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, March 19, 2019

Sorry for the absence! I did have a few more St. Patrick's Day posts planned, but my computer died. It's only 1 1/2 years old and the hard drive failed. I had some of my post ideas saved on the computer and nothing was recoverable. Oh well, more posts for next year. I finally have the computer (with new hard drive) back and will work on some more posts. This time, hopefully I will remember to back up more frequently!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Leprechaun Visit and Treats With Obstacle Course

Last year, I may have gone a little overboard on the Leprechaun visit set up. It didn't turn out quite as extensive as I imagined it in my mind, but the kids still got a kick out of it.

The boys still had their pots of treats, but in order keep the dog out of the pots (tempting candy and chocolate), I made a bit of an obstacle with gold paper streamers. The trail to their treats began in their room. The leprechaun left them each a note to follow a rainbow trail. They had their own trail to follow of rainbow squares with their initials. Eventually the trail led to their pots that were protected by gold streamers. Above the pots hung a rainbow (rainbow crepe paper/streamer), a cloud (made of batting) raining jelly beans.

Their pots had themed St. Patrick's Day socks, a shamrock topped pen, a multi-color lead pencil, a gold pencil, a yellow sucker, a bag of gold chocolate coins, 2 erasers (yellow-ish in color). It is getting a little harder to come up with yellow type of items as they get older. I keep adding to my list of items in my St. Patrick's Day post, so hopefully you can find some ideas that work for you as well.


For more Leprechaun visits/treats or for filler ideas, check out my St. Patty's Day/Leprechaun Visit post from last year.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Leprechaun Visits & St. Patrick's Day Fun

This year, I haven't decided what the Leprechaun visit will be like. I have a few hanging decorations, so maybe a maze or obstacle type thing again. Higgins thinks those are the best things ever.  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.

Below are my St. Patrick's Day food, activity, craft, and leprechaun visit ideas. I'll update this post 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. 

CRAFT, 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.
    • This year, I am toying with the idea of setting a reverse trap. Normally, you set a trap for the leprechaun, but I'm thinking of setting an obstacle course for the kids to get to their pots. Maybe something similar to when our elf made a crepe paper barricade in the hallway? Higgins saw it as an obstacle course and had a blast with it. Or maybe cut out paper chains of shamrock and pot of gold shapes like this years elf made paper barricade?
    • 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:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Dr. Seuss' Book Word Find

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!






ANSWERS BELOW:





To Print:
  • To Print from website:
    • Right Click--Open image in new tab--Print (or Ctl-P)
    • Right Click--Save/Save Image As/Save to Computer--save to computer--Open the saved image--Print
  •  PDF File

Friday, March 1, 2019

Shamrock/Clover Shaped St. Patrick's Day Word Find

Here is a shamrock (clover) shaped St. Patrick's Day word find! Words can be found in all directions. Spacing and/or punctuation have been removed from words in the puzzle.





ANSWERS:






To Print from website:
  • Right Click--Open image in new tab--Print (or Ctl-P)
  • Right Click--Save/Save Image As/Save to Computer--save to computer--Open the saved image--Print

Print from PDF Files (in Google Docs):

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday, as well as Read Across America Day. Below I have a Dr. Seuss themed word find and other celebration ideas.

FOOD: 
  • Layered Jello. Use red jello to create a red and white striped "hat" of jello. 
  • Green Eggs (Candy). Melt green Candy Melts and create a fried egg shape on a piece of wax paper. Place a yellow M&M on the candy before it hardens. Let set. (This works great for April Fool's Day too.)  
  • Green Eggs inspired Yogurt. Tint vanilla yogurt green with a few drops of food coloring (or use a key lime yogurt). Spread around a plate or bowl and place a yellow Candy Melt on for the yolk. For a healthier option, place a slice of banana as the yolk.  
  • Make Egg Topped Cupcakes, but make the white icing green to make a green egg topped cupcake! 
  • Create a lunch that links back to Seuss books, or have little snacks for each book you read. For example:
    • Pink lemonade like in If I Ran The Circus or call it 'pink ink' like in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
    • Make schlopps with a cherry on top like in Oh The Thinks You Can Think!. It looks like an ice cream sundae to me!
    • Hot dogs. It looks like they are eating hot dogs with the Zable in There's a Wocket in my Pocket!.
    • Green candy eggs or green yogurt eggs (see above) for Green Eggs and Ham.
    • Donuts, egg, jelly/jam, lollipop for Dr. Seuss' ABC.
    • Cotton candy on a stick to look like the Truffula trees in The Lorax.
CRAFTS/ACTIVITIES:
  • Story Times:
    • Target: 3/2 10:00-11:30. Click to see local stores. Storytime with giveaway and activities.
    • Barnes and Nobles: 3/2. Click here for stores and events near you.
    • Check in with your local library and bookstores for Dr. Seuss themed events.
    • Seussville.com has a list of bookstore events by state. Click the link to find one near you! I know of a few local storytimes that are not on the list, so you may want to call your local library or bookstore to see if they are having any events.
  • Read your favorite Dr. Seuss books.
  • Create your own Dr. Seuss type of book!
  • Have everyone wear their silliest or craziest hat to dinner.
  • Go fishing in the living room! Only catch the red, blue, green fish.
  • Make a Cat In The Hat with construction paper.
  • Read Oh, the Thinks you Can Think! and have everyone write down all their ideas.
  • Dr. Seuss Word Find



