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!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Pumpkin Muffins

It has finally begun to feel like Fall around here. We had some crazy days that were close to 90 degrees F in October! Definitely not normal weather for us. Now that it is finally cooler, I feel like making all kinds of Fall type treats. Of course, pumpkin is a huge Fall flavor! We've tried making pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies with a cream cheese filling, and pumpkin muffins. The boys and I love these muffins!

The pumpkin flavor is subtle and is perfect with the pecan streusel topping.

This recipe with make 24-28 muffins. I used parchment paper muffin/cupcake wrappers and a level ice cream/large cookie scoop to fill muffins.


PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH PECAN STREUSEL 

Makes 24-28 muffins. Bake time: 25-30 minutes. Total time (prep/bake): 50-60 minutes.

You will need:
  • Muffin batter:
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cups oats (I used old fashioned style oats)
    • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup applesauce, plain/unsweetened
    • 3 large eggs
  • Streusel Topping
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 4 tablespoons oats
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup finely diced pecans
  • Misc.: Muffin wrappers, muffin tins, 2 large bowls
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with muffin/cupcake wrappers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, or in a stand mixer, mix pumpkin puree, granulated and brown sugars, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs until just combined.
  4. Stir flour mixture into the pumpkin puree mixture. Mix until just combined. 
  5. Evenly fill the lined muffin tins with the batter. I found it easiest to use an ice cream scoop.
  6. Make the streusel topping. Mix the flour, cinnamon, oats, pecans, and brown sugar together. Mix in the softened butter. I use a fork to help mix the topping so that it forms into crumbles.
  7. Add a rounded teaspoon to the top of each muffin. If I have left over after each muffin has streusel, I distribute the remaining topping to the muffins. We love our streusel topping!
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Muffins are done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it pulls out clean.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

It's Officially Fall!

Despite the often gray rainy days and seasonal 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. There are a lot of fun decorations (especially in October) and treats. I thought I would pull up some of my favorite posts that are great for Fall.

FOOD:

ACTIVITIES:

CRAFTS:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Time Fun

Summer is in full swing at our house and between the seemingly endless rain, we have managed to get in some outdoor fun, swimming, and a half day camp.
🌞⛱😎📘🍦
FREE:
  • Summer reading programs! I loved these as a kid and they help encourage Higgins to read. He is not my reader, but we are working to develop a love for it.
    • Half Priced Books. Read 300 minutes in June, turn in your reading log and get an in-store voucher. You can do it again in July!
    • Local library. Many local libraries offer a summer reading program with prizes as well. My boys love earning their free ice cream cone at the local whippy dip.
    • Barnes & Nobles. Read 8 books and get to pick out a free book from their prize selection.
    • Banks, movie theaters, etc. Some other companies offer summer reading programs as well.
FOOD:

THINGS TO DO:
  • Summer Scavenger Hunt  
  • Fairs & Festivals 
  • Playgrounds. We make it an adventure and try to find a few new playgrounds in the summer. It's been fun to see what different playgrounds offer. I get bonus points from the boys if there is a picnic lunch involved too.
 
CRAFTS:

VACATION:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Cabbage Soup

We have been experimenting with recipes and although this one is not visually grabbing, it is surprisingly tasty.

You will need:
  • 32 oz container low sodium chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can Italian stewed tomatoes, drained and sliced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced (or 1 small onion)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • Red pepper flakes, pinch
  • Pink sea salt, to taste (I normally use 1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste (I normally use 1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
  • Optional: a protein (ham cubes, diced cooked chicken or turkey, sliced sausage)
 Directions:
  1.  Heat oil in a large pot. Saute garlic and onion until softened.
  2. Add in broth, water, cabbage, celery, and carrots. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. NOTE: I like to add 3 cups of water to start. The vegetables add moisture as they they cook. If it looks like it needs more liquid, I'll add the other cup of water towards the end.
  3. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer 30-45 minutes, covered, or until cabbage is softened/cooked.
The best thing about this recipe is that it is easily customizable. Like lots of veggies? Add more! Like a protein in your soup? Add some meat! Love strong flavors? Add more seasoning! I'm still playing with the recipe and will probably add more carrots next time.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12th! I have some gift/craft/food/fun/freebie ideas below! Just click on the links for the recipes or directions :) 



