Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween

It's getting closer to Halloween! I love this time of year: the changing leaves, decorations, and fun food. I love everything except horror movies and haunted houses. I know, it's weird to love Halloween and hate those two things.

The boys are once again really excited, although no costume decisions have been made. Our greyhound has her costume picked out, with even a back up idea, and yet I cannot get the boys to finalize their costumes.
I have gotten a few things for the Boo bags, but we haven't Boo'd anyone yet. We still have to go to the pumpkin patch, get costumes, put up the final decorations, carve the pumpkins, and roast the seeds. I am at least a little more prepared than last year at this time (I have some candy and some decorations up). If you need any Halloween ideas, I have a bunch below!
 
ACTIVITIES:
  • Halloween Mazes:
  • Coloring Page.
  • Pumpkin Soccer or Bowling. Use a small pie pumpkin as the ball. 
    • Soccer: Split into two teams and create goals (small plastic cones work well). Have kids spider walk (aka crab walk) and kick the pumpkin soccer ball with their feet.
    • Bowling: Make pins from rolls of toilet paper.
      • Ghost pins: Decorate rolls with black paper eyes and mouth.
      • Mummy: Wrap a piece of toilet paper around a roll and add eyes.
      • Witch: Wrap in green tissue paper, add construction paper eyes/nose/mouth, and top with paper hat.
      • Vampire: Add fangs/mouth/eyes, and a black paper cape.
      •  Frankenstein: Wrap in green tissue paper, draw with sharpie or add black paper stitch marks/scars. Add eyes/nose/mouth.
FOOD:

CRAFTS:


TIPS:

Some of my Fall Fun links work great for Halloween too!


OTHER FUN LINKS: (Links are external links, not to DailyMesses.)
What are some of your fun ideas/traditions for Halloween? Share in Comments!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Quick Halloween Wreath

 

You will need:
  • Ping pong ball eyes or googly eyes
    • Ping Pong Ball Eyes Directions: 
      • Draw pupils on ping pong balls. Let dry.
  • Halloween themed items (pumpkins, ghosts, etc.). I used small foam pumpkins/gourds, Halloween finger puppets, spider and skull rings, plastic bats and spiders.
  • Wreath (grapevine, foam)
  • Hot glue

I found a lot of the decorating items in the stores toy sections for Halloween. I also add on a few fake fall leaves as filler and extra color. I love making these types of wreaths because they are quick and I can add as many items as I want. I like being able to design my own wreath. This one has lasted for a few years now, so it may be time to add on to it or make a new one.

It is really easy to make the wreath. Simply hot glue the decorations around the top and sides of the wreath. I like to lay my wreath flat on the table as I work, so I can make sure no decorations will be hanging too far towards the back and upset how the wreath hangs on the door. I added in leaves as well, but you could also add in bows or flowers (black, purple, or other Halloween colors). If you have a foam wreath, you could wrap in Halloween themed ribbon and then add on your decorations. I found it helpful to make sure I know where the top of the wreath will be so I can leave space for the hanger. If you use the wreath hooks that hook in the back and do not cover the front of the wreath, you do not have to worry as much.

Eyeball Wreath


This is a really easy Halloween decoration. I made this one pretty quick, so I will probably go back and add on more eyes, so it is completely covered. The great thing is, you can adjust how many eyes you want to fit your preference!

You will need:
  • White ping pong balls
  • Sharpies or permanent markers (at least a black and a red)
  • Plain wreath (grapevine, foam) (Amazon carries grapevine and foam wreaths, as do most craft stores)
  • Hot glue

Directions:
  1. Draw pupils on the ping pong balls. I did a few different kinds (reptile pupil, blue/green/black/red pupil, with and with out veins...).
  2. Let the ink dry.
  3. Glue eyes onto the wreath and let set.
  4. Hang and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Halloween Word Find (Pumpkin Shaped!)

I made a new word find for Halloween. It's in the shape of a pumpkin! It is also a little harder than some of my other word finds, so it might be better for older kids (adults too!).

The answer key and PDF file for easy printing are at the end of the post.




ANSWERS BELOW!






To print from the post's images: To Print: Right Click-Open image in new tab-Print or Ctrl-P. Or Right Click-Save/Save Image As/Save to Computer-Open the saved image-Print.


Here are PDF files to make printing easier:
Pumpkin Halloween Word Find
Pumpkin Halloween Word Find Answers

Eye Spy Some Fun For Halloween

 
You will need:

Draw on pupils (black or another color) and veins (red). I made a few of these in different varieties (black/blue/green/red/reptile pupils, with and without veins, an all red eye with green pupil). They have a lot of uses!

