Wednesday, March 28, 2012

celebrating april fool's day with fun and simple tricks for your children

april fools day is on sunday. plan ahead with these fun, silly ideas we found to celebrate with your little ones. enjoy!
fantastic printable from family fun. give this double-take seed packet to a budding gardener or slip it into a cereal fan's lunch box.

For a fruity April Fool's practical joke, get a few gummy worms and carefully poke them into fresh fruit, particularly apples. Give mom or dad a wormy apple for lunch and leave a few apples on the table for friends and family members to snack on.

bunch up toilet paper and stuff it in the toe of the victim's shoes. they'll wonder why their shoes suddenly don't fit.

put a small drop of food coloring in center of toothbrush. make sure to use the same color as the bristles. also, you could put some oragel numbing gel deep in the base of the bristles.

this might be the most disgusting april fool's day trick....but it's also the yummiest treat!

paint soap with clear fingernail polish and leave in the shower. classic.

Monday, March 26, 2012

mmmmm, mondays: chicken pesto pizza

this pizza combines two of my loves, pesto sauce and pizza. it is super easy, especially if you have made homemade pesto sauce made from your herb garden last fall. if you haven't tried to make your own pesto before, now is the time to start thinking about things for next year. soon we'll have a post about getting that herb garden started for the summer. if you don't have your own pesto sauce made, don't let that stop you from making this pizza. there are some amazing pesto sauces available at your grocery store. this is by far my favorite pizza of all time, rich and savory. i hope you love it too!

chicken pesto pizza

homemade pizza dough

3/4 cup homemade pesto sauce (or store bought if you don't have any pesto frozen)

1 jar store bought alfredo sauce

1 rotisserie chicken (i just purchase a chicken already cooked from the grocery store)

1 cup chopped white onion (1 bag of frozen chopped onions if you can find these)

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

1 cup fresh mozzarella

1 cup grated parmesan

1 cup graded mozzarella

roll out the pizza dough on your favorite pizza pan. if you like crisper crust, pop the dough in the oven at 400 degrees for about five minutes before adding the toppings. mix the pesto sauce and the alfredo sauce together. you can add more pesto sauce to the mixture if you like a stronger pesto taste. spread the sauce over the pizza dough. shred the chicken into bite sized pieces and layer the pieces over the sauce. slice the fresh mozzarella into thin slices and place over the chicken. crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle over the fresh mozzarella. sprinkle the remaining cheese over the other toppings. bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and pizza crust is golden brown. slice and enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

eight things i miss about high school-- guest post by sili @ mymamihood

eight things i miss about high school

i never thought I'd say it but, as my high school's 20th reunion is around the corner (yes, I graduated high school at age 8, thanks for noticing!) I am finding myself all mushy about that era.

perhaps it's the fact that i've managed to reconnect with quite a few of my classmates on facebook. or perhaps it's because, having gone to 2 different high schools, i didn't have enough years in either school to make me bitter and ornery at my age (of 28, yes). so, here's my list:

1. shoulder pads: why you ask? because i think they made me look taller and hip. didn't you wear blazers a size too big?

2. hair spray: you'd think i wouldn't because i hate product in my hair but, i kinda miss the big bangs that were big enough to tell people i was from nyc but not so big as to be confused with one of those jersey girls

3. no car payment: i mean, it was practical. my first car was my dad's 5 speed jeep cherokee! i was hip and with it and loaded with cash. and by cash i mean i didn't have much to spend my check from my:

4. part-time job: ah! what i wouldn't give to sit around at the doctor's office in the naval hospital hanging out with my friends, filing and listening to music and perhaps hacking the time clock so we could get out a full 15 minutes early!

5. sleepovers: every once in a while i want to have one of these but i'm afraid my girlfriends would think i'm nuts. plus, there's the slight issue of the children. i miss staying up late watching movies with the girls, giggling about nothing (while sober, mind you) and making sure we took pictures that had to be developed at a photo lab for posterity

6. lunch: i (try to) work from home now and what i wouldn't give to get up out of my chair around noon, walk to a lunch line and simply tell the lady behind that counter what to put on my plate. without thinking about it, without needing to go to the store to buy stuff, without expending any of my already dwindling
energy on the task of feeding and being fed

7. spirit week: i would love to have a mami spirit week! where we go off and get dressed up in our colors, take pictures with likeminded people and then, hold a pep rally for ourselves. sounds like fun, no? i really didn't appreciate this perk when i had the chance

8. senior skip day: what i wouldn't give for a mami skip day! a day when i'd wake up knowing i wouldn't have to do any of my mami chores, turn in any mami homework or show up to mami school. i would call my friends up, make sure my car paymentless self would be packed up and ready to head to the beach and, without a care in the world i would ride around picking everyone up and then: off to the beach for a day of frolicking and teenage bliss!

i know a lot of us have hangups about high school. bad situations, awkward moments and at times just sad instances. but, i want to remember the good things, the things that we miss and perhaps the people that helped make those teenage years a little more bearable. do you miss anything about high school?

when not pretending she’s a blogger/writer/editor/social media extraordinaire to her family and friends, sili is busy rearing and shaping her 2 year old frog princess into a natural born leader (read: she’s bossy and she gets it from her mama). sili wants world peace and a good glass of wine. and, whatever those two things might lead to. read more of sili’s writing on her blog my mamihood)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

diy: hair bands with flowers

my daughter loses things all the time. she also loves to stuff things in her backpack and is then surprised when they come out of the backpack looking less than perfect. this is a huge pet peeve of mine. it's also especially annoying when i buy her a brand new hair bow or hair band and find it destroyed in the pile of things in her book bag. after spending tons of cash on her hair "pretties", i decided just to make my own for her. they take time and a little bit of money but they easy to make and are much cheaper than what you can buy. here's the quick "how to."

