Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Finds: Mustache Love

I still giggle every time I see mustaches about. I'm by no means over this silly trend so I thought I'd make a collection  of some of my favorite mustache finds on Etsy. It was hard to narrow it down to just 9 there sere so many great options. Hope you like them.

1. Secret Mustache Shirts by byohfiddlesticks
2. Number Print by sugarfresh
3.  'Stache Binkis by zieak
4. Mustache Shoes by pleasantlyplumpknits
5. 'Stache Hat by littlebirdlucy
6. Pull Toy by sevenacretoys
7. Mustache Love Scarf by mamacow
8. Crayons by crayonpartyfavors
9. Little Mr Mustache Bib by abstractgrace

-Marissa
 Rae Gun

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Finds: Mobiles


Mobiles are a great way to add a splash of color to an area of a room that would ordinarily be void of decoration.  By hanging a colorful mobile from the ceiling, you can instantly fill the space with a bit of cheer.  And with the variety of handmade options available, you're sure to find a mobile to fit with the style and colors of your decor.  Here are some of my favorites.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Old and Hello to the New


Dear Crafty Shrink: Our loved ones went crazy this year with Christmas. We also inherited a lot of hand-me-downs. We have accumulated so many toys and clothes, everything is a mess. How can I get my 9 year-old to donate some of it to Goodwill?
–Rachel, Oregon

Springtime is a wonderful opportunity to teach children the important skill of organization. Many of us accumulate so much stuff during the year and especially during the gift season. Whether it’s old school papers, toys/clothing, or random items in the ‘junk drawer’, here are some crafty ways to teach the organizational component of Spring Cleaning:

1. Depending on your child’s age and temperament, I suggest blocking out “Spring Cleaning Time” or “Organization Time” into 20-minute to 1-hour blocks at a time. If you go much longer than that, the learning lesson tends to diminish due to overload. With that said, organization is a process, so make sure you carve out a designated space for ‘in process’ work in order to be able to go back to it until it’s finished. Sometimes this means covering it with a blanket and making a sign that says “do not touch”.

2. During your Spring Cleaning session, encourage your child to make piles. I suggest 3 piles: (1) a pile of ‘must keep no matter what’, either because it’s a favorite, it’s a necessity, it’s new, and/or it’s sentimental, (2) a pile of ‘would like to keep’, but if the pile was ‘kidnapped’, you/the child wouldn’t miss it too much, and (3) a pile of damaged, outdated, or no longer used items.

3. I suggest forcing things into those 3 piles, while letting the child know that you will review when he is done and that he will be allowed pile changes before the ‘goodbye’ happens. For instance, if he wants to move something from the ‘no longer used’ pile to the ‘would like to keep pile’, then he will have to move something from the ‘would like to keep pile’ to the ‘no longer use pile’. This keeps progress going toward the goal of ‘saying goodbye’, while also providing a system that feels fair.

4. Say goodbye to the ‘damaged, outdated, or no longer used items’ first. If you have a child who is particularly attached to everything, say ‘goodbye’ to it first by moving it from the house to the garage (or a neighbor’s garage). Then, after a week, say goodbye to it by placing it in the trunk of the car for a week. Then, the final goodbye goes to goodwill or the dump. Make sure your child is present for each stage initially – this will build the skills needed to part with things more easily in the future.

5. After one pile is gone (a successful goodbye has been accomplished), encourage your child to identify 5 – 10 things from the ‘would like to keep pile’ that can move into the ‘goodbye’ pile. Repeat as needed during spring. I suggest making this a springtime ritual so your child has a break from this level of detailed organization the rest of the year (although certainly organization is a day-to-day skill).

6. To celebrate the process, invite your child to bring the new into an organized space. There should be more room now in cubbies, bins, closet shelves, etc. I suggest you sit down with your child, markers, stickers, tape, and construction paper in hand, and make signs to place in areas where certain items should go (i.e. “blocks, cars, dolls, school papers”).

A caveat: I can hear what you’re probably thinking: “my child is attached to all of it. She claims that everything is sentimental or being ‘used’ (even if she hasn’t touched it in months)”. In that case, I suggest bringing out the camera and making a memory book of their pictures to honor those belongings; your child can even write a ‘tribute’, such as “this picture of the bunny book is special because I used to read it every day.” For some children, their toys and things feel like extensions of themselves, even their family. I remember wanting to keep this one broken doll because “Aunt Chrissie gave it to me” (even though I didn’t play with it anymore). The idea is to teach children to honor memories, hold the specialness in their hearts, but that goodbyes are a necessary part of life. A goodbye doesn’t have to be harsh or rushed, but it does have to happen when it comes to making room for the new.


