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!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

St. Patrick's Day, Leprechaun Visits

This year, I haven't decided what the Leprechaun visit will be like. I went on a cleaning kick last month and just now realized I got rid of most of the leprechaun visit supplies. With the kids now out of school and at home doing online schooling due to the Corona Virus, I haven't been able to buy very much for St. Pat's or Easter. I do have some St. Patrick's Day themed Word Finds/Search/Hunts, a maze, and a coloring page down below under the CRAFTS, FUN, ACTIVITIES section. Hopefully these can help keep your kids a little busy tomorrow if they are at home as well.

The kids also both know the secret behind the leprechaun visit, but still want him/her to come. They still really get a kick out of finding the Elf, the Leprechaun visit/treats, and finding their Easter baskets, so I'm going to try to keep finding new ways to surprise them. This year, since my lack of prior planning left me without many "treasures", I may find a few plastic gold coins and hide them around the house. Some may have a voucher attached to them to trade in for actual money. We'll see...

Below are my St. Patrick's Day food, activity, craft, and leprechaun visit ideas. I'll update this post if I come up with any new ones.



FOOD:
  • Breakfast:
    • Rainbow and Shamrock pancakes. Once I started using condiment bottles and candy making/decorating bottles, the shapes were easy to do. I made regular pancake batter, separated into 4 bowls, added food coloring (blue, green, yellow, red). I then placed one color in each bottle and piped the shapes onto the hot skillet/griddle. Once the pancakes were done, I placed them on a plate and added whipped cream clouds under the rainbows.
  • Lunch:
    • Lunch time fun: cut bell peppers width wise to get a shamrock shape, add a chocolate gold coin under a sandwich, make lunch all green (see leprechaun visit below).
  • Dinner:
    • Shepherd's Pie. Another easy dinner for St. Patrick's Day. This is a mild recipe. We like a little more seasoning in our dishes, so I add diced garlic, fresh ground pepper, and paprika to the meat. A little chili powder might also be nice. For the potatoes, I also added fresh ground pepper and used sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese. 
  • Bread: 
    •  Almost every year we have Beef Stew with Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day. (The kids aren't huge fans of corned beef yet.) The soda bread tastes best when you make it the day before, or at least the morning of. We love eating it with beef stew.  
    • Rainbow bread. One year, I made a braided loaf of bread with rainbow colors. After mixing the dough, I separated into equal pieces (I think 5), dyed each section a different color, rolled out the strand, and braided. We used it to make french toast and rainbow sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Dessert/Snacks/Drinks/Misc.: 
    • Shamrock sucker napkin rings.
    • St. Patrick's Day Shake. My version of the shamrock shake.
    • Hidden Shamrock Pound Cake. Shamrock shape hiding inside the pound cake. 
    • Oreo Gold Coins. There are a couple of ways to make these cookie coins. 1. Spray one side of the cookie with Wilton Gold Color Mist Spray (edible). Let dry. Turn over, spray other side, let dry. 2. Dip in yellow/gold candy melts or yellow colored white chocolate. 
    • Pretzel coins. Buy round pretzels. Locally, I can only find these at Meijer, but I'm sure other stores must carry something similar. Dip pretzel in melted yellow candy melts. Place on a piece of wax paper. Fill in the center with candy melts. Let set. You could also pipe on a shamrock/clover in yellow or green candy melt. For extra shine, spray with the edible Gold Color Mist Spray. 
    • Rainbow cupcakes (version 1 and version 2). These are a little more time consuming than regular cupcakes, but make a big impression when someone bites into them. Another option is to hollow out the center of a cupcake and fill with sprinkles or small candies. I haven't made these yet, because I hate biting into a cupcake and getting a bunch of hard candy in my mouth. Plus, it falls out everywhere. However, it is a surprise and kids love extra sugar. 
    • Make cookies. The boys love decorating cookies (and of course eating them!). I have a shamrock cookie cutter and we make sugar cookies. (Click here for a sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape.) If you don't have a shamrock cutter, you can use a heart cookie cutter. Cut out 3 hearts, overlap the points and push down to join. Cut a small piece of dough for the stem and push down to add to the shamrock. Bake, cook, and decorate. I also made Pots of Gold cookies. I couldn't find a pot/cauldron cookie cutter and ended up using a cupcake cookie cutter. Once it was decorated, it looked really nice and like a pot of gold! 
    • Leprechaun Donuts. These could be make for the Leprechaun to eat when he or she comes to visit, or to be left by the leprechaun for the kids to find. 
    • Pretzel shamrocks. Use mini twist pretzels to form the shamrock shape. Dip 3 twists in green candy melt/green colored white chocolate. Place on a piece of wax paper, with bottoms touching. There will be a small gap in the middle. Fill in with candy melt/chocolate. Break a piece of a twist or stick pretzel to form the stem. Dip in candy melt, place shamrock stem. Let set/dry completely. 

