Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keeping Us On Our Toes

Just when we think we have it all figured out these boys add something new to the mix to keep us on our toes. Remember my  post a couple weeks ago where we figured out how to keep them out of the dishwasher and oven? Well not even a week goes by and they learn to do this...

Happy to report, after several time-outs and me camping out in the kitchen so I could catch them in the act and they are no longer that interested in doing their new trick.

They are now on to tearing doors off of our built in cabinets in the living room while Mommy is cooking dinner.
Anyone have a application for the World's Strongest Baby contest? Or possibly the World's Most Destructive Baby Contest?

There is never a dull moment here but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Totally Organized Tuesday: Pantry Chalkboard

Out of all the projects I have done so far in my new house, this is probably my favorite. Granted we have only been here a little over a month so I am sure there will be many more favorites to come. It all started with me wanting a convenient place for me to store my grocery list. I first though I would hang a clipboard on the door but then I got the idea to paint chalkboard paint on the doors. Problem was...I didn't want it to be permanent in case I didn't like it. Then I saw a blog post where someone was using chalkboard contact  paper on their walls and BINGO that was just what I needed. It is easy to apply and if I get tired of it(which I don't think I ever will) I can easily remove it with no harm done to the doors.

Here is the finished product. All I needed to apply the chalkboard contact paper is a exacto knife to make it fit in the panels, a credit card to smooth out the lumps, and chalk to "cure" the chalkboard so that chalk will adhere to it better.  To cure the chalkboard, you take the side of a piece of chalk and color the whole chalkboard then erase and your writing will show up better. Easy Peasy! I cut the letters with my Silhouette but those could have easily been written with chalk also.

On the left side I put my menu for the week. This is mainly for me, so I remember what I bought the groceries to make.  On the bottom I put one of my favorite quotes "I can do ANYTHING but I can't do EVERYTHING."

On the right side I have my grocery list. I really only needed to do two panels one for the menu and one for my grocery list but when my boys are old enough to not dump all the cheerios out everytime the pantry is opened draw I will let them use the two bottom chalkboards.
If you have been following my blog for  awhile you probably recognize these bins from my pantry at my old house.
I made the labels with the help of my silhouette, some scrapbook paper and ribbon.

Hope this gives you some inspiration to get your pantry organized. It will make grocery shopping and meal planning a little easier because you can easily see what you have and what you need. No more wasting money on things you already have.


Links to the fabulous parties I am linking up to:
Lil Luna
Organize and Decorate Everything
Crystal and Co.
House of Hepworths
Delightful Order
Gluesticks
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Tip Junkie
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Let Birds Fly
Somewhat Simple
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Tidy Mom
Spring Into Organization Link Party
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Monday, September 26, 2011

School of the Momma: Operation Orange

Now we are on to the color Orange. Orange will play a very important role when the boys get into school because it is the school colors, so we better learn it early.

For our muffin tin meal we used foods that we already had on hand but here are some other ideas you could use:
-tangerines
-cheddar cheese
-pumpkin
-cantaloupes
-mangoes
-yams
-cheetos
-butternut squash

Wondering how you eat a muffin tin meal? Probably not, but the babies will show you anyways ;)

First you dig in and grab as much as your chubby little hands can hold.

Then you stuff it all in your mouth at once and tell your mommy "nom nom"

We sing this color song while we hunt the house for orange stuff:
(Tune: THE WHEELS ON THE BUS)
 
O-R-A-N-G-E,
O-R-A-N-G-E,
O-R-A-N-G-E
ORANGE IS WHAT THAT SPELLS
 
JACK-O-LANTERNS ARE ALWAYS ORANGE
CARROTS ARE ALWAYS ORANGE
ORANGES ARE ALWAYS ORANGE
O-R-A-N-G-------E!

Fortunately Unfortunately these songs have been stuck in my head since I taught pre-school. The song is by Frog Street Press.
Look what we found on our Orange Hunt: pumpkins and trucks and Tiggers, oh my!
The boys favorite orange activity was the pumpkin pie playdough. The recipe is from Family Fun magazine.
Warning: This is edible in the sense that it will not harm you child if they happen to take a bite out of it but it is not edible in the sense that you will want to eat it. Although it does smell very good, it is very salty.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 cup water
6 drops red food coloring
15 drops of yellow food coloring
Combine dry ingredients in a non-stick pan
Add oil, water, food coloring and whisk until smooth
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a ball
Turn onto counter, let cool slightly, knead until smooth
Dough will keep in a plastic bag for about a week

We were pretending to bake cookies for Daddy using cookie cutters.
We also sang "patty cake".
Next time we will show all of our favorite fall activities.

Linking up to these parties:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Sounds

If you ask any parent what their favorite sound is, the answer will probably be the laughter of their children and I am no different. I love to hear the little giggles that fill my home on a daily basis. This is just one of the many moments that I got a chance to capture.
video
I don't know what was so funny about dropping "Ella"(Gabe's elephant) on the floor but they sure couldn't turn off their giggle boxes.

