September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Moments (Homemade Butter Fail)

During the summer we went to a pioneer village with Ken's brother & his family. They had set up a bunch of activities that you could try that pioneer children would have done.

Here are the girls trying out some stilts:

And playing Crokinole:

Our family in front of an old train:

During that trip, we had a discussion with one of the "pioneer ladies" about how to make your own butter. Ken & I decided it would be a good learning activity to try making butter with the girls, so we picked up some whipping cream & went to work!

We started out by pouring the whipping cream into one of those Tuppwerware Quickshake things:

The girls were excited about shaking! (for 2 or 3 minutes)

So, Ken got to work shaking & shaking until we got whipped cream!

Then he kept shaking & shaking & shaking... until it started to look a bit like butter!

But we thought we could do better, so he shook some more. Just when he was getting real tired of shaking, he sat down on the couch and shook some more. On his very last shake before taking a peek to see how it had turned out, this happened:

...And Ken & I stared at each other for a moment in disbelief until Talia said, "So I guess the butter's a fail?"

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 2013 Sharing Time

Welcome to September 2013's Sharing Time Linky :)

Some posts you don't want to miss:

This week, I shared tutorials on:

A Thanksgiving Craft

Easy DIY Name Labels

A recipe for some Peanut Butter Balls that I tried making.

...and our Monday Moment: "I'm just stressed."

Now, onto the September Link Party! I'm loving all of the fun Fall ideas you've been sharing!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Decorative Thanksgiving Blocks (Craft With Your Kids!)

For Thanksgiving, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® my kids & I made these easy Thanksgiving "Give Thanks" Blocks together, with products we found at Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores.

Give Thanks Blocks by #shop

This was such a fun project to do together!

My Goal

I was determined to make it a group effort (not a mom project), and I learned a lot about what my kids are capable of! I think normally, I have a tendency to want to just take over and be in control of everything- especially with something like this that I intend to have on display in my home. This time I wanted the kids to do as much of the work as possible because I wanted them to remember making them so that when we pull the blocks out to display each year, they'll feel responsible for them :) I'm planning for these to be a tool in teaching them about Thanksgiving and gratitude.

Here's what we used:


- 10 2" wooden blocks
- sand paper
- foam paint brushes
- paint (we used FolkArt's Pumpkin, School Bus Yellow, Parchment, Patina, and Burnt Umber)
- brown vinyl & a Cricut (we used the Sophisticated cartridge)
[Note: You could also use a stencil and brown paint, or glitter for the letters- or Mod Podge paper letters onto the blocks]

Painted Blocks for Fall Decoration by #shop #bizdev

While the girls were at school, I sanded the edges of the blocks with sandpaper.
When they got home, the project was ready for them! :)

We started by squirting the paint out and letting the kids paint the blocks.
(All I did was decide how many of each colour we would make)

Give Thanks Decorative Blocks by #shop

I decided I wanted the colours to be a bit muted, so we added a touch of the brown paint to the orange, teal, and yellow and painted over the first layer of paint. My girls love to paint!

Give Thanks Decoration Kids can Make by #shop

The next day (after the blocks were all dry), we used the brown paint to dry brush the edges of the blocks. You just need a very small amount of paint on the tip of the brush for this, and paint gently along the edges, for that distressed look.

I controlled the amount of paint going onto the brush for this part, and my 4 year old did a very nice job of distressing those edges!

The next step was to create our vinyl letters. I sized them at 1.5" since we used 2" blocks. My daughter got to push the buttons, and was captivated (as usual) by watching the Cricut work ;) When we had our "stickers", I positioned them on the blocks and she pressed them down.

Use Vinyl for Give Thanks Wooden Blocks by #shop

We were so happy with the result! I am impressed with what a 4 year old and a 7 year old can do! :)
I'm excited about talking to the girls more about Thanksgiving and the importance of gratitude. I'm hoping that these blocks will become a representation to them of what Thanksgiving is all about!

What a fun activity to do together, and the beginning of a new tradition :)

Wooden Blocks Fall Decor by #shop

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C.R.A.F.T.Skip To My LouDIY Show OffCatch a Glimpse ButtonPhotobucketWhipperberryFor the Kids Fridays at
Also shared at

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Balls & Baking Packaging

I found this peanut butter balls recipe last week and made it with the girls. I didn't completely coat them with chocolate, but I think I would do it that way next time. (I would prefer more chocolate with my peanut butter- so I think Amanda did it best ;)

[photo from Amanda's blog, a few shortcuts]

That being said, I didn't finish making all of the balls, and I have a bowl of peanut butter dough in my fridge that I keep going back to for a taste. It is good stuff! ;)

I tried them out with some new packaging that I got from my sponsor, Wholeport.

I love that the bags come with a sticky closure edge (as shown in the photo above). You just pull off the piece of plastic covering the sticky part, bend it over & stick it on.

So cute!

(can you tell that the peanut butter balls were straight from the freezer- it's gettin' a little steamy in that bag ;)

Disclosure: Any products from's website were provided to me free of charge.
Any opinions shared about their website or products are my own!

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