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, November 27, 2015

St. Nick's Day is 12/6!

St. Nick's Day is Sunday 12/6! I know there are probably lots of you out there shopping today, so be on the lookout for stocking stuffers! Below I have a little about St. Nick's Day and some stocking stuffer ideas.

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!

Some stocking stuffer ideas: 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.) My favorite is the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops.
  • Small games
  • Books or Comic Books
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun pens, etc.
  • 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! The mini figure packs are also great stocking stuffers.
  • 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 ChristmasStar WarsAvengersScooby 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.)
  • Stickers
  • Toothbrush
  • Temporary tattoos
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon, beef jerky, new phone case
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss)
  • 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 originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.

St. Nicholas, Wiki

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's Almost Halloween!

It's getting closer to Halloween! We've already Boo'd the neighbors. I can't wait to carve our pumpkins and roast the seeds (so yummy!). If you need any last minute Halloween ideas, here are some ideas :) 




Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween Maze

Back by popular demand (mostly Bernardo's)...Halloween Mazes!
To Print: Right click, select Save As/Save To Computer. Find on computer, Print.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Time to Boo!

You've Been Boo'd!

Halloween is one of my family's favorite holidays and the kids have already asked when we are making and delivering the Boo Bags. 

We started our Boo tradition a several years ago and brought it with us to our new neighborhood. We make a make a treat bag and secretly deliver it to our friends, family, and neighbors. My kids love helping put the bags together and delivering them. Sometimes we don't get Boo'd back, but it helps teach the boys to do nice things for other people without expecting anything in return.
Each year the treats and the bags are a little different, depending on what we find at the store. We've used brown paper lunch bags, plastic pumpkin pails, Halloween themed bags, etc. Below are some ideas! (These link to Amazon, but you can also find a lot at the dollar stores, Target, etc.) These are also great ideas for school goodie bags or Halloween Party prizes, and for Teal Pumpkin Project (minus the candy!)
 some examples of fillers and bags
Delivering the Boo bags

Here's the boo poem I usually include with the Boo Bags I give out. If it's hard to print from here, I included two websites that have printable boo poems/instructions.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Saturday 9/19 Is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

9/19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! There are so many ways to celebrate. We have a blast with this oddball holiday every year. 
Are you ready to don your pirate hat and seek treasure and adventure? If not, here are some ways to celebrate!

  • Treasure Hunt (click my Arg, Maties! post for directions on how to make an aged treasure map)
  • Make Buried Treasure Cups (click link for directions). Our first treasure hunt ended up at the fridge for the buried treasure cups.
  • Read your favorite pirate book (link to ours)
  • Make Pumpkin Pirate Boats (click my Arg, Maties! post for directions)
  • Pirate themed coloring pages (I have a coloring sheet in my Arg, Maties! post)
  • Have a pirate speaking contest
  • Serve chocolate gold coins at lunch. They go great with Squidy Dogs, although for Pirate Day maybe they should be called Kraken Dogs!(click link for directions) 
  • If your floors need cleaning, you could always have a swab the deck contest! ;)  
  • Try my Pirate Word Find
  • For bath time, try making foam monsters and ship shapes
  • If you live near a river, etc. with river boat cruises, see if they have a pirate themed cruise. We did one a few years ago, and the boys loved it!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rocket Time!

I was going through some older pictures and came across the cardboard rocket/space ship we made a few years ago. We had lots of fun making it!

For this craft, you will need:
  • Square cardboard box
  • Sharp craft knife (like an X-Acto)
  • Duct tape. I used silver because that's what we had in the basement, but there are a ton of different colors and designs out there now! Amazon carries lots of different types of duct tape!
    • Duct tape sheets (optional: it will probably make it easier to cover with sheets than to keep tearing off pieces of duct tape). Amazon.com carries a few options, and your local hardware/craft/grocery store might carry some as well. 
  • Scrap pieces of cardboard (for example, flaps from other cardboard boxes). These will be used for the fins of the rocket ship, as well as finishing the peak (if needed).

HINT: If you have a Build-a-Bear box, it would work great for this craft! Or for a more traditional rocket shape, use an oatmeal box/tube.


1. Cut out a door, windows, and any other designs you would like on your rocket ship. For example, I had a door on each side so the kids could both play with it at the same time. I also added in little circular windows around the box. (Save any left over pieces, you can use them as embellishments later!)

 2. Trim the top flaps of the box to form a peak. Tape together.
3. If needed, cut and tape on extra pieces of cardboard to complete the peak.

4. Next, cut out fins for the rocket ship. I used pieces of thin cardboard I had, but a thick cardstock might work well too.