And just when I thought I couldn't love any sound more....Gabe learned some new words(and Grant is working on them too)

video


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Tour: Living Room Edition


A few things you should know before I get into the pictures. I hate knick nacks, dust collectors, whatever you want to call them. I rarely buy things just because it is pretty. If I buy it it usually serves a purpose and is pretty. Well when we bought this house that all had to go out the window because I had a whole wall of built in shelves to fill. You are probably thinking "um why not put books on those shelves"....well ya see my book collection consist of college textbooks, pregnancy books, books on twins, children's books, I even have a book on how to teach children with children's books. See... not exactly stuff I wanna display on my shelves ;)
The shelves will be fine while it is fall and then when it is Christmas but what am I going to do with all the empty spaces when those holidays are over? I'm thinking I will be buying some "vintage" books from Goodwill :)


You are probably wondering why all my end tables are pretty much bare, well...
- All the stuff that was on the end tables at the other house is now filling up the bookshelves
-The boys broke it
-Or I took it off the table so the boys wouldn't break it :)

This wall needs one big piece of art and my couch need some pillows.

Here is some of the fabric choices I am thinking of for the pillows. I would get a different brighter pattern for spring.


And more pillows for the loveseat.

If you are just joining my house tour, you can check out the other rooms I have included in the tour so far:

Tune in every Wednesday for the rest of the tour.

IhookedupwithHoHlamespice

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gabe and Grant Proofed

My boys have so far have learned how to master all of our child cabinet locks and drawer locks which causes no real harm just makes a big mess. Along with this though they mastered the oven and the dishwasher which is a safety hazard of course. The thing is when these people are testing their child safety locks, they didn't test it with twins who work as a team. Well we did find out that our oven has a lock (woohoo!) but didn't have such luck with our dishwasher...until my husband became a genius and saved me from having to get my kids out of the dishwasher 153 times a day. Just wish he would have thought of it sooner!

"Momma always says if we work together as a team we get things done faster"


Grant dishing out the goods.
Then the daddy ruined all the fun by rigging up this.
And this is what baby does when the daddy ruins all the fun...
oh wait baby wasn't done yet!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

House Tour: Dining Room Edition


Next up is the dining room. Nothing really too special about it. It houses the highchairs wear my kiddos eat so you can just imagine that it is a hot mess 3 times a day.
See those candles? Grant apparently thinks they are tasty. So if you come to my house, they probably won't be on the table for that very reason ;)

That wall is bare right now but I am hoping to put something there soon. Maybe a mirror...any suggestions?

If you are just joining my house tour, you can check out the other rooms I have included in the tour so far:

Tune in every Wednesday for the rest of the tour.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Totally Organized Tuesdays: Guest Post by Twingle Mommy

Allison from Twingle Mommy is guest posting for me today. She is a stay at home mom to a 3 year old(Isabella) and 1 year old twins (Mark and Molly), so you know she is super busy. She is great example of how to stay organized in the midst of chaos.


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My friends ask me all the time how I keep my kid’s toys organized and I thought I would share some of my tips. I will say that having a Type A personality does help me out in this process. But I have challenges that most moms can relate to when it comes to toys; three small kids, a small house with limited storage, and a desire to put everything away at night.
Tip 1-Organization starts in the store. When you purchase toys do you think about where you are going to put them? Or how you are going to store the 100 tiny pieces? I do and yes I have vetoed toys because I know that there will be pieces everywhere. And I have also bought a box or bag to store the pieces together when I bought the toy.
Tip 2- Multifunctional furniture is a life saver! In my family room I have this toy box that blends in with my furniture. I searched for this toy box for months and finally found it at Target. I love that it keeps the toys out of sight and you can sit on it!


Tip3-Rotate, rotate, rotate! I rotate the toys that my kids have access to. Once a month or so, I clean out the toy box in the family room and put them on the top shelf of the closet. Then I put new toys from the top shelf in the closet in the toy box. This keeps them interested in their toys longer and keeps fewer toys out at a time.
Tip 4-Shelves in your kid’s closet are your second best friend! I use shelves and bins to keep everything organized. I keep the big toys and the toys that just left the toy box on the top shelf. Out of sight and out of mind! I will get any toy down for them, but for the most part, they play with the things they can reach.