to start, you'll need:
  • elastic decorative ribbon (i got mine at "hobby lobby" for $2.00 for the whole roll)
  • a coordinating flower
  • wire cutters
  • matching thread
  • a matching button or decorative flower center
  • a hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • a basic matching hair alligator clip

cut a section of the ribbon to fit snugly around your child's head. sew the two ends together, overlapping slightly.

cut the stem from the flower. peel back the underlying piece of the stem and take the center part of the flower completely off of the flower. be careful not to separate the flower petal pieces as you do this.

using the hot glue gun, glue the pieces of the flower petals together in the center to keep them in place and secure. this also will help keep the flower from flopping into your daughter's face as she wears the head band (much less drama).

sew the coordinating button into the center of the flower. this will not only secure the flower petals but will also make for a decorative touch.

glue the alligator clip to the back of the flower. this will ensure that the flower can be attached to the headband or can be worn separately as its own accessory. attach the flower to the headband and you're ready to go. simple and if i could just get my daughter to keep these on her head!

Monday, March 19, 2012

mmmmm, mondays: easy italian calzone

i am loving my pizza obsession. here's an easy twist on your typical pizza. a calzone prepared in five minutes? i'll take it!

easy italian calzone

one package sandwich salami slices

1/2 cup black or kalamata olives

1 cup roasted red peppers (jarred and marinated works perfectly)

2 bags shredded cheese (italian cheese blend with fontina, mozzarella, parmesan, & other cheese)

olive oil

cut the salami into small, bite size pieces. chop or slice olives. chop the roasted red peppers into bite sized chunks. in a large bowl, place olives, salami, peppers and cheese. drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and mix until well blended. roll out pizza dough onto a rimmed jelly roll pan (olive oil is horrible smoking from the bottom of a hot oven.) pour all the ingredients onto one side of the pizza dough. pull the pizza dough over the ingredients. pinch the edges of the dough to deal calzone. cut slits in the top of the dough. drizzle lightly with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. slice and enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

friday fun finds: top 10 places to visit in northern ireland (guest post by janmary)

hi and welcome to my world! i’m a blogger from northern ireland and it was lovely to meet nellie and chach in atlanta at the sits blog conference last october.i design jewelry and love to take photos (with my canon dslr or with my iphone). 

the top 10 i am sharing with you today, in honor of st patrick's day tomorrow, are the places i would take you to visit if you came over to northern ireland for a wee visit.

titanic quarter in belfast

this year it is 100 years since the launch and sinking of the titanic. finally belfast, where the famous/infamous ship was built, will have our own museum. the area was neglected for many years, so some of the original buildings remain and are being restored. can’t wait to see them all finished in time for the huge commemoration and festival next month (april 2012).

giants causeway
one of the natural wonders of the world, scientists can tell us how all these hexagonal rocks were formed, but the myth of how finn maccool tricked a scottish giant is much more interesting! our kids love clambering over the rocks, and i love taking photos of them (the kids or the rocks, i don’t mind!)

carrick-a-rede rope bridge
yes ….. a rope bridge……not great if you have a fear of heights, but it links a small island to the mainland with some wonderful views. it is possible to opt not to cross over, and you can just watch the other poor soul instead, but it isn’t *too* dangerous, and lots of fun!

dunluce castle
another great story behind this destination, but this is the true story how the kitchens of the castle fell into the sea during a ferocious storm in 1643. apparently there were a number of guests being served dinner at the time, and food was still served and the guests not told of the disaster at the time for fear of alarming them!
white rocks beach
from dunluce castle you can see this stretch of beautiful soft golden sand stretching all the way to portrush. our kids love coming here to slide down the huge sand dunes. the water is icy cold – most use wetsuits to swim/surf/body board. i prefer to stay dry on the beach!

mussenden temple
this unusual “folly” was built by a bishop as his library and reading room. It is perched dramatically on the cliff overlooking the atlantic ocean with portstewart strand in one direction and downhill strand in the other.
dark hedges
shhhhh…..going to share my favorite road in all of northern ireland, but let’s keep it to ourselves, ok? it is a tiny road in the middle of nowhere, with the most amazing avenue of 200 year old trees.
a simple white church, which can be seen from miles away, indicates you are close to ballitoy. there is a small village on the main road, but drive down past the church and an incredibly narrow and twisty road with a number of hair-pin bends takes you down to a small harbor, cafĂ©, rock pools and beach. the “game of thrones” recreated a medieval village and harbor here last summer for filming.

an ulster fry
you shouldn’t really come to northern ireland without experiencing a genuine ulster fry. the main components may vary, but here is what i would include:
bacon, sausage, potato bread, soda bread, fried egg, (optional extras – mushroom, tomato black pudding or white pudding, baked beans)

our holiday cottage!
for the last few years we have been house swapping, and if you are interested in visiting our wee country then you can check out our home exchange listing here.

there you have it, my top 10 recommendations for your visit to northern ireland. so……when are you coming over?!!!

and remember, everyone is irish on st patrick’s day.

For more of my life and photos here in n ireland, please visit my blog

have a st. patty's post of your own? link up!
janmary designs