Decoration:
1. Make a wreath. (I have a Halloween themed wreath and an eyeball wreath posting soon!)
2. I filled a glass skull and crossbones jar. (Amazon has several Halloween themed glass storage jars.)
3. Place around the house (in soap containers, in potted plants, etc.)

Games:
  1. Place eyeballs in a large container. Have most of the pupils black. Color a few blue, green, red, etc.
    1. Game Idea #1: Color eyeballs get a prize. Have mostly black pupils, with a few colorful eyes thrown in.
    2. Game Idea #2: Have multiple prize levels. Assign different prizes to different color eyes (green eyes win this prize, red wins from these prizes, blue wins this prize).
  2. Mix the eyeballs in with the Halloween candy to hand out. Make kids dig through the eye balls to get to their piece of candy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fall Time Fun

It's October! It's been a crazy Fall so far. Just a week ago we were in shorts, sweating at the soccer field. Tonight, there is a frost warning. However, despite the often gray rainy days and Fall allergies, I love the Fall. I love wearing my jeans again, going to the pumpkin patch with friends, and seeing the leaves start to change colors. Although I did get some indoor decorations up, I haven't made many fun treats yet. To help motivate myself, I thought I would pull up some of my favorite posts that are great for Fall. I've got some new ideas too, so I'll post when I finally get to try them!

FOOD:

ACTIVITIES:

CRAFTS:

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ghost Pretzels

These are a really quick and cute snack to make for Halloween. Seriously! It took me less than a half hour to melt the candy melts, dip the pretzels, decorate with eyes, and have the chocolate set. They were a surprise for the boys' lunches for school.

You will need:
Directions:
  1. Melt candy melts or chocolate per the containers directions. I like to use a tea/coffee cup so I can easily dip the pretzel in. A deeper bowl would probably work as well.
  2. Lay out a large piece of wax paper.
  3. Dip pretzels into melted chocolate/candy melt using the fork. Gently tap neck of fork on the rim of the container to knock off excess chocolate.
  4. Place covered pretzel onto wax paper and decorate with eye(s). Let set.
  5. Remove from wax paper. If there are any piece of chocolate hanging off, you can trim off with a sharp knife. 
If you want to go a little silly with your ghosts, there are also candy mustaches so you can make a ghost in disguise!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Easy Dog Bed

We recently got a new bed and needed to get rid of both the old bed and the old foam memory topper. The 3" memory foam was still in good shape but didn't work for the kids' beds. I hated to throw it out, but couldn't think of what I could use it for. Until we had to go to the basement and our dog was not happy about it. We have an unfinished basement and sometimes need to go downstairs during tornado sirens. She used to hate going downstairs because there wasn't anywhere comfy to lay down on. I ended up using the memory foam to make at dog bed for the basement.

I had two 50x60 fleece blankets, which I had found at the store on sale for about $5. You could also simply buy pieces of fleece from a fabric store, I just had the blankets on hand. I measured a piece of the foam to fit inside the blankets, with a 3-4 inch gap all the way around. I then cut 1 inch wide, 4 inch deep slits along the edges of both blankets. I had laid the blankets on top of each other so the strips would line up together. Make sure the blankets are laying flat and smooth. Place the memory foam in the middle of the bottom blanket. Next, place and smooth the other blanket on top. Tie the tabs together all around the edges. Tada! You have a dog bed!

She is a big fan of her basement dog bed and now seems to enjoy when we hang out down there. The bed ended up pretty large. Which, of course, makes sense considering the size of the blanket but is something I might have trimmed down if I had thought it through. She loves it though.

I still had a decent sized piece left over, so I cut a piece to fit the inside of her crate. She already had a liner base and blankets, but I thought I would make a new pad for the inside of her crate with the left over foam. Once I cut a piece to fit, I wrapped it in an old twin bed sheet and put a few hand stitches in to make sure the foam would not be unwrapped and exposed. I piled her blankets back on and now she has a super comfy bed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bee Happy Cookies

School has been back almost a month now. We are slowly getting into a routine, which is good. However, by Friday the kids are ready for the weekend. Last week I made them some Bee Happy cookies.

They are easy and quick to make. I placed them in a sandwich bag and wrote "Bee Happy! It's Friday" on the front of the bag in permanent marker.

I used yellow candy melts, pretzel twists, candy eyes, and Oreos. You will also need piping bags or sandwich bags and wax paper.

