Fabulous Five Friday Favorites

We are taking part in  5 on Fridays link up.

So once again it is Saturday and I am late in linking up. I guess I dance to the beat of my own drum or I simply need to schedule better. I am thinking it is the latter.

1. My Internet Friend’s Mom Blog

If you have a few moments go over there and read She is a sweet, southern, down to earth, God loving, Mama of three andI think what I love the most about her blog is her sense of honesty about herself and her parenting. Her sense of humor, love, and devotion are at the top of my list too.

Adventures of a Proverbs 31 Mommy

http://adventuresasaproverbs31mommy.blogspot.com/

2.  Making Our Own Play Dough

Little Miss Toddler Loved it as did I. I was surprised by how quickly it all came together. It is super soft, smooth and smells so nice.  I was also surprised by how quickly Little Miss Toddler got it all over her room when I had to use the ladies room, Clean up with her help was pretty easy, though. So no harm no foul. There is something about play dough squishing between your fingers that brings you back to your own childhood. This was a favorite activity for both of us thing week. Oh, and it is taste test friendly for toddlers if you skip the sparkles though I doubt it tastes to great. 😉

Would you like to make some?

Jello Play Dough The Softest, Best Smelling, Dough Made With Jello and a Touch Of Sparkle.

Green play dough

 

3.  Coconut Creme by Coffee Mate

My daughter has been going on and on about this and I finally gave it a try and guess what…. I LOVE it! Absolutely yummy and a bit different from my normal Mocha Peppermint or the like. Pretty sure this one will be my go to unless something better comes along you know like Pumpkin Spice in October 😉

Coffee Mate Coconut Cre`me

 

4. Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

This winter has been terrible on my skin. The typical lotion seems to make matters worse long term. I still can not figure that one out other than the fact that most of them contain alcohol. Perhaps that is part of the issue? Everyone sings the praised of coconut oil so I jumped on that bandwagon. Guess what. It works. It works for dry skin, frizzy hair, chapped lips, diaper rashes and I am sure a whole lot of other things I have yet to dream up.

Cold pressed coconut oil uses

5. Quiet Mode On the House Phone

Quiet mode on the home phone is one of my very favorite things these days. We have a huge family and with my phone constantly ringing I often need to shut it off so Little Miss Toddler can nap or stay in bed undisturbed by the phone ringing at all hours of the night. I also like it to carve out some peace and quiet during my day when my head just needs a rest and I don’t want to be connected to everyone and just need to get stuff done.

quiet mode on at&t phone

What have your favorites been this week? Be sure to share them in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

Five on Friday Link Up

Jello Play Dough The Softest, Best Smelling, Dough Made With Jello and a Touch Of Sparkle.

If you don’t mind a cooked Play Dough recipe this one is the BEST! It smells wonderful, It is super soft and we added a touch of sparkle for fun. If you have a small toddler who likes to taste things you can skip the sparkle. 

 

Today is St. Patricks Day so we made Green with a lime flavored Jello. I added a bit more coloring to deepen the color this step is not necessary.

Jello Play Dough A simple cook and play recipe for Play dough that smells wonderful and is super soft. www.simplymoms.net

 

So what do you need?

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream of tarter
  • 1 Three Ounce Package of Jello  any flavor

Optional

  • Food coloring to enhance the color
  • Sparkles
If you have a little one who likes to taste things skip the sparkles. 

How to make Jello Play Dough

This is the simple part toss it everything but the sparkles in a non-stick heavy bottomed 2 quart sauce pan. Your little one can help with the pouring and first stirring.  making Jello Play dough

Now onto the Mom tasks because this involves the stove.

Place the pan and all the ingredients of course on medium high heat. You will stir from start to end to avoid scorching the mix. It hits a couple different stages through the heating process.

Smooth

Cooking Jello Play Dough

Keep up with that stirring mom …

Then it will shortly thereafter hit the next stage

Lumpy

Making some jello play dough

Boy, this stirring thing is a real work out isn’t it? But the end result will thrill your kids.

Just a little more…

The next stage is…

Big Clump

Green lime scented sparkly play dough

Once you hit this stage pull it off the heat and continue to move it around a bit then plop it onto a plate or silicone mat to cool for a bit. Doesn’t it smell heavenly?  Better than any store bought Play Dough has ever smelled.

Homemade Play Dough

Once the dough is cooled knead it some and if you want to add some sparkles. A few or a lot that’s up to you.

Green and sparkly and smells like limes the best play dough ever

Knead in the sparkles and guess what? Call the little ones in it is time to play with Play Dough you just created! You are awesome! Right!