CRAFTS/GIFTS:


FOOD:


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

FREEBIES*:
  • Shutterfly: Free card with code CARD4U.
  • Barnes & Noble: It looks like several Barnes & Noble stores are having events from Friday to Sunday. Please double check with your local store for up to date event details.
  • Zoo: There are a lot of zoos across the country offering free admission for moms on Mother's Day. Please call/check your local zoo's website or google before going.
  • Bass Pro Shops: Free 4x6 picture for Mother's Day during select times on 5/12 and 5/13. Cabela's is also supposed to offer a free picture. 
  • TCBY: Free FROYO on Sunday 5/12. 
  • Abuelo's: They are giving away free gift (I believe with purchase of a meal).  
  • Wienerschnitzel: Free chili dog, small fry, small soda for mom on 5/12. 
  • First Watch: I don't see a new blog post on their website, but for the last several years they have offered a freebie for Mother's Day (last year it was a box of chocolates). You may want to check with your local store to see if they are offering it again this year.
*Always check with your local store to make sure they are participating before you go!


If you know of any other freebies, please feel free to share in Comments!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Easter

This year Easter is April 21. As always,  I am trying to come up with some new non-candy ideas for the boys' baskets. There are a few things that they always get: a small pack of jelly beans, a couple of Reese's eggs, and a book or two. I want to keep most if it to non-candy, especially since we still have orthodontics to deal with. In the past, they have received soccer gear (game socks, a practice net), books, art supplies, etc. I am still trying to come up with ideas. I have some of the food/craft/Easter basket and egg hunt ideas from the past couple of years below.

 FOOD:
 EGGS, EGG HUNTS, AND EASTER BASKETS:
  • Egg dying and decorating: There are a lot of ways to decorate eggs, however we love to eat our eggs! So, I am only going to be doing ideas that leave the eggs edible.
    • Eggstravaganza (dying with food coloring, natural dyes, impression eggs, tissue paper, crayons, rubber bands, stickers, Diva Eggs, and Lady Bug Eggs)
    • Painted Eggs (fingerprint animals, bubble wrap, painted designs):
    • Crackle Eggs 
    • Space Invaders, Glitter, and Snorkle Eggs
    • Drip Art Eggs: These look fun, but we haven't tried them yet. Stand a hard boiled egg upright over something that will not get ruined (like a plastic plate or bowl). Place a drop of food coloring on the top of the egg. Mist egg using a spray bottle. Add a drop of another color, mist again. Gently blow on the egg to make the colors move around.
    • Monster Eggs (using glue dots, pipe cleaners, and stickers)
    • Tattoo Eggs: Use temporary tattoos. Make sure egg is completely dry before following tattoo directions. 
    • Ombre Eggs: Place a bottle cap (flat side down) on the bottom of a wide glass (8-10 oz.). Set egg on bottle cap. Mix the dye (1 teaspoon vinegar, 40 drops food coloring, 1/2 cup boiling water). Pour dye into glass until 1/4 of the egg is covered. Let sit 5 minutes. Add plain warm water to the cup until 1/2 the egg is covered. Let set 3 minutes. Add more water to the desired level. Wait 2 minutes. Repeat if want additional stripes. Carefully remove with tongs and let dry.
  • Basket Filler Ideas:
    • New gear: soccer ball/cleats/shin guards/practice net, baseball cleats/balls/bats/bag/helmet/throw back, shoes: track/running, mouth guards, golf bag/balls/gloves/clubs, etc.
    • Vouchers: Vouchers can be for anything! Examples: extra hour of TV/Game time, stay up late, get out of 1 chore, money to spend at a store/amusement park/zoo/aquarium, etc. 
    • Star Wars Light Saber Popsicle Mold
    • Slinky's
    • Chocolate Maze
    • Reese's Giant Peanut Butter Egg. Amazon sells these sometimes, but I have found them cheaper at the grocery store and Target. It was $5.49 at my local store.
    • Large sized gummy treats. I found several at Target (gummy bunny 1.75 oz/$1.99), and Party City (Pizza, burger, sushi...$3.99).