5. Tape the fins on.
6. Decorate the rocket ship. I covered (almost) my entire ship in duct tape. (Higgins got impatient, so the wings/fins didn't get completely covered.) I also used a few scrap pieces of cardboard to add embellishments. I used a roll of duct tape to decorate the ship (well, about 1/2 a roll). The duct tape sheets may be easier to use!
Example of embellishment from
scrap cardboard pieces

7. If wanted, cut a piece of decorative paper or construction paper and tape to the inside floor of the ship.

8. Enjoy!

As a side note, my flip down door didn't stay shut enough for Higgins. He complained his toys fell out while flying. I poked a hole above the door with the craft knife. I then covered a piece of scrap cardboard with duct tape and poked a hole in one end. I pushed a brad through and attached above the doorway. Once all his toys are inside, he can close the door, push the flap down, and keep them secure!
Inserting flap with brad above door
Door Flap

                                         Side View. With paper flooring in (#7)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Back To School Word Find

I can't believe it's already Back To School time! Here is a school themed word find to celebrate.

HINT: Punctuation and spaces are removed from words in the puzzle. (To Print: Click on image of word find. Right click. Choose Open In New Tab/Window. Click Print. Or, click on image, right click, choose Save Image As.) Answers are below.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Yum...Stuffed Zucchini

It's the height of summer and I love going to local farmers' markets, even though we have our own small garden. This year, I didn't grow any zucchini in the garden. Last year, we only got a few that survived and reached their peak, so I'm looking for them at the grocery store and farmer's markets. I love finding the large zucchini because I can make one of our favorite dinners, stuffed zucchini!

Although it's the not prettiest dinner, it tastes delicious. This recipe can be easily customized to your tastes! The basic ingredients are: a large zucchini, a type of meat, and other "stuffing" items. You could use ground beef, ground chicken or turkey, tuna, or sausage. You could use bread crumbs, stuffing mix, peppers, onions, cheese, egg, tomatoes, diced carrots, marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, thyme, oregano...the list could be endless! My Grandmother made it with spaghetti sauce, seasoned ground beef, Parmesan cheese. I tried to add more vegetables in, so here's the version I made!

www.DailyMesses.com/Sarah Tepe

You will need:
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 to 1 1/2  lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • Shredded cheese, about 8-10 oz.
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Ground pepper, to taste (I used about 1 tsp.)
  • Salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
  • Baking dish
  • Skillet
  • Non-stick spray
  • Mixing bowl


1. Wash zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. You can cut off the stem, but don't cut off the ends or your filling could fall out. Scoop out the seeds.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Brown ground beef. Cook with onion, pepper, carrots, garlic, and cabbage. Drain if needed.

4. Transfer beef mixture to mixing bowl. *If you don't want more dishes to wash, it's ok to turn off the heat and mix it all in the skillet too! :)

5. Combine beef mixture, egg, and cheese together.

6. Lightly spray baking dish.

7.  Place zucchini in baking dish and fill with meat mixture.

8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until zucchini is softened. (Larger zucchini may take an hour or so to cook.) I kind of poke it with a knife or fork to check the softness level while baking.

Slice of the baked Stuffed Zucchini

Alternative: Place shredded cheese or slices of cheese on top before baking. I made one with cheese on top and one without because Higgins will not eat it if he can see the cheese. The stuffed zucchini was a big hit at our house; we didn't even have any left-overs!

Find a local farmer's market near you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Whether its nice outside, or raining, it's always the perfect time to have a picnic! All you need is food, a blanket or table, and some drinks. We were planning on eating a picnic in the backyard, but the weather didn't cooperate. Instead, I spread a blanket on the floor and we ate in the family room. Lunch was pretty normal, although I made "ants on a log" to go with it. Simply spread peanut butter on a piece of celery and place some "ants" (raisins) on the celery "log". To keep with the bug theme, freeze some raisins in ice cubes to create "fly" ice cubes.
Ants On A Log
After lunch, make some ant artwork! All you need is paper, black craft paint or ink pad, and a thin black marker or pen. Dip your child's finger tip in the paint or ink pad and press three times in a row to create the body of the ant. With the marker/pen, draw on 6 legs and 2 antennae. 
Ant Craft


  • Ants can lift 20 times their body weight.
  • Ants have 6 legs.
  • Ants hear through their feet; they don't have ears!
  • Ants breath through tiny holes on their bodies they don't have lungs!
  • There are more than 10,000 types of ants.
  • A queen ant is the only ant that makes babies.
  • Soldier ants protect the colony and the queen. They also gather food.
  • Worker ants do not have wings, but the males and queen do.
  • Most ants live 45 to 60 days.
  • Ants have two stomachs. One is for the food the ant will eat, the other holds food to share with the other ants.
  • Worker ants sometimes leave a scent trail for other ants in the colony to find food. Worker ants are female.
  • Some types of ants steal larvae from other colonies to work as slaves in their colony.

National Geographic
About.com, ants