Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids and one lazy dog, 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, March 6, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

It's hard to believe we're already in March and that St. Patrick's Day is coming up! I like celebrating it with the kids and trying to come up with new ideas for snacks and fun. Last year, the leprechaun hid pot shaped bags with candy in them, as well as little pots with treats under the table. Previously, the leprechaun made a rainbow on the wall, complete with a batting cloud and jelly bean rain drops. I have no idea yet what I will...I mean the leprechaun ...will do this year. If you want any ideas, just click on the post links for the directions or the recipes!
FOOD:

CRAFT/ACTIVITIES:

LEPRECHAUN VISITS/TREATS:
  • Leprechaun Pots of Gold
  • Leprechaun Treat Bags
  • Some fun treats for the pots/bags are: green or yellow bouncy balls, shamrock stickers, shamrock sucker (see shamrock sucker napkin rings above in Food), green or themed pencils/pens, chocolate gold coins, gold or yellow wrapped candy (mini Snickers, Starburst, mini Reese's cups, Hershey Kisses, Sixlets, etc. Party City normally has bins where you can buy individual candy pieces, which is great for finding only the colors you want! Some stores even carry bags of a single color of Jelly Belly.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Leprechaun Donuts

The boys have already been asking when St. Patrick's Day is and if they might get a treat again this year. While, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day a little bit, we definitely don't go over the top (I refuse to clean up leprechaun or Elf messes). 

Last year, the boys made their own leprechaun traps. Bernardo actually did it for school, so of course Higgins wanted to be like his big brother. Surprisingly, the traps didn't catch a leprechaun, but there was a treat left for them. Leprechaun Donuts!
These are super easy to make and were a big hit with my boys.

All you need are:
  • Cherrios (plain)
  • White chocolate or white candy melts (green or yellow work well too)
  • sprinkles
  • wax paper (Optional: I just like it for easy clean up!)
Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate or candy melts.
2. Dip the Cherrios into the melted candy. 
3. Place on wax paper and add sprinkles.
4. Let set. Once the "donuts" are finished, place on a plate. I found small things like bottle lids, or even the plastic piece in the pizza box that looks like a table, are great ways to display the treats.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Read Across America Day

March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday, as well as Read Across America Day. To celebrate, there are some events going on 3/1 and on 3/2.
  • You can check out my Dr. Seuss Celebration Ideas post for food/craft/activity ideas, as well as a Dr. Seuss themed word find!
  • Check your local library. Many are having special reading times.
  • Half Price Books is having a story time on 3/1. My local store is having it at 3pm, but click here to find your store and time.
  • Barnes & Nobles bookstores are having a story time and activities on 3/2. Click here to find a store near you.
  • Seussville.com has has a list of bookstore events for different states. Click on the link to find one near you! (I know of at least 2 other bookstores near me that are having Dr. Seuss story times, but are not on this list. If you have a local bookstore, check with them too.)


Friday, February 6, 2015

Easy Valentine's Day Memory Game

Higgins brought this home from school and I thought it was super cute. It's a Valentine's Day themed memory game with Hershey Kisses.

Pick the Valentine colored Hershey Kisses (silver, red, pink) to use as the game pieces. The bottom of the Kisses will have the symbols. His teachers printed out different pictures on sticker paper and placed on the candy. You could also use stickers from the store. You want 2 of each symbol. Some ideas are: red hearts, pink hearts, heart and arrow, cupid, lips/kiss, double hearts, etc. The game fits easily in a sandwich bag or you can even eat it when you're done!

Valentine's Day Ideas

It's somehow February already and I've been seeing Valentine's Day stuff in the stores for about a month now! In case you need any ideas, here are some of mine :)

CRAFTS:

ACTIVITIES:

FOOD:

GIFTS:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Love the Birds


Higgins loves making crafts, so this one was really easy to do. All you need is a pipe cleaner, some Fruit Loops and a piece of twine or string.

String the Fruit Loops on and twist the ends together to close it. Shape into a heart and tie on piece of string/twine. Finish by tying to a tree branch!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Heart Candy


These super easy Valentine's Day candies were a huge hit with the boys last year. I thought they may be a little too breakable to send in the lunch box, so they were waiting for them when they got home from school.


You will need:
  • Candy Melts/Waffers (red, white, pink, etc.). (White chocolate works well too)
  • Candy Canes
  • Plastic Sandwich or snack size Ziploc bags
  • Parchment paper, scissors
  • Sprinkles, optional


Directions:
1. Melt candy melts (or white chocolate) according to package directions.
2. Lay down candy canes to form a heart shape on a piece of parchment paper. If candy canes are too long, carefully break the ends off.
3. Fill Ziploc bag with melted candy melt and snip just the tip off.
4. Fill in the space between candy canes and smooth out using the back of a spoon or knife.
5. Optional, add sprinkles on before candy melt/chocolate sets.