    • Lego's: Any fun looking set, mystery minifigure packs, Mixel's (Amazon, Lego). Lego usually has holiday themed sets as well.
    • New weapons/Lego figures/crates. We found BrickArms a couple of years ago and the boys love discovering new weapons and figures for their Lego collection. This year, we bought a few different packs and are mixing up the contents and putting them in several Easter Eggs.
    • Jelly Beans
    • Play-Doh Eggs (Amazon, grocery store)
    • Art/Office Supplies: pencils, pencil sharpeners, markers, tape, etc.
    • Fill eggs with coins.
    • Movie tickets.
    • DVD's. Half Price Books, Michael's Crafts, and Target often have cheaper movies.
    • Book store gift cards.
    • Hot Wheels. There are even some Hot Wheels that fit Lego figures!
    • Mad Libs
    • Mini nail polish, nail files, etc. 
    • Books. Sometimes I use Easter themed books, sometimes just books in a series they love. My oldest is really into Uncle John's Bathroom Readers For Kids. It always surprises me when he says "Oh, I know this!", adds to our conversation, and says he learned it from his Bathroom Reader. They even have sets of paper placemats, if you are having an Easter party and need to keep the kids busy!
    • Craft kits: build a robot (Higgins got the crab robot for Christmas and loved it), origami, jewelry (necklace/bracelet, grown own crystals and make jewelry...)
    • Amazon gift cards. 
    • Art supplies (pencils/markers/crayons, how to books [there are a lot of instruction/how to books for kids and adults from easier instruction books to how to books for older kids]).
CRAFTS
ACTIVITIES:
  • Word Find 
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Coloring Page
  • Ikea has a free Easter Egg hunt. Some stores are having events this weekend (4/13), while some are having them next weekend, so please check the location finder on Ikea's website to see when your local store is having an event. 
  • Many local parks and libraries have free Easter Egg Hunts and events as well. (Some are even for adult egg hunts!)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

2019 Upcoming Holidays

So I may have lost my marbles. I can't believe I didn't get a 2019 Holidays list out yet! Since I already missed so many, I will just share the upcoming events. Sorry!


April 4           School Librarian Day
April 4           Walk Around Things Day
April 6           Caramel Popcorn Day
April 6           National Tartan Day
April 7           No Housework Day
April 9           Winston Churchill Day
April 10         National Siblings Day
April 11         National Submarine Day. Submarine Day 3/17.
April 13         Scrabble Day*
April 14         Look Up at the Sky Day*
April 14         National Pecan Day
April 14         Reach as High as You Can Day
April 15         Rubber Eraser Day
April 17         Tax Day 
April 16         National Librarian Day
April 16         National Eggs Benedict Day
April 17         National Cheeseball Day
April 18         International Juggler's Day. World Juggler's Day is the Saturday closest to 6/17.
April 18         National High Five Day (3rd Thursday) 
April 19         National Garlic Day
April 22         Earth Day
April 22         National Jelly Bean Day
April 24         Pig In A Blanket Day
April 25         National Zucchini Bread Day
April 26         National Pretzel Day
April 26         Richter Scale Day
April 26         Arbor Day(last Friday of month) (Arbor Day Foundation Link
April 27         Tell a Story Day
April 30         National Honesty Day