LINKS:Read Across America
Printables, Seussville.com

 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Valentine's Day

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

I don't get any requests for homemade Valentines now that the kids are getting older. However, they still enjoy the Valentine's Day treats I make them. Normally, they get a small gift and some candy. I usually make a treat for the holiday as well (themed cookies, candies, pudding...) If you want any ideas, I have a list of Valentines, Food, Crafts, Gift, and Activity ideas below. If I come up with any new ones, I'll update the list!

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 premade 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: (New updated ideas!)
PETS:

What are some of your favorite homemade Valentines and treats?

*If you buy an item 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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day! Word Find

It's almost February, which means Valentine's Day is coming up in a couple of weeks. Here is a heart shaped, Valentine's Day word find!











ANSWERS BELOW!





Thursday, December 20, 2018

Elf Days 11 - 18

The Elf has moved a few times since my last post, although he has been lazy too.

Day 11: Elf hung out in the Christmas tree.
Day 12: Caught him watching a baking competition show on gingerbread.
Day 13: He caught Bernardo red handed reading a book. Well, Bernardo fell asleep with the book open on his bed, with the lights still on, and that's how we the Elf caught him. Eugene left him a message on the bathroom mirror.
Day 14: Forgot to move.
Day 15: Hard to play basketball with the Elf in the way. (Hanging from the net.)
Day 17: Hanging out in the laundry room.
Day 18: The boys clearly didn't do their chores, because they didn't find the Elf in the laundry room. He didn't move in the hopes that they do their chores today and find him.
I did have big plans for the Elf. We'll see if I can get together enough to do them (and post!). On Eugene's last day, he will be leaving a gingerbread house kit for the boys to do over their winter break! It will be done after Christmas, but will give them something fun to do during their time off.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Elf: Days 1 - 10

The Elf is behind this year too.

Day 1: Hid in the garland on the mantle.
Day 2: Hid on the kitchen table in the poinsettias.
Day 3: Too tired to remember to move.
Day 4: Peaking out from the stockings.
Day 5: Stayed put.
Day 6: Checking things out from on top of the curtain rod.
Day 7: Hiding with the robes in the kids' bathroom.
Day 8-9: Forgot to move. The Elf is horrible this year.
Day 10: Looks like he is trying to hang his own stocking.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Ho, Ho, Ho! It's Christmas Time!

Oh my gosh! Christmas is in a week and a half! I'm sorry I have been absent and haven't posted much for Christmas. It's been a little crazy around here with school and life in general. The dog had a double ear infection and an allergic reaction in her eyes to something (still no idea what it was), car maintenance (both cars' brakes and a battery), and then Bernardo had to have his appendix out. I am trying to catch up, but I am running behind on blog posts, gifts/gift wrapping, and baking cookies for the neighbors/work/family. Below are my Christmas ideas for food/drinks, crafts/activities, and gifts. The majority of this post will be from previous years, but if I get caught up and have more ideas, I will update the list.

I hope the Holiday season finds you all happy and well!

ACTIVITIES & FUN:


CRAFTS: 

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

GIFTS:
  • St. Nick's Day was 12/6, but there are a lot of stocking stuffer ideas that will work great for Christmas!
  • You've Been Elf'd. Spread a little holiday cheer to your friends and neighbors. We also made and delivered cookies to our neighbors a few days before Christmas last year. They seemed to be a big hit! :)


FOOD:
    DRINKS:

    SNACKS & APPETIZERS:

         MEAL ITEMS:

        BREAKFAST:

     DESSERTS: