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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Halloween is Coming!

It's getting closer to Halloween! I love this time of year: the leaves are changing and falling, 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. I also do not have any decorations up. What?! I really need to get on that. We recently adopted a new dog. She is an amazing retired racing greyhound. I'm trying to convince the boys to do themed costumes with her. We'll see if I succeed. 
I have gotten a few things for the Boo bags, but haven't Boo'd anyone yet. We still have to go to the pumpkin patch, get costumes, put up decorations, carve the pumpkins, and roast the seeds. Oh, and buy lots of candy! If you need any Halloween ideas, I have a bunch below!
  • 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.



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

OTHER FUN LINKS: (Links are external links, not to DailyMesses.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mirror, Mirror

In the last few months, my husband has started leaving surprises in the bathroom for me and the kids to find. It has been a lot of fun finding these in the morning.

I'm talking about messages! What did you think I was talking about?

He has been using a dry erase marker to write messages on the mirrors. It doesn't happen everyday, but it does start my morning off with a smile, which is a pretty good way to start the day. Sometimes the messages are as simple as "I love you. Have a good day.", "Happy 1st Day of School!", or "Good luck on your test today.". Sometimes the messages were funny, such as "Enjoy the eclipse today. Don't go blind.".

I, of course, wanted in on the fun and started writing messages back on his side of the mirror and adding my own for the kids. The kids loved them and were a little shocked the first time they saw writing on the mirror. Of course, we had to explain you could only use the dry erase marker to write on the mirror, and to only use the markers on the mirror because they could stain other things. (But of course the marker didn't stay on the mirror. I did manage to get it off the wall relatively easily, which I get into a little later. Luckily, it only happened the one time.)

During the week, Hubby gets up super early for work and I am not awake enough to really interact coherently with him. As a way to interact a little more in the mornings and to add some fun, I thought it would be nice to start playing games on the mirrors. I could play the night before and he could play in the morning. We each have our own color of marker, just to make it easier to keep track of turns. At first, we played tic tac toe, which as you might think, was not as exciting as I envisioned it to be. We then moved onto playing the dot game (click here for game rules). At first we just counted the number of lines to determine whose turn it was. However, once a box is made, the person gets another turn, which could make it confusing. We wrote our initials on the mirror in our marker color, and then placed a dot under the person whose turn it was.
Note: It is really, really hard to take a picture of a mirror without getting yourself in the picture!
The boys wanted in on the gaming action. Bernardo and I are playing a rousing game of hangman (click here for game rules). Since we are playing it on the mirror, I put a spot labeled "Letter Guesses". The person who is guessing writes their letter under Guesses. The person who created the puzzle then looks at the Guess. If it is correct, they fill it in the word/sentence. If it is wrong, they mark an X through the Guess and make a mark on the hangman piece. Higgins and I started off by playing tic tac toe, but have moved onto hangman as well. Bernardo has also created his own game of hangman on my mirror for us to play. 
I never imagined that it would have a such an impact on the kids. They really look forward to seeing messages or playing the games. I've gotten random hugs when they see new messages. If I forget to check to see if it my turn to play, they will nicely remind me that they took their turn. If we haven't left a message in a while, they say how much they like getting the messages (another hint to leave them more)! The boys have started leaving us messages too. They like to sneak them in before bedtime, so we are surprised when it is time for us to go to bed.

Logistical Issues:
  • Markers, Markers Everywhere: Having dry erase markers roll around the counter was slowing driving me up a wall. I found small holders from Command (I used the razor holder cup) and attached it to the mirror. I really wanted a suction cup type of holder (like this one), but couldn't find them in the stores. I guess since everyone is back to school, they're no longer in stock. Our mirrors also do not have any metal to use the magnetic cup holders. I think the Command cups should work out well though.
  • Cleaning: I found that using an old towel or rag works well for cleaning off the marker. There are dry erase marker erasers (some markers have them on the lid or are sold separately), but I found they leave some residue or clumps behind. You can also spray a glass cleaner to get any residual marks off the glass. Higgins was a little overzealous when writing with the marker and got it on the wall next to the mirror. The eraser on top of the marker got some of it off. I tried using a wet towel, which did absolutely nothing to the remaining marker. I next pulled out the one cleaning trick that hasn't failed me yet: the magic eraser! It did get the remaining marker off, but also had a green tint when I was done, so I think it took a little bit of the paint off too. Looking at the wall, you cannot see any paint is gone, but I may try another cleaning method if it happens again. I did some research afterwards and read that rubbing white toothpaste or rubbing alcohol will clean the wall and should not take off the paint. Someone had also recommended using hairspray (also works with clothes: spray, rub gently, rinse).
Wall Whoops. I made it a little harder to clean since I placed the marker cup right next to the spot. Really should have cleaned spot, THEN attached the holder.
So far, this has been a fun experience and I think it is quickly becoming a new family tradition!