CRAFTS, FUN, ACTIVITIES:
 

LEPRECHAUN VISITS AND TREATS:
I hate cleaning up after the Elf and Leprechaun, so their visits are usually not very messy. Normally, the leprechaun leaves a trail of some kind leading to the pots of gold (treats are usually gold/yellow or green colors).
  • Leprechaun Pots of Gold. I went a little crazy on our first leprechaun visit. I made a rainbow out of construction paper and taped it to the wall. Above the rainbow hung a cloud made of batting and it was raining jelly beans over the pots of gold. I should have used a clear thread to hang the cloud and jelly beans, but forgot to buy it. Be careful when stringing the jelly beans: the needle gets sticky very fast and can be hard to push the the candy. Watch out for your finger tips! 
  • Leprechaun Treat Bags: how to make your own pot shaped baggies. If you don't want to make your own, Wilton does sell a treat bag that has a bowl type of bottom. You could cut out pot shaped piece of black construction paper and place inside (or tape to the outside depending on the filler for the bag), to form a treat bag that looks like a pot.
  • Make their lunch all green! They got a kick out of this last year. I think this would even work with older kids (maybe without the leprechaun note).
    • Include a note from the tricky leprechaun and include a gold chocolate coin as an extra treat.
    • Sandwich: Use green bread or green tortillas to make their sandwiches. I made peanut butter and apple wraps in a green tortilla.
    • Celery sticks with peanut butter.
    • Fruits & Veggies: kiwis, granny smith or golden delicious apples, green grapes, cantaloupe, pears, green bell pepper slices, celery, sugar snap peas, green applesauce (or at least with a green lid)
    • Sides: green chocolate dipped pretzels, green veggie straws/chips, green tortilla chips, green candy popcorn (see my Candied Popcorn post for directions, just use green, white, and/or gold candy melts), only green jelly beans/M&M's/Skittles
    • Green pasta: buy green pasta. My local grocery store usually carries Barilla and Ronzoni brands Veggie/Garden Rotini or spaghetti noodles. Sometimes they also have Ronzoni SuperGreens Rotini. If you cannot find the Garden/Veggie pasta at your grocery store, try adding green food coloring to the water before cooking regular pasta.
  • FINDING THE TREASURE:
    • One year, I wrapped rainbow crepe paper around the stair railings. There was also a trail of coin shaped confetti leading to the hidden pots of treasure. I made sure to include a few dead ends, so it took them a little while to find their treats. 
    • Another time, I made rainbows for the trail. I used both regular rainbows and rainbows where the colors were in reverse order. The normal rainbow trail led to their pots. However, the reverse rainbow trails led to quite a few dead ends. The dead end trails also had small pots, but they had a note that said "This one is a trick. Keep looking.". 
    • Make a scavenger hunt from the leprechaun for the kids to find their pots of gold. I did a small scavenger type of hunt last year. There were small pots hidden around. The ones that had the pipe cleaner shamrocks attached, contained the clues.
    • Some kind of a reverse trap. Normally, you set a trap for the leprechaun, but how about an obstacle course for the kids to get to their pots? In 2018, I made a crepe paper obstacle course for them to get to their pots. Higgins loves anything that resembles an obstacle course. If he has to crawl, jump, climb, or contort, he's happy. Last year I made an obstacle course out of paper chains with cut outs of shamrock and pot of gold shapes. The strings went from floor to ceiling.
    • Some fun pot of gold fillers:
      • Green, gold, or St. Patrick's Day themed pencils or pens
      • Fun pencil toppers/erasers
      • Green or yellow bouncy balls
      • Bubbles (some party stores sell individual items so you can pick out a green or yellow one)
      • Shamrock stickers
      • Shamrock sucker (either store bought, or see shamrock sucker napkin rings for an easy to make shamrock shaped sucker) 
      • Green or gold Frisbee
      • Chocolate gold coins
      • Gold/yellow wrapped candy (mini Snickers, mini Reese's cups, Sixlets, Rolos, Starburst, Hershey Kisses...). Party City normally has bins where you can buy individual candy pieces and items for goodie bags. It's my go-to store for finding small filler ideas. Some stores carry single color bags of jelly beans (either prepackaged or fill your own bag stations).
      • Arcade tokens
      • Car wash tokens
      • St. Patrick's Day rubber ducks (shamrock, leprechaun)
      • "Gold" $1 coins (can usually get these from the bank)
      • Small Nerf gun or ball (yellow or green)
      • Small water gun (yellow or green)
      • Yellow or green nail polish, hair bows, ribbons, bracelets
      • Cars, toys, art supplies, beauty supplies...Pretty much anything your child likes, that happens to come in yellow or green colors, and will fit in the pot will work. Higgins loves to use my tape, so his pot of gold has had rolls of tape that have yellow or green covers to them.
      • Yellow hand sanitizer
      • Socks: St. Patrick's Day themed socks seem to be a big hit.
      • Books: (You know me, I love books and giving my kids books!)

