Toddler-Friendly Fourth of July

Not all toddlers embrace Independence Day events as enthusiastically as their older siblings.  Late nights, thunderous fireworks displays and way too many sugary snacks can lead to epic meltdowns. In order to celebrate the holiday without sending your tot over the edge, consider these low-key, yet festive Fourth of July activities: Fireworks in a Glass    Fill a tall glass with warm water.  Next, add a little cooking oil to the water.  Depending on the size of your container, one to two tablespoons should suffice.  Then, add a few drops of food coloring to the oil and water.  Gently stir the … Continue reading

How to Make Ice Cream

A fun activity to share with your children is making ice cream.  You do not need to buy an ice cream maker to have fun with this activity.  I just purchased an ice cream maker and the family loves it.  Just be warned it does take time to make ice cream, unless you do it by hand as the recipe is for below. Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker Ingredients 2 cups cold heavy/whipping cream 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk Your choice of mix-ins (berries, chocolate, cookies, etc.)   Instructions   Whip cream with mixer or whisk until … Continue reading

Cute Handmade Mother’s Day Gifts (Inexpensive, Too!)

Handmade gifts, especially when they mark milestones in your child’s life can be lovely. You’ll find yourself years from now looking at them and remembering back to earlier times. I have a small collection of these gifts, and they always make me smile. For example, there is the wax cast of my first-born’s hand when he was only two. We were at a festival, and the vendor didn’t want to cast anyone under the age of four because children that age tend not to hold still. We insisted and said we would take it, no matter how it came out. … Continue reading

Last-Minute St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.  Whether you are full, half or just a wee bit Irish, there’s always fun to be had on March 17th.  Luckily, you don’t have to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow in order to afford the St. Patrick’s Day treats listed below.  All you need are a few pint-sized wannabe leprechauns and some inexpensive materials to go green this holiday weekend. No-Sew Clover Bookend:  Simply take some green felt and cut-out the shape of a four-leaf clover.   Next, take some stitch tape. This tape is used when … Continue reading

Learning Basic Home Repairs through Television

When I was growing up, my parents lived at hardware stores.  I remember having to come along every Saturday to an Ace Hardware store, spending what felt like hours walking up and down the aisles. They were constantly fixing things or coming up with home projects to do.  And you know where they got most of their ideas from?  They faithfully watched “This Old House.” Of course, as a child I found the show completely boring.  Who would have ever thought that one day I would be browsing the aisles of Home Depot and watching similar shows such as “Holmes … Continue reading

So Not My World

I barely have time to wash my hair in the morning, let alone shave my legs on a daily basis. So, how then is it possible for some moms to find time to post DIY tutorials featuring step-by-step instructions on how to create crocheted cozies for disposable Scotch Tape dispensers on YouTube? Pretty, little, intricately handcrafted covers for 99-cent tape dispensers that are designed to be THROWN AWAY. The tape dispensers that is. Clearly, you want to reuse the cuddly soft cozy you created to warm the cold plastic covering and disguise the unsightly green tartan plaid insert of any … Continue reading

Have a Frugal Cinco de Mayo

Are you throwing a Cinco de Mayo party this week? Why not save some money at the same time? Here are some tips on how you can have a fun but frugal Cinco de Mayo. Buy Supplies in Bulk Skip the party store for most of your supplies and head over to a warehouse store, such as BJs, Costco or Sam’s Club to do your shopping. You can buy everything from paper products to appetizers in bulk and cut down on the cost to feed your crowd. Many times you can get a one-day pass to these warehouse stores in … Continue reading

Cleaning Out The Closets

The change of seasons is a good reminder to clean and reorganize your closets. I always rotate clothes with the seasons, this gives me more room in the closet and allows me to see what I’ve really been wearing. First you need to pull everything out of your closet, not all at once, one thing at a time. Ask yourself these questions: 1. How often did I wear this? If the answer is less than twice in six months, it should go in a give a way bag. 2. Do I feel good when I wear this? If it makes … Continue reading

Summer Learning on the Web

This summer I’ve got a lot going on. In addition to my endless reading list for exams in the fall I’m also working on my dissertation. I won’t bore you with the tentative details but it concerns playwriting in the classroom. Unlike the technological rants, opinions and observations I often spout about, playwriting is older than dirt. While you would expect the ability to find loads of information about technology on the web it may be less obvious to find information about playwriting. We’d both be wrong, however. It’s quite amazing the amount of information I was able to find … Continue reading

DIY Baby Proofing: I did it!

As my daughter becomes more and more mobile, I am increasingly aware of all of the hazards in our apartment. There are exposed outlets, breakable knick knacks, and garbage cans within reach. A major hazard is our TV stand. There is a big pile of electric cords and wires under it, easily within reach of a curious baby. I wrote about a solution I read about online. It’s called curtained storage. I decided to give it a try, and am rather pleased with the results. I’ll go through each step with you, and also show pictures. Here are the before … Continue reading