Thursday, February 9, 2012
Having a two year old is amazing, wondrous, humbling, frustrating, teeth gritting, heart melting and breath taking (in both the negative and positive meaning) all wrapped into one non-stop Energizer bunny package. She is a creature on a quest for independent adventure and most times this is a great thing. Sometimes not. Sometimes keeping her busy can be challenging. Sometimes its hard to think of what to do to keep her entertained so as not to fall back on the option of "how about an episode of Sesame Street we have DVR'd for these very moments?". Even as I type she has climbed into my lap and has taken this blogging session hostage, saying, "Helping Clara (pronounced Cahrah)!", which means she wants to help me do whatever it is I am doing. All 35 pounds of her (that is not a typo) are sitting here, facing me wide-eyed, hoping I will offer her a new adventure. We're home sick today with strep throat and even though the throat culture says she is sick, she doesn't feel sick. She wants to climb and jump and squeal and laugh... and help. God love her. She's not boring. As a working mom, these are reasons I love school. Since I cannot be available to her every day like this, it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy to know she is at a place that can. Clara attends a Montessori school and they never run short of "works" for her to do. Tedious fine motor skill tasks, color sorting, phonics learning, mind inspiring, creativity inducing, energy burning tasks that not only teach my inquisitive little pip squeak new things, but keep her busy.
So the start of this post has nothing to do with the title. I started off with the intention of talking about her sweet little school and her adorable little 2 year old friends but I got distracted. What is it about the mommy brain? It's like a dog seeing something shiny.
Back to our regularly scheduled program. You see, one of the things I love about our little girl attending school is making crafts for holidays. She's too little to be of real help right now(I mean, don't get me wrong, I let her think she is helping all the time) especially when exact-o blades, melted crayons and scissors are involved, but I look forward to the days when she is old enough to not only make these crafts with me but help decide what we are going to make.
Since most of her classmates are 2 years old I wanted to make something that they could play with and not just fill their bellies with sugar (although I will be posting about an edible craft too). I saw this on Pinterest (is anyone else out there addicted?) and knew it was the perfect way for her to show her friends how much she "yuvs" them.
I needed to make about 3-dozen of these adorable heart shaped crayons and each one calls for about 3 crayons worth of wax each. So 3 x's 36=108 crayons. I used a package of old crayons and purchased some new (using an awesome coupon I had for Michaels $10 off $30- I love that store!). With an exact-o blade, I slit the crayon paper open close to the seam. Derrick and I cut all the paper on the crayons first, then unwrapped them. We sorted them into color families (Yes, Derrick helped. He is a real rockstar, that husband of mine, and he is all about assembly line crafts then render really fun results). After reading several blogs this seemed to create the most aesthetically pleasing crayons.
I preheated my oven to 250. Then I prepped a cookie sheet by lining it with Wilton silicon heart molds. In hindsight, I would have placed a piece of parchment paper onto the cookie sheet first. Chalk it up to a lesson learned, one that you can take advantage of...crayon wax doesn't come off easily. Then I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of craft glitter into the molds. Then I broke the crayons into as small of pieces as my fingers would let me and filled the liners with about three crayons worth of crayons each. After each mold was appropriately filled, I topped the crayon pieces with another 1/4 teaspoon of glitter. I popped the tray into the oven and let them melt for about 15 minutes. I removed the cookie tray carefully as to disturb the wax as little as possible and let the wax cool for 20-30 minutes. The results were awesome.
I added black, white, silver and gold crayons to certain color families for a little pop. They are incredibly cute and super easy. An older child (say in the 5-10 range) could easily help with this craft, save the exact-o blade part.
I created a little background for the card on the computer, cut them out and added Clara's signature and a ribbon accent (which I tied through a ribbon punch). Presto! One adorable little Valentine from our little Muffin Puff! I can't wait to share these with her friends. These heart crayons are the perfect size for chubby little fingers.
Stay tuned for another craft to share with those you love on Valentine's Day.
Monday, February 6, 2012
So...it's been a year. Not exactly 12 months, but...for all intents and purposes we might as well just call it a year. I don't really know where that year went, but I will say that I have thought about this blog often and have missed it often. The trouble is I don't want to just talk about food. There are so many things I want to cover and share. I have been contemplating changing the direction of this blog to be more all the things I love.
What kinds of things, you ask? Well, I am not just a foodie and culinary amateur. I am also a wife, a mother, a friend. I am a registered interior designer who enjoys designing, creating, crafting and compulsive organization. Throw in the fun and challenges (and sometimes highly frustrating moments) that come with being a project manager for a major university here in the great state of Texas and this blog transforms from food only into something more.
I haven't quite decided what that something more and something different is, but I am working on it. Stay tuned. It's coming soon.
In the meantime, here are a few new pictures of our girl, Muffin. She's two now. She talks in full sentences and has imaginary conversations with her favorite cast of characters (a bunny, a monkey and a frog). She is growing and changing and so am I. I can't wait to tell you about it all.
Hope this blog finds you well!