 
Dear Crafty Shrink is a column where readers ask Modern Handmade Child’s Grow Editor, Dr. Julie Hartman, for simple advice on creative ways to teach kids various mini-lessons on life.   If you liked this article, please let the Crafty Shrink know! Ask more questions and send in examples of how you implemented the advice.  E-mail Julie at craftyshrink@mhcmag.com. 

- Julie
 Petite Fish

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins


These amazing bakery-quality muffins have the nutritional benefits of blueberries, banana, and oatmeal.  The wonderful moist and crumbly texture pairs perfectly with a warm cup of coffee.  If you use frozen blueberries, mix them with a little flour first to prevent the batter from turning blue.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup regular oats
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 very ripe banana, mashed well
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For topping:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well; make a well in the center.  Add all the wet ingredients at once (through banana) and mix just until moist, do not over mix.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each one three-quarters full.  Combine cinnamon and sugar for topping and sprinkle about half a teaspoon over each muffin.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: 10 muffins


- Jen

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Finds: Party Time!


Who doesn't love a good party? Especially when you are throwing it for your own child's birthday! From custom clothing to decorations. Cake toppers to party favors. It's so easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few of our favorite and oh so colorful options for your next celebration.

1. Rhinestone Tee by Daisy Creek
2. Wooden Star Wands by Imagination Kids
3. Merry Go Round Cake Topper by Ego Verto Paper
4. Custom Party Hats by Bayou Moon
5. Rainbow Tutu & Headband by Mom 2 Two Gals
6. Paper Pom Poms by A Dash of Color
7. Fondant Cupcake Topper by Two Sugar Babies
8. Heart Crayons by Preschool Doll
9. Custom Monogrammed Tee by Three Sweets


- Kristi
  zuzu girl handmade

Thursday, February 10, 2011

“I Heart You” Bouquet



Nothing says lovin’ like a handmade “I Heart You” Bouquet!  These bouquets make a heartfelt gift for parents, aunts, grandparents and teachers. Collect a few basic supplies, reuse an empty plastic bottle, and gather the kids for an afternoon of Valentine’s Day fun!






Supplies:
-plastic container, stripped of label – grated cheese container pictured
-2 – 3 hearts on sticks (if you can’t find them already on sticks, you can glue wooden hearts to dowels or craft sticks)
-paint: yellow, pink, blue and red are shown, but you can use any color you like
-paint brushes
-gem stickers for embellishing
-green pipe cleaners
-2 – 3 four-inch round doilies (a red heart doily is pictured in the supplies, but not used in the final bouquet)
-blue or clear glass marbles or gems (found in the floral department of craft store)
-ribbon
-tape


Directions:
Step 1: Using your choice of colors, paint the wooden hearts- allow them to dry.


Step 2: Paint the center of the doilies yellow, then paint the outer edge as desired; allow the flowers to dry.

Step 3: Wrap the pipe cleaners around the heart sticks to create the green “stems.”  To create “stems” for the flowers, “twist” additional pipe cleaners around a wooden dowel, as pictured, and slide them off so that they are springy and flexible.  Alternately, you can keep them straight if you prefer.


Step 4: Affix each doily “flower” to a green pipe cleaner “stem” simply by taping the stem to the back of the flower.

Step 5: Using gem stickers, embellish the hearts as desired. Or you could choose to write sweet sayings on the hearts instead, such as “Hug Me” or “Mom Rocks”


Step 6: Place the glass marbles or gems into the bottom of the plastic container.  Arrange the doily flowers and decorated hearts by inserting the “stems” into the glass gems at the bottom of the container. Add a matching ribbon and your “I Heart You” Bouquet is ready for delivery!  


- Angela
  Angel Fish Boutique
 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three Healthy Breakfast Recipes + Meal Plans

We all know that we’re supposed to start the day with a good breakfast – but I, for one, am always looking for ideas as to what that breakfast should be! Here are three quick and tasty recipes for breakfast. Each one is followed by a 300-400 calorie meal plan incorporating the dish.