Green play dough

I think she likes it. She said it smelled “Yummy!” But I reminded her that it was for playing with and not eating.

Smelly Play Dough

Such nice sensory play. Squishy and soft.

Toddler Playing With Play Dough

Serving up a nice scoop of lime green play dough.

Toddlers LOVE play dough

This stuff is pretty exciting when you are all of two and let me tell you a secret… I enjoyed it every bit as much as Little Miss Toddler did.

We love Play Dough www.simplymoms.net

Thank you so much for joining us while we made play dough. Little Miss Toddler and I both hope you have fun making yours and playing with it as well.

Be sure to watch for other fun things to do with your toddler right here at Simply Moms. You can do that by subscribing below.

Love Jennifer

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St. Patrick’s Day Getting Our Green On! Food, Projects, Coloring pages and Family Traditions.

 

The other day my son Corey said: “I love Saint Patricks Day, It’s better than Christmas.” My mind was slightly boggled and it left me wondering why? Mind you, Corey is an adult however, it is not the first time he has stated this. Maybe all the Corned Beef got to his head?

Then I thought about it a bit more.We do have some good traditions and the best thing is it brings us all together at the table. You know Family togetherness. 😉

For years I painstakingly drew around a cover stencil I had and copied off the coloring page that we had colored every single year since he was a pretty young child.

This year I created it digitally so I could share it will all of you.

FREE Shamrock Coloring Page printable St. Pattys Day www.simplymoms.net

 

 

Not your style? Here are some other really cute coloring pages as well from Crayola (Nope we are not being sponsored we just love their pages and their crayons!)

http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/st-patricks-day-coloring-pages/

A lil shout out to the colors your gonna need this St. Patrick’s Day.

Crayola Crayons Green St. Patrick's Day www.simplymoms.net

 

Little Miss Toddler and I worked on a Shamrock painting together. I will include our little photo session as a sperate post tomorrow but below is our finished project. It was messy but she had a great deal of fun.

St. Patrick's day Toddler Shamrock Hand Print Art Project Paint www.simplymoms.net

This was her extra little part… She loves to paint but ended up very GREEN!

 

Then there is the boiled corned beef dinner that I make in my huge 8-quart stock pots every year. My husband scopes out the largest flattest ones. I swear he puts more effort into corned beef shopping than he does any other kind of food shopping. He has even barred me from the picking process LOL.  I am in charge of the vegetables and I get to cook his very special corned beef.

New England Boiled Dinner www.simplymoms.net

 

The picture is not of my boiled dinner but I big thank you to Wiki for providing a photo of a meal that looks much like mine minus the parsnips. I am not even sure what a parsnip takes like. Maybe I am missing out? Any How below is the way I make a Corned Beef Dinner.

Traditional New England Boiled Dinner.

1 Large Flat Cut Corned beef

10 Medium Sized Red Potatoes scrubbed clean and cut into cubes or White Potatoes peeled and cut into fourths

7 Carrots scrapped and chopped into 1-inch chunks (I use more We like them)

1 Small Head Cabbage cut into wedges

1 Medium Turnip peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (Optional)

1 Medium Onion peeled and cut into fourths (More if you like them)

1-3 Parsnips peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (Optional we do not use them)

In a large stock pot, 8 quarts place your corned beef, all the juices and open the spice packet and sprinkle it in. Cover with water and put on low heat. Simmer covered adding water as needed to keep the meat covered. Plan to cook 50 minutes per pound give or take some cooking time. Cook until the meat is tender and just starting to fall apart. At this point add in the vegetables add more water to just cover everything, and simmer until they are tender as well. This serves our family of 6 large portions.

 

As for traditions some amount of the veggies will be served up in my Grammie’s old vintage Pyrex bowl. The only thing I have left of my Grammie (My Moms Mother) Boiled dinners were her thing so we always add her bowl to the holiday table.  Gosh, I really miss her <3

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

vintage Green Pyrex mixing bowl www.simplymoms.net

Love Jennifer

 

 

 

What are your St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

I am taking part in Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop this week.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Toys Toddlers Will Really Play With

Recently I stood in the center of Little Miss Toddlers room shaking my head. She had just dumped a bunch of toys everywhere and ran for the hills. It was a new game she named on her very own called “Make a Mess” What I could not figure out was with so many toys why would she just keep dumping everything and taking off. Then a light came on.

There were just too many toys.

Like way too many. Some really useless, noise making, no imagination needed toys. It was time to sort, declutter and put away some of these things. So Little Miss Toddler and I worked on that over last weekend. The list I am giving you is essentially what she is left with now in her room.

