Sunday, April 22, 2012

If You Have 5 Minutes: Clean Your Microwave {earth friendly way!}

Happy Earth Day!!
To celebrate Earth Day I am sharing with you my favorite, easy & earth friendly {i.e. no chemicals} way to clean out your microwave and then BEST part will only take you 5 minutes! Yep! 5 minutes to have a sparkling, happy, good smelling, chemical free microwave!

Does your microwave look like this right now? {please say that it does so I don't feel like I'm the only one}
Start the clock at 5 minutes!

5 Minutes: Combine one part Lemon Juice with two parts Water in a microwave safe dish {there are alot of pins on Pinterest for one that calls for vinegar - I'm sure that works too, but lemon juice smells better I think}
4 Minutes: Wash and dry the microwave turn table tray and replace back in the microwave
3 Minutes: Put your lemon water mixture into the microwave for One Minute and grab some paper towels while it's going
2 Minutes: Using paper towels, wipe down the inside of the door, sides, top & bottom of the microwave. The steam that has been created by your lemon water has helped loosen the grease and grime in the microwave.

1 Minute: Still some gunk in there that won't get off? Add 2 more minutes of time by re-microwaving your lemon water mixture and wiping it down again. OR take some time to wipe down the outside of the microwave handle, key pad & door. And there you have it! A clean microwave.

Here are some more earth-friendly posts that we have shared on She Said
Green Packaging using magazine pages

Clothing Swap! Instead of throwing it away swap it with a friend

Dry Erase Book - repurposing an old board book for a new use


Sunday, April 15, 2012

5 Tips for Cooking with Kiddos

Baby S. & I decided to do some cooking earlier this week - making a special surprise treat for Daddy! And I wanted to share with you my 5 Tips for Cooking with Kiddos:

1. Have all ingredients measured out before hand. Just like in a cooking show, have all the bowls out with their pre-measured ingredients. Little kids have little attention spans and don't like to wait for the 4 cups of Rice Krispies to be measured out (unless they are old enough to do it). It adds some fun - and ease - to be able to go through the instructions and tell the kid to "dump it in!".
2. Have some extra on hand. Who doesn't like to taste as they go? Be sure to have some extra ingredients for kids to nibble on while they are cooking.

3. Expect a mess. Little fingers & big bowls equals some spills. Be sure to have paper towels & dish rags at the ready. Cleaning is part of the cooking process and can also be fun.

4. Let them do it. Let them put in the ingredients, stir, pat, etc. Kids LOVE hands on experiences it's how they learn and the more time they have cooking with you the better and better they get. Let their duties be age appropriate. For this recipe I stirred on the hot stove top and then let Baby S. stir in the extra ingredients away from the hot burner.

5. Keep it simple. Detailed, complicated, multiple step recipes are not the best choice for kid cooking. Recipes that are quick & easy with a few ingredients are the best.

Baby S & I made a hybrid of Rice Krispie Treats. We did half Rice Krispies & half Trix and mixed in some shredded coconut, it turned out GREAT!
What recipes do you make with your kids or remember making as a kid?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sharing Easter Traditions with our Peeps

"Sometimes imagination just isn't enough" Source: Akward Family Photos

Easter is coming up quickly!  In my family growing up, Easter was a pretty quiet holiday; my parents wanted to focus more on the spiritual aspect of the holiday, rather than on the commercial/Easter Bunny side.  Even if you decide to simplify your Easter celebration, there are still things you can do to make it special for your family.  If you're looking for some new ways to celebrate, here are some of our favorite traditions.

The Easter Bunny didn't actually visit my house when I was a kid; we had the Easter PIG!!
I think my dad started this just to tease me, and trust me, it really irked me when I was little and I would argue with him about it.  Nonetheless, the Easter Pig tradition stuck and now I refer to it all the time.  Mr. W does find it a little crazy, but I love it -- and I love that someone created the above artwork, too!

The Easter Pig would leave a trail of "droppings" by my bedroom door (aka mini chocolate eggs), which I would follow to find my Easter basket, which usually just had more candy in it.  In Mr. W's family, though, they would have a new book in their Easter baskets.  Since I'm a voracious reader, I love this idea and we have continued it in our own family to an extent.  (Hey, when it's just two people, sometimes it's hard to get excited about putting together Easter baskets!)

Last year I made a set of plastic Resurrection Easter Eggs, similar to these:

They were easy to put together and are an egg-cellent way (wink wink) to help kids and adults focus on the true, miraculous reason for Easter.  You can keep them in a carton, in a basket, or use them as part of your Easter egg hunt.  I think it would be fun to hide one each day in the 12 days leading up to Easter, then have a mini-Easter egg hunt and read what's in the egg, like an Easter Advent.  I can't find the exact one I used, but this post at Mommy Savers is pretty close.

In my house growing up I remember getting a new Easter Dress every year. The whole family would be matched in the same fabric dresses for the girls (including my Mom, I don't know how she found the time and patience to make a dress for herself, but she did, she's a rock star) and the boys having matching ties. As we grew older I remember getting DVD's in our baskets and this year my Mom is changing that tradition into Books, which I think is a GREAT.
I have to laugh because we would always dye easter eggs, but never eat them all, but we would still dye a dozen. I also remember watching Jesus Christ Superstar....I know that it's not your typical video to watch and for some it's not the most reverent{my Mom hated it}, but it does cover the Easter story if that's any justification.
This year we made Resurrection Rolls from Eat At Allies. The rolls turned out great and Baby S. made the connections to the elements of the Easter story. This will be something I'll be incorporating into our Easter traditions.

What Easter traditions do you remember or are there new ones you will be incorporating this year?

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