Recipe #1:  Cinnamon Blueberry Wheat Pancakes
These pancakes are easy enough for an older child to make (though you may want to help with cooking the pancakes). The batter can be stored in the fridge for up to two days, so it’s perfect for weekdays.
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole-wheat flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-½ teaspoon salt
-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 tablespoon sugar
-2 eggs
-1 ½ cups buttermilk, plus extra as needed
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-¾ cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
-nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
1. Preheat a griddle (or large skillet) over medium heat while you prepare the batter.
2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a glass measuring cup (or another bowl) beat the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla together. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry, just until moist – don’t worry about a few lumps. If the batter seems too thick, add a splash more of buttermilk.
3. Spray your griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop ¼-cupfuls of batter onto the griddle, being sure not to crowd the pancakes. When the pancakes begin to puff, press a few blueberries into each one. The blueberries won’t disappear, but they should be semi-submerged in batter.
4. Once the bottoms of the pancakes are browned, flip them and cook for a minute or two longer, until the other side is also browned. Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate, cover, and continue with the remaining batter. Serve cooked pancakes immediately or keep in a  200 degrees F oven for up to 15 minutes.


Meal Plan (338 calories):
-2 Cinnamon Blueberry Wheat Pancakes (205 cal.)
-1 teaspoon butter (34 cal.)
-1 tablespoon real maple syrup (52 cal.)
-2 slices center-cut bacon (47 cal.)

Recipe #2:  Doesn’t-Taste-Low-Fat Coffee-Shop Loaf
This quick bread reminds me of something that would be served in thick slices at a coffee-shop – spiced, dotted with dried fruit, and with a tender crumb and crunchy streusel. However, because some of the oil is replaced with applesauce, it’s significantly lower-calorie than most breakfast loaves.  Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. It’s easy to put together in the evening for a tasty, no-hassle breakfast the next morning.
Makes 12 servings


Ingredients:
-¼ cup packed brown sugar
-¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
-¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
-2 eggs
-1¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
-⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
-¼ cup buttermilk
-1¼ cups whole-wheat flour
-¾ cup sugar
-1½ teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-½ teaspoon baking soda
-½ teaspoon salt
-¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
-pinch of ground cloves or allspice
-½ cup dried fruit, sweetened or unsweetened (if fruit is larger than raisin-size, dice it)
-1 cup old-fashioned oats

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9” x 5” loaf pan. If you like, you can also line it with parchment.
2. Stir together the brown sugar, walnuts, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, beat together the eggs, applesauce, oil and buttermilk.
4. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. Scoop out a spoonful of the mixture and toss it with the dried fruit until coated. Set aside. 
5. Stir the oats into the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix just moist. Stir in the dried fruit, and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar/walnut mixture evenly overtop.
6. Bake loaf for 60 to 65 minutes, or until browned and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool loaf on a rack for a few minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife and remove from pan. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Meal Plan (403 calories):
-¾” wide slice Doesn’t-Taste-Low-Fat Coffee-Shop Loaf (183 cal.)
-2 scrambled eggs (140 cal.)
-medium apple (80 cal.)

Recipe #3:  Savory Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 1

Ingredients:
-1 egg
-½ clove minced garlic
-1 teaspoon minced onion
-fresh or dried herbs (thyme, basil, oregano, etc.)
-1 slice Ezekiel bread
-1 spreadable cheese wedge (such as Laughing Cow)
-1 slice deli lunchmeat
-salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and mist it with nonstick cooking spray. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Scoop the onion and garlic into a bowl and set aside.
2. Put the Ezekiel bread in the toaster. In another bowl, beat the egg, then pour it into the skillet and scramble.  Stir in the onion, garlic, a pinch of herbs, and salt and pepper just before the egg is done.
3. Retrieve bread from toaster and spread with cheese. Put lunch meat on top of cheese, then top with scrambled egg. Sprinkle with more herbs, if desired, and enjoy!

Meal Plan (377 calories):
-Savory Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich (220 cal.)
-½ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (90 cal.)
-2 tablespoons granola (67 cal.)



- Margeaux
 
Mux Originals

Monday, February 7, 2011

Butterfly Valentines

My daughter loves butterflies. So when it came time to plan Valentines to make for her preschool class, butterflies seemed like the perfect choice. Using simple materials, you can easily make this adorable butterfly Valentine.

Depending on the age and ability (and patience!) of your child, you may want to cut out the pieces ahead of time. My daughter was delighted to just do the drawing and gluing.


Materials:

Butterfly Template
Construction paper
Pipe Cleaners, cut in half
Pencils
Scissors
Glue Stick


Instructions:

1. Click here to download the butterfly template.  Print onto cardstock and cut out.


2. Trace butterfly body and hearts onto construction paper in the color of your choice, and cut out pieces. For each butterfly, cut 2 body pieces and 2 wings, and any smaller hearts you want to use to decorate the wings. If you want to put hearts on the ends of the antennas, cut out 4 of the smallest hearts.


3. Decorate the wings and body. Glue the smaller hearts on top of the larger hearts for a layered effect on the wings. Alternately, you could use crayons or paint to decorate the wings. Draw a face on one of the butterfly body pieces. Or if your child is like mine, they will draw a forehead, face, hair, arms, feet, and a belly button; some may even have their hands in their pockets, and others may have a mouthful of blueberries!