MAY
May 1            Mother Goose Day*
May 2            Brother and Sisters Day
May 4            Star Wars Day
May 5            Cinco de Mayo
May 5            National Hoagie Day
May 6            Beverage Day*
May 6            National Nurses Day
May 8            No Socks Day
May 9            Lost Sock Memorial Day*
May 10          Clean Up Your Room Day
May 11          Eat What You Want Day
May 12          Mother's Day* (second Sunday in May)
May 12          Limerick Day
May 13          Leprechaun Day
May 13          Frog Jumping Day
May 14          Dance Like A Chicken Day
May 15          National Chocolate Chip Day
May 16          Love A Tree Day
May 18          Visit Your Relatives Day
May 18          No Dirty Dishes Day
May 20          Pick Strawberries Day
May 23          Lucky Penny Day  
May 27          Memorial Day*
May 30          Water A Flower Day

JUNE
June 1            Flip A Coin Day
June 1            National Doughnut Day (1st Friday) (Sometimes there are free Doughnuts!)
June 3            Repeat Day
June 6            Applesauce Cake Day
June 6            National Yo-Yo Day
June 7            National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
June 8            Best Friends Day
June 9            Donald Duck Day
June 10          Iced Tea Day*
June 14          Flag Day
June 15          Word Juggler's Day (Saturday closest to 6/17)
June 16          Father's Day*(gift ideas) 
June 16          Fresh Veggies Day*
June 17          Eat Your Vegetables Day
June 18          Go Fishing Day
June 20          Ice Cream Soda Day*
June 21          Summer Solstice
June 22          National Chocolate Eclair Day
June 24          Swim A Lap Day
June 27          Sunglasses Day*  
June 28          Paul Bunyan Day
June 29          Camera Day
June 29          Waffle Iron Day
June 30          Meteor Day

JULY
July 1             Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
July 2             I Forgot Day
July 4             Independence Day*
July 4             Sidewalk Egg Frying Day*
July 6             National Fried Chicken Day
July 7             Chocolate Day
July 7             National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 8             Video Games Day, National Video Games Day 9/12.
July 9             National Sugar Cookie Day
July 10           Teddy Bear Picnic Day
July 10           Cow Appreciation Day* (Look for Chick-fil-A celebrations.)
July 11           Cheer Up The Lonely Day
July 12           Different Colored Eyes Day
July 12           Pecan Pie
July 14           Bastille Day
July 15           Tapioca Pudding Day
July 17           Peach Ice Cream Day
July 17           Yellow Pig Day
July 17           Hot Dog Day (changes each year, normally on a Wednesday)
July 21           National Ice Cream Day (3rd Sunday in July) 
July 21           National Junk Food Day*
July 22           Hammock Day
July 23           Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 27           Theastmas (7/31 or the Saturday closest to 7/31) 
July 27           Take Your Pants For A Walk Day
July 28           National Milk Chocolate Day
July 28           Parent's Day (4th Sunday in July)  
July 29           National Lasagna Day
July 30           National Cheesecake Day
July 31           National Raspberry Cake Day



AUGUST
August 1        National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
August 3        National Watermelon Day
August 4        Friendship Day (1st Sunday in August)
August 4        Sisters Day (1st Sunday) 
August 6        Wiggle Your Toes Day
August 9        Book Lover's Day
August 10      Lazy Day
August 10      National S'mores Day
August 11      Son and Daughter Day
August 12      Middle Child's Day
August 13      Left Hander's Day*
August 14      National Creamsicle Day
August 15      Relaxation Day
August 16      Tell a Joke Day
August 17      National Thrift Shop Day
August 22      National Tooth Fairy Day (also 2/28)
August 26      National Dog Day*
August 27      Just Because Day
August 30      Toasted Marshmallow Day
August 31      National Trail Mix Day