 Pipe Cleaner Shamrock Instructions:

Sunday, January 24, 2021

February Brings Hearts`

It's hard to believe January is just about over and February is almost here. Valentine's Day is coming soon!  

I don't get any requests for homemade Valentines now that the kids are getting older. Plus, this year with online school and travel, we really won't have the opportunity to hand out Valentine's Day cards. 

This year, they will still get a small gift, maybe some candy. I'll probably make some sort of treat as well.

There are still ways to make a social distancing Valentine's Day special! You can make someone's favorite food, rent a new movie, send a meal to someone farther away, or even drop off a basket of treats (or craft supplies to keep the kids busy!) to their house. My list of Valentines, Food, Crafts, Gift, and Activity ideas is below.


HOMEMADE VALENTINE'S:

  • Minecraft Valentine's Day Boxes 
  • Heart Crayon Valentines
  • Candied Popcorn Bags, "I'm popping with happiness that you're my Valentine". One year I attached a Valentine themed bag full of candied popcorn to a store bought Valentine.
  • Use potato stamps to make a hearts on a homemade card. (Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out the shape.)
  • Play-Doh Heart ornaments/necklaces
  • Make Heart Shaped Chalk
  • Hot Air Balloon: it could even have a picture of your child in the basket. "Your friendship lifts me up."
  • Butterfly Pencil
  • Bubbles with a Valentine's Day themed note like "Your friendship makes me bubbly".
  • S'more Kit (marshmallow, graham cracker squares, piece of chocolate), "Your friendship makes me feel mushy inside".
  • Goldfish or gummy fish in a fishbowl shaped baggie with a "school" type of message. The pre-made bags can be hard to find and making the bags can be a little time consuming (click for directions). If you use a regular bag, you can cut a bowl shape piece of paper, write the message and place behind the fish.
  • Other non-candy ideas: clementines, cars, glow sticks/bracelets/necklaces ("Your friendship brightens my day"). The dollar store or dollar bins at Target or Michael's are great to find little treasures in.
  • Hanging Stained Glass Card with "stained glass" made from wax paper and crayons.
  • Easy Stained Glass Heart with contact paper and tissue paper.
  • "I know I'll go far/succeed with you as my friend" type of message with a goodie bag of school gear: pencils, erasers, goldfish bag, ruler, markers, stickers, etc. The dollar store or dollar bins at Target or Michael's are great to find themed pencils and erasers.
CRAFTS:
ACTIVITIES:
FOOD:
GIFTS: *
PETS:



What are some of your favorite homemade Valentines and treats?