First, lay out a piece of wax paper. Next, melt the candy melts per the package directions. Dip the pretzel twists into the melted coating using a fork. Gently tap on the side of the container to shake off any extra coating from the pretzel. Place on the wax paper to set. Make 1 per bee. For half of the wings, I sprinkled added a sprinkling of black sprinkles.

Next, place the melted candy melt into a piping bag (a sandwich bag with just the tip cut off works too). Pipe thin lines onto the Oreo cookie (the body of the bee).

Once the wings have set, use the melted candy melt to attach to the body. I used the piping bag to attach the wings. Finally attach the eye. Let set completely.

Alternatively, if you have the really mini pretzel twists, you could make the bee facing you with two wings and two eyes.




Friday, August 24, 2018

Easy Breakfasts For School Days

We're slowly getting back in to the school routine, but the boys are still running pretty slow in the mornings. To be honest, there have been a few days where I'm running behind as well. I have started trying to make easy breakfasts, ones where I can make them the night before or even on Sunday night, and it's ready when we need it.

Below are some of my favorite go-to breakfast ideas:
  • Overnight Oats. These are great because I can make several jars with a variety of flavors. I just add a piece of brown tape to the outside of the jar labeled with the flavor. 
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no bake) 
  • Eggs:
  • Muffins:
  • Pancakes or waffles. You can make these ahead of time and place some in the freezer (I like to layer between parchment or wax paper in an airtight container) or fridge. Reheat in the microwave, toaster oven, or in the toaster. For an all-in-one idea, try Hidden Bacon Pancakes!
  • Peanut Butter Toast. Quick and easy. Toast a slice of bread, spread on peanut butter, enjoy! One of my favorites when I was a kid, especially when the toast was still warm. My boys now love this too.
  • Smoothies. I like to make the boys smoothies with frozen fruit, plain Greek yogurt, flax seed, spinach (the fruit covers the taste and color, so they don't even notice!), peanut butter, and milk (helps thin it down).
What are your go-to easy make ahead breakfasts?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Egg Muffins! (Scrambled Egg Muffins and Egg & Ham Cup Muffins)

Good morning! I am still trying out breakfast ideas and found two that all the boys seemed to enjoy. Egg muffins!

I have two different versions today: scrambled egg muffins and eggs baked in a ham cup. Both recipes are very easy to make, although the scrambled eggs are a little easier to customize and we have tried a lot different toppings with them. I have even managed to get Bernardo to eat one made with egg whites. Although the eggs never look great when I try to take pictures of them, but they really are tasty!

Some tips and tricks I've learned along the way:
  • I found the ones made with egg whites do not rise much, so you can fill the muffin pan almost to the top. However, the scrambled egg (made with the whole egg) does rise, so I would not fill more than 3/4 of the muffin pan. 
  • For the veggie toppings, I would lightly saute any onions and peppers before placing in the egg mixture to bake. When I baked the eggs, I found the raw veggies did not soften much during cooking. 
  • If you are using ham, the small diced ham will sink to the bottom. However, if you are using pieces of lunch meat ham, the ham will stay suspended in the egg mixture.



Scrambled Egg Muffins

You will need:
  • 1 egg (or egg white) per muffin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: grated cheese, diced ham, pieces of bacon, sauteed onions/peppers/etc.
  • Non-Stick spray or Cupcake/Muffin Wrappers (Even with greasing my muffin pan, the eggs still stuck to the pan. My eggs worked better when I lined the muffin pan with the wrappers.)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease muffin pan well, or line with wrappers. 
  3. In a bowl, beat egg to scramble.
  4. Add in salt, pepper, and toppings.
  5. Pour into pan. (Remember not to fill more than 3/4 full for the scrambled egg!)
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until egg is baked and toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Eat or store. To store, cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. To freeze, individually wrap in plastic and store in a freezer bag or airtight container. To eat from frozen, remove plastic wrap and microwave. You can microwave frozen, or thaw the night before to reheat in a toaster oven or in the microwave. You can store frozen for up to a month.


Egg and Ham Cup Muffins
You will need:
  • Non-stick spray 
  • 1-2 slices of ham per egg muffin 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Eggs (1 per muffin)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Grease muffin pan.
  3. Line each muffin spot with a slice or two of ham. You want the ham to cover the whole muffin cup and to stick out over the edges. If there is a gap, your egg will escape.
  4. Place some cheddar cheese on top of the ham.
  5. Carefully crack your egg on top of the cheese and season (if desired) with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake until eggs are cooked, about 12-15 minutes.
  7. Eat or store. To store, cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. To freeze, individually wrap in plastic and store in a freezer bag or airtight container. To eat from frozen, remove plastic wrap and microwave. You can microwave frozen, or thaw the night before to reheat in a toaster oven or in the microwave. You can store frozen for up to a month.