SEPTEMBER
September 1   International Bacon Day
September 2   Labor Day* (1st Monday of September)
September 5   Cheese Pizza Day
September 6   Read A Book Day*
September 8   Grandparents Day (1st Sunday after Labor Day) 
September 9   Teddy Bear Day
September 11  Make Your Bed Day
September 11  Patriot Day
September 12  Chocolate Milk Shake Day
September 13  Fortune Cookie Day
September 13  National Peanut Day
September 14  National Cream-Filled Donut Day
September 15  Make A Hat Day
September 16  Collect Rocks Day
September 16  National Play Doh Day*
September 16  Step Family Day
September 17 National Apple Dumpling Day
September 17 Citizenship Day
September 18 National Cheeseburger Day
September 19 National Butterscotch Pudding Day
September 21 Miniature Golf Day
September 23 Checkers Day
September 24 National Cherries Jubilee Day
September 25 National Comic Book Day

September 26 Johnny Appleseed Day*
September 27 Crush A Can Day
September 27 Native American Day (4th Friday in September)
September 28 Confucius Day

OCTOBER
October 1       International Coffee Day
October 2       Name Your Car Day
October 5       Do Something Nice Day
October 7       National Frappe Day
October 9       Curious Events Day
October 9       Leif Erikson Day
October 9       Moldy Cheese Day
October 10     National Angel Food Cake Day
October 10     Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day (2nd Wednesday in October)
October 11     World Egg Day (2nd Friday in October)
October 14     National Dessert Day
October 14     Columbus Day (2nd Monday) 
October 16     Bosses Day
October 16     National Fossil Day*  (Wednesday of Earth Sciences Week, NPS.gov)
October 17     Wear Something Gaudy Day
October 19     Sweetest Day (3rd Saturday)
October 21     Count Your Buttons Day
October 21     National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
October 22     National Nut Day
October 24     National Bologna Day
October 25     World Pasta Day
October 25     Frankenstein Friday (last Friday of October) 
October 26     Make A Difference Day (4th Saturday) 
October 27     National Tell A Story Day in the UK
October 28     National Chocolate Day
October 29     National Frankenstein Day
October 30     National Candy Corn Day
October 31     Carve a Pumpkin Day
October 31     Halloween*

NOVEMBER
November 1    All Saint's Day, All Soul's Day
November 2    Deviled Egg Day
November 3    Sandwich Day*
November 3    Daylight Savings
November 5    Gunpowder Day*
November 6    Marooned Without A Compass Day
November 7    Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
November 8    Cook Something Bold Day
November 10  Forget-Me-Not Day
November 11  Veterans Day
November 15  Clean Your Refrigerator Day
November 16  Button Day
November 16  Have A Party With Your Bear Day
November 17  Homemade Bread Day*
November 17  Take A Hike Day
November 19  International Men's Day
November 22  Go For A Ride Day
November 22  Thanksgiving*
November 25  National Parfait Day
November 28  French Toast Day*
November 28  Red Planet Day
November 30  Stay at Home Because You Are Well Day

DECEMBER
December 1    Eat A Red Apple Day
December 2    National Fritters Day
December 4    Wear Brown Shoes Day
December 5    Bathtub Party Day
December 5    Repeal Day
December 6    St. Nicholas' Day*
December 6    Put On Your Own Shoes Day
December 7    National Cotton Candy Day
December 7    Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
December 8    National Brownie Day
December 9    National Pastry Day
December 12  Poinsettia Day
December 13  Ice Cream Day. National Ice Cream Day is the 3rd Sunday in July.
December 15  National Lemon Cupcake Day
December 16  National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
December 17  Wright Brothers Day
December 18  Bake Cookies Day
December 19  Look For An Evergreen Day
December 19  Oatmeal Muffin Day
December 20  Go Caroling Day
December 21  Crossword Puzzle Day (link to my Crossword Puzzles/Word Searches/BINGO/Word Hunts/Word Scrambles: all of my puzzles finally located in one post!)
December 21  National Flashlight Day
December 21  Look On The Bright Side Day
December 22  Date Nut Bread Day (also 9/8)
December 24  National Eggnog Day
December 25  Christmas Day*
December 25  National Pumpkin Pie Day
December 27  National Fruitcake Day
December 28  Card Playing Day*
December 31  New Year's Eve