DM Alternatives:
  • For another idea, pipe a rectangle or square of milk/dark chocolate and let set. Pipe on O's and X's. This is a great snack by itself, but it would also be great on top of ice cream, a cupcake or on a small cake. 
  • Pipe out the word LOVE and let set. Attach with little dots of melted candy melt/chocolate to the heart candies.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chicken Stroganoff

I love beef stroganoff, so when I came across a chicken version of the recipe, I had to try it! It doesn't make a pretty picture, but it tastes wonderful!

You will need:
  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 envelope of Onion Soup Mix
  • Egg noodles
  • Misc.: crock pot, non-stick spray

Directions:
1. Lightly spray the inside of the crock pot. 
2. Place chicken breast on the bottom of the crock pot.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream.
4. Pour mixture over the chicken.
5. Cover and cook on Low for 7 hours*. DM Tip: I will stir the creamy mixture about 2 times during the cooking process. I don't think you need to, but it does help keep the mixture from sticking/burning on the sides of the crock pot.
6. Shred the chicken and stir in the sauce. DM Tip: I shred it in the crock pot using two forks.
7. Cook Egg Noodles according to package directions. Drain.
8. Serve chicken stroganoff over the noodles and enjoy!

*Crock pots can run hotter than others, so the time could be less. You want the chicken to be cooked and super tender. It should shred with a fork easily.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter: A Word Find

It's been a little chilly around here, complete with some ice and snow. To help with the boredom, I came up with a Winter themed word find. Answers are below!

To Print: Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer, Print.








ANSWERS:



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eugene, the Elf, Day 19

It's Eugene's last day and it looks like he has a Treasure Hunt map ready for tomorrow!

The Elf cards are going where the black X's are and the red X is the prize (Lego mini figures)

Eugene, the Elf: Day 18

Eugene is hanging out in the tree today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eugene, the Elf: Day 17

I was hit with some bug that was going around, so hubby moved Eugene today! (Although they did give Eugene some grief for not moving to a new place.)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Eugene, the Elf: Day 16

Eugene was pretty tired last night and stayed on the main floor again. 

Eugene, the Elf: Day 15

Eugene went up high today. This way he can keep an eye on multiple locations. 

Fortune Cookies

Last year I wanted to try a new type of cookie. Of course we still made gingerbread men and sugar cookies, but we also made fortune cookies! The boys loved them, although they were a little time consuming to make. We tried a couple different recipes before we finally found this one and it worked great! (I can't remember where I found it, but it is a pretty good recipe.)


Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • Fortunes written on paper to fit in the cookies (make these before you make the cookies!)
  • Cookie sheets
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Icing or melted white chocolate, sprinkles, optional

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a small/medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, almond extract, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil until frothy (but not stiff).
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt together into another bowl.
  4. Add water to the flour mix and stir together.
  5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and combine well.
  6. Add food coloring (optional).
  7. Scoop a tablespoon of batter and place on cookie sheet. I did two at a time, maybe three at most. Gently tilt the cookie sheet around to spread the batter out to form about a 4 inch diameter circle.
  8. Bake about 14-15 minutes, until outer edge is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and work quickly to form a fortune cookie!
    1. Place cookie in your hand and place fortune in the middle.
    2. Fold cookie in half and pull edges over the rim of a glass. I used a paper towel to handle the cookies so I wouldn't get burned.
    3. You can place the cookie inside a muffin tin to help keep the shape.


For Christmas, I dipped the middle of the cookie in white chocolate and added on Christmas sprinkles.

Eugene, the Elf Day 14

Eugene wanted to keep the kids busy this morning, so he hid mini candy canes throughout the house for them to find.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Holiday Posts Links

Christmas is next week and if you need ideas, I have a few!

GIFT IDEAS:


FUN/ACTIVITIES/CRAFTS:


    Eugene, the Elf: Day 13

    Higgins was hoping Eugene would come to his room too. Now that he has a clean bill of health, it looks like he got his wish!

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf: Day 11

    Eugene decided to hide out in Bernardo's room. After seeing Higgins up all night with a stomach bug, Eugene was too tired to be creative. He did startle a yell out of Bernardo when he saw him though!

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf: Day 10

    Sorry for the late post! My morning got away from me.

    Eugene didn't want the kids sneaking downstairs early this morning, I guess.

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Christmas Present Ideas

    I can't believe Christmas is in a week and a half! I still have plenty of shopping, wrapping, and cookies to bake. In case you are like me and still need to do some shopping, here are some of my gift ideas. I've added some new ones (my favorite new ones are the whiskey balls and glasses Hubby got last year!).


