Magic ink.

wow….i just blinked and it’s already august! due to us being out of our house until now, there has been very little time to take the kiddies to some of our favorite summertime destinations. but, now that we are moved back in(yippee), i’ve decided i needed to get the kiddies out on some adventures….and i need a break from unpacking all the boxes (only 27 left!).

so, to make the day a little more exciting, i gave the boys this piece of paper. i told them that it would tell them where we were going.

but it’s blank!!!!!!!


no boys….it’s not blank….it has magic ink.

magic ink?!?!?!

yep….a little ironing can take care of that!

tada! we’re going to Adventure Playground…one of your most favorite places in the world!

simple…..yet so much fun.

Magic Ink
all you need to make your own secret messages is:
• lemon juice
• brush, q-tip or your finger
• paper
• hot iron

write a message on a piece of paper with the lemon juice. let dry. to make your message appear, use a hot iron. and tada! magic ink.

Kiddie Fun: Painted Sandcastles

well, it’s been the first official week of summer for us. we spent the week pretty much preparing ourselves to start summer. i finished all my outstanding jobs for Jill Parkin Designs, we made final decisions for repairing our flooded home (we are still living in an apartment nearby) and started swimming lessons for my middle kiddie. i feel soooo much better and am very excited to finally be able to have an enjoyable summer. (i have made the decision to finally limit the invitation business….a hard one, but much needed). now the fun will begin.

anyways….we decided to celebrate by going to the beach to enjoy some fun in the sun june gloom. the water was cold, but the kiddies loved it? and we built sandcastles with our sandcastle kit and we even painted them….

painted them!!!!

yes. we used spray bottles filled with spray chalk solution and colored our sandcastles mounds of sand. the kiddies loved it. even baby.

how to paint your sandcastle

ingredients
• cornstarch
• food coloring
• spray bottles (got at walmart for $.97)
• water

directions
in a spray bottle mix a 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch per 1 cup of water and food coloring. the more cornstarch you use, the more the color will show up on the sand.  but you don’t want to use so much that it clogs your spray bottle. add enough food color so that the color shows up. and that’s it.

p.s. you can use this as sidewalk chalk spray paint as well!
(i have found that the small spraybottles only hold enough solution to last a short time and I had to fill them up a bunch of times. next time i will skip the cute bottles and get the industrial ones.)

happy painting!
jill, jack, kyle & baby

Pear Bunnies….made me happy today!

this has been a strange sorta week. i have been feeling down….even though i don’t know why, and i have been uninspired to blog lately. i guess everyone gets burned out now and then, but i am used to going, going, going. i had planned to do some fun things for earth day (didn’t happen), i had planned to do some Easter projects (didn’t happen). and then this morning, i pretty much decided that i should quit blogging (okay, i’m being a little dramatic), just because i usually am full of ideas….and lately….i haven’t been able to think of anything. and all those activities around the OC i like to post about? no time.
so……..i decided to give myself an attitude adjustment. i ironed some clothes to wear and even got dressed. i cleaned up the house. i took the kiddies to the park. and then i made a good dinner. not my usual pull the tortellini out of the freezer canned spaghetti sauce kind of dinners. but one that would make my hubbie happy. steak. cheesy potatoes. and bunny salad.
okay, the bunny salad was not to make the hubbie happy…..it was more for the kiddies. and i must say, it actually made my day. because they turned out sooo sooo cute. and the cute little bunnies put a smile on everyone at the dinner table. even the hubbie. and that is what i needed. life. is. good.
how to make a bunny salad
what you need:
pear halves
pretzels
chocolate chips or raisins
cherry
nutmeg
lettuce leaf
directions:
place a lettuce leaf on a plate. slice a pear half into wedges for the ears. place two on the lettuce leaf. then place one whole pear half on top (a large can of pears made four bunnies). carefully sprinkle nutmeg where the bunny’s mouth will be. for the nose, place 1/4 of the cherry. add pretzels for the whiskers and chocolate chips or raisins for the eyes. and whala! bunny salad.
and i am not going to quit blogging  🙂

Homemade Candy Buttons | Free printable template


i have a thing for old fashioned candy…..especially colorful candy like swirly lollipops, gumballs, and these cute candy buttons. and guess what…i didn’t buy these…..i made them!

candy buttons are sooooo simple and addicting to make. i love that you can make them any color scheme you’d like. since it’s spring, i thought these pastel color were perfect. i just love how they turned out….and even more how they taste. much better than store bought.
and you don’t have to make just dots, you can make little hearts, little eggs, little stars….anything. and don’t keep the fun all to yourself….my kiddies love to make them too. of course, their dots weren’t as perfect, but still were very tasty!

how to make your own
candy buttons
2 tablespoons meringue powder OR 2 egg whites
6 tablespoons water (if needed)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or lemon juice
1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar
ziploc sandwich baggies
food coloring
artificial flavoring (optional)

1) Cut non-toxic computer paper into 2 3/4″ x 10” strips.

2) Whip together confectioners sugar, meringue powder OR egg whites and lemon juice on low speed using a stand mixer for 1 minute.  (you may need to add water)  continue to whip for 10 minutes on high speed.

3) Divide “icing” into small bowls. Color each bowl different colors. If desired, add different flavorings to each.

4) If icing is too thick, thin out with drops of water, until it is the consistency of sour cream. A drop should hold its shape and slowly smooth out to create smooth button.

5) Pour each color into a sandwich bag and seal. (Placing the open baggie in a small cup and then pouring the icing in, is a great trick to keep things nice and clean). Then cut a VERY small corner off of each bag.

6) Squeeze a drop of icing at a time onto the paper. You can place the strip of paper on top of the template, you
will then see where to place each drop evenly.

7) Place on baking sheets in a cool dry place uncovered to dry overnight.

8) Candy will harden overnight. Store in a zipper bag or
airtight container.

here is a printable template to help you make your buttons line-up straight. the directions are also included.

Rainbow fun: Rainbow Pudding Pops Recipe

we love popsicles around here, especially pudding pops! so we made some delicious rainbow banana pudding pops yesterday which are super simple to make….and they come out so pretty you just have to smile! the best thing about using pudding for the rainbow is that you don’t have to wait for each colored layer to set before adding the next color. since the pudding is thick, you can just layer them all at once. these are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day for that matter.

how to make pudding pops

ingredients
2 – large boxes (5.1 oz) instant pudding mix (light colored)
milk
food coloring
Dixie Cups (5 oz.)
popsicle sticks

directions
• prepare pudding according to the directions. (you may need to add a little more milk to make the pudding pourable.)
• let pudding stand until it has thickened a bit.
• divide into 5 parts and color each part with food coloring.
• layer each color of pudding into small dixie cups.
• cover with tin foil. insert popsicle sticks.
• chill in refrigerator 2 hours, then place in freezer to completely freeze.
• to eat, peal off dixie cup paper and enjoy your pudding pop!
• makes 10 – 12 popsicles

happy eating!
jill, jack, kyle & baby