Toys your toddler will really play with and love that foster learning

Then after things were gone and what was left was put away Little Miss Toddler did something she had not done in a long time.

She sat at her table and colored, then she put a puzzle together…She played with her toys.

Less IS more.

This is our Most LOVED by Little Miss Toddler Toy List

  • Cars and trucks
  • Blocks (Wooden and plastic interlocking types)
  • Baby dolls
  • Something to push around such as a doll stroller or a shopping cart
  • Kitchen set, dishes and pretend food
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Books
  • Crayons, coloring book and a scribble pad
  • Dress up clothes simple things to put on such as funny hats, sunglasses and the like.
  • A play set such as a doll house, garage, or castle that includes people, cars, and animals
  • Stacking cups
  • A shape sorting toy
  • A ride on toy or trike
  • A child size table and chairs
  • Ball
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Non-toxic or homemade paints
  • A bin for playing with water, rice, beans or other sensory items
  • Barbies just because our little REALLY loves them

Toddler plays with a bin of water out on the deck

Often times the most simple things provide hours of fun for a young child. Water play is an excellent example of this.

Open-ended toys that allow imagination to take over are most often the best choices.

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Love Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Sand Flour and Oil Version Taste Safe and Homemade

Homemade Moon Sand this is messy play at its finest.

I chose the flour and vegetable oil combination because Little Miss Toddler will not keep things like this out of her mouth. We did it on the kitchen floor.Clean up involved sweeping up and mopping really well (Think oil residue). Next time I would put an old sheep or newspaper down for easier cleanup or simply do it outside.

This homemade Moon Sand or as some call it Cloud Dough is soft, molds together well and it is wonderful sensory play for even a pretty young child. Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Homemade Moon Sand finding the magic in the mess -www.simplymoms.net

What you need is simple and most everyone has it on hand. 

  • 8 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • A few drops food coloring if you like but not needed. (We skipped this)

In a large bin just mix it all together really well. Done and done.

We tossed in some kitchen scoops, spoons and the like. She had a blast.

 

Maybe Moon Sand is not what you intended to find or wish to make today? How about some play dough recipes?

 

Homemade Cloud Dough

Toddler Playing With Home made Moon Sand

Toddler sensory Play

Sensory Bin Flour and Oil

Messy Play

Toddler playing with cloud dough and scoops

If you enjoyed this blog post with me and Little Miss Toddler Please be sure to subscribe below.  Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Love Jennifer

 

Five On Friday (Link Up)

This post was inspired by the Five on Friday Link up.

One

Last night we decided to go out to dinner with the kids at the Home Town Buffet and roam around the Maine Mall for a bit of time after my hubby got home from work after eating we ended up over at best buy. I decided to break away ad go admire cameras. (A girl can dream, right?)  Because at tax time we decided to forgo the camera we had picked so I could have a new computer. Hubby walked up behind me and says “That’s a nice camera. Is that the one you want?” I told him at some point I would like it. He picks it up and buys it…Along with a camera bag, new rechargeable batteries, and a bag. So my number one is how blessed I feel by my husband’s gift. There were things he needed that he put aside for me.

Sony  DSC - H300

Two

Friday visits from my little Grandson and his daddy are always a great ending to my weekdays. Watching my son interact with his son is heartwarming to me.

son and father

Three

I have a great little playmate in Little Miss Toddler. My girls never liked Barbies and she adores those Barbies! My cute little excuse to get down and play with them and of course her! Just look at that smile!

toddler and barbies

 

Four

Finally, the two plus feet of snow is starting to disappear from my yard and I am not complaining in the least. I am ready for kiddie pools, popsicles, sunglasses, tall cold glasses of sweet tea and sunshiny days. I am even excited to start the spring yard clean up.

Spring is Coming

Five

This week I happened to get my box from Pinch Me. It’s nice to get something in the mail besides bills. New FREE body wash is a pretty cool sample and Lucky Old Boy will enjoy his wet dog food treat. I do not have any affiliation with www.pinchme.com and have not been asked to post this I am simply sharing with you something I enjoy.  So if you love freebies Pinch Me is a pretty cool site.

Pinchme

Did you enjoy this post? We are part of  Five on Friday’s link up. You can find other great blog posts like this one over there and share yours as well. Just click the button below.

Keeping My Husbands Heart Full

I won’t lie I have no reason to. For the longest time, I sat around pouting about what my husband was not doing to keep my heart full. Then something hit me. How am I keeping his heart full?  How am I showing him daily that I value and love him? 