*If you buy an item on Amazon using the links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. It does not affect your cost at all! If you want, you can read my Disclosure page for a little more information.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Making Cranberry Pie In The RV

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Months ago, I saw a recipe online for Cranberry Pie. I saved it because I really wanted to try it for Christmas. I was a little worried about baking it in the RV, but after successfully baking some Christmas sugar cookies, we gave it a shot. It was easy, delicious, and turned out well.

It took a little longer to cook than the directions stated. I have a pizza stone under the rack to help disperse the heat, so I think it causes the temperature to run a little low.

The pie was both sweet and a little tart, and even the cranberry skeptic loved it. I would definitely eat this warm, soon after it comes out of the oven. We had some cold the next day and it was nice, but the flavor wasn't the same intensity.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Release!

We've been on the road now since July and online school, and remote work having been going pretty well. The boys are seeing and learning so much, not just in school but in first hand experiences.

We learned a lot as well and experienced so many new things. As of yesterday, I am no longer the only published author in our family! Hubby was inspired to write his own Christmas book, making it campground and RV themed. It is available as an eBook on Amazon's Kindle and Kindle apps. We are working on a paperback version, but running into a few technical difficulties and hope to have it out soon as well. If you are interested in the book, you can find it here.



Monday, December 14, 2020

Mini E, Elf Days 8-15

 

Day 8: Hid in a very messy desk.

Day 9: Hid behind hubby's green screen for work.

Day 10: Didn't move very far, as he was sleeping on top of our bedroom slide-out.

Day 11: Hid in the pantry guarding the new bag of chips. 

Day 12: Left a rummy game for the boys.

Day 13: Sitting on a much cleaner desk.

Day 14: Hid in the cabinet by the plates, napkins, and coffee supplies.

Day 15: Somehow got stuck in the paper towel roll/holder.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas Ideas

This year Christmas may look a little different for all of us due to Covid. We will still be traveling and won't be in town. We plan on connecting with everyone on Zoom or FaceTime. There are a few things listed below that will work as long distance games you can play together, like a scavenger hunt and bingo. Each group can drive around and find the items. I have craft/activity, food, and gift ideas down below.


ACTIVITIES & FUN:


CRAFTS: 

ELF: Here is the link to my elf post. I update it when I get new ideas.

GIFTS:


FOOD:
    DRINKS:

    SNACKS & APPETIZERS:

         MEAL ITEMS:

        BREAKFAST:

    DESSERTS:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Elf Days 4-7

Mini-E, our RV elf, is having a hard time finding the best places to hide. 

Day 4: Window valence, making sure online school is going well.

Day 5: Laying down on the job. On the kitchen slide-out above the refrigerator.

Day 6: Hanging out in a stocking, peeking towards where the St. Nick's stockings were laid out.

Day 7:  In the bathroom, above the mirror. The kids found this spot creepy, so the elf will probably stay away from the bathroom from now on.


Friday, December 4, 2020

Elf On The Shelf 2020, Days 1-3

 I somehow forgot Eugene when we moved into the RV for our year of travel. He must be in the storage unit. I did manage to find another, smaller, elf at Target in the ornament area. I think he will work out rather well. Meet Mini E!

Shared from our family's travel blog.

Previous Elf Posts link.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Elf Shenanigans Of The Past

I thought I would refresh the list of the favorite Elf visits. I'm trying to get some inspiration for new ideas that I could translate into the RV this year.


If you need any ideas for your Elf (or reindeer/snowman/whatever creature you may hide), here are some of our Elf's past exploits. (NOTE: These are only some of his previous ideas, but all of his appearances can be found under Categories: Elf On The Shelf.)





*If you buy an item on Amazon using affiliate links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. It does not affect your cost at all! Your cost stays the same whether you use the referral link from my site or not. My Disclosure page has a little more information if you are interested.