Thursday, 29 March 2012

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

This morning was a grumpy morning at our house.  MJ woke up very early just before 5am.  Mommy stayed up to late sewing and watching TV so she wasn't too happy about being up.  TJ also woke up early for him at 6:30am.  After putting on the TV for the kids and doing some computer work I suddenly realized that way too much time had passed.  The kids were wanting to play and I hadn't tidied the kitchen from last night... let's just say it was a very grumpy morning here.  After a quick time-out for mommy we started the day over again and made some yummy cookies for our snack.

Meaghan's slightly healthier chocolate chip cookies
Adapted from Taste of Home Cookie book (Oatmeal Chip Cookies)
1 cup Butter or Coconut Oil softened (I used organic unsalted because I had it on hand)
1 cup Brown sugar packed (could also use other natural sweeteners)
2Tbsp big scoops of Raw Honey
2 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla

2 cups flour (I used 1cup Whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 ground flax)
1tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 to 2 cup Chocolate chips (could also use dried fruit or carob chips)
3/4 Medium coconut

In one bowl cream the butter and sugar, honey together.  Beat in eggs and add Vanilla.  In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Mix everything together.  Drop by the spoonful onto cookie sheets.  Bake in 350degree oven for 8-10 min.  Makes 5 dozen

I have also been learning about the benefits of soaking my grains from Passionate Homemaking.  While I didn't plan ahead for this particular recipe it could easily be adapted for soaking Adapting your recipe for soaking.

What is your favourite way to change up the mood in your house?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Easy Coffee Filter Eggs and Flowers

Here is a fun and easy craft to do any time of year.
Coffee filters
Spray bottle with water
 How to:
1. Colour with markers on the coffee filters
2. Spray coffee filter with water
3. Let the coffee filter dry
4. Cut into fun shapes or gather the middle and attach to a pipe cleaner for a flower.
MJ just had fun playing with the markers

TJ's coloured on filter

Mommy's coloured on filter

Spray with water

Hold up to let the colours flow

Wow check out my work!
After the filters dry you can cut them into shapes or form into flowers
As you can see from the last photo we haven't quite found the time to finish this craft.  TJ had a great time experimenting with effects.  Try dots, swirls, patterns, different colours...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

St. Patty's Crafts

Oh the fun we have had with all things green. As you can see we went on a "green" treasure hunt and gathered up anything green we could find to decorate the mantle. There are kitchen items, toys, books etc. Then we made some fun crafts.

Marble painted lucky clovers

marbles or small balls
container with lid

1. Pour some paint into a bowl, add the marbles
2. Tape your paper to the bottom of the container
3. Using a spoon or ladle, scoop some balls with a bit of paint into the paper

4. Snap on the lid and shake, shake, shake
5. Open up and marvel at your work.  Then make some more.
6. Once dry, trace a shape onto the back and cut out.
TJ hung them in every direction all over the house
Last week the boys got together for a play-date with some friends and we had a great time making these green collages.

Green Collage

green art supplies
card stock or heavy paper

1. On card stock print or draw the shape of a clover (or any shape you'd like)
2. Gather up any green craft supplies (paper, tissue, pompoms, sequins, foam sheets, stickers...)
3. On the back side of the paper let your kids glue all sorts of green things
4. Once dry cut out your shape and enjoy
MJ and I made this decoration for his door

TJ liked his full collage and didn't want it cut up
On St. Patty's day we are planing a green meal and some other fun things.
How are you celebrating?

This post is linked to It's Play Time.  Go check out all the other amazing fun activities!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Very simple spring craft

As spring approaches and the weather occasionally begins to warm up, our thoughts turn towards the outside more and more.  We spent almost the whole day outside today.

 The other day in the evening I was looking for something to do with the boys.  We painted several coffee filters with watercolour paints.  Water colours are my new friend as they are far less messy than poster or finger paints.  Our set is empty now and the one from the dollar store really doesn't work unless I work on each colour for a minute.  I am going to splurge and spend some actual money on some watercolours.
Beautiful watercolour coffee filters
 Once they dried we pinched the middles together and used a clothes peg to make them into butterflies.  If I had wooden clothes pegs we would paint them too and perhaps add eyes or antenna.
You can use decorated coffee filters any time of year.  Try:
Flowers for any occasion
Cut into an egg shape for easter
Make snowflakes in the winter
Cut into almost any shape like hearts or trees
Make a mobile
butterflies hanging from the kitchen lights
What else do you craft with a coffee filter??

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Lenten Traditions for the Family

This has been an exciting year of beginning rich and meaningful traditions with my family.  A few weeks ago I was looking at my calendar and noticed Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.  I'll admit that I had heard of them but never really knew what they were all about.  I was surprised to find out the meanings of these celebrations and the whole Lenten season.  So with that said I do encourage you all to find out why certain celebrations are on the calendar and to participate in those that resonate with you.

I am terrible at summarizing so I suggest you click on the links above to discover these celebrations for yourself.  Here are some activities that we chose to do this year to celebrate. Although we are not Catholic ourselves, many of the resources below come from wonderful Catholic sites.

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday)
  • We were going to have pancakes but didn't have all the right ingredients so we made French toast instead.
  • We used items from our play kitchen to have our own pancake race with felt pancakes.
  • Next year we'll discuss the meaning behind this celebration and have the kids help make the food.
Ash Wednesday
  • Talked a bit about repentance and the reason behind the celebration.
  • Mommy shared what she was going to give up for Lent (I gave up Facebook in case anyone is missing me).
  • Next year we will have a fire or light some candles.
Station of the Cross table
  • Printed a count-down calendar from the internet. (We may make our own next year)
  • Set up a Stations of the Cross area in the house. See the picture above.
  • Every few days we are working through the Stations of the Cross for kids.
  • I created a box of objects for the kids, similar to the link, to add more meaning to the Stations of the Cross readings.
  • Later in the month we will be changing up our nature table 
  • Plant seeds that will hopefully sprout in time for Easter
  • Decorate the house with simple homemade decorations
  • Decorate eggs

Holy Week/ Easter
  • Make resurrection buns and hot cross buns.
  • Wash each others feet and have a simple meal to talk about the Last Supper.
  • Possibly do egg hunt using Resurrection Eggs (plastic eggs with meaningful objects inside)
  • plant our seeds if they are big enough.

I'm still working on more Easter ideas since I know I'll come across some great ideas online.  Please do share some of your ideas and traditions with us we'd love to hear from you.