Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely 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!

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Father's Day Ideas (Gifts, Food, Crafts, Fun)

Father's Day is June 17th!

CRAFT/GIFTS:
  • 100 Father's Day Gift Ideas
  • Father's Day Frames (craft/gift)
  • Make a Can Planter and plant grass seed for the hair. You could even place a golf ball in the grass or glue to the side of the can. Make it an alien with only 1 flower bud sticking out (kind of like a tulip type of flower bud).
  • If he likes camping or having an outside fire, try making a batch of Pinecone Firestarters.
  • Home Depot had a free Kid's Workshop on 6/4 to make a Father's Day Trophy Phone Holder. If you missed it, check with the store since they often sell their kits or sometimes have left-overs.

FOOD: (These are just a few of the recipes on the blog. There are a lot more!)


ACTIVITIES:


FREEBIES:

  • Zoo: Many zoo's are offering Dads free admission.
  • Spaghetti Warehouse:
  • First Watch: Free small bag of coffee (with meal purchase).
  • Outback: Not free, but frequently offers coupons online.
  • Barnes & Noble: Father's Day storytime 6/16 at 11:00.
  • If you know of any other freebies for Dad, please share in Comments!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Father's Day Gift Ideas (100 Ideas!)

Dads can be hard to shop for. It seems like I come back to the same ideas every year but really, how many ties or shirts can one person really need? I made a list below with different ideas for Father's Day gifts. Hopefully, these may help you find a gift for the dad in your life.

  1. Make him a homemade card.
  2. Breakfast in bed.
  3. New earbuds. (Zipper design, wireless (in ear, over ear), for yard work/bluetooth, yard work/radio)
  4.  Take the kids to kids workshop at Home Depot and make Dad a gift. Lowe's also used to offer these workshops, but I heard some stores were stopping, so please check with your local store.
  5. Plan a weekend get-away. Think Las Vegas, or somewhere unique and fun. There is a hotel called Sybaris that has pool suites! I haven't been there, but it looks awesome.
  6.  An e-book reader. The Kindle is available at Amazon.com or is available in some stores like Staples. Barnes & Nobles also carries the Nook in their stores and online.
  7. If he already has a Nook, Kindle, or iPad, buy him a new case.
  8. Bake or buy a cake/cupcakes and let the kids decorate.
  9. A RC helicopter or maybe a drone. (Great for home or maybe even the office!)
  10. Cuff links. These might seem boring, but you can make them fun with cool designs or getting ones made with parts from his favorite stadium! (Round cuff links: Wrigley FieldYankee, Shea, Fenway. Square cuff links: Notre Dame, Ohio State. Home plate shaped: Yankee, Fenway, Ebbets Field, Shea, Wrigley Field. Football shaped: Notre Dame, Lambeau. These are just a few! For a link to the ones available on Amazon, click here.
  11. Patio ride. This is the link to the Denver Patio Ride, but they are available in a lot of cities. Google your city and "patio ride" or "peddle wagon".
  12. Video camera.
  13. Concert tickets to his favorite comedian or band.
  14. Watch. My husband had a Citizen Eco-Drive that we bought over 10 years ago and he still loves it. It is powered y indoor light or sunlight. There are also other watches powered by movement. It saves on buying batteries, which is also good for the environment!
  15. Belt.
  16. New DSLR camera or a pocket/bag sized camera (I have this one and love it! It also does video.) (Note: if you buy a DSLR, make sure it has a lens if you need it. Some will say "body only", which does not come with the lens.)
  17. Make a photo frame: customized photo frame (link is to my post for ideas and directions) or a frame out of Lego's (click here for video directions.) 
  18. Tickets to a play.
  19. Glass blowing lessons.
  20. Gym membership.
  21. New gym bag.
  22. New smart phone.
  23. Duck tour. This is the link to the Boston Duck Tours, but other cities have them as well. Google your city and "duck tour" or "duck boat tour".
  24. Color Dad a picture.
  25.  Cologne.
  26.  A photo collage of the family for his work.
  27. Paint a picture. Buy a canvas at the craft store and let the kids paint Dad a picture to sit in his office. We used Crayola Paint Brush Pens, which work really well for toddlers. 
  28. New gym shoes.
  29. Wash and clean out his car. Or a car wash gift certificate or gift set.
  30. Backyard pool.
  31. Stuff for the office: a fan/heater, personal AC unit, radio/CD player, white noise machine
  32. Rain jacket. I know what you're thinking; a raincoat, really? There is a huge difference between the hot, muggy, sweating while wearing it, non-breathable raincoats I had to wear as a kid, and the breathable raincoats now. We like the Columbia brand because they do a great job making a jacket that lets you breathe (mesh lets air circulate), has pockets, and have them have an adjustable hood. (Columbia rain jacket, rain jacket with hideaway hood)
  33. Stuff to fix the car.
  34. Season or single tickets to his favorite college or professional sports team.
  35. Lingerie. While you might be wearing it, I think he is probably enjoying it more.
  36. Fishing equipment.
  37. Money clip.
  38. GPS. We always use our phone (love the Waze app), but my parents will not use their phone for directions. My mom will write or print out directions. She has been known on occasion to sometimes still use a map, so we got them a GPS one year.
  39. Camping gear.
  40. Coffee Camera Lens Mug for the photographer! It looks like a real camera lens!
  41. A frame to go with a family picture. My mother-in-law gave my husband a personalized wood frame that says Three Generations of T's. It has my husband, his dad, and out kids in the picture. There are a few options online (PersonalizationMall.com, Zulily, Wayfair).
  42. Hot air balloon ride.
  43. Wet/Dry Vac, Shop Vac.
  44. Amusement park pass (day or season)
  45. Dry fit/wicking collar shirts (polo shirts) for business casual. My husband loves these! Some brands are: Amazon, Nike, Adias, Columbia.
  46. Bracelet.
  47. Wallet. Hubby has the Big Skinny, which somehow ends of being thinner with the same amount of items in it.
  48. Outdoor equipment.
  49. Power washer.
  50. Gravity water collection system for the garden and/or water barrel.
  51. Garmin Golf GPS for the golf lover.
  52. Tools. My husband loves his Ryobi tools. They all run on the same rechargable battery, which makes it easy.
  53. American Ninja type rope obstacle course.
  54. Team jersey.
  55. Hibachi style dinner.
  56. Scuba lessons and gear.
  57. Metal working or welding classes.
  58. Guided fishing tour, such as Inter-coastal fishing.
  59. Dog or pet. (Please only adopt an animal if you have the time and resources to care for them.)
  60. Emergency jump-start for his car.
  61. Cookie basket delivered to his work. Cheryls.com has some cut tins and containers (golf ball, tool box, grill shaped).
  62. New tires. Upgrade his tires to run-flat tires!
  63. New suit: wet, snow, swim, business.
  64. Parachuting or sky diving.
  65. Race track driving experience.
  66. Night vision googles.
  67. Nerf gun. Hubby loves shoot, I mean play with, the kids.
  68. Fighter Pilot Experience. Aircombat.com and GreatAmericanDays.com offer several options.
  69. 2 way Radio/Walkie Talkies.
  70. Train ride. TourVacationsToGo.com and Amtrack offer a variety of train rides. You may also be able to find a more old fashioned train ride by searching for "train ride" and your city or zip code.
  71. Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon.
  72. Glasses for their whiskey, scotch, etc. Hubby has these, and we love them!
  73. Whiskey Ice Ball Molds.
  74. Treat him to a special haircut at a men's salon, such as Roosters.
  75. If he likes savory sweets, try Jelly Belly Draft Beef flavored jelly beans.
  76. Give a book from the kids: either one they make, or one like 33 Uses For A Dad.
  77. Costco membership.
  78. Yeti Tumbler.
  79. Take him to the shooting range.
  80. Break Out/Escape The Room challenge.
  81. Manly chocolate like Chocolate Chili Discs, Beef Jerky Chocolate Bar (Amazon used to carry, but I have seen jerky chocolate at some of my local stores), Insect Chocolate Bars, Chocolate dipped insects.
  82. iTunes, CD, Amazon Music Unlimited membership, Pandora membership.
  83. Bull ride, real or mechanical. Mechanical would probably be safer.
  84. Trip to stay in a tiny house.
  85. A tie or Tie Of The Month club membership.
  86. Make a mug! You can paint your own at pottery places, or find a kit at a craft store (have ones with special markers or labels for pictures).
  87. Steak dinner.
  88. Air boat ride. We went on Airboat Rides at Midway in Florida several years ago and had a blast.
  89. Tickets to a sports game.
  90. Trip to swamp to go gator hunting, or you know, just a DVD of Swamp People.
  91. Foreign language classes.
  92. Chef coat with their name or initials embroidered.
  93. Take him to a race track (dog, horse, car).
  94. Something helpful: a cane if they are having problems walking, a sock assistant if they are having trouble bending to put socks on. We got one for my father-in-law when he was having hip problems.
  95. Personalized Pocket Watch, Key Chain Locket, etc.
  96. New grill and tools. Pay the extra charge and have the store put it together for him. That way it's ready for him to enjoy.
  97. Gift card to his favorite store. Amazon will ship a card to his house or send it to his email.
  98. Buy him a book or e-book.
  99. Boat ride. There are paddle boat rides, dinner cruises, tours, etc. There are even some of the old fashioned paddle boats that you can take overnight cruises!
  100. Drawing classes and/or supplies.