Tip 5-Put those kiddos to work! My kids have all helped in the cleanup process since they were 1. It takes a lot of parent direction in the beginning but you’ll be glad you put in the time training them. Now I can sing the clean up song and they clean up all their toys, provided that I stay in the room from start to finish. They get distracted when I leave the room. And I’m passing my Type A personality on to my girls. They put the toys in the right place and freak out when Mark puts them into the wrong spot.
Tip 6-Clean up every night! I know it might be tempting to leave it out since they’ll just get it out the next day, but you really need to pick up every night. It helps kids understand that they have to be responsible for their messes and it will prevent you from stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night. In case you haven’t done this yet, it hurts and you will wake someone up with your scream. We spend about ten to fifteen minutes every night cleaning up. You can find ten minutes everyday right?
I hope that helps you get a little more organized. Take what works for you and toss the rest! And if you have a great tip for me, I would love to hear it!
Aren't Allison's tips great? I especially love Tip #5. It is something we just started a month ago because I didn't know they were capable of picking up at their age but they love to help and do a great job at it. It is also very important for kids to understand that if they make a big mess, they are going to have to clean it up. They might think twice before dumping out a whole basket full of toys.

Go visit Allison over at Twingle Mommy. She is always hosting giveaways on her blog, has a weekly blog hop every Sunday evening, and you are sure to get a few laughs at her parenting stories.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ways to Give Back to Your Community

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.


In the spirit of giving, let's talk about some other ways you can give back in your community donating items and volunteering your time.

DONATE:
- With the economy the way it is and so many people out of work, food is always needed. So donate to your local food bank. I don't know about you but I tend to buy more than I need of an item and if I realize there is no way I will possibly use it before it expires I will donate it. Also to all you couponers, use your couponing addiction to help feed others. See something on sale that you have a coupon for but your family doesn't eat it? Buy it anyways and donate it to those less fortunate. Go here to find your local food bank.

- Are you a good candidate to donate blood? You can find the closest blood drive here.

-Do your children eat as many Cheerios as mine do? Start saving those Box Tops For Education that are on the top of the box. 59 million was earned last year from schools across America.

This is just some of the many brands that have box tops on them. Here is the full list of products.

VOLUNTEER:

- In one of my college classes, we were required to teach a series of lessons through Junior Achievement at a local school. Junior Achievement is a program where volunteers go into the school and teach about entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills and how to be successful in this economy. They have programs from K-12. If you enjoy teaching children, go to their site and sign up to volunteer. They give you all the materials to teach your lessons so you don't have to prepare anything on your own. It was definitely one of my favorite college assignments!

- I have been wanting to volunteer for CASA for awhile now but unfortunately at this stage in my life time does not allow for me to do this but I am hoping to do this once the boys start school. It is a program full of volunteers that advocate for children in the foster care system to make sure that their needs are heard.


Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

School of the Momma- Operation Red

Before having my own kids I taught a preschool class, so I guess it just comes natural that I would teach my own kids things that I spent much time teaching to other kids. Mr. Hands Full (aka my husband) once referred to my teaching the boys as "School of the Momma" so that is where this title comes from. This will be a new series on my blog that will be every other Monday.

Let me preface this post by saying that these photos were taken in the spring but I am just now getting around to finishing this post.

To start out our study on red, we had a muffin tin meal filled with all red foods. This is also a way to get creative and get your kids to try new foods.
Ok so the lasanga doesn't look red in this photo but the sauce is red, mmmk?



The boys loved it...can't you tell!?

The next day we did a "red hunt", where we went around the house and picked out all the red things and put them in a tub. We then used that as a sensory tub because we picked things of all textures, shapes, and sizes.
If I would have done this recently, we would have talked about Elmo because he is all the rage at our house these days. Funny thing is they don't know Elmo from the TV show(because they are way too busy to sit down and watch tv), they only know him through their books.
video
The next installment of "School of the Momma" will be all about the color orange of course because we operate according to the Roy G. Biv system around here ;)



Tip Junkie handmade projects

”I

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall Fun Friday

So I don't know where you live but in Texas it hasn't gotten above 90 this week so it must be fall right? This nice cool weather has got me gathering up my all my fall decor and putting it out. OK so I lied anyone that has been to my house lately knows that it has been out since mid-August ;) but I have resisted the temptation to put out the outside decor yet...don't want the new neighbors to think I am too crazy yet but I think next week it will be acceptable to do so.

So here is a little fall inspiration for you of things I have done in my house so far....
Still not sure about this green table runner but I have found it is very hard to find 90 in table runners?
Might have to spruce this one up myself.
Hang pots from the pot rack? No silly this thing is for holiday decor purposes only ;)

This sits on my coffee table and it is a good thing these beauties are made out of styrofoam because my boys think they are balls. I got the gourds from Hobby Lobby and the pumpkins are from Ellis Pottery.

All my pretty little pumpkins. I love all things pumpkin...pumpkin patches, pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving,pumpkin pankcakes,pumpkin spice lattes and now I am hungry.
How cute is the owl?!?! I found her at Home Goods last week. Oh and the lantern was like a dollar at Lowe's near the outdoor section.

There will be more to come...I am hardly done yet! Happy Fall Decorating!!!


Links to the fabulous parties I am linking up to:
Lil Luna
Organize and Decorate Everything
Crystal and Co.
House of Hepworths
Delightful Order
Gluesticks
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Tip Junkie
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Let Birds Fly
Somewhat Simple