Heart

When I sat down and looked at that list of me against him it was a very short one and I was not doing much for him these days without some amount of complaining and grumbling even if I didn’t say it out loud I am sure he knew what I was thinking.

So I have decided to make a change and I am still working at it. However, things are better. What is interesting is now he fills my heart more than ever without me saying a word. Interesting how that works huh?

 

1. My husband goes to work each day. I have been blessed to stay at home with my kids. So each morning even though I could stay all cozy in my bed I get up and make him coffee. We sit and talk. I kiss him goodbye and some time before his day is up I text him to say a simple I love you. I miss you. Thank you for giving up family time and working so hard. I appreciate you.

2. I am present when he comes home. I hang up the phone, walk away from the computer. I give him a hug and ask him about his day. I don’t sit and grumble about mine first. I listen. Then when he asks about mine I try to tell him a couple good thing and then the bad.

3. We all have little things that annoy us. I know I sure do there is a big list of them for me in fact. I have been trying harder to acknowledge things I find silly. I am sure there are things I insist upon silly I wonder how many things he does for me that he considers silly or pointless? So, when he asked me not to leave 15 different bottles of shower gels, shampoos and conditioners in the shower I started putting them away. Guess what… The shower is easier to clean, he is much happier and it takes me 30 seconds to do.

4. I think of him in quiet ways. Like when I am out buying treats for the kids I also think of things he has said he wanted to try or has been wanting to get for himself but won’t spend the money on because he puts us before him always.

5. I have stopped complaining about him all the time and tell people the wonderful things he does. Even if he never heard a word I spoke it was still showing up in my mood later that day. Instead, I find time to talk to him about what bothers me so he and I can work on it together. It has strengthened us both.

I still have bad days that I fall away from these things as does he. However, we are both working harder these days to show more love to one another even when we find ourselves busy and distracted.

I am participating in Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop using the writing prompt “Full”

 

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Send Junk Food! Uggg! Crazy Period Woman at Large!

Mad Period Woman

Uggg! Whose big idea was it to buy healthy foods anyhow? What?!?! Me??? What was I thinking? Where are the chips? The cookies? The SODA!!!!!  Are you serious there is not chocolate up in this place? I must have been shopping for my healthy alter ego. Someone come drop off a bag of chips and a twelve pack of Coke and some chocolate bars. I’ll just much on this lettuce while I wait for you …

 

#CrazyPeriodWoman #WomanIssues #GirlProblems

Wild Maine Blueberry Sauce for National Pancake Day

 

 

Happy National Pancake day lets smother them in some homemade blueberry sauce! Yummy!

The pancakes we will be pouring our blueberry sauce over is Krusteaz brand we have used this product for years. They are simple just add water pancakes and they work for us. Homemade is way better but I choose the easy way out because my time is limited most days. These still have a nice taste and texture.  I’m not getting paid to tell you this Krusteaze could care less I’m telling you this LOL. I’m just telling you because in my real daily life this is what I use.

I’m not going to waste your time telling you how to make pancakes. I am going to skip right to my most favorite topper for those yummy pancakes.

Wild Maine Blueberry Sauce

Wild Maine, blueberries they are what I had on hand frozen. You can use blueberries from where ever they grow. You can use fresh. Or you can indeed use frozen it makes no difference at all.

This right here is my little pancake making partner who insisted she taste test these very blue blueberries.

Pancakes

 

Toddler Eating Wild Maine Blue Berries

Affiliate Link

$0.50 off Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix

 

Child Eating Wild Maine Blueberries

Seems harmless enough right? I mean they are just blueberries. Yup Blue stains everywhere. My floors enjoyed them more so than her and her mouth and hands were blue for much of the day regardless of scrubbing.

So onto the recipe. Your needs are pretty basic.

3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup of cold water

1/2 a cup of white granulated sugar

1 1/2 TBS of corn starch dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water

1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a heavy sauce pan add your blueberries, water, and sugar over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. Once boiling add the dissolved cornstarch and vanilla. Then continue to boil and stir until thickened about two or three minutes. If the mixture thickens too much add 1 TBSP of water at a time until it is thinner. On the other hand, if you wish for a thicker sauce a teaspoon more cornstarch would help. It is simply preference. I thought it was perfect as it was.

Serve warm or cold over pancakes.

Better yet, if it’s not National Pancake Day serve it over a nice cold scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Either way, it tastes like heaven on earth.

Blueberry sauce on a stack of pancakes

 

How do you top your pancakes? Let us know in the comments below and if you liked this post be sure to subscribe to our blog.