4. Assemble the butterfly. Glue the wings to the back body piece as shown. Glue the front body piece (with the face) directly on top of the back piece so that the wings are sandwiched in between. If you want to write a message on the butterfly, now is a good time to do that. We went with "You make my heart flutter" and "Sending you butterfly kisses".


5. Make the antennas. Take one length of pipe cleaner and twist it around the top of the pencil, just under the eraser, then bend the ends so they are pointing up. Take 2 of your smallest hearts and glue them together, sandwiching one of the pipe cleaner antenna tips in between; repeat for the other antenna. Alternately, you can just curl the ends of the pipe cleaners.

6. Add the pencil to the butterfly. Cut two approximately 1/2" slits about 1" apart in the center of the butterfly body, and insert the pencil through with the eraser at the top as shown.


Happy Valentine's Day!

- Shannon
The Clever Kitty


Pin It

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Finds: Owls in the Nursery


Lately it seems that owls have become increasingly popular in the world of nursery decor, and it's not too hard to see why.  They have such sweet faces and large round eyes.  It reminds me of my 2 year old when she was an infant; her eyes were always wide open, and she was constantly looking around as if to say, "where am I and what is going on here?"  Perhaps the popularity of owls also arose from the need for a sense of humor when it comes to late nights and repeated awakenings.  After all, owls are nocturnal, and I remember wondering at one point if my daughter was, too.  So I couldn't resist choosing an owl theme for the nursery of my second daughter who will be born this April.  It is always refreshing for me to explore Etsy and find such unique handmade items made by other talented moms and artists like me.

1. Swirly Tree with Two Owls and Birds Decal Set by Wall Art Design
2. Little Owl Reversible Baby Shoes by evie lala
3. Owl Felt Hair Clip Bow Holder by Sprinkle Designs
4. Owl Friends Peg Rack by Maple Shade Kids
5. Reversible Bibbie and Burp Set by Adams Blankie
6. Adopt a Friendly Owl or Tree – Felt Plush Softie by Pink Perch
7. Whimsical Owl Pink Polka Dot Reversible Fabric Organizer Bin by Treasured Totes
8. Pink Felt Owl Clippie with Brown Gingham Bow by Crowe's Nest
9. Owl Hat with Earflaps by My Swallow's Nest
10. Customizable Owl Baby Shower Invitation by Jen Snow Design
11. Hand Painted Necklace, Original Watercolor Pendant, Little Owl by Tuckoo and Moo Cow
12. Perched Owls Gift Set - Newborn Hat and Burp Cloth by bitty bambu


- Jen

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be My Valentine Brownies


These moist and rich brownies are easy to make using a simple recipe with ingredients you often keep on hand.  Make an extra special Valentine’s Day treat by cutting them into heart shapes and topping them with pink and red sprinkles.  If you want to leave out the instant coffee granules, you can sprinkle peanut butter chips on top instead of regular chocolate chips.



Brownie Ingredients:2 tablespoons water

½ tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/3 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups chocolate chips (divided)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8” x 8” pan with foil leaving some foil hanging over the edge of the pan for lifting the brownies out later.  Spray the bottom of the foil-lined pan with cooking spray.

Place water, coffee granules, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat.  Immediately stir in vanilla, 1 cup chocolate chips, and eggs until chocolate chips are completely melted.  Stir in flour and baking soda; mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle top with ¾ cup chocolate chips.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow brownies to cool then lift them out of the pan using the foil handles.  Use a two inch cookie cutter to make six hearts.  Place hearts on a wire rack over wax paper.  Drizzle with chocolate glaze (recipe follows) and Valentine sprinkles.

Chocolate Glaze:
2 ½ Tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
2 ½ Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Heat water and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts.  Stir in the cocoa powder.  Gradually stir in powdered sugar.  If mixture is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time until a smooth glaze forms.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 

Yield: 6 heart-shaped brownies or 12 square brownies


- Jen

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spring 2011 Issue Out Now!

With much of the US getting hit with heavy snow and blizzards this week, we could all use a bit of spring cheer.  We at MHC are excited to bring you a little glimpse of the season ahead with our new Spring 2011 issue.  Looking for the latest trends in handmade fashion for kids?  How about ideas for refreshing your decor for spring?  We've got you covered.  Plus lots of fun spring-inspired crafts, delicious recipes, and much, much, more!  Just click on the cover below to step into a world of spring!




Happy Reading, and Happy Spring!

The Staff at Modern Handmade Child
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