Monday, September 11, 2017

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is 9/19!

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 you've misplaced your treasure map, 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!
  • Have a coin toss! Similar to my St. Patrick's Day Coin Toss, but make a treasure chest using shoe box or other cardboard box.



How I Became A Pirate (I love these books!)
Pirates Don't Change Diapers
Pirates Activity Book (great in case of a rainy day)
Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon 
Pirates  (Follow up to Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon, information on pirates.)
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirates ABC
The Pirate Cruncher
There Was An Old Pirate Who Swallowed A Fish

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game (Wii, DS, 3DS, XBox, Playstation, etc.)
Melissa & Doug Pirate Puzzle
Pirate Ship Toy
Pirate Tattoos
Tomy Pop-Up Pirate Game
Alex Toys Pirates of the Tub
Pirates Only Room Sign
Jake's Never Land Pirate School, free app for the iPhone or iPad

Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy!
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Pirates

Chocolate gold coins
Pirate's Booty, White Cheddar Popcorn
Bubblegum gold coins
Chocolate silver coins
Chocolate penny coins

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy Read A Book Day!

Today is Read A Book Day! A new book from one of my favorite authors came out yesterday, so I just need to get some coffee and I am all set. ☺

I made a new word find/word search filled with some of our favorite books, as well as the some of the classics. I hope you enjoy it!

You can print it or click on it to make larger. 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. If it is easier, here is a PDF version of the Word Find (Google Docs).


Monday, August 28, 2017

Labor Day is Coming Up!

I can't believe it is almost September! Labor Day is right around the corner and it is the kids' first holiday since school started.

When is Labor Day: Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September. This year Labor Day is 9/4/17.

What is Labor Day: Labor Day is usually just seen as a day off of work and the last day of summer. However, it began as a day to celebrate different labor organizations' achievements and contributions to the economy and the nation.
  • "Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation." ~ Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor founder

History of Labor Day: Labor Day was first held in 1888. In 1894, it became a federal holiday. There are two people who are credited with beginning Labor Day; Matthew Maguire and Peter McGuire. There has been some documentation that leans towards Matthew Maguire starting Labor Day. September was chosen for a few reasons; one being that there were no holidays between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving!

How To Celebrate With Kids:
  • Attend a parade.
  • Talk about why we celebrate Labor Day.
  • Plan a family outing, BBQ, or last summer event.
  • Ask your kids to name all the jobs they can think of. 
  • Ask your kids what they want to be when they grown up and why. 
  • Make a few crafts:
    • Make your own bricks. Mix a little water with dirt in a bowl. You want to add just enough water that the dirt holds together, but not enough to make mud. Press the wet dirt into small containers (small juice or milk cartons, ice cube trays) and let dry for 10 days in a warm dry place. Once they are dry you can build your own houses and buildings.
    • Make your own candles. You can buy a candle making kit at local craft stores or at Amazon (Beeswax Kit).
    • Bake your own bread. Check out my Soda Bread recipe for a super easy to make bread!
  • Make thank you notes and give them out to your teacher(s), garbage person(s), mail delivery person(s), etc.
  • Have the kids dress up like their favorite profession.
Department of Labor

Here's a Labor Day themed Word Find in honor of today.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

It's National Dog Day!

Both my husband and I grew up with dogs, and we had our own dog together for many years. She was an amazingly patient, although lazy, dog. She was great with the kids and had such a great temperament. Unfortunately, she grew older and passed away this year. So, for all you fellow dog lovers out there, give your dog an extra hug or toss them another treat, because today is National Dog Day!

You can print it or click on it to make larger. 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.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Eclipse Word Find

Since the eclipse is coming up fast (Monday 8/21), I thought I would made an eclipse themed word find!


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.

It's Almost Time for the Eclipse!!

I love eclipses of any kind and meteor showers. I'm the crazy one who stays up late or gets up early to see the event, even if I have to be wrapped up in blankets. I try to capture it on camera, mostly missing the meteors, but I have gotten one or two. The last lunar eclipse I managed to get a few fuzzy pictures, and I dragged the kids up a hill for the last partial solar eclipse. It was really cloudy that day, so we didn't really get to see it very long. So, of course, I am really excited about the eclipse on Monday. We are not in the totality path, only about 92-93% coverage, but I am still really excited.
Ok, not a solar eclipse. But it is the last lunar eclipse where I took a decent enough picture!