 PDF Files for easy printing:
Egg & Ham Cup Muffins
Scrambled Egg Muffins


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Overnight Oats

I am a little slow to jump on the overnight oats/overnight oatmeal wagon. I tried the store bought kind and thought they tasted awful and had a weird texture, so I left them alone for a long time.

With school coming up, and one everything eater and one picky eater (he wants only oatmeal or cereal), I wanted to experiment with easy breakfast foods. We had already tried my no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars with success, but I was looking for a wider range of options. So back to overnight oats I went. However, this time I tried making my own, which worked so much better.

Now, I know all the images of overnight oats look amazing with their different layers in the jars, but I found that mixing the oats, milk, and yogurt together helps coat all the oats so they absorb the liquid better overnight. I mix it all together, then I add on the toppings. For all of the recipes, I used Old Fashioned Oats and Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla). I like the extra protein the Greek yogurt provides, although it does give a tangier taste to the oats. Most of the time, I found adding a 1/2 cup of milk worked the best, but I believe the type of oats and other fillers change the amount of milk needed. You can always stir in more milk in the morning if it is too thick.
Berry Overnight Oats
For my first recipe, I did Berry Overnight Oats, which was a big hit with Higgins. Bernardo still didn't like the texture. For my jar, I added chopped pecans to the top of the oats for a little crunch.

I wanted to have an option with more protein for the long school mornings, so I played with some peanut butter options. Our two favorites were Peanut Butter & Nutella Overnight Oats and Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats. I added in ground flax seed to these and they never knew the difference! For a little extra crunch, I added in mini chocolate chips and peanuts to the top. I like the taste, but the texture still bothers me a little unless there is a little crunch to it.
Peanut Butter Nutella Overnight Oats

Sorry for not having a picture of the peanut butter and banana! I forgot to take a picture of it before the kids ate it!
We ate these cold, but you could heat them up. I would leave the berries and bananas off until after you heat the oatmeal.

The above recipes are a jpeg/picture. To print, right click on the image, click Save As/Save to Computer, Print from your computer. However, to try to make printing easier, I have PDFs below that you can also save or print from!


Berry Overnight Oats Recipe (PDF printable)
Peanut Butter & Banana Overnight Oats (PDF printable)
Peanut Butter & Nutella Overnight Oats (PDF printable)



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

4th of July Food, Craft, and Activity Ideas

It's almost time for the 4th of July! We usually don't have a big party, but we do have a grill out and watch the fireworks. Below are a few ideas for crafts, activities, and food for your 4th of July get together!


CRAFTS/ACTIVITES:

FOOD:
    • Swirl Cookies (The link is to my Christmas cookies which are red and white. However, if you divide the batter into thirds and color 1 red, 1 blue, 1 white, it makes a great 4th of July cookie!)
    • Pie & Jars (Use star cut outs for the top of the pies)
    • Hidden Surprise Pound Cake (use a star cut out instead of a shamrock)
    • Dessert Pizza (So easy to make, so delicious! Use white chocolate, red and blue colored chocolate or candy melts to make it more patriotic.)
    • Rainbow Cupcakes (Divide batter into 3 bowls. Color 1 white, 1 red, 1 blue)
    • Peanut Butter Cherrios Balls
    • Frozen Bananas (Dip in white chocolate with red and blue sprinkles! Maybe even some star sprinkles!) 
    • Caramels (It is much harder to change the color of a caramel, so instead dress up the wrapping by tying them closed with red/white/blue ribbons.)
    • Ice Cream Sandwiches
    • Stained Glass Cookies (use red, white, blue candies)
    • Fortune Cookies (make a mix of red, white, and blue dough)
    • Candied Popcorn (Separate popcorn into 3 batches. Color each batch with red, blue, or white candy melts. Let dry and then mix together!)
    • Make (or buy!) angel food cake or shortcake and top with strawberries (red), blueberries (blue), and whipped cream (white).
  • Drinks:
    • Beverage Day (make red, white, blue star shaped ice cubes)
 The things listed above are things we have done in the past. However, there are so many other ideas out there for 4th of July parties. Here are a things that I think would be fun to try!
  • Watermelon "cake". Cut and tier watermelon slices like a tiered cake. Decorate with other red, white, and blue fruits.
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries. Dip in white chocolate and decorate with patriotic colored sprinkles or in red and blue drizzles. Dip in milk or dark chocolate and decorate with red, white, and blue drizzles. 
  • Layered Red/White/Blue Drinks