    Eugene, the Elf: Day 8

    Eugene left the popcorn snowman cups for the kids to find.




    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Popcorn Snowman Cups

    I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me way too quickly and I'm not getting anything done that I wanted too. I normally make fun snacks and crafts with the kids, and haven't done any of that yet this year. I made these cute snowman cups for snacks. I am going to fill with popcorn (like little snowballs) but it could be used for anything.
    I drew on the eyes, mouth, buttons with a Sharpie. I cut out a triangle from orange construction paper, and taped it on (if you had an orange Sharpie that would be easier). I had ribbon out from wrapping a present and used it to make the scarves.

    While I made these today, I think Eugene is going to leave them as a surprise for tomorrow.

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 7

    Eugene apparently had poker night last night. It looks like they found the kids drink shaped bottles of flavored jelly beans (7-Up and Dr. Pepper) and the jelly beans I got for Hubby too. Crazy toys. It looks like Eugene is winning though.

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    Reindeer Food

    Higgins came home with this from school the other day and it is super cute! It's really easy to make too.
    You will need:


    Directions:
    1. Mix together oats and glitter to create the filling/reindeer food.
    2. Fill bag 1/2 to 3/4 full. Make sure to leave room to twist tie the bag shut with the pipe cleaners.
    3. Wrap pipe cleaners around top of bag to close and create the antlers.
    4. Attach eyes and nose.

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 6


    Eugene was very daring this morning as he zip-lined from the ceiling fan to the Christmas tree. He wasn't very safe about either; I don't see a safety harness or anything! 


    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 5

    It looks like Eugene recovered, only to be attacked by zombies! Good thing he found some plants to help out and extra peas to throw...


    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 3

    Eugene was apparently feeling a little peckish and made himself a snack in the pantry...now I feel like eating a s'more!


    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    Eugene is Back!

    Eugene came back on St. Nick's Day. This time he was sliding down the tree!



    The sled was made from 2 graham crackers "glued" onto two candy canes with icing. A ribbon was tied around the curved part of the candy canes to create a handle. And finally, the snow was a piece of batting!

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Eugene's (Our Elf) Past Experiences

    We've had Eugene, our Elf On The Shelf, for a few years now. I was trying to find another cheap "doll only" so that both boys would have one when they have their own kids. (I didn't have any luck since all I could find was the plush type.)

    I then realized I had no plans for Eugene this year and he's supposed to come out tomorrow on St. Nick's Day. He's had some pretty fun adventures in the past, but I had no ideas yet for this year. Granted, most days he just moved from ceiling fan to hanging onto a cupboard knob. Some days he didn't move at all. However, Higgins had been asking about him. I went through old adventures to try and come up with new ones.

    Here are some of Eugene's more exciting times:
    Seriously, I thought I had a few more exciting ones in the bunch! I don't plan on having crazy things everyday (especially if it involves lots of clean up), but I think I should come up with 1 or 2 more.

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Don't Forget Saturday Is St. Nick's Day!

    Do you celebrate St. Nick's Day? Every year on December 6th, I remember waking up looking for my stocking full of goodies. Not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in European countries and in German and Dutch communities. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college. When they told her to put a shoe outside her door at night, I think she thought they were nuts!

    Who Was St. Nick?
    St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls would probably become...night workers. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

    How To Celebrate:
    Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband would put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other people put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!

    This year's stocking stuffers: Candy Cane Tootsie Pops,
    Crayon Rings, Etch A Sketch, Coloring Books, Candy

    Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
    • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave
    • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.)
    • Small games
    • Books or Comic Books
    • Small stuffed animals
    • Coins/Money
    • Barrettes
    • Hot chocolate mix
    • Lego's (Bernardo is into Ninjago right now, while Higgins does better with a box of Lego's he can create his own inventions with.). Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys each got one last year and loved them!
    • Small toys
    • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
    • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one for boys or girls.) They have Christmas, Star Wars, Avengers, Scooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
    • Flashlight (Higgins got his own flashlight last year and it has outlived the previous one. Luckily it seems he learned his lesson that you can't put a flashlight in the toilet and expect it to still work.)
    • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
    • Stickers
    • Toothbrush
    • Temporary tattoos
    • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon
    • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
    • Chapstick (or lip gloss)
    • Chocolate coins
    • Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars
    • Small fruit (clementines, apples)
    • Hexbugs
    • Gum
    • Compass
    • Small Nerf Guns
    • Mighty Beanz
    • DVD: Target's $5 shelf is great for these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
    • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene orginally came to us on St. Nick's Day.


    LINKS
    St. Nicholas, Wiki
    http://www.stnicksday.com/