after all. While we’ve had this book long before Treat came along, it didn’t get quite the attention or love until fairly recently. Goodnight, Dragons is, hands down, Treat’s favorite book. It’s the only one he’ll actually sit still (ish) for! What I love most about this book is its message: “Everybody needs a cuddle; maybe dragons more than most.”

If Animals Kissed Good Night by Ann Whitford Paul

The last book on my list is my personal favorite. It has cute little rhymes for multiple parent-child animal pairings as the day turns into night. But I think this book holds a special place in my heart because of the memories I have reading it to Firecracker when he was 12-18 months old: he was just learning how to kiss (a skill he is now way too aggressive with) and with every couplet read he’d turn and give me a kiss.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday Tattles: 2nd Birthday

Tuesday Tattles

It’s finally time to share my Firecracker’s second birthday party, with you!

When we moved to California and became regulars at the playground I quickly realized it’d be a great place to have the kids’ birthday parties. I scoped out the venue for months to determine when would be the best time of day to throw a party at a public park, to figure out if it’d be allowed, and to decide which picnic table to claim. I then had to start asking around about how big the 4th of July got around here. The answer was a resounding “crazy!” So I knew that we simply wouldn’t be able to celebrate on THE day. (Good thing it wasn’t his 1st birthday!)

We celebrated on a Sunday at 10:30 am. Firecracker is only two weeks older than our friends’ son and so we did a dual birthday bash for the 2 year olds. Our guest lists would have been identical anyway. The party was attended by other families who moved out to California from Ohio the same time we did. And by happy coincidence, my dad had meetings in Los Angeles the following week so my parents came out for the party and my mom stayed out here to play and help with the kids while my dad was in his meetings!

IMG_9583I had originally planned (aka – when he was born I picked out his first four birthday themes) on having an Auburn themed birthday party. It was hard for me to change my mind, but I knew that my train obsessed toddler would much prefer a train themed party. So, I let go of my planning and switched gears.

This party was much smaller than his 1st birthday, so instead of ordering a cake, I decided to simply make cupcakes. I made 4 dozen cupcakes – way more than I needed. About half of them ended up in my freezer unfrosted. I displayed the cupcakes on Twizzler train tracks on our dining table. I made Busy Day Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes, my friend made the frosting for the vanilla cupcakes.

Cupcakes for a Train Themed 2nd Birthday Party

 

Down at the playground we set up a table with snacks. I cut out black circles and taped them to disposable aluminum loaf pans to create train cars. My friend had popsicle sticks which we used to create a track for the food.

A fruit train of pineapple, cherries, and red and green grapes was led by Orange Cream Dip and Chocolate Hummus. A veggie train of cherry tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, and carrots was led by Sour Cream and Onion Dip and Ranch. We also had a container of hummus. Salty snacks of pretzel sticks, potato chips, and “pigs” in a blanket joined the party, too. I traced a train cookie cutter to cut out the labels for the respective dips.

A train themed 2nd Birthday Party

After a couple of hours at the playground we moved the party to our place for grilling and cupcakes.

Decorations were fairly minimal too. I used the major Thomas and Friends character colors as my inspiration, blue, red, and green for Thomas, James, and Percy, respectively. I wrapped streamers around the banister for the stairs and tied some balloons on each end of the staircase. Balloons were attached to chairs at either end of the table were the cupcakes were displayed. Two sets (1 balloon of each color) of balloons were placed on Thomas the Tank Engine balloon weights and taken down to the playground to bookend our picnic table.

The biggest decorating endeavor was the Happy Birthday Banner. The banner was placed above our awesome 80’s style mirrored fireplace. I didn’t have a single hole puncher (I do now!) and couldn’t fit the train shapes in our stand 3 hole puncher, so my mom strung the banners together with a needle and thin yarn.

I found templates for a train engine, train car, and caboose through Google searching. I printed those out on colored card stock. I had two blue trains for the birthday boys’ names, a red train, and a green train. 4 red cabooses, and 19 grey train cars!  For the letters, I used the font Ariel. Three letters at a time were typed in WordArt at font size 96, then I sized the WordArt graphic to be 3.48″ x 8.81″, making sure the letters would fit inside the train cars, and then selected Rotate Flip Horizontal so that the text would be backwards. The words “2nd” and “and” followed the same method except that the WordArt graphic was sized at 1.52″ x 3″. The letters were arranged to look like railroad crossing signs and put on two 5″ yellow circles. Everything was cut out using a craft knife and adhered to the train cars using small glue dots.

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My attempt at getting a photo of the birthday boys with their cupcakes was a slight fail.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.