One of my favorite memories of grade school is making a solar eclipse viewer. I think it must have been for a partial eclipse. The memories of making the viewer and seeing it, have stuck with me through the years. I wish the boys' school was doing something for the event, but unfortunately only the older grades are allowed to view it. The rest of the school will have indoor recess with blinds drawn, although they can watch it on NASA's live streaming site.

Luckily, I already had my solar eclipse glasses. They are sold out everywhere around here and online prices have skyrocketed. If you still want to experience the eclipse, but can't find any eclipse glasses, you can make your own viewer. There are two different types: the shoebox viewer and the pinhole viewer. Both will work, you just need to have foil and a shoebox for the one, and only white cardboard or thick paper for the other. Here are some sites with great instructions on how to make them: Shoebox viewer instructions, Pin hole viewer.

If you are having a viewing party (or like me, just want an excuse to have some extra sweets), here are a few cute snacks ideas:
  • Galaxy Cookies: Similar to my Christmas swirl cookies, but use blue and white dough. You could also lightly brush the outside of the chilled cookie dough with water, roll in purple/blue/white nonpareil sprinkles, slice, and bake, for an extra fun cookie.
  • The sun or moon is pretty easy to add in icing or fondant to a cookie, cupcake, or cake.
  • Cut fruits and veggies into star or moon shapes.
  • The moon is made of cheese, right? Have cheese slices or make a cheese pizza (for your meat lovers, add pepperoni "craters").
  • Make solar themed chocolates (sun, moon, stars, etc.). Amazon has some cute molds (stars/moon, star candies, star lollipops, sun glasses aka eclipse glasses) although local craft stores like Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics usually have star molds.
  • Galaxy/Eclipse Popcorn: Similar to the Valentine's Candied Popcorn, but use a mix of blues, purple, black, and white candy melt/chocolates. Use star, moon, and sun shaped sprinkles, or even just yellow sprinkles for the sun.
  • Chocolate dipped Oreos (regular or mini sized). I'm working on dipping them today. I plan on making a display out of them: full sun (all yellow Oreo), partial eclipse (half yellow, half black Oreo), 90% eclipse (since that's about what we'll see), full eclipse (all black dipped Oreo).
  • Instead of Oreos, you could also do it with round pretzels. Dip pretzel in melted chocolates or Candy Melts, set on wax paper, fill in the hole using a spoon or piping bag.
  • Sugar cookies. It's hard to go wrong with cookies! You could made sun shaped cookies, moon shaped cookies, earth themed cookies, half yellow/half black cookies for the eclipse. There are so many options! And now I want cookies...
  • Pancakes: Pipe pancakes in the shape of a sun (circle with rays).
  • Easy Solar system themed foods (anything with sun, moon, orbit, galaxy, etc. might work):
    • CapriSun
    • SunnyD
    • Sunkist
    • Eclipse Gum
    • Milky Way candy bars
    • Sun Chips
    • Starbursts
    • Moonpies
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Sun-Maid Raisins
    • Skybar candy bar
    • Space Goldfish (They used to have a space themed Goldfish, but I'm not sure if they still make it.)
    • Freeze Dried/Astronaut ice cream (Amazon has on Prime, but can also find in camping section of stores and in some museum gift shops. I've even seen it at Michael's Crafts!)
    • Ice cream: I've heard of Moon ice cream and Blue Moon ice cream.
    • Krispy Kreme's Eclipse Donut, available Monday 8/21.
    • Babybel cheese: peel off part of the wrapper.
    • Mini Chips Ahoy: I think these kind of look like the moon with chocolate chip craters.
    • Stretching it a little here, but Mars candy bars.
  • Adults only: Blue Moon or Corona beer

  • Higgins was worried about still seeing the sun over the top of his glasses. I made him a face mask for the glasses out of a thick paper plate. I saw the idea on Facebook, and I think it will work out great! (see picture below for instructions)
  • I thought it would be fun (and educational) for the boys to have an observation sheet for the eclipse in case they got to see it. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted online, so I made one this morning!
Some of my favorite sites:
NOTE: If you are lucky enough to be able to watch the eclipse, never look at the sun without the special eclipse glasses or eclipse filters for cameras/telescopes/binoculars.